Of Faith

Thursday, July 13, 2017, 4:11 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “His Tender Mercies.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read several scriptures (in the ESV) on the subject of faith.

Be Not Anxious (Matthew 6:25-34)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

I think it is human nature to want to know the end from the beginning of a situation before we will venture into that area. It can be, in the natural, a fearful thing to step out into the unknown, not knowing what lies ahead or how things are going to come together. Yet, when we walk by faith, we learn to trust the Lord in all things, and we believe him to work it all out according to his plans and his purposes.

In the natural, so many things could go wrong, and our plans could fall apart. But, when we are being led by the Lord, and he is the one directing our paths, he will go before us, and he will prepare the way for us. This is not saying we will never face obstacles, but that God is completely sovereign (in control), and that he will work all things out for the good of those who love him; who have been called according to his purposes.

So, we learn to trust him, and to rest in him, and to believe him to supply all that we need for what he has called us to do. And, so we inquire of him to know what we are to do, where we are to go, and what we are to say. We do what he says, and then we leave the results in his hands. We follow him and his lead in our lives, and we trust him, too, with the people in our lives.

Of Little Faith (Matthew 8:23-27)

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

When we follow the Lord in obedience, it does not mean it will always be “smooth sailing.” Sometimes we will face storms, i.e. difficult and troubling situations which shake us, and which may be life threatening, as well. And, it may seem to us that God is asleep on the job, and that he is not paying attention to what is going on in our lives. But, he is still sovereign (in control), and he has it handled. Nothing escapes his notice. He has a plan and a purpose for it all, and he will see us through any and every situation.

So, we should not let the storms of life unsettle us or to make us feel as though there is no recourse or that there is no hope. We must be steadfast in hope and in faith no matter our circumstances. Walking by faith often means that we don’t know what lies before us, and how things are all going to work out. But, when we know God is in it, we have to know that he will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Why Do You Doubt? (Matthew 14:22-33)

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Sometimes, when things get particularly bad, which they will sometimes, we lose sight of Jesus and we get lost in the details of what we are going through. And, that is when we begin to fear and to fret. And, that is because we are looking at the circumstances and we are focusing on them rather than focusing on the God who is sovereign (in control) over our circumstances. So, we may begin to listen to the lies of Satan, instead, and begin to think that God can do nothing about what we are going through.

And, even though Jesus is right there with us in our circumstances, we may not recognize him, and so our hearts may begin to sink. And, when we cry out to him, he reveals himself to us, and he shows us how he is there. Sometimes it isn’t just that he is there with us through our trials, though, but that he is the one initiating the trials in our lives, because he has a plan and a purpose for them to mature us, to get us to rely on him and not on ourselves, and to teach us patience and endurance.

We might, at times, step out in faith, and be walking with the Lord in obedience, and then along the way get sidetracked by troubles or hardships and forget that our Lord is in control. And, then we begin to drown in our difficult circumstances because we took our eyes off Jesus. So, we need to refocus our attention on Jesus, be renewed in our faith, and keep going forward, even when we don’t know what lies ahead. We must walk by faith and not by sight, believing God to do his work in our lives, and in the lives of those we love, even if we don’t see yet what has been promised.

His Tender Mercies / An Original Work / January 26, 2014

Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.

Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.

Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.

Days Formed for Me

Thursday, July 6, 2017, 6:06 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Search Me, O God.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 139 (Select vv. ESV).

He Knows Me (vv. 1-7)

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?

Our God and Lord knows us, the end from the beginning, inside and out, thoroughly and completely, because he is the one who made us. He knows everything we do. We cannot hide from God. Nothing we do is hidden from his sight. Even if we go into a dark place, he still sees and knows everything we are doing. Nothing escapes his notice! He is acquainted with all of our ways. We may be able to fool people, but we can’t fool God. He knows. He sees. So, if we are doing wrong, and we are trying to look good on the outside, while inside, when we are alone in the darkness, we are doing what is wicked, although humans may not see and may not know, God knows. And, what he says he will do will be fulfilled. We can count on it!

Yet, if we are doing what is right, this should serve to be a comfort and an encouragement to us that God knows us completely. Because he does, even if others misjudge us or reject us based on a misconception or on their own prejudice, God knows the truth. He knows our hearts, who we are, and what we do, and the reasons we do it, even if no one else does. And, he will comfort us with that knowledge, fill us with his peace, and assure us of his grace, strength, and the knowledge of his will for our lives. Even before we utter a word in prayer to him, he knows what we are going to say, and he may even begin to answer us or counsel us in our minds before we even vocalize our requests to him, or even before we even know what to ask.

