Who’s Fool Are You?

walking on water

If you are going to walk with the Almighty GOD, be prepared to be ridiculed and thought of as a complete fool. When the foundation of my faith was being laid as a believer, my pastor at the time (Pastor Wayne C. Thompson) would often say of himself, “I am a fool for Jesus, whose fool are you?” Truly, following a GOD that can bring to past whatever He desires, can stretch the imagination. Consider some of the mental anguish faced by these followers of the Most High. Don’t put them on any pedestal. Just think of them as ordinary people:

Moses: He was told to go to the most powerful government of his day, and demand that they surrender their means of living, brandishing a piece of wood.  (Victorious!)

Noah’s family: Told to spend nearly a century building an Ark on dry land with no water in sight, for a great flood to come. (Floated to safety!)

The maiden and Elijah: During a famine, she was told to give the last of her provisions to the prophet Elijah, so he could eat. (Her store of provisions became inexhaustible! [She gained 10 lbs and opened a food truck. 🙂 ])

Joshua and Caleb: They were told they could only go to war after they had reduced their ranks to a fraction of their enemy’s. Defeat had to first look eminent. (They were undefeated when they followed GOD’s orders.)

Joseph preparing to marry: Your bride is going to be pregnant, but she hasn’t been with anyone. It’s GOD’s son. (He didn’t loose his mind or put her away)

Marry: Unimaginable!

I could go on, but I think the point has been made. Today we look foolish when we love our enemies and are kind to those who are nasty to us. When we give our hard earned money “Charitably”. When we abstain from sex, period or until we are married. When wives submit to their husbands. When husbands take sole responsibility for providing for their families. When you trust that GOD is your primary protection from the pestilence of the day, be it disease, crime, dui drivers, tornadoes, or whatever else that threatens. The just shall live by faith. That is literal. I don’t do anything without processing it through my faith in GOD.

To me, those who act on the basis of their own knowledge or understanding are far more daring than me or anyone else I mentioned above. I would not have dared get married without relying on GOD, thinking I could become one with another person, who is able to consider infinite ideas and have infinite opinions. Nor would I have dared have children, who would become one of those infinite idea people (right around 14 or 15), in hopes that they would honor and listen to me, so that I could guide them to sound maturity.

Believers, except the feelings of dissonance and realize you are in great company. Let us follow the example of Christ, who faced what appeared to others, as definite shame.  Hebrews 12:1-3;

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Our prayer, Psalm 119:30-33;

I have chosen the way of truth;
Your judgments I have laid before me.
I cling to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not put me to shame!
I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.

Be encouraged, continue to glorify GOD, and find comfort and fellowship in the Holy Spirit, and in those of like precious faith.

(Picture “Walking on water” isac goulart 2002)

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding and Embracing Christ Our Passover

Passover

Four weeks from today, many churches around the world will be celebrating services related to the resurrection of Christ, the Savior.  The Savior is also referred to as the Lamb of GOD. If you don’t properly understand the name, Lamb of GOD, and why the Savior gave His life at the time of the Passover, you could fail to appropriate a huge blessing for your life.

The children of Israel had been in captivity in Egypt for four hundred years, and when it was time for their deliverance, the Lord intervened in a mighty way. He sent judgment upon the false gods of Egypt in the form of all manners of plagues, while Israel was still in her midst, however in keeping His promise and glorifying His name, He preserved the children of Israel, as Egypt was destroyed around them. The final death blow from GOD to break the powers of Egypt was a plague of death, to all the first born of man and beast of Egypt. To avoid this final judgment, GOD commanded an extra precaution be taken by the children of Israel. Their homes had to be marked with the blood of a lamb without blemish, in order for this final judgment to “Passover” them and not destroy them as well.

Just as the Lord promised, when the Destroyer smote Egypt, the blood of the lamb preserved the children of Israel. Now we are living in a time of judgment, and a much greater offering has been given than that of an animal sacrifice, even the body of the sinless and righteous Son of the Most High GOD. How much more confident should we be, those of us who have taken His blood upon ourselves, as the dwelling place for His holy presence. Even before the lamb’s blood was shed in the days of Israel’s deliverance, the children of Israel had already been spared from all the other plagues. The deliverance surrounding the lamb came as the power of their oppressor was totally broken over their lives. These events were a foreshadowing of the great deliverance to come.

