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! Diswengage 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!!!”
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”.
In a recent Christian Counseling quarterly publication I receive every single article discussed sexual problems. This really confirmed that the problems of this nature are definitely prevalent within the Christian Community. Many shy away from discussing issues that are of a sexual nature. It is quite evident that a plethora of the problems we are experiencing are rooted in improper sexual misconduct.
The Bible has a lot to say about sexual relationships. One of the main problems is that sex is more often than not practiced outside of the sanctity of marriage. God has said it is only within the marriage bed that sex is “undefiled.” Many have indulged in adultery and homosexuality and defiled the marriage bed.
It is of no secret that time after time we see many men and women who fall prey to the pitfalls of sexual misconduct. Not fully realizing that sex outside of marriage is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” It’s dangerous! It will burn your house down! You are setting your self up for disappointment. You see sex outside the confines of marriage simply means; I am not fully committed to you. I need to be with you to see if we are physically compatible. I’ve been hurt before so I don’t really want to get too serious. Or my spouse and I don’t have a satisfying relationship so I’m really glad you are there for me. Or “I need you baby” if you love me you will do this for me? There are so many more scenarios as well… Of course you have not uttered this in words. In the above cases your actions speak louder than words. Many simply do not really know what marriage is all about!
I receive many questions in regards to sexual problems. Many are trapped because they have no where to turn. Many women just don’t want to be alone so they offer themselves sexually, yet are physically unsatisfied. Many have been conditioned ignorantly to use sex as a tool to manipulate. Women who are used for sexual purposes are often thought of as mere objects. Many have been sexually abused causing them to feel low self worth. Many have been taught that sex is no big deal. Everybody has sex and it does not matter if you are married or not. Especially if you are past a certain age or you have already been married. Or if you are not having sex something is wrong with you. You are not normal. But that is not the Christian perspective! You see God gives specific directions. The Bible says “for this cause shall a man leave His Father and Mother and cleave to His wife and they shall become one flesh.”
Sex outside the confines of marriage is dangerous emotionally. Why? It sets you up for possible problems that may not be apparent until much later? This is regardless of how young or old you may be…There is a deeper meaning to sex than the physical exchange. A bonding takes place. There is a magnetic chemical exchange. Within the confines of marriage a miraculous spiritual transaction is taking place! Did you know that scripture tells us “whatever you join yourself to becomes a part of you?” Deep down you must know and feel that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on it. It also shows a lack of discipline. Some people just don’t practice good moral boundaries. They will sleep with anybody! Married or not married! Others have been erroneously taught that it really does not matter. If it feels right we are not hurting anybody! From a Biblical standpoint just know you are outside the will of God! Anytime you choose to operate outside of God’s boundaries you can expect some trouble.
Think about this for a moment. Did you know that if no one practiced sex outside of marriage there would be no one to cheat with? Fewer broken homes! Fewer STD’s! Fewer Abortions! Fewer marriages ending in divorces where people are unable to reconcile their differences! It’s hard to imagine! God has given us His Word to protect us! He has even told us that there is “no temptation common to man that He has not prepared a way of escape.”
A committed married monogamous relationship is the only way that God honors a sexual relationship! He has provided and ordained marriage. You see God has designed marriage as the only proper way a man and woman can fulfill their natural sexual desires. He is not the designer of any other method. If you have been taught or thought otherwise you are fooled. I don’t care what Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, Friend, Doctor or Foe has said there are consequences! You see it is time out for living in the dark. Especially if you have confessed to be a Christian! It is time to stand up and speak out for what God has said is right.
Let’s HELP this next generation; these teenagers of this 21st century “where anything goes” and begin giving them better morale role models! Let’s open up the lines of communication so they can validate their feelings! Give them a phone and tell them “to call you anytime they NEED you” Let’s HELP them so they do not feel that they have to give parts of themselves away in order to be accepted! Give them more “hugs” less criticism and more compassion and understanding. Less bickering and fighting and more constructive ways to resolve conflict! Just think if it is hard for adults it is even harder for teenagers…
When I went to seminary I was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised that the same problems existed. I learned that sexual misconduct is practiced on many levels. It did not matter that my views were misconstrued as prudish because I know better! Good boundaries should be exercised when you know someone is weak in certain areas. Many Christians have been side tracked by indulging in sexual sin. The Spirit of God is quenched when you operate in a carnal mode. Many operate by using a spirit of seducement which is not of GOD! Remember this is a Spiritual battle. Many honestly don’t realize how they water down the effectiveness of their testimony.
