Be a Light

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

Not everyone is called to be an evangelist. Not everyone is called to stand behind a pulpit. Not everyone is called to walk up to strangers and share the Gospel. However, we are all called to be a light. In whatever profession we are in, the way we act should bring Glory to God. We should cause people to ask, “What is different about them?”

Especially in the United States, the majority of people have heard the Gospel story. What is rare, however, is people truly living the Christian life. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we should be living our lives in such a way that people cannot help but take notice. And when they see the difference and ask about it, then we have an opportunity to share our faith and have a much greater chance of truly reaching them.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

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8/28/2017

God has a unique plan and purpose for all of us. Sadly, at one time or another, we have allowed fear, pride, laziness, impatience, worldliness or religion to sidetrack us from our calling.

I know most of my life has been a series of long detours, on and off the path God has laid out for me. Somewhere along the line, I stopped looking at and trusting on Jesus, and started focusing on all the reasons why the thing I felt the Lord was leading me to do wouldn’t work. Or I convinced myself that my plans were what the Lord wanted me to do. My ears had grown dull of hearing, and I just followed my own understanding.

God has used these failures and mistakes to teach me many things which I am very grateful for, but there are still consequences for disobedience. The Lord will always forgive us of our sins if we have a truly repentant heart, but He does not always eliminate the earthly consequences of our bad decisions.

I am tired of being outside the Lord’s will. By the Grace of God, I know He will keep me on the strait and narrow path, as long as I continue to trust and obey Him. Lord, give me ears to hear what your Spirit is saying, and Help me to keep my eyes focused on as You lead me.

Numbers 14:8-9 KJV

If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. [9] Only rebel not ye against the Lord , neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.

Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. [6] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Matthew 16:24 KJV

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Romans 12:1-2 KJV

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us , and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, [2] Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Doers or HearersĀ 

James 1:22 KJV
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
One of the reasons I have not been posting as often as I used to is because the Lord has convicted me that I am more of a hearer (or a writer) than a doer. The Lord has gifted me with incredible insights into His Word which have blessed many people, but I don’t always practice what I preach. I pat myself on the back for writing posts, and then go back to my life doing pretty much what I’ve always done, with less sadness and anxiety than I used to.

Frankly, I am tired of being a hypocrite. I know that no one is perfect, and I am certain that everyone has failed to live up to their own standards. But I can’t keep using that as an excuse. I need to change. And so de we all.
People go to Church, hear a message, and then go back home unchanged. Preachers preach repentance, but don’t look at their own sin. People post their opinions on social media and think they have done their civic duty. People get paid to rant on talk shows who have never done anything to make a positive impact. People riot in the streets because it makes them feel important, but it just riles up others to do the same.

The problem is that they (and myself) are too busy looking at the saw dust in each other’s eyes that we do not realize the plank in our own.

The first thing we need to do is take an honest look at ourselves, let the Holy Spirit convict us, and sincerely repent. Then we need to yield to the Spirit’s leading.

Some reading this will accuse me of preaching works. Guilty as charged. Can works save? No. Can works sanctify? No. But the purpose of salvation and sanctification is not just to go to heaven, but also to start living as better people.

I am not talking about religious activity. I am not talking about charitable deeds. I mean we need to get on our knees and seek the Lord. We need ears to hear and eyes to see what His Spirit is saying. And, most importantly, we need to YIELD to His leading!

Matthew 7:5 KJV

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Romans 8:14 KJV

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Ephesians 2:10 KJV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Revelation 3:19-22 KJV
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. [20] Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. [21] To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. [22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

8/9/2017

God isn’t looking for perfect people. He’s looking for sinners who sincerely want to be changed.

Romans 3:23 KJV For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Matthew 5:3-6 KJV Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [4] Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. [5] Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. [6] Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Lovingkindness

Jeremiah 9:24 KJV But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord .

The Lord tells us in this verse that the thing we should put the most value in is our understanding of Him. Above wealth, above might, above wisdom, the knowledge of the Lord is the most important thing. And as He describes Himself, we find that the first quality He states of Himself is His lovingkindness. Before judgment, before righteousness, God is first and foremost a loving and kind God.

In our day and age, love and kindness are not what they used to be. Many are tired of being taken advantage of by ungrateful people, and it’s difficult to know whether someone really needs help or has ulterior motives. Many have a misinterpretation of love and kindness and use them to promote sin and ungodlinesss. The Church often either joins in the sin or overreacts and becomes very unloving and unkind.

In the chaotic, sinful world we live in, love and kindness is getting harder and harder to find. But I think it’s important for us to remember that God puts this as His Primary Characteristic. God is Love, and His active expression of that Love is Kindness.

When one studies the Bible, one finds that the major difference between God and Satan is not their standards of justice and righteousness, but rather their concepts of kindness. The very name Satan means “accuser,”and his accusations against God and humanity are founded in his unkindness. If we look at the Book of Job, we see that Satan’s argument was that, if pushed far enough, Job would turn his back on God. While Job never completely did so, Satan was partially correct. However, God still showed Job forgiveness and kindness after he repented.

While I cannot prove this theory as absolutely correct, the evidence in scripture points to the idea that Satan rebelled against God because he thinks God should not have given His Creation freewill. According to Satan, giving humanity freewill was a bad idea, because it chose to turn against God and do evil things. And, in a way, he is right. However, he fails to understand that without freewill there cannot be true love and kindness.

God knew that giving His Creation freewill would open up the door for the possibility of evil. Yet, He believed that all the heartache and chaos was worth it if just one person chose to love Him. And when His creation turned its back on Him, He sacrificed Himself to give them another chance. And not only another chance, but also the Power of His Spirit to enable us to love as He does.

When we choose to look at the world and all the evil in it, it becomes difficult to understand why we should be loving and kind. However, when we look at the Cross, it becomes clear. We did not deserve His Love, but He gave it anyway. The world does not deserve our kindness, but we should give it anyway. For if only one chose to use that kindness for good, it is all worth it.

Matthew 18:12-13 KJV How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? [13] And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep , than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

8/2/2017

Stepping down does not always mean giving up. Stepping back does not always mean retreating. Patience does not always mean idleness. Surrender does not always mean failure. Vulnerability does not always mean weakness.

1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: [7] Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

7/31/2017

Lord, teach me to seek You, not only for the things I know You can do, but also for the things You want to show me, which otherwise I would have never known were possible.

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