An Undivided Heart

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 8:07 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Living Water.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 85 (NASB).

God’s Favor

For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

O Lord, You showed favor to Your land;
You restored the captivity of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of Your people;
You covered all their sin. Selah.
You withdrew all Your fury;
You turned away from Your burning anger.

When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, due to the fall of Adam (See: 1 Co. 15). We are separated from God, without hope, and destined to eternal punishment in hell. Yet, all is not hopeless. God had a plan for our salvation. He sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth to be born as a baby. His mother was Mary, and his father was God, for Mary’s baby boy was conceived of the Holy Spirit. She remained a virgin until after she had given birth to Jesus Christ. Then, Jesus grew up to be a man. He began his ministry around the age of 30. He called 12 disciples to himself who traveled with him throughout his ministry. After about 3 years of ministry, because the Jewish leaders of his day were jealous of him and hated him, he was hung on a cross to die, although he had done no wrong.

When Jesus died on that cross, he took upon himself the sins of the entire world. Our sins were crucified and buried with him. When he was resurrected from the dead, he rose triumphant over death, hell, Satan and sin. He took our place on that cross so that we could go free from the punishment of sin (eternal damnation), so we could be free of slavery to sin day-to-day, and so we would be free to walk daily in his holiness and righteousness, all in his power and strength within us. He died so we would die with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and self, so we would be transformed of the Spirit of God, and so we would be given new lives in Christ, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us (See: Ro. 6-8; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; 2 Co. 5:15; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; & 1 Jn. 1-5).

We come to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives by dying with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and self, through repentance, through submission to the cross, and via surrender to our Lord Jesus Christ and to his will for our lives. When Jesus paid the price for our sins, he bought us with his blood, so when we come to him in faith, our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want. Coming to Christ, thus, means death to self so that we can be alive to Christ. We are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed of God in the renewing of our minds so that we live holy lives, pleasing to him, which is our reasonable service of worship to him (See: Ro. 12:1-2).

So, daily we surrender our lives to his will for us, and we choose to do what he wants over and above what we want. As well, we choose to NOT do what we know is wrong and would be displeasing to him, because we love him, and because we truly have been made into new creations in Christ Jesus so that we now desire what God wants for our lives. Ideally, this is how it should be. This is what God intended when he sent his Son to die for us on the cross. Realistically, many do not comprehend this, have not been taught it, and thus do not practice this type of Christian living. Others have drifted away from this over time, due to accepting a diluted gospel, and due to having returned to following after the flesh.

A Call for Revival

Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your indignation toward us to cease.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
Will You not Yourself revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.

It appears that God’s people, although he had forgiven them of their sins, and even though he had showed them his favor, had since turned away from him and had followed after other gods and/or the desires of their own flesh. So, they were experiencing some divine discipline and correction. So, the psalmist was praying for God to relent, to be merciful to his people once more, and to revive them so that the people may rejoice in him once more.

As we know from history, though, the people could not be revived unless they had humbled themselves before God, repented of their sins, turned from their idols, had called out to God in prayer, and had turned to follow their God in obedience once more. The same still holds true today. Many believers in Jesus Christ, who once gave their lives to Christ in surrender to his will for their lives have since drifted away and have become complacent, apathetic, rebellious, disobedient and/or lukewarm toward God and in regard to what he did for them in saving them from their sins (See: Rev. 2-3). These believers are in great need of revival. And, God would love to revive them, but they have to first humble themselves, pray, and turn from their wicked ways if they want God to renew them and to restore them.

Walk in His Footsteps

I will hear what God the Lord will say;
For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
But let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.
Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth springs from the earth,
And righteousness looks down from heaven.
Indeed, the Lord will give what is good,
And our land will yield its produce.
Righteousness will go before Him
And will make His footsteps into a way.

