Repentance is when one is truly sorry for a wrong action. Sincere repentance causes one to change their sinful direction. Genuine regret will facilitate a move towards Godly direction. It does not mean to say you are sorry then commence to repeat or express the same previous behavior. One must not confuse repentance with guilt. Oftentimes when one’s sinful behavior is exposed or they become self-conscious of wrongful behavior they will experience conflict. To alleviate their discomfort they may say “I’m sorry”. Saying sorry releases the immediate pressure. Don’t let sorry become a sorry meaningless word. True repentance impacts one to the point that the desire to modify their actions overrides the once prescribed behavior.
When one has compulsive behaviors their ability to relinquish such behavior may not immediately manifest. But admitting to oneself that their behavior needs modification is a favorable inception. The process to extinguish compulsive behaviors can sometimes be lengthy. However, the benefits yield self-control. Self- examination is a prerequisite on the road to recovery. Remember nothing is impossible with God.
When we become aware of behaviors that don’t produce the fruits of the spirit we should be thankful. Remember God is a spirit of truth. His truth will constantly allow us to see the folly of our ways. When we read and digest the scriptures it will promote spiritual growth. Spiritual growth will enlighten your perspective.
The old nature within us is enmeshed with a faulty response system. We must repattern our responses by fostering an internal environment which invites the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit. The new nature can arrest the old nature. Remember the power of God is stronger than anything! God’s power is unlimited. We never become the power but as His children we have access to it.
~ THE GREAT COMMISSION ~
“Then opened HE their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, And HE said to them;
‘Thus it is written, and thus it behoved CHRIST to suffer and rise from the dead the third day;
And that REPENTANCE & REMISSION of sins SHOULD BE PREACHED in HIS NAME among ALL NATIONS, beginning at JERUSALEM. And ye be Witnesses OF THE THINGS…” LUKE 24
We are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. A disciple is a learner. Disciples must exercise discipline. Remember a fool speaks his whole mind. We should be slow to speak, quick to hear and slow to anger. God has given us His written WORD and His internal COMFORTER to lead guide and direct each of His children. Whenever we find ourselves in err we should welcome a repentant spirit. Our desire should not let pride nor man’s opinion prohibit humility. John the Baptist constantly preached repentance! Repent! For the kingdom of God is at hand. We have been thoroughly conditioned to respond in fashions that actually hinder our spiritual development. We can be consumed by what others think or how it appears rather than what God knows.
Never sacrifice inner peace for exterior acceptance. Don’t allow others to control you by remote. When they try to provoke you to anger don’t get pulled in. When they hurl insults don’t engage in verbal combat. Let self-control intercede. Wait and respond when and if you feel it’s necessary. Just let them feel the impact of their own tongue. There are many things that won’t be understood on this side of heaven. Just remember God knows your heart. The spiritual armor must become a habitual attire.
Our purpose is to please and Worship God. Worship does not only exist between 11:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m. on Sunday morning. The true worshippers must worship Him in spirit and in truth. We should live a life of worship. We do this by acknowledging His authority in our life and being obedient to His WORD. We should encourage others to embrace the scriptures and accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Let’s be about our Father’s business. Repent! Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand!
The truly repentant soul has an innate inclination to please God after one experiences salvation. Priorities yield to inner peace and contentment. To compromise and join the way of the majority looses its intimidation. Jude encourages us to pluck others from the fire. Satan is such a deceiver. His deception allows tradition, superstitions and old wise fables to parade themselves as the WORD of God. When you study and show yourself approved to GOD it will allow you to discern and properly navigate through the deception. Don’t be fooled like the Pharisees; be schooled by the scriptures and lead by the Holy Spirit. Repent the kingdom of God is at hand!!!
God wants us to become complete in Him
God is omnipresent therefore everywhere we are God is there. As believers our body is a temple where God’s Holy Spirit resides once we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts as Savior & Lord. His Word is Spiritual Food for our souls. There is miraculous cleansing power in the blood of Jesus! God wants us to daily draw near to HIM with sincere hearts. Here is how we begin to move toward spiritual wholeness.
When we are connected to the LORD He will help us become all that He wants us to be. In an ongoing growing intimate personal relationship with the Lord we can discover everything that we will ever need for life & living. God never intended for us to be dependent upon others for our security and significance. He only wants us to be dependent upon Him. This is why we need to disconnect from the world and connect and stay plugged into the Lord! This is also why He encourages us to “PRAY without ceasing.” This keeps us focused upon HIM! God is omniscient. God is the source of everything that is genuinely good. If we all were ALL dependent upon Him this world would be a much better place to live. HIS CHURCH, our marriages, our families, our homes, neighborhoods, cities, towns, states, countries and the world at large would all be a lot happier and healthier.
God wants to continuously open our spiritual eyes and provide abundant living in every area of our lives. He wants the Fruit of His Spirit to manifest and multiply within our daily lives. When we are connected to the Lord we are even more cognizant of the world and what is happening all around us, yet we worry less as we learn to trust God more. Our discernment is sharper, our inner peace enhanced and we also become more spiritually enlightened.
Life on earth is designed as a continuous experience of lessons that can help us to grow spiritually. We can elect to grow closer to God or we can grow further away from Him. Anything that is not growing is dead! I was taught by a wise loving mother that, “We are forever becoming, and we never arrive.” This simply means that there is always something to learn as long as the Lord has us on this side of Heaven. We never get to the place that we do not need the Lord! God is the ultimate Father and He can feel as well as fill the void, resolve any despair as well as correct and heal any dysfunction that persists. God loves us and wants what is best for each of us.
GOD allowed His Son Jesus Christ to die in our place. The past, present & future sins of the world were placed upon Christ on the cross. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew NO sin; that we might be made the righteousness of GOD in Him!” 2 Corinthians 5. He overcame sin in the flesh for us and has given us His Holy Spirit to help us live better God centered lives. Jesus Christ died so that we could become FREE from habitual sin! As we grow in His grace, understanding, knowledge & wisdom and apply His principles to our own lives we should begin to sin less. We are to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ! After we complete the course of life we who are believers return to Him to live through eternity. Each day we are to live on earth as though our Lord was going to return!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to SAVE the world though HIM!” John 3 Everyday: “To GOD Be The GLORY!”
