God’s Working On You

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” – Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭

Isn’t it encouraging to be reminded that God won’t give up on you? I think every true believer has those moments when they feel like they aren’t progressing as fast as they should. They know that God has a purpose and a plan for them but they just don’t understand it or their place in it yet. They want to, but there are things for the Holy Spirit to teach them first and there is a timing to it all as well. Yet we feel the disappointment of being both slow learners and impatient students so we think that God must feel the same way.

“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” – Psalms‬ ‭103:13-14‬ ‭

The truth is that God is very long suffering toward all men, and His eager children most of all. He knows our hearts and our frailty, which is why He takes His time with us. He must work the ground of our hearts, He must plant the seeds of righteousness, He must pluck up the weeds planted by the enemy, He must prune, cultivate, and grow us, well before He can bring forth a harvest of good fruit in us. Yet one thing I know, He is a good husbandmen (vineyard keeper). He knows exactly how to get the workmanship of His hands to produce the best and the most abundant fruit possible. We need only to trust Him and patiently allow Him to do is good work in us. 

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

Even in the painful pruning seasons of our life when things are being cut away and it seems from all outward appearance like we are being viciously attacked, yet it has its purposes in causing us to bring forth more abundant fruit in the fruiting season.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭

We do have a part to play in not allowing the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches (materialism) (Mark 4:19), idols (1 John 5:21), willful sin (which causes you to give lordship of your vineyard over to an other master) (Hebrews 10:26-31, Romans 6:16), or a lack of time spent abiding connected to the root of David (which is prayer, worship, and communion with Jesus) (John 15:6, Romans 11:16-23) will cause you to wither producing either bad fruit or no fruit at all (which is just as bad) that you be cut down and cast into the fire. For who wants a vineyard full of useless trees? 

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” – John‬ ‭15:5-6‬ ‭

Yet as long as we have made Jesus the husbandmen of our vineyard, that is to say, the master of our lives and we keep Him as such, ever pursuing to obey Him, serve Him, love Him, and grow closer to Him, then we will. Even when we don’t feel like we are, we are. For we can rest assured that He who began a good work in us will continue until it be complete if we have but the faith to stand. In the meantime, simply have patience, seek Him, listen to Him, trust Him, abide in Him, and grow. So no matter how slow, frustrated, confused, downtrodden, unworthy, or unable you feel, know that God is still working on you and pursue. Don’t give up on Him and He won’t give up on you. Stay the course.

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:22-25‬ ‭

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭

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Jesus Understands The Grief Of Loss

hugging-jesus“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John‬ ‭14:18‬ ‭

There is probably no time in our lives that we will be more likely to question God, His love, His compassion, and His plan then during the loss of a loved one. Yet there is likely no other time that one will so clearly experience the sweet compassion of the Lord personally reaching out to comfort and encourage us through it, even during the questioning.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭

It is in these times of deep sorrow and need that Jesus, who was always moved by compassion, presses to draw nearer to us then ever before. If we allow Him, He will fill the void with an unsearchable love, an unmatchable communion, and an unstoppable hope for the future. Many grow bitter or remorseful and pull away from God during their season of sorrow but for those who draw closer, Jesus will be revealed to them in a far more personal way then they ever thought possible. When the grief comes, run to Jesus, fall into His arms, and let Him bring you comfort, peace, understanding, joy, and a new promise. This loving personal comfort that can only come from the Comforter Himself is a unique blessing that all have access too, but few utilize, and that is a shame. Jesus is reaching out during these times more intently then any other, let us choose to recognize it, get alone with Him and let Him comfort us.

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” – Proverbs‬ ‭18:24‬ ‭

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” – Isaiah‬ ‭61:2-3‬ ‭

Why does Jesus have special compassion on those who are mourning? We know by scripture that as a man, Jesus experienced everything that we do. This was for a purpose, we can not have faith in the love of someone who does not understand by experience, what we are going through. However, Jesus’s experiences give us confidence that we can run to Him with our troubles and trust in His understanding love and compassion towards us, knowing that He has been there before Himself.

