Avoiding the Three D’s That Lead to Destruction

Man’s absence from the Garden of Eden  led to Eve’s temptation and disobedience.  (Genesis 3:1-6).  As soon as Eve permitted Satan to raise a doubt about God’s Word (“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’), Eve entered the slippery slope of the three D’s: from DOUBT, to DISBELIEF and then DISOBEDIENCE.

We simply cannot ever allow Satan to raise doubts about the Word of God within the body of Christ, because the danger is that doubt will proceed to disbelief and disobedience.  Every word of God in the Bible is a true statement of His instructions for our lives.  Once we allow ourselves, or others, to believe that the Word can be challenged, changed, modified or “made better” we are entering dangerous territory!

God was pained by the fall of man in the Garden, and pained further still by the feeble attempts made by man thereafter to repair and restore the spirit within us placed there by Him at creation, and so God sent Christ to be the way back home (“the way, the truth and the life”). This is Truth and it is this Word that sets us free and brings us eternal life!

The time has never been so urgent for a call to action.  Men need to stand up for Christ, embrace God’s Word in the Bible, and lead our families especially back into connection with the Holy Spirit.  We all need to protect the Body of Christ in general from the influence of Satan, and the doubts created about Christ and the Word of God in our increasingly secular and anti-Christian society.  We must be discerning and avoid messages that water down God’s Word, or seek to seed doubt about Christ.  We need to raise up and support efforts to preach the Good News as God intended it to be heard, not as secular man wants to hear it to avoid condemnation for sin and rebellion.  Most of all we need to steel ourselves from the onslaught of doubt, both internally and externally , that seeks to lead us and our families down the slippery slope of the THREE D’s away from eternal life and into death.

Stand up, stand tall, be strong…God is with you and His reward is eternal.

Have  blessed day and be courageous!

Patience in an Impatient World

Patience and faith go hand in hand.  The Bible tells us of an event where the disciples had failed to heal a boy beset by demons.  In anguish the father brought the boy to Jesus for help instead.

“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.”  Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.  Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”  He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:14-17-20

When I was a young boy I remember a science class project where we planted a seed in the bottom half of an empty milk carton to watch for plant growth.  Every day when I came to class I rushed over expecting to see a tall flowering plant, only to be disappointed and discouraged.  Over the weeks of course plant life did develop and the seed bloomed into a flower, yet nature did not meet my expectations of a quick result.

Where we are young it seems that it takes forever to get what we want. We want it “yesterday,” and if we do not see quick results we are easily discouraged or angry.  In addition children constantly ask about things they cannot see or feel or touch because they have not yet developed the faith we have gained through experience as adult about how the world works.

Here Christ admonishes his disciples who have failed to drive out the demon because they tried to act without faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, and have utterly failed.  The disciples were still children in their faith.  Even though they walked with Christ every day, they doubted their own ability to call on their faith to act as Christ instructed them to do.

The disciples were impatient.  Their faith had not yet matured…they were not yet ready to carry out the works that Christ had planned for them.

Sometimes as Christians we expect that if we simply go to church every Sunday our lives will be transformed, our problems will go away, and Jesus will hear every prayer and provide immediately for our needs.  When the results do not come we get discouraged, or worse we blame God.

We need to work on growing our faith and having the patience to know that we will only be able to move the mountains in our lives when our faith is true and strong.  Faith is nourished and developed through constant exposure to the Word, continued fellowship with other believers, prayer and thanksgiving, and the certain knowledge that God will move in our lives when He, and we, are ready.

Have a blessed and fruitful day!

God’s Priorities Are Seldom Our Priorities

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

One of the greatest problems with many people today is that we think we know more than God.  We believe that we can rely on ourselves to deal with any issue and problem in life, and that we can figure out a solution on our own.  Now we may be smart and experienced and we may have answers to many situations but why exclude God from the equation when He is there ready and willing to guide and instruct us?

Very few people I know go to God in prayer before making important decisions in their lives.  Because they fail to…pause…and seek direction from God many times these decisions result in real tragedies and problems for them.

In addition, we are selfish beings, in search of instant gratification.  We require constant demonstrations and proof of our self-worth.  We cannot stand to wait too long for anything, even a word from God. This is the fallen nature of humankind.

God as the creator has a different, higher and broader viewpoint of things.  He knows all and sees all.  He created us and the world we live in, and His ways incorporate the vast knowledge and power He has which dwarfs those of the brightest on Earth.

Why should we reject or ignore the counsel and advice of the creator God?  Why should we rush to act, rush to judge, rush to decide when our faith and the Bible tell us that God will act in our favor when He knows the time is right for us?

Waiting on God can be the most terrifying and difficult thing for Christians.  I find this particular true for men who normally have a take charge attitude. Waiting on God however allows us to move at the right time, in the right place, and get the right results.

We may not always be able to trust ourselves, and we certainly cannot rely on fallen men and women to always be there for us, but we can always trust in Jesus.  Men have always let me down, even family and friends, but Christ has always answered my prayers and been there for me even in my darkest hours…especially in my darkest hours.