I have seen that people are a lot more interested in talking about people who have a problem with material possessions. Usually the one who really has the problem is fixated on what someone else has. How big their house is or what kind of vehicle they drive? Or how often they travel here or there? It was not Solomon’s material possessions that got him in trouble. It was His sex life! How he ever managed 300 wives and 700 concubines is news to me. Well you see in actuality he didn’t; it is what really destroyed him. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 &14 Solomon says “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Sex is not something to play with, don’t be deceived by thinking other wise. The employment of improper sex in your life will ultimately lead to some type of dysfunction or some other problem.
I remember jokingly telling my husband years ago that we were going to be looked at, as “there goes that married heterosexual couple.” I am thankful to say God has blessed us with three decades of commitment. This is why I know that by His grace it is possible. We live in a time when 55- 60% of marriages are ending in divorce! This is why I understand that we live in difficult times. The spiritual warfare will do every thing it can to promote and construct distorted views of marriage as favorable. Many couples choose to live together. Many marry and don’t really know what they are getting into! Many marry and have mutual relationships outside of marriage.
Couples are pulled in many directions because of the pulls of sexual freedom. Just know it is a seducing spirit that wants to deceive you. Birth of illicit pleasure can often lead to death of a marriage. If you are married and you know something is not right, please take inventory. Don’t bury your head in the sand like an ostrich! The problem won’t just go away. Don’t front it. Be more concerned about what God thinks! Find out what God has to say about marriage. Begin to take whatever steps are necessary to take back control of your life. Proverbs tells us that you cannot “take fire into your bosom and not be burned.” Earnestly repent and stop indulging in sinful behavior. Run quickly from anyone who comforts you in sexual sin! They will love you to death (which is not love at all) if you have been playing with fire please stop! You will actually feel a lot better when you get things right with God. Remember His blood can cleanse you from all unrighteousness! Just know God is a forgiving God!
Men and women vary in their priorities in the area of sexual needs. Men in general have intercourse higher on their lists of priorities. For instance it may be the number one preference for a man. It may be the second or fourth for the woman. Her first need may be affection. His second may be financial security. You see many often confuse their needs. Affection does not have to always end up in a sexual encounter.
When you properly practice sex within the confines of marriage you can experience true spiritual and sexual fulfillment in harmony. A proper sexual relationship is like “epoxy!” When the two adhesive components come together they form a permanent bond that technically should be very difficult to break. I use this illustration because it visually represents “what God has joined together let not man put asunder.” It is a healthy bond that few really understand. Love always protects it does not suffocate! Begin developing a relationship where you can mutually get your needs met. When you are truly fulfilled you will have no need or desire to indulge in extra marital affairs. You will also have great security knowing that you are honoring God in your relationship!
Sex is a taboo discussion for many. Old wife fables have hindered more than a few marriages. Abuse and cruel punishment rather than discipline have left many scarred. Addicted and coeds with shame! It is often erroneously thought that people who talk about sex have some underlying problem. It is not the talking about sex that is the problem. It is when people misuse or abuse it outside the confines of marriage. It was serious enough that Jesus told the Pharisees that they committed adultery by their thoughts! God is not a God of darkness. Read this passage and allow His Light to illuminate your mind;
“My son. Keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way of life. Keeping you from the immoral woman. From the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another’s man wife’ no one who touches her will go unpunished. Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold. Though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery lacks judgement; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lit, and his shame will never be wiped away…” Proverbs 6 NIV.
Sex is a dangerous thing to play with. Did you know you actually give up your power? “SEX outside of marriage is what kryptonite is to Superman; it weaknes you!!! You are also operating outside the will of God! It is harder to say “no” than to give in. If you ever give in you must take responsibility for your actions. Abstinence is the proper birth control method that God honors! Repentance actually means to be remorseful for your actions to the extent you don’t repeat them! Proverbs tells us to “TRUST in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL direct thy path ” Proverbs 3 When He says all thy ways He means just that!
