Wherever You Go

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

When you feel all alone.

Holy Week: Tuesday – The Olivet Discourse

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” – Matt. 24:3-8

This day during Holy Week Jesus gives what is called, The Olivet Discourse.

In His masterful teaching, Jesus speaks about the signs of His coming and the end of the age. He foretells of wars, famines, and earthquakes. Jesus also mentions something all too familiar to us today: pestilence.

Jesus then gives these wonderfully comforting words: “See that you are not troubled.”

During this time of great pestilence, remember Christ‘s wise words: be not troubled. Trust in Him!

This day can be found at: Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.

To Show Himself Strong

V0016540 Grace Darling rowing out to sea in a furious storm. Colour w

I would like to share a verse with you that has encouraged me & fed me on many difficult nights:

“For the eyes of the Lord run to & fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9a

I know many of you are facing awful times. Difficulty & trial seem to be your only trusty companions. Life seems impossible. You feel like you are being crushed under the weight of it all. You can hardly even breathe.

The eyes of the Lord continuously search. He’s looking for just a chance to show how strong He is on the behalf of His children. Claim this promise! Write it over your heart. Repeat it to your dark night.

The Hebrew word for “run to and fro” (shuwt) also holds within it the word picture of a “mariner rowing the sea with oars.” That, to me, seems more appropriate. The storm is raging. The waves are roaring. Each row of the oar is met with strenuous resistance. The mariner puts his full body into moving the vessel into more tranquil waters.

He sees. He sees your tears. He is on your side. He will supply. His arm is not short. He will show Himself strong on your behalf!

It is true, we have a relentless enemy. It is true, he will not give up. He attacks and then attacks again. But what’s also true is that he’s already defeated.

Our Champion is even more relentless. Jesus will not give up. He pursues us and then He pursues us some more. Jesus is victorious.

Is your heart loyal to Him?

If this blessed you, please Like & Share!


Ref: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7751.htm

Not Just Goliath

Goliath

We all have a Goliath in our life. See that! Goliath is so famous, I don’t even have to tell you who he was. You’re already imagining a rude, towering brute taunting God & God’s people. Today his very name is synonymous with a big problem.

You say, but – I don’t have just ONE giant, I have a WHOLE CLAN! I’m also up against Saph, Lahmi, & Ishbibenob! (2 Sam. 21:15-22, 1 Chr. 20:4-8)

I’m not just facing fear, but guilt & shame came with it. I’m not just battling porn, but also alcohol & pills. I’m not just wrestling with insecurity, but also anorexia & low self image came to join the party. I am being tag-teamed! I am being ganged-up on! I am outnumbered!

Ok, yes. You are in a sense… but, not really. Let me explain.

Here’s what you’ve been taught: Goliath represents your problem. David is you. If you face your problem with Jesus on your side, you can take that big bully down. Right? Sorry, but that is dead wrong. Goliath IS your problem, that much is correct. But you are not David. Where are you? You are the Israelite army quaking in your boots a mile away.

Jesus is David. He’s the giant-slayer, not you.

Jesus steps in and takes your giant down, not you. He takes your place. He fights your fight. You aren’t even there! You’re not in the Valley of Elah. You are in the background safely hiding behind the other chickens.

It might seem like you are being overtaken by giant problems and if you reject Jesus and try to take on Goliath all by yourself, that certainly could be your fate. However, if you accept Jesus and let Him fight that battle for you, then His victory will be your victory.

It doesn’t matter how many giants you have, Jesus bests them. It doesn’t matter how strong they seem, Jesus is stronger. The only thing that matters is that you make Him your Champion.


Ref: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/giants-in-the-old-testament/

Your Sins Have Been FIRED!


Let’s say someone comes up to you, removes your coat, and sends it away. Would you say you still had your coat?

No. It was removed. It was sent away. Literally, the coat is no longer here.

Jesus takes our sins away. (1 John 3:5). When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:19)!”

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to FORGIVE US OUR SINS and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (Emphasis mine)

Just like that coat; they’re gone. Now, of course we don’t miss the coat or go shopping for new coats, right?

“No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin,” – 1 John 3:9 (AMP)

Therefore, if we repent and turn to Him, Jesus forgives our sins (something only God can do, by the way).

The Greek for “forgive” carries the word picture of discharging something so as to leave.
I note it because:

  • It is so much fun to say: aphiémi (af-ee’-ay-mee).
  • Its roots are apó, “away from” and hiēmi, “send.”
  • Properly then, aphiémi means: send away; release (discharge).
  • By forgiving our sins, Jesus removes them and discharges them.

Therefore, because of Jesus’s wonderful Love & Grace, your sins have been:
Let go; fired, dismissed, sacked, axed, laid-off, and canned. They have been given their “pink slip” and “walking papers.” Like Elvis, your sins have left the building.

