Love not hate…

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. —Proverbs 10:12

To hate, to discriminate against those who look different, who talk different, who have different national backgrounds, or who act differently from the dominant group, is a universal trait of human nature. I say that there is only one possible solution and that is a vital experience with Christ on the part of all races. In Christ the middle wall of partition is broken down, the Bible says. There is no Jew or Gentile, or black or white or yellow or red. We could be one great brotherhood in Christ. However, until we come to recognize Him as the Prince of Peace, and receive His love in our hearts, the racial tensions will increase.

I pray for Your love, Lord Jesus, to conquer hate or prejudice—whenever these ugly transgressions seep into my heart. I want to love as you love Lord!

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A lil encouragement

Let me encourage you like I do myself to turn to God today and say, “Lord, I’ve done everything I know how to do in my situation. I know there’s nothing I can do to fix the problem anyway. I’m going to trust You and wait for Your victory.” Let God make you a testimony to the world, a witness of His faithfulness. Seek Him and love Him with all your heart right now. Give Him all your problems, all your faith and all your trust!

“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6-7

In my quiet time this morning I was led to this passage to share with you. You and I must come to a place where we completely trust God. If you learn it now, the next time a crisis comes you will sing and shout with praises to your Deliverer! Oh, the victory will be there but more importantly, you will have dealt a deathblow to all doubt, fear and unbelief. Every place we turn in the Bible, we will see, “Trust Me and I’ll see you through. Just commit your ways to Me.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

No one is above another in God’s eyes. Everyone is on a different path and walk with God. Some have walked longer, some just a few days and some have never even begun their walk. The reason I say this is because I am reminded of this “in truth and love” ….. we are the Bible that the unbeliever reads. So instead of beating others over the head with the bible, hand them one! Also let me remind you that when people start attacking our faith, we tend to start yelling back at them, trying to convince them that our way is best.

Oftentimes, we feel defensive, because they think we’re idiots, not because they’re trying to destroy God’s work. We think that if we just come up with a convincing argument, they’ll see the light and know that we really aren’t idiots. But the fact is, no matter how convincing our arguments are, they cannot bring people to Christ. Nothing we say can convince people of God’s righteousness. Only God can do that. But that is a good thing! For if we could do that, than we could also screw up their chances at becoming a Christian. God doesn’t work that way– thankfully! No matter what we do, if God chooses a person, we cannot screw up their salvation. For this, I am SO grateful. So please don’t waste your time, trying to find the “perfect” thing to say that will bring them to Jesus.

I always fall back on this verse, when thinking of how to speak to non-believers.

Colossians 4:5,6

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

This means we are to speak kindly, lovingly, graciously to non-believers. But we are to season it with salt. Meaning we are to speak the truth to them, not be embarrassed by it or afraid that they’ll run away if they hear the truth. Graciously and lovingly speak the truth to them. Not being pushy and aggresive or, the opposite, reserved and reluctant to share the truth. Gently and lovingly speak the truth to them.

Personally, I receive love a lot easier and am more receptive to listening to anything when it’s given in “love”. Request: don’t hinder a baby believer’s walk with your opinion… use the “Word in truth and in Love”.

Can I get an Amen?

Stay focused today

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Our life can be a long and sometimes difficult race. We often grow weary and are in great need of rest. But please remember that our race is a long marathon, not a quick sprint. In order to persevere, we must prepare for many hills and valleys along the way. We must develop a burning desire to one day boldly say; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Jesus endured the cross (finished the race) because of “the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2). And if we will keep our eyes on Jesus as our eternal joy, we “will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

No matter what this day may bring, we must persist with our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus until we hear Him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant….Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23). Some days we may only be able to take small baby steps, but still we must continue and run with the sole purpose of bringing Him glory and honor in ALL we do. Our race can be filled with joy and peace, but we must commit to a life of absolute trust and run with perseverance!

BUT GOD…. wants what is best for us!

