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


“Getting to the Root”

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

-James 4:8

As natural human beings, living in a corrupt world full of opportunities and temptations, sometimes we find that it can become a real fight to remain true, pure, living with integrity as the Bible clearly instructs us to once we receive salvation by His grace through our faith in Him.

The good news is God hasn’t left us “high & dry” in this life here on earth to live for Him. If you’ve ever heard me preach or read other manna’s I’ve written, you’ll know that it is by His grace alone that we are not only saved, but even sanctified as well. Empowered by His Spirit!

Anytime there is an ailment, any good doctor would try to accurately diagnose the condition to accurately prescribe a remedy or cure. Throughout the scriptures you’ll see that the “root cause” of addictions, sins of all sorts, you’ll find are rooted in self gratification.

Ever heard of the saying, “Let’s get to the ‘root’ of the problem”? We all have.

It simply means to find the origins or cause of an “issue.” Then just like a tree that is only killed at the root, we have to find the “root” and “kill it.” All of our “issues” of life, can easily simply be brought to “self.”

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” -1 John 2:16 (KJV)

Many people greatly desire to be freed from addictions or habits that are sinful, but unfortunately not many people actually understand the “root” of their problem. Once the cause of these struggles are identified, like a diagnosis is important for a prescribed remedy, we also can Biblically diagnose our own lives and see that the remedy is to “die to self”. When flesh stops “feeling” or “desiring,” it’s much easier to refuse that which we are commanded to abstain from.

As was all of my sins I was bound by, they also were rooted completely in selfishness: the desire to fulfill my own personal desires or cravings.

Being born again is to start over with ALL NEW desires!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Having said that, it’s time to crucify that flesh that pulls us to do those things that we shouldn’t.

“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” -1 Corinthians 15:31 (KJV)

The key to overcoming sin is to overcome your desire for self-gratification. And to do that is to metaphorically die to “self”.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

I’ve heard it said that sin is both stupid and selfish. “Stupid” due to its consequences (death), and selfish identifying its motivation.

In conclusion, the root is always “self.” It’s time to do some “spiritual gardening.” Take selfishness up by the root!

If that is where you are today, and you want to live and walk in victory over temptations, then call out to Jesus! He selflessly was slain for us, and now our invitation is to selflessly lay down our lives for Him! He alone can set free!

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” -John 8:36 (KJV)

Not Mine

“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:11 (KJV)

Paul addresses the church of Philippi in this introduction from prison. While there are many great take-aways in this introduction, I am intrigued by verse 11 in the phrase that says “…which are by Jesus Christ…”

Any sincere, mature, hungry-for-God Christian does understand that we must naturally produce the fruit that is evident of our salvation we already received ONLY by faith. But let’s face it, sometimes doing all the right things can be really difficult in trying times. The hope and key to understanding how any Christian can actually look, act, and speak like Christ, is none other than Christ Himself living those works IN you and THROUGH you. The apostle Paul and Jesus Christ Himself said it best in these verses:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 KJV

“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.” – John 15:5 KJV

Every great man and woman of God in scripture understood that they don’t have it within themselves; only Jesus! The apostle Paul also said this revealing statement in regard to fruit that wasn’t “from him” or “his”

“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” – Philippians 3:9 KJV

The desire of any born again believer is to say, “Thank you Lord Jesus for forgiving me of my sin, but Lord help me to abstain from these things that brought me to your altar in the first place.” The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that saved us, is also the same divine strength that also sustains us in our walk of supernaturally purifying sanctified living. The key is learning not to trust yourself with the spiritual fuel, but trusting God.

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:5-8 KJV

As we are divinely empowered by His grace, it’s time for us to passionately choose what is right, and to boldly reject what is wrong!


Lord Jesus, forgive me, and equip me to do your will in my life. I cannot do this on my own; I NEED you! Thank you Jesus!!!

Wake up! It’s Time For Dead Men To Live!

miracles-of-jesus-raising-lazarus-from-dead-1104381-wallpaperI don’t want likes and shares. I want dead men to live!

What if today was the final page of you or I’s story, and then God closed the boo What does that mean for the “right now”? Right now with all of it’s empty distractions?

“You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.” – C.S. Lewis said.

What’s gonna happen when everything that the devil used to distract us in this life is stripped away, and we have nothing standing between us and God? Nothing but all of the remembrance’s of the times we did not forsake everything to seek his face, to get alone with him. All of the moments when we could have put it down or turn it off, or bent the knee to pray, and we did not. We just did not.

If your reading this, your still here, and you can still put it down, turn it off, walk away. You can now seek his face, can now bury your head in your hands and beg for help. What do you have to lose, when all you really have of value is your soul, because that is who you are after all, a living soul, WITH a body. With eyes, with ears, with a voice, but nonetheless, a soul, and that’s why he pleads with you every day. “SEEK me while I may be found.” “Seek me WHILE I MAY be found.”

