Sex is a gift from God. Even though it’s the means He intended for us to be fruitful and multiply, it is also meant to be enjoyed within the bonds of holy matrimony between a man and a woman.
Our bodies with their various curves, shapes, textures, contrast of colors, smells etc., are meant to provoke sexual arousal. It’s up to us to control these urges so that they are only fulfilled within marriage.
One of those divine combinations of curves, shapes, textures, and contrast of colors is the female breast.
Yes, these were created for mothers to make sure their children are nourished, but that’s not all.
They were also created for the mutual pleasure of the husband and the wife. Breasts were created:
As a means of seducing her husband…
For her pleasure during times of intimacy…
To be aesthetically pleasing to entice her husband…
For his enjoyment during times of intimacy…
The fact is that even though God created female breasts to nurse their children, that boobs aren’t just for the babies. Check out these bible verses about female breasts and intimacy within marriage.
Proverbs 5:18-19 (NKJV)
18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be [a]enraptured with her love.
Song of Solomon 1:12-13 (NKJV)
12 While the king is at his table, My [a]spikenard sends forth its fragrance. 13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, That lies all night between my breasts.
Song of Solomon 4:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Your neck is like the tower of David, Built for an armory, On which hang a thousand [a]bucklers, All shields of mighty men. 5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle, Which feed among the lilies
Song of Solomon 7:2-3, 8(NKJV)
2 Your navel is a rounded goblet; It lacks no [a]blended beverage. Your waist is a heap of wheat Set about with lilies. 3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle.
Song of Solomon 7:8 (NKJV)
8 I said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches.” Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine, The fragrance of your [a]breath like apples,
Song of Solomon 8:10 (NKJV)
10 I am a wall, And my breasts like towers; Then I became in his eyes As one who found peace.
Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5 (NLT)
2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
So, couples enjoy one another, and may your marriages…
You may also enjoy these BE BLESSTIFIED articles on Godly marriage…
It’s easy to make our relationship with God ALL about us if we aren’t careful.
God called us to make disciples of Him through His Son and our Savior Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Go [a]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [b]Amen.
One of the best approaches at studying the bible is to look specifically how the Lord REACTED to certain situations, conditions and behavior.
Look at the Lord’s reaction when He silently looked upon a multitude of lost people…
Matthew 9:35-38 (NKJV)
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease [a]among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were [b]weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Now look at how He reacted at those who had hard, hypocritical hearts…
Mark 3:1-5 (NKJV)
3 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might [a]accuse Him. 3 And He said to the manwho had the withered hand, [b]“Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored [c]as whole as the other.
Above in Matthew, Yeshua, felt compassion for those who were lost. He wasn’t judging why they were in their particular situations…He felt compassion. Then He commanded us to pray to THE LORD OF HIS HARVEST to send workers into HIS harvest. How many times have you prayed for that? How many times have you had an interaction with an atheist and instead of praying for them, felt contempt. How many times have you gotten intensely angry at a drug addict, gang banger, racist, politician, someone who you consider to be a ‘great sinner’…(we are all sinners saved by grace Romans 3:23). These are all opportunities to plant seeds of God’s…
I have had to stop and ask God to help me make that a priority in my life. I have had to ask myself, “Aldtric, do you really care enough about God’s harvest, are or you just concerned about your own?”
Now, let’s quickly look what made the Lord angry above in Mark Chapter 3. It wasn’t compassion, but anger at the religious leaders were looking for a reason to accuse Him, ignored the good He was doing, and was angry at their hardness of heart. Again, this is a sign of someone who is lost and doesn’t know that they are. God expects hypocrisy and hardened hearts to make us angry, but we must respond to that anger with lifting them up in prayer, praying that God softens their hearts to His love, will, word and salvation.
Have you ever asked yourself if you hare concerned enough about those who are ‘lost’? Have you stopped to consider how you react to those who claim to be His own, but aren’t exhibiting their best behavior?
How often do you pray for HIS HARVEST rather than your own?
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).
Please allow me to sub-title this piece, “JUST LIKE JUDAS”, since I couldn’t make up my mind.
Many of us shake our heads in self-righteous shame at Judas betraying our Lord and Savior for 30 pieces of silver.
But, if we think back on our lives, sometimes we don’t have to think very far back, we will realize that we have betrayed Him FOR MUCH LESS THAN 30 PIECES OF SILVER.
Each time we sin… Each time we know right from wrong…Each time that we know His holy standard…Each time we have a clear choice and think, “No I should not do this”, and then choose to do it anyway, we betray Him just like Judas did.
Those seeking to put Jesus to open shame and kill Him presented Judas with a transaction, and he agreed to a price to complete the transaction.
Matthew 26:15 (NKJV)
15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
The enemy daily presents us with transactions (usually through our desires) seeking to hurt…to discredit…to put to open shame our Savior Jesus, and daily we accept them – and consequently betray Him.
James 1:14 (NKJV)
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
So, how much have you accepted to betray Jesus?
What transaction does the enemy prevent to you to convince you to sin?
What level of attention?
What level of affection?
What level of influence?
What level of affluence?
What level of pleasure?
What level of revenge?
Who was it?
What was it?
Was it only a kiss?
Was it only a promotion?
Was it only a glance?
Was it only a taste?
Was it only a touch?
Was it a laugh?
Was it a whisper?
Or, did you do it for free because you were angry at Him?
Did the enemy use you as the ‘middle man’ to provoke someone else to betray Him?
It’s not hard to identify how the enemy manipulates and provokes us to betray Him. The bible makes it clear. It’s usually…
1 John 2:16 (NKJV)
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
Always remember that Judas realized the 30 pieces of silver weren’t worth it, and wanted to give it back. It’s the same for us today the enemy pays you to hurt our Lord, but the ultimate wage is horrible…
Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, at the end of each day, thank God for His grace and mercy to forgive us when we repent. Then think about the choices that you’ve made and ask yourself a powerful question to help you refine your walk and relationship with Christ. Think about the spiritual transactions you’ve made and ask yourself…
Most American’s are passionate and protective of their right to free speech…
Or are we?
How many people have willingly signed away their right to free speech because of their job or career.
Companies, school systems, municipalities, government agencies, and even religious organizations don’t want their employees making them ‘look bad’ or liable; so they make one of the conditions of employment a contract that ‘limits’ what they can say publicly if they are to remain employed.
I’m talking about speech that’s respectful and responsible, not reckless.
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [a]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
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.
Are you free to say what you want to say about your company and where they stand on issues?
Are you free to say how you feel about the culture of your organization without fear of retaliation?
Is there something that you want to responsibly express or share about your organization… about your faith… about what’s in your heart, but if you do so you know you could lose your job?
How many people endure toxic cultures, bullying, inequity, unfair policies, abuse of authority, basically from people who are merely ‘working for a living’ just like them because they fear losing their job…career…even their retirement?
Is that freedom of speech?
Restricting our ability to respectfully and responsibly be critical and hold accountable the leadership in our places of employment or our concerns about social or spiritual issues is quite frankly not allowed in many workplaces.
It can’t be equated to shouting ‘FIRE’ in a public place. That protects life. And there is some speech that is not protected by the constitution because it’s a threat to the ‘public good’ however, withholding what’s on our mind about our employers sometimes only protects egos, reputations and the threat of litigation.
Think about this, Americans are more free to say how they feel about their national, state and local leaders… their pastor… their loved ones… than their boss.
Many people even express their criticism to God Himself before the do so to their boss!
We are more free to tell God how we feel without fear of relaliation than the person for whom we work.
Psalm 142:1-2 (NKJV)
I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.
God is more willing to ‘reason with us’ than many of our places of employment.
