Original, daily devotionals, inspiration and more from a fresh, "Hey! I never thought about it like that before" perspective.
Author: Minister Aldtric Johnson M.A.
God bless you! I'm a husband, father and ordained Minister since 1996. I serve as an Associate Minister at Oak Spring Church Arlington TN, a suburb of Memphis. I'm a professional Copywriter for a Fortune 500 company, published Gospel songwriter and owner of an independent label, Al-Go-Rhythm Music. My main spiritual gift is Exhortation...I'm a natural encourager. I love the word of God and sharing it from a "Wow, I never thought of it like that before" perspective. There's so much fresh revelation in God's word that is just as relevant today as it was as it unfolded. I hope my daily devotionals enhance your walk with God, taking you beyond BLESSED to BLESSTIFIED.
Be careful when you’re more devoted to a person than the cause.
Be careful when the hope for the victories you seek has shifted from God to an individual — that’s dangerous.
Be careful when the person in whom you are submitting to as a leader does not display the Fruit of the Spirit or the character the God demands, no matter what so-called ‘good’ they may do…
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
James 3:17-18 (NKJV)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Never forget the warning God gave us in order to identify false prophets, and leaders who have been appointed by the devil rather than God…
2 Corinthians 11:13-14 (NKJV)
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
YOU CAN’T AVOID THEIR CHARACTER!
There have been many self-appointed Messiahs, but many times peoples’ confidence and loyalty to a leader can morph into worship, and ignoring their character.
Be careful when your faith is in a man or woman to save the nation, church, or even family rather than God.
Remember, what Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) did when the crowds wanted to take Him by force and make Him king.
John 6:14-16 (NASB) 14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 So Jesus, aware that they intended to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself,
Relationships are complicated and difficult, even good ones. But as we all know some relationships can slip into the category of ‘abusive’. And, abusive doesn’t always mean physical abuse.
When someone takes advantage of someone else’s love and mistreats them verbally or emotionally, that’s abusive.
When someone loves you enough to allow you to hurt them over and over again while always willing to forgive and move forward as if nothing happened, that’s abusive.
Micah 7:19 (NKJV)
19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all [a]our sins Into the depths of the sea.
Isaiah 43:25-26 (NKJV)
25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. 26 Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be [a]acquitted.
How many times have we taken advantage of His love by promising we wouldn’t do something again, only to do it again…numerous times?
Psalm 103:10-14 (NKJV)
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He [a]knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
How many times have we hurt Him emotionally buy putting others and things before Him?
How many times have we provoked Him to jealously?
Psalm 78:58 (NKJV)
58 For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.
How many times has He witnessed us committing spiritual adultery right in front of Him only to stand with His arms wide open welcoming us back into His love?
Notice how sometimes in the bible, God sounded almost like a hurt lover before He got angry at Israel’s sin…
Judges 2 (NKJV)
2 Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no [a]covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?
How many times have we put Him to open shame before His enemy and our adversary, choosing the devil over Him in our decisions.
How many times has the enemy had the same conversation with God about us that he had concerning Job? Have we always maintained God’s character through our trials?
Job 1:9-11 (NKJV)
9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not [a]made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse[b] You to Your face!”
How many times have we physically abused the Lord?
Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
5 But He was wounded[a] for our transgressions, He was[b]bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes[c] we are healed.
Hebrews 6:4-6 (NKJV)
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 [a]if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Have you crucified Christ again today?
The fact is that if this were a marriage (and our relationship with Him actually is) many of us would have ended it a long time ago.
2 Corinthians 11:2 (NKJV)
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present youas a chaste virgin to Christ.
Isaiah 54:5 (NKJV)
5 For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
God loves us with a relentless love. He allows us to hurt Him over and over again. Quite frankly, that’s abuse.
Never take for granted God’s grace, mercy and faithfulness to us. He endures our ‘abuse’ every day and allows gives us brand new mercies every morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
The first thing we tell people in abusive relationships is to GET OUT! Aren’t you glad that God hasn’t gotten out of His relationship with you?
God is very clear of His expectations in our speech.
We can’t ‘turn it on and off’ when convenient.
James 3:10-18 (NKJV)
10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a (A)fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? [a]Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Ephesians 4:28-30New King James Version
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Matthew 7:17-20 (NKJV)
17 Even so, (A)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 (B)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.
God hold leaders to a higher degree of accountability. Never forget that ‘pride’ is equal to ‘shedding innocent blood’ among the ‘7 Deadly Sins’. You can’t justify one sin to champion fighting against another equal sin. There’s no ‘lesser of two evils’.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)
16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him: 17 (A)A[b] proud look, (B)A lying tongue, (C)Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 (D)A heart that devises wicked plans, (E)Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 (F)A false witness who speaks lies, And one who (G)sows discord among brethren.
Many people of all races claim to have respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today. But, many of the people who make that claim are proving where they would have actually stood in history by where they stand now.