God’s Word is our guide for proper successful living. He knows what is best for us! Just know that you are not alone! You can choose to do things God’s way or you can do things the world’s way. Just be ready for the consequences. God’s way gives you PEACE in the midst of a troubled world. Just know living God’s way comes with much persecution an mistreatment. But it’s worth every bit of it! ”THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!” Every time you choose God’s way you exercise and strengthen His Miraculous Spiritual Power in your life! We as Christians have an ethical and moral responsibility as His children. God says if you truly LOVE Him; YOU WILL KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!
I must preface this by saying that the “Down-Low” is a rather controversial “taboo” subject! You may be offended by the contents before you; in general it is preferably for adults only? It may ruffle your feathers a bit? However, I do think that having an open conversation with your mature teens should be considered at your discretion… You might be quite surprised by their reactions? This helps to protect them from acquiring felonious information in regards to the “Down-Low” from an outside source as well as keeps the lines of communication open. They may know more than you think? If you are sensitive to the topic of sex; read no further!
What is the “Down-Low”? The “Down-Low” is a discreet sexual encounter between a straight married man as well as unmarried men who have sexual relationships with other men. They often have sex with their friends and other men without telling their spouse or partner! This happens within many races and cultures on every social economic level! Often random one night stands… Many who are professed Christians! The fact that it is kept secret should tell you something! It is actually another form of homosexuality.
In this 21st century it becomes increasingly clear to me why God designed marriage in the way in which He did. One Man and one Woman! He has not changed His design! His design for sex within marriage was to give us healthy sexual boundaries! This keeps us free from STD’s, Herpes, HIV and AIDS!
The “Down-Low” is a homosexual act… According to the Word of God homosexuality goes against nature. It is considered an indecent act! This is still in your Bible if you have not torn it out!
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchange the TRUTH of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator- who is forever praised. AMEN! Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged the natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Romans 1.
I believe all of God’s Word! Do as you please but nowhere in the Word does God condone any form of homosexuality, adultery, fornication or any sex outside of marriage! Deliverance yes! God is able! He told the woman “To go and sin no more!” I realize that these may be chosen lifestyles for many? You can choose as you please… But it does not make it right in the eyes of God regardless of who says so! It does not have God’s blessing! We; meaning believers are supposed to be “in the world but not of the world.” John 17. World; meaning cosmos the devil is the ruler of the cosmos. We are physically present in this world, but we are children of the kingdom of God! We are sanctified by believing and implementing the Truth of God’s Word in our lives! “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
The enemy seeks to have us step outside of the Word of God! The Word of God points us in God’s direction. It is a Light unto our path. It shines the Light on darkness and can point us back to the right path as well! This is why we need Jesus as Savior and Lord to save us from the power and clutches of sin!
I have counseled with some who have been ensnared into lifestyles of alternative sexual relationships. I have seen the aftermath of what it does to the soul, the person, spouse and family… In many cases it creates and ongoing cycle of distrust, rejection, selfishness and secretiveness that causes much ambivalence, despair, insecurity, resentment and anxiety for those involved.
When the man on the “Down-Low” is in ministry this can be devastating. This causes much conflict within the family as far as their belief system. For example; the woman may seek the comfort of another woman. This in turn leads to a confusing physical relationship that further complicates her life as well. This is the ultimate rejection so her self esteem is at stake. She begins to question her own sexuality? To assuage her guilt she now turns to drugs!
The various family members begin to act out rebelliously and justify turning to worldly living… In some cases becoming a lesbian… The children become confused as to what is right? They begin to experiment and then become promiscuous as they reach puberty… Which begins to perpetuate another vicious cycle of dysfunction? Now the world has entered their home and the enemy has covertly shifted the entire focus of the family from God’s principles…
It really boils down to spiritual warfare!!!
The Word of God is powerful and was given to help us navigate through this maze of life! We must proclaim the Truth of His Word and encourage others to draw closer to the Lord in these last days. I know what it is like to be censored and oppressed for believing the Truth of God’s Word. Yet, we must stand on the Word of God! “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These men will divide you who follow mere instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourself up in the most Holy Faith and PRAY in the Spirit.” Jude 1.
When you see someone drowning do you try to help them? The point is we are called believers for a reason. The world and its ways of manipulation have worked itself into God’s Church. I am not talking about the building! I mean the lives of many baptized believers! The world says “ do whatever you feel is right” The Word of God says “Repent!” Which means to turn to God; not to repeat? We are not to jump into the quicksand of life! “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch them out from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1.