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Is you freedom of speech that’s protected by the Constitution, surrendered in your contract?
Think about it, but be careful what you say about it at work.
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.
Everyone wants to look good. Men want to be handsome. Women want to be beautiful. Do you know anyone who doesn’t?
Many people work towards looking good and being healthy – and yes there is a difference. That’s why when you see or hear advertisements for gyms and diet plans, very rarely is it that they promote good health. Think about it. Most of the time it’s about…
Getting into shape…
Buns and abs…
We groom. We work out. We watch our diets. We purchase clothes. We do what it takes to look and feel our best. We do what it takes to maintain our health and a good quality of life.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good as long as we don’t become obsessed. Consider what the word of God says…
1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)
8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV)
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
The bible isn’t saying it’s a sin to ‘get your hair done’, wear jewelry or wear nice clothes. It’s saying that you shouldn’t rely on that to make your beautiful. It’s saying that your true beauty should come from the godliness that’s inside your heart. He wants you more concerned with your inner beauty than outer beauty.
Even those who don’t have the so-called characteristics that society deems ‘beautiful’ in the context of each individual’s culture, can be viewed as beautiful and attractive when you can see the light of God on the inside – their loving, vibrant, lively, humble spirit shines through!
Have you become obsessed with your appearance? Are you feeding your flesh more than your faith? How many times a day do you check yourself in the mirror?
HAS YOUR MIRROR BECOME YOUR PLACE OF WORSHIP?
Here is a great test to give yourself…
Are you spending more time with your face in a mirror than your bible?
Do you use the camera on your phone to view yourself more than you use your bible app?
Do you know anyone obsessed with their appearance? Is it you?
There’s a thin line between good health, looking your best and worshiping oneself.
Please don’t let your mirror become your place of worship.
One of the most difficult things to understand in the Bible is used by unbelievers as one of the first bullets they shoot to say there is no God.
Why would a loving God allow people to be stoned to death? They go on to say, ‘who would want to serve a God like that?’
I’m quick to say, ‘Me!’ And, this is why.
Relationships fail because of expectations not being met. The Bible is a narrative about two relationships, God and those who claim to be His, and those who don’t.
There are also two dispensations of these relationships… Old Testament and New Testament.
The powerful thing about the Old Testament is that it’s where God gave us His expectations through His relationship with Israel and Judah.
Through THE MOSAIC LAW, we learned what behavior God loves and what behavior God hates. When we look closely at how God reacted to Israel’s behavior. Yes, sin is sin, but to put it simply, some sins piss God of more.
For example, if a stranger were to hack your bank account and stole one dollar, you would be angry. You would be angry that they invaded your privacy and sacred space. You would be angry that they stole from you, but not as angry at the amount they stole. But, what if someone close to you hacked your retirement, stole your life savings and used YOUR money to hire someone to kill you to get insurance money as well? How much MORE angry would that make you?
In the Old Testament there were some sins that led to being exiled, while there were other sins that led to death.
During that time, Israel was our example to let us know God’s level of displeasure.
1 Corinthians 10:10-12 (NASB)
10 Nor grumble, as some of them [a]did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
God allows different things happen in different times. Back then they had the benefit of great miracles and hearing directly from God. Today we have the benefit of their experiences and technology that would seem like magic to them.
It’s in the Old Testament that we learned God’s expectations…
Romans 7:7-25 (NKJV)
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, (A)I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, (B)“You shall not covet.” 8 But (C)sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evildesire. For (D)apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, (E)which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.12 Therefore (F)the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
However, when Yeshua came and fulfilled the law, His death satisfied not only the penalty of eternal death, but also extended grace that the law didn’t. For example, look at His response in these two situations..,
John 8:1-11 (NKJV)
8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now [a]early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and (A)taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, [b]this woman was caught in (B)adultery, in the very act. 5 (C)Now [c]Moses, in the law, commanded us [d]that such should be stoned. But what do You [e]say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they (D)might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with Hisfinger, [f]as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He [g]raised Himself up and said to them, (E)“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it,(F)being[h]convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up [i]and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers [j]of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, (G)“Neither do I condemn you; go [k]and (H)sin no more.”
Matthew 19:7-8 (KJV)
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
So was the level of consequences left for our example in the Old Testament fair to the people living then relative to us today? Maybe not, but God never claimed to be fair, only just. GOD ISN’T FAIR, BUT HE’S JUST…
Because of this today we know God gets just as angry now at forsaking His day of rest by working unnecessarily, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, idolatry, or witchcraft as He did then. Now we know that stealing or coveting makes Him angry, but not as angry as the fore mentioned sins…yet all are sin.
The law and its consequences is our teacher.
Galatians 3:24-25 (NKJV)
24 Therefore the law was our [a]tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
I encourage you to read through the Old Testament from the perspective of intentionally noticing how He reacts to Israel’s behavior. It gives great insight into how He feels when we do the same things today.
The purpose of this article is not to defend nudity, but to remind us as to how it’s been presented, even academically, has continued a narrative that encourages racism.
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I will always remember the excitement of seeing a teacher roll an ‘old school’, reel-to-reel film projector into the room. It was a welcome diversion from normal classroom activities. However, I recall my spirit dropping and a feeling of dread when I saw that the ‘educational film’ was set in Africa, or the America’s where the nudity was described as ‘indigenous’, ‘native’ or tribal.
I would look around the room at some of my Black female classmates, and they would look embarrassed…I was. I could hear some of my classmates who were not Black laughing and giggling, but not the same way if they would giggle if the pictures were in an ‘adult’ magazine or movie. This nudity ‘indigenous’ was not presented as sensual, sexy, or erotic, but it equated to watching animals at the zoo who didn’t wear clothes. The males and females in these films were portrayed as uncivilized, unappealing and helped continue the narrative that people who lived in or originated in these countries were….less and inferior.
Was it stated explicitly? No. Was it inferred? Absolutely.
Respected publications such as National Geographic would be accessible to everyone on the shelf, while magazines with topless women would be hidden. They both contained nudity.
All of this helped established a paradigm that ‘indigenous’, ‘native’ or ‘tribal’ nudity was not equal to the European or American nudity that is accepted as art. While colonizers were savagely conquering ‘indigenous’ people around the globe, they portrayed these people as ‘savage’ and inferior.
So, why isn’t nudity displayed by people who are born in the United States or Europe considered ‘indigenous’ or ‘native’ when that’s the case by definition?
Why are some articles of clothing that are close to the color of ‘lighter skinned’ races considered ‘nude’ or ‘flesh’ color?
As the discussion about ‘cancel culture’ continues, quite frankly, some things should be canceled. Bringing an end to spiritually and culturally destructive traditions is one of the reasons the Pharisees and leaders sought to kill Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ…
Mark 7:7-9 (NKJV)
7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—[a]the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
9 He said to them, “All too well you [b]reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Even if we didn’t participate in establishing the cultures that cause division today, when we don’t work to change them, we are still guilty of participating by allowing them to continue.
Jesus eluded to this as well…
Matthew 23:29-32 (NKJV)
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [a]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.
We all know that no matter how we portray ourselves to the world, God knows what’s really inside our hearts…
1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have [a]refused him. For[b]the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
None of us are perfect. We all have areas in which we need to grow. Sometimes our weaknesses, bad attitudes, selfishness, prejudices, pride etc., are hidden in our hearts from others and even sometimes from ourselves. Our lives are a lifelong process of learning our true selves.
But, God has a way to allow issues, circumstances and even opportunities to arise and reveal what’s really inside us.
Sudden wealth can show how selfish we really are.
Political issues bring to the surface the true feelings and passions of many.
Lapses of or lack of emotional control can quickly reveal what’s really in our hearts.