In My Mother’s Womb (vv. 13-16)

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

None of us are here on this earth by chance or by mistake. God formed us in the wombs of our mothers. What this means is that he placed us in the families we were born into, even knowing what would happen to us – good or bad. He didn’t cause evil, but he allows evil to exist for his purposes. He doesn’t always protect us from harm, but he protects us emotionally and spiritually through the storms of life, if we trust him. He didn’t promise us we would never face adversity. In fact, he said the opposite. He said that, as his followers, we would be treated like he was treated. He uses our life experiences to mold us and to shape us into the people he created us to be. And, he is quite capable of seeing us through any and all circumstances, no matter how difficult, and to give us the wisdom and strength we need to endure, to persevere, and to “come out shining like gold” (1).

For those of us who know God, and who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, we must know that even before God created the world, he chose us, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He predestined us to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. And, he called us to a holy calling in Christ Jesus, our Lord (See: Ro. 8:29; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-4). He has something for each of us to do. He has a plan and a purpose for our lives. He didn’t save us so we could live however we want, and so we could plan out our own lives. He has given us spiritual gifts and he has given us each assignments within the body of Christ which we are to fulfill for his purposes and for his glory (See: Jer. 1). This is my assignment, to write out what he teaches me each day, and to post it on the internet.

Lead Me, I Pray (vv. 17-18, 23-24)

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

God doesn’t think like we do, as humans. His ways are higher than our ways. What might not make sense to us makes perfect sense to God, because he knows the end from the beginning. He knows what lies ahead for us. Sometimes he allows delays and roadblocks because he has a plan that is greater than our understanding. So, what might seem like a failure to us may not be that at all. We need to learn to trust God and not lean on our own understanding, for our understanding is flawed (imperfect), whereas his is absolutely perfect. We also need to understand that God’s timing is not the same as ours. I think that in today’s culture, particularly here in America, we want everything fast, and we have lost the art of patience. But, God is very patient, and he is willing that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So, we need to wait on God’s timing.

God knows our hearts and our minds. We sometimes think we know like God knows, but we don’t always, although we do have the mind of Christ (See: 1 Co. 2:16). Sometimes we even misjudge ourselves or we are self-deceived into thinking thoughts about ourselves which are not true. So, it is good for us to have God search our minds and hearts and to show us what we are not able to see about ourselves, so that we can be changed in heart and mind in conformity to Christ and to his will for our lives. We might think we are serving the Lord, and that he is pleased with us, but we might be missing the mark. So, it is good to have those soul-searching times alone with God where we pray and we ask him to reveal to us any sins or if we are going the wrong direction, and for him to guide us and to lead us in the way he would have us to go, because, again, he has a very specific assignment for each one of us which he wants us to fulfill, and so we need to fulfill it.

Search Me, O God / An Original Work / July 12, 2012

Based off Psalm 139

O Lord, You search and know me.
You know all that I do.
O Lord, You discern my ways.
I put my trust in You.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
Where’er I am, You are with me,
Guiding me in love.
O Lord, You search and know me.
You know all that I do.
O Lord, You discern my ways.
I put my trust in You.

O Lord, You made and formed me
In my own mother’s womb.
Your hands beautif’ly made me.
I give my praise to You.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in the dark place.
All the days ordained for me
Were written in Your book.
O Lord, You made and formed me
In my own mother’s womb.
Your hands beautif’ly made me.
I give my praise to You.

O Lord, how precious to me
Are Your thoughts, O my God.
When I wake in the morning,
You are still here with me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offense.
Lead me in Your truth.
O Lord, how precious to me
Are Your thoughts, O my God.
When I wake in the morning,
You are still here with me.

References:

(1) https://www.scribd.com/doc/101911488/Lyrics-I-Am-Willing-Lord-Joni-Eareckson-Tada

Worthless Images

Sunday, June 11, 2017, 3:11 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “The King is Coming.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 97 (ESV).

The Lord Reigns (vv. 1-5)

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.

Our God is absolutely sovereign (in control) over all he has made. He is all powerful and fully capable of doing whatever needs to be done at any time. His hands are not ever tied. He will do all that he said he would do. We can absolutely count on his words to be truth and that, what he promised he would do, it will be fulfilled. Yet, for now, he allows evil to reign, although he puts limits on it. Still, he uses evil beings as his divine instruments of judgment on nations, peoples, and even on his wandering saints, in order to punish, discipline, correct and/or to revive them or to save them. So, even though all hell may be breaking loose all around us, we are not to worry, for all this was foretold thousands of years ago, and now we are seeing some of what was prophesied being fulfilled before our eyes. For, God’s “righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.”