GOD designed us to be controlled from the inside out by HIS HOLY SPIRIT! This is why when we accept JESUS CHRIST as SAVIOR & LORD HIS COMFORTER comes to abide and live within us! HE is our Internal Spiritual Teacher that can lead us to ALL TRUTH! HIS WORD does not say; lead us to some of the TRUTH! This is why: “The true worshipers worship the LORD in SPIRIT & in TRUTH!” We should have;”A GREAT HALLLELLLUJAH” time whenever we worship & praise HIM knowing all that the LORD has done for us. It is our choice to live each day to please GOD or live to be accepted by others and conform to the ways of this world. “The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the Word of Faith we are proclaiming; that if you confess with your mouth that “JESUS IS LORD!” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you WILL be SAVED. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says; “Anyone who God trusts in Him will never be put to shame” Romans 10
You do not ever have to be ashamed once you truly realize the anointing cleansing POWER of HIS HOLY SPIRIT when you are walking in the LIGHT of HIS WORD! Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt GOD’S OMNIPOTENT POWER!
When God created Adam He placed within him everything that he would need for life and living. God realized that Adam needed a life partner. He then placed Adam into a deep sleep and took out of Adam one of his rib bones and made Eve. Adam was created whole! It was sin that weakened him and separated him from God and made him doubt what God had said. Jesus made it possible for us to once again become whole. We must become sleep to the ways of this world and awakened to the things of God. We must allow Him His rightful place as our Creator & Maker within our hearts, lives, homes and places of worship. We must let Him bring forth a better way of living and ignite our hearts to sincerely “Worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” Through Jesus Christ we can once again become whole!
If you do not have a spouse don’t feel left out, partner up with the LORD! You are not alone. Everywhere you are He is there! He wants you to be content and complete in Him! Live before an “Audience of One!” There is nothing wrong with wanting a spouse. Your natural desires make you who you are. Continue to ask the LORD to give you a spouse who you can grow together with if you so desire.
God saves us through the Power of His Holy Spirit so we can be saved from the temptation of sin reigning within our lives. You can be physically strong yet spiritually and emotionally very weak and unstable. God wants to transform us by the renewing of our minds through His Word! God wants us to be or become happy married or if you are single. He has placed within us a void that only He can fill. We can have a Gethsemane experience when we commit to spending time alone with the Lord in prayer and meditating upon His Word! God wants us to repent of our sins. It is through the power of His Holy Spirit that we can be spiritually refreshed refueled & renewed. God wants us to become whole!
We can share our thoughts and ideas as well as manmade approaches to seeking wholeness. There is a degree of good in some of the philosophies of man. However one must pray for discernment to better understand the will of God. The infallible Word of God and His principles for life & living will always remain superior. It is important to keep in mind that God is our Creator and Maker of this world that we live in and knows what is best for each and everyone of us at all times. He did not make us to be robots. He made each of us uniquely. Once we truly accept Jesus Christ into our hearts His Holy Spirit is awakened within us. His Holy Spirit internally resides and becomes our Spiritual Guide and Comforter. He is the ultimate wonderful Counselor!
God does not want us ignorant of His ways. He has not left us alone to struggle here on earth. One just needs to sincerely and diligently seek Him and His Word above all else. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the FAITH as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than in Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the Head over every power & authority.” Colossians 2
We must live or begin to daily live our lives to please Him. “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God! This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to rest and approve what God’s will is ~ His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12. God’s will for us is to become whole! We have no righteousness of our own. But through the power of His Holy Spirit we can be cleansed from all unrighteousness. GOD does not and cannot lie. HE IS The SPIRIT of TRUTH! He can daily renew our hearts and our minds. We in turn have to offer ourselves unto Him and embrace and implement the Truth of His Word within our own personal lives. Therefore we pray; “Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!” Grace, Joy and Peace to you in Jesus Name. Yes GOD can make us whole! Yes we can strive for spiritual perfection! Yes we can become complete in HIM!
Christianity is much more than just a religion! It is so much more than a social club. In general, for many, religion has turned into a manufactured system where rules are dictated, regulated and policies are made. Quite often there is an ever increasing list of do’s and dont’s to conform to, which sometimes go so far as to require a staunch or restrictive dress code. Often actually forsaking the Power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the individual’s life from the inside out! The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Spiritual Guide and Teacher! The Word of God teaches us that true worshipers worship the Father “In Spirit and in TRUTH!” John 4.
Keep in mind that the LORD is the most HIGH GOD who desires to continually transform the lives of devoted believers and reach out to the world! Above Him is no other! Without the Lord one is disconnected and is but a wretched lost human being, living aimlessly in the flesh without promise of eternal life! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we then have purpose and are adopted into the family of God! We embark upon a life of becoming enlightened, spiritual growth and being renewed as we apply His godly principles to our own lives. The Promise of Eternal Life waits as we grow spiritually realizing that we are forever “becoming…” As long as there is breath in the body there is Hope! NEVER underestimate the POWER of the LORD! “What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
God intended for Christianity to be a daily lifestyle centered on Him! Christianity consists of the process by which we can learn the origins of man and draw closer to our Creator and Governor of the universe! We can discover more about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and commence to live life to daily please the LORD! It is the “GOOD NEWS GOSPEL!” The central tenet in the Christian Faith is our belief in JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. He actually was God incarnate within sinless human flesh. The world was spoken into existence through Jesus! He actually became the WORD wrapped in flesh! “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was with GOD from the beginning. Through HIM ALL things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In HIM was life, and that life was the LIGHT of men…” John 1. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is a definite requirement for all Christians. He reconciles us to the Most High God and gives us the gift of Salvation and the inheritance of Eternal life!
Let’s take a momentary glance into the secular perception of religion from a widely respected source. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is well known for his psychoanalytical theories, perspective on religion says:” Religious faith produces a repression of impulses and thus keeps the personality secure at the expense of honesty.” He is recognized as the father of “Psychoanalysis.” He also developed many of the concepts in *Psychology.” It is here the mind and behaviors are studied.
“Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and the logia meaning “study of.” Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics and anthropology.