Godliness is not just some state of being from having been cleansed from our sins by God’s saving grace. We are taught all throughout the New Testament that we are to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. In fact, God’s grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age while we wait for his return (See: Tit. 2:11-14). There is no peace for those who are doing what is wicked and evil. We can’t be at peace if we are walking according to the flesh, and if we are quenching the Spirit of God in our lives. If we want God to speak peace to us, we need to live godly, and we need to keep moving in a forward direction, and not turn back to sin.

If we want to know God’s grace (favor) in our daily lives, we need to walk in the fear of the Lord. This fear is not speaking of being afraid of God, though, but it is talking about having a healthy respect for God, for who he is, for his holiness, his mercy, but also for his justice. It means we value, respect, honor, submit to, obey and love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and God the Father so much that we don’t want to sin against him, and so we desire to walk in obedience to his commands. It means we willingly lay down our lives, surrender our wills to the will of the Father in heaven, and that we no longer consider our lives to be our own to be lived out how we want. Jesus is not someone we spend 5 minutes a day with. He is our life, and we commune with him throughout the day and into the night, too. He is our all in all.

God’s loving-kindness and mercy have “met together” with truth and faithfulness. His righteousness and peace have kissed each other. What I believe this means is that they are inseparable, they are brought into harmony with each other and they are fastened together in a common bond (Source: biblehub.com). And, I believe that is how it is supposed to be in our lives, too. In other words we can’t have and show love if we are caught up in telling lies and if we are unfaithful to God and in other relationships where faithfulness is required. We can’t have true peace if we are living in unrighteousness. If we want peace, we must walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. If we want to love others, we need to be truth tellers and we need to be faithful to our Lord and show integrity in all other relationships.

So, if you have never given your life to Jesus Christ in death to sin and in surrender to his will for your life, I pray you will do so today. If you know that you have been born again of God, but you have since drifted from your pure relationship with him, and you have gone off to follow after other gods of this world, in order to satisfy the deep longings of your soul, then I pray you will humble yourself before God, call on him in prayer, repent of your sin and turn to follow him today in humble obedience and submission to his will and purposes for your life. His living water is all that will ever satisfy the thirsts of our souls. Amen!

Living Water / An Original Work / November 21, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures

My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.

Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.

Living Water satisfies.

The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.

Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.

Living Water glorifies.

Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.

My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?

Living Water sanctifies.

http://originalworks.info/living-water/

My Heart’s Desire

Paul said his heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites (his own people) was that they may be saved. I concur with him, in that is my desire, as well, for my family members, friends, neighbors and the people of this world to come to know Christ Jesus as Lord and as Savior of their lives, and for them to walk with him in faith and obedience to his commands.

There are many who profess Christ as Savior who are zealous to do good works. Yet, there are others who profess Christ who are just busy living to please themselves. Whether living to please self with little to no concern for others, or fully zealous for good works and Christian service, it is possible to believe you are a Christian and yet not be, because you seek to establish your own righteousness instead of submitting to God’s.

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny (disallow) himself, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and to please self, we will lose them for eternity, but if we willingly die to sin and self, we will gain eternal life with God in heaven (See Lu. 9:23-26). And, the Apostle Paul, in the Spirit, said that the way we come to know Christ is by forsaking our old lives of sin and self, by being transformed in heart and mind (via the Spirit of God), and by putting on our new lives in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Ep. 4:17-24). So, when we declare with our mouths that Jesus is our Lord, this is what we are declaring, and we agree with this in our hearts. Then, we are saved.

My Heart’s Desire / An Original Work / June 29, 2013

Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24

Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.

The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.

Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.

http://originalworks.info/my-hearts-desire/

Restore Us

Monday, December 29, 2014, 11:22 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “My Cry for Mercy.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 80 (ESV).

Our Shepherd

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm.

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh,
stir up your might
and come to save us!

Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved! ~ vv. 1-3

According to the New Testament (post Christ’s death and resurrection), Israel, as in God’s people, is no longer the Jewish nation of the Old Testament, but it is both Jew and Gentile who have put their hope and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives (See: Romans 9:6b-8; Gal. 3:10, 16, 26-29; Gal. 4:22-31; Eph. 2:14-18). So, spiritual Israel today is the church, the body of Christ. And, Jesus Christ, God the Son, is our shepherd.