Worshipers of Images (vv. 6-9)

The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
who make their boast in worthless idols;
worship him, all you gods!

Zion hears and is glad,
and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
because of your judgments, O Lord.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.

What is an idol or an image? An idol can be a hero, an obsession, an ideal, or an icon. An icon is a symbol, image or an object of undying devotion. And, an image is an appearance, persona, impression, idea, view or concept of something, i.e. what we perceive it to be. It can be anything or anyone to which or to whom we give our undivided loyalty and support, our praise and adoration, our respect and honor, our trust and loyalty, and our commitment and fidelity (faithfulness); or to whom or which we give our time, energies, passion, desire, heart, faith (belief), blind obedience, and affection.

For example, many Americans, including many American Christians, give such loyalty and trust to their government, or to a particular political party. Such as, many people in America are looking to Donald Trump to save this nation out of the grip of the global elite and to return this nation to its roots, i.e. to nationalism, rather than globalism. But, that is faulty thinking, because Trump is one of the elite, and he is not against globalism, but is working their agenda under their leadership and direction. And, the US government has no real authority in this nation, anyway, for we are truly ruled by an Elite shadow government which is the de facto government of this nation and a precursor to or the reality of the New World Order beast.

What they have planned for this nation is some type of major crisis which will be the catalyst to advancing the New World Order agenda. It could come in the form of a financial catastrophe, a “terrorist” (home-grown) attack, or an unnatural (man-made) disaster, such as a hurricane or a super storm, or it could be all three of these. These crises will be the excuse they will need to promote and implement their global agenda and totalitarian regime. Yet, this will be the crucible (vessel, test, trial) for the spiritual revival of America’s adulterous and complacent church, and for purifying the saints of God and getting them ready for their Lord’s soon return, as well as for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus throughout the earth.

When this becomes clear that we are already a conquered people, and that this global New World Order is already running our country, and that they represent the unholy trinity of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, then the image we had of our country will soon fade away, as reality sets in. We will also realize that what is coming to us is the likes of what the people of Germany faced under Hitler’s rule during WW2. People will be either of the wealthy and powerful, or they will be of the common people, or they will be of the despised and rejected who refused to cooperate with this New World Order beast and its one world religion. And, the uncooperative will then be targeted for extinction or for incarceration. There will be no more middle class nor will there be any more middle of the road Christians.

This all may begin with merely internet controls, which has been on the agenda for some time. It is in the works to clamp down on free speech and to control what can or cannot be said on the internet. They already consider those who are true followers of Christ and of his gospel as “religious extremists” and whose message must not be tolerated or allowed to spread any further across this nation or across the world. They are already gearing up to introduce draconian measures and to bring the internet and our world under a police state where they secretly supervise all of our activities. This will soon become our new normal. We, who are followers of Jesus, are already seen as a threat to global security, i.e. to the rule of the beast.

Another “image” that is worshiped in America is the news media and television, for Americans have been conditioned to believe what they see and read in the news, especially if it is on TV. And, our government, under the direction of this shadow government of the Elite, and our news media, continually paint for us the picture they want us to believe concerning world events and our nation’s involvement in so many other countries in the world, particularly their military presence or involvement. Yet, this image is going to come crashing down once reality sets in, which it eventually will, and then our “image” the people put their faith in will be (and is) worthless to them. And, I believe they are now telling us what their plan of action is (1).

They want to do away with the past so that out of the ashes of the old order the New World Order (the Phoenix) can rise. They want to recreate the world in the image of the beast and to do away with the Bible, Christ, his gospel and his followers. Yet, God will allow this for his purposes, one of which is to purify and get ready his people before he comes back for his bride. God will use this false trinity as his divine instruments of judgment on his adulterous church and on the people of this world, and in order to get many to turn or to return to him before he returns and before the end of time as we know it.

Love God, Hate Evil (vv. 10-12)

O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!

So, what should our response be to all this knowledge of God and of his sovereignty, righteousness, justice and of his judgments? And, how should we react to all the evil that is present in our world and within our own governments and our church fellowships?

We ought to love the Lord our God, follow his ways, obey his Word, and live holy lives pleasing to him. And, we must hate all that is evil, i.e. we need to reject it, put it out of our lives, not entertain it nor accommodate it, but eradicate it. Yet, not all that is truly evil is all that obvious. Much of it is very subtle, hidden and masked as something else, so we need to pray for much discernment to know what is evil and what is good, so that we can reject the evil and hold on to the good, rather than the other way around, which is happening much within the church, sad to say.