Freud believed that the actual drive-oriented nature is overlooked because the aspect of human nature has long been suppressed by religion. People in their insecurity begin to look for a cosmic father in order to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Freud also believed that religious activities are rituals of compulsive behavior that are employed to temporarily ease the intense guilt feelings that are fostered by religion. Likewise Christians neurotically try to free themselves of guilt feelings by performing religious rituals. Freud also maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes infantile regression.
Much to my dismay there is a minuscule element of truth in what Freud believed in regards to religion. I do not personally embrace his theories of psychology. But many do hide behind the guise of religion. There is a tendency to project a façade where things appear to be alright. They often go along with the majority and conform in order to feel connected to their particular group but remain insecure within themselves as an individual… There is often much ambivalence and unrest in their conscious relationship to God personally. They feel distant from Him trying to fill the inner void with some of everything!
Whenever the soul is not really anchored; the philosophies in regards to the origins of man becomes a playground for answers.
Whenever GOD is not the center of one’s religion one can regress into this sea of uncertainty. Nothing is infallible and there is much doubt as to what has already been proven to be true! What was wrong becomes right and therefore one becomes polluted by the world. The world continues to migrate further and further away from God as Creator and the principles of His Word. Anything can be a religion. God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in Spirit & in Truth! Many religious folks modify His Word to adjust to the current desires of society. We can learn much from the Word of God. When His principles are abandoned there is a downward shift in the overall moral standards. Keep in mind GOD wants us to be spiritual beings that believe, embrace, implement and trust His Word!
The Bible does not ever contradict itself! The New Testament has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament! There is no other book like the Bible! It is an extraordinarily remarkable library of infallible spiritual wisdom that is inclusive of 66 books! It cannot be fully grasped by the intellectual mind alone. One must solicit the Holy Spirit to intervene and illuminate the significant meanings of its plethora of Scriptures. It is also the all time best seller! In order to not be lead astray it is important to know for yourself what the Word of God says! We as Christians believe and accept the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD by FAITH! This is why we are called “Believers.” When Christians follow the ways of the world rather than embrace the Word they usually have not actually taken the time to build an up close personal intimate “one on one” relationship with the Lord.
It is only with the Lord can one discover true “Security & Significance!” There is a tendency to encourage focusing on the outer rituals and traditions rather than to intrinsically search within to see where the true problem lies to resolve any inner conflict. The inner anxiety or unresolved issues can then become ongoing baggage that is carried throughout life producing anxiety when it is not addressed. God wants us to become whole! He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and take a stand for our rights. He wants to write His laws upon our hearts! Inner Peace can be experienced when one readily repents (turns from) any wrong behavior and moves forward… God does not want us bogged down in guilt nor shackled to any uncivilized or inappropriate behavior. He wants us to be FREE! There are very good reasons why He has said DO NOT do some things! The world says do as you please! God wants us to become disciplined! A disciple is a learner! God wants to deliver us from whatever hinders us from growing spiritually and becoming all that He created us to be He wants us to; “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul…” Matthew 11. This is why He has given us JESUS CHRIST to “SAVE” us from the power of sin reigning within our daily lives! GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!
Jesus died to take upon Himself the sins of the world and make it possible for us to become directly reconnected back to GOD! Sin had widened the abyss between God and man. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One! Jesus His only begotten Son humbled Himself to come to earth. He was Divine! Shaped in the image of GOD In the form of a man covered in sinless flesh, He overcame sin for us because He loved us so! Jesus bridged the gap between God and man and became the only “PERFECT” example! He arose with ALL power and took away the sting of death and sin. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter! We can now go straight to GOD wherever we are at anytime. He knows everything past, present and future about everyone and everything! This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD! He can and will make a significant difference in our life! God wants and up close and personal relationship with each one of us! We were created for HIS GLORY! Now that’s LOVE!
Prayer is communication with GOD and we need to regularly spend quality time with Him! His Word tells us in I Thessalonians 5; “Pray without ceasing, give Thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is a continual mode of interacting with the Lord! We are able to consistently become aware of HIS PRESENCE! There is nowhere we can go that God is not… As the people of GOD, there must be a growing daily focus on our personal relationship with the LORD that becomes more an more natural. We are able to grow spiritually each day. God’s Church is collectively all over the world made up of a diverse multiplicity of people of all races, colors and creeds that believe His Word! Whenever are wherever we come together and assemble as His Church we will be much more effective when we have spent time with Him throughout the week! We are to apply His principles to our own lives and allow Him to guide us as He works out the kinks in our lives. Life is about becoming “perfected” which means to become completed in Him! We can invite Him into the “Messiness” of our lives! We can also worship Him more freely as we draw near to Him! Worship becomes a part of our daily lifestyle.
I truly believe that it is the intentions of many to have God’s will done in their life. The desire to please man and to be accepted often supersedes the spiritual responsibility to be led by the Spirit. This is where the conflict lies… There is much spiritual warfare to entice believers away from GOD and to keep non believers from embracing God personally and intimately! We learn in Genesis that God created us in His own image. ( I don’t mean looking like Him) In essence we are spiritual and relational beings. We have been created for God’s purpose. Until we arrive at the point that helps us realize just that, we can often unconsciously create more adversity and anxiety in our lives trying to adapt and please man. This in turn can and will at times create a mental deficiency because the deep void remains. This void can be filled by many things… But they never really quite satisfy. God has a place within us that only He can fill. Ideally speaking; Did you know that if we were all following the Lord we truly would be on one accord. There would also be a lot less schisms and division within the Body of Christ!
Religion ritualistically practiced often focuses on the exterior. Encouraging others to worship in a way they deem appropriate by their denomination or non denomination at a certain time rather than ascertain a truly intimate relationship with the Lord. What do you mean? A few examples! If you are too quiet you can be perceived as standoffish and unemotional! If you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit! If you wear makeup you are being carnal… If you don’t pay tithes… If you do not wear long dresses or cover your head… If you don’t come to the service every Sunday… If you shout and pray loud you are… If you are quite emotional it can be perceived as being more spiritual… If you are… The point is worship is personal and the object of our worship should be the LORD. The wonderful thing about God is HE KNOWS ALL of our hearts! God wants you to be the best You! Conforming to be accepted can leave one with an ever greater void. The Word tells us the proper way to worship God is to be led by His Holy Spirit! Remember! “GOD is a SPIRIT and HIS worshipers worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” John 4.
