Every culture must acknowledge, admit and repent of the behavior that is displeasing to God and destructive to their subculture and society as a whole. Doing so does not let the other cultures ‘off the hook’, but ensures it’s own success in spite of what other cultures do, or don’t do.
Even though Black people (or African Americans if you prefer) are not culpable for the culture, heritage and legacy of slavery in America, there are many Black people who would not have been slaves had it not been for other Black people who in some way participated in their capture or sell.
Unfortunately that same counter-productive and dysfunctional behavior had become an accepted part of Black or African American culture today.
Even if the rest of America never…
Pays any attention to or participated in our protests….
Acknowledges our cries of systematic racism…
Takes down another statue or monument…
Awards another Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe etc. to a well-deserving Black person…
Promotes another qualified Black employee…
Patronizes another Black business…
Elects another Black candidate…
Are WE going to continue…
Senselessly killing one another…
Selling drugs in our own community…
Undermining one another’s success for whatever reason (Crabs in a barrel)…
Complaining about ‘the man’ but becoming ‘the man’ to each other when we acquire influence…
Showing favoritism and internal racism based on skin tone in our own race…
Overlooking a more qualified Black candidate for someone in our fraternity or sorority…
Allowing our men to be emasculated…
Allowing our women to carry the weight of many of our families…
Requiring ‘payola’, gifts and predatory contracts to get access to the music industry…
Squandering the sacrifices of those who died for our freedom (Black, White and everyone else) equality, equity and civil rights by accepting mediocrity, complacency, apathy and turning our backs on the God of our salvation?
Remember, the NAACP, NEGRO LEAGUES,NATIONAL NEGRO COLLEGE FUND, BET and other entities were created because we weren’t included. Now that we are included more into society, many now say those organizations are racist…forgetting why they were created in the first place.
Maybe other cultures have gained more in society because they are as hungry as our grandparents and great grandparents used to be.
Maybe, without public outcries, they have quietly worked to prove their equality and value.
We must stop giving ammunition to those who oppose us by doing the same thing we are asking the majority to do…,
Acknowledge our cultural challenges and sins.
Work internally within our families, homes, churches and organizations to change our culture where needed.
To master Emotional Intelligence.
To become even more established in our relationship to God through Yeshua, the Messiah (Jesus Christ) who was not white and was worshipped by Black people long before most people in Europe.
Acts 8:26-27 (NKJV)
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is [a]desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,
Acts 2:5-11 (NKJV)
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own [a]language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and [b]Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”
Acts 13:1 (KJV)
13 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
I know some people won’t like this, but if it provokes thought and dialogue, I’ve done my job.
We can’t put our faith in a person, political party, or even people responding to our legitimate complaints…our faith must be in God, Yah, through our Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)…and our own responsibility to change our world through Him.
There is a horrible Christian subculture that is trying to take over the identity of those who believe in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Especially in America, Christianity is being characterized by mean-spirited, insulting, gun-loving radicals who aren’t much different than what they love to identify as ‘radical-Islam’.
The fact is that if the devil can provoke us to become mean, he can destroy anyone’s desire to become a part of the Kingdom of God.
If the devil can make us ‘mean’, he can change our motives. It’s not about what God wants anymore, but…
about feeding our anger…
about proving we are right…
about condemnation rather than salvation.
Is your anger at sin truly about what God wants or doesn’t want, or about which sins you want to be angry about?
Too many Christians condemn the HIGH PROFILE sins, while excusing pride, insults, arrogance, idolatry, blasphemy and the sins that they have decided that God isn’t as concerned about.
My wife once told me after a sermon, “What you said was good, and true, but I think you lost some of the people because you were preaching like you were angry.”
At first I made excuses, but when I thought about it, she was right. Was I angry at the sin, or was I angry at the sinner? Who do we really think we can convert through ‘fussing at them’ all the time?
When we’re angry, we open the door for our flesh to speak louder than God’s spirit.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NKJV)
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give [a]place to the devil.
Colossians 4:6 (NKJV)
6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
No matter how much we may feel that we are passionate about the right thing, if we don’t spread God’s word in love, we are doing more harm than good, and He will hold us accountable for being a stumbling block.
Stop and take notice of your tone…your expression… your attitude…your motives, and make sure that the enemy hasn’t hijacked your intentions, just as he did Judas Iscariot. Remember, he was among those who were sent out to cast out demons and work miracles, but the enemy defiled his intentions and motives…
Luke 22:3 (NKJV)
3 Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.
When I see the behavior of some who call themselves believers online, on television, on social media… it think about what my wife told me.
If you can’t spread your faith in love, keep it to yourself.
Don’t get it twisted. This is not just a self-righteous, judgmental platitude…it’s biblical truth.
Why is God anti-gay?
Because God is anti-adultery, but not anti-adulterer.
He’s anti-fornication, but not anti-fornicator.
He’s anti-murder, but not anti-murderer
He’s anti-malice, but not anti-malicious.
He’s anti-hate, but not anti-hater.
He’s anti-lie, but not anti-liar.
He’s anti-foolishness, but not anti-fool.
He’s anti-pride, but not anti-proud person.
He’s anti-greed, but not anti-greedy person.
I think you get the picture. God is anti-sin, but He is not anti-sinner. Even though there are those trying to now establish that homosexuality is not a sin. It still is. Even though many people are trying to say that that’s not what Sodom and Gomorrah was about. It still was (Genesis 19). Even though many people are trying to say that Jesus never addressed homosexuality, He still did (Matthew 19:4-6)FOR THOSE WHO SAY JESUS NEVER ADDRESSED HOMOSEXUALITY…. And even though people are refuting what Paul said about it, it’s still truth (Romans 1:24-27).
If people weren’t loyal to the Son of God, don’t expect them to be loyal to you.
No matter how well people speak of you, never believe your own press.
People will honor you, celebrate you, respect you, follow you…dig you as long as
you are meeting their expectations of you…
as you are adding value to their lives…
being who they feel you should be.