It appears here that the people of God had come under some type of divine discipline, and so this is a cry for mercy. The psalmist is asking for the shepherd of Israel to come save them. This is not a call of the unsaved to be regenerated, though, but of believers in Christ asking God to revive them, to renew and restore them, either because they had fallen into sin and they had wandered away from their pure devotion to their Lord, and/or because they had become discouraged and disheartened and/or they were lonely and needy because of all the turmoil, distress, persecution and hardships that had come their way.

Our Prayers

O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved! ~ vv. 4-7

Evidently, in this case, God was angry with the prayers of his people, and so he was not responding to their prayers. So, I wondered, does God still get angry, or is he sometimes displeased with his people’s prayers? – And, if so, under what circumstances?

We read in the Gospels that we should not pray hypocritically just to make an impression on others. We should also not pray with vain repetitions that don’t mean anything or pray long drawn-out prayers using spiritual-sounding words just so we appear righteous to others. As well, we should not hold on to unforgiveness in our hearts when we come to God in prayer, but we should forgive and then pray. We ought not to pray with a prideful attitude, either, looking down on others and thinking we are so high and mighty. All have sinned.

Husbands are commanded to honor their wives and to live with them in an understanding way so that their prayers may not be hindered (1 Pet. 3:7). God’s ears are open to the prayer of the righteous, but his face is against those who do evil (1 Pet. 3:12). In context, this is written to the church, so the “righteous” here is not a reference to all who have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, but this is speaking of those who live righteously, as this is contrasted with those who DO evil. If we want God to listen to our prayers, we need to walk daily in his righteousness and holiness. Going along with this idea, in 1 Pet. 4:7 we read that we should be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of our prayers, so obviously our walk of faith and obedience to our Lord has an effect on our prayers.

We also read that when we ask God for something in prayer, that we need to ask in faith and not doubt (Jas. 1:6). And, when we ask God for something in prayer, we should not expect to receive anything from the Lord if we ask with the wrong motives, that we may spend whatever we receive from God on our own worldly passions and desires (Jas. 4:3). If we want to receive from God when we ask him for something in prayer, we need to keep his commandments and do what pleases him (1 Jn. 3:22). We also need to ask according to his will (1 Jn. 5:14). So, it appears that, even today, our prayers can be hindered if we are not walking by faith, living holy lives pleasing to God – all in his power at work within us. So, if we want God to answer our prayers, we need to repent of any known sin and pray for mercy, i.e. for God to restore us to himself, which he will do if we are sincere.

And, yet, God does not promise that we will be delivered out of all our troubles. In fact, he promises that in this life we will have sorrow, pain, hardship, persecutions, etc. Jesus said we would be hated, persecuted, falsely accused, arrested and even killed for our testimonies for him and for his gospel.

But, what he does promise us is that he will never leave us or forsake us, and that he will give us all we need to endure, to be strong in our faith, to be courageous, to persevere and to not lose hope. Even in the midst of sadness, he will fill us with songs of praise to him and with joy everlasting. He will teach us his ways, will grow and mature us, purify our hearts, and he will conform us to the image of Christ. He will also fill us with his peace and assurance even when “all hell” is breaking loose all around us. He will also intervene on our behalf in miraculous ways. Sometimes miracles happen because of difficulties, as well as in spite of them. If we are walking in his ways, he will also use us to be ministers of his grace in the lives of others. And, he will work all things out for good for those of us who love God and who have been called according to his purpose. Amen!

Our Relationship

Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted,
and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved! ~ vv. 14-19

When we came to faith in Jesus Christ, via God’s grace to us, we died with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and self, we were transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we were given new lives in Christ to be lived in his righteousness and holiness. In fact, Jesus died for our sins so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave himself up for us. He did not die just so we could escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He died so we would die to sin and live in his righteousness.