In many cases it is not said in an audible language, yet there is a penalty for not adhering to what is expected, sometimes resulting in labeling or alienation. Many are far few and in between that have truly experienced the unconditional Love that is so often spoken of. This is nothing new, way back when even the Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews differed in their concept of worship. This is why we currently in this 21st century have so many denominations and varied places of worship. It is important that your chosen place of worship does not compromise the Word of God! Know that ultimately God who is Love is really the only source of unconditional Love! He Loves us because HE is LOVE! It is in HIM you can experience TRUE LOVE, inner fulfillment and PEACE! Spend time each day growing closer to the Lord! The LORD has a purpose and plan just for you…
Dressing Up for Prom and dressing down for worship!
Today many feel it is better to dress down for worship so everyone will be comfortable. They think that this will put everyone at ease? But if you are attending a Sweetheart Dance, Prom or Fashion Show or celebrating Valentine’s Day it’s proper etiquette to dress up. When Christmas or Easter rolls around you can dress up if you like as well. You want to look nice for those pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny. However you still might get a few stares if you come to worship looking like you are wearing your tithes and offerings!
A little humor is always good!
Worship adoration, devotion and praise are important. We ought to worship and praise our Lord daily. Imagine if every believer really did. What a grand marvelous time we would have whenever we all got together! Sunday is important! CHRISTmas is important! Resurrection Day is important! Honoring God is important. It is a time for reflecting upon all that the Lord has done for us. Jesus Christ’s sinless life, crucifixion, death & resurrection are all very important. Every time we come to together it is important to worship the Lord! Sunday Worship really is the ultimate Red Carpet Affair! Jesus Christ shed His precious blood for the sins of the world! What is more important than that?
How important is it to dress for worship?
Whatever happened to proper etiquette or being well groomed? Just because? We have thrown it out the window and replaced it with “dress down.” It is the new way to express you. To show that you are humble? Or is it just plain laziness? Or is it conforming to the world’s standards? Here is the dilemma it is hard to tell sometimes where am I. Am I in worship or am I on a cruise? No I do not have Alzheimer’s; if I did it wouldn’t matter!
God is The Most High God above Him is no other. Worship is about us recognizing Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! The Word teaches us; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’S WILL IS – HIS GOOD, pleasing and PERFECT WILL.” Romans 12. So why have we; God’s Church begun to conform to the dress standards of the world?
When we dress up we look like we are material right? Well clothes are made out of material. Just because you have on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt does not mean that you are any less material! Have you seen the price of some of these jeans & T shirts? You can be material and have nothing…
Did you know that children behave better when they are dressed? Taking the time to dress them tells them you care. If it is just in a T shirt let it be neat and tidy. At the park let them at least go in clean if they come out dirty fine… They feel better about themselves when they know you give them TLC as well! Even they know innately that when you are in certain attire you need to stop fooling around and pay more attention.
I know when you are dressed up it means that you are too cute to worship? Lord Help us!
Notice how the Royal family in England is always fit for the occasion. Even when they dress down they properly present themselves. Unless you catch them under the privacy of their own residences under a camera you will not see them dressed scantly or inappropriately. In their private residences they should have the freedom and privacy to walk around as they please even if it’s nude. Remember Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. How would anyone know unless they infringed upon their privacy rights. We can learn a thing or two from them. Well, guess what nothing or no one is more important than GOD! Through Jesus Christ we are a part of The Most High God’s Royal Family!
It is hard for me to believe that Solomon via God’s instructions built that first magnificent Temple for seven long years; then said dress down or wear your sweats. Notice how detailed the temple and its contents are described in the Word. I do not think in its entire splendor that the people came dressed like “ragamuffins” when they came to worship!
We have missed the point!
When slavery was prominent in America the slaves even knew that on Sunday or during worship that they dressed up and presented themselves in proper attire. It was a time to leave the tasks and hardships of slavery, lay them aside momentarily and focus on worshipping the Lord! Even if they did not have shoes they took the time to clean up well and present themselves in their best attire! The African American worship service in general continues to encourage dressing up to a degree in your better attire. Some opt to dress down in the warmer months; however I believe that one should still dress no less than they do for work or school. As people of color we were taught to recognize that it’s important to continue to present yourself in proper dress attire!
Revelation gives us an excellent visual of the “New Jerusalem” the Holy City in Heaven. It is fabulously splendid. It is absolutely Awesome, so much so that the streets are paved with translucent gold. The walls are made of fine gemstones of sapphire, emeralds, sardonyx, chalcedony, jasper and… The twelve gates are made of a fine single humongous pearl! WOW! Think about it! Hmm just does not seem to me that throwing on a wrinkled T shirt and a pair of old baggy jeans, skirt or leggings would be appropriate! No wonder why the ambiance in worship has drastically changed right along with the dress code! Many do not respect the sacredness of worship anymore.
They are now trying to pass laws so that it’s okay if you have a gun license you can come packing a gun!
Foreign countries uphold a better standard for worship than we do here in the United States. For example when we visited Vatican City in Rome we were told that in order to enter St. Peter’s Basilica the women needed to be covered properly and would not be able to enter unless they were properly attired! They maintain a standard that one must at least be presentable. After all is not the Church the Bride of Christ! Ponder and think about that for a moment! Would you dress up if you were meeting the President?
Ponder this for a moment. You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s because I am a child of the 50’s! Everyone wore a tie and dressed up for most occasions way back when. No, it’s because there is nothing, no occasion, dance or prom or no one more important than God! Therefore we need to put our best self forward. God knows us all from the inside out! We are not fooling Him. At least we can honor Him in how we present ourselves for worship! There is always an exception to the rule. If you are homeless that’s different, if you are mentally ill that’s different, if you really do not have anything to wear that’s different too.