Maybe these simple words are shaking the very ground you walk on. Where you feel as though you are running wildly through a forest of unknown territory and He is whispering a call to be still and trust that He is in control. My friends you don’t have to figure out every piece of your life, even if you would love to do that. This journey God has called us on, requires us to let go and be still. Trusting in His promises and being okay living in the unknown and walking by faith not by sight. So Be still and trust Him.

No sin too messy

Maybe at this moment you are in a season of total despair where the more time passed and your circumstances haven’t change, you struggle deeply with trusting God and keeping your hope alive. Please know as a follower of Christ you are not alone God is with you. Misery, confusion, destruction… these are all areas in which the enemy lurks and uses to keep us from believing that God is good and that we can fully put our hope and trust in Him. God loves to get in our business. In fact, nothing is too messy for God. No slimy sin, vile deeds, or dreadful situations can keep God away when we turn our hearts towards Him. Not only does our God stoop down into the muddle of our life, He delights in pulling us out. He places us on well-founded ground, established in Him. “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2

Remain faithful

If we remain faithful to Christ we know in every circumstance…no matter how troubling, the Spirit of God strengthens us. Jesus is waiting all that time for us to relinquish our feeble and ineffective attempts at finding peace. As we give up our grasping attempts at control, He will stepped in to the space between our heart and the lies, and wedge His truth there.

Please take this wisdom and apply to your life. We may not know the future, but cling to the One who does; the One who is prepared to face what may come, and be confident that Jesus will not abandon us, He still works miracles, and will make sure that we’re cared for when we trust in Him. I pray that you can stop being shaken by circumstances around you and know that He is in control of all things. That you need to simply trust by allowing Him to take residence in your hearts and seek His face when you feel troubled or afraid.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

People always say….

People always say “God will never give us more than we can handle” ~ However, that is a worldly belief, not a biblical one. The confusion most likely originates from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says,” No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” There is nowhere in the Bible where God says He won’t give us more than we can handle.

As this verse mentions temptations, not burdens. In this verse, Paul is saying that we will never be ‘tempted’ beyond what we can stand up against in God’s strength, not that we will never feel burdened beyond what we can handle.

What happens is instead of actively expecting God to step into our situations, we passively try to shoulder all the burdens, and eventually begin to feel weak and overwhelmed. We forget to seek God out in the big and the small situations.

We may even find ourselves questioning God about all that He is allowing us to endure, and wondering if just maybe He did give us more than we could handle. My friends, the truth is, He probably has. The old saying that says He won’t do that is merely a myth.

All throughout the Bible we read of regular people who were handed seemingly impossible burdens to bear but instead of trying to handle life on their own, they drew closer to God, fully relying on Him for direction and deliverance. We read stories of how God gave each individual more they could handle on their own and then filled them with strength and capability every step of the way.

Just like the characters in scripture, God longs for us to depend on Him when we are feeling overwhelmed with life and burdened by more than we can handle. He wants us to spend time with Him so we can be filled with what we need to get through each day.

When our load seems too heavy to carry, it might be that God is not only waiting for us to recognize that we can’t handle it on our own, but also hoping that our desperation will build our spiritual appetite so much so that we wake up starving every morning.

No matter what life hands us, just know that God will never give us more than HE can handle. We can’t do it all, but He can. Take His Hand.

A mighty weapon…

The moment a person receives Christ as Savior, he or she enters a battle. The enemy is determined to destroy believers’ testimonies, since he can’t no longer have your soul. But God has supplied a mighty weapon to those who serve Him—His Son’s strength flowing through their life. Christ’s power is supreme. Satan, with all his demonic forces, can’t throw anything our way to match Jesus’ supernatural strength. Even so, temptations and trials expose weaknesses when most would prefer to appear strong. That is one reason human nature rebels against hardship and tries to avoid it.

God wants Christian soldiers to be armed with the Savior’s might so they can confront life’s difficulties. He promises us strength only when we set down pride and accept that we are too weak for battle (2 Corinthians 12:9). And Jesus’ power is available to every believer right now—a gift the Commander gives His followers so they can endure conflicts victoriously. Until our life is over or Jesus Christ returns, we are locked in a battle with Satan. But we have nothing to fear. When we are totally dependent upon the Lord for His strength, we are filled with supernatural energy and endurance.