The Lord will deliver his saints from the hand of the wicked, though this is not to say he will not allow us to be persecuted, abused or even killed by these evil ones. In fact, scripture teaches us we will be hated and persecuted and put to death for the sake of the name of Jesus, for the sake of righteousness, and for the sake of his gospel of salvation from sin. Yet, he will deliver us through these trials and testing of our faith in that he will give us the strength, power and endurance to remain faithful to him to the end.

The King is Coming
(Bill Gaither)

The King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding and soon His face I’ll see
The King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

(1) https://theintercept.com/2017/06/10/the-worst-of-donald-trumps-toxic-agenda-is-lying-in-wait-a-major-u-s-crisis-will-unleash-it/

Use It, or Lose It!

Saturday, June 10, 2017, 7:49 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Jesus, I am Resting, Resting.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Ecclesiastes 6 (ESV).

Wealth and Possessions (vv. 1-6)

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place?

Some people have been blessed with wealth – either materially and with many possessions, or with knowledge and understanding, or with natural talent and much giftedness. They may have been given many aptitudes for many things. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are blessed with the riches of God’s grace, not only in our salvation from sin, but with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, and in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. We have been forgiven our sins, delivered from slavery to sin, given new lives in Christ Jesus, to be lived to his righteousness, and indwelt and empowered with the Holy Spirit, and granted eternal life with God (See: Eph. 1:1-14). God gives good gifts to his children (Matt. 7:11; Jas. 1:17).

But, what matters is not what we have, but what we do with what we have. Great wealth, talent, and knowledge means nothing if it is not used for good purposes, or if it is not shared with those who are in need, or with those who may benefit from it in some way. It also means nothing if it is amassed for future purposes, but the person dies before he gets to put it to good use, and especially if he has no heirs, and strangers then get his wealth. Or, if his country is conquered by a foreign entity and he loses it all, and the conquerors then take possession of it. He should have shared it with others while he still had it, for what good is it if an enemy now takes possession of it?

He may also lose it, too, because God takes it away, because he didn’t use it for good, to benefit others, but he squandered his wealth and just used it for his own selfish purposes. And, this can be true of spiritual blessings and giftedness, too. Many people have been given the gift of salvation, and, perhaps, initially they produced fruit in keeping with repentance, or seemed to, but since then they have gotten caught up in the world of sin, or have become lazy and complacent, and they are living their lives wholly for their own self-pleasure. Maybe they initially received the gospel message with joy and with enthusiasm, but as time went on, they went back to their old ways of living for sin and self, and they have forgotten that salvation means death to sin and living to righteousness. They are also ignoring all the warnings in scripture regarding how we will reap what we sow, and instructions which teach that our spiritual walk, or lack thereof, determines our eternal destiny.

Never Satisfied (vv. 7-9)

All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

The things of this world will never satisfy us. They are like eating a meal. Hours later we need to eat again. They are also a lot like water that only temporarily satisfies our thirst, for then we get thirsty again, and then we need more. The treasures of this life do bring some temporary satisfaction and pleasure (enjoyment), but they are temporal. They are not lasting. One day they will all perish, too. But, since they are only temporarily satisfying, it is human nature to keep wanting more, thinking if we just have this or that, now we will be happy, but they never truly make us happy. And, some of them come with great debt because people buy what they can’t afford, and thus they come with a great financial burden, too. Or else they come with enormous responsibility, and thus they take a great amount of our time, money and energies just keeping them maintained, and for what?

When I think of the wandering of the appetite, it is not just in wanting more possessions, or more food than what we need to eat (to live), but it is going outside the boundaries of our covenant relationships with God or with our spouses. It is not being satisfied with what we have, or with the marriage covenant, or with God alone, and it is going after “other lovers,” thinking they will satisfy the deep longings of our souls. Yet, these are all just empty cisterns full of holes.

Regarding marriage, this adultery can take place via the mind only, lusting after those who are not our own, but it can also involve viewing pornography, and sexually charged movies, TV shows, and books or magazines, too. It can, as well, involve extramarital relationships, that may begin seemingly innocent enough, but which may lead to romantic and/or sexual relationships. As well, private chats or texts with people of interest with whom you might have intimate conversations, especially without the knowledge or approval of your spouses, and behind their backs, is another form of adultery and a “wandering appetite.”

Sovereignty of God (vv. 10-12)

Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

God knows the end from the beginning. He knew before he even created man that he would sin against him. He knew before we were even formed in the wombs of our mothers who we would become, what we would do, and whether or not we would believe in him. But, it is more than just knowing these things in advance. For those of us who know Jesus, or who will yet believe in him, God chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight. He chose us even before the creation of the world (Ro. 8:29; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-4). All the days ordained for me were written in God’s book before one of them came into being (Ps. 139:13-16; cf. Jeremiah 1:4-5). God placed me in the womb of my mother, so he chose the home I would be raised in, even knowing the good, bad and the ugly of it all, because he made me who I am so he could use me in the way he is using me, and all for his glory!