So how can Jesus understand what you are going through when you loose a loved one? We know that Jesus wept at the loss of His friend Lazarus. However Jesus knew that God was going to raise Lazarus from the dead even before he died. A closer examination of the passages in this story reveals that Jesus was not actually weeping over the death of Lazarus, whom He was about to raise, but rather He was weeping over the suffering of Marry, Martha, and the other mourners. He wept with compassion over them and their pain and you can rest assured that He weeps with you over yours as well.

“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.” – John‬ ‭11:33-35‬ ‭

The reason Jesus was so broken for His broken-hearted friends was because Jesus knew exactly what they were going through having already experienced the heart wrenching loss of a loved one. You see, the last time the scriptures mention Joseph (Jesus’s earthly dad) was when Jesus was 12 years old preaching in the temple. Not once was he mentioned during Jesus’s public ministry, neither was he present with Jesus and Mary at the family wedding in which Jesus’s first miracle took place. The reason why isn’t made clear until Jesus is hanging on the cross and asked John to take Mary into his home and care for her as his own mother.

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” – John‬ ‭19:25-27‬ ‭

This would only be necessary if Mary’s husband Joseph was dead. Therefor we come to realize that somewhere between the age of 12 and 30 when His ministry began, Jesus had suffered the loss of His mentor, protector, care-giver, dad, and friend. Jesus being the oldest of His siblings would have not only born the weight of grief but also the burden of caring and providing for His family in Joseph’s place. In this Jesus experienced all that we do as broken, burdened, mundane mortals. The pain of loss and the burden of perseverance.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews‬ ‭4:15-16‬ ‭

Jesus suffered greatly through out His entire life. Much of this personal suffering is not recorded yet what is, is enough to remind us that He truly loves us and understands our deepest pain. He could have stopped it all at anytime, but He chose to endure it all that He might get to know you better by getting to know your pain and struggles better. There is truly no pain that He does not understand and the pain of loss stirs His heart most of all. This is why the only time the scriptures record Jesus crying was when He was reminded of the pain that is felt when we loose someone close to us. When Jesus saw Mary and Martha crying over the loss of their brother, it brought Him back to that place when a young Jesus wept over the loss of his earthly dad and He cried, being moved with compassion. He knows your grief, He knows your sorrow, and He knows that God has a plan to turn it all for your good. He knows because He’s been there, He knows because He lived it, and He knows how to get you through it. So run to Him, fall on Him, cry to Him, rely on Him, abide in Him, and watch Him turn everything around in the end; for He cares for you.

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah‬ ‭53:3-5‬ ‭

Don’t Give In, Don’t Give Up

Woman Relaxing On Mountain Top

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17

God warned Adam and Eve specifically about not eating from the tree of knowledge because he knew nothing good would come from it. Just like any good father would warn their child to not play in the street. Because he is concerned for his child’s safety. But, most of the time we take it upon ourselves and do not heed to the warnings. In Genesis 3: 1-7 it says:

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God has made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, he shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest he die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they were naked: and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by allowing the devil to whisper his lies instead of having enough faith to do what God told them to do. Just as a child running into the street after his father told him not to, discipline has to take action. Not because God doesn’t care, but because he cares tremendously. If he wouldn’t care, he wouldn’t correct us.

The day Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge is the day the devil introduced us to sin. Because, after all, Satan was the first to sin. In 1 John 3:8 it says:

“He that committeth sin is of the devil for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

Whether you like it or not, we are apart of a battle between good and evil, light and darkness, etc. There comes a point where you have to choose a side. Being a Christian by no means is easy. It is actually very difficult at times because, the devil fights you every single step of the way. It may be easier to live in sin, but it is by no means worth it!