  • Stop re-living them.
  • Stop obsessing about them.
  • Stop beating yourself up over them.

Brother and sister, they are not even there! (Heb. 8:12, Rom. 11:27, Mic. 7:19, Psa. 103:12)

To pretend otherwise is to act like you still have that coat on that someone removed from you and sent away.

– If this blessed you, please like & share!

Phone Addiction

phone addiction

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear. Whoever has Twitter to tweet, let them tweet.

We are straight-up addicted to our phones. I mean, seriously: this is going to be a real problem in the not-too-distant future. Think this just… sorta… happened? Google “Brain-Hacking on 60 Minutes.”

Dear children, keep yourselves from phones, errr, I mean – idols. – 1 John 5:21 [Sic]

Anything that takes the place of God is an idol. Have phones taken the place of God?

Well, riddle me this: How many times do YOU touch your phone a day?

(In fact, you are probably reading this from your phone right now.) Are you ready for this:

“The typical cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout. But that’s just the average user: The study found that extreme cellphone users — meaning the top 10% — touch their phones more than 5,400 times daily (July 13, 2016).”

I know I am a tiny minnow swimming up a mightily roaring RIVER here, but: How many times do you touch your Bible a day?

I dare you to compare those numbers. Write them down next to each other: are you crying?

I know this is something we cannot solve right this minute, I know that you know that I am just as guilty as the next person, and of course I know phones can be used for good too, but it is something we should not be ignoring.

What do we do about this?

– If this post blessed you please like and share!


Ref:

Cell Phones Research

Brain-Hacking


Addendum:

Phones make us break the first two commandments:

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. – Exd. 20:3-6

Phones also repeatedly make us break the 3rd commandment: OMG, anyone?

That’s 3/10 right off the bat. And of course, if you break just one, you’ve broken them all (James 2:10).

Villain Worship: A Dangerous Culture Shift For Our Children

villian

David Koresh led a cult in Waco, Texas wherein more than 70 men, women, & children died in 1993. Taylor Kitsch will be portraying him in a new 6-part miniseries.

Ted Bundy was a serial killer, rapist, & necrophiliac who murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. Zac Efron is set to star in a new movie about him.

Tonya Harding was a two-time Olympian and Skate America Champion who was stripped of her title and medals when she allegedly conspired to have her competition assaulted in 1994. Margot Robbie is playing her in a new movie.

These are the monsters, people – not the heroes! These are the villains, not the victims!

This culture shift of presenting the bad guys as the good guys is very dangerous, particularly for our children.

Sadly, this is nothing new. Remember Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent (Disney, 2014)? In the original Sleeping Beauty she was a fairy who cursed a newborn to die. In our Post Christian society, she is the misunderstood hero!

There is even a show called Lucifer where the devil is bored of Hell and wants to help humanity by solving crimes. I know that sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Lucifer was nominated in 2016 & 2017 for “Choice TV: Breakout Star, Breakout Show, & Favorite TV Crime Drama” for the Teen Choice Awards. (Teen choice! TEENS are choosing this show!) Lucifer is currently filming its fourth season.

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isa. 5:20

Here’s why this is dangerous:

Yes, there are good and bad qualities in us all. Each is capable of good and bad. In this sense, we have all at one time been a villain as well as a hero. That much is true. I understand writing more interesting, multi-dimensional, and rounded characters in a story. I understand the concept of an anti-hero (someone who is not the traditional hero and may do bad things for a good purpose, like Batman). I understand offering a more realistic mixture to the stale dichotomy of the Good vs Evil tropes in movies and television.

However, the same cannot be said of our enemy, the devil. He is not multi-dimensional and rounded. He is boringly flat. He is a one-trick pony. He is not an interesting character with many layers. He’s never been the good guy and never will be the good guy.

If a child grows up seeing movies or reading stories where the bad guys are actually kinda good, then it is not too far of a leap for that child to think the same thing about the devil. Maybe he’s not all completely evil like the Bible says. Maybe he’s actually a good guy that’s just misunderstood. Maybe he got a bad rep. Maybe he’s not so bad after all!

NO!

  • He is always bad.
  • He is always evil.
  • He is always the villain.

We should never, ever have (like the Rolling Stones song) Sympathy for the devil. If you give him so much as an inch, he will take everything from you (Eph. 4:27)!

He is not the anti-hero. He is the anti-Christ!

There is never a day the devil isn’t trying to get you to doubt God. There is never an instant where he wouldn’t set you up and then pounce on you. The devil doesn’t go on holiday. He doesn’t ever “take it easy” on you. He is always, always, always, monstrously evil.

We know (and he knows) that Satan is going down (Rev 20:7-10). So he’s trying to take as many down with him that he can.