Dr. King was hated by many people, (White and Black), because of the peaceful protests he led. Many White people thought he was a nuisance, while some Black people thought he wasn’t radical enough.
Dr. King was called a communist by many, even though he wasn’t. Most people know that J. Edgar Hoover hated him and made his life miserable. Many people today claim that those with whom they disagree are socialist and communists. Although some may be, most are not.
Before his death, Dr. King shifted his focus to being a champion for the poor and against the Vietnam War. He was considered by many to be unpatriotic for his stand against the war.
Christians do the same thing with our Savior, Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ. They claim to worship Him, but if they had lived back then, many would have…
Racially profiled Him…
Accused Him of supporting ‘Cancel Culture’ because of how He challenged their traditions…
Called Him a drunk because He drank wine and hung out with ‘sinners’…
Rejected everything He said because He wasn’t formally educated.
Many would have been disappointed because He wasn’t a triumphant military leader, who immediately restored the Kingdom of Israel.
People prove what they would have done during the Civil Rights movement or 2000 years ago by what they’re doing today!
Matthew 15:8-9 (NKJV)
8 ‘These people [a]draw near to Me with their mouth, And 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.’ ”
There’s nothing wrong with being recognized and awarded, but it can be a problem when we come to expect it. I was recently watching a Gospel music industry award show. The glitz. The glamour. The red carpet. The speeches… It almost seems like sometimes we’re saying, “The world has a red carpet, and we want one too!”
Here again, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, but we must be careful that those of us in Gospel aren’t conforming, but reforming.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
And as I said, we also must be very careful that we don’t allow pride to slip in to the point that we EXPECT rewards, awards and recognition.
I wonder how many artists, songwriters, producers, etc., were actually disappointed or angry they didn’t win, or jealous of those who did? How many thought in their hearts, “They didn’t deserve it!”. Not to mention the thousands of people laboring for Christ, whose work is just as good, but are never recognized. In fact, in many cases, it tends to be the same group of people who continue to win or be honored.
We are human, and sometimes we can feel hurt when we see others getting all of the attention…especially when God’s anointing is working powerfully in your life.
On those days, remember this…
Remember that during His earthly ministry Jesus wasn’t:
Nominated for an award…
Accepted by the establishment…
Appreciated by those who needed Him most…
The ONE and ONLY time He was triumphantly celebrated (Matthew 21:1-11)…
Some of the same people shouted for, consented to, mocked at and celebrated His death (Matthew 27:16-26).
If you feel that you aren’t ‘getting what you deserve’…
If you feel that others are getting recognition while you’re being ignored…
Don’t get caught up complaining, whining, lashing out at the world for ignoring you.
Stay focused and work your ministry.
Our Lord has been waiting over 2000 years for His glory. If He can wait. So can we.
John 17:24 (NKJV)
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
Does everyone ALWAYS practice what they preach? Do we always hold true to our standards, values, morals, disciplines…all the time? Do we all sometimes have lapses in our character?
The apostle Peter was with Jesus from the beginning of His earthly ministry. He was there when Jesus performed miracles. He was an intimate part of Jesus’ inner circle. We all know that he betrayed the Lord, but Jesus warned him beforehand and restored him afterward.
Luke 22:31-34 (NKJV)
31 And the Lord said,[a]“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
John 21:17 (NKJV)
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Peter went on to be used by God to help birth the church, spread the Gospel, perform miracles himself and co-author the New Testament. To say he was anointed and used by God would be an understatement, but he was also far from perfect…just like us.
In fact, Paul (as Saul), who didn’t walk with Jesus. Who wasn’t there for the miracles. Who may have even consented to His death at the cross was also eventually anointed and used mightily by God. Notice what happened when Peter would associate and eat with Gentile believers unless Jews were around…then he would separate himself from them fearing what they would say and how they would react.
Galatians 2:11-16 (NKJV)
11 Now when Peter[a] had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you[b] compel Gentiles to live as Jews?[c]
Peter was being a hypocrite. Paul withstood Peter to his face, called him out and corrected him…publicly.
I know you are saved and sanctified. I know that you love God. I know that you are devoted to God, but are you a hypocrite sometimes too?
When have you found yourself acting outside of your integrity?
Sometimes no one knows about it but you and God…but you do know. Don’t you? You notice it. You think about it. You may even pray about it and ask forgiveness, or you may be comfortable as long as no one else knows.
I’m not going to go through a list of the possible areas in life that we are sometimes hypocrites, but it could be as simple as…you portray yourself or even brag about being a law abiding citizen, but you sometimes drive above the speed limit.
That’s why God’s grace and mercy should never be taken for granted, because it is impossible for us to totally avoid sin, and hypocrisy is a subtle manipulation from the enemy which we ALL fall for sometimes.