Before a person gets saved, we are blind to many things. We are blind to the spirtual warfare going on all around us because Satan uses many things to distract us and to keep us living in sin. Whenever we sin we are hurting God, we are breaking His heart. It was not God’s intentions or His will for us to sin and end up in hell for eternity. God loves us so much and wants us to all do right so we can join Him in Heaven one day. Even though we break His heart when we act out in sin, He still loves us enough to give us a chance. In John 3:16 it says:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The devil on the other hand could care less about any and every one of us. He only cares about himself. In Romans 6:23 it says:

“For the wages of sin (is) death; but the gift of God (is) eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Nothing good comes from sin, nothing at all! The Devil doesn’t care for us and only wants to use us to hurt God. So, why do we allow him to continue to control us? Why do we continue to hurt God by sinning? Although, a spirtual battle is a difficult situation to be in, God has given us as Christians, the power and authority to rebuke Satan and the attacks of the enemies. I know sometimes we tend to forget that we have that power but, in all honesty, it’s something we should never forget!

That power we have inside us is the power of and from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is VERY powerful! We OWE it to GOD to put all of our trust in Him one hundred percent because God will never steer us wrong or lead us to damnation.

We can choose to be that mouse and get caught in the trap of sin or we can choose to carry our cross and keep our eyes on Jesus. The Lord is good to us in every way in that for any and every sin, he provided a way for us to get away from the temptations. In Corinthians 10:13 it says:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But, God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

God sent his only son to suffer and die on the cross for us. He paid for our sins with His precious blood. If we cannot press through the spirtual battle, if we cannot turn away from our sin, then that simply makes us selfish and we will have to answer for it one day! We may stumble, we may trip and fall. But, as long as we don’t give up and we keep trying we will end up getting it right! So, keep your eyes on Jesus and dont let the weight of sin crush your walk with God.

“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, 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. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” – Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-3‬ ‭

Submitted by @ Laken Richard

Repent or Burn

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke‬ ‭13:3‬

Without repentance there can be no salvation. Why? Because when we use the term “saved” it’s referring to our being saved from eternal damnation in hell, and as we all know, all sinners will have their part in the lake of fire that burneth forever. So what exactly is repentance? Many think that it is asking for their sins to be forgiven. Though forgiveness of sins is part of repentance, it is not repentance. Forgiveness and repentance are not the same thing. The word “repent” means “to turn away from, to forsake, to cease to follow or do“. Therefor, asking God to forgive your sins is “forgiveness“, but choosing to turn away and forsake them all together is “repentance“.

The simple truth is this, if you do not make the decision to repent of your sins, turn away from them completely, walk away from them, forsake them, and don’t look back as lots wife did, then you are not saved and are going to hell. Does that seem like a strong statement? Well, it’s not mine, it’s Jesus’s. Therefor it is the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it is to your flesh because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Him.

Jesus Himself said that, “unless you repent, you WILL perish“. The word translated to “perish” here in the original Greek was “apollymi“. The literal meaning or definition of the word “apollymi” is “to put out of the way eternally, to give over to eternal misery in hell“. Therefor, what Jesus actually said here is, “unless you repent (turn away from your sins), you WILL go to hell“. It doesn’t matter what you confess or profess, if you have not forsaken your sins then you have not obeyed the Father which is the evidence of a lack of faith.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:20-23‬ ‭

Many would then say, “what about grace? Doesn’t grace cover my sins?“. No, grace does not cover sin, it removes it. Grace is not mercy, grace is power. Grace does not excuse sin, it overcomes it. You see, grace is the power of the Holy Spirit of God manifesting through you, enabling you to do that which you could not do on your own.

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Romans‬ ‭8:11-14‬ ‭

You see, the only way to receive grace is by faith. If you don’t believe what Jesus said enough to obey it then you don’t have faith and therefore cannot receive grace. So then you are not saved. This is why unless you repent you cannot be saved. The repentance is the faith part that causes God to then send His grace which enables you to walk that repentance out in His strength.

