GENESIS 6:14 ON 6/14

TL 6-14 GENESIS 6-14 ON 6-14

So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.  – Genesis 6:14

Just as God told Noah to build an ark to prepare for the coming flood, God wants families who belong to Him to stay in His Ark of Salvation and Safety.13346679_1768103460100783_573288816226553365_nThis verse is an outline of how God wanted the ark built.  It was not Noah’s plan or design, it was God’s.  Noah followed His directions to the letter.  Do we follow God’s plan or design to the letter to build our Ark of Salvation and Safety?  Do we add to or subtract from God’s plan of salvation?  God sent His only Son, Jesus, to sacrifice His life on the cross at Calvary.  He is our way to eternal life in Heaven.  He is our Ark of Salvation and Safety.  Those not in the Ark of Salvation and Safety are not safe from God’s wrath.

Notice that before the flood, God had allowed fallen men to go on in evil and sin.  We’re in the last days, and once again, God is allowing fallen men to go on in evil and sin.  It doesn’t mean He doesn’t care – quite the opposite.  God gave every one of us a free will to choose to follow Him or not.  He didn’t create us to be robots.  He wants us to love Him.

Just as Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, there will be a remnant who remain faithful and true to the Lord.

Noah’s ark was built of durable gopher (cypress) wood.  It had rooms in it for the animals and the people.  It was coated with pitch inside and out.

Christ is our Ark of Salvation and Safety.  We are saved from eternal separation from God and safe from the wrath of God.  I’ve always been a pre-tribulation believer and pray that we don’t see all of the last days – the tribulation will be horrific, and while I know God is faithful to see us through anything, I really hope and pray that we get to leave before it gets so awful.  I don’t know.  I’ve heard both sides of the argument, and I plea ignorance – I just don’t know.  I trust that I’ll go to Heaven when God’s ready for me.  How’s that for an answer?

The ark that Noah built was divine provision from God.  The ark that every person builds for themselves and their family is also divine provision from God.  God purposed in His heart to redeem His creation to Himself.  Will you accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life today and begin building an ark for yourself and your family?  Today is the day of salvation.  🙂

 

 

 

 

EPHESIANS 6:12 ON 6/12

TL 6-12 EPHESIANS 6-12 ON 6-12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  – Ephesians 6:12

Today’s post serves to remind us that the hurdles before us, the hoops we are expected to jump through on a daily basis, have nothing to do with anything but the power of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?

What is a struggle?  An opposition.  Does evil oppose good?  Well, yes – the last time I checked, it did.  A struggle is a contest.  I’ve read the back of the Bible and guess what?  It’s a contest that’s already won.  A struggle is a fight to be sure.  Who fights on your side?  Christ Jesus does!  Be on the right side.  Does a struggle produce conflict?  Yes, it usually does.  But stay the course and let prayer be your constant companion in the midst of the conflict.

A struggle is an endeavor to do right in a world that wants nothing to do with right.  To struggle is to exert resources every day along with prayer without ceasing to our God who never fails.

We encounter in our struggles – sometimes God puts others with similar beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a real blessing!  Sometimes He puts people who are quite dissimilar in beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a challenge and we pray even harder for the right words and actions so our witness is not blemished.

Have you ever had a skirmish in your struggle?  I have – and that’s when the prayers reach a point where you’re constantly asking for direction on a moment by moment basis.  When there’s a skirmish in your struggle, it’s easy to say or do the exact wrong thing!  Does that ruin your witness?  Yes, sadly – it does.

When we clash during a struggle, we have to stay in a constant attitude of prayer so we don’t crash and burn!  We don’t have the answers, but we know the One who does!  We don’t know what the future holds, but God does.  We’re at a disadvantage during a struggle because we don’t see the way out – but guess what?  God does.

Struggling against forces we can’t even see takes the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we try to struggle without Him, it can take a significant toll on us physically and sometimes emotionally.  A Christian in the midst of a struggle who has stopped praying is defeated.  I’ve met them and so have you.  I don’t want to be one and neither do you.

Our struggles are not fun – but they do make us stronger in our faith when we come out the other side!  Remember that there’s not actual hand-to-hand combat; that’s what God’s Holy Spirit does for us.  The battle is His when it’s all said and done.  Trust Him and be still.  Pray and read God’s Word.  Find His peace as you pray for His way out.

When we struggle, it could be as small as a clash of opinions on facebook, or as big as a major medical issue.  Whatever we face, we know we don’t face it alone.  We know that God is there.  We just have to keep praying and studying His Holy Word, the Bible.  Evil will not win.  Let’s encourage one another with these words as we struggle along together in this life.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)

We all make choices in life, and with those choices come consequences – good or bad.  It’s interesting that on this day in 1933, Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany.  We all saw how that turned out – a very bad consequence – for everyone.

