Called To Guard the Light

To be Christian is to share blood ties with every human because Christ shed blood for the redemption of all men without partiality. Christ gave His life as a ransom for all pagans and savages, and in case you have not been enlightened, by the standards of GOD that is all humans before atonement. I used that verbiage because the wealth of so many associated with Christianity has been built upon the exploitation of those considered pagans and savages. To truly know Christ is to know that all people are lovable and equal in their need for His amazing grace. The scripture does not say that GOD so loved Christians or Jews or Whites or Blacks or Republicans or Democrats that He gave His only begotten son, it reads:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John3:16 KJV)

The word world used in John 3:16 is a reference to all the people which live on earth. This is covered in the whosoever used in the same verse, defined by Merriam Webster as whatever person, no matter who. Christ stated that the evidence of someone living subject to His teachings is that they love as He loved (John 13:34-35). Anyone that does not love whatever person, no matter who has not received the teachings of Christ and therefore should not be considered a Christian by themselves or others. This may sound harsh but I encourage you to read the words of Christ in Matthew 25:31-46 .

The hard and indifferent hearts shown to the world by so many who associate themselves with Christ the Savior is damaging. Christ says if we do not gather with Him, then we scatter abroad. If we confess His name and then refuse to love, our witness pushes people further away. Anyone who watches the news or spends any time on social media can identify the hate which is being perpetuated in the world today. We cannot be afraid to call it what it is and denounce it.

I was reading an article my daughter sent me recently, which she said reminded her of an ongoing conversation we have had regarding the disunity in Christian organizations. She sent me a link to a letter posted by the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, explaining why his ministry has left the Southern Baptist Convention. He provided a very detailed, gracious, and heartfelt explanation. In expounding on how he came to this decision, he spoke about the issues he witnessed with those professing they wanted unity without a willingness to acknowledge or tear down the walls which divide. It reminded me of the work Paul was trying to accomplish in his letter to the Ephesians. In trying to bring the Church in Ephesus together as one body, chapter 4 emphasizes Paul’s belief that there had to be permeating truth which all submitted to. Paul understood the Satan tries to keep people lost by mingling darkness with light, blurring the true with the false.

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:14-15 KJV)

On the topic of unity in the Church, I recommend studying the book of Ephesians. The Apostle Paul gives us a field manual for living in an age of misinformation.

Essentially it is the things we have in common which facilitates our bond of unity. As Christians, that would be our emersion in the two great commandments which Christ gave.

“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31, NKJV)

GOD is truth. As Christians, we should love truth with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we deny truth, or are in different to truth, then we are failing the first of the great commandments. This will cause division between us and GOD, as well as those like Him. Those like Him being the Church born in the image of GOD. As Christians, acknowledging and submitting to truth is the mechanism which works in us to destroy the falsehoods which divide us from GOD and one another. The founding virtue for sustainable life is a love for truth. Salvation has come to man in the form of the Light of life, this light is the truth.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NKJV)

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32 NKJV)

To be captive is to be confined or held in a particular space as a prisoner. The truth comes and liberates us from being imprisoned by the powers of darkness in false ideas, beliefs, and ways of thinking. The Truth has come and freed us with the power to choose and given us the motivation to choose righteously. The truth provides us the freedom and means to have an enduring unity with GOD and His children. As we live by the rule of love in light of truth, we find we are compelled to see the same conclusions to the circumstances of this life. Though we may differ in approach, as our callings and talents are different, we aspire to see the same end, that love prevails, and GOD is glorified, and evil is abolished. The Lord has gone to great lengths to ensure that His will is known. When the truth is known and there is still opposition to the Lord’s will, evil is at work plain and simple. If our hearts are surrendered to GOD then our hearts are pure and we will see the truth, but if we are opposed to GOD or unsettled in our decision to obey, the devil will exploit that to create confusion. The devil will often try to cloud matters with campaigns of misinformation and lies. The devil will also employ campaigns of fear to incite panic towards stampedes of irrational thoughts and beliefs to cause truth and love to be trampled underfoot. 