So, just the same as we want someone to tell us that there’s something in our nose, that our pants are unzipped, or that our underwear are visible, let us also hold one another accountable when we are showing how we really feel to make sure it aligns with the word of God.
This article is primarily for those who call themselves to be disciples of Christ. God is sovereign. And His sovereignty is on His terms, not based on our terms and the narrative that we desire.
There are many who have judged within their hearts and others have vocalized or published that they don’t think George Floyd should be the face, or name for a movement. They feel he doesn’t deserve to be a martyr.
They feel this way because of his past, because of the mistakes he made and because of the life he lived.
I humbly submit to anyone who feels that way to consider this…
GOD STILL CHOSE JACOB (LIAR, DECEIVER & THEIF)
God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. But, most of you know what Jacob did. He lied to and deceived his father (with the help of his mother) to steal his brother’s blessing. (Genesis 27-29). God STILL CHOSE HIM to establish the blessing and heritage that He promised to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham. Does Jacob deserved to be honored? If that happened today, how do you think self righteous people would react?
GOD STILL CHOSE THE 12 PATRIARCHS (SCHEMERS, LIARS, MURDERERS, FORNICATORS)
God chose the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel) to be the foundation and patriarchs of His chosen people, despite their character flaws…
They hated their younger brother so much that they conspired to kill him, but later decided to sell him as a slave and allow their father to go for years thinking he was dead. (Genesis 37)
Jacob’s fourth born son, Judah, thought he was sleeping with a prostitute but was actually sleeping with his daughter-in-law, who was tricking him so that she could have children by him. When he found out that she was pregnant, he wanted her killed until she presented his signet ring to prove he was the father. So, he solicited a prostitute and bore children with his daughter-in-law. However one of Israel’s most prominent tribes bears his name (Judah means PRAISE). God STILL CHOSE HIM despite his character flaws. Does he deserve that? (Genesis 38)
GOD STILL CHOSE LEVI AND SIMEON (DECEIVERS AND MURDERERS)
A man named Shechem, a prince of a neighboring land, sexually violated their sister Dinah, however he fell in love with her and asked if he could marry her. Of course her brothers were pissed off. But, they agreed to allow their sister to marry him if he and all the men of the land would be circumcised. He happily agreed. Three days after they were circumcised, Levi and Simeon went and killed all the men while they were in great pain from the ‘surgery’. Even in their anger, this was deception and murder. God STILL CHOSE THEM to be among the patriarch of His chosen people. Their crime did not disqualify them.
GOD STILL CHOSE MOSES (MURDERER)
One day when Moses saw an Egyptian beating one of the children of Israel, he intervened, murdered him and then fled. God STILL CHOSE MOSES even though he committed this crime. Did he deserve to be chosen to deliver Israel from Egypt, lead them to the promised land, and present God’s law to them? Was God wrong? (Exodus 2)
GOD STILL CHOSE DAVID (ABUSED HIS AUTHORITY, ADULTERER, MURDERER)
Everyone knows the account of David and Bathsheba. How David saw her bathing and lusted after her, but it didn’t stop there. He abused his authority as king by summoning her, he slept with her and got her pregnant. To hide the pregnancy, he had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, who was one of David’s mighty men of valor (very loyal to David), sent to the front lines of battle so that he would be killed. David then married Uriah’s wife. The prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin, and he sorrowfully repented. Their son Solomon, grew to inherit the throne and was the most wise man to ever live. God STILL CHOSE David in spite of this horrible sin. He is still considered to be a man after God’s own heart because of his repentance. Does he deserve that? (2 Samuel 11)
GOD STILL CHOSE SAUL, ALSO KNOWN AS PAUL (PERSECUTED THE CHURCH, IMPRISONED CHRISTIANS, CONSENTED TO THE DEATH OF STEPHEN)
Saul was passionate about persecuting the church. He was greatly feared by the early Christians, but God still chose him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He called himself the least of the apostles because of his past. But, God STILL CHOSE HIM while he was on his way to Damascus breathing THREATS AND MURDER against disciples of Christ. Did Saul/Paul deserve this honor and responsibility.
God has always used imperfect people to carry out His perfect will. God has proven that He has the sovereign right to chose who He wants.
We are not allowed to critique who and why God chooses. We don’t determine the narrative based on what we feel the ‘qualifications’ should be.
Now back to George Floyd. Millions of people around the world of all races have been united to fight for social justice for Black people. That thrills me. Especially when I wonder how many Pastors week after week, and year after year and never preach a sermon about social justice and civil rights to their congregations. Quite frankly, many of the same people who frown on George Floyd’s past find every reason in the world to excuse Donald Trump’s who not only has never been known for his character, integrity or faith, but was unrepentant when confronted with statements he made about grabbing women by the vagina, and bragging about pursuing married women.
Plus, most of the people chosen in the bible didn’t ‘apply for the job’. And, George Floyd never volunteered to be a martyr.
John 8:7 (NKJV)
7 So when they continued asking Him, He [a]raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
Last year in 2020, I published a piece addressing how many Christians consider being “sheep” an insult. I published it in the morning. Later that day I noticed a more prominent individual tweeted about the same topic with the same verbiage… That was too much of a coincidence. WHY DO SO MANY CHRISTIANS CONSIDER BEING CALLED ‘SHEEP’ AN INSULT?
I often see bloggers, writers, artists, musicians and ministers requesting money for what they have shared. I don’t have problem with that,
As a Christian blogger and professional copywriter, if you really want to bless me, cash isn’t necessarily…
But, if you’re inspired to the point of sharing what I have written or said…
That’s how writers gain credibility…
And, for writers, CREDIBILITY IS CURRENCY!
Jeremiah 23:30 (ESV)
30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another.
Anyone who believes in God has been asked these questions.
Most if not all believers, if they are willing to admit it to themselves, have asked some of these questions.
Not only are there some difficult things to understand in the Bible, but there are things God does today that are difficult to explain.
Why does God allow babies and children to suffer with terminal illnesses?
Why does the bible not explicitly forbid slavery?
Why does God allow abusive parents to have children, while others who would be loving, nurturing parents to go childless?
Why does God allow some people to be healed but other people, some we would even call ‘good’ people, to not be healed?
Luke 4:27 (NKJV)
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
There are countless questions that atheists and some believers ask concerning God, either arrogantly or anxiously waiting for answers.
God gave us the example through the Psalms that He will allow us to question Him in humility, as long as we continue to trust Him…
Psalm 13:1-2 (NKJV)
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5 But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
If you’re like me, sometimes you feel pressured to give a quick and definite answer to ‘defend’ God. Sometimes you want a definite answer to satisfy yourself.
But the truth is that some things we simply don’t know.
That means sometimes the best answer is…
I DON’T KNOW!
Even those who depend on science to shape their beliefs have to admit that with all of our advances in science and medicine, there is still more that’s unknown than is known.
Scientists still have to sometimes say…
I DON’T KNOW!
Doctors have to sometimes admit…
I DON’T KNOW!
There are times that after a deadly diagnoses that the illness sometimes disappears and the physician has to admit…
I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!
So, no one should really scoff when a believer says they simply don’t know.
The fact is, there is great peace in admitting that even though you don’t know…you still trust God. He has told us that there are things that will be beyond are human minds, and even science helps prove that. There is much in science well beyond the reach of scientific knowledge.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Don’t deny yourself the blessing and peace of simply saying…”I DON’T KNOW!”
Psalm 131:1 (NKJV)
Lord, my heart is not [a]haughty, Nor my eyes [b]lofty. Neither do I [c]concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too [d]profound for me.
Admitting that you don’t know doesn’t confirm God isn’t God, it just confirms that we are human.