Look at what Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, said after His first miracle.
John 2:23-24 (NKJV)
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the (A)signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He (B)knew all men,
Personally, I don’t base fidelity on family, race, nation or any earthly relationship, but only on how others are led in their relationship with God.
Just like the LORD, with any of us people could shout HOSANNA at the beginning of the week and CRUCIFY HIM at the end of the week.
I’m confident that I’m not the only one who can relate to the title of this piece. Both conservatives and liberals criticize me, mock me and feel that I’m as wrong as two left shoes.
I’m a Black man who as much as I’m concerned with social justice, equality and equity for my people still try to approach the world from a God’s Kingdom perspective. I feel that the Kingdom of God is a nation within a nation, so I make my decisions based on the leader of that ‘nation’, Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
On one hand many of the efforts to champion the cause of social justice, equality and equity for Black people is intermingled with efforts to champion the LGBTQ movement, same-sex marriage and abortion.
On the other hand, I can’t support a leader who embodies the very character of the devil and predicted behavior of the antichrist… proud, boastful, unrepentant, unforgiving, arrogant, insulting, constantly accusing, blaming and never accepting accountability. These are all biblically quoted abominations, but conservatives condone, excuse, justify and enable his behavior because they choose his abominations over the abominations of abortion and homosexuality. I have seen crowds of Christians laugh and cheer as he hurls out profanities within his speeches. Mr. Trump has wrapped himself into the causes important to conservative evangelicals just as the devil disguises himself as an angel of light. Even though he is not the antichrist, he is using the very tactics that the bible predicts will be used by the antichrist…he will make things look great to many.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NASB)
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
Because of where I stand…
I’ve had many liberals tell me that I hate gay people (which I don’t) and that I am judging them when I point out that lifestyle as sin.
I’ve had many conservatives tell me that I hate the President (which I don’t) and that I am judging him when I point out his pride, insults, and ungodly behavior.
Notice that they both make the same accusations.
Liberals have criticized me for speaking out against abortion and conservatives have criticized me for reminding them God does not view abortion as a greater abomination than pride…
Proverbs 6:16-17 (NKJV)
16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him: 17 A[b] proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
The fact is…
I’m not putting my faith in any man, Biden or Trump.
I’m not putting my faith in any party, Democrat or Republican
The fact is…
I’m not putting my faith in any man, Biden or Trump.
I’m not putting my faith in any party, Democrat or Republican.
The fact that both liberals and conservatives sometimes feel I’m on the wrong side confirms for me that I’m on the right side.
We must pray that all leaders submit to God’s word, will, love, truth and salvation.
And, both sides must stop condemning those who disagree, because there is no lesser of two evils.
When you stop and take look, you can see God’s wisdom in everything…and I mean EVERYTHING!
God’s first institution established in His Kingdom was the family. He put man and woman together with a plan. He told us to be fruitful and multiply because God wasn’t going to continue creating men from dust or women from men’s ribs.
God gave us the gift of physical intimacy (sex) to bring children into the world, and to enhance our marriages. God wants us to enjoy one another just as much as he wants us to enjoy Him, and that’s very clear in the bible.
Proverbs 5:19 (NKJV)
As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
He even told husbands and wives to ‘take care of each other’ intimately so that neither is tempted…
1 Corinthians 7: 1-5
Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
God made sex a physical crescendo that builds to a climactic, brief culmination of intense pleasure sought after by both those who are married and unfortunately, unmarried….We will use the euphemism ‘THE BIG O’. Everything God did has a holy purpose. It’s not God’s fault that we misuse His gift…and what a perfect gift!
Here’s where God’s wisdom comes in.
If we were going to ‘be fruitful and multiply’…
If we were going to have long, healthy marriages…
Our gift would need to be something we look forward to…something we crave and not something we dread.
Few people want the physical crescendo without the ‘BIG O’…
And, few people want the ‘BIG O’ to come too soon…
But, dig this!
As much as we enjoy…
As much we anticipate the ‘BIG O’.
As much as we enjoy reaching that brief moment of euphoria…God was wise enough to make it brief.
It’s brief enough for us to look forward to it, but it’s short enough for us to enjoy it.
Think about it…no one would be able to withstand 5, 10, 15 uninterrupted minutes of the ‘BIG O’. I don’t even know if our bodies could take it.
If the ‘BIG O’ was too big or too long…we would dread it.
If the ‘BIG O’ was too big we would avoid it.
There would be no ‘be fruitful and multiply’.
There would be a strain on marriages due to lack of intimacy.
Even the most holy person can admit that a well-timed ‘BIG O’ is just the pressure release valve needed sometime to relieve us of the stresses of life.
God knew just how good to make it…Just how strong to make it…and just how long to make it.
I told you when you stop and look at it, you can see God’s wisdom in EVERYTHING.
It’s easy to see why the apostle Paul proclaimed…
Romans 11:33 (NKJV)
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
When we try to justify our faith through our American politics, something will always ‘slip through the cracks’. People on both sides are judging others by their myopic views based on the sins and values they choose to politicize.
Many people who are passionately against abortion (as we all should be, yes it is sin) feel justified by prioritizing that over issues of social injustice, equality and equity that concern the living. God makes it clear that there are other abominations equal to those which are politicized…
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)
16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him: 17 A[b] PROUD look, A lying tongue, HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And ONE WHO SOWS DISCORD AMONG BRETHERN.
As much as it may seem right to some of us, God does not prioritize the unborn over those who are born. And, you can’t ignore the concerns of the living for those who aren’t living ‘yet.’ The fact is that God is just as sovereign over the unborn soul as He is over the soul that has died.
Remember what Yeshua said…
Mark 12:26-27 (NKJV)
26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly [a]mistaken.”
Be confident that God is sovereign over those who are not yet born…
Romans 9:10-13 (NKJV)
10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),
God is God of the unborn, the living and the dead, but Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ died for those who are guilty and alive…
1 Peter 3:17-19 (NASB)
17 For it is better, if [a]God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the [b]spirit; 19 in [c]which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,
God doesn’t give priority to a sin just because we decide to do so, and quite frankly, he doesn’t give priority to those who are not yet born over those who are.