It is important not to compromise the Word of God even if it means being misunderstood! It is much more important what God knows rather than what others think? Don’t give in to false doctrine that goes against what God says! We are supposed to influence the world not let it influence us! Spend time meditating on His Word; “Be still and know!”
It is so important that we personally know God’s Word! We must develop and ongoing, growing intimate relationship with the Lord! This is about learning how to honor God with your bodies. In the Old Testament sacrifices were offered to God for the sins of the people! Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. Now we are to offer our body as a sacrifice to the Lord! As we do this our lives are transformed and our minds can be renewed daily by the Word of God! Do you believe God knows what is best for us?
“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 by 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.
One must seek to rise above any behavior that is not pleasing to the Lord! This closeted homosexuality, adulterous, bisexuality is dangerous! The “Down-Low” is one of those patterns of the world, and it is inappropriate!
I realize that the Church is divided on the subject of sex. No one wants to talk about sex really, or address the growing issues? Do we continue to just bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich? Many go to worship, sing, pray, dance, shout, fellowship and then go back to in many instances a lifestyle that is contrary to what God says is acceptable! Worship really becomes a temporary distraction or just another social activity? Think for a moment; what if Jesus were to return tomorrow? God is aware of the Truth… True worshippers must “Worship HIM in Spirit and in TRUTH.”
The idea of worship is to honor the Lord is it not? Are we not to learn to worship Him with our lives daily?
Should we not be concerned? Concerned does not mean you make someone feel comfortable in sin! It means that you care enough that you want to do something about it to help them… Many do not realize that they are looking for love in all the wrong places. The enemy just uses sex to win a stronghold over your life! He always perverts what God made for Good!
If you know that your spouse is indulging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage! I suggest stepping back. If you suspect this is so, be careful how you confront your spouse! Set aside some time when you both can talk. It is important that you get yourself tested? Prepare yourself. Keep in mind he may not be ready to confront his behavior. He may be offended if he is a leader in the Church… This makes it just that much more important! Talk about your relationship and how you feel. Allow him to talk about how he is feeling. Ask him about his current sexual relationship with you before you approach his suspected infidelities if you are not sure?
When you find out this is so? Know you cannot change him; he has to want to change. Many women marry men thinking that they are going to change them? It won’t happen! Only God can do this! “HE IS ABLE!” You can and should model godly behavior. You can intercede and pray fervently! This is his problem and you are not the cause. It is important that he seeks help and you both get godly counsel as to how you go forward?
See PART II
A purpose driven church seeks to fulfill the “Great Commission”. It is motivated from an overwhelming sincere desire to see others come into fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. It encourages its members to spiritually grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ through His WORD. It fosters a healthy environment for developing an ongoing forever-growing intimate relationship with Him through the power of His Holy Spirit. Biblical principles are applied when dealing with life situations. When you actually begin to implement God’s principles in your daily lifestyle you will see a definite change. A surface relationship is no longer acceptable. An ongoing personal relationship with the Lord will sustain, lead, guide and direct you through your life’s journey. It is virtually impossible to have a true encounter with God that doesn’t have some type of impact. Your desire to live a life pleasing to God increases as you grow spiritually. Your life will have purpose. It is a journey like no other. This is not a journey like the hamster on a treadmill. Just merely spinning your wheels and not ever getting anywhere! Dark old habits, lying, envy, strife, coveting, addictions and heartaches are allowed to come to the surface to actually dissipate in His penetrating yet convicting Light.
A purpose driven Church will teach you that our lives and heart are open and exposed to God. There is absolutely nothing that is hidden from God. Acknowledging, confessing and actually experiencing repentance from sin should become welcomed companions. It does not merely encourage one to enlist in a barrage of activities. God truly is recognized as the central focus. Families are encouraged to foster healthy nurturing home environments. A healthy ministry is composed of healthy families. Being a Christian becomes a lifestyle rather than a weekend activity. This helps the old nature to become continuously harnessed and brought under self-control. God’s illuminating Light begins to brighten your path. His abiding Holy Spirit is there to comfort in sickness, distress or grief.
A purpose driven ministry is a place where everyone actually is someone.