It works like this. I can not diet for even three days, I haven’t the strength. Yet God has called me many times to 40 day fast. Now I can not go without food for 40 days so I need His grace to empower me to do that. However, His grace will not slap the food out of my hand, I have to first choose by faith to stop eating, turn away from the food, and forsake it. Then once I have done that in faith, He sends His grace to empower me to walk that fast out with strength. If I tried to go 40 days without food in and of myself I would fail or faint. Yet because of God’s grace working through me, I have more strength, energy, and life during those 40 days then when I am not fasting at all. The grace to abstain came because of the faith released when I turned away from the food in obedience and faith to the word of the Lord. I could not do it in and of myself, but through grace (the power of His Holy Spirit) I can!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” – Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭

It is the same with sin. We must choose to stop partaking of it, turn away from it, and forsake it! Then God will send His grace (the power of His Holy Spirit) to enable you to walk in victory, strength, and overcoming power against all the wilds of the devil.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭

So choose today to stop serving sin, repent, turn away from it, pick up your cross and follow Jesus. Stop believing the lie that it is impossible to overcome temptation and sin. 

“When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew‬ ‭19:25-26‬ ‭

Believe by faith that God is God and that nothing is impossible for Him. If He can raise Jesus from the dead then that same power can raise you in power unto newness of life, but it takes faith! Believe that He can, and He will! Believe that He can’t, and He won’t. The devil has sold the church a lie that has stolen it’s faith and therefore it’s overcoming power, and for many, it’s very salvation. This lie that the devil is stronger then God, the flesh is stronger then the blood, and the power of it’s influence is stronger then the grace of God (which by definition is the power and influence of God). I am here to tell you today, that my God is stronger, nothing is too hard for Him, He has defeated the powers of death, hell, and the grave and the enemy no longer has dominion over me. I believe what He said, not what people tell me He meant. Because of that I walk victoriously against the powers of hell through Grace by Faith, unto salvation and eternal life in Christ Jesus… and you can to. Do you believe?

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” – Acts‬ ‭17:30-31‬ ‭

“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” – Philippians‬ ‭2:12‬

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” – Acts‬ ‭3:19‬

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭

The Devil’s Front Man

“And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.” – Numbers‬ ‭22:15-17‬ ‭

God’s hand of protection was on the Isrialites for they were His people, holy, humbled, and walking in obedience to His words at this point in their history. As they passed through the land of Moab, Balak the king (an archetype for the devil) sought to destroy them. However he knew that he couldn’t as long as they were protected by God being the pure and righteous people of God that they were. So he sought to corrupt them that they might loose this divinely protected status that caused them to walk in such authority, power, favor, and strength that he might overpower and destroy them. However, Balak (like the devil) knew that the people would not listen directly to him to the ends of being influenced to partake in evil acts that would grieve the heart of God and cause His hand to be withdrawn from them. So as the devil often does knowing that they would not listen if they knew it was coming from him, he sought a front man that they would listen to… a preacher.

Here inters Balaam into the story. Balak knows that he cannot influence the whole congregation because they know who he is and what his agendas are. So instead he focuses on influencing one individual, the prophet Balaam. In like manner, if the devil can’t get to a congregation he will surely try to corrupt a pastor knowing that the people who would not listen to him directly will be easily led astray buy the pastor that does.

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (lies).” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭4:2-4‬ ‭

You see the thing about Balaam was that he had clearly heard from the Lord. God had warned him not to allow himself to be used against His people, yet for the promise of wealth, pomp, and prestige he set forth with intent to encourage this people to sin. In doing so, he became the devil’s front man. This is a common and ever effective tactic of the devil. Which is why both Jesus and the Apostle Paul warned continuously to watch out for the “wolves in sheep’s clothing“. Outwardly they appear to be of God’s fold but inwardly they are demonic spiritual predators seeking to destroy your soul for their own personal benefit and greed.

