Contending for the Faith Part 2

God never intended for Christianity to become a legalistic doctrinal concept of rules and regulations.  God will  write His laws within your heart as you embrace His Word. Christianity is a daily lifestyle! The HOUSE of GOD is supposed to be the PILLAR of TRUTH! Learn to  focus more on the Lord than upon your issues when you are in worship. Yes, be mindful and cognizant of what is going on all around you. For spiritual warfare persists everywhere…  And remember  your place of worship is supposed to be a place where the Spirit of the Lord is welcomed. Many gather and assemble together to worship, thank, honor, adore and praise GOD.  

It is written!

The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy. He was concerned about what was going on during worship. He was well aware of the contentions as well as the false unspiritual teaching that was circulating. Paul charges Timothy as a Pastor to teach sound doctrine, war a good warfare, embrace his faith and steadfastly adhere to the Word of God. These concerns remain today. Paul writes;

These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

But if I tarry long, that thou oughtest to behave thyself in the House of God, which is the Church of the living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received into glory.” I Timothy 3

Christ died so we could have an abundant spiritual life in every way. Yet today many make their issues the theme of life and ministry. Jesus did not come to build hospitals or mausoleums.  He could have built places of worship for all his disciples or simply spoke them into existence… Think about Joseph his earthly father was a professional carpenter. The Gospel is about Christ Jesus from the beginning.

Jesus came to give us a better life and to teach us the way; centered upon God. He came to overcome sin in the flesh and show us how to live victoriously in the Lord.  Everything was spoken into existence through Him and everything consists by and for Him. He came to share with us the beauty of His creation. And to direct us on; “the path of righteousness for His namesake.” Yes indeed, He died on the cross and rose with all power for us all to have an abundant life in every way.

Much is going on in these latter days.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils…” I Timothy 4

Jesus made no one feel comfortable in sin. It is so very important to know God’s Word for yourself. This way you will not easily be misled. Notice what happens  as  you read  His Word. Your understanding will expand and your faith will increase. You will learn how He always stood for what was right.   Jesus was terribly misunderstood by those who should have known better.   He was falsely accused.  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. All due to their own insecurity. They actually chose to go into denial rather than embrace the principles of Truth of His Word.  Does any of this sound familiar?

The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin!

No, things will not always go your way. But the Lord can bring you through any situation with His peace. He wants you to draw closer to Him everyday. God has a plan for your life. It is our choice to discover it. For; “Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life!” The Bible is the inspired Word of God. “It is a Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path…”

The gift of Salvation and 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. As you learn and apply His Word it will be written upon the table of your heart. Your desire to live for the Lord and contend for the faith will grow. Jude extends to us mercy, peace and love in abundance through Christ Jesus.  When Jesus ascended to heaven He fulfilled that promise that; the Holy Spirit would come. Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure. He knew when He came that He would eventually return to Heaven. At His appointed time Christ Jesus will return for His Church that still remains.

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! But they are mighty. We must daily stay adorned with the spiritual armor.  For we can pull down strongholds… Deliverance is possible. A believers, our lives don’t belong to us for we belong to God. The Apostle Paul teaches us the importance of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “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 declare it fearlessly, as I should” See Ephesians 6

Without doubt we are in the last days and the Word of God is being fulfilled! Look around and be attentive to all the worldwide perils that continue to daily persist. We need not be afraid but prayerful! It is important to persevere knowing that God is with you. For GOD is omnipresent. 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 must only watch the news, read the newspaper or search online to see that time is near! By the way; everything you see or hear that is going on via face book is not true. Daily; just about “Anything goes!”  This world is on a “Slippery Slope!”  There is was not only ongoing consequences from the   Economic Recession but a “SPIRITUAL RECESSION” continues as well.  But know this; THERE IS NEVER LACK OR A RECESSION IN HEAVEN! Many of our churches are sometimes allowing carnal worldly teachings… Bible study on some occasions have even turned to group think and mind conditioning.  Often ridded with many coded messages to point out those who do not conform to the group. God never intended for us to give up our individuality.  Uniformity is not the same thing as unity. 