The problem with the world is a lack of knowledge. As we continue to publish the gospel of truth in the context of current day, there is hope for those still in the world. A problem I encounter often with confessing Christians is a lack of repentance from sin due to a love of this present world. Christ sees it as adultery, and it will bring dire consequences if the Church will not repent.

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. (Revelations 2:1-5 NKJV)

I believe the first love is a love for truth, and the first works are the works of repentance driven by a zeal for truth. This process keeps us moving toward GOD and driving us away from that which is false. I struggled with this at first, as I read the beginning of this address to the church of Ephesus, they looked like such a strong congregation, but it is similar to many Christian organizations today that are busy doing a lot of good things for the kingdom yet in their midst are still things yet to be acknowledged and repented of. Failing to confront error and falsehoods for the sake of avoiding division is like ignoring the presence of cancer that has come to consume the whole body. It is better to part with the root of the division and trust GOD to heal the body than to conceal it and let the whole body be destroyed. When we are graced with the light of truth, it is given for us to do the work which is only possible while the illumination is present. There is a darkness which comes afterwards where nothing good can be achieved.

35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. (John 12:35 NKJV)

Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” GOD is truth and light, to continue abiding in truth and light we must keep our hearts pure. This means our affections must remain with GOD and the things that pertain to His kingdom. Satan will always come offering us wealth, power, and pleasures to seduce us away from the acknowledgement of truth. Truth is acknowledged through obedience, which is submission to truth. We are responsible for what we know, don’t let anyone beguile you with empty promises or meaningless words. The apostacy or falling away of the church is what happens when people are lured away from obedience to GOD to allegiance with this world in the pursuit of the pleasures of carnal living.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:6-11 KJV)

If we are not willing to address and reprove the works of darkness when we see them in our fellowship of believers or the church abroad, then we are complicit with the contamination of the body of Christ and partly responsible for His name being evil spoken of. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been sharing the gospel with someone needing salvation and they have given me accounts of how the unfaithful Christians have failed to represent truth and righteousness, or how the church has seldom collectively denounced the unrighteousness of errant public figures or oppressive states associated with Christianity. Sometimes it’s not pretty but remember, Christ says He came not to bring peace but a sword. Sometimes to facilitate unity there must be some division. When lines are blurred it is difficult to know where people stand. Separating light from darkness creates the contrast needed to make lines and definitions clear. Light and darkness both exist in the earth. The light is called morning and the darkness is called night. To tell the time people must be able to distinguish between light and darkness. As Christians, we are called to guard the purity of the light.

Understanding that less is more can save lives, including your own.

less is more 2

Today, many are being encouraged to practice social distancing and self-quarantining to limit the possible spread of an infectious virus. This means denying ourselves some of the things we enjoy for the health of everyone else. This is no different from the call of GOD to walk in holiness after the spirit in order to minister life to our neighbors. It comes down to do we have enough love in our hearts to suffer ourselves, so that others may live. Those who have received the love which is from Christ should already be modeling this in their daily lives. The onus is on the Children of GOD to lead the social change needed today to rid the world of the ills which plague society. Those GOD has called to lead change have been to complicit in the perpetuation of immoral social policies and social behavior.

2 Chronicles 7:14 reads,

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

“My people, which are called by my name” are those in covenant with GOD. Everything in time happens according to GOD’s promises, as it relates to the covenants He has established with man through the ages. When His people fail to fulfill their part of the covenant, the result is suffering. When you read the book of Revelations, you see it begins with letters written unto the churches. These prophetic letters speak to the state of the church and include praise for good behavior and pending judgments for bad behavior. The circumstances upon us in the world today are a wake up call for those who sleep and a call to repentance for the people of GOD.