“Come as you are!” Yes, but you will not “Stay as you are!” The Word of God transforms us from the inside out. At some point you will begin to feel better about yourself and want to step it up a bit! Why is that? Believers are supposed to live each day as though the Lord was going to return. If Heaven is going to be your Eternal Home I suggest you begin here on earth getting prepared for Kingdom living! Even if you decide to wear jeans and a T shirt, let be done neatly!
“Your will be done Lord! Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” Lord we are down here waiting on your return when everyone will see you breaking through the sky! Come Lord!
The Journey Of Life By Julian M. Ogans II
I hike my way up the mountain of self-confidence
Fighting through the bitter cold blizzards of brutal honesty
Wondering what awaits at the top
But very quickly do I lose sight of the trail
and fall down into the river of disappointment
The water reflecting nothing more than my past sins
I slowly drift into a cavern of darkness
The pitch black enveloping me in a dark cloth
Suffocating me with the toxic smell of failure
Whispers from my past slowly invade my mind
Growing louder and louder echoing inside my head
A ray of hope cut through the darkness
But it didn’t reach me
For a dark hand pulled me under the water
And drowned me in self pity
I open my mouth to scream, but the black water rushed down my throat
Choking me with all my fears
I gave into my self pity and allowed it to pull me into its deep dark
depths where all my broken dreams lie
Each one shattered into a thousand pieces
The gravity of my self-doubt pushed me further down towards the bottom
While carnivorous nightmares ate away at my body and feasted on all
They tore away my eyes, preventing me from seeing any sign of hope
Ripped away my ears, stopping me from hearing words of encouragement
And cut out my tongue so that I couldn’t scream for help
Little did I realize that not all of my forgotten dreams were broken
Blind, deaf, and muted to the world I grab on to one fragile dream
And use the one weapon that no man, monster, or rushing water
can’t take away
My hands began to grow warm as the dream came to life and sent confidence shooting through my veins
I felt the water rise and part as it shot up in the air
Breaking a hole in the ceiling of the depressing cave
I felt a brilliant ray of hope come down from the sky
Restoring my vision, hearing and my voice!
I rose up from the ground and entered a valley of happiness
Where dreams grow on colossal trees of endless imagination
However, my days here are numbered in this land of prosperity
For I am just one soul, embarking on the journey of life!!
Life is a cavernously deep expeditious journey. It is a complex menagerie of diverse emotions, feelings, thoughts, interactions, relationships and occurrences! How long or short will each of us be here no one really knows! As we grow we encounter a multiplicity of experiences that cause us to look deeper into what life is really all about. Each day is a new opportunity to discover something new no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential! As we grow it becomes evident that there is so much more to life than meets the eye! We embark upon a remarkable quest of discovery; but where does or will it all lead? We discover that we are also spiritual beings…
How do we get to know GOD?
The spiritual journey leads us to the realization of our Creator! God the Father the Great “I AM.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is what we as adherent believers believe! ( I realize that not everyone believes the same.) As we begin to relate to the Lord properly He will free us more and more from the things that misrepresent Him. As we grow spiritually our spiritual eyes are opened and we become more conscious of why we do what we do! Our conscience becomes much more sensitive to the things that are contrary to His Will and His Way! Our desire should be to live to please Him as we grow spiritually. Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuing life process! The Canonical Gospels which we know as the WORD contains a wealth of the history and origins of mankind! This is why it is so important to spend time in HIS WORD! Here we are able to ascertain the invaluable, priceless and precious TRUTH!
Through a plethora of life lessons we grow! We all have areas in which we are lacking! It is within our deficiencies we can discover a need for something greater than ourselves for survival. How do we cope with life, living and the anxieties that come along with it! As we become aware the discovery of a supernatural existence greater than ourselves and the ongoing need for spiritual growth and balance becomes apparent! It is a continual learning process.
God did not create us to be or become robots. Each of us is uniquely different with varying temperaments! He has given us the free will to choose… The world also offers many choices as well. It’s important to know the difference and then choose wisely. There are both good and bad consequences for our choices. Sin is what separates us from God! God is the Creator and Maker of mankind an ultimately knows what is best for us. It is our choice to draw closer to Him or look to the world and society for direction. The ways of God and the ways of the world often conflict here lays the inner conflict…
God sent us His only begotten Son; JESUS CHRIST to redeem us from the curse of sin! Sin separates us from GOD! Jesus came as an innocent babe wrapped in sinless flesh. He overcame sin in the flesh. He went through all the stages of life, yet He never sinned! He was crucified, died and was buried and then He arose with ALL POWER! He came to point us back into the right direction that once again unites us to our Creator. The Narrow Path is the Way that leads to Him! Jesus was the Door back to the Father! Jesus is the only perfect example! Living for the Lord is meant to be a way of living daily! No one knows when but the LORD is going to return for HIS CHURCH!
GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR RELIGION TO BE A CRUTCH!
Why is there so much confusion about religion! What is religion?
Religion consists of cultural views, beliefs and various systems worldwide. Religion in itself is not bad but for many it means different things. It takes on many forms depending on the particular culture! Christianity, Islam Buddhism and Hinduism are considered the four major religions. There are thousands of religions throughout the world. Within those religions are varied and diverse practices and an assortment of ritual. What, whom, why and how we choose to worship is where the problem lies. What we believe varies… We must become aware of the mixture of misconceptions in order to know what true godly religion really is according to the Word of God.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about religion: “
“The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Some religions have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.”
Technically by the worlds standard you can elect to worship just about anything. For some religion is just a commitment to an organized institutionalized system of beliefs and doctrines. The beliefs vary and often adapts and changes as the world changes…
CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION
Christianity goes beyond just being a religion. It is also the main focus within the context of this narrative! Religion is an essential important fundamental aspect of Christianity. Let’s take a look at The WORD of GOD’S definition for religion! “If any one considers him religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that GOD our FATHER accepts as PURE and FAUTLESS is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to KEEP oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1. These verses are quite self explanatory.