“But I (Jesus) have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” – Revelation‬ ‭2:14-16‬ ‭

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:15-23‬ ‭

“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” – Acts‬ ‭20:29-31‬ ‭

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭2:1-3‬ 

“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! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah‬ ‭5:20-24‬ 

Always remember that Jesus also warned us that the devil comes as an angel of light; pretending to be that which is of God outwardly while inwardly, is anything but. Therefor Jesus tells us to judge all ministers by their fruits. Not by the size of their congregation, for Jesus only had 12 followers while Hitler had millions. Not by their gifts, for the bible warns that the antichrist (and often those operating with a spirit of antichrist) will work in signs and “lying” or “counterfeit” wonders. Not by their smooth words and flattering lips that tell you to stay as you are, for the kingdom of God is the power to be changed into something far better then what you are and could ever have imagined or hoped to be. This is the fruit, or evidence that God has truly touched the life of a man. God never changes, but everything He touches does. Scripture says that God is an all consuming fire and everything that real fire touches is changed into something new right down to the Adam! If there is no change then it has not been touched by real fire but possibly a false fire. It might have the look and sound of fire but has no power to change things like real fire does. This is why Jesus said to “judge them by their fruits” to see if they really be of God. Examine their lives and see what they are producing, because the devil can counterfeit congregations, he can counterfeit gifts, he can counterfeit charisma, but the one thing that the devil can not counterfeit is a holy life.

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭

You can rest assured of this, God isn’t as concerned with making you happy as He is with making you Holy, nor is He trying to build a bigger church, but rather a better church. Don’t be led astray by the smooth words of men who have sold their soul to hell for gain and now intend to sell yours for prophet, as Balaam did. Jesus says to repent, turn away from your sins, touch not the unclean thing, and then He will receive you. He also says that no man who remains in his sins, unhumbled, unrepented, and unchanged will enter the kingdom of heaven. There will be a great many people burning in hell who will be quite surprised to not only be there, but to meat there pastor there also. Search your heart and ask the Lord if it is pleasing unto Him and if it is not, then submit and repent. Then search your pastor’s life as Jesus commanded us to and see if it is pleasing to the Lord and if it is not then pray for him and run for your life.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” – Romans‬ ‭16:17-18‬ ‭

“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭11:12-15‬ ‭

“For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” – Psalms‬ ‭5:9-12‬ ‭

Backed By A Greater Power

“One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.” – Joshua‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭

I was asked recently to explain the anointing and a visual came to mind. I said, imagine that a prison guard stands in a dorm of 50 inmates and tells them to go to their bunks and nothing happens. Now imagine the exact same scenario only this time there is a swat team standing behind the guard ready to enforce those words. Being backed up by this greater power, the guard says, “go to your bunk” and now something happens. They will move voluntarily because of the greater power standing behind those words, or they will be moved involuntarily by that same power. The guard used the same words and took the same actions, but when there was no power greater then their own backing those words and action it had no effect. However, when those words and actions were backed by a greater power, then breakthrough came. This is why it is the anointing that breaks the yoke and not merely words, rituals, or routines.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:20‬ ‭

The anointing comes by way of obedience which is the evidence of true faith. It comes by way of seeking the Lord and leaning not on your own understanding which is the evidence of true faith. It comes by way of prayer and fasting which is the evidence of true faith. It comes by way of selflessness and humility which is the evidence of true faith. In other words, it comes by way of Faith. Faith in who and what God is, and also in what He says.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (God), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭

If you believe that He is God, that He is all knowing, then seek Him and listen. If you believe that He is unmatchable, that nothing is too hard for Him, that nothing is impossible for Him, then stand up in prayer and obedience and take the land! If you believe that the same power that raised Christ from the dead (which is the power of the Holy Spirit of God – aka grace) lives on the inside of you, then step out and share it with someone. For what you have freely been given, you are commanded to freely give. Believe not only in what He is, but also in what He tells you, and act upon it and the enemy will tremble and flee, knowing the greater power that backs up your words and actions. 