The point here, also, is that there is no point trying to go our own way, or to resist God, because his word will stand true, and he will do what he says he will do. What we sow, that will we also reap. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we are liars. If we walk according to our sinful flesh, we will die in our sins, even if we profess to believe in Jesus Christ. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. If we persist and insist on going our own way, and continuing in willful and unrepentant sin against God, and we make a practice of doing what is wicked, we do not have the hope of eternal life with God, but a fearful expectation of judgment.

One other thing here is that it says, the more words, the more vanity. This is not saying that we have to be people of few words, though there is wisdom in that, at times, when we say more than is necessary, or more than we should. Yet, what this makes me think of is how words can be cheap if not accompanied by action. If a man or a woman proclaims to love his or her spouse but he or she cheats on the spouse and then covers it up with lies, they should not call it love, for it is not love. If we proclaim to know and to love God, as well, but we cheat on God with “other lovers,” i.e. with the gods of this world, and we go our own way, and we do what we want, and we think we are ok if we keep sinning, and we think obedience is not required, then all is vanity! Because, our expressions of love are vain, because they are just words.

So, we should not take God and his grace for granted. We should be satisfied with where he has us, what he has us doing, and with the blessings he has bestowed upon us, unless he moves us to something else, according to his plans and purposes for our lives. We should not wander outside our covenant relationships with God or with spouse, but we should be faithful in all that we do, think, speak and are (in character). If God has gifted us and has given us wealth, knowledge, talent, salvation, and spiritual gifts, we should use them for his glory, and for the benefit of others, and not hoard them to ourselves, or to use them only for our own pleasure. But, we should rest in the Lord, believe what he says, do what he shows us, go wherever he sends us, and use what he gives us – all for his glory!

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting
Jean Sophia Pigott

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

Seek Him

Friday, June 9, 2017, 4:24 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Jesus, Lead Me.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 24 (ESV).

We are The Lord’s (vv. 1-2)

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Our God is absolutely sovereign (in control) over all that he has made. There is nothing which escapes his notice. What he allows, he allows for a purpose. He knows the beginning from the end. Much of what is going on in the world right now was prophesied about over (or nearly) 2,000 years ago. And, there is a reason for it all. It is by God’s design that many of these things should be happening, that they should be taking place, for they serve the ultimate end which God desires, which is the salvation of human souls.

Who Has Clean Hands (vv. 3-6)

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Who can come into God’s holy presence? And, be in relationship with God Almighty? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. So, how do we get such clean hands and a pure heart? Through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and in what he did for us in dying on a cross for our sins so that we could be delivered from slavery to sin and become servants of his righteousness. So, what does this faith look like? It is divinely persuaded as to God’s perfect will for our lives, and it submits to those purposes. The one who has such faith dies with Christ to sin that he might live to Christ and to his righteousness. He no longer lives (in lifestyle) to gratify the sinful cravings of his flesh, but he now walks (conducts his life) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God (Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24).

Part of walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, has to do with honesty and integrity of heart. This person does not make a practice of lying, tricking, deceiving, using or manipulating others to his advantage, nor does he worship what is false. He does not give his heart, mind and soul, his devotion and passion, or his respect and honor to what is not of God, or to what is clearly antichrist and against the teachings of scripture. Nor does he allow his heart to be given in such a way as this, to the degree that it should be given to God, to anything or anyone other than God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for this would be idolatry or spiritual adultery. God is to be first and foremost in all that we do, think or are.

If we want to be blessed of the Lord and have his righteousness credited to our accounts, then we need to understand that faith in Jesus Christ means death to sin and living to righteousness. Jesus said that if we want to come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them (die in our sins). But, if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), we will gain eternal life (Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14). For, Jesus did not die merely that we might escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).

God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in willful sin against God without guilt, and without remorse. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). Yet, many people today are rejecting this teaching, and are preaching feel-good messages intended to tickle itching ears and to give their adherents an “escape clause” from living righteously, by telling them that God requires nothing of them – no repentance, no obedience, no submission, and no surrender to the Lordship of Christ required, they say. So, they have diluted the gospel to a mere acknowledgment of Jesus Christ and a mere acceptance of his forgiveness of their sins, but this is not faith!

If we want to know God, and to be in relationship with him, to have our sins forgiven, and to have the hope of eternal life, then we need to no longer live according to the flesh, but now according to the Spirit, reborn of the Spirit of God, and empowered to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. This is what God’s word teaches us: Lu. 9:23-25; Jn. 6:35-66; Jn. 10:27-30; Acts 26:16-18; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Gal. 2:20; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; & 1 Jn. 2:3-6.