Again, abortion is wrong, but it’s not more wrong that injustice…
Don’t forget the REAL reasons that God sent Israel and Judah into exile…
Isaiah 10:1-3 (NASB)
Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record [a]unjust decisions, 2 So as to [b]deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the [c]orphans. 3 Now what will you do in the day of punishment, And in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your [d]wealth?
We have all done it before. We asked God to forgive us, and promised Him that we wouldn’t do it again…then found ourselves right back in the same behavior again, and sometimes again and again.
Has this ever been you? Sure, we all have.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Whether you slipped up or carefully planned your presumptuous (premeditated sin in the 1st degree), you did NOT surprise God when you messed up.
Psalm 19:13 (NKJV)
13 Keep back Your servant also from PRESUMPTUOUS sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of [a]great transgression.
Think about this, David was ordained King and a man after God’s own heart, God already knew that we was going to see Bathsheba bathing, lust after her, abuse his authority and have her brought to him, have sex with her, get her pregnant and then carefully plan to have her husband Uriah (who was very loyal to him) killed to conceal the sin. David did not take God by surprise.
God already knew Noah was going to get drunk after he delivered him and his family in the flood (Genesis Chapter 9).
God already knew that Abraham was going to sleep with Hagar when it was taking too long for Isaac to be born (Genesis Chapter 16).
God already knew that Jacob was going to lie to steal Esau’s blessing (Genesis Chapter 27).
Yeshua already knew when He called Peter that he would deny Him three times (John Chapter 18).
And, God already knew when you accepted His Son as Lord and Savior that you would ____________________________. ( You fill in the blank. You know what you did or are doing).
Their sin didn’t disqualify them and yours doesn’t disqualify you.
Think about this. It wasn’t David’s sexual sin that disqualified him from building a house for God, as he longed to do. It was his violence (2 Samuel Chapter 7).
Notice that David’s sin did not disqualify him from being King, He did not have to surrender his ‘thrown’.
David’s sin did not mean the Psalms that God gave us through Him could no longer be sung, read or prayed.
David’s sin did not disqualify Him from being a man after God’s own heart.
Why? Because David repented (2 Samuel Chapter 12 and Psalm 51), unlike King Saul, who he succeeded. Saul never repented and He was rejected by God and lost the throne to David (1 Samuel Chapters 15-16).
The key is repentance. Yes, you may slip up. You may even stay in that sin for a season. But, the fact that you weren’t comfortable in that sin is proof that God’s Holy Spirit was convicting you. The fact that you aren’t comfortable in that sin, if you’re in it right now, is proof that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) won’t allow you to have any peace right now. It proves that you are His.
You didn’t catch God by surprise. If you’re practicing a sin right now that you know hurts God…stop right now, before God stops you. If you have repented…be strong and don’t go back.
Be encouraged. God already knew everything you would do when He chose you!
Your sin didn’t or doesn’t disqualify you, as long as you truly repent…now.
The devil is a deceiver and the father of lies, and remember, that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) proclaimed this not to the overt, perverse ‘sinners’ but to the ‘elite’, self-righteous, religious leaders of the time. This same ‘spirit’ lives on in many people who claim to be believers today…
John 8:44 (NKJV)
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
The fact is that he has been doing his thing long before we got here, and quite frankly he is good at it.
But, God didn’t leave us defenseless against his schemes…
2 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV)
11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Leaders whose purpose is to deceive the saints WILL NOT ADMIT TO BE EVIL!
It’s our responsibility to recognize who the devil is working through. Just as we are created in God’s image, which means we have His attributes and character, those who are being led by the enemy have his attributes.
So, no matter what a leader may CLAIM to stand for, if their character hasn’t and doesn’t align with God’s character…beware. The fact is that the man of lawlessness will come with lying wonders that are designed to deceive the very elect…
Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Remember, the Jews were expecting the Messiah (Christ) to be a political and military leader as well as spiritual.
But here’s the more grave admonition. If they share the attributes of the Adversary, don’t be fooled by their deception, so you won’t be a partaker of their sins. Here are a few from Holy scripture…
These signs pertain to ALL leaders, world, national, local, professional and spiritual!
1. BEWARE OF LEADERS WHO ARE CONSTANTLY ACCUSING & PLACING BLAME…
This is a direct attribute of the devil. One of his titles, given by God, is the Accuser of the ‘brethren’…
Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
I recommend that you don’t just beware of leaders who openly stand for evil, but for those who have the subtle attributes of the enemy. Beware of those whose character is to always accuse and never accept accountability. Be honest with yourself. Do you know any leaders that fit this description?
2. BEWARE OF LEADERS WHO ARE FULL OF PRIDE…
This is another direct attribute of the enemy that can’t be ignored or discounted. The bible makes it clear that PRIDE which is the first mentioned among deadly sins, in fact, it’s mentioned just before ‘hands that shed innocent blood’ which in manifested one way through abortion. Pride is just as deadly and just as much an abomination as abortion. God does not permit us to be proud of ANYTHING! Our nation. Our race. Our children. Our accomplishments. Instead, He demands we be THANKFUL for these things. One of the enemy’s most acceptable strategies is convincing believers that pride is okay in some situations. Do you know of any leaders whose looks and mouths are full of pride? Beware!
3. BEWARE OF LEADERS WHO ARE CONSTANTLY BOASTING ABOUT THEMSELVES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS…
This attribute is a direct fruit of pride and God warns to watch for it in both the Old and New Testatments. God told us that the spirit of the antichrist was already at work even in the 1st Century…
John 4:3 (NASB)
3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
We prove what we ‘confess’ by our lifestyle and words. That’s why Jesus said many who call Him ‘Lord, Lord’ will not enter into His Kingdom.