7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And[a] honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”[b]
10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
Jesus called the religious leaders “Hypocrites”, which was a pretty significant insult in that time. So much so, that His disciples called Him to the side and said in today’s terms… “Uhhh, you know you pissed them off right?”
But, Jesus didn’t say it to make them angry. Jesus didn’t say it to insult them. He didn’t say it to hurt them, He said it to help them, and help us too.
Jesus didn’t insult them, but they were insulted. But, many times we all are when we are confronted with truth about ourselves…we sometimes naturally get defensive.
Even today, truth is a viable defense when accused of defamation. If it’s true, it’s not libel or slander…and what Jesus said about them is true.
But, we should only say something BAD to or about someone if there is some GOOD to come out of it.
We should only say something bad to or about someone with an intention to help them and not hurt them.
It should be our intention for them, or those who hear it be better. It should be our intention, help them submit to God’s will, His word…His standards.
Jesus also proved you should never say anything about someone who you would not say to their face.
If Jesus had called them hypocrites to hurt or embarrass them, it would have been wrong.
If Jesus had called them hypocrites when they weren’t present to belittle them, it would have been wrong.
But, Jesus never sinned, so we know He wasn’t wrong. We know His intentions. But even when you have good intentions, it doesn’t mean that people won’t be insulted.
The same goes with us today. We should be willing to give and accept constructive criticism, so we can grow and mature in the LORD…that’s when an insult isn’t an insult.
We should pray the discernment to determine when to be loving and when to be sharp.
How many times have you sincerely told someone something to help them and they were insulted? When was the last time someone told you something to help you and it was insulting?
It doesn’t even have to be as sharp as calling them a hypocrite.
“You are unorganized”
“You are lazy”
“You are selfish”
“You’re too promiscuous”
“You’re too loud”
“You’re too insensitive”
“You’re too sensitive”
“You don’t listen”
“You’re too wasteful”
“You’re a bully”
“You’re too timid”
“You are a coward”
You are intimidating”
And the list goes on and on.
Has anyone said any of the statements to you before? Have you ever said any of them to anyone?
It’s WHY it was said that determines whether or not is an insult.
Now, most people who are confronted with something that needs to change about themselves will initially be insulted. But, much of our growth comes from that uncomfortable moment of truth and self-examination.
When Jesus called the religious leaders hypocrites, it was His intention for them to acknowledge it, repent and grow.
So the next time that someone, ‘insults’ you, even if they meant to hurt you, ask yourself, “Is this true about me”?
Even if they meant to insult you, if it’s true, you can take what was meant for evil and turn it into good. You can turn what could have been bad fruit into good fruit.
Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
There are few things more valuable than good advice. It’s one of those intangibles that can help us grow and mature. Whether it be that we ask for it ourselves or it’s given unsolicited, listening to and accepting good advice is an act of humility that can be very rewarding.
Proverbs 19:20 (NKJV)
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days.
Proverbs 12:15 (NKJV)
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.
Matthew 23:12 (NKJV)
12 And whoever exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be [b]exalted.
Fortunately, we all have people in our lives who are always full of advice.
Unfortunately, sometimes these people have too much advice. There are no humorous, fun, carefree conversations…it’s always advice.
If the advice is good, take it. But, remember this…
WATCH OUT FOR PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS HAVE ADVICE BUT NEVER HAVE ENCOURAGEMENT!
Watch out for people who always have an…
“If I were you…”
“I tell people all the time…”
“You don’t need to do this…”
“You don’t need to do that…”
But never have a…
“It’s gonna be okay…”
“We all make mistakes…”
“I’m praying for you…”
Many times these people are more concerned with their EGO than helping you GROW.
Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And (A)I have walked in Your truth.
Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)
11 (A)Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; [a]Unite my heart to fear Your name.
If you consider yourself a disciple of Christ, you must be very careful of a popular affirmation these days…
I’m living my truth!”
Sometimes our truth is sin, anger, wrath, rage, lust, jealousy, prejudice, betrayal, hate, blame,a hardened heart, refusal to read God’s word, refusal to pray, forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, worshipping our desires, satisfaction of our flesh, rebellion against God.
The truth is, we can’t trust our heart or our ‘truth’ because without the truth of God’s word…it’s wicked.
Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And [a]desperately wicked; Who can know it?
I’ve heard and seen this so many times, verbally, on social media and in the comments of blog posts… Someone responds to a comment with , “DO. YOUR RESEARCH!”
The level of arrogance inferred and implied in that statement is amazing to the point it’s almost comical.
To tell someone “DO YOUR RESEARCH” implies three things…
You assume that they haven’t already done their research.
2. You assume that your research is superior to theirs.
3. You assume that your sources are more credible.
People love to research, discover and present the FACTS that support their desired narrative. One of the things I learned after years as a Marketing Manager for a Fortune 500 company and years in the radio industry is that research, information and ‘facts’ can be manipulated to support a desired narrative.
This is why in a court case, you will find an ‘expert’ witness for both the prosecution and defense telling two different stories.
Of course, there are some sources that are more credible than others. However, filtering through our biases and perspectives is the real challenge.
Besides, my desired source is to study the word of God, and the history and culture necessary to put in all in proper context and perspective.
Remember, we represent God in how we reason with one another. If God has offered to ‘reason’ with us, then we should be willing to reason with one another with respect.
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
There are many HUGE blessings that we can sometimes take for granted in our materialistic, self-centered society. And, I’m not necessarily talking about those things that we usually STOP and thank God for too.
I’m talking about those blessings that aren’t really even thought of as blessings, kinda like air conditioning in a new car or indoor plumbing…we see them as a ‘givens’.
1. THE ABILITY TO BATHE YOURSELF…
Ask anyone who has to endure depending on someone else to bathe them every day. There are some things that you don’t want either loved ones or strangers to have to do for you.
2. THE ABILITY TO WIPE YOURSELF…
I’m going to push this point a little further… farther? You know what I mean:-) Imagine if you had to depend on someone to clean you every time you went to the bathroom. Never take the blessings of being able to do this for yourself for granted.
3. THE ABILITY TO HAVE COMPLETE BOWEL MOVEMENTS…
While we are thanking God for the ability to walk, see, hear and even think for ourselves, let us not forget to thank God for a healthy digestive system. Have you ever felt the misery of constipation?
4. THE ABILITY FEEL PAIN…
As annoying as pain may be, God gave us pain for a reason. It often let’s us know that something is wrong with our bodies. What if you didn’t know you were leaning on a hot stove? Sometimes pain is a warning to an underlying health condition.
5. THE ABSENCE OF PAIN…
And, as much as pain can be a warning, there are those who live in constant pain daily. Never take for granted the blessing if ‘feeling good’.
This short list is by no means exhaustive. I just wanted to provoke us to thinking and thanking. What are some other things that we often forget to forget when giving thanks?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Just like education and medicine, I believe that law enforcement is a ministry. I believe that some people are anointed by God for that purpose. And, just like education, medicine or pastorship, not everyone who enters law enforcement belongs there, or handles it as God intends.
There’s good and bad in every profession.
Have you ever noticed what the bible says specifically to those who are in this line of work? John the Baptist, who was a prophet ordained by God from birth, gave instructions to soldiers (who also operated in the role of police at the time) what must they do.
This was His response…
Luke 3:14 (NKJV)
14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?”
So he said to them, “Do not [a]intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
This is even more relevant to those in the military or law enforcement who claim to be Christians. That means you have to do things differently.
When dealing with the worst criminal, you can never get down to their level in language or behavior, but leave behind a testimony of the love and authority of God.
Before you enter any profession, as Yeshua said, “count the cost”.
Luke 14:28 (NKJV)
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—
13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask[a] anything in My name, I will do it.