The old, in between and young are equally welcomed. They are encouraged to participate utilizing whatever gifts they have to offer for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. Mutual respect replaces discriminating favoritism. Manipulation massed as compassion is unacceptable. A cult cliquish mentality is consciously not welcomed. A sincere effort to establish a balanced spiritual Body is indisputable. True freedom in Christ through the knowledge of His WORD is realized. The elders of God’s flock consciously encourages God centered relationships rather than dictating control and domination. Only God receives the preeminence!
The Church body of a purpose driven Ministry openly recognizes that Jesus Christ is the only “Great Head of His Church”. In many congregations the pastor is often thought of as “the head”. This misconception is abandoned. The Church is actually His Bride! John clearly and carefully affirms that he himself was not the Light! That he came to bear witness that Jesus Christ was the Light of the world. John 10 tells us that there will be one Shepherd and one flock. The pastor is actually one of many overseers of God’s flock. They are charged to feed God’s flock with wisdom and understanding through His WORD according to Jeremiah 3. Although there are many members in the body not one is more important than the other. God puts the members in the body as it pleases HIM! A mature pastor does not feel threatened He knows His position in Christ. In order to have a healthy spiritual environment we must give God His proper respect. God is a God of order. A secure pastor equips the saints through the WORD. This empowers the members to recognize “truth from error”. He abandons the need to abuse or manipulate the congregation. He instead encourages the members to be lead by the Holy Spirit. A purpose driven ministry recognizes the need for the saints first to be equipped themselves. Then they are willing and able to go forth confidently fulfilling His “Great Commission”. A fulfilling effective ministry seeks to acknowledge God in all of their ways. All of God’s children are equally welcomed by sincerely acknowledging all nations. They realize “Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven.” The membership is represented by every walk of life. God is Sovereign and Father of all.
Ask yourself is your current ministry purpose driven? What is its purpose? Is it to merely solicit funding to maintain the building? Is to grow in numbers? Is it to equip the saints? Is it to restore families? Is it to enlighten others no matter what their color and introduce them to Christ? Is it actually filling the “Great Commission” Christ died so we might be free. He and He alone is the only one to walk in the flesh and actually conquer sin in the flesh. He is our perfect example. Each and every one of us needs a Savior. His precious blood is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He is worthy of all the glory and the honor. Just know your freedom has been purchased. God’s resources are inexhaustible and available to you. John tells us ” that the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Which means it’s right here! There is nothing in the world that even compares to what God has to offer. Know without a doubt as His child “He will never leave you nor forsake you”.
A purpose driven ministry will encourage you to do your homework. Psalms tells us that we will be blessed if we “meditate upon His Word day and night.” Life brings joys, sorrow, and grief, with much spiritual warfare. We must realistically be prepared. How much of your time is really spent in prayer and meditation? Why not commence to bathe in the warmth of His Word? It has cleansing power. God has the ultimate design for your life. How will you know what it is if you don’t spend time with Him?
Acknowledging God, as Creator is optional from the world‘s perspective. This is why it is very important that God becomes the focal point of our worship services. We live in the world but we are not supposed to be like the world! “It is in Him we move and live and have our being.” His principles of balance and harmony are indispensably visible. His heightless firmament is a constant reminder of His awesome presence. His grace displayed adorns the sky in the form of tender clouds. Suspended high above like soft billowing cotton. Although His omnipotent power is ever present He won’t force His way into your life.
A purpose driven ministry actually implements Biblical principles. The praise and worship harmoniously complement one another. It should ultimately be a place where the children of God can unload; refuel, recharge, and leave refreshed and ready to proclaim the Gospel. When and if desired unbelievers are readily encouraged to choose adoption into the “Family of God”. The main focus of a purpose driven ministry is committed to reconciling souls to Jesus Christ. We as His children actually become His ambassadors! An ambassador is sent to fulfill a duty. Ask yourself? Are you fulfilling your duty? Is Christ really the center of your ministry?
P4CM Presents Ready or Not by Featured RHETORIC Poets Ezekiel & Janette..ikz
Did you grow up in the Church but; the Church did not grow up in you? Did you regularly attend Church and regularly participate in all the auxiliaries yet, you did not or do not really have a real relationship with the Lord? Do you just go to Church and the moment you are behind closed doors you abandon all of God’s principles for living? Do you live Monday thru Saturday conforming to the world? Do you go to Church, study God’s Word but don’t really understand how to apply it to your own life? Have you or do you truly live a Godly life before your spouse and children or friends and relatives? Are you obedient to your pastor but disrespectful to your spouse? Are you a great Pastor who is a lousy husband? Do you really know what it is to have a personal relationship with the Lord? If the Lord was to return today can you truly say you will be “caught up in the air to meet Him?” Do you know that Jesus really does make a difference in your life? I am not talking about some religious experience. I am asking you these questions to provoke thought.