Christianity is a way of living, it is meant to be a daily lifestyle! Being a Christian simply means to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings! Jesus is the promised Messiah! We who are called believers, through FAITH believe the Bible to be the intrinsic infallible Word of God! Christianity is monotheistic! We believe in one GOD! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ONE! We are supposed to actually apply the principles of God’s Word to our daily lives! It is the barometer by which we determine right and wrong! Yes! It was divinely inspired by dedicated followers of God! As mentioned earlier the aspects of pure religion are explained in the Book of James! For many religion is about conforming to the beliefs of the masses without really personally taking the time to know what is actually in the Bible. Sometimes often embracing the traditions, doctrines and beliefs of a denomination over the Word of God!
GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE! It can sometimes be so simple we miss the intended message. The closer you or I draw to GOD the more we can increasingly understand the simplicity and powerfulness of HIS Word! His Holy Spirit further opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates His Word so we can better comprehend the intended message. His Holy Spirit is the eternal inner Teacher and spiritual interpreter that reside within us as believers! To lead us to ALL TRUTH! Listen closely to what Jesus said! “I have much more to say to you, more than you can hear now bear. But when He the Spirit of TRUTH, comes He will guide you to ALL TRUTH. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it made known to you. ALL that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the SPIRIT will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16.
During Jesus’ last days on earth He talked quite candidly with His disciples. He warned them that they would be misunderstood, mistreated and persecuted. He also told them they would not be accepted by the world. But most importantly He assured them that they would not be alone! He has given us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be with us always! This is why it is so important to know HIS WORD! We can call on the LORD anytime and anywhere! Think about this for a moment; when JESUS left the earth and ascended to Heaven there was not an actual physical Christian Church as far as a building! The disciples and His followers met in homes, they knew then as we should know now that they themselves were the CHURCH! GOD’S CHURCH is universal!
If you ever want a powerful defense for the Christian Faith Jude is an excellent book to refer to. Defending the Faith is not something new. Jude teaches the importance of not compromising the Word of God! The Word of God is priceless! You cannot manipulate God nor His Word no matter who you are! There are a lot of worldly influences that from the very beginning have tried to twist the Bible and its teachings! Many have been deceived, this is still the case today! Many worldly ways, concepts and methods have been embraced and embedded into the organized church system that are not of God. This is why it is important to know God and know His Word; of Him you can be certain and sure!!!
Jude tells us to “Contend for the Faith!” What does this mean? Contend means to strive against difficulties, to be persistent and assert yourself. Faith means believe without seeing. “FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at GOD’S command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible…” Hebrews 11 The Bible gives us the real facts! It is was not comprised of misconstrued circumstantial evidence. Many today attempt to use the Word to control others, justify their behavior and lifestyles but are really only promoting sin!
God is powerful as a matter of fact He is OMNIPOTENT meaning He is ALL POWER! He is SUPERIOR and SUPREME! Think about it with all the millions of organized church assemblies opened in the name of God, what is going on in this world should not be! It certainly is not because of GOD! It is because there are so many wolves in sheep clothing. “They are godless men who change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” Saints are supposed to be believers! Not followers of the world. But, followers of Jesus Christ! Too many want to be leaders that are served, rather than Servants of God! All too often you now find that many in the church instead follow the latest trends and adopt the ways of the world. No need to be jealous! Disengage from the messiness and focus on GOD! ALL you will ever need you can discover in the LORD! “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…” Psalm 24. Want what GOD wants for you! When you “STAND” on GOD’S WORD you never have to stand alone! “GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES”Take some time and think about it? Who are you really following?
We must TRUST GOD! When you know that there is a lot of false teaching going on what do you do? When you know that you have helped those that no one else would help, and they turn on you, what do you do? When you know that you have been mistreated and maligned and falsely accused what do you do? PRAISE GOD!!! Know that you are in good company because this is what happened to Jesus! When you know that manipulation and deception is present you still must remain faithful to God and His Word! Don’t let anyone pull you so low that you hate them… Don’t settle or compromise your godly principles to get access or support by the majority… Christianity is really not a popularity contest or a social club. Everyone will have to answer to the Lord at some point! So get right with GOD! God knows what you have or have not done. Don’t become bitter! Become BETTER! Guard your heart! God is more powerful than what any man or woman can EVER do to you! You must draw closer to God and TRUST HIM! Seek Him above all else! God will give you a strong sound mind! He CAN KEEP you from falling! “Do not be conformed to this world. But TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind!” Your true security and significance can only be found in the LORD! “If GOD is for us who can be against us!” THANK YOU LORD! & PRAISE GOD!
The Word is often used to justify lifestyles and wrong behavior that are not sanctioned by God! Minimizing sin and embracing tolerance. Often justified under the guise of unconditional love! God never intended for Christianity to become a legalistic doctrinal concept of rules and regulations. The House of God is supposed to be the Pillar of TRUTH! It is written! Christ died so we could have an abundant spiritual life! As a matter of fact it was the religious leaders that conspired to discredit JESUS and secretly sought to destroy Him. How ironic they called Him evil. Does this sound familiar? The Bible is the inspired Word of God! “It is a lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path…”
The gift of Eternal Life is one of the most precious gifts one can ever receive! Along with that gift comes the promise of His Holy Spirit. The Comforter and ultimate internal Teacher! Jude extends to us Mercy, Peace and Love in abundance! When Jesus ascended to heaven He promised that the Holy Spirit would come. Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure. He told them “Nevertheless I tell you the TRUTH. It is to your advantage that I go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart , I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me, of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, BUT you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of TRUTH, has come, He will guide you into All truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come…” JOHN 16
Jude known as the brother of Jesus Christ tells us that we have a duty to fight for God’s TRUTH! Not in a physical carnal way! Our weapons are not carnal! We must stay adorned with the spiritual armor! “PRAY also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the GOSPEL, for which I am an ambassador in chains. PRAY that I may delcare it fearlessly, as I should” See Ephesians 6 Without doubt we are in the last days and the Word of God is being fulfilled! We need not be afraid but prayerful! It is important to persevere knowing that God is with you! Jude says:“But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times, there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you. Who follow mere natural instincts and DO NOT have the SPIRIT. But you, dear friends build yourself up in your most HOLY FAITH and pray in the HOLY SPIRIT. Keep yourselves up in God’s LOVE as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh…
One only must watch the news, read the newspaper or search online to see that time is near! “Anything goes!” There is not only a Economic Recession but a “SPIRITUAL RECESSION” as well! Many of our churches are allowing carnal worldly teachings… Bible study on many occasions have turned to group think and mind conditioning! Respect for God and His Word all too often laid aside; carnality takes the forefront because somebody says; “I’m human” The time of increased Apostasy is definitely here! Meaning the abandoning of Faith! LORD HELP US! Anyone can be subject to error. This is why we all need His Holy Spirit to convict the heart of sin and point us to righteousness. What is righteousness? It is right living in the eyes of God! Sin is anything that separates us from God! Jude says: Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? This is why Jesus left us His Holy Spirit!