This is God’s grace to us: It is not a free license to continue living in willful sin free from guilt and punishment. His grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled and upright lives in this present age while we wait for his return. Jesus Christ gave himself up for us “to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” He will give us all we need to live godly and holy lives pleasing to Him. [See: Luke 9:23-25; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; 2 Co. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; & 1 Jn. 1-5.]

If this is not what happened to you when you “believed” in Jesus Christ, then perhaps you did not truly believe in Jesus, and you need to right now submit to his cross, die with Christ to sin and self, and allow the Holy Spirit of God to transform you in heart and mind, and to make you into a new creation in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See: Eph. 4:17-24).

Or, perhaps you did truly come to faith in Jesus Christ but you have since wandered away from your pure devotion to your Lord, and you have allowed yourself to return to living in sin and to walking according to the flesh instead of according to the Spirit. God has been convicting your heart, but you have been resisting him, and/or you have been living in denial and you have been making excuses for what you know is wrong. And, perhaps, you are facing some type of divine discipline and you want God to deliver you, but you have not yet been willing to give your all to Jesus. Jesus is calling you to repent of your sin and to return to your first love (See Rev. 2-3), because he longs to revive you, renew you and restore you to himself. All you need to do is surrender your life to him. He will restore you.

My Cry For Mercy / An Original Work / October 31, 2013

Based off Psalm 86

Hear my prayer, Lord, I am needy.
Guard my life, for I’m devoted to You.
Save me! I’m Your servant.
You are my God. I trust in You.

O, Lord, have mercy on me,
For I call to You.
Bring joy to me, for to You
I will lift up my soul.

You are giving and forgiving.
You abound in love to all who
Call upon You. Hear my prayer, Lord.
Listen to my cry for mercy.

In days of trouble I call to You,
Knowing that You will
Do marvelous things,
Because You are my God.

Teach me Your way; I’ll walk in it.
In Your truth, Lord, You will guide me.
A pure heart, Lord, You will give me,
So that I may glorify You.

Turn to me, Lord, and grant
Strength to Your servant.
O, Lord, You are my help,
For You love and You comfort me.

Teach me Your way; I’ll walk in it.
In Your truth, Lord, You will guide me.
A pure heart, Lord, You will give me,
So that I may glorify You.

http://originalworks.info/my-cry-for-mercy/

Just Are You

“And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying…” (Rev. 15:2-3 ESV)

“The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say…” (Rev. 16:4-5 ESV)

“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty…” (Rev. 16:12-14 ESV)

Just Are You / An Original Work / August 26, 2013
Based off Revelation 15-16

Great and marvelous
Are Your deeds, O God.
Just and true Your ways,
King of all the earth.
Who will not fear You;
Glorify Your name?
You are righteousness.
Praise Your Name!

Just are You, O Lord,
Our Eternal ONE,
For You judge the earth
In Your righteousness.
They have shed the blood
Of Your righteous ones.
You give their reward.
They’re to blame!

Kings of all the earth
Gather, one accord;
Make haste to engage
In a mighty war.
They oppose the Lord
And His holy saints.
They serve wickedness,
To their shame!

Jesus comes again,
To some unforeseen.
Blessed are those who wait
For Him at the gate.
They’ll not be ashamed.
“Glad” be their refrain.
When He comes again,
He’ll remain!

http://originalworks.info/just-are-you/

God’s Holy Temple

Monday, December 29, 2014, 7:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Fully Ready.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 79:1-4 (ESV).

A Psalm of Asaph.

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the heavens for food,
the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.