The power of Satan was TOTALLY broken 2000 years ago, when Christ gave His life upon the cross. He shed His precious blood to give us exceeding confidence in the days of judgment, that we might have peace, and that our hope and strength fail not. GOD has called His redeemed to be witnesses unto the world for the provision He has given in the Lamb of GOD during such times as these. The power to stand comes from the Passover meal. All the children of Israel were commanded to eat the flesh of the lamb from which the blood would be taken to cover the post of their homes. Likewise, our strength comes from eating the flesh of Christ. The gospel of John teaches us that Christ was the Word of GOD made flesh, therefore when we consume His words, we are consuming Him. If you want strength to stand in these days, you have to fill your self with His words. Read your bibles, get into praise and worship, gather with people of like precious faith and exchange teachings and testimonies.

I am sharing this to encourage all those which trust in the blood of the Lamb of GOD to be confident in His power to preserve you. And for those of you that have never heard the Gospel of Christ, know that He gave His life on earth as a sacrifice for your deliverance from anything which would try to separate you from knowing His love for you, and the life of righteousness, peace, and joy He has prepared for you. Even now, where ever you are and in whatever circumstance you find yourself, if you call upon the Lamb of GOD, He can give you His life in exchange for your current life, that going forward you may have the blessing of His protection and covering. He has promised that they which call upon the name of the Lord will be delivered. He is called the Lamb of GOD, the Son of GOD, The Savior, Heavenly Father, Jesus the Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, just to name a few. Honestly, if you humble yourself and call earnestly from your heart in agreement with what I have shared hear from the testimony of His life, even with no words, He will hear you in the sincerity of your heart about wanting to know Him, and wanting to experience the life He desires so much for you. If you already know Him and recognize that you have been living in disobedience to what you know is right, turn from your disobedience and ask for forgiveness. Fear is a sign of broken fellowship, and you know in your heart if you are afraid of what tomorrow may bring. Ask your Father GOD to restore your faith through intimacy with Him. The bible teaches us the there is no fear in the assurance which the love of GOD gives. Intimacy comes from spending time in communication. Don’t let anyone or anything hinder your devotional time with GOD. I’ll list a few scriptures here to help build your faith through the knowledge of His love.

Peace, in the name of the Lamb of GOD.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm23&version=NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+91&version=NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+10%3A12-13&version=NKJV

The whole book of the Gospel of John

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1&version=NKJV

I Am the Lord’s

The Spirit

If people circulated the gospel of Christ with the same hope of salvation as they did precautions for the COVID-19, it would be powerful. If people forwarded messages from ministers of the Gospel, as authorities on life and safety, as they did messages from the CDC, how many souls could be saved. I just received another text with safety precautions forwarded from the CDC. I have also received emails forwarded from people who received advice from physicians. I am grateful for this being shared for the good of the community, but it makes me jealous for my GOD.

Ignorance about GOD and the pandemic of Sin has caused more death than any other sickness which can be identified.  How deep is your faith in the savior Yeshua the Messiah (aka Jesus the Christ)? Not only does He save from sickness and disease, He also saves from the sickness of sin and ignorance. Christ is the only cure that keeps on working into the next life. We should care for our bodies, but we should care more for the salvation of the soul. People’s ignorance and sin is more detrimental to us than unwashed hands and open sneezes.

It’s time for the redeemed of the Lord to say so! The blood of Christ has redeemed me from all sickness and disease, I will not fear the fears of those who do not know Him! I’m not going to go licking door knobs to prove a point, but I refuse to dread and fear, and put my trust in man for my safety and well-being. I am the Lord’s!

Isaiah 44:2-8

Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.’
One will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’;
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
And name himself by the name of Israel.

 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ”  

If you have faith in Christ, the Redeemer, the Lamb of GOD, The Lion of Judah, the Risen Savior, then you are Abraham’s seed and the promises of GOD are for you. So, trust Him and fear not!