When we want to be sure that we are moving in the right direction, we need patience and faith.  Trust in the Lord above all things, kneel in prayer and ask for guidance.  It is not an admission of weakness, or a sign of failure, it is instead a confirmation that we understand the true nature of our existence and the preeminent position that God has and deserves in our daily lives.

Pledge to make God your number one.  Go to Him through prayer to His son Jesus Christ.  Then wait…wait for the guidance that will ensure the blessings of your inheritance.

Wait on the Lord….

Men Must Be Leaders at Home Not Just At Work

God demands order in His universe.  That order starts at home.  We must make God first in our lives, and make decisions, interpret the world’s messages, and instruct our children  based upon our understanding of what God expects from us, as He has spoken through his prophets and disciples in the Bible.

Men are required to lead in their families.  Many who seek to diminish this command try to make this a gender or sexist argument but God loves men and women equally and He never has asked men to abuse or mistreat women.  The Bible does say that Men should lead their families including their lives, as God commands, and that men are to love their wives and families as Christ loves all of us.  There is no room for discrimination or abuse in those statements.  But God does expect men to be leaders in faith in their families.  This is sorely lacking today and is having serious negative effects on society.

Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3

Men must love as God loves.

Men must protect as God promises protection.

Men must maintain the order that God created.

Men must teach and show mercy and forgiveness as Christ taught and forgave.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:3-5

Men must lead the revival to strengthen their families in godliness and righteousness in the face of apostasy, prejudice, oppression and deliberate confusion which the world uses to try and marginalize God and make Him irrelevant to our daily life.  In fact God is the center of all life.  We ignore Him at our peril.  We cannot improve on God nor can we be like God.  We can and have created false Gods to worship which distract and confuse us and our families, exactly as Satan intended.

Men must lead.  They must insist on righteous living, for themselves and their wives and children.  They must educate and promote God’s message for living.  This may mean new house rules, forbidden friendships, restrictions on technology access, curfews, church attendance, Bible study and prayer.  The world will aggressively pursue you, your wife and your children, but you must ensure that your family pursues God first in all things and this is not easy today.

Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:11

We must be examples to our wives and children, witnesses to all others, and a light in a dark world that needs light but prefers darkness.

Where men are distracted, retreat and concede, Satan rushes in.  It is no surprise that where men are absent fathers and husbands, trouble and pain and suffering reside.  God gave men a gift of leadership, in the home first and then outside of the home, and men have squandered the gift and its inherent responsibility.  We have forgotten our true place in the family and in the world.  We have allowed Satan to enter our homes, rule our communities, and dictate the way of life we see and experience in our society in general.  But it’s not too late.

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.  Proverbs 4:1

With a devotion to Christ and a commitment to righteousness, we can retake the high ground from Satan and re-establish God’s order on Earth!  Men need to lead!  Men need to love as God loved! Men need to be fearless in the Lord!

You can start today.  Bible courageous. Be a leader…at the office yes, but more importantly at the home.

God be with you!!

I Cannot Hide It Any Longer, So Its Time for My Coming Out Party

I cannot wait in silence any longer.  It is irresponsible of me, given the current social climate and the status of the world today for me not to reveal to everyone my inner feelings and the true nature of who I am. I was made like this.  I was created to be like this and the whole world needs to hear about it.

I know that there are many who will  ridicule me.  Some will call me names.  I am certain to find discrimination and prejudice against me because of my announcement.  There are some backwards-thinking, self-righteous people who think that people like me are dangerous, evil, a poor example for others, and they find my lifestyle reprehensible.

My children know about it and support me.  Some people think they will be harmed by my lifestyle and call me a bad parent.  Of course my children cannot discuss it in school without a trip to the office or worse.

My wife embraces my lifestyle.  When she first met me she really did not understand my feelings…which I kept from her I admit because you have to let people in on this slowly.  Eventually she herself decided the lifestyle was right for her.  This made our marriage work out better as we both could relate and live the way we wanted, with each of us respecting the other’s choice.

I’ve lost a few friends who found out about me.  I have to be careful how I demonstrate my lifestyle and beliefs publicly because I can offend strangers with just a word, something I wear, or because of my opinions which go against the grain of what’s acceptable.  I guess I make people nervous.

I am not the perfect representative for my cause.  There are many others who are better at vocalizing what we stand for and the rights we deserve in society.  Look to them as leaders not to me.

However I do need to make a public statement about who I am and what I am, if only to inspire others who hide their true nature and are bullied, intimidated or nervous about everyone knowing about their true feelings and their lifestyle choices.

So here it goes….today I am unafraid to tell the whole world that I AM A CHRISTIAN.  I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST.  I CHOOSE TO LIVE A CHRIST-CENTERED LIFE.  I KNOW IN MY HEART THAT GOD IS NOT DEAD BUT ALIVE IN ME, AND I AM GRATEFUL!

If you no longer wish to be my friend I understand.  If you no longer want to do business with me I understand.   If you feel awkward around me, or talking to me, don’t.  I’m just like you, except I have given my life to Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful weekend!