Even though He said, “Whatever you ask”…there are SOME things that we should NEVER expect God to do. Sometimes we unintentionally ask God to contradict His holy word and His will.
That’s why the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1-13).
This is far from exhaustive, but here are 3 things that we should NEVER expect God to do…
1. FOR GOD TO MAKE YOU STOP DOING WRONG…
I talk about this often. How many times have you heard someone caught up in sin…caught up in a weakness, say…
“Lord, please make me stop doing this!”
“Lord, please remove this temptation!”
God never promised to MAKE us stop sinning. He never promised to REMOVE temptations out of our way. Can He do it? Yes, of course, but Jesus died on the cross to GIVE US the power over sin and death. He expects us to make a choice to choose Him over sin. He tells us to put to death (Colossians 3:5)…put off (Colossians 3:8)…put away (Ephesians 4:25, 31)…cleanse ourselves (2 Corinthians 2:7)… lay aside (Hebrews 12:1) those behaviors and sins that displease God. He told us to, STOP ON YOUR OWN!
And, think about it. No one wants to have to force someone they love to choose them over a rival. No one wants to have to force their spouse to be faithful. We want it to be a choice…a personal choice out of love and respect.
When we ask God to make us stop doing wrong, we are saying that we can’t help ourselves.
When we ask God to remove a temptation…there is no commitment, faithfulness or strength in that…it’s taking the easy way out. The desire is still there, the temptation has only been that’s been removed.
There’s no growth or maturity in that!
God wants us to love Him enough to overcome the desire.
We should never ask God to do what He expects us to do what He has empowered us to do for ourselves.
If God has to FORCE you stop sinning…you may not like the way that He does it.
2. FOR GOD TO GIVE YOUR ENEMIES WHAT YOU FEEL THEY DESERVE…
We all have people in our lives who don’t like us, hate us, and sometimes work or even plot against us.
It could be someone who hurt you personally, or it could be someone who hates you because of your family, race, socio-economic status, faith…
It could be someone who abused you, murdered one of your loved ones…who attempted to kill you.
They may have betrayed your love by cheating on you with your best friend…They may have cheated you out of your life savings…
They may owe you money and act as though they never borrowed it…
There are innumerable ways that we hurt one another, and God knew this when He commanded us to love our enemies.
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[b]45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[c] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[d] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
So, we must be very careful to NEVER pray that God gives our enemies what WE feel they deserve. They are God’s child just as you are. He doesn’t love them any less than He loves you. When we hurt one another, we are hurting God. He wants them to submit to His will and commandment to love just as He does you.
Plus, we must admit to ourselves that we have all hurt, betrayed and let down one another. We all have people in our lives that we have given a good reason to ‘not like’ us (DON’T BE TOO HARD ON SOME OF YOUR ‘HATERS’…). This is the main reason why we should NEVER pray for God to give our enemies what we feel they deserve…because we are actually placing that same judgement on ourselves.
When we decide someone doesn’t deserve God’s mercy..
When we decide someone is worthy of punishment…That’s condemnation and judgment.
Remember what the Lord said…
Matthew 7:1 (NKJV)
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
God told us to bear with one another…to have mercy on one another…to forgive one another and to have an attitude of forgiveness, just as He forgives us…
Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Be careful when you wish ill will on your enemies, and NEVER pray for it.
3. FOR GOD TO HELP PEOPLE YOU HAVE THE MEANS TO HELP YOURSELF…
How many times have you seen someone in need and prayed, “Lord, please help them”…and then went on about your business, while you had the means to help them?
Have you ever prayed or heard someone ask God bless the people in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons?
Have you ever told someone, ‘Just let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you, or if you need anything”, when you could clearly see they needed help?
Too many times we will pray for God to help people when we have the means to help them. Sometimes God put them in your path so you can be the answer to their prayer.
God expects us to give food, clothing and shelter to those in need. In fact, when we do so, He says we are doing it to Him (Matthew 25:31-45).
Look at what the book of James says about helping others when addressing faith without works…
James 2:14-17 (NKJV)
4 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
There’s nothing I can say to make it anymore clear than that. Now, look at what 1 John says…
1 John 3:17(NKJV)
17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
We should NEVER pray expect God to miraculously help someone when we have the means to help them ourselves.
Yes, it’s good to pray, but we must always make sure that we are praying or, and not praying for the right things.
When you selflessly help someone in need, at that particular moment, you’re the most important person in the world to them. God gives us opportunities every day to be someone’s hero, and too many times we chose not to do so. Here’s 5 easy ways you can be someone’s hero…
1. STAND UP FOR SOMEONE BEING BULLIED OR TEASED…
Whether it be a child in school or a co-worker, bullying is one childhood behavior that extends into adulthood. Some of those scars come from the abuse, while others come from the fact that no one stepped in to stand up for the person being abused.
How many times did you witness a child being bullied in school, and even though you didn’t bully them yourself, you didn’t stand up for them. Intervening means EVERYTHING to someone when everyone around them is having fun at their expense — and the cars last a lifetime. Let’s teach our children that bullying and teasing isn’t okay, and let’s make sure we aren’t letting that same evil behavior continue ruining lives into adulthood.
2. HANDLE PANHANDLERS WITH LOVE…
One of the most common responses to people begging on the street is either judging that they are drug addicts, alcoholics, or people who have lived foolishly. Many people reason that they are trying to scam people to feed their habits. However, years of ministering to homeless people has taught me that there are plenty of hard working, honest people who had catastrophic misfortunes leave them destitute. And, there are countless mentally ill people who are living on the streets. There are others who spend all day trying to beg for enough money to either feed their children or have a place to stay for the night. When you buy a meal or give a few dollars to someone who is genuinely in need…you’re their hero for the moment. Your $10 sacrifice is like $1,000 dollars to them. And, even if they are trying to scam, we leave behind a testimony of God’s love. Most importantly, God told us to do it…
Deuteronomy 15:7-8 (NKJV)
7 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the [a]gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 but you shall [b]open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.
1 John 3:17 (NKJV)
17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
3. ACKNOWLEDGE SOMEONE WHO FEELS NO ONE CARES.
There are so many lonely people in the world. So many people watching others laugh, smile, have conversations as they long for someone to acknowledge them. The beautiful thing is that a simple conversation or simply listening to someone who feels no one cares is free. There are even some homeless people on the street who don’t want you money, they just want to be acknowledged and be made to feel human. The sad thing is that when ignore someone who feels no one cares…we prove it to be true. But, simply acknowledging them is sometimes an answered prayer.
But, here’s the thing. We can’t stand up for someone being bullied, buying dinner for someone in need, or visiting someone who is lonely can’t be done to make ourselves feel like heroes. We can’t do it to make ourselves feel better than them. We can’t do it simply to let others see how ‘righteous’ we are… any of those reasons turns it into a selfish act…
Matthew 6:2 (NKJV)
2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
So, show God’s love to someone today, and let Him be the hero.
What is the beginning? When did everything ‘start’?
Genesis 1:1 (NKJV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Time/tīm/noun (Oxford Online Dictionary)
1.the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”travel through space and time”
2.a point of time as measured in hours and minutes past midnight or noon.”the time is 9:30″
If you are a parent who believes in the the Lord God of Israel from Everlasting to Everlasting through our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) you have heard this question in some form…
“Where did God come from?”
“When was God born?”
“Who created God?”
