Be Very Careful

Be Very Careful

“When a prophet makes a statement in the name of the Lord, if what he says does not take place and his words do not come true, then his word is not the word of the Lord: the words of the prophet were said in the pride of his heart, and you are to have no fear of him.” Deuteronomy 18:22 BBE

Remember all the social media videos and sites where people were predicting president Obama would be the last US president? They predicted he would have a third term and wouldn’t leave office, remember that? How wrong these people were. And many of them claimed to speak from the Lord. As stated in the scripture above they were speaking merely from the delusions of their minds and the pride of their hearts. The Lord had not spoken through any of them.

“Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?” Lamentations 3:37 NIV

“It is God who alters the times and seasons, and he removes kings and promotes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Daniel 2:21 ISV

Though I believe there is some good content in alternative and mainstream media one must be very careful and stick to the truth. How can we do that? By studying, believing, and obeying the scriptures.

“Then Jesus said to the Jews who had faith in him, If you keep my word, then you are truly my disciples; And you will have knowledge of what is true, and that will make you free.” John 8:31-32 BBE

What a bold statement to some, but it’s a true one. Because Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) one can only get the truth from Him. In order to know what’s going on in the times we live in and how to respond properly a person must receive a revelation from Jesus Himself. Hence we need to study the scriptures; all of Jesus’ teachings, while there is still time. There is so much smoke and mirrors these days, so much fake news. Lies are told 24/7 through all forms of slanted media. If people only knew EVERYTHING they see going on today was written about thousands of years ago in advance in God’s word the Bible. The Devil does not want people to know the truth. He and his demons don’t want us to be set free. Hence Satan’s propaganda machine is in high gear misleading the masses to their destruction. By getting people to believe in what is fake and not real Satan is leading MANY to destruction.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

How are so many mislead on the broad road that leads to destruction? Through spreading false propaganda 24/7. By getting the masses to believe in lies of all kinds. By using every form of communication to spread these lies the Devil gets the job done. He’s so good at it that people even pay their hard earned money to be lied to regularly. Human actions come from what a person believes. Get a person to believe what is wrong is right, and you’ve successfully gotten them to behave wrongly. Satan’s got lots of experience at this. He’s been at it since the begining of time. He uses minions on a daily basis to further his cause. That’s why you and I must always be alert as to what we watch, listen to, read about, etcetera. If it goes against God’s word throw it away. If we’re not very careful we too will find ourselves under Satan’s mind control.

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19 NIV

“The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Revelation 12:9 NIV

Yes, there is a sinister plan to control your mind. There is a real life Boogeyman who’s out to get you. Only thing is he’s not hiding under your bed. He’s hiding in your main stream news media, in your movies, in your music, in your social media, in your books, etcetera. And before anyone starts saying I’ve been watching too much TV, the Holy scriptures that expose the Devil and his tactics were written thousands of years before movies were ever made. In fact I think many movie producers and writers owe God some royalties. Because it’s quite clear that many of their plots and ideas come right out of the Bible. Of course they add their own spin on it.

Brothers and sisters be very careful regarding what you watch, read, and listen to. Study the scriptures daily, not Satan’s propaganda.

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Excursions

Excursions

If you look up the word, “Excursion,” you will see that it usually means a short trip mainly for pleasure. Nowadays you can do that right in your own home. That’s right. You can travel wherever you want through a technology called virtual reality. And it feels like you’re really there. I’ve heard some alcoholic drinks and drugs can do that for you too. Music to many is an excursion. Others say watching movies does it for them. Just about anything can become our getaway. It all depends on what we like. But when it comes to pleasures there’s a need for caution. Why? Because our desires are rooted in sin. Something so innocent can become our demise.