Don’t ignore the scriptures about leaders whose mouths are full of boasting…
Daniel 7:8 (NASB)
8 While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, [a]this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.
Proverbs 27:2 (NKJV)
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11(NASB)
9 that is, the one whose [a]coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and [b]signs and false wonders, 10 and with [c]all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God [d]will send upon them [e]a deluding influence so that they will believe [f]what is false,
Revelation 13:5 (NIV)
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.
Do you know of a leader whose mouth is full of boasting about him or herself? This person doesn’t have to be the anti-christ to be operating in the spirit of the antichrist to prepare hearts and minds for his coming.
4. BEWARE OF LEADERS WHO REFUSE TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS, GIVE FORGIVENESS OR REPENT…
When you carefully read about King Saul and King David, the thing that made David ‘a man after God’s own heart’ was that he had a heart of repentance, while Saul did not. Repentance isn’t saying I’m sorry, but actually turning from your sin with Godly sorrow. David allowed the Prophet Nathan to hold him accountable for his sin, and he repented…
Psalm 51 (NKJV)
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just [a]when You speak, And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)
10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
5. BEWARE OF LEADERS WHOSE CHARACTER DOESN’T ALIGN WITH WHAT THEY CLAIM TO STAND FOR…
No matter what we claim to ‘stand for’ we prove our faith in God through Yeshua the Messiah with our behavior. Are we perfect? No. But, it’s clear when someones overall character doesn’t align with what God commands. For example, I have seen one particular leader use profanity during speeches while crowds of people who claimed to be believers cheered, laughed and encouraged this behavior that God clearly forbids.
James 3:9-11 (NKJV)
9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the [a]similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
I’ve seen believers make excuses for a leader who not only has never been known for his faith or integrity, but unrepentantly bragged about his past sinful exploits…rather than hold him accountable. This is enabling him just as much as enabling a dope addict by feeding his or her habit…
Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV)
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather [a]expose them.
When we don’t hold one another accountable, we become partakers of the same sins…
Ephesians 5:6-7 (NKJV)
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
6. BEWARE OF LEADERS WHO CONSTANTLY HURL INSULTS…
We all insult one another sometimes, however, if we’re honest with ourselves, there are some people that have made hurling insults a part of their very character. This is of the devil, and Jesus Himself said it leads to hell fire…
Matthew 5:22 (NLT)
22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone,[a] you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,[b] you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,[c] you are in danger of the fires of hell.[d]
Remember, the enemy does not attempt to deceive believers by admitting to be evil, but disguising himself as an angel of light. Also remember that the wolf comes in sheep’s clothing…
Matthew 7:15 (KJV)
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
We are made in the image of our invisible God by displaying the Fruit of His Spirit, many of which our modern culture considers to be ‘weak’…
Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Israel didn’t become exiled because of the overt ‘sinners’ in the land, but because of the spiritual compromise, pride, and hypocrisy of believers. That’s why God said…
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
This article is intended to be an admonition for believers. Most of the time, these admonitions were rejected in the bible. Be careful of any spirit that would provoke you to immediately reject it.
Don’t forget that Herod was a great builder and political leader who even like John the Baptist, but was an enemy of our Lord and Savior…
Mark 6:20 (NLT)
20 for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.
I intentionally didn’t call any names, so if the name of a particular leader comes to mind, maybe it’s because they fit they description.
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [a]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Remember, these signs pertain to ALL leaders, world, national, local, professional and spiritual!
And let us always pray that they submit to God’s will, word, love, truth and salvation!
God intends for marriage to be a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, no matter how much our modern society makes and accepts excuses to ‘get out of it’. Especially what we call ‘irreconcilable differences’ or ‘we’re just growing apart’.
Malachi 2:16 (NKJV)
16 “For the Lord God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”
Matthew 19:4-8 (NKJV)
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who [a]made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.”7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
God knows that no matter how much you love one another, that no two people will be the same after 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 plus years of marriage. It’s impossible. Yes, you will grow apart in some areas of your lives. But, that doesn’t have to come between you.
Think about this. If God expected the arranged marriages to last in the bible days, He expects us to stay with the spouse that we choose.
How can we be ministers of reconciliation for God’s Kingdom if we can’t even reconcile the differences in our homes?
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NKJV)
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [a]imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
In the words of Al Green, “Let’s stay together”
Here are a few more of my articles on Godly Marriage:
We have all been the antagonist in at least one chapter of someone’s story.
We are not always the hero.
We are not always the victim.
SOMETIMES, WE WERE THE DARK SIDE!
Sometimes we were the monster.
OUR CULTURE CREATES MONSTERS WHO THINK THEY’RE HEROES!
How many people have you given a good reason to hate you?
How many people has the enemy used you as a stumbling block?
Sometimes we were Pharaoh.
Sometimes we were Peter.
Sometimes we were Judas.
Always be willing to forgive, even when you feel they do deserve it, because there’s always someone who feels we don’t.
Think about all the times God watched us deny, and betray Him…yet He still is always ready to forgive us.
He expects us to do the same.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (CJB)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted; and forgive each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you.
We experience the physical world through our 5 senses. Would you even know you that the world was real if you had not ONE sense?
As real as this world is, we only know it’s real because of our five senses. We experience the world through our senses. They make us aware of the evidence that the world is real.
Faith is the spiritual equivalent to all five of our spiritual senses. It is our faith that enables us to experience the spiritual world that we can’t see.
Atheists claim God isn’t real because they say there is no evidence. This is because they aren’t exercising the measure of faith that God has given all of us, so just as a person with no senses can’t experience the physical world, they can’t experience God
Romans 12:3 (NKJV)
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Think about it, God’s word confirms that faith is our sixth sense through which we see, hear, touch, smell and even taste God…
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen.
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
John 10:27 (NKJV)
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Matthew 8:3 (NKJV)
3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Matthew 17:7 (NKJV)
7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.”