Respect for God and His Word are  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.  When someone says something that you know is not true.  Know that it is not from GOD! This is why we all need His Holy Spirit to convict the heart of sin and keep us pointed unto righteousness. What is righteousness? It is right living and thinking in the eyes of God! Sin is anything that separates us from God! Jude says: Remember Sodom and Gomorrah?  well, God has not changed. This is why Jesus left us His Holy Spirit!

Live or begin to live each day; “To GOD BE the GLORY!” Having an encounter with God regularly will bring you closer to Him.  Take time throughout your day to “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!” Shift your mind to the Lord continuously.  This is how you stay connected to the Lord.  Remember God is omniscient He wants to open your understanding and make you even more aware. He can and  will open your “spiritual eyes.” This is also why we must daily contend for the Faith, so know His Word and stand firm! 

Thank You Holy Father for sanctifying us through Christ Jesus and calling us  as your Elders/Ministers and Ambassadors. We are not called to conform to this world. But to uphold HIS WORD. We are called to to daily “Contend for the Faith!”

REPENT!!!

If you have grown slack in your commitment to God; He can speak renewal and strength into your heart. If you are depressed or oppressed  He can lift you up and take you to wherever you need to be. When GOD says He can deliver you HE CAN! However, you must humbly submit to HIS WILL and diligently pursue TRUTH! GOD can bring a plan and a purpose into your life like no other. This is what Jude leaves us with;  “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!!!”

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God wants His Grace to be with us Part 3

God wants His Grace to be with us

Part 3

Mountins 5

The Bible is the infallible Word of God. The Bible records the beginning, what is happening in between as well as what will happen whenever life on earth ends as we know it. No one but God actually knows when the end will come. However we are to live each day as though our Lord were going to return! “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed, on that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife!” Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left…” Luke 17 We must be spiritually and morally ready whenever our Lord suddenly returns.

The Bible has stood the test of time and contains a wealth of necessary Spiritual Food for our souls. This is why it is so very important to spend time in the Word of God so you can better understand the true meaning of life and the significant importance of His Grace. Jesus is the Light of the world. “Jesus is the way the Truth & the Life!” John 14. God wants us to daily walk in the Light and stay on the narrow path that leads to Him.

God does not promise that life will always be easy. But He does promise that, “He will never leave or forsake us.” Regardless of what is happening or not happening in your life God is always a prayer away. All throughout your day “Pray unceasingly” this is how you stay connected to the Lord.

Listen closely and take heed to what the Spirit is saying to us in His Word; “What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that didn’t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, will he not also give us, with him, all things freely? Who shall bring an accusation against the elect of God? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died, but, more than that, is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? It is written, ‘For your sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ But in all these things we more than overcome through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to be, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39

You must first believe that GOD’S WORD is true in order to be able to understand and embrace its marvelous contents. GOD’S WORD is indeed marvelous and it is alive! It is necessary Spiritual Food for our souls. There is a feast awaiting that will enlighten your soul, regenerate your heart, mind and physical body! It will awaken your spirit and renew and refuel a desire in you to want to rise to higher spiritual heights!

There is nothing more important nor anything or anyone greater than God! “God is Love,” To truly know God is to know love. Remember He is; “The Great I AM!” He is the Alpha & Omega! He is the beginning and the end! Always remember, absolutely nothing can separate you from God unless you let it. It is important to know that you and I will always & forever need God through Eternity! In Him you can discover your purpose and His plan for your life. Everything that you will ever need in life and beyond this life you can discover in the Lord! God does not force you to choose His Will & His Way He allows us the freedom to choose. He allowed His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world. When we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior & Lord His Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and abides within us. His Holy Spirit is available 24/7 to lead and guide us us to all truth. God has given us His breath of life that keeps us alive! He invites us as believers to develop an ongoing deep personal life with Him. The Holy Spirit, is His Comforter who resides within us and revives our soul. We are not saved by our works. It is by Grace we are SAVED! His Holy Spirit desires direct and protect us and lead us in the path of righteousness for His Namesake. It is our choice to walk in the Light and embrace the TRUTH of HIS WORD!