“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15 NIV

Jesus’ warns:

“Constantly be on your guard so that your hearts will not be loaded down with self-indulgence, drunkenness, and the worries of this life, or that day will take you by surprise.” Luke 21:34 ISV

Jesus warns if we become OVERCHARGED with self-indulgent pleasures and the worries of this life we will miss out greatly. Instead of His return being the best day of our lives it will be our worse. Excessive pleasure and the cares of this life go hand in hand. Today people are more stressed out than ever. The normal solution when feeling this way is to do something that makes us feel good, something pleasurable. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is we often go overboard. Instead of a relaxing drink we get drunk. Instead of some relaxing recreation to recharge our batteries we seek pleasure all the time. These things become distractions that take our eyes off of the real prize; the day when we will never ever be stressed over anything ever again, the day Christ returns and gathers us to be with Him in heaven forever.

THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH STRESS

While there is nothing wrong with engaging in entertainment to recharge our batteries there’s an ultimate way to deal with stress. To illustrate let’s look at David. Here is a man who was on the run from an unrighteous king named Saul. Saul sent men to watch David’s house around the clock in order to kill him. How did David respond? He wrote a Psalm; a song, a prayer that he sung to God. David’s prayer/song went like this:

“Save me from my enemies, my God; protect me from those who attack me!  Save me from those evil people; rescue me from those murderers! Look! They are waiting to kill me; cruel people are gathering against me. It is not because of any sin or wrong I have done, nor because of any fault of mine, O Lord, that they hurry to their places. Rise, Lord God Almighty, and come to my aid; see for yourself, God of Israel! Wake up and punish the heathen; show no mercy to evil traitors! They come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city. Listen to their insults and threats. Their tongues are like swords in their mouths, yet they think that no one hears them. But you laugh at them, Lord; you mock all the heathen. I have confidence in your strength; you are my refuge, O God. My God loves me and will come to me; he will let me see my enemies defeated. Do not kill them, O God, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your strength and defeat them, O Lord, our protector. Sin is on their lips; all their words are sinful; may they be caught in their pride! Because they curse and lie, destroy them in your anger; destroy them completely. Then everyone will know that God rules in Israel, that his rule extends over all the earth. My enemies come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city, like dogs roaming about for food and growling if they do not find enough. But I will sing about your strength; every morning I will sing aloud of your constant love. You have been a refuge for me, a shelter in my time of trouble. I will praise you, my defender. My refuge is God, the God who loves me.” Psalm 59:1‭-‬17 GNT

Wow! How many people you know when in trouble immediately start praying to God or praising Him in song? And how many do you know turn up the bottle, or smoke something to forget their troubles? The sad part is once the high is gone the problems are still there. And sometimes even worse because we spent all of our money getting high. David had faith that God would protect him, and He did. Sadly most people do not have this kind of faith.

“And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.” 2 Thessalonians 3:2 NIV

While healthy excursions in their proper place are fine and dandy let us not forget where the ultimate help can be found when we’re stressed out. Let us pray to God and even sing to Him like David did.

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When We Slip

When We Slip

“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” James 3:2 NIV

It’s gonna happen. You’re gonna sometimes say or do something out of character. If you don’t you’re perfect. And the only person who ever lived that never made a mistake is Jesus Christ. But how we handle mistakes is what counts most. Do you beat yourself to death for messing up? Or do you go to the other extreme and justify your wrongs?

Let me say first that I admire all of you dear brothers and sisters. You live in a world where you are always going against the grain, swimming against the current so to speak. That takes a lot of courage and can wear anybody out. When you feel tired; tired of this crazy world, tired of crazy mean people, it’s easy to slip up. God knows exactly how you feel:

“And if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.” 2 Peter 2:7-8 NIV

God saw Lot go through the same thing. He was vexed over the lawless deeds he saw and heard on a daily basis. All righteous people go through this. So what you are feeling is normal. And it’s also a fact that sometimes we get so perturbed that we slip up in our godly conduct. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not justifying getting angry with the world and messing up. I’m just being honest in saying sometimes it happens. And I encourage you to continue in the fight to do what is right.

OUR HELP

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24 NIV

The truth is all sins must be atoned for. And Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. If we believe this we won’t beat ourselves to death or justify our blunders. We’ll simply thank God for making this marvellous provision, confess our sins to him, repent, and keep it moving.