2 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
Ezekiel 20:41 (NKVJV)
41 I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles.
Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Psalm 119:103 (NKJV)
103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
And just as our physical senses need to be enhanced through wearing glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids etc., so does our faith need enhancing through prayer, studying God’s word, praise and sincere worship.
So, please don’t neglect your spiritual sixth sense!
Feed your faith!
Exercise your faith!
Take care of your faith just as much as you do your 5 physical senses.
God give us clues as to which spirit someone is really being led by, whether its His Holy Spirit or the enemy. We all may boast about our accomplishments every now and then, however some people do it so often, it’s become an aspect of their character.
It’s their personality and you’re not surprised when you hear them do it.
Quite simply, this is not of God. Notice what Proverbs Chapter 27 Verse 2 state (this is the Complete Jewish Bible translation)…
Beware of people, especially leaders. who are known for constantly bragging about themselves. the Bible makes it clear their behavior/character is being led by the enemy.
Have you ever noticed that the very man that God used to tell us…
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
…did just that, in his old age? He departed from being obedient to God in his relationships.
We all know that the Bible teaches us that King Solomon was the most wise man who has ever lived.
God used him to channel words of wisdom from the spiritual to the physical world. He is an example of how a person who has total devotion to God can allow others, especially people they love, to come between them and their relationship with God.
Most people know that Solomon had many wives and concubines in spite of what God warned in Deuteronomy Chapter 17…
Deuteronomy 17:15-17 (NKJV)
15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
Solomon’s love and devotion for his ‘illegal’ wives caused him to put them before God. He built idols and shrines for the ‘gods’ they served and it made God very angry…but this didn’t catch God by surprise. He knew what Solomon would do even when He ordained him to be king. The fact is that God uses imperfect people to carry out His perfect will. But, there are consequences when we ‘betray’ God.
Solomon ruined his season of peace and rest by provoking God to stir up enemies against him…
1 Kings 11:11-14 (NKJV)
11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.“14 Now the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was a descendant of the king in Edom.
No matter how wise you may be. No matter what God has accomplished through you. No matter how many ‘good seeds’ you have sown….If you don’t remain diligent in obedience, the devil can get a foothold in your life and cause you to stumble and hurt our God.
If it can happen to the most wise man to ever live, it can happen to any of us.
Yes, abortion is sin. Yes, homosexuality is sin. Many people who identify as Christians are passionate about rebuking and rejecting these sins, as they should be. However, these aren’t the only abominations in the bible. The fact is that many evangelicals reject some sins while excusing those that either don’t bother them, or that they want to continue committing.
So, if you want liberals to accept that abortion and homosexuality are sins, are you willing to accept…
1. Allowing your children to participate in Halloween is symbolically sacrificing them to idols?
God became very angry at Israel for adopting the customs of the heathen and sacrificing their children to Molech and allowing them to ‘pass through the fire’. Halloween’s roots are undeniably pagan. Either a Google search or scholarly research can easily prove that. The devil knows he can’t get Christians today to ‘sacrifice’ their children literally, so he does it symbolically to spite God. The easiest way for the enemy to allow sin to continue through generations is to make people feel as though their children are missing out on something, and that’s what he does. God made it clear that we are not to ‘learn the way of the heathen’…
Jeremiah 10:2-5 (KJV)
2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them?
If you want liberals to accept that abortion is wrong, are you willing to accept that Halloween is a pagan practice that should immediately be removed as a National holiday (holy day)?
2. Calling our celebration of our Lord and Savior’s resurrection ‘EASTER’ is blatant blasphemy?
It’s undeniable that the name EASTER has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ, (Yeshua the Messiah). It is derived from the name of a pagan goddess named Eostre, who is the same goddess as Ishtar, and Ashtoreth who God continually rebuked and punished Israel for worshipping. The devil has allowed this worship to continue by defiling the celebration of Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection. Notice what God told His people before they entered the promised land…
Joshua 23:6-7(New King James Version)
6 Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, 7 and lest you go[a] among these nations, these who remain among you. YOU SHALL NOT MAKE MENTION OF THE NAME of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them,
God is very clear here. DO NOT MAKE MENTION. But, the devil has convinced Christians to do exactly that EVERY TIME they refer to a day set aside to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Putting any name where God’s name belongs is BLASPHEMY. Look at how angry God was at His people acknowledging idol Gods when they were rebuked for worshipping Tammuz who is directly associated with Ishtar…
Ezekiel 8:14-18 (NKJV)
14 So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the Lord’s house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for [a]Tammuz.
15 Then He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these.” 16 So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.
17 And He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”
These are the abominations that got His people exiled into Assyria and Babylon. It’s amazing how Americans who are so concerned with losing their freedom ignore the sins that actually made Israel lose their freedom — the Spiritual adultery, not the actual heathens in the land themselves.
If you want ‘sinners’ to accept that abortion and homosexuality is sin, are you willing to accept that calling our Savior’s resurrection celebration ‘Easter’ and continuing the customs of hunting eggs, especially in church is blasphemy and an abomination?
3. Celebrating our Savior’s birth by erecting a tree in your home is setting up a shrine to an idol in your home?
It is also clear that the origin of Christmas trees is pagan as well. I myself had vacillated about this for years. But, notice what Encyclopedia Britannica says concerning Christmas trees…
“according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmas time.”
It is clear what God told His people in Jeremiah when referencing how they harvested trees to carve idols…
Jeremiah 10:2-5 (NKJV)
2 Thus says the Lord:
“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are[a]futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. 5 They are upright, like a palm tree, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, For they cannot do evil, Nor can they do any good.”
Too many Christians are perfectly comfortable telling their children that Santa Claus is watching them all year. They are comfortable letting their children think that Santa Clause “knows when they are sleeping, and knows when they are awake…knows if they’ve been bad or good.” Only God can do these things! This again is blasphemy. The devil has convinced Christians that it’s harmless, but notice that God states in Ezekiel 8:17 that God doesn’t see anything as trivial…”Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here?” Again, one of the enemy’s strategies to allow sins to go on for thousands of years is to convince people that their children are missing out on something.