“To GOD be the GLORY!” Having an encounter with God regularly will bring you closer to Him! It will open your “spiritual eyes” This is also why we must contend for the Faith and stand firm! If you have grown slack in your commitment to God; He can speak renewal and strength to your heart! We must humbly and diligently pursue TRUTH! God can bring a plan and a purpose into your life like no other! “To HIM who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great JOY to the only GOD and SAVIOR be GLORY, MAJESTY, POWER and AUTHORITY, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD, before all ages, now and forevermore! AMEN!!!”
Today we are living within an upside down world. In many instances what is wrong is embraced as right and what is right is embraced as wrong. This is why it is so very important that you get to know the TRUTH of God’s WORD, firsthand, for yourself intimately and personally! This way you will not be so easily towed right along with everything you hear and see. Paul wanted to alert the Church to see how to recognize and confront “false teaching”. Paul wrote to the Church extensively because he was so concerned that so many were getting caught up with the bureaucracy and the traditions of man. Paul encouraged the Church to preserve, model, embrace and live out Christian principles in every area of their daily life. Today right now we too need to be mindful of these very same things.
Quite often when one reads and visits the corridors of Scripture they see the characters and situations as merely historical and sometimes fictional. This can often cause one to become far removed from the wealth of applicable practical wisdom endowed within the Scriptures and respond in an aloof manner to the lessons presented and overlook the wisdom lessons intended. The people, prophets, priests and kings were real genuine people, from every facet of life with authentic issues no different than what we see today. God really is the same God who always was and always will be! He is eternal; in Him through His Son Christ Jesus we have the gift of eternal life. Time belongs to Him. We have all the time we need to do whatever it is He has created each one of us to be!
The Book of Ephesians is an excellent Book to indulge your mind in for spiritual enlightenment. The Church became embroiled in endless questions, arguments, politics and controversies that took them away from studying Scriptures. We must be mindful that it is so important to not get side-tracked from the intended purpose. It is important to sincerely desire and ask to be filled with His Spirit in order to glean the true intended meaning of the Scriptures so we can rightfully divide and apply its intended purposes. Many strive for popularity, prestige and recognition rather than seek for God’s approval. These things within themselves are not bad, but we must know that man is fickle and inconsistently changes very easily. Therefore it is important to know that through the Lord we really have everything we will ever need. He really does know everything we think, say do or do not do!
Although it may not be readily tangibly present. We can rest assure that His power is always accessible. Ephesians tells us “Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…….” Ponder on this passage of Scripture for a while and go deeply into its contents to glean the intended benefits. Let this reinforce within you the security and spiritual significance that rings forth. It says not some but all spiritual blessings. There are benefits in knowing and having a personal intimate relationship with the Lord. These blessings are not always visible where one can see. But they are available and accessible in the eternal heavenly spiritual realm. This means that they are eternal. God chose us and we belong to Him. This all took place way back before any of us even existed. Our little finite minds cannot conceive the totality of God. We are just minute particles in His whole scheme of things. No matter how small, large, visible or unseen it is all relevant to Him.
When any scene or situation presents itself on our life’s canvas we must seek His direction to properly apply and paint the intended strokes. Having the proper attitude about God is necessary to deal with any present injustices. Persecution and misunderstanding will attempt to take a dominant position to etch insecurity and doubt onto the forefront of your life canvas. Yielding subdued hues and shades of gray to subliminally overshadow the main theme. But as you always keep in mind that God knows you, His Light will shine forth in the midst even when darkness tries to impose itself upon you. We cannot predict the future precisely. But we can focus, trust and put our faith in God our Creator and Maker who knows us and will watch over and protect us living in and upside down world.
God allows both good and bad times for all of us. “He is not a respecter of persons.” We must learn to consistently lean and put our faith and trust in Him. In order to not be pulled into whatever is suddenly hurled into your direction even though intended to snarl, derail, discredit our credibility or entrap us, our focus must be on HIM! We must learn how not to allow insults, injustices or any storm or seasonal moment in time define the totality of our existence. When you spend time in His presence you can abide under the shadow of The Almighty because you know that He knows and that is what ultimately truly matters. Ecclesiastes tells us that, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.” The point that I am trying to make is that life has a much deeper meaning than what man sees. Many seek first as a top priority to be affirmed and recognized in the eyes of man. Momentarily this may satisfy an inner longing, life on this side of heaven is short, there really is a much deeper meaning to life.
If all the wisdom, prestige or power that the world has to offer were available it would be but a minute particle in regards to the infinite wisdom and power of the Lord. Perhaps this is why Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation? Yes we are “in the world but it is Him we move and live and have our being.” Although often unrecognized or accepted by the masses Jesus did not deter from His life purpose. He remained faithful and committed to the will of His Father in and often, cruel, often harsh upside down world.
God sees and knows it all. It is not merely how things appear or seem. We all will have to stand before an all knowing all wise God who knows where our hearts and minds are as well as our intentions. Know the Lord and His Word so you are not towed along with the “false teaching” of anyone. Ephesians says “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything is exposed to the Light becomes visible, for the Light makes everything visible…” God tells us to live as children of the Light. When you are walking in the Light you know that whatever darkness tries to overshadow your life’s canvas, that your Creator, Your maker, Our heavenly Father is omnisciently aware! You can surely trust Him to keep you right side up, living in and upside down world.
