A Gated Community

“Praise ye the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto My GOD while I have My being…” Psalm 146

I recently heard a sermon where the speaker spoke in a negative way about people who live in gated communities. That sermon motivated me to write this article, as I want to point out some things about gated communities, why people desire to live within the confines of a gated community, and why ultimately we all should want to live in a gated community. However, before I expound on the gated community statement, I want to share what I believe is an over-arching issue, that causes statements such as these to be made, and the impact they have on a church congregation.

The picture that is painted is that these un-named individuals think they are “better” than everyone else. So, they are scrutinized and criticized because they have been prosperous. Unfortunately, what this does more often than not is cause those who may not be as prosperous to have “distorted thinking” about those who may have more, causing them to view these individuals in a wrong light. Distorted thinking is when you think things about an individual based on what someone else has caused you to believe, and not based on your own personal interactions with those individuals.

The  “gated community” statement is really systemic of a larger issue. This is a pretty typical but sad thing that happens in many congregations, where a Pastor/Preacher has an issue with someone in the congregation who may have acquired wealth, or a certain degree of success.  They insert statements in their sermon that have nothing to do with the Word of God, but are designed to place focus on certain individuals in a negative way. I’m sure you’ve heard a many sermons where a pastor/preacher talks about the people who have the fancy cars, a big house on the hill, college education, etc.  Sprinkled into the sermon are also statements such as “when you see people who ….…”, which causes some to look around to see if they can identify those individuals within the congregation.

The men/women of God who deliver such messages may not realize it, but they are actually sowing discord among  the  brethren, causing  division in the body, and causing the saints to be judgmental in a wrong kind of way. Usually when this happens in congregations the speaker normally has specific people in the congregation in mind, and there are others in the congregation who also know exactly who they are talking about.  You may ask, how do I know this happens?  Well I know because we  have been in the church continuously (never left) for over 60 years, and have been the target of many such sermons.

It’s really a shame that this occurs, particularly in the church from people who claim to have been called by God to deliver HIS message to HIS people.   In spite of all the encouragement and opportunity that is given to people to make something of themselves, and to utilize God given talents, gifts, and abilities, when it actually happens for some, there are those who seem to have an issue with them for succeeding and achieving .

I know these people are not speaking for God because they are making statements that are contrary to His written word. The real problem is not the ones who have succeeded, but the ones who have an issue with others achieving more than themselves.  They might have an “inferiority complex”, or are struggling with envy or jealousy.  It shouldn’t be an issue, for we all should know that God has told us in His word, that HE is the one that gives man the ability to acquire wealth and to become prosperous, and has provided in His word the prescription to be blessed.  Take a look at these scriptures as this is what God has said:

Deuteronomy 8:18

“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Psalm 1: 1-3

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Joshua 1:7-8

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

For the past 26 years we have lived in a gated community, which we have thoroughly enjoyed. These communities require a special access code for entry, and if you don’t know the code you can’t get in. Typically there are higher end homes, often have private security patrolling the community, video recording of all who enter and exit, and are normally located in some of the most desirable and prestigious areas.  The homes typically have a higher price tag because of the location, and as many know, real estate value is really dependent on location, location, location.

Many believe that those who live in gated communities, are snobbish, think they’re better than others, etc.    However,  this thinking is normally created in their mind by someone who doesn’t live in a gated community, and for all the reasons I mentioned above.   If you actually got to know some who live in those communities up close and personal, you will find that’s not what they think at all.   They’ve just been fortunate enough in life to afford that type of living. 

We chose to move to these communities because the homes we desired happened to be located in gated communities. Yes it is nice to have all of the amenities mentioned above, but it certainly doesn’t make us think we’re better than others. Just like anybody else, we looked for places to live that we felt we could enjoy and would be conducive in raising our family to be well-rounded, and able to engage with anyone in this world. We also wanted them to be color-blind, and experience that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness  thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. It all belongs to HIM, and as his children, we can go and live anyplace in HIS world.  We are entitled.

We enjoy our gated community and all the surroundings.  I like the fact that the roads are paved and maintained, there is someone watching out for our well-being, the homes and properties are well maintained.

The more I think about gated communities it makes me think about Heaven.  In fact, those of us who profess to be Christians, we should desire and look forward to living in a gated community.  Why? If you want to go to Heaven, you will be living forever in a gated community. Heaven is the ultimate gated community.   In fact, it has more gates than any gated community I know. My Bible tells me that Heaven has twelve gates. As John the revelator said in Revelations 21:

 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates:

Oh, and by the way, it has paved roads that are made out of gold. 

Wouldn’t you like to live in this gated community, forever?    Well you can, but you will need to know the Access Code.

 To get in you have to know Jesus, up close and personal.

 If you don’t know the Savior, you can’t get in.

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JESUS CHRIST – EMMANUEL “GOD WITH US”


EMMANUEL “GOD WITH US!”