Hitler ruined that mustache for everybody. [I]t’s an interesting mustache, and now nobody can wear it…  – Larry David, Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer

Also on this day in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.  Such a peace-loving individual whose life influenced countless others – definitely a good consequence – for everyone.

Let’s make good choices in life that lead to good positive consequences.  You may think that what you do with your life is nobody’s business.  It’s only true to a certain extent.  A person who is determined to self-destruct almost never keeps their plan to themselves.  What you do with your life will eventually affect others in your family or your circle of friends.CHOOSE YOUR ROAD (2)

It’s interesting that there are almost no references or quotes from Hitler, but I see Gandhi quotes everywhere.  The world needs to be influenced by good, peace-loving people.  We want to hear what they have to say so that we are encouraged on our journey.

An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.  – Mahatma Gandhi 

There are no common traits between Hitler and Gandhi except they both lived as men on this planet.  The compare portion of my essay would almost certainly be the shortest part of the paper.  They were born, they lived, and they died – one by his own hand because he was about to be found out and one much more innocent – at the hand of an assassin.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.  Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.   – Mahatma Gandhi

Why are the guilty left to injure others and the innocent killed by assassins?  God has the answer – I sure don’t.  :-/

 

 

MATTHEW 6:24 ON 6/24

MATTHEW 6 24 ON 6 24

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  – Matthew 6:24

We know we should serve God and not money…  but how should we serve God?  Is it by serving each other?

THE CHRISTIAN JOURNEY

I’ve heard money described as a necessary evil.  Unfortunately, in this ol’ world, we just need to have money – because no matter how many ROLLBACKS they have at Walmart, I’ve yet to see anything that says FREE!

There are people who put the almighty dollar on the throne of their heart – a place where only God should dwell – and that’s when it gets dicey and dangerous for Christians.  It’s not bad to have money if you don’t put a greater value on it than on God.

Most of us have read the back of the Bible – and we know that the dollar we work so hard to earn will one day be as worthless as the paper it’s printed on.  The real value of the dollar is not what it used to be – and it’s getting more worthless every day.

I read an article about how they will soon be putting a chip in all credit / debit cards to avoid identity theft.  I told my husband about this and we just looked at each other – and he said, “They’ll figure it out – probably pretty soon.”   I believe the next step will be to implant a chip under the skin of every person in the world.  I believe Jesus is coming…  SOON!!!

Christians know – we know that the green paper with the picture of the presidents on it – well, it will not be the most important thing when it’s all said and done.  In the past, people have lied for it, deceived for it, embezzled to get it and killed for it.

We know that money is the root of all evil – but it is something we need to have because it is the accepted token of trade for those things we need and want in this world.

As Christians we need to remember that it is God who supplies our needs – and can I let you in on a little secret?  He cares about the things we want as well.  He really does!  Have you ever wondered how something is going to work out and you may receive a refund check from a company that tells you that you’ve over-paid a bill?

I love the way God provides for His own.  He will never forsake us.  There’s a whole world out there that doesn’t have a clue about the prophecy in the Bible that is revealed – that there is coming a day when we won’t be able to use money to make purchases – that they will need a chip in the back of the right hand or the forehead.  Once you receive that chip – that mark of the beast – you are marked as Satan’s.  It will seem like just another societal requirement – but we know it’s much more than that.  Our money says, “In God We Trust” – I pray we really do.  🙂

 

 

GENESIS 6:5 ON 6/5

GENESIS 6 5 ON 6 5

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  – Genesis 6:5

Why would I choose such a negative Scripture?  Well, because the story doesn’t end there!  Did the Lord just throw up His hands and give up on us?  No – of course not!

Does this statement sound familiar?  “I’m a good person.  I don’t hurt people on purpose.  I don’t cheat on my mate and I pay my taxes.”  There are folks who think being good is good enough.  The truth is, every human is born with a sin nature that no amount of “goodness” within us can erase.  Every intention of the thoughts of our hearts are evil.  We have a root of evil that is bent to sin.

What is the solution to the problem of sinful nature?  When we celebrate Christmas – we celebrate the glorious arrival of the one and only perfect One – Christ Jesus!  God sent Him to live on our planet, serve His Father here – and eventually take the sins of the world – past, present, future – on Himself.  He willingly gave His life because He was the only one perfect and spotless Lamb of God worthy to erase our sins.