For many accepting Jesus Christ is a public experience. For many it is a procedure. For many, accepting Jesus Christ means to have your name on a membership role. Go through a basic initial training; decide what auxiliaries you would like to participate in
then, jump right in. (I say auxiliary because there was a time when it was unheard of to say ministries.) If you attend regularly, pay your tithes, don’t make any waves, nor question the process, you have achieved conversion in the eyes of your trainers? In many cases you are expected to give in and yield to those who are in charge regardless. If you are related to or accepted by the established inner circle it is quite possible that as long as you conform to their wishes you can pretty much do whatever you desire. You do not really have to make any major changes in your personal life. Why? Because you love them and they love you, you have proven successfully that you are teachable, obedient and that you respect authority. They also are heart readers and can determine who is who? Hooray! You are now accepted in to what a very good God given friend of mine calls “the club”. Does any of this sound familiar? Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
What is the Church? Webster defines Church as; a building of public worship and especially Christian. A body or organization of religious believers. The clergy of a religious body. The Christian Church is really a family of believers who have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. Who earnestly and faithfully have committed to being governed by God’s principles? Did you know to some people every and anybody is family? Commit means to; put in trust. To cosign for preservation, disposal or safekeeping, to obligate, bind to and live by. When you commit to live for the Lord; you agree to surrender to His will and His way. You really should live your life from the perspective that God really does see everything. His Holy Spirit becomes your inner guide. You consistently study His Word. As you walk in faith and obedience to God’s principles you are strengthened spiritually. You don’t conform to the world neither do you disrespect the laws of the land.
The Lord loves us so much He gives us the freedom to choose. In His Word He tells us if you abide in Him He will abide in you. His Divine and Holy Spirit will take up residence in your soul. His Holy Spirit is also known as the Comforter. The Comforter will become your inner guide; The Comforter will make your conscious sensitive and aware of Godly instruction for life and daily living. The Comforter will let you know that Jesus Christ is the “Bread of life” John 6:35. That He is the “True Vine” John 15:1. That He is the “Light of the world” John 8:12. That He is “the way, the Truth, and the life.” John 14:6 God will give you a mentally sound mind. Ask yourself have you really chosen God’s way? Have you changed or just outwardly conformed to be accepted? If this is the case you will have very little self discipline. Nor will you have true inner peace. If you have truly changed there is an inner metamorphis. You will begin to walk in the fruit of His Spirit. Do you really seek the truth? Or do you seek to prove and accept what is false? Is Jesus truly important in your home, job, career and life? Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
We are living in some serious times. There is much spiritual warfare about us. The world is not going to get better. But there is a better way to live daily. Jesus lived an exemplary life. He was and is the epitome of what life is all about. It is because of Jesus we have a direct way back to the Father. When He died the veil of the temple was torn in two. The purpose of the veil was to separate the section of the Temple where only the priest were allowed. We can thank Jesus because; we now can go directly to God. His Word can cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Did you know that Jesus was God’s Word wrapped in flesh? Jesus came as a living testimonial to the world and the family of God; which is His Church. Did you know that the Church is actually Christ’s Bride? Do you know how important faithfulness is to a bride? Think about that; that is really heavy! God not only wants us to be faithful to our spouses but to Him. Jesus came to let us know that the principles in God’s Word are true. Did you know that God wants what is best for us? Did you know that God even disciplines us because He loves us so much? He even allows persecution so we can move on to further allow His will be done in our life. Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
God does not have a list of rules and regulations. Yet, you are considered to be “in the know, if you acknowledge everyone in a hierarchal manner before you speak. You are even commended for knowing protocol. If you don’t walk while someone’s talking you are respectful. But these are not really rules are they? Think about it? If you are walking you really must need to go somewhere? Are not the doors of God’s Church always open? These are just a few things to think about. Oh! These again are not rules; it just shows you know how to do what? “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty”. But God tells us not to use that as a cloak for maliciousness. Did you know that God intended for His Church to be a “Lighthouse.” A place where we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. A place where darkness should not prevail. God is also a God of order. Yes, we should be respectful of our place of worship. But some things are just not necessary. If you were raised in Church, but the Church is not in you the truth really does not matter. It is easier to just do whatever is expected. This assures you that you can participate in any way. You can even opt to fill any position you desire. This is okay because your heart is considered okay, you have passed inspection. All you have to do is put in your request. After all you are related to or in the inner circle. You have a blanket excuse for any and every past or present behavior because you obey without question. You are unconditionally loved? Or are you really? You