“GLORY to GOD in the HIGHEST, an on earth Peace, Goodwill toward men!” Luke 2.

If there was ever a time to PRAISE the LORD the time is NOW!

Notice that whenever you read, watch or hear the news it is not usually good! There is an overabundance of things going on all over the world. There are many natural disasters all about us the results are devastating… The economy was really down as well as unemployment a few years ago. Now they have begun to gradually climb… The lives of many were drastically impacted. Many loved ones have passed on making their transition to eternity! Many corporations have closed, many have lost businesses, careers, jobs, estates, homes, stocks, possessions and yet … Immorality has become acceptable?

Notice how scandalous the Political Campaign for The President of the United States has become!

Don’t fear because GOD is OMNIPOTENT! HE IS The ONE TRUE GOD of Restoration. In HIM nothing is really ever lost. GOD IS FAITHFUL HE will & can RESTORE! There is ALWAYS HOPE in the LORD!

Marriage & family is ordained by God! The powers that be and principalities yield much spiritual warfare that seeks to break up many families and put in place a different way of living. Redefining the marital roles… Who would have ever thought a few years ago that the US Supreme Court would vote against the WORD of GOD in favor of “same sex unions?”

LORD open our Spiritual Eyes!!!

Disloyalty and manipulation, justified, along with works of the flesh and deception slowly but surely intertwining itself in many relationships… Children tossed to and fro within unstable environments. This is not God’s Way! Seemingly harmless it has opened the door for much chaos… Stress levels are constantly being elevated… No wonder; Suicide,divorce, sicknesses, diseases and depression are abounding!

“The wheat and the tares continue to grow together in HIS CHURCH! Again no need for fear. The WORD of GOD continues to be fulfilled in these “Last Days” Just learn to; “BE STILL & KNOW!” PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT!

There is also a resurgence of discrimination in many shapes and forms and on a multitude of levels. There is an enormous amount of oppression and loss of freedom as well as invasion of privacy & racial profiling; all due to the overwhelming threat of foreign and domestic terrorism as well as suppression & oppression…

A host of false teachers controlling and leading many astray… Many are living in fear… But look at GOD! “The LORD is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Strength of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27.

It is important to know who you are through Jesus Christ! In HIM you can have the VICTORY!

We are living in a time that just about anything goes! What God has said is wrong and what is wrong is accepted as right. What is Good is called evil & evil is called good! Many are trying to make what is right in the eyes of the majority rule and become accepted as the norm… Lord help us!

Many seek to make others comfortable in sin. Instead of saying thus said the Lord worldly affections dominate rather than the TRUE LOVE of GOD HE defines in I Corinthians 13. GOD’S LOVE never fails! “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… ” For many it is hard to discern what true love really is.

Yes indeed! The Word of God is being fulfilled! Truly we are in the last days! “No one knows the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man…” Matthew 24. So it is today!

Begin to prepare each day as though you were to see the Lord face to face! There is ALWAYS HOPE in the LORD!

When Noah was building the ark there were millions and millions of people here on earth. The world had become a place where “anything goes” it was no longer the paradise that God had intended for His people. They allowed themselves to become caught up in the ways of the world. Fewer and fewer listened to the Lord! The spiritual warfare was rampart and satan continued to deceive many! It is a little frightening to see just how quickly God’s principles were laid aside… Imagine it had never rained! It may be hard to fathom or comprehend but in the whole entire world there was only one man and his family that was listening to the Lord. This man was Noah; he was a righteous obedient man and obeyed the Lord in spite of what was going on in the world.

“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creature that move along the ground, and the birds of the air- for I am grieved that I have made them.” Genesis 6.

The world had become flooded with evil and this brought a greater flood upon them that destroyed the world. What God had said not to do had become the norm! Does any of this sound familiar? Look at what is going on today? There is much to learn and ponder in the Word of God! It is Powerful and “ALIVE” it is All True! The Gospel is going forth all throughout the world. Time is winding up! From this magnificent illustration we can learn the importance of listening to the Lord rather than compromising His Word in order to be accepted by the masses. God will Never direct you to do anything that goes against His WORD!

EMMANUEL GOD is with us!

Jesus told us “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED you. And surely I AM with you ALWAYS to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28.

Know God’s Word for yourself! There is only ONE TRUE CHURCH! We the collective body of believers all around this world that was created through HIM are His Church! We are the body of Jesus Christ! PRAISE GOD!

God is so gracious, loving, kind and Sovereign! He has provided a way back to Him. He has given us a path by which we must travel and Jesus has paved that way! “He is the Way The TRUTH and the LIFE.” It is the Narrow Way that is His way!

Today it is important for us to fully embrace the Truth of His Word! He has given us many examples as to what happens when we ignore, disobey or lay aside His Word! Know just like in the time of Noah many will not understand you. Had you ever thought about where were all those multitudes of people that Jesus healed, fed and saved when He was being crucified? How many sat on the sidelines and said nothing! Just like then many did not really expect the outcome…

We too can expect not to be welcomed, maligned, mistreated, persecuted, misunderstood… But do not become disheartened. Become aware and continue to look to the Lord. Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment to properly apply His Word to your life! “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.” Proverbs 3.