I know most of you already know this, but please humor me so I can make my point. Besides, even the Apostle Peter let us know that we sometimes have to be reminded of what we already know…
2 Peter 1:12-13 (NKJV)
12For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this [a]tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
God introduced Himself to the world of many beliefs and many ‘gods’ through the perspective of a people He raised up to create a faith. FAITH, NOT RACE…
He created this people through a man named Abram, later changing his name to Abraham…
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)
“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
I love the way that the bible refers to God as “The Lord God of Israel from Everlasting to Everlasting” in so many places. Yes, it’s a mouthful. Yes, it’s a lot to type, but it is exactly who He is…
Psalm 41:13 (NKJV)
13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.
Psalm 106:48 (NKJV)
48 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!
That is the New King James Version but, look at how the Complete Jewish Bible says it…
Psalm 41:14 (CJB)
14 (13) Blessed be Adonai the God of Isra’el from eternity past to eternity future.
I love that…“from eternity past to eternity future”. The thought of eternity past infers that there was NO BEGINNING.
God does not require a beginning. He does not require a birth. He does not require an origin. Why?
God created TIME for our benefit. So we can measure and have context to our lives, history and the future.
Galatians 4:4-7 (CJB)
4but when the APPOINTED TIME arrived (IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME), God sent forth his Son. He was born from a woman, born into a culture in which legalistic perversion of the Torah was the norm, 5 so that he might redeem those in subjection to this legalism and thus enable us to be made God’s sons. 6 Now because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, the Spirit who cries out, “Abba!” (that is, “Dear Father!”). 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son you are also an heir.
Think about it. Even when scientists who say the universe BEGAN with a BIG BANG, you can ask, “Okay, what was there before the BIG BANG?”. One could very easily reason that when God said, “Let there be…” there was a noise and physical manifestation.
Some things are difficult for even the ‘greatest’ scientific minds to understand, and one of those things is TIME. After all, I think of science as our attempt to give a physical explanation to a spiritual world.
Has God anointed you? Are you amazed sometimes at what He does through you? Do you ever do anything, look back and say to yourself, “That was clearly not me, but God!”
You’ve been anointed, empowered and ‘gifted’ for His purpose. However, there are times that sincere people mishandle their anointing. So, allow me to give you some of the ‘fruit’ of my anointing, experience and mistakes I’ve made…
Here are 7 things to remember about managing your anointing.
1. YOUR ANOINTING WILL CAUSE SOME PEOPLE TO BE THREATENED BY YOU
Yes, of course we know that God’s presence in you will offend people who don’t believe as you do. Remember how restless unclean spirits sometimes became whenever Jesus came around…
Luke 9:41-42 (NKJV)
41 Then Jesus answered and said, “O [a]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and [b]bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.
And, remember how an unbelieving crowd reacted, even after seeing Jesus casting out demons. They wanted Him to leave.
Mark 5:14-17 (NKJV)
14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon possessed, and about the swine. 17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.
But, unfortunately there are also those in the Kingdom of God who will feel threatened by what God has placed inside you. Some pastors, some ministers, some singers, some evangelists, some artists, some authors, some co-workers, some relatives, some writers…some bloggers. They can sometimes feel your abilities are a threat to them. Don’t let yourself be threatened by someone else’s gifts. We must always remember that this isn’t a competition…we’re all on the same team.
2. REGULARLY FEED AND NURTURE YOUR ANOINTING
No matter how naturally and easily things may seem to come to you, never get to the point that you think your anointing doesn’t need to be fed. Regularly spend quality time with God by getting away to yourself, to read and study His word, meditate on it, and allow God to minster to you. Make sure that everything that you do is backed up by and measured against the word of God. Prove every inspiration, every thought, everything that you feel God has placed inside you and measure it by the word of God in full context of the whole bible, not cherry picking scriptures to satisfy how you want to see it.
Remember what God told us through the Apostle Paul…
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
3. DON’T JUST USE YOUR ANOINTING FOR YOURSELF
God has anointed you to build the kingdom of God, but He also gave it to you to sustain your life…
1 Corinthians 9:14 (NKJV)
14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
1 Timothy 5:18 (NKJV)
18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.
Proverbs 18:16 (NKJV)
16 A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.
However, there are some gifted men and women of God who have gotten their priorities mixed up. They’ve been distracted, and caught up in using their anointing for themselves, and neglecting God’s kingdom. Remember why God has blessed you. And, also remember that you don’t have to prove to anyone else how anointed you are…that’s pride. It’s very easy to become intoxicated by the pats on the back, encouragement, praise and even financial blessing that can come from what God’s placed inside you, but never get to the point that you expect all those things or that you’re discouraged if you don’t receive them.
4. DON’T BECOME ARROGANT OR CONCEITED
My wife is a Gospel Jazz artist, and I can’t tell you how many events we have attended with other artists who were, ‘smelling themselves’. They were good, they had a ‘following’, and they acted as though they were above everyone else there. I’ve also run into pastors and preachers who behaved the same way. REALLY? So many men and women of God have the charisma that commands respect and adoration. It’s very easy to become arrogant or conceited if you aren’t careful. It’s a very subtle way the enemy can manipulate a sincere man or woman of God. Never let your gift allow pride to be your greatest weakness. Remember what Jesus told us…
Matthew 23:12 (NKJV)
12 And whoever exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be [b]exalted.
1 Peter 5:2-3 (NKJV)
2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but [a]willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being [b]lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
5. BE CAREFUL NOT TO CONDEMN OTHER MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD FOR THEIR WEAKNESSES
Before you condemn any man or woman of God for their weakness or in mishandling their anointing, remember this… even the most anointed men and women the bible had their own personal shortcomings and failures. No matter how anointed or prominent, no one has ever mastered everything they preach and teach. And, when you have an opportunity, reason with them in humility, bearing in mind that you too can be tempted.
Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)
6 Brethren, if a man is [a]overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
6. NEVER CLAIM GOD’S GLORY FOR YOURSELF
No matter how much education, how powerful, how persuasive, how influential no matter how much ‘weight’ God what’s on your life, remember He’s the one this carrying you. Never forget the source of your abilities. Never claim God’s glory for yourself. If you ever find yourself saying, “I did…”, say instead, “I AM did…” We all know what God said…
Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)
18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before [a]a fall.
7. YOUR ANOINTING DOESN’T DISQUALIFY YOU FROM HAVING FUN
You’re anointing does not require that you be serious all the time, or disqualify you from having fun godly fun in your life. It’s okay to laugh, to have a simple glass of wine, to enjoy your wife and family, to dance… Your anointing needs balance. It’s the gift of God to enjoy your life…
Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NKJV)
15 So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)
22 A merry heart [a]does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Fulfilling your purpose and walking in your anointing can be DRAINING. It’s okay to laugh and love as long as you remain within God’s character and His will.
We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but that does not mean we are not to hold one another accountable. The fact is that the Word of God demands that we do so…
Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV)
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather [a]expose them.
Proverbs 27:17 (NASB)
17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.
Galatians 6:1-2 (NASB)
6 Brethren, even if [a]anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
This responsibility doesn’t stop when it comes to holding leaders accountable as well, both spiritual…
1 Timothy 5:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
2 Samuel 12:1-13 (NKJV)
12 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. 4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this [a]shall surely die! 6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
David repented because the Prophet Nathan held him accountable.
Yeshua repeatedly rebuked the Pharisees for their sins and hypocrisy. Was that judging them?
However, these days, when sin is called out people get defensive and accuse the person or persons holding them accountable of judging.
Calling out sin is not judging. It’s our responsibility. Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, told us that we are capable of righteous judgment…
John 7:23-24 (NKJV)
24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
He also asserted that we can tell what’s in a person’s heart by their fruit…their character…their consistent behavior…and the influence that their character yields…
Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV)
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
I’m saying all that to say this…I have noticed a common reaction from both ‘conservatives’/’evangelicals’ and those in the LBGTQ movement when…
When someone calls out President Trump’s pride (an equal sin to shedding innocent blood per Provers 6:16-17), daily hurling of insults, speaking profanities at rallies while Christians cheer, boasting about his own accomplishments (Proverbs 27;2), and his admitted unrepentant, unforgiving attitude. He admitted publicly that he does not ask God for forgiveness, but tries to do better and doesn’t bring God into it — however when any of this is pointed out many conservatives who claim to be Christians are quick to respond…
YOU HATE THE PRESIDENT AND YOU ARE JUDGING HIM.