The fact is that if God forbade all of the three practices above, they are symbolically very much like the ‘accursed things’ that Achan coveted from the heathen people of Ai. He took it and hid it bringing the wrath of God on himself and his family. Please go back and read Joshua Chapter 7.
If you find yourself searching for excuses to prove the above statements wrong, if you’re ‘pushing back’, then you’re no different than the ‘sinner’ who supports abortion or homosexuality — they are all equal abominations to God.
Too many people, as the Apostle Paul said, have a zeal or passion for God, but not according to knowledge. And, just like the people of that day, we have gone about to ESTABLISH OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Romans 10:2-4 (NKJV)
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Too many people politicize the sins that bother them, while excusing those that don’t. They excuse the sins they wish to continue. Many of these sins are the very sins that provoked God to enough anger to send them into exile.
I have heard so many people give the reason for their political choices based on ‘sins’ as ‘the lesser of two evils’. In God’s eyes sin is sin, so there is no lesser of two evils.
Have you ever noticed that many times in order to be healed physically, we must endure some pain?
Sometimes we have to have our skin PIERCED by needles.
Sometimes we must endure being CUT open with a scalpel.
How many times have you noticed an itch or irritation as a cut or sore heals?
Medicines can taste unpleasant.
Pills can be hard to swallow.
Most prescriptions have some uncomfortable side effects.
Even emotionally as we process the pain of disappointments and losses in our lives, we endure some emotional and psychological pain.
Yes, time heals wounds, but as we heal…we endure pain.
If we think about it, it’s only fair because Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, endured such great pain for us.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, AND BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.
It is no surprise that what takes place in the physical realm is a shadow of what takes place in the spiritual realm.
who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “Seethatyou make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Take a moment to thank our Lord for enduring such shame and pain for us.
The next time that you need…
Or experience a painful memory just look at it as if we are sharing in Christ’s sufferings and remember…HEALING HURTS.
I’ve noticed a tone in American politics that is in direct contradiction to The Fruit of the Spirit. Anecdotally, by people’s comments, actions and reactions, they are proving that they feel the character that God calls strength to be weakness…they prove to be impressed by and placing their faith in ‘ungodly’ behavior.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTRO. Against such there is no law.
Many who claim to be disciples of Yeshua the Messiah, are excusing and justifying leadership that is opposite of the character that God demands…
James 3:17 (NKJV)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then PEACEABLE, GENTLE, WILLING TO YEILD, full of MERCY and good fruits, WITHOUT PARTIALITY and without hypocrisy.
Too many who claim to be in the Body of Christ are co-signing on leadership and character that is the opposite of Jesus Himself…
Matthew 11:29 (NKJV)
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [a]GENTLE and LOWLY IN HEART, and you will find rest for your souls.
It’s amazing how even those who call themselves Christians are impressed by and put their confidence in, arrogance, pride, insults and threats. They view this as strength.
In a recent conversation, a man who professes to be a Christian told me…
“I wasn’t voting for a man of God, I was voting for someone strong…”
Another person told me…
“I didn’t vote for a pope or preacher. I voted for someone who would stand up to the bully left and get the job done…”
How many Christians of today would have become disappointed in Jesus because they thought He was coming to restore the glory of Israel then and there only to find out He was talking about a spiritual kingdom?
How many Christians of today would have thought Jesus was weak because He didn’t use profanity or didn’t threaten those who opposed Him?
How many Christians today would have criticized Him when He threatened their ‘national’ traditions and ‘laws’ of Moses?
How many Christians today would have abandoned Him when they had a choice between Him and Barabbas?
Just as when they had a choice between Yeshua and Barabbas, how many Christians today would VOTE FOR HIM IF HE WERE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?
Or, would they vote for someone who is Insulting, Unrepentant, Unforgiving, Unaccountable, Accusatory, Boastful, Proud, and Arrogant because they feel he or she is good for the economy or national security?
Here is another recent comment…
“ Being a patriot, standing what you think is right! President Trump has been doing that since he was elected. Seriously, when obama was president my 401k barely moved! Since President Trump has been President my 401k has gone ballistic!!! I’m amazed that you don’t see that on your end. You only see what the corrupt media tells you.”
However, the word of God tells us…
Matthew 6:24 (NKJV)
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [a]mammon.
God holds us accountable for how we ‘buy in’ to the culture disseminated from the leaders. That’s one of the reasons that Israel suffered because of kings that God considered ‘evil’ because of their arrogance and pride. (Such as Rehoboam, Jeroboam, Ahab, Omri, Athaliah, Ahaz, Manasseh, Hoshea, Zedekiah, etc.).
Jesus fed thousands of able-bodied people on more than one occasion.
Matthew 14:15-16 (NIV)
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
Mark 2:15-17 (NIV)
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
If our SAVIOR were running for President today, how many ‘Christians’ would vote for Him? Be honest with yourself…would you?
As I stepped onto my patio for an intimate moment of praise to God, with my hands lifted up I noticed the vapor from my breath as it lifted into the air like smoke from my mouth.
What a beautiful illustration of how the animal sacrifices that are no longer required continue today through our sincere praise to God.
Praise is a sacrifice, especially if you continue to praise God through difficult times when your flesh doesn’t really ‘feel’ like doing it.
Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, [a]giving thanks to His name.
Psalm 20:1-3 (NKJV)
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob [a]defend you; 2 May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion; 3 May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
What they did to you hurt you to the core! It temporarily broke your spirit. It made your very soul ache. They may have totally disregarded your feelings; put you to open shame; caused you to lose money and friendships you may never get back, or betrayed you in a way that you initially felt was beyond forgiveness.
But, you remembered two important things…
One, that God has commanded and demanded that we forgive everyone just as He forgives us, over and over again…
Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV)
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Two, the relationship is important to you, and you don’t want it to end in spite of what they did…
You didn’t want the marriage, relationship or friendship to end. So, in your heart was the desire to forgive…and you forgave them.