Galatians 3:29

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It’s Too Great For You

Too Great

I was reading in the book of 1st Kings chapter 19 recently and a familiar message from the Holy Spirit resonated once again with me. It is so apropos for today I felt compelled to share it yet again. This chapter recounts the peril Elijah felt at the opposition of evil in his day. The spiritual attacks on his soul, from within and without, left him feeling hopeless to the extent he just wanted to die. Our compassionate and merciful GOD sent Elijah an angel with bread and drink to nourish his soul and body. The message the angel delivered was, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” Elijah did eat and drink the meal prepared by the angel. He went on the strength of that divine meal for 40 days.

Each of us has a journey before us which is too great for us, and like Elijah, we need divine nourishment to make it to our destinations. Nothing we get from this earth can sustain us adequately for the tomorrows ahead. There is a quality of being ordained for us to abide in, which enables us to get the most out of each day, so that life is not just survived but lived. One of the promises of our Savior Yeshua is that He would enable us to live more fully or as scripture says, “to have life more abundantly”. When Yeshua taught His disciples to pray, one part of that prayer was a request for “daily bread”. This request for daily bread is not for bread made with human hands, but bread from heaven. This same bread is symbolized through the actual bread given to Elijah, and the manna given to the children of Israel, and the bread given at the last supper. Look here at 1 Corinthians 10:1-4,

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”

The bread and drank which is set before us is the life found in Christ, even the Word of GOD. It is written in Deuteronomy 8:3,

“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

The first chapter of John tells us that the Savior Yeshua was the Word, in bodily form. The Word of GOD equips us for the demanding journey set before us by changing us internally, so that we become immune to the evil effects of the external. Without the power of the Word within, carnal nature takes over, and we become selfish and hateful, and begin to strive with those around us for the scraps of existence. By the transforming power of the Word, we see things the way they were meant to be seen and understand things the way they were meant to be understood, and therefore we live life as life was meant to be lived, according to the will of the Creator, who reigns in Love. The Word of GOD changes our perspective from the physical and temporal, to the spiritual and eternal. Children of GOD are governed by faith in His Word, not merely physical stimuli. The journey is too great to finish well, that is without the power of GOD’s Word inside, preserving us in Love.

So, every day that you awake, “Arise and eat”. Seek YAHWEH for instructions to live, and for the grace and mercy which comes through the sacrifice of the Lamb of GOD, for strength to successfully complete the journey of the present day. Except that the journey is too great for you alone. Get to know the Savior Yeshua as your Shepherd and daily companion. In this way, whether it is pandemic, famine, or war, through reliance on the Spirit of GOD, you can live the way you were meant to live, in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Answering The Call to Life

Call to life

If you can go days without praying or you don’t pray at all, you are most likely not fully engaged with the most important facets of your life. I say this because there is a spiritual war going on for your soul, and for control of the masses. Every moment of this current age is filled with deviant intentionality, so we too have to be intentional every moment about combating their influences, as well as being on the offensive for what is true and righteous.

I focused on prayer being key to this engagement, because once your eyes are opened to this battle, you will see it is bigger than any one individually. You will see that it is on a scale that requires allies and support from a power greater than yourself. Once you engage in works like facing the things that make you feel unhappy, to remove its negative influence, or advocating for fairness and justice, or filling your time with things that benefit others as well as yourself, or speaking up for the oppressed and down trodden, the weight of these issues will demand a strength greater than what you can muster alone. The heart of the Creator is close to all of these issues, and when you open your heart to them, there is an opportunity for a communion which gives hope, strength, and vitality.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Dealing constructively with these weighty issues of life will reward you greatly, and they will certainly cause you to draw closer to your Heavenly Father. The deviant forces at work, which I spoke of earlier, would have you be unconscious and inactive in this conflict for life, but you were born for this. We are all present to perpetuate life, for those here with us and for those who follow. We can only accomplish this through connecting with other humans through the love of GOD. Through these connections we establish conduits of living waters to the greater human community, which thirst for Life. We must guard against evil influences that would have us be divided through hate, racism, and xenophobia.