This is the exact same response that when the same conservatives who claim to be Christians call out the sin of those who practice homosexuality and support marriage between the same sex, when this sin is called out many in the LBGTQ are quick to respond…
YOU HATE LGBTQ PEOPLE AND YOU ARE JUDGING THEM.
Both groups have the same response, which comes from the same spirit of resistance to the truth — accusations of hate and judgment.
The apostle Paul wrote a very stern letter calling out the sins of the saints in the Corinthian church. He also called out a very public sin in 1 Corinthians Chapter 5, as well as those who condoned it. The church didn’t accuse Paul of ‘judging’ them, but repented and worked hard to rectify the matter…
2 Corinthians 7:8-13 (NIV)
8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.
Calling out sin is not casting stones, hate, judgment or condemnation. It is trying to help one another avoid condemnation.
God demands that we hate the SIN but not the SINNER, because we are all sinners who are only saved by the grace of God.
We must pray that leaders, conservatives, liberals, evangelicals, and atheists submit to God’s word, will, love, truth and salvation.
Sex isn’t only for ‘procreation’, but it’s also for Godly ‘recreation’ within the boundaries of Godly marriage between a man and a woman. Unfortunately, from fornication, to adultery, to homosexuality, to pornography to cybersex…the enemy tries to provoke us to pervert God’s gift. However, God’s wisdom is interwoven into the ‘oneness’ of Godly intimacy.
Here are 11 of my BE BLESSTIFIED! articles about Godly sex, from a fresh “HEY, I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT LIKE THAT BEFORE” perspective…
Sometimes it’s difficult to explain how our invisible God can be everywhere at the same time, or omnipresent.
Maybe this example will help.
Where is the internet?
On your smartphone?
On your laptop?
On your tablet?
Is the internet in the air?
Is it in Indiana, Idaho, India or the International Space Station?
Do we have to take turns to access the internet or can we all connect at the same time?
Just because you can’t see it, taste it, touch it or hear it…does that mean the NETWORK isn’t there. Yes, you see the evidence there is a network through the information, videos or audio files…but you can’t see the actual network.
If you can understand how the invisible internet can be OMNIPRESENT in a sense, then you can understand how our invisible God, our Elohim, the Father of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, can be everywhere at the same time.
We have more in common than we sometimes realize, even when we disagree.
Two of the most controversial topics in America, if not the world, are BLACK-ON-BLACK CRIME and WHITE PRIVILEGE They are both issues that are quickly deflected when mentioned to many in their respective races.
There are countless neighborhoods in America where many of the residents live in fear, not of racists…not of other races…but of people who look like them. There is vigorous debate as to the causes such as generational poverty, systematic racism, the drug epidemic, organized gangs and others. However, the problem still persists and is undeniable. Many people within the Black community act just the same as people of other races when certain neighborhoods and cities are mentioned. The fact is that many of the EXTERNAL REASONS have been accepted as EXCUSES by many.
Even if a white person is born in abject poverty and works very hard to become successful, the fact that they benefited from a system that was designed through generations that put them at an advantage. Societal attitudes, preferences, and norms have been established from a ‘white’ perspective. Even from the simple fact that many products whose packaging lists the color as ‘nude’ is the color of white flesh. The fact that beauty standard for generations have been based on ‘European’ features. And, that ‘acceptable’ history has been recorded from one perspective (for examples, Native Americans were portrayed as savages, and cowboys as heroes) . Injustice, inequality, inequity and a sense of entitlement (even though sometimes unintentional) is an undeniably interwoven into United States history as the extraordinary opportunities that the country offers.
As different as these two issues may be, they have some things in common and they have common solutions.
BOTH PROVOKE A DEFENSIVE RESPONSE
When you mention Black-on-Black crime to or White privilege to many members of their respective races, they are quick to respond…”There is no such thing!” Mentioning both issues quickly yield a defensive response. Both issues are quickly deflected with reasons to either justify, excuse or dismiss the behavior.
PEOPLE WITHIN EACH RACE ARE AFRAID TO ADMIT THE PROBLEM BECAUSE OF THE BACKLASH
There are many people in both communities who quietly agree there is a problem, but they know if they speak up about it they will be ridiculed by people within their own race.
BOTH HAVE BIBLICAL EXAMPLES
Israel spent 400 years of slavery in Egypt. After being established in the “Promised Land”, they were exiled in a strange country and considered second-class citizens. Even in the days of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) they were under Roman rule and considered second-class citizens in their own land. This caused internal and cultural challenges within the Jewish nation.
A gentle once told me, there is no such thing as ‘white privilege’ in the Bible. My response was study the Romans…the people, not the New Testament book. The Romans were European conquerors who felt entitled to the spoil of whomever they conquered. In the case of Israel, the Romans considered themselves superior, they did not associate with the Jews on an equal level, and their very empire was set-up to give them an advantage economically, socially and legally.
BOTH ISSUES SHARE COMMON SOLUTIONS
No matter what external challenges the Jews faces, God still expected them to maintain the integrity of His name and to always represent Him in their behavior through the most difficult situations. Look at what God told them while exiled in Babylon…
Jeremiah 29:4-14 (NKJV)
4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord.
10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
So God doesn’t give ‘a pass’ to indulge in crime because of the external challenges.
God also has an expectation of those who find themselves in a position of power. . Being a member of the majority puts one at an advantage. To be a member of the ‘majority’ is a position of strength. And, what is God’s expectation of ‘the strong’?
Romans 15:1-2 (NKJV)
We then who are strong ought to bear with the [a]scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to [b]edification.
God expects those who are in the position of strength to consider those who are weaker rather than please themselves.
Both Black and White people must:
Amit to themselves their own cultural challenges.
Courageously and aggressively address those challenges INTERNALLY in spite of any EXTERNAL causes or influences.
Every race and society must promote a culture and expectation must of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE that perfectly aligns with the word of God. Many of our problems in society can be solved through cultures of high Emotional Intelligence (when one is aware of his or her emotions and the emotions of those around them and the ability to control their emotions).
Promote a culture of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE that perfectly aligns with the word of God. Many of our problems in society can be solved through cultures of high Emotional Intelligence (when one is aware of his or her emotions and the emotions of those around them and the ability to control their emotions).
Crime, an attitude of privilege, as well as other sins…murder, theft, fornication, adultery, rage, wrath, revenge, greed, hatred, drunkenness, idolatry, selfishness can be cured by controlling our emotions. This must be achieved on and individual and cultural level. And, this behavioral science concept aligns perfectly with scripture…
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NKJV)
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, [a]clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:5-11 (NKJV)
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
God give us the responsibility to change, and the gift of His Holy Spirit to make those changes.
We all have more in common than we often realize, even when we disagree.
8 (A)For by grace you have been saved (B)through faith, and that not of yourselves; (C)it is the gift of God, 9 not of (D)works, lest anyone should (E)boast.
So, think for a moment…
Think about some of the sins that you’ve committed SINCE you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
The war of flesh and spirit doesn’t go away after you’re ‘saved’…
Galatians 5:16-18 (NKJV)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
However, when we receive the gift of His Holy Spirit are equipped to fight. You will win some battles and lose some battles, but ultimately win the war.