As recorded in Revelation 11, John was told to measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but to not measure the court outside the temple, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

The temple of God is now the church, the body of Christ, the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and the altar a reference to our personal worship of God, a place where we meet God in prayer, and a place of personal sacrifice, i.e. of giving our lives to God in surrender to his will and his purposes for our lives (See: Ro. 12:1-2). We are now the holy city, as the physical city of Jerusalem is now of Hagar, the slave woman, but we, as followers of Christ, are of the free woman and are the children of promise. As well, the Word of God is the measurement by which this temple, the body of Christ, was to undergo spiritual examination (See: Rev. 2-3 for examples). It is also believers in Jesus Christ who are being trampled by the nations. And, this is happening right now in our day and time, though certainly I don’t know where we are exactly in God’s timetable concerning the last days.

What I can tell you is that Christ’s followers – his servants and witnesses – are being persecuted severely and are being put to death throughout the world right now, and by the nations. So, who are these nations? They are comprised of the USA and their NATO allies, though I believe that is expanding. For the past 8 years the Lord Jesus has been opening my eyes and he has been making me aware of what is truly going on in the government of the USA, the UN, and with our NATO allies. I believe that these nations together form what is commonly referred to as the New World Order (alias the beast), and that they are under the authority of a group of elitists who basically are the ones who rule the world.

As well, what the Lord Jesus has been opening my eyes to see these past 8 years is how these nations, primarily the USA, which leads the way in power and in military strength, have created crisis situations and chaos in various nations, including inside our own nation, in order to justify going in to other nations (and now into our own, too) to kill and to destroy at will, to overpower existing governments, and to consume the natural resources of these various nations so that they have complete control of the world’s natural resources, which is why we won’t be able to buy or sell unless we have the mark of the beast. The US and their allies also create “terrorist” organizations and financially support them so that they also have an excuse to go into other nations to kill and to destroy at will.

One of the latest creations of the US/N.W.O. is “ISIS,” which they blame for creating all kinds of havoc and for killing (beheading) Christians and journalists, et al. ISIS just so happens to be the name of an Egyptian goddess who, according to mythology, was the mother of Horus. The All-Seeing eye above the unfinished pyramid on our great seal and on our $1 bill is the Eye of Horus. Supposedly the Statue of Liberty was patterned after this goddess, as many of our statues and buildings in Washington D.C. are also patterned after Greek, Roman and/or Egyptian gods and goddesses, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the statue which sits on top of our Capital Building. Many of our winter storms of the past two years, as well, have been named after these mythological gods and goddesses. And, we are supposedly a Christian nation.

So, not only has the US government invaded the Lord’s inheritance in the USA via the 501c3 not-for-profit corporation status of churches, thus regulating what churches can and cannot do or say, they have wielded a strong influence, I believe, over what is being taught in our churches today, which is a soft-sell gospel, which is no gospel at all, and which purposefully targets the world, serves to entertain, and shies away from talking about sin, repentance, judgment, hell, punishment and obedience, because it does not want to offend or to make people uncomfortable, and because it wants the world to like coming to its meetings. Yet, the US government also, I believe, are directly or indirectly responsible for the persecution and murdering of Christians throughout the world, and are moving in that direction within the USA itself through the use of fake or orchestrated crisis situations, which then allows them to change our laws, but not in our favor. See the National Defense Authorization Act 2014 as one example of this (link provided below).

Basically, I believe the US government and their allies (the nations) are presently involved in doing exactly what this passage of scripture speaks of, which is the trampling of God’s temple, his church, and the murdering of those who hold to the testimony of Jesus and who keep the commandments of God/Christ. Yet, I also believe that through the church undergoing such severe persecution that it is bearing fruit for the gospel and for the salvation of souls, and that many people will come to faith in Jesus Christ as they see these believers in Jesus Christ stand strong in their faith and not bow to the beast. I believe we are destined to be persecuted and to even be killed for our testimonies for Christ before Christ returns for his bride, but that through this suffering the adulterous church will be revived, and that many will flock to God’s holy mountain, Jesus Christ, and to his gospel of salvation (See Isaiah 2, which is a prophecy about these last days before Christ’s return).

Yet, we are not to fear what is happening and what is about to happen, because all these things must take place. They were all prophesied about in scripture, so they will happen.