Clergy, ministers, and spiritual leaders, Revelations 2:12-17 is for you. Many of you are taking the wages of Balaam. The United States and other kingdoms of this world are your king Balac. You hold the truth in unrighteousness that you may maintain the favor of your king Balac.  You refuse to teach the true gospel of Christ, which requires repentin from sin and walking in holiness. You teach the blood of Christ as a covering for sin when the blood of Christ is for the cleansing away and eradication of sin. The effect of the cross of Christ is a new life, not merely a pardoned life. The call to take up the cross and follow Christ is a call to suffer in the flesh that the righteousness of the spirit may be made manifest.

I have seen how this world treats the dying. In hopelessness, they drug them out of their minds to keep them comfortable as they waste away, in the name of being humane. Many church leaders, in hopelessness of seeing resurrection power today, comfort their congregations which are dying in sin with an intoxicating gospel. The aforementioned methodologies are oriented toward carnal life, instead of spiritual life. Christ gives us a living hope and tells us to bear down and push through, travailing in birth, unto the formation of the new man who is after the spirit.

Tribulation is a part of this current life because of the depth of what it reveals. You can see what a person loves by what they are willing to suffer to obtain. Christ endured the cross to obtain us, because His love for us is so IMMENSE.

Let’s look at Philippians 3:8-19(NKJV),

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

The apostle Paul is giving a warning here to be aware of carnal ministers who really are the enemies of the cross of Christ. These ministers are destined for destruction and are leading others to a similar fate. It’s time to judge yourself that you be not judged of GOD. If you are still practicing sin in your life and you believe you are going to escape the judgment of GOD, you are deceived. Salvation has been extended to us at an IMMENSE cost. While it is true, we can never repay it, it doesn’t mean GOD will not hold us accountable for how we value the gift. Take a look at Hebrews 10:26-31,

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

One of the greatest blessings of GOD’s grace is His warning. To forsake His warning is to forsake His grace. If in reading this you are convicted, and feel a sense of dread, it is a sign that you are in broken fellowship with GOD. GOD wants more than anything to fill your life with joy and pleasure. In fact, He has filled this earth with many things that are good, but He wants us to have these things and not for these things to have us. We have to learn to hold His blessings in the right way or they can take our focus away from Him and we can become lost. Know that the pleasures and joys given by the things created will never match the abundance of joy and pleasure which comes from a relationship with the one who created them. Confess your sins and ask GOD to deliver you from all deception, that you might know Him in spirit and truth. Know that your heart will never be content with creation, for we were made to be filled with the Creator. Our Father GOD wants us to abide in His presence always. The psalmist King David reveals through prophecy what we experience in the presence of GOD. He tells us in Psalm 16:11 that in the presence of GOD is the fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forever more. This is truly what your soul is longing for. To find this new life in the presence of GOD, which is spiritual, you must be willing to bring your carnal life into obedience to the commands of love. Just like changing your diet from a diet filled with unhealthy convenient foods, you will have to fight the cravings of the flesh for the old diet until you develop a healthy appetite and healthy habits for the things of the spirit.

Don’t let anyone tell you it is to hard or impossible to change. The work of Christ was not merely for your life in the hereafter. He gave us power through the seed of His word to transform our heart and mind to experience resurrection life TODAY.

1 Peter 4:17-19,

17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

Back To Perfection

Adam

We can never obtain a thing that we don’t understand. I have heard many believers saying we will never reach perfection in this lifetime. All through the bible our Heavenly Father tells us to be perfect even as He is perfect. I heard someone say in a bible study recently, “God tells us to be perfect but He knows that we can’t.” That is not consistent with our Father’s character. If He says we can be perfect in this present world, then we can. We just need to understand what He means by perfect and stop leaning to our own understanding. In His eyes, we are perfect the way He created us, even with our perceived flaws. He made man from a lump of clay and shaped him into a man after His own image.

We were perfect until we decided to turn ourselves into a DIY project.