Galatians 5:17-23 (NKJV)
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
So think for a moment of some of the sins you’ve committed SINCE you’ve accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior…
If you’ve been ‘saved’ for several years, you may realize that you’ve committed more sins SINCE you’ve been saved…
You may even notice that some of the sins you committed after you were saved were GREATER than those before you were saved. Yes, sin is sin, but some sins simply make God more angry…they’re called abominations. And these sins aren’t necessarily the freaky sexual sins that may often first come to mind. For example, pride is one of them…
Proverbs 16:5 (NKJV)
5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join[a]forces, none will go unpunished.
This is why we should NEVER take the grace of God for granted.
This is a good time to stop right now and thank God for His grace and mercy, and for not dealing with any of us as we deserve.
Psalm 103:10 (NKJV)
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
And, be honest with yourself. Did you really accept the Lord Jesus as Savior, or were you just looking for Him to make things better in your life. Did you really accept Him because you believe or did you just think it was the right thing to do? Were you curious? Did you do it because your parents made you?
If you’ve sinned greater since you’ve been saved, ask yourself did you come to Yeshua for the right reasons.
One of the things about the Old Testament is that it gives us extreme examples of what God loves and what He hates. His extreme judgements explicitly gave us insight into how He feels, reacted as well as spiritual concepts and laws that are still relevant today…
1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV)
11 Now [a]all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our [b]admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Romans 15:4 (NKJV)
4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the [a]patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
One of those concepts is generational curses. That’s when God places a curse on an individual that continues to transfer to his or her posterity. Seems pretty unfair huh? But, it’s been that way since the Garden of Eden after Adam and his wife sinned.
When you read Deuteronomy 28 God lists the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. These blessings and curses are generational…
Deuteronomy 28:45-46 (NKJV)
45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you [a]did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your DESCENDANTS FOREVER.
Forever is a long time. Seems unfair doesn’t it?
But, there is a reason for this.
Whenever God cursed or punished His people, what was it that always removed the curse, that would have otherwise remained FOREVER?
WHEN THEY REPENTED!
Leviticus 26:40-42 (NKJV)
40 ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;
if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember;
I will remember the land.
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Think about your family and the attitudes, habits, thoughts and behaviors that have gone on for generations. How many of them can STOP with your generation?
If you feel your family is under the generational power of dysfunction, promiscuity, homosexuality, addiction, arrogance, pride, shame, racism, poverty, anger, witchcraft, violence, sickness etc,….
SOME OF THESE CURSES COULD STOP WITH YOUR GENERATION IF YOU CHANGE GENERATIONAL BEHAVIOR IN OTHER AREAS.
As much as parents and grandparents love their children, no one ever does everything RIGHT. God consistently reminded Israel of the ‘sins of their fathers.’
Stop and think about the things that your parents and grandparents did that were not pleasing to God, but may have continued through tradition, bad teaching or simply because ‘that’s the way we do things’.
Be bold enough to change it the way that Hezekiah did not continue in the sins of the kings before him. He TORE DOWN the alters and evil practices of those who came before him…
2 Kings 18:1-5 (NKJV)
18 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi[a] the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
4 He removed the [b]high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the [c]wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it [d]Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.
What ‘alters’ do you need to tear down in your family?
CONFESS. REPENT. and BREAK THE CURSE.
Now, read Nehemiah Chapter 9 and notice that after they were allowed by God to return from exile, they confessed not only their sins, but the sins of their ancestors. Notice in BOLD print each time the people confessed their sin…
NEHEMIAH 9 (NKJV)
9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with [a]dust on their heads. 2 Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.
4 Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the [b]stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5 And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said:
“Stand up and bless the Lord your God Forever and ever!
“Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! 6 You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.
7 “You are the Lord God, Who chose Abram, And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, And gave him the name Abraham; 8 You found his heart faithful before You, And made a covenant with him To give the land of the Canaanites, The Hittites, the Amorites, The Perizzites, the Jebusites, And the Girgashites— To give it to his descendants. You have performed Your words, For You are righteous.
“You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, And heard their cry by the Red Sea. 10 You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, Against all his servants, And against all the people of his land. For You knew that they acted [c]proudly against them. So You made a name for Yourself, as it is this day. 11 And You divided the sea before them, So that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; And their persecutors You threw into the deep, As a stone into the mighty waters. 12 Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar, And by night with a pillar of fire, To give them light on the road Which they should travel.
13 “You came down also on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven, And gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments. 14 You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, By the hand of Moses Your servant. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, And brought them water out of the rock for their thirst, And told them to go in to possess the land Which You had [d]sworn to give them.
“But they and our fathers acted [e]proudly, Hardened[f] their necks, And did not heed Your commandments. 17 They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And [g]in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them.
18 “Even when they made a molded calf for themselves, And said, ‘This is your god That brought you up out of Egypt,’ And worked great provocations, 19 Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go.
You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, And gave them water for their thirst. 21 Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; They lacked nothing; Their clothes did not wear out And their feet did not swell.
22 “Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations, And divided them into [h]districts. So they took possession of the land of Sihon, [i]The land of the king of Heshbon, And the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 You also multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, And brought them into the land Which You had told their fathers To go in and possess. 24 So the [j]people went in And possessed the land; You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, The Canaanites, And gave them into their hands, With their kings And the people of the land, That they might do with them as they wished.
And they took strong cities and a rich land, And possessed houses full of all goods, Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves, And [k]fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and grew fat, And delighted themselves in Your great goodness.
26 “Nevertheless they were disobedient And rebelled against You, Cast Your law behind their backs And killed Your prophets, who [l]testified against them To turn them to Yourself; And they worked great provocations. 27 Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, Who oppressed them; And in the time of their trouble, When they cried to You, You heard from heaven; And according to Your abundant mercies You gave them deliverers who saved them From the hand of their enemies.
“But after they had rest, They again did evil before You. Therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies, So that they had dominion over them; Yet when they returned and cried out to You, You heard from heaven; And many times You delivered them according to Your mercies, 29 And [m]testified against them, That You might bring them back to Your law. Yet they acted [n]proudly, And did not heed Your commandments, But sinned against Your judgments, ‘Which if a man does, he shall live by them.’ And they shrugged their shoulders, [o]Stiffened their necks, And would not hear. 30 Yet for many years You had patience with them, And [p]testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets. Yet they would not listen; Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless in Your great mercy You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them; For You are God, gracious and merciful.
“Now therefore, our God, The great, the mighty, and awesome God, Who keeps covenant and mercy: Do not let all the [q]trouble seem small before You That has come upon us, Our kings and our princes, Our priests and our prophets, Our fathers and on all Your people, From the days of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33 However You are just in all that has befallen us; For You have dealt faithfully, But we have done wickedly. 34 Neither our kings nor our princes, Our priests nor our fathers, Have kept Your law, Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies, With which You testified against them. 35 For they have not served You in their kingdom, Or in the many good things that You gave them, Or in the large and rich land which You set before them; Nor did they turn from their wicked works.
“Here we are, servants today! And the land that You gave to our fathers, To eat its fruit and its bounty, Here we are, servants in it! 37 And it yields much increase to the kings You have set over us, Because of our sins; Also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle At their pleasure; And we are in great distress.
38 “And because of all this, We make a sure covenant and write it; Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.”
Now notice what God says to Israel in Leviticus Chapter 40 after giving them consequences of being disobedient…
Leviticus 26:40-45 (NKJV)
40 ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;
if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember;
I will remember the land.
43 The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them;
they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments andbecause their soul abhorred My statutes.
44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them;
for I am the Lord their God.
45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God:
I am the Lord.’ ”
What ‘sins of your fathers and mothers’ are you allowing to continue in another generation? What sins have you not rejected?
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