He is trying to convince our youth that bad guys are actually good. Don’t let him.

He’s a sly, sly devil. But his time is almost up.


Ref:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2481498/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2481498/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580036/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587310/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4052886/

God Makes His Home With You

belonging_ducks excluded

Come on now, we’ve all felt like the odd-man out. We’ve all felt like we didn’t know the secret handshake. We’ve all felt left out. But I promise you, there is a place where you belong.

There is a home for you with Jesus.

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” – John 14:23

Don’t just skim over that: the God of heaven & earth and His Son, Jesus the Christ will make their home with you. That seems pretty substantial. Give it some serious thought.

Your heart is God’s. He made it. Return it to Him. He doesn’t exclude you. He invites you. He meets you where you are and elevates you. Turn from your former life and run to the Savior. Keep His word. Be changed from the inside out.

  •  There is no need to go it alone.
  • There is no need to stay out in the cold.
  • The wolves are coming.

17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted & grounded in love, – Eph. 3:17

There is a place you belong. There is a home for you with the Lord.

– If this post blessed you please like & share!


Inspired by X Ambassadors, “Home.”

Jesus Will Lift You Up

featherLook, I know it’s heavy. Too heavy. Who can lift it? Troubles, trials, & temptations; I know they crush you. They weigh you down. I know you feel defeated. Conquered.

So please listen: Jesus can lift you up.

All that heaviness? Light as a feather to the LORD. Lighter still!

  • He’s eager to do the heavy lifting. Let Him!
  • He wants to take the burden. Let Him!
  • He longs to break your chains. Let Him!
  • He yearns to set you free! Let Him!

Sound too good to be true?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke? – Isa. 58:6

He desires for you to hand over the reigns of your life to Him. Is there anyone more able? Is there anyone more willing? He takes your burden and exchanges it with His rest. Where’s the verse for that you scream?

Come to Me, all you who labor & are heavy laden, & I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you & learn from Me, for I am gentle & lowly in heart, & you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy & My burden is light.” – Matt. 11:28-30

Jesus will lift you up no matter how heavy you think your life has gotten. Jesus will lift you up no matter how badly you think you’ve messed everything up. Jesus will do all of these things & more, if you but submit to Him.

Then WATCH GRACE WORK!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (also Psa. 55:22)

  • He will hear you (Psa. 34:17).
  • He will carry you (Isa. 46:4).
  • He will deliver you. (Isa. 40:11).
  • He will help & uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isa. 41:10).

Its all for His glory, not yours. Its all for Him, not you.

So, go out now with a lightened load. Go out with renewed strength. Go out & help your brother (Gal. 6:2). Go out & bring others so He can do the same for them!

– If you were blessed by this please like & share!


Inspired by: X Ambassadors, “Feather.” (VHS)

Like Kids Playing in the Street

icy street 2

The road in front of our house was nothing but ice, so of course Charlotte wanted to go ice skating on it. We were crossing the street & she stopped to play around. I let her do that for a little while, but then I told her to come in. Like any other kid, I had to tell her multiple times before it got through that I was actually serious. Eventually, I had to go get her. For some reason this was all a great surprise to her & she appropriately made a big fuss.

Here’s what WAS going through my head:

  • She’s going to fall on that ice & get hurt.
  • She’s little, so any car coming might not see her.
  • Its icy, so any car coming may have a hard time stopping.
  • It’s cold out here & warm in the house.
  • I have hot chocolate inside ready for her.

Here’s what was NOT going through my head:

  • I don’t want her to have fun.

Someone who has not accepted Jesus, is like that kid playing in the street. There are cars coming. There is ice everywhere. The sun is going down & it is getting dark.

Love isn’t sitting complicit as they are play. Love is warning them to get out!

Of course, we can’t physically go get people out of the street like I did with Charlotte. We lovingly tell them the truth (Eph. 4:15). We tell them how warm the house is & what a wonderful feast there is inside (Isa. 25:6). We tell them how we also used to play in the street until our Father beckoned us safely away (Luke 15:32). We pray that message pierces their hearts as it did ours (Acts 2:37). But then, it is up to them to turn away from the street & to the Father (Deut. 30:19).

You know what? I did go over there & ice skate with Lovey. Sorta. I held her hands as she scooted across the ice. I walked along beside her & held her up. She slipped a few times, but I never let her fall. I just reassured her, “I got you. I got you. Don’t worry.”

Then after a bit, I carried her inside & we had hot chocolate. God will meet you where you are & if you let Him, He will walk along beside you & hold you up. When you slip, He will never let you fall.

He has you (Isa. 49:16). He has you (Heb. 13:5). Don’t worry (Phil. 4:6).

If this blessed you, please like & share!