DYI MAN 2

Whatever is broken in us will remain broke until the Lord fixes us. We can’t fix ourselves, but we can make up our minds to sell out and surrender to His hands. When we surrender in the hands of GOD, through the Cross of Christ, we become that perfect lump of clay in the Potter’s hand. That lump of clay doesn’t look like much; in fact, it can look like a mess, however in the Potter’s eyes it is just what he is looking for. If you look at scripture, you will see that our GOD never chooses anyone perfect according to man’s definition. Look at the men GOD has chosen over the ages, from Abraham to Moses, to David, all the way to the Apostle Paul. All these men like a lump of clay, had messy beginnings, but they obtained one common trait that made them perfect, they surrendered to GOD. They were surrendered to GOD and their hearts were set on pleasing Him. This is what our Father expects of us. To be like Him, faithful, true, and single hearted; not uncommitted and double minded. Checkout these scriptures:

1 Kings 6:61

“Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”

1 Kings 11:4

“For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. ”

Here is an excerpt from my book “True Heritage” on the topic:

Let’s also look at Matthew 19:21 (KJV): “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Are we to believe that the rich young ruler was flawless in every way except for the need to sell off all of his belongings for the poor? No, that’s not it. He was not yet ready to be totally and singularly identified with Christ in his life. The Bible says that the rich young ruler went away grieved because he had great possessions. Matthew 6:20–22 (KJV) says, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” The rich young ruler was not ready to be filled with light, because his heart was divided. Every man has the potential to reach the point of total surrender where he realizes that all of life’s true riches are obtained through following God..https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47347692-true-heritage?from_search=true&qid=ivu4cNWAED&rank=1

 

 

Be A Lighthouse In the Fog

lighthouse1.jpg

Gray is the greatest darkness because of its tendency to hide light, through blending light with darkness. Gray can be compared to being warm, a blend of hot and cold. Christ calls for His followers to be either hot or cold. He says if you are warm, he will cast you out. We can’t be warm people. The culture of the world today calls for us to be tolerant of darkness. To tolerate means to accept, without contradiction or prohibition. We are expected to blend in. We can’t be gray people. This is the exact opposite of the work of sanctification, being carried out by the Holy Spirit, in those that follow Christ. GOD commands us to love Him with “all” our heart, mind, and strength. He even says we should love one another “fervently”, which means with plenty of heat. GOD wants us to be on fire for Him, just like a torch, giving off bright light. GOD’s spirit is a consuming fire. GOD’s essence is pure and fervent love. Only through our connection with Him, can we love fervently, and fulfill His commandments. Love is not a warm and cuddly feeling we have toward someone. Love has nothing to do with fondness. We are commanded to love our enemies, but we are not expected to be fond of those who persecute and abuse us. Love is the righteous behavior of treating others the way you would want to be treated. Love is living to please our Heavenly Father above anyone else, as well as above ourselves.

Trying to please both GOD and man leads to gray. There is so much darkness in the world today, we need the glorious light of Love. This requires singleness of heart, in devotion to GOD. If we believe and trust that allowing GOD’s love to flow through us is best for all those around us, then we find inspiration and motivations to be obedient to His word. We find that His commandments are not grievous. This is something we must ask our merciful GOD to help us with. We don’t always see things as He does, so we have to be taught, and counseled, and transformed, by His Holy Spirit. It is a glorious process, but He is faithful to complete the work of our salvation. The work of making us faithful vessels of His love.

We have the treatment of Christ for a witness that the world cannot receive the love of GOD. Holy scripture says, He came unto His own and they received Him not. Christ was despised and rejected of men. Christ forewarns us that we will experience the same. Christ tells us this to protect our hearts. Don’t take it personal when people reject His love through you. All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. This means people will more often base love on having their desires filled, more so than having their needs met. The prevalence of gray makes desires and needs almost indistinguishable, to those outside of Christ. The book of 1st John says it is easy to see who is in Christ and who doesn’t know Him. Those who say they are in Christ, should live as Christ lived. He testified that He came to do His Father’s will. He lived to please the Father…not people. Christ taught that if your eye is single, then your whole body will be filled with light. Those who walk in love, in obedience to GOD, are in the light. Those that hate others, living is selfish disobedience, are in darkness.