Mighty in Battle (vv. 7-10)

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah

Maybe you have never believed in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of your life, although you have been thinking about it. Or, perhaps, you have a false faith in Jesus, which is no faith at all, because it is based on a lie which has told you that God requires nothing of you for you to have eternal life with God. Or, you may be a true believer in Jesus Christ, but at some point in your Christian walk you drifted away from your pure devotion to Christ, and you allowed the world of sin to creep back into your life. Yet, whatever your situation may be, Jesus is standing at the door, he is knocking, and he is asking to be let into your heart and life, or to be let back into your life.

Yet, know this: Jesus already won the battle over sin for you at the cross. You can do nothing to earn or to deserve your own salvation. We are not saved by our works, but we are saved to good works, which God planned in advance for us to do, that we should walk (in lifestyle) in them (Eph. 2:8-10). Yet, we are his workmanship, so He gives us all we need to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him. He strengthens and empowers us. We just have to live in his power and strength and no longer give way to the flesh.

He gives us the way out from under temptation, so we can stand up under it. He teaches, counsels, guides and directs us in the way we should go. A walk according to the Spirit is just that – according to and empowered by the Spirit of God, and not of our own flesh or of our own making. He conquered our sin via his death and resurrection. He delivered us out of slavery to sin that we might live righteously before him. We just have to surrender to him and let him work his grace and his righteousness in and through our lives. We just have to say “Yes” to him, and do what he says, all in the power and working of God’s Spirit now living within us. His yoke is easy and his burden is light, because he carries us through to the end.

Jesus, Lead Me / An Original Work / July 22, 2011

Jesus, lead me all the way.
Be my hope and be my stay.
Gently lead me where I should go,
So Your Spirit, I want to know.
Open up my heart to You.
Fill me with Your love and truth.
Make my heart want to obey.
Be my Lord today. Gently lead always.

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Cleanse my heart, and make me whole;
Be transformed in my heart today,
As I turn from my sin and pray.
Make Your will known to my heart.
May I not from You depart.
How I long to hear You now,
As I humbly bow. Jesus, hear me now.

We Serve Him

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 8:26 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Oh, To Be Like Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 103 (quoting select vv. NASB).

Bless the Lord (vv. 1-5)

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

On bended knee, in all humility of spirit, we are to adore, magnify, praise and thank our Lord for all that he has done for us. God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth to take on human flesh, and to die on a cross for our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). So, we must die with him to sin and self so that we can be resurrected with him to newness of life. Sometimes we, too, will have to accept being treated as though we have done wrong when we haven’t, and in order to see others come to salvation from sin.

We need to always remember all that Jesus Christ did for us. Not only did he become sin for us so that our sins would die and be buried with him, and not only was he resurrected from the dead, victorious over sin, Satan and death, but he took our punishment for sin on him so that we might live with him for eternity. Sometimes, we, too, will be punished for things we did not do, but if we bear up under unjust suffering, and keep loving and forgiving our persecutors, we might win their hearts to Jesus. We must always keep in perspective where we were before Jesus saved us from our sins so that we don’t lose patience with others who are still bound in sin’s deceitfulness.

By God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven our sins, delivered from both the punishment of and the slavery to sin, and set free to now walk in the Spirit in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. We were once bound for hell, in the pit of despair, chained as prisoners to sin, but Jesus set us free! He turned us from darkness (sin, wickedness) to light (truth, righteousness) and from the power of Satan to God so that we could be forgiven our sins, and have a place among those who are sanctified (purified, made righteous, holy) by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:16-18).

Those Who Fear Him (vv. 11-14)

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Even though Jesus died for the sins of the world, not everyone is saved from their sins. We have to each individually believe in him with God-given faith which is divinely persuaded as to his perfect will for our lives. Since it is God-given faith, and not human faith which saves us, this faith is in agreement with God regarding our sin, and it conforms to Christ’s righteousness and holiness through the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit within our lives. When this takes place, and we have repented of our sins, in all humility, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23; Gal. 2:20).

God’s lovingkindness is, thus, extended towards those who fear him; as well as he has compassion on those who fear him. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Amen! Yet, this is not talking about being afraid of him, but it is speaking of treating him with honor, respect, value, obedience, reverence, submission, devotion, commitment, and loyalty, etc. And, this is about giving him our love, steadfastness, fidelity (faithfulness), and our worship. And, the way in which we worship him is by giving our lives to him, as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our reasonable service of worship to him – no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in mind and heart of the Spirit of God.