“One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.” – Joshua‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭

The Humbling That’s Coming

American-Flag-Storm-Dark-900God is love, but true love is just. True love does not favor, it is no respecter of persons, it is fair and righteous. True love corrects that which is wrong and protects that which belongs to it. God fights for your soul because He loves it. He corrects your prideful flesh because it is the enemy of your soul. All the desires of it therefor are meant to destroy you, therefor whatever means are necessary to destroy it and humble you in this life that you might be saved from the judgment of the next is a worthy effort, however unpleasant.

“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” – Ezekiel‬ ‭18:23‬ ‭

God does not enjoy wrath. As many of us have heard our own parents say when correcting us, “this hurts me more then it hurts you”. So does judgment grieve the heart of God. Nevertheless, it would be better to spank a child that keeps running towards a busy highway until he be humbled into obeying your words not to, then to allow him to continue to his own sure demise. In the same manner does God have to resort to wrath when the prideful refuse to heed His warning and not only continue running full force to their demise, but also take others with them.

In this we see many times that God has had to bring harsh judgments upon a nation and a people. So desiring is He to save their eternal soul from the judgment of eternal torment and destruction that He allows a temporary judgment to befall their flesh.

You see, you are in a war. At the end you will be given over to the one you served in this war. Whether that be to God for eternal reward and glory, or the devil for eternal damnation and torture, for you have chosen your side. Though God does not enjoy doing so, sometimes His greatest mercy is to give you a taste of that war in this life that you might truly see the character of those that lead it.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭

War is an ugly thing and the forces that provoked that war are the same forces that provoke your soul to sin unto damnation as a weapon of warfare against your creator and Father who loves you. Yes God enacts wrath, but it is not who He is, it is only what He does. Not because He wants to, but because He has to. So when we force His hand and wrath comes, we can be assured that it hurts Him more then it hurts us, for He loves us more then we love Him. This is why, through it all, His hand is stretched out still. If you will but humble yourself and take it.

“Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts. Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” – Isaiah‬ ‭9:11-21‬ ‭

 

This Little Light Of Mine

light up

We have all heard or have sung this old hymn in church at some point. I have always loved this song and it is one of the few songs that has stuck with me through all of these years. For those who are not familiar with this song or may just need a refresher, here are the lyrics:

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, shine, shine. Let it shine!

Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine.
Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine.
Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, shine, shine. Let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, shine, shine. Let it shine!

All up in my house, I’m gonna let it shine.
All up in my house, I’m gonna let it shine.
All up in my house, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, shine, shine. Let it shine!

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, shine, shine. Let it shine!”

Although, it is such a simple and short song, it actually has a strong and powerful message within it that most overlook; for God created light. In Genisis 1:4 it says:

“And God saw the light, that (It was) good and God divided the light from the darkness.”

As Christians, we have to separate ourselves from the darkness (darkness being sin) and be the light. We have to allow the light within us to outshine the darkness of sin that is sadly taking over the world around us. God gave us not only the precious gift of life, but he gave us His Holy Spirit to dwells with in us in this life. In John 1:5 it says:

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

God made us in his image and with that being said, we are all meant to play an important role and carry out God’s works and acts of kindness. Not with selfish intentions of gaining wealth, popularity, or any other worldly gifts, but simply for the reason of wanting to be as Christ. Know that if those self centered thoughts begin to creep in, it’s the darkness trying to extinguish your fire.

The devil will try to stop you from carrying out what God has called you to do. He will try to discourage you, throw obstacles in your path, and he will even use some people in your life to come against you. Anything and everything the devil can do, he will! But the good news is that you have the gift of the Holy Spirit (the light) to illuminate through the darkness! Imagine yourself being in a pitch black room and you have a flash light. As soon as you turn the flash light on a beam of light comes out and pierces through the once pitch black room. Spend a part of your day everyday with God and keep the battery charged! That way, you can go into the world and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ no matter how dark it is out there because you bring the light without. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus said:

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Basically, in these Bible verses, Jesus is saying that our Heavenly Father lives within us, and when we go out and spread His word, live like Christ, and allow our light to shine, no darkness can prevail because our Lord Jesus is the most powerful, He is almighty.