The truth, also known as the sword of the spirit, divides between light and darkness. The truth has the power to make people free. When we speak the truth in love, we create opportunities of freedom, opportunities for those seeking the light to renounce darkness.

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

( 2 Corinthians 4:1-6)

 

Let No Man Take Your Crown

Crowns

As a father, my goal is to equip my children to be successful in life and to align them with a future that is fulfilling and sure. It is to make sure that they are in a place to enjoy all the true riches of life that have been freely given by their Heavenly Father. I don’t just desire this for my children but it is my wish for all of GOD’s children. GOD the Father sent us a savior who is Himself the road map, the Light, the Truth, the Word, and the Way, but we have to follow Him at all cost for success. He chooses us, but we also have to choose Him. The bride has to agree and surrender herself that she may become one with the bridegroom. There are people and other things vying for our affections, but we must stay true to our first Love, Yeshua the Christ.

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown..”   (Revelation 3:11 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

A warning to the children of GOD in regards to guarding their crowns. The crowns represent the spiritual authority they have as a result of being unified with Christ, in having taking up the sufferings of Christ through crucifying their flesh with its carnal affections, in walking in obedience to the spirit as children of GOD, and in putting on the mind of Christ. The crown goes on the head and it reflects the Glory of Christ through all of those who have made Christ their head by putting on the mindset of Christ; the mindset of being obedient, even unto to death.

 

We have an adversary trying to trick us out of our inheritance and rob us of our very life. The alarm system that alerts us when evil is present is judgment. Darkness pervades where there is no judgment, which is why the enemy promotes tolerance and condemns judgment. Judgment save lives by distinguishing the paths that lead to life from the paths that lead to death. We need judgment and a measure of tolerance, however to remove judgment is the real condemnation to death. Judgment will save all of those seeking the light, but those that love darkness will detest the light which judgment brings. Tolerance without judgment is subtle and tricky, and comes as counterfeit love, but it proliferates evil and causes the destruction of life. We all have the same chance to make it in, but only the ones that lose their life will find it. Go through the pain of releasing that thing that the Word of GOD has judged as cursed and you will find life.

 

So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],  So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” (1 Peter 4:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

 

I have throughout my life encountered people who would discourage me from harshly regulating my carnal appetites, but I have ignored their carnal counsel understanding that some things look like liberty but the end is bondage. There are spiritual things that look very restricting to carnal people, but they bring great freedom. Don’t let the carnal counsel of the world cause you to lose your crown waiting in heaven.

 

Yeshua the Savior has always told us the truth. He is love and He is what love looks like. We don’t have to wonder what it means to love; we can just look at the testimony of Christ and His teachings and be in the know. Our heart may utter things just as the disciples did, “Yeshua, that is too harsh,” “Yeshua, that is offensive,” “Yeshua, who then can be saved.” We just have to humble ourselves for the rebuke that comes when we are out of line with the spirit. When Yeshua informed the disciples that he had to suffer great things and be put to death, Peter told Him that He was speaking non-sense. Yeshua rebuked the spirit speaking through Peter saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Yeshua went on to tell the disciples that if they were going to be in unity with Him, then they would have to take up there cross as well, and so it is with us. People will try and talk you out of it, you will try and talk yourself out of it, but there is no way around it if you want to keep your crown.

 

This is a long post but it is important. I have one more scripture I wanted to share.

Ephesians 5:1-7 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

“Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].  And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a [slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.  But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity [[of lustful, rich, wasteful living] or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God’s consecrated people).  Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].  For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life, or one who is covetous [who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain]—for he [in effect] is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience.  So do not associate or be sharers with them.”