If You Want to Find Faith, First You Have to Abandon Religion

thelordspromise

Telling people to abandon their religion is a very drastic and perhaps controversial statement.  However it is important that believers discern the difference between religion and true faith.

Often people confuse the concepts of faith and religion.  Religion is a man-made vehicle through which the word of God is controlled, interpreted, augmented with rituals, and sometime used to divide, group, segregate and discriminate against fellow believers.  Religion is a set of rules and definitions that may bear little if any resemblance to the true Word of God.  Religion can be not just a distraction from but a substitute for God’s Word, so that those who follow a particular religion may mistakenly come to believe that their religious affiliation is the “way, the truth and the life,” and not Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Religion takes the immoveable, unchangeable, sufficient Word of God and makes it something else….it becomes what followers

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Do You Labor for Wealth or For Something Else?

The Bible talks about man’s predilection to accumulate treasures on earth, and cling to them with misdirected worship. The Bible does not condemn wealth and success, in fact God promises successes and blessing beyond what we can imagine when we place Him first in our lives. But it is the love of money that corrupts, and the worship of treasures on earth that distracts us from the real glory in God and the treasures to come in heaven.

Do we need more proof than the daily headlines and by observing the lives of so many of those who live and work around us?  Wealth and its naked pursuit can bring momentary pleasures and excitement, however when your job, your money and your possessions are more important to you than God, your family, your neighbors and community the imbalance causes inevitable heartache.

In my travels in business I meet many men and women in high positions, high paying jobs, wielding great authority in the workplace.  Yet so many are bitter, unhappy, walking shells of human beings who seem to have it all but really don’t.  So much time is spent holding onto the position, the job, the car, the home, the bonuses,  that they have no time to enjoy life.  Many are divorced, or cheating, or forever alone.  Too many have developed characters and personalities that eschew compassion, understanding, patience, mercy and grace because those traits are viewed by their peers as signs of weakness and not leadership.  They live a mundane yet star studded existence that sees them traveling back and forth to work, where they spend long hours huddled on the phone or in front of a computer and can no longer feel the life that is passing them by.  One day they wake up and they are 50 years old and their children are grown and they wonder what happened.  Some have confided in me that their thoughts after so many years become “is this all there is.”

Jesus told us that we should “Not labor for the meat that perishes but for that which endureth unto everlasting life.”  Matthew 6:27  In the Sermon on the Mount Christ instructed us that we are not to worry about what we shall have to eat, or wear or where we shall lay our head at night.  Just as God has provided for the least of his creations, the birds of the air, and even the flowers of the field, He shall provide for those he loves.  Read Matthew 5:7

I personally have found that when I stopped pursuing wealth and position so that I could prove something or gain some status, and instead looked to God for the approval that I needed my life became more satisfying and enjoyable.  Consequently once I reset my priorities I actually experienced more success financially and in business than ever before.  God wants us to be successful, but He wants us to place Him first above all things so that our success brings glory to Him and not us.

All I have today and all I am I owe to God and to Christ my savior.  My present business was established with an idea that God inspired in me in 2002.  He guided me, lifted me when I fell, encouraged me in dark times and brought me miracles and blessings in the form of relationships, financial investors, employees, clients, advisors  and friends.  It is through His will and not mine that I am where I am today.  I am thankful but not so caught up with myself or my present situation that I am not still listening for His counsel and advice.  Ultimately its not about me, its never about us, its only about Him.

So today I labor for God and His promise of everlasting life.  I do not worry about tomorrow, I live for today knowing that I am loved by God.

What do you labor for?

Love, Love, Love…Its the Answer for Most Every Thing You Are Facing Today

I know no person who does not desire to love and be loved.  Love is the most powerful emotion in the universe.  It cannot be explained, scientifically recreated, or adequately defined in words.  It is after all a blessed gift from God that the love emotion exists and it is this powerful emotion that is the center of who we are.  It is also the main message in the Bible and the core of what God wants us to give to Him and each other.

Why is “LOVE” the predominant message of the Bible? Because God loves us and he wants us to love one another.

Love kills hate, kills prejudice, kills envy, jealousy, and brings us together. Love heals wounds, restores health, can cure sickness and disease, and lift the spirit to amazing heights.  Love overcomes all negative and evil things in life.  Love is the ultimate weapon against Satan and sin and is the secret to true happiness and contentment.

God gave us a pre-wired desire to be loved. He asks that we love Him first above all things, and then to love others.

Love is also hard.  To truly love we must overcome selfishness, greed, lust and pride.  Loving those who love you is easiest, loving your enemies (as commanded by God) can be very difficult.

“Love is patient, love is kind, does not envy or boast, is not proud…keeps no record of wrongs…always protects, trusts, hopes…” 1 Cor 13:4-7

I pray for everyone reading this that they reach within themselves and find the full power of love that God has created in them and unleash it upon the world today….astound people with kindness and generosity, forgive someone, help a stranger, love someone who treats you badly.  Choose love over hate, anger, bitterness and revenge.

All you need is love….and what a difference that will make for you and everyone around you!