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Have You Ever Seen Mom?

Have You Ever Seen Mom?

“Fools say to themselves “There is no God.” They are corrupt and commit iniquity; not one of them practices what is good.” Psalm 53:1 ISV

Two twin babies were having a discussion inside their mother’s womb. One asked the other did they believe in life after birth, and did they believe in mom. The baby responded, “Nah, I don’t believe in these things, I’m an atheist. I mean, have you ever seen mom?” Wow!

Mom had been taking care of them the whole time. Mom had protected them in ways they could not fathom. Mom even suffered to ensure their survival. And because one of them hasn’t seen her, he decides to believe she doesn’t exist? Amazing! This reminds me a lot of how some people view God.

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When God Is Our Refuge

When God Is Our Refuge

Psalm 91

“1  The one who lives in the shelter of the Most High, who rests in the shadow of the Almighty,

2  will say to the LORD, “You are my refuge, my fortress, and my God in whom I trust!”

3  He will surely deliver you from the hunter’s snare and from the destructive plague.

4  With his feathers he will cover you, under his wings you will find safety. His truth is your shield and armor.

5  You need not fear terror that stalks in the night, the arrow that flies in the day,

6  plague that strikes in the darkness, or calamity that destroys at noon.

7  If a thousand fall at your side or ten thousand at your right hand, it will not overcome you.

8  Only observe it with your eyes, and you will see how the wicked are paid back.

9  “LORD, you are my refuge!” Because you chose the Most High as your dwelling place,

10  no evil will fall upon you, and no affliction will approach your tent,

11  for he will command his angels to protect you in all your ways.

12  With their hands they will lift you up so you will not trip over a stone.

13  You will stomp on lions and snakes; you will trample young lions and serpents.

The LORD Speaks

14  Because he has focused his love on me, I will deliver him. I will protect him because he knows my name.

15  When he calls out to me, I will answer him. I will be with him in his distress. I will deliver him, and I will honor him.

16  I will satisfy him with long life; I will show him my deliverance.” (Psalm chapter 91 ISV)

When we read each of these verses they tell us just how blessed we are for having God as our refuge. Meditating on these verses makes us feel good inside. We know we are loved by our Father and protected. It’s amazing!

Some of us while reading Psalm 91:11-12 may remember this is the same passage the Devil twisted while tempting Jesus:

“The devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ ” Matthew 4:5-6 NLT

Basically, ‘If you’re really the son of God and if the scriptures are really true then jump, because nothing will ever harm you.’ Satan was using the scriptures to appeal to any pride in Jesus, and he does the same to us. The Devil has no new tricks, they’re just repackaged. But notice how Jesus answered his tricky dare:

“Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.'” Matthew 4:7 NLT

What a perfect answer. Jesus knew that though we enjoy God’s awesome protection we shouldn’t willfully put ourselves in dangerous situations. That would not be making God our refuge. The awesome promises we read about in Psalm 91 apply only to those who make God their refuge, not to daredevils.

One of God’s amazing promises is protection from plagues. But could we really expect such protection while engaging in activities or pleasures that cause plagues? Come on really. Has the Devil hoodwinked us into putting God to the test and then expecting Him to protect us?

GOOD NEWS

The good news is if we have been fooled into living life recklessly we can repent because Jesus paid the price:

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past.” Romans 3:23-25 NLT

“Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Hebrews 9:14 NLT

All of us mess up guys. But the truly blessed people repent. They receive forgiveness for ALL their sins, and experience God’s awesome protection we read about in Psalms 91. But if God shows us certain lifestyles and habits are not pleasing to Him and we continue to persist in them anyway, what then can we expect?

“Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.” Hebrews 10:26-27 NLT

Don’t let Satan bamboozle you into thinking you can do whatever you want and nothing bad will happen to you because you have God’s protection. If we live wildly Psalm 91 doesn’t apply to us. He tried that trick on Jesus and it didn’t work. And it doesn’t have to work on you and me either.

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