Love is about what you need and what is best for you, not what pacifies you. Speaking the truth will bring conflict because there is so much falsehood in the world, but it is the way of salvation. It is better to walk in truth and be alienated from the world, than to compromise for carnal affection and be alienated from the true love and liberty in Christ and lose your crown. Don’t be lukewarm, be on fire for GOD and plan out your salvation in fear and trembling. The one with whom we have to do is very tolerant but with judgment. Read revelations chapter 2 and 3 for a sobering perspective of Love.

What are you hungry for?

Often times when a woman is pregnant, she gets strong cravings for particular things to eat. These cravings are believed to be linked to nutrients her body needs to support the baby she is carrying. The more she understands the root of the cravings, the better she is able to make selections to adequately nurture the life with in her. There is a similar dynamic that occurs in the life of everyone in regards to their cravings and desires. We really need to understand the root of our desires to ensure we make choices  that result in promoting life within us.

Many religious orders encourage the practice of ignoring desires in order to live spiritually but I have come to understand that all desires are rooted in a spiritual need. A characteristic of true spiritual living is having an understanding of the true root of our desires. Just resisting or ignoring desire does not lead to a peaceful existence and neither does simply indulging. People often try to satisfy spiritual cravings with physical things. This is an issue because physical things can never fill the need created by a spiritual deficiency. In fact, trying to fill a spiritual need with physical things will always lead to over indulgence, because no amount of a physical thing will satisfy a spiritual need. If you wanna a picture of what I am saying, just look around at all the areas of addiction today. In our day we have drug addicts, sex addicts, pornography addicts, food addicts, shopping addicts, gaming addicts and working addicts to name a few. These are so common, if you are not one of the addicts just mentioned, you have a family member or close friend that is. All of these appetite disorders are rooted in spiritual deficiency.

The Samaritan woman that met Yeshua at the well had five previous husbands and was currently involved with a man that was not her husband. This sounds to me like a person with a need yet having some serious issues trying to get that need met. Obviously men were not the solution to the need she had, yet it appears she was on her way to a sixth husband. When you don’t understand the root of your desires, that is, the real root behind the desire, it is easy to get into some vicious cycles. Yeshua told the Samaritan woman, “If you knew the gift of God and who you were talking too, you would have asked him to fill the thirst you have been trying to fill all these years and he would have given you living waters that would have truly satisfied you.” That is my paraphrase and translation, for the actual account, read the book of John chapter 4. Yeshua went on to tell the Samaritan woman that the water he offers becomes a well of life with in you which springs up to satisfy thirst forever. There are many people in relationships today that are destined to fail because each is looking to the other to satisfy thirst that can only be filled by Yeshua the Savior, also known as Jesus Christ. The living waters that Yeshua offers can break the cycle of addiction and set your appetites in order.

We are spiritual beings, created with an infinite capacity for the knowledge of GOD and it is only when we are in relationship with GOD and learning of Him daily that we are satisfied. Any disconnect in that relationship automatically creates a void that will surface in the flesh as an appetite for something. The Disciples would often badger Yeshua telling Him he needed to eat something and He would tell them, “I have meat that you know not of.” He was full spiritually! While in physical form, whenever Yeshua felt any appetites arising, He would set himself apart and spend some time communing in the Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit with in us giving light so we can discern the root of the motivations that drive us from time to time.

Physical things are only a shadow of the spiritual things we really need. YES…we need companionship, food, and recreation but we need them in the context of spirit and truth. Our Creator intended for us to have pleasure but in the context of life not death. One of my mentors, Edwin Louis Cole once said, “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasure.” A lot of the perversions we see today stems from man’s attempt to solve his own problems; destructive self-medication.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Prov 3:5-6)

The one that created you knows what is best for you. Trust Him with your life and He will lead you to freedom and fulfillment instead of bondage and disappointment. Make a determination today, to reconnect with GOD through submission to the Word. Yeshua saves.

Psalm 145:14-19

14 The Lord upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.