One day when your vehicle dies, the soul riding in it will go to one of two places. That’s all that matters in the entire world, no matter what language you speak or what color you are, what political party you stand with. Where your soul goes when you die is the only thing that matters right now.

Are you awake, and are you awake? Or are you sleep walking your life away, while the devil distracts you just one more day. All he needs is one more day to distract you on to hell. Please take off in a full sprint to God right now. YOU ARE A SOUL. And this body, it will die. Where will it abide for eternity? You have nothing to lose BUT your soul, and that’s everything. That’s YOU!

You still have time to seek refuge in Jesus. He is waiting for your call, but the devil wants to distract you onto hell. All he needs is one too many “today’s” and it’s all over. Please run to God. Please repent. Seek refuge while it can be sought.

The last sand WILL drop, and it will be over. Please don’t let the devil distract you even one more day. He’s building his kingdom too, and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth without end. God WILL save you if you call upon His name and repent.

Please stop sleep walking. The devil doesn’t want you to be awake. God continues to send you alarms and you keep snoozing. Over and over and over again. WAKE UP. All the devil needs is one too many days of distracting you from coming to God and it will be all over.
When he shuts the door, it will not be opened again. Seek him today. Repent, Repent, Repent, and you shall be saved!

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord , and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. – Isaiah 55:6-7

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:12-13

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

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

“Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord . [5] Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live” – Ezekiel 37:4-5

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” – Ephesians 5:14

Submitted by @ Amelia Barr

Receiving The Power Of Jesus’s Greatest Promise

14739“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs‬ ‭4:20-22‬

‭ I recently had a dream where I witnessed a man speaking to an other man. One said to the other, “do you know why God’s word must be written in your heart?” The second man asked, “why?“. The first man replied, “so that it’s just as close to your hands as it is to your mouth. To be a real Christian you must do more then speak the word, you must just as easily demonstrate it. It needs to come out of both your heart and your hands.

God’s law residing only in one’s hands (or actions) is works, God’s words residing only in one’s mouth is dead faith, but God’s words and law residing in one’s heart is the grace that bridges the gap between faith and works and changes everything.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭31:31-33‬

‭This is possible because of the gift that Jesus promise to give us after His resurrection, and that gift is His Holy Spirit. Because of Jesus’s atoning sacrifice, we can have our sins washed clean by His blood through faith in Him and what He did and said. Then we are able to receive God’s grace, which is favor, power, and divine influence by way of the Holy Spirit of God coming to reside within us. This inward river of living water springing up from deep within promised by Jesus, brings us revelation, conviction, communion, authority and all the elements of God’s grace as it writes His words and desires upon our very hearts, empowering and driving us to do what we ourselves otherwise could not. That is, to not only speak God’s words, but to also demonstrate them with our lives and actions.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” – Acts‬ ‭2:38-39‬

‭ “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation‬ ‭12:11‬

‭ “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” – James‬ ‭1:22‬ ‭

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

O My God, I Trust in You!


“O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.” -Psalms 25:2

It’s no secret that all the contributors to the book of Psalms at some point, and in many accounts fell into distresses, turmoils, and trials. The one thing that stands strong however, is their unwaivering trust they all had in the Lord their God! They knew that no matter what was to befall their path, the Lord will direct them.

Having considerable amount of examples of scripture to use in which every author, every patriarch, had considerable opportunities to trust the Lord through the impossible, (or at least what seemed to be impossible), the Psalms stood out to me in its quantity, quality, and simplicity. The 25th chapter continues in this light:

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. -Psalms 25:15-22

Today, the Lord is directing me in this topic to greater revelation. Sometimes it’s easy for me to get over anxious, worried, or fearful, but when we learn to put our trust in the one who made the heavens and the earth, it’s not so fearful. You see because God cannot lie, any and every word the Lord has given us through scripture, you can rest assured He will accomplish. Some of course come through conditions as we see throughout the Word, however, when we fulfill those conditions (examples: turn to, trust, repent, keep the covenant, fear the Lord, etc.) God is faithful to His Word & His promises!

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” -Deuteronomy 7:9

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep [you] from evil.” -2 Thessalonians 3:3

“God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” -1 Corinthians 1:9

In times of heart-ache, persecution, slander, financial distress,… no matter what the obstacle, don’t give up, don’t let go, don’t lose trust, don’t lose hope! Another favorite of the Psalms in this light is this:

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;” -Psalms 91:2-9

If any scripture to memorize, it’s this:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

The Lord is faithful, and near to a broken and contrite heart. So when you find yourself if fear or distress, turn to the Lord and trust Him and His Word! Listen to this song and let it encourage you!