Notice how most animals walk on all fours. God Created us as His children to walk uprightly, our hands should be readily available to reach up and Praise Him! It is important to be aware of what is going on about us. We do not want to live in denial neither is it healthy. Life without God is futile, meaningless. God’s Word is our life manual and essential intrinsic tool to help us navigate through life. We can find hope in the midst of sorrow, joy in the midst of sadness, comfort in the midst of pain, encouragement in the midst of persecution and peace within the midst of an upside down world. Make it a priority to spend some time in His Word not only on Sunday or whatever your designated Bible Study night may be. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us ” Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.” Yes we should be aware living in an upside down world, but not totally alarmed. Through the eyes of God we can see and recognize life problems and realize that God does have a plan to take us through whatever comes our way. Through faith we can trust God and always seek His will for our path forward regardless of where you are in life. God has a plan for the lives of all of His children. God’s plan simply is to live for Him. Ecclesiastes ends by telling us that “Now all has been heard here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE, DUTY OF MAN. For GOD will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” This is true even living in and upside down world.
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, loyalty, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyber club. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
1.Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those who are important to you? Do you lead a double life?
2.Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
3.Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, internet or other media?
4.Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
5.Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
6.Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
7.Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
8.Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
9.Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
10.Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
11.Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
12.Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “SEXTEXTING.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships, sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction. There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God… They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord! Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli to be his spiritual mentor. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently rather than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. If you have a problem deal with it! The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Know that the enemy wants to destroy your testimony and weaken your effectiveness for the LORD!
Absolutely nothing gets by God!
Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Please really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true! Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b:maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence 3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness! In Him we can become complete! God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Acknowledge any sin in your life! Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction! God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage regardless of how young or old you are! He can and WILL fill that void!
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Set some time aside and be honest with yourself! Stop giving away parts of yourself! Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age. Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit! Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really and truly can experience a growing healthy attainable self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what GOD knows rather than what people think.” This is NOT about arrogance but about being confident in the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Sex outside of marriage has gotten out of control! Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for ALL of us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. GOD TRULY IS ABLE! Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!
The longer I live the more I realize how utterly important it is to develop an intimate personal relationship with the Lord. I am told that when a teller is trained in the banking industry they are taught how to recognize the authenticity of currency. Therefore whenever a counterfeit bill is passed they are able to recognize it.
We live in a real world that is full of systems of deception created to distract us from the genuine purpose of life. Our purpose is to glorify God. Without the Holy Spirit as your navigator you will get towed right along. This deception has further infiltrated the Church. It beckons those who are willing to make excuses for their shortcomings, to excuse self-gratification as a mere attribute to mankind’s imperfections. To immorally satisfy the carnal appetite to all who are willing to submit to the ” well nobody is perfect club” will teach you although “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” He doesn’t really know how to bless His children. Because he intends for them to stay dependent on anything and everybody until they leave this world. Although they don’t believe blessings are just material, spiritual growth and development is optional. I warn you this will only enslave you to a life dependent upon sin.
We really often miss the point. You see God doesn’t force us He allows us the freedom to choose. Instead we often choose to justify living a life were sin abounds. This gives us unlimited privileges in the “Nobody’s perfect club”. He did not make us to be robots. It is time out for playing games…. But He did intend for us to respect Him as Father and Lord in our day to day lives. Not in a legalistic manner. He wants us to enjoy life! Remember “the earth is the LORD”S and the fullness thereof the world and them that live within it… Ministry must go beyond the walls!
The “Nobody’s perfect club” allows easy access to unlimited excuses. It has a plethora of earthly benefits. You can live any way you want, say anything you want, little or no study required. Listening to an occasional lecture or message may be required to help you with attendance kudos. Listening not required just say amen when it gets too quiet. Just show up on Sunday? This Guarantees access to many fringe benefits I prefer not to mention. You may even receive a B.A. (born again) if you don’t rock the boat. You see we are saved by grace. That gives you a license to indulge yourself. After all “Nobody’s perfect.” One caution, you may be persecuted or covertly disfellowshipped if you decide to “study to show thyself approved unto God”. Please if you have accepted “Christ as your personal Savior” allow Him to really work in and be an intregal part of your life. Allow Him to activate the Holy Spirit in your life. To make spiritual deposits to your eternal account that yields a harvest of spiritual, physical, and endless blessings. If you have not accepted Him “accept Him NOW.” Ask Him into your life this very moment. It will be a journey like no other. If you have grown slack in your commitment (to His principles activated in your life) recommit! Getting serious has its price. So, I must warn you. When you do this It is important to know and expect, when you do this a lot of spiritual warfare will be launched against you. But PRAISE GOD it is truly worth it!
God created us to live a life pleasing in His sight. Life is not a movie and Church is not a scene. Although it’s full of actors, it’s serious business. Please bear with me. You see I have been in Church all my life. if this is not where you are you have not need to be offended. We have as children of GOD have a responsiblility to give Our Heavenly FATHER Honor! To encourage one another as well as non believers to get to know HIm and develop a personal relationship with HIm. We are HIS people! I still can’t quite grasp why many really don’t believe. God really does hear all and see all we do. That includes ALL OF US! If we did, it would eliminate a lot of the charades and manipulations and cliques. GOD IS REAL ! You see TRULY “seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness ” will really add all you need in this life! God is patient… He really does have us all and everything under His control. What do you mean? The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew really contains a wealth of knowledge. Jesus discusses a multiplicity of issues. Those same issues are prevalent today.
We need valid honest bonifide no nonsense spiritual training. The WORD of God contains precious invaluable instructions. It gives marvelous examples to help us from falling prey to non-biblical unspiritual teachings. It even tells how “Jesus’ blood can cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The majority in HIS Church is you and Jesus. If you don’t stand for Jesus you will fall for anything. His WORD will equip you to discern truth from error. Remember that bank currency I talked about. Jesus stresses the importance of God’s way being the best way. Don’t allow anyone to make withdrawals from your spiritual account. (By the way nobody is perfect! ) But don’t forget. The Bible is not talking about flawlessness, It is talking about being PERFECT (meaning COMPLETE) in JESUS! The power of His blood yields spiritual dividends for those who call and trust Him as Savior and Lord. What’s a Savior? Oh! He helps us from the power of sin in our life. Don’t relinquish spiritual deposits only God can provide, for membership in the “Nobody’s perfect club”.