Once we trust Christ as our personal Savior (I didn’t say anything about religion) – it’s a relationship – at that time, we are free of guilt and shame.  I think I even lost some weight…  I can’t prove it, but I sure felt a lot lighter – 😉

SO…  even though God looks at every one of us and sees wickedness and evilness, once we are covered with the precious blood of Christ – when God looks at us, He sees His Son, Christ Jesus!

That is what I call HOPE TO COPE!!!  It’s good news for sure.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is great news for everyone.  God loves you…  pass it on!  🙂

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (3)

TO THOSE IN OKLAHOMA

On April 19, 1995, two men decided to destroy the lives of people and destroy buildings, cars and other property.  It’s referred to as the Oklahoma City bombing.  It’s considered a domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.

Because Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols made a decision to carry out this evil plot, 168 people lost their lives and more than 700 people were injured.  We still don’t have answers.  Of course the question on everyone’s mind is – why?

The short answer is – we don’t know why.  We know there is evil in the world – but where there is evil, there is more good.  The best came out after tragedy struck.  Local, state, federal and worldwide agencies helped in the rescue efforts after the blast.  Donations to help were received from all over the country.  Where evil crops up – good overcomes.

McVeigh was apprehended quickly – within 90 minutes of the explosion.  Officer Charlie Hanger , an Oklahoma State Trooper, pulled him over for driving without a license plate and arrested him for illegal weapons possession.  Forensic evidence linked both McVeigh and Nichols to the attack.  Nichols was arrested, and in a matter of days both were charged.  Michael and Lori Fortier were later identified as accomplices.  McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001 and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison.  Michael and Lori Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols.  Michael still had to serve 12 years in prison for failing to warn the U.S. government, and Lori received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.

I don’t want to focus on the evil today, but the good.  Those who helped after the bombs exploded at 9:01 – then again at 9:03.

The FBI conducted 28,000 interviews, collected 3.5 short tons of evidence and collected nearly one billion pieces of information.

My husband and I went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial in 2001 and took some photos.  I didn’t think after so much time had passed it would be emotional.  I was wrong.  The memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing.  Every year remembrance services are held at the same time of day as the explosions occurred:  9:01 and 9:03am.

It’s so sad because people were just going to do their job – trying to make a living.  No one thinks that walking into their place of employment will be dangerous.  Since then, we just don’t know if it’s safe to leave the house.  May God give us the strength and courage to live our lives without fear.   😦

 

 

 

JUST PRAY NO! WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYER AND FASTING

TL JUST SAY NO WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYER & FASTING

Against the persecution of a tyrant, the godly have no remedy but prayer.  – John Calvin

This is the last day of the JUST PRAY NO!  WORLDWIDE WEEKEND OF PRAYER AND FASTING.  Right now 200 million people face persecution for believing in Jesus and 60% of those people are children, according to Christians in Crisis International Ministry, a prayer advocacy ministry for persecuted believers.

If your faith won’t fit in the door that opens, then, I argue, do not walk through that door.  – DeVon Franklin

As Christians are being persecuted and killed for their faith around the world, it’s easy for us to feel helpless and defenseless – but when you stop to think about it, we have the greatest defense available – prayer!  We are a non-violent people, and we put our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world in God’s hands.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  – Philippians 1:21

We know that if we follow Christ, we win regardless.  That’s not the point.  The point is, even children are having their lives cut short because of such evil in the world – evil that believes there should be one religion – and it should not be Christianity.

I can’t think of any decision in my life big or small that I have not prayed my way through. – Roma Downey

I know many of you have a medical condition that keeps you from fasting for long periods of time.  You can still pray along with everyone else.  Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is much like the season of lent – where for a while we give up physical food and replace it with spiritual food.  I have to be careful because my blood sugar can dip down too low.  God takes very good care of me though because I’ve not had any dangerously low blood sugars.

It’s important to stay well hydrated, so keep a bottle of water with you during a fast.  Your body can live without food for a few days, but it can only go without water for a few hours.  Don’t let yourself get dehydrated.  I have a water bottle that is BPH free – it was not all that expensive.  I think I found it at Wal-Mart or somewhere like that.  It’s a good investment if you want to measure how much water you’re taking in.  Mine holds a liter.

Choose an instance where God’s people have been in peril, but God has seen them through safely.  There are many accounts, but here’s where my focus has been this weekend:

Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”  – Book of Daniel

If you didn’t get to start yesterday, you can begin today.  Pray the Scriptures for those around the world who are suffering and dying just because they claim the Name of Christ.  I never dreamed I’d see such terror in my lifetime – but here we are.

We have to stay strong and remember to read our Bibles and pray.  This weekend is just one more opportunity to join together and lift our prayers to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.