“Feed My Sheep”

sheep-following-shepherd“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.‭‭” – Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“…an expected end” This is saying that God has your whole life mapped out before Him all the way to the end… I think of the verses in John 21, when Jesus is talking with Peter after He was Resurrected from the grave. He was asking Peter if He loved Him, 3 times of course to which Peter broke down and wept knowing that he had previously denied Christ 3 times before the cross. Jesus was preparing him to now go all the way!! Full commitment that would eventually cost his life. He had a job to do… to continue the work that Christ had begun. Jesus was now inquiring how much he loved Him, because he wanted full commitment for the job that Peter was about to do… we are well aware of this because of Jesus’s response “Feed my sheep” “feed my lambs”. Christ knowing he was about to ascend to the Father, was preparing Peter to take his place as shepherd or first pastor ( or Pasturer) of the flock. He needed Peter to care for His flock. I simply love this story the Gospel of John is my absolute favorite Gospel account because of the DEEP LOVE IT SHOWS OF OUR LORD FOR HIS REDEEMED! It really shows the personal relationship with Christ unique to the others. Here in this chapter I see this whole story end in such a beautiful full circle way. Look at it:

“Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.‭‭” – John‬ ‭21:5-15‬‬

I remember how that this was how it all began for Peter: Jesus meets Peter as He’s fishing and calles unto him “Follow Me“. I would imagine that this occurred to Peter as well, after he realized it was the Lord.

It’s as if in a beautiful way, Christ is saying “Hey I called you to follow me it’s not over yet; you’re not going back fishing, I called you to catch me men, not fish.” Jesus wanted Peter to know that the work wasn’t over yet. There was still much more ahead of him, in fact, it had all really just begun. So Jesus begins this really deep intimate conversation with Peter…

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.”‭‭ – ‬John 21:15-19‬

You can begin to see now how JESUS is making him reflect upon his own commitment to Him… from the very first call reminding Peter that he gave up all to follow Him, but the work was not yet over, and in reality, had only just begun.

Remember this verse:

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
‭‭John‬ ‭10:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

It comes from this passage:

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭10:14-18‬‬

Other sheep:
We are the other sheep! And still there are more to come into the fold! The work is not finished yet, there is still much more to come! Let us all remember our personal commitment to Christ today and listen to the voice of our Shepherd calling “Feed my sheep” and let us all examine our hearts that we are fully prepared to lay our own lives down for the cause of Christ!

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.‭‭” – 1 John‬ ‭3:16‬‬

If John 3:16 tells us the story of the Gospel (and it does), then 1 John 3:16 gives us our part in it! “Feed The Sheep”. (1 John‬ ‭3:1-24‬‬)

‭‭Submitted by @ Heather Wright ‬‬

Free To Serve

“What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:18-19‬ ‭

Though Christ has made us sons and not servants (John 8:35), kings and priest of God (Revelations 1:6), the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13) , yet of willingness through love do we humble ourselves unto servanthood for the sake of the gospel as a bride for the love of her groom does serve not only Him but all of His family and those whom He loves. If selfishness drives pride and pride drives selfishness (which is the root of all unrighteousness) then it also is a truth that real love drives selflessness and selflessness drives humility (which is the root of all righteousness). 

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭8:9‬ ‭

God truly is love and real love will always manifest in selfless acts toward God and others. 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”‭‭John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭

This is why Jesus said that you will know those who are His by their love in John 13:35, and by their fruits in Matthew 7:16. Because God is love, those who truly have God living on the inside of them (and therefore manifesting through them) will by proxy have the love of God abiding in them, and showing through them in their actions which will produce the selfless acts of love, the fruits of righteousness. Likewise, He also said that those who bare no fruit will be cast off from the vine to the fire along with those who bare bad fruit. Those who bare bad fruit are those who are rooted in wickedness but just as bad are those who though they have been grafted in, have not allowed the life (love) of the root to flow through them and produce good fruits (selfless acts of humility and obedience to the will of the root). This branch is of no use to the body of the tree and is cast off by the husbandmen (God) into the fire. 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” – John‬ ‭15:1-10‬ ‭

Love for God will drive obedience to God which equates to righteousness. Love for self will drive obedience to the flesh which will drive disobedience to God and equates to unrighteousness. 

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John‬ ‭14:15‬ ‭

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” – 1 John‬ ‭2:15-16‬ ‭
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:13-14‬ ‭

All righteousness is rooted in humility and all humility is rooted in love, because Christ is the root and Christ is love and selfless humility. Therefore, if we truly be rooted in Him and abide in love then we will produce the selfless acts (or fruits) of righteousness as that love flows through us toward others. Therefore, though we are sons and not servants, will we freely choose to humbly serve our good fruits to all, compelled by the love flowing through us from the root to the benefit of all but to the husbandmen most of all. Let that which is in the root (namely selfless love and humility), be also in you, less you be found fruitless, cut off from the vine, and cast into the fire.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.” – John‬ ‭15:12-17‬ ‭
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” – Philippians‬ ‭2:3-9‬ ‭

What is the Meaning of Life?

