Signs of the Time

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” – Matthew 24: 3-8 NIV

 

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Blessed for the Blessing of Another

Matthew 25:40-45 (NIV)

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the power that You have over this world and the power that You have given us through Your name. Lord, let us realize that You bless us so that we may bless others. Let us realize that this life is not about storing up the riches, and possessions so that we can live in comfort but so that your kingdom can be shown strong through the lives of believers. Forgive us for putting ourselves ahead of Your will. Forgive us for seeking, and setting up comfort in a life that is only promised for a short time. Let us see past ourselves and into the lives of others so that they will turn from their worldly ways and to You.

In the name of Jesus we pray,

Amen!

I Found Healing Outside Of The Church

Over the past several years I have been going through very difficult times, inside and outside of my home. I allowed it to turn me bitter, and angry, and into some “thing” out of the will of God. I walked through my darkness comfortable in it. Then I encountered an environment that I knew if I continued in my line of thinking I would walk down a road where I could never look at myself again. It was then that I began to turn to God for healing.

I endured an environment that some would not have made it through. I began to ask God to humble me, bridle my tongue, give me strength, and faith that prophets of the Bible had. Then for lack of a better word, “hell” broke loose, the environment got worse. I sat there, continuing on and praying Lord, humble me, bridle my tongue, give me strength and faith that prophets of the Bible had. Things at home were horrible. My marriage was hanging on by a withering thread and I couldn’t fix myself to think about going on in it. I was calling trusted family and friends asking for advice, seeking pastoral counsel, researching christian advice of marriage and divorce.

My life was a mess. I just kept thinking, God must think I am strong to bring me to this place. I was constantly being told, “God will not put more on you than you can bear.” I knew this wasn’t the truth. God will push, and push, and push until you turn from your own strength and rely on Him. We see many prophets in the Bible that were out of their elements, and who were weak at times but God stepped in to remind them of His power. Even Elijah, God’s prophet that didn’t die but was driven up into heaven by a chariot of fire,  asked God for death because the burden was so great he didn’t think he could go on.

At the time that I was going through this time in my life broken, angry, and bitter, I was attending a church that I loved because of the pastor. He had a spirit over him that began to soften my heart but I allowed myself to become turned off from this church because others in leadership positions were the equivalent of what I was experiencing on the outside of the church.  I was not at all mature enough in the Word to look past those people and look for God so I left the church. I would go back periodically because I knew in my heart that church was supposed to be a safe place. Then “hell” followed us into church, and stripped the withered thread of what was left of my marriage.

I was done. I was leaving my marriage and moving back home with my parents just to get myself back on my feet. I had nothing left. My husband had become my (heart’s) enemy. We moved to another state and I wanted nothing to do with church because of what had happened at the last. He and our children would go. I was crying to the Lord through my anger, help me! After several months of being told over and over my family  that I needed to be in church, I decided to be obedient, only to be made to feel so uncomfortable by the “church folk” that I couldn’t bear going back into this church.

I began seeking God on my own. I was praying all day, fasting, reading my Bible, going to sleep listening to sermons, waking through the night listening to sermons, listening to sermons through the day. Through all of this my husband was still an “enemy” to me. I kept crying and praying, Lord help me! Almost screaming in prayer. Then the scriptures (Luke 6:27-36, NIV) would come to mind, “27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

At first I couldn’t understand this was God leading me out of the stronghold that I was bound to. I kept in the bitterness, and anger, and steady pain, and still begging God to help me. And every time I would go through my bouts of anger and self-pity I would constantly pray God help me! Then the scripture, “Love your enemy,” would go through my head. This went on for a little time before I said, Lord, humble me to obey Your word. At the time I was so hurt the best thing I could do was treat my husband like he was an employer. We go to work and do the job regardless of how we feel towards our bosses because we need a check. Well I needed healing.

I began asking God to change my words, change my responses, change me! I humbled myself. I cleaned up after him, I cooked his lunch when he would come home from work and prepared it as close to restaurant quality as possible, I began serving my “enemy.” Through all of this I was still praying, fasting, crying to God, watching sermons from sun up until I fell asleep listening to sermons.

I was still hurt but after a little while I began to feel a slight relief from pressure that was sitting on my chest. Some time later my children were being baptized, I returned to the church they were attending. During the service of my children’s baptism a church member approached me, and in a nice way questioned why was I there after being absent for so long, in that context, not in a manner of concern for me. I smiled, hugged her because I believe she was coaxed by some else to do so, and I never went back.