What are the seven things God hates?

The seven things God hates are a catalog of sins summed up in Proverbs 6:16–19. While these aren’t the only sins that should be avoided, they do sum up most of the wicked things condemned by God. The seven things God hates are the sins that deal with the deep heart motives of the individual. The writer of Proverbs points the finger straight at our hearts and our sinful thought processes.

This is in line with our Lord Jesus Christ’s elaboration of the Ten Commandments during His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21–48). Sin is committed the moment it is conceived in the heart, even before it is actually committed. Avoiding the seven things God hates will help us expose our hidden intentions and motives.

The following is Proverbs’ list of seven things God hates:

Arrogant (haughty) eyes: This describes a feeling of pride and looking down upon others (Philippians 2:3, 5–11). When we begin to think of ourselves more highly and with unparalleled importance, we are forgetting the fact that anything good in us is the result of Christ living in us and that the old self is now dead (Galatians 2:20). Often, believers feel superior to other believers when they receive godly wisdom and display amazing tenacity against sin. We fail to realize these gifts were given by God through Christ and fanned into flame by the Holy Spirit and are not due to our own goodness. This sin of pride is so detested by the LORD that Paul was kept from committing this sin by being provided with “a thorn in the flesh” to humble him (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Lying tongue: A lying tongue is one that speaks falsehood, knowingly and willingly, with an intention to deceive others. Lying can be used to impugn the character of a brother or to flatter a friend. It is a most detestable evil to God, who is a God of truth. Nothing we do causes us to more closely resemble the devil, who is the father of lies (John 8:44).

Hands that shed innocent blood: This refers to cold-blooded murder. We may never have orchestrated killing someone or never have touched a gun or knife, but in Matthew 5:21–24, Jesus says that anyone hating someone else unreasonably without offering room for forgiveness commits a sin equivalent to murder. John reiterates this concept in 1 John 3:15.

A heart that devises wicked schemes: This encompasses thinking or conceiving evil against any individual or group for personal benefit or other misguided objectives, like modern-day terrorists indulge in. Any sin is basically a wicked scheme. David’s sin against Uriah the Hittite and Bathsheba comes to mind (2 Samuel 11). The heart of an evil man continually contrives schemes to bring others to ruin, whether physically or spiritually.

Feet that are quick to rush into evil: Those whose feet are quick to rush into evil display no resistance whatsoever to sin. Having many examples in the Bible, and having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; Galatians 5:16), we are expected to be wise in this regard (Romans 6:11–14; Ephesians 5:5, 11). In the Garden of Eden, Eve had the first experience of temptation. She displayed no resistance to the serpent’s temptation. Instead, as soon as the devil attracted her to the fruit, she “saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). Eve had sinned at that moment itself. Contrast this with the attitude of Jesus: when tired and hungry after forty days and forty nights of fasting, He refused to yield to the devil’s tempting and killed the temptation in His mind without allowing it to grow into sin (Matthew 4:1–11). “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

False witness who pours out lies: This is similar to the sin of the lying tongue mentioned earlier, but this form of lying is given special mention as it could send an innocent person to jail or even lead to him being stoned to death as happened to Naboth, thanks to false witnesses instigated by the wicked Jezebel (1 Kings 21:8–14). The prohibition against bearing false witness is the ninth of the Ten Commandments, and the New Testament is equally condemning of it. Colossians 3:9–10 explains the reason for the continued prohibition against lying. Christians are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and, as such, we reflect His nature. We have been released from our “old self” with its evil practices such as lying and bearing false witness.

A man who stirs up dissension among brothers: Brothers are created by God to live in unity (Psalm 133:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:9). Believers are brothers and sisters since they have one Father God and one Brother, Jesus Christ. The Church is also the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25–27). In many situations strife among brothers and even within the church seems unavoidable, but anyone who purposely causes disruption to peace in the body of Christ will displease God above all, since that person gives room for others to sin and for himself to sin further (1 John 2:9–11; 4:19–21). Moreover, Jesus pronounced a great blessing on peacemakers, the privilege to be called “sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).