Remember that God wants His Grace to be with us! “Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen!” Ephesians 6

Without the grace of God we would all deserve His wrath. It is by His Grace that He allows us to choose Salvation and His gift of Eternal Life. How interesting that the Bible starts in paradise and it ends in paradise. God’s greatest hope for us that believe is that at the appointed time after we have completed this course of life, we will live with Him through Eternity in Heaven. Heaven is indescribable. The Word uses a beautiful plethora of precious gems of this world that adorns Heaven walls. Pearls to emboss its (12) twelve gates and a translucent array of pure gold to pave its streets. How utterly amazing! It is far beyond what our little finite minds can really imagine. There is also no need for the sun or the moon because the Holy City is illuminated by the GLORY of our LORD. We will see the “New Jerusalem” coming down to earth, which has no temple because the Lord Almighty & the Lamb are the temple. What beauty awaits all of us who have accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts as Savior & Lord will be able to behold!

Here is what we learn about God’s grace in Ephesians; “Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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 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 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 Praise God! & Halllelllujah Amen!

Although we do not know the day or the hour that our Lord will return we are to prepare by spending time in His Word, embracing it within our hearts and implementing it within our daily lives. Then at the appointed time we can look forward to beholding the Glory of our Lord! Praise God & Thank You Lord that we are saved by His marvelous grace! No matter whatever happens here on earth GOD’S promises remain and are ALL TRUE! If you turn to the last book of the Bible which is Revelation, turn to chapter (22) twenty two, scroll down to the very end you will find these words; “The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen!” Revelation 22:21 We as believers should daily Thank God for His amazing grace! Lord Bless & Keep You! & Everyday forever more! “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”


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Lamentations A Case Study in Sorrow & Grief

Lamentations of Prophet Jeremiah

Lamentations of Prophet Jeremiah

~   Lamentations   ~   A case study in Sorrow & Grief

 

The book of Lamentations is a riveting historical narrative of the prophet Jeremiah’s agonizing heartfelt disconsolate melancholic despondency.  Jeremiah scribes in detail an impressive account on the fall of Jerusalem.  He candidly expresses his cavernous emotions and sorrowful laments of his soul. The Holy City has died!   He is overwrought with pain from the tremendous losses not just for himself but for his people and the nation at large.  Jeremiah is known as “the weeping prophet.”  No doubt he was despondent over the devastation of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple as well as the disaster that was upon his people for their disobedience.

 

These Old Testament Laments are analogously written in the same rhythmic cadence of the ancient Jewish funeral songs. There are five dirges in Lamentations.  Four of the five chapters contain 22 verses except chapter three that contains 66 verses.  Here in Lamentations you will discover laments of wisdom, ritual and prophecy.  Jeremiah reflects back on what has been. This elegy is laden with a plethora of   depressive moments that takes us into the darkness of emotional pain.  It is a definite funeral “dirge” reflective of the mournful end of what was.   God’s people have rejected His will and His way and forsaken His principles to the point of utter pandemonium!   Many of Jeremiah’s prophecies have fallen on deaf ear!   He stands alone, sorrowful, isolated, misunderstood and rejected, his tears plenteous and bountiful due to his genuine care and concerns.  It is only because of God’s mercy they have not been completely annihilated, yet carried away into Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar.

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This Old Testament treasure contains a wealth of spiritual wisdom that can help us better navigate through “the valley of the shadow of death” today.  It provokes us to introspectively examine our own emotions and sins under the spiritual microscope via the Word of God.  We must become cognizant of the things that are happening all around us, within our homes, our nation, the world at large and especially within God’s Church!   We today can relate to what has happened here in Lamentations to degree right now. The calamities that we see happening today around us are a reflection of aberrant rebelliousness and the abandoning of God’s intended purpose for His Creation.

 

Sin separates us from God!   To sin means that we have missed the mark.   Let this passage of   Scripture marinate in your mind as you ponder this narrative on Lamentations if you will.  The Word of God teaches us “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and are justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through Faith in His Blood.  He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand   unpunished – He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have FAITH in Jesus…”  Romans 3

 

We can delve into the pain and extreme sorrow projected here in Lamentations emphatically.   We can use this as a marvelous life lesson of what has been to help us now!  We can learn much as we peer beyond the broken walls of Jerusalem.  The Temple is gone, the king is gone the people are in exile and the city of Jerusalem has been destroyed and chaos abounds!   The elders and religious leaders are also gone. The obliteration   is humongous.   Jeremiah’s tears are not for himself but for what was, what has been and what could be?   This prophet of God was sorrowful most importantly because God has been grieved as well, thus Jeremiah laments.    This is what Jeremiah says when he mourns about Jerusalem:  “How deserted lies the city, once was so full of people!  How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was a queen among the provinces has now become a slave!”   Lamentations 1

 

Truly God is faithful and His compassion and wisdom infinite!  Confession and repentance are necessary for restoration.  Only God can cleanse us from the wages of sin.   Sin entices us away from what God has said not to do.