also give God honor, praise and thank him for giving you the opportunity to stand before all. Yet they can already see you are standing up. If you really want to stand for something; stand up for what is right.” In actuality protocol to you really means you know who to call in order of importance? Now who is the respecter of persons? What’s really important is that we call on Jesus and create and environment where His presence is truly welcomed. Yes, I am being a little sarcastic. But not to be facetious. What is your point? I merely want all of us to think about why we do or do not do some of the things we do. No disrespect intended a lot of things just are not necessary. God has said that He would write His law in our hearts. As you diligently study God’s Word He will really deliver you! He will free you from a lot of stuff that just does not make sense. God has so many wonderful things in store for us. He also gives you the freedom to choose. Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day?” It is a humorous little movie where this guy wakes up at the same time everyday and the same thing happens over and over. He knew how each person would respond. He knew each day exactly what to expect. After a while he realizes that some things really need to change. Did you know that God really can change you? Did you know He really does have a better way for you to live? Ask yourself honestly have you grown up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
There really is a difference between being in the Church and the Church being in you? When the Church is in you the Holy Spirit becomes the governor of your soul. You live in the world, you are to be law abiding citizen but you realize it is in God you move and live and have your being. You are convicted when wrong. You do not desire to be right just for the sake of being right. This is not some unrealistic, legalistic, rigid, mythical, unattainable, cultic way of being. You realize how vitally important it is to live your life before the Lord. You know without a doubt that God is your Heavenly Father. That the devil his imps and no one or nobody can do anything to pluck you out God’s hands. That you truly belong to God and Jesus is your Lord and Savior! You have been adopted into His family and you know that you know that you know without doubting you are His child! You know what His Word says about being double minded? Wait I must caution you! You must be aware that you will be thought of as strange and or self righteous by those who really do not know or understand you. They will even put you through their heart test. But, those who really know you know that you have been raised in the Church and the Church is in you. Go pluck some spiritual fruit and “pig out”. Especially try some of His good ole patience. Don’t go there; this not some egotistical, arrogant or prideful statement. You see, there really is a difference when you are in the Church and the Church is in you. You know that you have been bought with a price. You know that before you were formed in your Mother’s womb God knew and knows who you are. You also know it is not because of anything you have or have not. It is because of who He is! You praise Him not only in the building; but you praise Him in your home, on your job or at your business in your car, in the midst of trials and persecution. Not just in mere lip service. You even know you have a right to a silent protest when necessary. You actually know and understand why others do not understand you. They have actually helped to strengthen your faith and trust in God. Especially when you know they have done everything possible to attempt to discourage you. God is awesome! Standing for God does not mean resorting to carnality. Your confidence cannot be in you, are anything else. Yes, you can have confidence because you know God as your Father. You know that He knows you as His child. You know and He knows that you have spent some deep intimate time together in His presence. You know that He has set you free! You know that you have been raised in the church and the church is in you.
God really has a better way for His children. God is not a respecter of persons. It does not matter to Him if you are rich or poor, black, white, red yellow, tan or brown. He already knows where you live, work, play or “hang out”. He even knows if you have been raised in the church and the church is not in you. He knows if you walk in the flesh or abide in His Spirit. If you truly invite Him into your heart today He will come in your life and make a real difference. As you begin to grasp His Word it will wash you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He will teach you how to guard your heart. There are many wolves among the sheep. Don’t fret God always takes care of His children even in the midst of tests and trials. There are also those who call evil good and good evil. God will and can protect you and keep you from the grasp of wickedness. You must learn to humbly submit to His direction. He will open your spiritual eyes so you can begin to understand. No drugs, nicotine or alcohol needed. You will not want to see things as they appear. You will desire to see clearly. Your conscious will become sensitive and you will have a deepened desire to do what is right in His sight rather than in the sight of man. Realize that Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. God also said to “let not your heart be troubled”. The earth truly is the Lord’s. He will take care of you. God already knows what is going on. Just begin to exercise patience. He will bring what happens in the dark to the light. Did you know you have as much time as you need to do the things that God would have you to do. Study the story of Gideon. He prevailed not because of how many he had to help him. The victory always belongs to God. It is not in the amount, how many are for you are against you. He will make it evident to you and those about you that it is only by His grace and mercy that you can truly be successful. Spiritual success is not in the numbers. God knows when you have been raised in His Church and His Church is in you. To God be the Glory!