We Who Serve Him (vv. 19-22)

The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Our God is absolutely sovereign and in control over all he has made. He also has full authority over all powers in heaven and on earth. It is important that we remember this, especially when things get pretty bad, at times, or when we are being persecuted and put to the test for our faith and for our testimonies for Jesus Christ. There is nothing that escapes his notice, or that he does not have the power to change according to his will. He created Lucifer knowing he would rebel, and he let him live, knowing he would tempt Eve to sin against God, and then that Eve would lead her husband Adam to sin with her. In fact, he created Adam and Eve knowing full well that they would sin, and that he would have to banish them from the Garden, and that he would then put a curse on them and on the earth. But, he had a plan, even from the beginning, that he would send his Son to die for our sins.

God created angels to be his servants and messengers, and to give him praise, honor and glory. Yet, his angels are not his only servants. We who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives are also his servants and messengers, whom he created for his glory to worship him, and to obey his voice to us, and to do what his Word teaches us. Jesus died, not just so we might die to sin and live to righteousness, but also that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15). His grace to us is not just so we can escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). For, this is why he died, to transform us, not just to save us.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

Veiled Threats

Monday, May 22, 2017, 6:13 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Your Lord is With You.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 102 (quoting select vv. NASB).

Prayer of the Afflicted (vv. 1-3, 8-11)

Hear my prayer, O Lord!
And let my cry for help come to You.
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day when I call answer me quickly.
For my days have been consumed in smoke,
And my bones have been scorched like a hearth…

My enemies have reproached me all day long;
Those who deride me have used my name as a curse.
For I have eaten ashes like bread
And mingled my drink with weeping
Because of Your indignation and Your wrath,
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
My days are like a lengthened shadow,
And I wither away like grass.

Veiled Threats

What is a “veiled threat”? “A veiled threat is one that is very subtle or implied, so there is no actual direct threat spoken. So, rather than ‘I’ll kill you if you talk to him again,’ a veiled threat might be ‘It’d be a shame if that guy you were talking to had a really bad accident’” (1).

Yesterday, the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, delivered a speech to the leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries (2). Based upon what knowledge God Almighty, the ONE and ONLY, has given me over the past 11 years, regarding the US government and the New World Order, especially in relation to the fulfillment of prophecy of scripture, I made the following observations about Trump’s speech, which I believe was loaded with veiled threats to the people and the nations of the world.

First of all, we must understand that the US government serves a group of the elite, a shadow government, which is the de facto government of the USA. So, the US government has no real power of its own, but it acts on the authority of this shadow government, alias the All-seeing eye of Horus, which hovers over the unfinished pyramid on our national seal. Another name for this is the “New World Order” or “beast” (See: Rev. 13). We should also realize that the mainstream media, and some offshoots, also serve this beast, as does the US/International military. We ought also to have knowledge of the fact that the real world terrorists are the US government and military, acting under the authority of this “beast” New World Order.

So, for years the US government (plus allies), has been creating scenarios in various places in the world, including within the USA, which would give them the excuse to go into other nations to rape, pillage, kill at will, murder innocents (including Christians), destroy lands, confiscate property and natural resources not their own, and force independent governments and their people to submit to the “beast” New World Order or pay the consequences. The US government is the world’s biggest bully. They hire, train, finance and equip various terrorist organizations to do their dirty work, and then they lie and claim they are fighting these terrorist groups.

Religious Extremists

So, President Trump gave a speech which primarily focused on the subject of stamping out religious extremism. So, what are “religious extremists”? They are people who practice religion (faith) who, by society’s standards, are considered to be radical, fanatical or excessive in their beliefs and practices. They are what most people, by a shared consensus, consider to be far outside what is considered reasonable, normal, ordinary or average. They are regarded as outside the acceptable conventional attitudes of society. Their beliefs are “far from moderate; not usual; exceptional” (Oxford). So, by definition, this includes Christians who hold to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and who do not compromise with the world to be accepted.

So, with that thought in mind, what Trump was talking about was how the leaders of the nations of the world, and Christianity, Judaism and Islam, need to come together in unity, which was the same message Obama and Pope Francis had been harping on for years. They need to come together, he said, in essence, to stamp out extremism. He spoke much on the subjects of cooperation, mutual respect, partnership, agreement, unity, shared resolve and values, and closer bonds, etc. His words echoed so many of Obama’s speeches over the years on these same subjects. Thus, this is all about bringing the world together as one, under one common goal and purpose, which will take us into the rule of the “beast” and the one world government and one world religion, for this is where this is all headed.