There is a belief that religion is one of the biggest dividers of people in the world today. This belief is not far from the truth, but the problem is not with “true” religion, the problem is with “false” religion. How do you tell the difference? Any religion claiming divine authority will be built on the pillars of faith:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Being devoted to love, with all your heart, soul, and mind, strengthens community. Loving you neighbor as yourself also strengthens community. These are the pillars of “true” religion. True religion does require some division, but it is a separation from things that are not life producing and sustainable. Healthy division is a part of life. For example, pruning in a garden to make the plants more fruitful. A religion that won’t identify and reject things which produce death or minimizes life is false. The idea that love embraces everything is complete foolishness. Love is always dedicated to that which sustains and propagates life. If it is intent on restricting life or causing death, love will sever its connection to it. That is the only impetus behind any division true religion is responsible for.

False religion causes division as a result of being complicit with hate, greed, perversions, inequality, lies, and any other evil. This is the reason the cross is the doorway to true religion. The cross is where man surrenders self-interest for the universal and life sustaining interest of the Creator. Don’t reject the idea of seeking fulfillment in true religion because of the preponderance of false religions. Yeshua came to make of all humans, one people in Him. He gave His body on the cross that He might raise from the dead another body, which consist of all people willing to lay down their divisive self-interest for the pillars of faith.

So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:18-22)

This is why those born again through the cross of Christ are called the “Body of Christ”. It is time for us all to start living the life we were meant to live, through becoming the people we were meant to be: the children of the Most High GOD. It is our true heritage. A languishing world is waiting.

 

 

 

Receiving Love

Vday

Love is splendid gracious favor, adoration, and kindness, which comes to us as a blessing from heaven. It must be received in surrender and humility or else you will resist it unconsciously, trying to find fault with it, because the awareness of your own faults and shortcomings will tell you, it is too good to be true. GOD is the source of all “true” love, and He pours it on us directly, and through His creation, and through those who know Him. Receive this life changing Love with a grateful heart, and let it graciously overflow to those around you.

“Just Mercy” …A Nice Peep

JM

I saw the movie “Just Mercy” yesterday. It is the story of Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative organization. There is a scripture that says, the Lord is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. GOD is Truth and Light, and this movie does a great job of telling how Mr. Stevenson has spent his life in pursuit of truth to bring liberation to those held captive by darkness. The movie is set in Alabama. A state that has historically depicted the heart of Jim Crow segregation and racism. The movie brings to light the true stories of horror which black people have experienced, being subjected to a judicial system which considers them unworthy of justice; equal protection under the law. Justice, equal protection under the law, is a right of all citizens of the United States. The fact that black people of color currently and historically have been denied that right demonstrates an unwillingness to grant us full citizenship. The evidence is not in the exception of the few but in the status quo of the millions.

A PEW study revealed that in 2017, blacks represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 33% of the sentenced prison population. Whites accounted for 64% of adults but 30% of prisoners. Another way to represent these numbers is there were 1,549 black prisoners for every 100,000 black adults – nearly six times the imprisonment rate for whites (272 per 100,000) and nearly double the rate for Hispanics (823 per 100,000). Over the past couple of years, the disparity in these numbers has shrunk. It has been suggested by a few studies that this is due to a decline in the use of crack in the black community, curtailing incarceration in connection with drugs. Another contributor to the gap closing is the incarceration of white males has starkly increased due to methamphetamine, prescription opioid and heroin use, combined with the prosecution of white males doubling for sex crimes.

I was moved by the number of white movie goers in the theater to see this film. It stirred hope in me that there is growing interest in understanding the root causes of the disparities seen across this nation in the quality of life between the masses of blacks and whites. I also hope that more of my white sisters and brothers will venture beyond regular news sources to documentaries, films, and articles that publish truth not aired in the mainstream, which go a long way in explaining the catalyst for protest carried out by black people. Instead of seeing the protesting of blacks as unpatriotic, maybe people will begin to see it as a reasonable response to the hypocrisy displayed by a country that boast one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Some films and documentaries I would recommend are “13th” by Ava DuVernay, “Black In Latin America” by Henry Louis Gates Jr., “The Way They See Us” by Ava DuVernay, and of course “Just Mercy” by Destin Daniel Cretton.