Instead, we should be ready to suffer and to even die for the sake of Christ and his gospel of salvation, because our suffering will not be in vain. God will use it to strengthen our faith and our resolve, and to move us to share his gospel of salvation with others, so that many can know the way of salvation and can be saved before the end of time. Yet, we should not wait until things get really bad before we get off our couches and away from our TV sets and we begin to take God and his word seriously, and the salvation of lost souls seriously, and we stand for the truth of God’s word in this perverse generation, rather than join in with them or rather than just entertain them so that they die without hope.

Oh, how I pray that we will take this seriously and that for those of us in the USA, that we will inquire of our Lord concerning the goings on inside the walls of our government, that we will ask the Lord what our government is doing in all these other nations, and that we will seek the Lord concerning what they are doing in our own nation. I pray we would also inquire of the Lord concerning the shortness of time, and that we will get serious about God, about his word, and about sharing his gospel, because time is truly short.

Fully Ready! / An Original Work / June 19, 2013

Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8

Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.

May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”

“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”

http://originalworks.info/fully-ready/

Additional Resources:

NDAA 2014: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/cypresscreek/blogs/harold-pease-ndaa-still-dangerous-still-unconstitutional-still-unacceptable/article_40c269cc-6ce3-11e3-a736-0019bb2963f4.html

ISIS: http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/isis-cia-creation-justify-war-abroad-repression-home/

Return to Me

Even though we, as believers in Jesus Christ, are underneath the New Covenant relationship between God and his people – his church – it is still possible for us to sin, and for us to wander away from our pure devotion to Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Savior, and for us to have need to return to our Lord in faithfulness and in obedience, and in surrender to his will (See Rev. 2-3). Yet, even if we are faithless, God remains faithful to all his promises. Yet, we must be reminded that included in those promises is that he will bring divine correction and discipline upon those he loves, so we should be earnest and repent. If we humble ourselves before God in repentance and in choosing to follow his ways once again, he will renew, revive and he will restore us. And, that is hope! And, we can count on it!

There is also encouragement here for those who have labored in love in praying for the wayward church, in witnessing, speaking the truth in love, teaching God’s truths, loving with his love, and in preaching the full gospel message. Our labor of love will be rewarded, for God will discipline his wayward people and through divine discipline they will return to the Lord Jesus and he will restore them. Amen! This is a promise of revival! I rejoice!

Return to Me / An Original Work / September 5, 2013

Based off Jeremiah 31; Cf. Rev. 2-3

I have loved you with an eternal love,
Which I give to you, in my faithfulness.

Keep your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tearing.
You will be rewarded
With much fruitfulness.

There is hope for you that My family
Will return to Me; live in victory!

Though I discipline in My love for you,
My heart longs for you that you walk in truth.

Turn your thoughts to your Lord.
Choose to walk in His ways.
Turn from your sins daily.
Follow Jesus Christ.

Oh, how long will you wander in your sin?
Give your hearts to Me; be restored within.

I will satisfy ev’ry weary soul
Who repents of sin; is renewed within.

Behold, days are coming;
It will surely happen;
Though I discipline them,
They will thrive again.

I will be their One and their Only God.
They shall walk in white; be in Me, made right.

http://originalworks.info/return-to-me/

The Perpetual Ruins

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 8:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Trust Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 74:1-4 (NASB).

Remember Us

A Maskil of Asaph.

O God, why have You rejected us forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance;
And this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt. ~ vv. 1-2

The people of God were under the hand of God’s judgment. God, in anger, had handed them over to the desire of their foe. So, the psalmist was appealing to God for mercy, based upon the covenant relationship God had with his people. He asked God to not forget his people, but to remember those whom he had purchased for his very own.

We don’t know exactly the circumstances surrounding the writing of this psalm other than the psalmist described what sounds like the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple there. In that case, God judged his people for their idolatry, their spiritual adultery, and their refusal to repent of their sin; for their refusal to heed God’s warnings and to listen to the words spoken by his prophets. The people of God had hardened their hearts against God, and they had turned away from him and had gone their own way. Time and time again God sent his prophets to warn them of judgment and to call them to repentance, but they didn’t listen. And, so God had to send upon them the judgment he had threatened. His goal, though, was to bring them to repentance so that he could renew them and restore them.