I continued fasting, praying, listening to sermons, reading my Bible, having prayer service via phone, praising God in my home, paying tithes online to the churches that I watch online, and finally I let go and God broke through. My prayers were, let my will become submissive to Yours Lord.

I am still in my marriage. Things are not perfect but I thank God for His peace in my heart through the tribulation inside and outside of my home. I am a witness that He will give you peace beyond the world’s understanding.

Today, I continue praying that prayer. I continue seeking God. I have not been back to church. This is not because I do not want to be in church. I know that God said fail not to assemble yourselves. I will continue to seek a church home but I will also continue to seek God and submit myself to His will until I find a home. I believe God used this pain in my home to help me look past those who seek adversity against me outside of my home.

Our Lord is mighty, and wonderful, and loving, and understanding, and He is not bound by the walls of church, and the acts of the religious. He is omnipotent. You do not have to remain hurt, and broken because you do not have a church home.

Do not believe that you need to be inside of a church in order to seek God and His ways. Humble yourself before the Lord, do not be a reader only but a DOER of the Word, and He will incline His ear to you.

Be Blessed in the name of Jesus!

 

 

More Than Religion

Matthew 7:21-23 (NASB)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

God Will Not Be Mocked

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”

(Galatians 6:7 (NIV)).

My Lord! What have you sown into the atmosphere, someone, or something that is waiting to be harvested in your own field?

This scripture has been going through my mind for a few days, and I believe God wants me to speak on this.

When we find ourselves in difficult times, and in difficult circumstances it is so easy to want to give up and go back to our old ways, and old way of thinking. We tend to allow our minds to wander through those dark places that we think are tucked away from God’s sight. We allow ourselves to sink into the pity of our lives and in this we justify, and rationalize our emotions. If we don’t have the Holy Spirit or we have grieved the Holy Spirit until he has left us then we remain in that hole, and become comforted by our familiar places whether it’s being guided by a friend, family member, social media account, food, drugs or whatever our vices may be. We sink and justify, sink and justify until we have surrendered full control and are no longer under the will of God.

Then under the darkness of our comfort, havoc breaks loose and we began to panic. We run with our hands outstretched, feeling our way back through the darkness trying to get out, and realize we have to walk back up the route that we traveled down through.

It is this scripture (among many others) that play in my mind when tribulation comes my way. I have grown enough to say thank You Lord for getting me through that. I have become grateful for the things I endure because I know they are pushing me into my purpose, and if it was not for tribulation I would still be walking around in darkness, justifying myself. We must not blame God. He had nothing to do with ignorant and immature decisions that we have made throughout our lives but we know that He is with us as we walk through harvesting what we have sown whether it be good or bad.

This Sunday I sat watching a sermon with my family and the pastor said, “Even your enemies can be considered your friend if they are pushing you into your purpose.” So, I thank God for all of my friends who have pushed me back to God. If it wasn’t for you, I would still be walking in the darkness of my pain. It was the pain that made me open my eyes and realize that I was standing far away from God.

As we travel towards the Lord the road becomes narrow and so the bumps, and spoilage along the sides tends to press against us a little bit harder, and the sharp jagged edges that at one time allowed space to walk, now sting as the narrow space closes is. Though we may stumble let us keep heading in the direction of our Heavenly Father.

“God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” Romans 2:6-10 (NIV)

Dear Lord,

Let us walk in the ways of Your word. Let us continue to seek You regardless of what tribulations we may face because You are faithful and just and will not leave our sides Lord. As tribulations arise let my heart remain humble as Your servant Job because in due season we will be restored.

In the name of Jesus we pray,

Amen!

The Elusive Contentment

 

Why, oh why do we find it so hard to be content
Though we look around and see that our time has been spent
Broken into fragments, justified by strangers?
A heart of discontent unknowingly running after danger.

~GrantedGrace72

 

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:11-13, NIV

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being You. You are steadfast You are loyal and faithful. You are loving. You are our refuge in our times of need and trouble. When even the world is against us, we can be content because it first came against You. Lift us up above those who seek to come against us and lead us astray. I declare now that our table is being prepared because Your Word declares it, in the presence of our enemies. We thank You Lord.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Amen!