 

We have freedom in the Lord to choose but there are consequences for those choices.  If we say that we have not sinned the Word of God unveils us as liars.   All of us need Jesus Christ as Savior & Lord! It is His Blood by which we can be cleansed from our sins. As we embrace and apply His Word to our lives we should begin to “sin less!”   We are the saints of God!  Yes indeed!  There‘s POWER in the BLOOD!  This is why it is important for us to know firsthand His Word! “The Lord is righteous, yet I rebelled against His command. Listen, all you peoples; look upon my suffering. My young men and maidens have gone into exile.  My priests and my elders perished in the city while they searched for food to keep themselves alive. See, O Lord, how distressed I am!  I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious.  Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death. People have heard my groaning but there is no one to comfort me.” Lamentations 1 God used the Babylonians to punish His people for their rebelliousness.   Today; Lord help us!

 

Here in Lamentations we learn that there is always Hope in the Lord!  Jeremiah encourages the people to pour their hearts out to the Lord!  Worship had become stale and ritualistic, false prophets and misleading oracles were given to the people.  They embraced what they wanted to hear opposed to what God wanted them hear.  No doubt Jeremiah’s prophecies where thought to be negative.  We often shriek at the thought of what we perceive to be negative.  Listen closely “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.”    Lamentations 2.   Oh my!  Perhaps some of this could have been avoided only if they had listened?

 

The streets of Jerusalem were laden with orphaned children and infants.   The prophet Jeremiah’s heart was broken as he walked through the ruins of the city.  He knew that God was faithful but they were yet experiencing the consequences for their choice to not listen.  The few that remained faithful had to also experience the judgment brought on by the wrath of God.  Jeremiah has a glimmer of hope; he too remained faithful to share God’s Word in the midst of much adversity.   He was confident and knew that the prophecies given to him by God was true.   Even though Jeremiah was thrown into the depths of a cistern and left there to die the Lord had favor upon him.   He knew at some point he could count on the future restoration of Jerusalem.  “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your Faithfulness, I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait on Him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him.  To the one who seeks HIM; it is good to wait patiently for the Salvation of the Lord.”   Lamentations 3

 

While Jeremiah laments he is reminded of the fuming sulfur that destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah!  Now the sins of the false prophets were apparent.  All Jerusalem’s material goods that had not been taken for spoils lay before them marred or destroyed within the ruins of this collapsed wasteland.   Many of the priests and prophets became defiled rather than maintain their dignity and duties of the Lord.  They neglected their responsibility to be role models and examples to the people causing Jerusalem’s ultimate downfall; they conformed to the ways of the world!   Before the elders, priests, judges, magistrates and leaders would sit at the gates and articulately discuss religion, politics, current issues and their business affairs.  “Now desolate the jackals   were prowling all over it”    Lamentations 5.  Here in this marvelous narrative Jeremiah captures the bitter, astringent longsuffering that this nation experienced all because they got caught up in sin and turned their back on God! We who confess to be God’s people must be willing to succumb to a Holy sadness of remorse whenever we are found to be in err.  We must pray fervently and weep whenever necessary if we have sinned and then sincerely repent.

We must also PRAY for The United States of America & this world at large to REPENT… ONLY once Refreshed and refueled we can gracefully rise once again and obediently embrace the marvelous principles for life and living within the oracles of God through the Power of His Holy Spirit!  As we walk in the principles of Your Divine & Holy Word;  May Your Favor rest upon us Lord in Jesus Name! “To God Be The Glory!”

 

Lamentations concludes: “You, O LORD reign forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation.  Why do You forsake us so long? Restore us to Yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless You have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure!”   Lamentations   5

 


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