We must learn to honor and esteem God’s Word above the ways of the world. No person, judge, king, prophet, prophetess, pastor, or priest was able to overcome sin in the flesh. Therefore God sent His only Begotten Son to come in the form of sinless flesh and overcome sin in the flesh for us! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life.” John 3. It within this verse one can gain spiritual acuity and focus on the Power of The Gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus accepted the punishment for our sins and humbled Himself and was obedient through His death on the Cross! He took back what was lost and redeemed us and He arose with ALL Power! To believe means that you begin to take action and step out on Faith. You are a believer because you have given your life to the Lord and Believe, Trust and Embrace the full Gospel of Jesus Christ!

As you Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ; Know that Emmanuel means God with us! Know without doubt that as a believer He abides in your heart! We must continually ask Him to fill us with His presence daily…

The GOOD NEWS!

JESUS CHRIST makes all the difference in the world! It is a wonderful, thoughtful, kind, loving gesture to give to others… So ENJOY this season of giving… However, make it a point to take time and spend some time with the Lord reflecting on ALL He has done for you! He TRULY is the GREATEST GIFT of ALL! We can ALWAYS find something to be THANKFUL for! REJOICE in HIM! We all continue to exist because of GOD! “For in HIM we live and move and have our being…” Act 17. Christmas is REALLY about JESUS CHRIST and not just the presents; but about HIS PRESENCE in your life! HE is our “KING of kings and LORD of lords! He is our PRINCE of PEACE! No matter what you can ALWAYS FIND LOVE, COMFORT and PEACE in HIM! “Be STILL & KNOW!” EMMANUEL “GOD IS WITH US!”

As we examine the life of Jesus Christ we can see that He encountered an enormous amount of spiritual warfare during His sinless life. We learn that He suffered much! Many of those he helped turned their backs on Him… The birth of Jesus Christ born to The Virgin Mary was a marvelous astonishing miraculous miracle! This glorious occasion changed the world forever! Jesus was dispatched from Heaven to defeat the enemy for us! His spectacular Victory was felt on earth and in Heaven!

We can offer Praise; because of Jesus Christ we can learn to “Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!” It is because of Him being born in the flesh, living a sinless life, being crucified, then He died and was buried! He became the Holy, Pure, Sacrificial, Consecrated Lamb of God! He redeemed us through His precious blood. There is POWER in the BLOOD! He shed His blood as the ultimate sacrifice so we might have life and have it, more abundantly. Not only on earth, on this side of heaven but through eternity! How amazing! PRAISE GOD!

The GOOD NEWS!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be HOLY and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons (daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious Grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have the redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s Grace that He lavished on us with all Wisdom and Understanding. And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment to bring ALL things in heaven and on earth together under One Head, even, Christ…” Ephesians 1.

The GOOD NEWS!

There is a wealth of knowledge and security within the depths of the Holy Scriptures! Jesus was the WORD wrapped in sinless flesh! Jesus was born during one of the most difficult eras in history! Much political turmoil going on… From the very beginning there were those who avidly sought to destroy Him! How interesting, they were so intimidated by His extraordinary birth! As time passed He was treated atrociously, His integrity undermined, His character constantly questioned, He was beaten, maligned and yet; Jesus still magnificently fulfilled His earthly mission! This is why we ALL need Him as Savior & Lord! Through Him we are “more than conquerors!” Romans 8. He has provided us with His Holy Spirit the Comforter to lead, guide and protect us! We can always & forever TRUST GOD!

God has already BLESSED us with every spiritual blessing! The blessings of God go far beyond material or temporal they are eternal! Before we were ever born God chose us! God does not want us to be unaware or ignorant of the TRUTH of His WORD nor live in denial! He does not want His Word to be a secret! We must warn the people! He wants us to boldly proclaim “The GOOD NEWS!” The GOSPEL of Jesus Christ! The Word of God is His story. God is Sovereign! When we truly belong to Him we are to represent Him! We are to live out the principles of His Word in spite of what is happening in this world. Jesus is coming soon!

As we prepare to CELEBRATE the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it is spiritually beneficial to keep in mind the many wonderful Blessings of the Lord! Jesus Christ is the most precious “GIFT” ever given by our Creator, Father and Lord! We can REJOICE in this Through eternity!

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given: and the government shall be on His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9. HALLELUJAH!

When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord we have something to shout about! In every and any situation God will see you through! “God will never leave nor forsake you!” We can Praise Him throughout the year and forever more knowing that JESUS CHRIST is not only the “Reason for the Season” but the reason for LIFE and living through eternity!

GOD BLESS YOU! ~ MERRY CHRISTMAS & Have a Wonderfully Blessed NEW YEAR ~

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