Let’s look deeper at the verse of the song that states : “All up in my house, I’m gonna let it shine.” Yes, your house is a very important place to serve the Lord! Because, if you are not living righteously behind the closed doors of your home like you are at Church.. something in your life needs to be reevaluated. If you are living righteously, there is no need to contain your light in just your home, go out and spread it! Someone out there is lacking knowledge and truth! Share with them the wonderful and powerful things that the Lord has done for you and let them see what the power (grace) of God can do through you. Be the light!

Submitted by @ Laken Richard

 

SAVED FOR A PURPOSE

Black-Man-Praying-1“And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” – Luke‬ ‭15:11-24

The parable of the prodigal son really gives us such a clear view on Salvation and what it’s all about. God (The Good Father) wants to bless His children: “it’s His pleasure to give good gifts to His children“. He freely gives us of His inheritance. The younger son covets that inheritance then leaves the Father. (Some people love the blessings of God more than God Himself.) Him leaving the Father represents someone who once was saved but is no longer by choice. Covetousness, greed, and idolatry had taken his heart from the Father and placed it on the inheritance.Once given, the son then leaves home and parties it up until it’s all gone and then all his “friends” leave him and the hard times kick in. He finds himself staring at pig slop and desiring to fill his belly with it. BUT THEN… HE COMES TO HIS SENSES…

He begins to think of his home that he had left and remembers how good he really had it there. That even his Father’s servants were better off having food enough to spare. There was an abundance at ABBA’s house! He humbled himself and decided to be one of his Father’s hired servants and sets off back home.

On the long road home I wonder just how many times he thought of how much he had hurt his Daddy by leaving Him. I’m sure the guilt began to sink in. The recognition of that guilt is the very thing needed to cause us to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord that will in-turn cause Him to lift us up. A recognition of guilt with humility and returning to the Father is the first step in Salvation: for until we see our own wretchedness we can never KNOW the GREAT GOODNESS OF OUR FATHER; there is safety with the Father.

I wonder just how many times he must have thought of what he would say to his Daddy. I’m sure that in every step, his heart became heavier and heavier with the grief that he caused his Father. Just how many times he must have recited his repentant plea, but before he could speak a word the Father saw His son returning home to Him, [HE RAN TO HIM took him in His arms held his head to His chest and said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted his face wiped the tears from his eyes, with forgiveness in His voice He said, `son do you know I still love you?!’“] ( – taken from the lyrics of the song “When God Ran”)

The Father calls for the servants to bring a robe (righteousness) and He places it on His son along with a ring (authority) for His son’s finger. He also places shoes on His son’s feet (ministry), saying: “bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” As soon as one soul returns to the Father, all of Heaven REJOICES!

As a great man of God once said: “Jesus didn’t come to make bad men good, He came to make dead men LIVE!” ~Lenard Ravenhill

The Grace of God is the POWER to make men who are dead in their sins and trespasses alive unto God by the same Spirit THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD! This is truly Salvation: to return to the Father with a recognition that the world and all it offers is nothing more than “pig slop” in comparison to our Father and His Holy Habitation!! That our own misery is because we have left the Father, and our wretched acts of rebellion against our Father God have caused us great grief and grieved our Father as well. That the payment for that sin we committed is death, and that Jesus Christ (GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON), by the love He had for the Father became obedient unto death to be the eternal sacrifice for our sins and that through believing in Him and all He says we are saved: by surrendering ourselves back to the OBEDIENCE OF OUR FATHER. Willing to become servants, we become SONS and DAUGHTERS of the MOST HIGH GOD! This is TRUE REPENTANCE!!!