Yet, God doesn’t always discipline in anger. He often allows us to go through difficult times as a way of maturing us, strengthening us in our faith, teaching us endurance, and purifying our hearts. In these times of trouble we learn to put our dependence in God alone, and not in ourselves or in other humans. We are also humbled during these times of trial and testing so that we learn to be compassionate towards others who are suffering, and so we can offer them the same comfort we received from God. Jesus said that, as his followers, we will be hated and persecuted, mistreated and falsely accused, and arrested and even put to death for our faith in Jesus Christ and for our testimonies for him and for his gospel. So, suffering and persecution do not come our way only because of sin in our lives, but as part of God’s process of conforming us to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.

The Perpetual Ruins

Turn Your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins;
The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary.
Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place;
They have set up their own standards for signs. ~ vv. 3-4

Rather than discuss the circumstances surrounding the psalmist’s words here, I believe God would have me look at how this passage of scripture is being realized today.

The temple of God today is the body of Christ, the church – the heavenly Jerusalem. It is not a physical building or an organization of humans, but it is a living organism comprised of believers in Jesus Christ throughout the world. The sanctuary of God is also not within a building built by human hands, so if someone tells you that walking into a building called “church” means you are entering the “house of God” or that when you enter the sanctuary (or worship center) that you are now entering into God’s presence, they are wrong. That is based off the Old Covenant relationship between God and his people. We are now God’s house, and his sanctuary is within our hearts. His presence dwells within us, not in a building. So, if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we are always in his presence.

So, with that in mind, I would like to look at some ways in which the true church today is in perpetual (continuous) ruins – where the sanctuary has been damaged, where our adversaries have roared in our midst, and where they have set up their own standards for signs.

The Sanctuary

Since the sanctuary of God is in our hearts, and thus it represents God’s abiding presence in our lives, because of God’s grace to us in saving us from our sins, how can the enemy do damage to that sanctuary? Well, the purpose of the sanctuary was a place where God’s people could go to meet with him, to find refuge in him and to worship him. The sanctuary thus represents our personal relationships with Jesus Christ, our communion with him, our walks of faith, and our times of fellowship with him in personal Bible study, worship, and prayer, and then followed up with obedience to what he taught us.

The enemy has done great damage to this sanctuary, because he has convinced those who profess the name of Jesus that being under grace is some kind of easy ride, and that since God has forgiven us for our sins, sin doesn’t really matter to God. He has convinced those who want to believe in Jesus that all they have to do is say some prayer and they have their escape from hell (if hell is even mentioned), their ticket into heaven, and that nothing can take that away from them no matter how they live their lives from that point on. In fact, they are taught that God is pleased with them no matter what they do and that he delights in them even when they are willfully sinning against him.

God is presented as a doting grandfather in the sky there to grant their every wish. They are not taught the fear of the Lord, for that might offend people or drive them away. They are not taught that they have to die to their sins, for that might be considered too harsh or judgmental. They are instead taught this happy-happy version of the gospel that requires nothing of the sinner turned saint at all other than to “believe” – whatever that means. And, so they don’t take God and his word seriously, they live just like the world, and they participate in many (or all) of the same sinful activities as does the world. They are idolatrous and are living in spiritual adultery, if they even know Christ. And, they are taught a me-centered version of Christianity rather than the God-centered true gospel.

The Meeting Place

The “meeting place” can represent our personal times of fellowship and worship of our Lord and/or it can mean our times when we gather with the body of Christ for worship, prayer, the teaching of the Word and fellowship.