Yes, in your heart you forgave them and do everything in your power to move on beyond what happened. But, as much as you try to forgive and forget…things happen to remind you.
They may have brought up something again that you did, and it quickly makes you think about what they did to you.
There will always be triggers that will bring what they did back to your mind, and the thought will sometimes hurt you again, make you cry, make you angry, make you feel weak…and you will have to silently forgive them over and over again.
Manage your triggers, and remember this…
When the God encourages us to forget the past through the Apostle Paul, it doesn’t mean you will never remember what happened, but the frame of mind you were in.
Philippians 3:13 (NKJV)
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [a]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
Much like when you no longer love romantically an ex from years ago, you remember the relationship, but can’t remember the affection you had for them.
So, don’t feel bad if you can’t completely get it out of your mind. Just continue to not let the thought affect your relationship with them once you’ve forgiven them.
Remember that forgiveness is a process that continues throughout the life of any relationship.
It happens to all of us. A situation arises where we feel we deserve an apology…but don’t get it.
Think for a moment about Jesus on the cross. As He was being brutalized and mocked, He still had enough love to say, forgive them… Luke 23:34 (NKJV)
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”[a]
And they divided His garments and cast lots.
Think about the fact that Jesus offered this forgiveness and love, without an apology. It’s one thing that the Romans crucified Him, but His own people…those closest to Him consented to and called for His death.
One of the most difficult things to do is move forward with people that we feel owe us an apology…especially if they’re someone close to us.
Yes we still have to work with and relate to people who aren’t close to you, but how do you avoid the lack of apology turning into resentment and becoming a wall in your close relationships.
You may find yourself thinking…
“How can they be so content acting like nothing happened…acting as if they didn’t hurt me?
You may have said to yourself…
“If they loved me, they would apologize.”
Yes, it’s not easy, but here are 9 tips to help you move forward in your relationships without an apology…
BE READY TO FORGIVE IF AND WHEN THEY APOLOGIZE. Sometimes if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t want an apology…because it takes away our excuse to be angry. If they apologize and you don’t accept it, the burden has shifted from God to you.
DON’T JUDGE THEIR APOLOGY IF AND WHEN THEY GIVE IT. When they come to you and apologize, don’t judge their apology by saying that they didn’t mean it or it wasn’t sincere. Especially if you didn’t like the tone. Don’t find yourself saying their apology wasn’t good enough. Even if they weren’t sincere…many times when we do what God has told us to do, we ‘don’t feel like it’, but God still honors our faith, effort and obedience. Sometimes when we apologize, we don’t feel like it, but in our heart we want to do what’s right.
DON’T LET THE ENEMY ‘FLIP-THE-SCRIPT’. Realize that when you remain upset because you haven’t gotten an apology, the enemy has tricked you into not forgiving them for not apologizing to you.
REALIZE THAT THEY MAY NOT BE AS SPIRITUALLY MATURE AS YOU. Apologizing isn’t easy. It takes spiritual maturity to do so. If you feel they ought to be strong enough to apologize, realize that they might not be as spiritually as you. In fact, the bible tells us the strong must bear the failings of the weak (Romans 15:1 NIV).
REALIZE WHEN YOU ‘VE GOTTEN SOMETHING BETTER THAN AN APOLOGY. Even if they haven’t apologized, if they have stopped the behavior that hurt you…if they aren’t doing the same thing anymore…if they have clearly moved on as if nothing happened…if they’ve completely turned around, but not apologized, you’ve gotten something better than an apology – you’ve gotten REPENTANCE. Think of all the people who actually apologize to God, but don’t really change.
FIND A ‘REPLACEMENT THOUGHT’ WHEN YOU THINK OF HOW THEY HURT YOU. Of course you’re going to think of what they did sometimes, which can make you angry all over again, So, when you think of what they did…When they don’t seem to appreciate your kindness…find a replacement thought. Think of the good times…the best times… Think of the sacrifices they’ve made for you…Think of kindness they’ve shown you in the past…Think of the times they made you smile…or, Think of how you’ve hurt someone and regret it.
REALIZE THAT YOU HAVEN’T APOLOGIZED FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU’VE DONE TO HURT OTHERS. Have you apologized for everything that you’ve done to hurt others? No! Because there are some people you offended and didn’t know you offended them. You can’t apologize for what you don’t know. Sometimes our words hurt, and we didn’t even know it…Sometimes our tone was not taken as we intended…Sometimes we did something hurtful and we didn’t even realize it. Those people are going on without an apology from you.
PRAY ABOUT IT! Ask the Lord to give you the desire and strength to ‘love through’ the lack of an apology. Ask God to give you a heart that doesn’t NEED an apology to move on. This is another situation where Philippians 4:13 is most powerful…”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Moving on without an apology isn’t easy, but it is possible. This is another situation where Philippians 4:13 is most powerful…
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Forgiveness isn’t easy. That’s because there’s a spiritual battle going on in our mind. The battle comes from the anger, shame, embarrassment, disappointment resulting from the betrayal or whatever was done, said, (or not done or said) to hurt us.
But, you can win that battle. You can chose what you think about.
Stop focusing on what they did to hurt you, and think about they ways they have shown love to you…
…every time those painful thoughts enter you mind. When you find yourself thinking about the ‘unforgivable’ things they said, think about how they comforted you in the past when you were down. Think about the good times you’ve had with them.
Remember, you control your thoughts…
Philippians 4:8-9 (CJB)
8 In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. 9 Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.
If there’s one consistency between both the Old and New Testaments, it’s the fact that names matter to God. From God changing Abram’s name to Abraham to Yeshua changing Simon’s name to Peter (Cephas).
In an age when so many in the Body of Christ are politicizing sins that society considers BIG, while excusing those they consider small, the bible is clear that God takes how we identify ourselves very seriously…
Not many Christians are quick to name their children, Satan or Lucifer.
Because those names are used to identify the enemy, the accuser of the saints…the devil.