We’ve all heard the question… Some having asked us personally, or us actually having asked the question. Many people have many opinions, no doubt, however I’ve learned to very confidently be able to trust the Lord and His Holy Word.

On any scale of wondering, I always answer all questions by first asking the question, “What does the Word say?” Many people give their opinions in many circumstances very sincerely and genuine, but unfortunately, not very many people go straight to scripture. They instead go right to “what makes sense to them” to very sincerely justify their belief system or world view. Maybe the meaning of life is to fall in love? Have children? Climb the financial and social ladders? Well, did you know that the scripture is quite clear in answering this never ending question? Honestly I didn’t always, but when I came across it, it jumped right off the page to me as I hope it does you. To the age-old question! Simple question, simple answer:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” – Ecclesiastes‬ ‭12:13‬ (‭KJV‬‬)

Sounds like too simple of an answer, right? Well, on the surface yes, but when you peal the layers of the 2nd “duty of man” that being “keep His commandments,” you’ll see it get much more broad as you search connecting scriptures. And how in the world can you “keep His commandments” you might ask? Well, you’ll see the first step into “keeping God’s commandments” is to love Him.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.” -John 14:15

Without sincere, true love & intimacy with God, let’s face it: The reality is You won’t actually care much about pleasing Him. It is a tough “pill to swallow” for most that live like the world, while claiming faith in God, but His word can’t get any clearer.  Example: My wife I truly love with all my heart. That means I’m genuinely concerned about how she sees me, her over-all well being, her feelings toward me, etc. Simply put: I invest into VERY deeply what I love the upmost.

Now the second step to “keeping His commandments” is understanding the greatest of them all:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.’” -‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:36-40‬ ‭(KJV‬‬)

What’s interesting to note is that even the 2nd step falls right back to love. This time broadening the requirements of our “love recipients” to BOTH God AND our neighbors. Now you might say, “Well, I can love God, but my neighbors!? (All mankind)” Well remember this:

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”‭‭ -1 John‬ ‭4:20-21‬ ‭(KJV‬)

Think about it like this: Remember something my dad always told me growing up, “Son, you’ll alwaysdo what’s important to you.

So the first question we have to ask ourselves on answering “The Meaning of Life” question (now defined) is, “How BIG is our love for Him and others?” Second, “Are we fearing the Lord as we should?” (Matthew 10:28) Thirdly, have we prioritized God and others above ourselves? If not, today is a good day for us to get it right with God. Pray to the Lord, and ask him to give you His love. And how can we love Him?

“We love him, because he first loved us.” -‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭(KJV‬‬)

It’s His empowerment that enables us to love like He loved, and live like He lived! Dear friends, THAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE! 

Time: The Immeasurable Commodity

“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” -Isaiah 40:6-8 (KJV)
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” -James 4:14 (KJV)

We’ve all heard the saying, “Life is Short.” Well, that saying couldn’t be more Biblically true. Time on this earth is truly a commodity that most unfortunately take for granted. The craziest part it is, it’s the only commodity that each person has with absolutely no guaranteed measure. Someone may have a balance of their bank account, barrels of oil, or bushels of wheat, all of which are measurable commodities. Life however, isn’t measurable in realms of time guaranteed to us. All of us have to come to that revelation on such a way that will drive us to “invest” our precious unmeasurable commodity wisely. Jesus made it very clear to us in the last chapter of the entire Bible when he said,

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” -Revelation 22:12 (KJV)

Whether we want to admit it or not born-again saints, the works we do are critical in our short lives, not to OBTAIN salvation of course, but to show EVIDENCE of that salvation imparted. In light of the word God is giving us all today regarding “using our time wisely,” the Biblical reality of the Godly works we are required to operate in (James 2:18-26) directly corrilates with “living the life we say we believe” in this short amount of time-commodity God has given us.

Regarding our “works” we operate in that Jesus said he will reward us for during our short-lived lives, they can be good or bad:

[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit (evidence or works) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. [24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. [25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” -Galatians 5:19-25 (KJV)

The Bible doesn’t lie. Nor does Jesus ever tell us something that cannot be done. Holiness is required in Scripture, but as the apostle Paul clearly tells us it is not in our own strength but in His. 

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, …” -1 Peter 1:16-17 (KJV)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” -‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬‬ (KJV)

[9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

Because we have all figured out that we cannot live like Christ in our own strength, we have to realize that is not a justification to live how we want. When we come to Christ in faith, He gives us His grace to empower us to live holy. Since the reason we are all exhorted today to make use of what time we are given though unknown in quantity, it can be greatly increased in quality by His grace! Let’s make a heart change today and surrender to His power, while laying aside our own! “Tis’ so sweet to trust in Jesus!”