If the enemy roars in the midst of our meeting place, what picture comes to mind? To “roar” can mean to rumble, thunder, grumble, or sneer. This can mean to create some kind of disturbance, persecution, threat, or distraction. Oh, he is great at doing that when we sit down with our Bibles and we begin to pray and to study God’s word. He may come against us with an accusing tongue, or he may get our minds off on tangents, or he may introduce fear or worry into our minds, or he might get us thinking about all the things we have to get done that day. Or, he could make us sleepy or whatever might work that would get us to be unproductive in spending time with the Lord in prayer and in his word.

He will also lie to us and convince us that God is happy with us spending just 5 minutes a day with him, and he is ok with us having days go by when we don’t spend time with him at all. He understands. Of course, these same folks have plenty of time for Facebook, the Internet, TV, and games, etc. We make the time to do what is most important to us, don’t we?

And, then in the fellowship of the Body of Christ in their meetings the enemy has convinced believers that they need to invite the world into their meetings, that they need to focus the attention of the meetings around reaching out to the world, that they need to make things light, fun and happy and make sure we have a really good band that will draw in large crowds of people, etc. He has convinced the church that they need to entertain everyone so that people will want to come back, and that they need to not be judgmental or get on people’s case about sin, and that they need to avoid such subjects as sin, repentance and obedience, because that is legalistic, and they are “free” from all that. So, what we have here are often theatre productions in public meetings involving both Christians and non-Christians, and then we call that “worship” of God and Christian fellowship.

Their Own Standards

Basically what this means is that the enemy has skillfully and subtly exchanged God’s standards for his own standards. He has convinced church leadership, across multiple denominations to follow books written by mere men who then teach church leaders how to grow their churches. This is where they are taught to dilute the gospel in order to make it more appealing and acceptable to the world, where they are taught to use human marketing schemes for how to draw in large crowds of people to their meetings, and where they are taught to discourage participation from people who hold to the foundational truths of the gospel and to target the people of the world or those who have little Biblical knowledge so that they can mold them according to their pattern.

This has been going on for a very long time. The enemy is very patient. He takes his time slowly and carefully introducing changes into the church which are more in line with his plans for the church than they are in line with God’s plans for his church. The church has thus been on a gradual decline for many years. I have become aware of this only about 16 years now, and I have watched how the enemy has lied to church leaders and congregations and how they have bought into his lies and how little by little he has gotten them to compromise truth and to accept different standards and a different gospel from the ones taught by Christ and by his apostles. And, it breaks my heart!

The psalmist cried out to God in desperation. He appealed to God’s mercy. He listed off to God all the things the enemies of God had done to his temple, to his sanctuary and to his holy city. He also mentioned that the prophets of God also appeared to be no more. Then, he inquired of God as to how long this must go on. When would God intervene on the behalf of his people? He asked that God not forget his afflicted forever. He asked God to plead his own cause.

And, I empathize with him, because I pray to God regularly for him to bring revival to his church here in America. Yet, I believe revival will only come through God’s hand of judgment (discipline), and that will come only when God’s timing is right. Yet, I am not looking forward to that time as far as what I believe this nation will have to suffer, but oh how my heart aches to see the church revived and no longer believing the lies of the enemy, but following God wholeheartedly. So, I wait on the Lord, and I trust him. He will work out all for good in the life of his church, and she will return to HIM. Amen!

Trust Him / An Original Work / August 15, 2012

Based off Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be of courage;
Be strong and take heart today.
Do not fear when foes attack you.
Trust in God always.
He will rescue you in times
Of trouble and distress,
He’ll comfort you in all ways
As you trust Him with your life today.
Trust in Him always.

God is with you; He’ll not leave you.
You can always count on Him.
He will fulfill all He promised
Before you began.
His word teaches you
All that you need for this life.
Let Him lead you. Open your heart;
Let his truth envelope you today.
Listen and obey.

Love your Lord God; follow Jesus.
Repent of your sins today.
Make Him your Lord and your master;
Trust Him and obey.
Follow Him where’er He leads you
In His service; be His witness,
Telling others about Jesus’
Price that He did pay
For your sins always.

http://originalworks.info/trust-him/