That’s why I don’t understand that while Christians are so passionately ‘campaign’ against the so-called BIG sins, why they never speak up against teams, many of which they allow their children to be a part of, that identify themselves with a devil.
They wear sports paraphernalia, fly flags, display bumper ‘stickers’ and worst of all cheer for, root for, in a sense ‘praise’…and glorify THE DEVILS!
Right now someone reading this knows in their heart it’s not right, but they are naturally inclined to do what Christians do when they want to continue doing something…look for reasons to justify it.
Do you think God is cool with you allowing your child to be identified as a ‘devil’?
Do you think God is okay with allowing a school, AAU team, or professional team to be identified as the DEVILS? The RED DEVILS? The BLUE DEVILS? etc.?
Names matter so much go God that He demands we be baptized in the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here name doesn’t mean the combination of consonants and vowels that make up ‘Yeshua’, ‘Jesus’, ‘Emmanuel’, Adonai, or even Ruach ha-kodesh (Holy Spirit). Names denote authority, character…who you are, or what it is. Think about the fact that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.
Think about the fact that most Christians are content with calling a day chosen to commemorate Yeshua’s (Jesus’s) death, burial, and resurrection by a pagan goddess’s name (Easter), which is the same as (Eostre, Ishtar, Ashtoreth) one of the very names He forbid us to make mention of, one of the very names that Israel and Judah invoked (said) and provoked God to anger.
7 and lest you go[a] among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them,
Names matter, so we should stop trivializing what is important to Him.
WHEN POLITICS & SCRIPTURE COLLIDE (THE HOLY CITY OF JERUSALEM)…
In this case in regard to the city of Jerusalem SCRIPTURE WINS (as in every case) (Psalm 122).
This particular scripture isn’t quoted or preached as much as others, but it still gives very powerful insight into what’s in God’s heart, and gives us guidance in where and how to stand concerning the Holy City of Jerusalem. Of course those who don’t esteem the entire bible as the inspired, written word of God will not agree. It is my prayer the we can learn to disagree in peace.
Yes, there are implications for taking this stand, but that’s where faith in God comes in. Faith that even in the midst of the chaos that’s sometimes created from standing on the bible as the inspired word, that our God, Yah, is in control.
Remember, Yeshua (Jesus) Himself said that He didn’t come to bring peace, but the division that is sometimes created when it comes to choosing Him…
Matthew 10:34-36 (NKJV)
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’
This chapter is a beautiful reminder in scripture that God wants us to include praying for Jerusalem as a part of our prayer lives.
Psalm 122 (NKJV)
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” 2 Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact together, 4 Where the tribes go up, The tribes of the Lord, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of the Lord. 5 For thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. 7 Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.” 8 For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” 9 Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.
My wife found some beautiful, fun rainbow colored curtains for our granddaughter’s playroom. After we put them up, being visible from the outside, we both thought what if people think we are supporting ‘Pride’?
The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise…
Genesis 9:13-15 (NKJV)
13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenantbetween Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Genesis 9:13-15 (NKJV)
God promised to never destroy the world again with water. Yes, there have been catastrophic floods since then, but none like the one in Noah’s time.
The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise and I believe that to be true.
In the past few years those who wish to legitimize the sin of homosexuality have claimed the rainbow as the symbol of their movement. First of all I don’t hate anyone who is gay, but I do believe it is a sin equal to fornication, adultery, and other sexual sins. I also admit that I’m not perfect…my family and God continually reminds me of the areas in which I need to grow. However, it is our responsibility as Christians to hold one another accountable, so calling out sin is not judging someone, as some love to shout when someone else calls out any of the works of the flesh…
Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
That being said, I feel using the rainbow to symbolize PRIDE is wrong for two reasons…
Because the cause is a sin…
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]homosexuals, nor [b]sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
And, because pride is a sin…
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]homosexuals, nor [b]sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
So, the curtains hang in her playroom reminding us of God’s promise… we reclaim it in the name of Yeshua the Som of God.
The enemy told God that if he could provoke Job to curse Him to His face?
Job 1:9-11 (NKJV)
9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
Can the enemy provoke you to curse God? Most of us will quickly say “No!” Most of us fear and reverence God too much to look up to heaven, shake our fist and curse Him…and the enemy knows that. But if you read your bible you know that the enemy is devious and clever.
Has he tricked you? Has he provoked you to indirectly curse God?
Remember what our Lord, Yeshua, Christ Jesus tells us in Matthew 25…
Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)
40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
God makes it clear that whatever evil we say or do to our fellow-man, woman and child, He sees it as if we are doing to Him personally.
Have you ever gotten so angry that you cursed, ‘cussed’, used profanity in anger to someone else that God created in His image?
Have you ‘cussed’ anyone in your family?
Have you ‘cussed’ your spouse?
Have you ‘cussed’ your boss?
Have you ‘cussed’ a politician you don’t care for?
Have you ‘cussed’ your enemy?
The word teaches we can’t love God while cursing those whom He created in His image…
James 3:8-9 (NKJV)
8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
How many times have you claimed you love God, but felt perfectly comfortable and justified cursing someone who hurt you or that you felt was wrong.
Has the enemy, just as he did with Job, presented conditions (much less harsh) to try to provoke you to curse God. Did he brag to God he can get you to curse Him to His face?
When you get angry, or frustrated please stop before you open your mouth. Pray! Ask God to help you keep your cool! Ask Him to help you ‘set a guard over your mouth’.
Psalm 141:3 (NKJV)
3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Remember, when you curse people, you are cursing God!
A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.
BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?
What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?
Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…
Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…
Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…
Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…
Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.
AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?
2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.
People love quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” when they are trying to make their dreams come true, but this verse is most powerful when we are enduring life’s most difficult situations.
God wants us to always be able to make something good out of difficult situations, and to always see His will in them. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, sometimes there’s nothing to make some situations feel ‘or taste’ better.
We just have to faith our way through and learn to sometimes drink lemonade without sugar.
Psalm 3:19 (ESV)
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
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