Yet, most of this “unity” they speak of is not voluntary, but is forced compliance with the “beast” New World Order. After Trump listed off many of what he referred to as the blessings of this unified effort, then came the veiled threats against those who dare to be in non-compliance. What was keeping them from experiencing all these benefits of cooperation, he said, in essence, was all the bloodshed and terror, at the hands of the terrorists. But, the caveat of all this is that somehow they must partner with this global effort in order to stave off the bloodshed and terror they have been experiencing up to this point. That is a veiled threat, because the one making the statement is the president of the country which is primarily responsible for all the bloodshed and terror happening throughout the world.

Drive Them Out!

Then, Trump went on to describe some ways in which this cooperative effort could drive out “religious extremism” from the planet. His number one suggestion was to “drive them out of your places of worship.” This has been happening already for a number of years here in America where many preachers are being trained in how to get rid of those with “strong convictions” who do “not fit” with the church’s marketing (business) goals, by inviting them to “go someplace else” where they will be a “better fit.” And, they are being trained in how to target (as potential customers) those who are naïve and not well versed in scripture, who they can mold into their church’s image, patterned after their marketing goals and objectives.

Then, he went on to explain how they should starve these religious extremists of territory, of finances, and of the attraction (drawing) they have toward their religious ideology (beliefs). This would, thus, be the basis for defeating them. I believe the US government (plus allies) have already been doing this in many nations, but now they are calling for a unified effort to work together with them, only this is not against those they call terrorists, but is against those who are non-compliant with the New World Order beast and the one world religion. And, this is coming to America, too. Christians who hold on to their faith and who follow Jesus Christ in obedience are going to be starved of food, money, bank accounts, and Christian fellowship, and perhaps of Bibles, hymn books, etc. The last suggestion he made for getting rid of these “extremists” was to drive them out of this earth, via death.

While Trump was in Saudi Arabia, he helped launch a new center “to counter the online spread of hate.” I believe this means censorship and maybe even some of us denied access to our personal blogs, social media, Christian discussion sites, etc. Remember here that what they term as “hate” has to do with speaking out about sin, calling people to repentance and obedience to Christ, and telling people that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God in heaven. If we don’t compromise our faith, and we don’t blend in with the rest of the religions of the world, we are religious extremists, and we will be targeted for persecution and even death (See: Revelation 13).

Sovereignty of God

Yet, God, our creator, is still absolutely sovereign over all that he has made. He is completely in control over all powers and authorities, and nothing can happen without him allowing it, and for a purpose. Some of our Lord’s purposes in allowing his saints to go through such persecution, as this writing describes, is that he might purify and prune us, that we might become more like him, that we might learn not to rely on ourselves, but on him, and that we might share in his holiness. He allows difficulties in our lives, too, to mature us, to teach us perseverance, to make us strong, and that we might bear much fruit for his kingdom. As well, when we experience his comfort in trials, we are to encourage others who are going through similar suffering with the comfort we received from him.

All of this, too, is for the praise of his glory, for the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the revival of the adulterous church. When the church goes through such persecution there will be no more fence riders. There will be no more those who are just casual or complacent about their faith in Jesus Christ. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ will either join with others in being the kind of followers of Christ with “extremist ideology,” consistent with the teachings of Jesus and of his NT apostles, or they will bow to the beast.

Trump talked much on the subject of it being the people’s choice to either unite with this global coalition of nations or not, but if they chose not to unite, he did not promise them a hopeful future. We, who are followers of Jesus, already have a hopeful future, and we would be throwing that down the toilet to unite with this New World Order (beast). So, stand tall, and stand strong, and stand on the Word of God, and don’t compromise.

Your Lord is With You
An Original Work / August 14, 2016

Based off Various Scriptures

Fear not for your Lord is with you.
He will not leave you, nor will He abandon you.
When you walk through valleys of life’s rough ways,
You must fear no evil, for God is near.
Be of courage, then, and be not dismayed,
For your Lord is with you throughout your days.
Fear not for your Lord is with you.
He will not leave you, nor will He abandon you.

Trust Him with your life and witness.
He’ll go before you, and He will prepare the way.
The Lord is our helper, so we’ll not fear.
He will strengthen us. He sees all our tears.
Do not be afraid, but to God do pray,
And the peace of God will be yours today.
Trust Him with your life and witness.
He’ll go before you, and He will prepare the way.

My God, He is my Rock and my Shield
And the Horn of my salvation, whom I praise.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep I’d sink.
My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes, gave me sight.
My God, He is my Rock and my Shield
And the Horn of my salvation, whom I praise.

Resources:

(1) https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130324174246AA1Pv8A
(2) http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/21/politics/trump-saudi-speech-transcript/