This however, sadly is not preached by most modern churches today: instead, they want salvation without repentance! They want forgiveness of God without having to forgive those who hurt them! They want to be accepted by God without neglecting the world and all it offers! They want the Blood of Christ and His sacrifice, without any willingness to suffer themselves! They want to be holy without allowing their sins to be washed away by the blood of Christ! They coddle their sins like a pet instead of nailing them to the cross to die! They prefer the lustful pleasures of this world over the affliction that leads to the eternal weight of glory! Thus the churches suffer from worldliness and are leading the masses to HELL unaware of the horrors of sin and the soon coming judgement at hand, for no matter who you are, living a life of WILLFUL SIN will only anger a Holy and Just God who gave us His only SON to TAKE AWAY OUR SINS! It’s time we begin to see ourselves in the light of our HOLY GOD AND ALLOW HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO BE PLACED UPON US THAT BY HIS AUTHORITY WE TOO CAN DO HIS WILL AND WALK IN HIS COMMANDS!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ KJV

I’m NOT saved because I’m good, but I’m good because I’m saved! It’s time we allow Grace, which is the Power of God, to save us FROM OUR SINS by FAITH in HIM! If we truly believe, then we will LIVE IT! It’s HIS GIFT TO US, so receive it! Nothing to boast about of ourselves, but we glory in the CROSS OF CHRIST! And Now we are HIS! WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, SAVED BY HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, GIVEN HIS GOOD WORKS, THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM!

How closely does your life reflect Jesus Christ’s? If your walking in your own righteousness you will fail every time, but when you rely TOTALLY UPON HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS you will produce the fruit of HIS HOLY SPIRIT becoming the LIVING SACRIFICE HE INTENDED YOU TO BE! You see another GIFT HE HAS GIVEN US:

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” – Philippians‬ ‭1:29‬

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:12-17

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭3:13-18‬

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭2:1-22

(Read: 2Peter 3 as well)

Knowing that in the last days (today) there will be seducers, false prophets, and false teachers, it would be wise to pick up the Holy Bible (KJV) and begin to ask the HOLY SPIRIT for understanding.

Remember the words of our Savior:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John‬ ‭16:33

It’s time for us Christians to start living for the eternity that Christ told us of, for if we believe there is a HELL and that MANY will go there, then what are we doing for Heaven’s sake! Let us LIVE THE GOSPEL, Interceded for the lost, and walk in the commands of our HEAVENLY FATHER building HIS KINGDOM not ours!

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:17-18‬

Submitted by @ Heather Wright

Impressing God

“When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” – Matthew‬ ‭8:10‬ ‭

This is by far one of my favorite passages for the sake of one simple word, “marveled“. Jesus marveled? What could possibly astonish and impress Jesus so much that He would marvel at it

Rewinding a few verses we see the story of the centurion. Upon reading this account there are several things that stand out about this man who causes Jesus to marvel. For one he was not of the Jewish people, in fact he not only was a gentile who were not commonly educated in the Jewish faith, but he was actually an officer of the Roman occupation. That is to say, he was the enemy of Jesus’s people and had physical dominion over them. Yet he humbled himself to come and ask Jesus, a man who was under him in physical authority, to help his servant.

This reveals 3 major things about the centurion. The first is that he cared for his servants, he was a man of compassion. The second thing it shows is that he was a humble man, willing to humble himself for the sake of helping (not himself but) someone else. He openly sought out the least and the lowly of his Society and showing great reverence and respect honored Him publicly as Lord. Thirdly and most importantly, though the centurion had physical authority over Jesus as Romans did over the Jews at that time , he acknowledged Jesus’s spiritual authority over not only him but all creation, both seen and unseen. This is what caused Jesus to marvel and these three elements are still what impress God today. Humility, selflessness, and faith.

 “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” – Matthew‬ ‭8:5-10‬ ‭