The Church is currently experiencing premarital conflict! The Lamb of the marriage supper is being overlooked. A few of the invited guests are parading themselves as the Groom. The fruits of the flesh are attempting to join the banquet. The bride should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. The fine linen is the righteousness of the saints according to the Book of Revelations. The Church is the bride of Christ. Jesus will return for His Church of this we can be assured. But how close to being ready are we? Collectively as well as independently? The signs of the time are quite apparent. We are encountering a multiplicity of phenomenal events. Earthquakes in divers places, heinous crimes, same sex relationships, blatant adultery, questionable political elections but what does it all mean? Time is winding down. In earlier times a marriage betrothal represented a respected covenant. A covenant is something you keep not something you merely repeat. The Church’s responsibility has not changed in spite of what’s going on. The Bride should be in preparation for a wedding celebration.
God has placed His heirs in various places to prepare for this great event. Man can not number the guest list. It is so vast and contains such an array of guests that He has elected an international, interracial, multi cultural, conglomeration of folks. Their level of responsibilities differ greatly. Yet the overall objective should not take any attention away from this glorious blessed event. Peter tells us “but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to GOD, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” I Peter 2: 9-12 NIV. How prepared are you for His coming?
Preparing for a wedding involves much joy as well as fear and trepidation. But we can be assured that this wedding is in the will of God. The bridesmaids and groomsmen should not become confused. Their objective should be to assist in fostering a healthy spiritual environment for the ultimate feast. The instructions to prepare for this event have been given to us by GOD. He has even left His Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us to all truth. The truth is the bridal path. The CHURCH has only one Groom. No one can take the place of Jesus.
The participants of the bridal party have the obligation to come together. Not to distinguish who has more authority, but to work towards an effective Spirit-filled occasion. There are so many details involved that no one should worry about the significance of their participation. Staying focused will really help everyone from getting off track. Just remember we are all invited. Those who RSVP and plan on attending have one requirement – YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN! The mind of Christ dwells in the hearts of each of His children. When we begin each day living in His presence we will not become sidetracked so easily. God has at His disposal everything we might possibly need. He knows what, when and who we need to fulfill our duties. Man does not live by bread alone but by what? THE WORD OF GOD.
Our Sunday, daily, weekly, monthly and annual rehearsal celebrations should consist of a delicacy of sacrifices of praise and spiritual food. The Holy Spirit stands invisibly positioned to confirm the Groom’s approval. We must truly desire to worship and respect God with our worship. To effectively do this, we must not allow personal agendas to permeate the worship. The true worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Rebuke the things you know are not of God! Absolutely no junk food allowed! The main entree is His Word whether it be in praise, song, sign language or the spoken word. The one thing we must keep in mind is WHO THE BRIDE BELONGS TO!
Ask yourself if you’re ready? Have you been preparing? Is He abiding in your heart? Is He really welcomed in your home? Do you really worship Him in Spirit and in truth? Are you where He wants you to be or are you where you want to be? It is God’s will that is the desired avenue to the bridal path. “Now as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself. As a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any blemish but holy and blameless. In this way should husbands love their wives as their own body…” Ephesians 5:22-28 NIV. Have you truly submitted to His will in your life?
We must get our lives in order. God is a God of order. He does have a plan for each of His children. We are to live out the principles in the scriptures and make them the blueprint for our lives. When two or three are gathered together in one accord IN HIS NAME God has promised to be in the midst. Jesus has already been lifted up on the cross. His Word will draw all of the bridal participants. He has made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He has redeemed us by His precious blood! We must relinquish control of His bride to the Holy Spirit! Christ is coming back for HIS CHURCH. A church without spot or wrinkle.
P4CM Presents Ready or Not by Featured RHETORIC Poets Ezekiel & Janette..ikz