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.

Life is GREAT!

God is GREAT 3

A close brother of mine recently remarked that “Life” is fragile, and that “Life” is hard. Both statements just rubbed me the wrong way. It is because for me “Life” is YAHWEH; the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. YAHWEH is not easily broken or destroyed as defined by the word fragile. He is my firm foundation and the solid Rock on which I stand, He is from everlasting to everlasting, and of His kingdom there will be no end. YAHWEH is not hard, as He told us in Yeshua, by saying His yoke was easy and His burden was light, and He provides rest for our souls.

Perception and perspective are reflections of the heart. This is why if we are to see truth, our hearts have to be renewed and remain pure. Pure from the values and treasures of this world. If your hope in GOD is predominantly for the things of this temporary life, you will surely feel that your life is less than abundant and rarely beyond what you can dare ask or think. The Apostle Paul called the tribulations of this present time a “light affliction”. He could only have had that view point if his affections had shifted from his carnal existence to the eternal things of the spirit. Especially considering that he was shipwrecked, imprisoned, and beaten during his time on earth. This is evident as he concluded that these experiences were just a “light affliction” which lasted but for a “moment”.  His consciousness had already shifted in to the spans of eternity as he considered his time on earth but a “moment”.

One of the foundational works of salvation is the freeing of our minds. This can only happen through the surrender symbolized in the cross. We have to learn the lesson of the Children of Israel, Egypt released them, but they would not release Egypt. Holding on to Egypt kept them from grasping the things of GOD. They forfeited their inheritance. Christ has broken the powers of the world which held the church, now the church must release the world. Until the church does, it will be filled with the same desires, affection, fears and biases held by the deceived of the world. When you understand this as the problem, it makes sense why there is racism, greed, lust, anxiety, and hate rampant in the church. Christ has called us to inherit His life as heirs of the Kingdom of GOD, but we must release our lives to lay hold on His. You do this by opening your heart to the Truth of His word as revealed by the Spirit of GOD. Accept that the Word of GOD, which is Truth, is the only enduring reality. This will break the power of deception which obscures true vision. I am not advocating becoming more religious. Going to church and reading the bible will not change you unless the Word received is mixed with “faith”. The belief that your Heavenly Father loves you, even when the temporal things you see in your life seem to indicate otherwise. We can’t define the whole path based on where we currently stand in time. We must keep the perspective of the Word of GOD, since it comes from a viewpoint of the whole path. When we begin to see our lives from the viewpoint of GOD, then our testimony of life will reflect who He is, and in case you haven’t heard lately, GOD is GREAT!

 

Being Strong in the Power of His Might

footstool 2

Isaiah 66:1
Thus saith the Lord, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool…”

I was asked by a brother recently for help understanding the Apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh, spoken of in 2 Corinthian’s 12:7-10. When looking at this block of scripture, I have found that conversation often looms around what the thorn was, however it is not as important as why the thorn was there. The “Why” is always more important than the “What”. We look at certain frailties as deficiencies but it is often those frailties that keep us safe. People often talk about the strength of trees like the oak but never mention the palm tree, however the palm tree can survive much stronger storms than the oak, because it bends and bows with the wind. Our frailties often cause us to bend and bow to GOD, who is the true source of our strength. Many people trusting in their own prowess have fallen because they wouldn’t bow to the principles of GOD.

GOD revealed to the Apostle Paul that His strength was perfected in weakness. Based on that revelation, we should reconsider how we view our weaknesses and what we consider perfect to be. Your Creator new what he was doing when he fashioned you, with your particular strengths and weaknesses. You are made perfectly for what you are called to do. In humility, we have to surrender both our strengths and weaknesses to GOD. GOD is greatest in our lives when we live surrendered to His ability through us, instead of leaning on our own limited abilities. We are in a better position to succeed when we stay in close proximity to Him, in acknowledgement of our weakness, than when we venture away from Him in self-confidence on account of our strengths.

If people had their way, they would all be like the fictional superman, but there is a reason GOD allows man’s thorns. The first reason is that learning to love one another and building godly character is more important than anything else, because NOTHING is sustainable without the principles of Love. We learn love best through understanding relationships. Virtuous interrelationship is the dynamic of life. Learning how to virtuously interact with one another through relationship teaches us the principles of Love. If it were not for frailties, pride in selfish ignorance would keep us divided and unfulfilled. This is why Yeshua taught that the rich seldom enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because they often believe their relationship to money is more important than any other.

The second reason is because GOD has to get all the glory, because He alone is the source of life. Our allegiance, devotion, focus has to remain with GOD, first and foremost. If we are to be of any real benefit to our loved ones or the world in general, it will come from our virtuous interrelation with GOD. If we put our trust in a person because we thought our lives hinged on them, the focus on them would hinder us from reflecting the light of GOD meant to lead others to Him. GOD commands us against idolatry for our own good, and everything exalted against GOD will be brought down.

When YAHWEH is your hero you don’t need your own super powers. Anytime you experience weakness in your life, embrace it as an opportunity to encounter the strength of your Creator in a new way. He wants to show you the strength derived from interrelation with Him, to establish greater intimacy with Him and greater fulfillment through Him. I believe this dynamic is what was behind the intrepid exploits of the Apostle Paul, and also the inspiration behind what he wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” So, do not shy away or be deterred when you find yourself faced with a situation which seems greater than you, see it as an opportunity to grow in your relationship with GOD, which will inevitably strengthen you and bring him glory.

 

Knowing the Right Direction Begins With Knowing Where You Are

U R Here

You cannot properly plan for your future or plot a correct course for your life, until you have your bearings on where you are. By “where you are,” I am referring to an understanding of your current strengths and weaknesses based on the standards of your Creator; Understanding your values in reference to the mandates of Love; and understanding what you can control and influence in the whole apparatus of your life. Without a grasp on these components of your life, you are ill-prepared to identify a destiny suitable for yourself. There is a plague of narcissism infecting society today which has people’s focus locked on what everyone else has done to impact them, with no sense of what they have done to impact others or themselves. This lack of self-awareness stunts personal growth for the individual, and blocks the development of empathy and unity in the community.

There is one missing element in a person’s life that makes them vulnerable to the state described above, the lack of an ongoing intimate exchange between a person’s soul and the Spirit of GOD. The Holy Spirit is the lamp of GOD in the soul, bringing true awareness to the conditions of the soul, and supplying the strength needed to commit to corrective actions by providing the soul direction, hope, and comfort.  What avails us this opportunity is the death blow to Leviathan by the cross. Leviathan is described in the bible as the King which rules over all of those held captive by pride.  Pride will not allow a person to surrender control of their life to anyone other than themselves. A person ruled by pride is  controlling and tormented by fears.

Only the perfect love of Christ is able dethrone Leviathan and break the power of pride. The love of Christ frees the heart of people from fears, enabling them to trust someone outside of themselves. They become open to accepting the rule of GOD in their lives. The rule of GOD establishes the standards which set a clear path for growth and fulfillment. Reliance on GOD is a firm foundation to building your view of yourself and the world as a whole. This is at the root of the proverb which says, “Commit your ways unto the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” It is also evident in the proverb which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding, and in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Through trusting the counsel of the Lord, you are able to make sound plans for your life which will bring deep fulfillment.