The truth is that even when someone you love or someone you know has a hypocritical moment, you still know their true character…
So, let’s make sure that any lapse in our character is just that…a lapse. Because enough lapses in your character becomes your character.
During the American Reconstruction after the Civil War, many of the first domestic terrorists used masks and violence to protect their ‘way of life’, that included the oppression and suppression of those who were recently freed from slavery. They even had the audacity to claim that God supported their evil cause. They did this by interpreting the bible through their own perspective, which is a sin…
2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV)
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private [a]interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but [b]holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Many people want to claim the fact that disciples of Christ are no longer under the law, but they want to use the violence that God allowed as He fulfilled His promise to Abraham and his seed to give them the Promised Land — that has been accomplished.
Search the scriptures and you will not find ONE (1) example of Jesus or His Apostles using violence to build the Kingdom of God…not ONE.
To the contrary, Jesus let it be known that was an option that He didn’t choose.
John 18:36 (NKJV)
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.
God let us know that promoting peace is a sign of those who are His children…
Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
He let us know that displaying the Fruit of the Spirit is true strength…
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Too many Christians are impressed by violence rather than peace.
And I must admit that it’s very rare that I like it.
It’s very hard for me to hear.
Sometimes, I think it’s not fair.
I will think to myself, “You didn’t say the ‘N-WORD’ to him…or to her!”
I know that God is sovereign, and He can say whatever He wants to say.
I know He loves me…knows what’s best for me…and everything He does is always working for my good.
I know He knows me better than I know myself.
Yes, I trust Him, and I submit to His perfect will for my life.
But, that doesn’t make it hurt any less when God decides to respond to me with…
Sometimes I reason within myself, He really didn’t mean that.
Sometimes I will keep pushing, trying to force a different response…
But, still His answer remains to be…
As much as He loves me and gives me all of what I need and some of what I want…
Sometimes God has to say…
The ‘N-WORD’ to me
As much as I don’t like it, I still love Him and trust Him.
I take peace in the fact that His grace is always sufficient for me.
How do you react…
When God tells you “NO”?
2 Corinthians 12: 8-9 (NKJV)
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
If you’re a father, mother, son, daughter or child of God, at least one of these links will be a blessing to you. If you feel that you or your family is far from perfect, but you trust God with your family…click them all.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [a]puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, [b]thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
Too many people who claim to have faith in God feel justified to share their faith in anger, slurs, violence…with a mean spirit.
If history has proven anything, it’s proven that you can’t force your faith on anyone.
Notice how the Apostle Paul shared his faith in love and respect in Athens…
Acts 17:22-31 (NKJV)
Addressing the Areopagus
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the [a]Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:
TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one [b]blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
The enemy loves to disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Yeshua, (Christ Jesus) never forced faith on anyone. The apostles never forced their faith on anyone. The message of the Gospel has always been presented in love and that has not changed.
The fact is that Jesus showed kindness and compassion to sinners, while reserving His most scathing rebukes for hypocritical believers and those who are displaying ‘small’ faith.
If you feel you have to share your faith in hatred, anger or through insult…it’s a sure sign that your faith (your personal theology) is fake.
1 Peter 1:7 (NKJV) 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Once we are baptized into the Body of Christ, then comes of lifetime of growth in our faith. That public affirmation, testimony and ‘marriage ceremony’ of what has taken place on the inside is symbolized by being totally immersed in water.
But, as God matures us sometimes through trials and challenges. Difficulty in your life doesn’t always mean you’re being punished…sometimes you’re being perfected.
1 Peter 1:7 (NKJV) 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, Malachi 3:2-3 (NKJV)
2 “But who can endurethe day of His coming? Andwho can stand when He appears? ForHeislike a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, Andpurge them as gold and silver, That they mayoffer to theLord An offering in righteousness.
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…
Even though there are many races and cultures in America, it’s undeniable that many of America’s issues are in ‘Black & White’. That’s unfortunate because when God called Abram, and renamed Him Abraham…He created a faith, not a race. Faith in God through Yeshua the Messiah is based on faith and not race.
However, part of the ‘race’ problem in America is that all races have their ‘cultural demons’ that are immediately deflected, especially if presented by someone of the ‘other race’.
You know what ‘DEFLECT’ means…
If you deflect something such as criticism or attention, you act in a way that prevents it from being directed t toward you or affecting you.
The key to conflict resolution is common ground. So, I’m pointing out a ‘cultural demon’ from both races that are constantly deflected by many instead of addressed to change the culture.
As I stated in a previous post:
Many say, I NEVER OWNED SLAVES!
Others say, I WAS BORN POOR AND WORKED HARD FOR EVERYTHING I HAVE!
And some say, I HAVE NEVER BENEFITED FROM ‘WHITE PRIVILEGE’.
Others assert, I’M NOT RACIST, I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS, SO WHY SHOULD I FEEL GUILTY?
I’m asking everyone who respects the Bible as the Word of God to consider this…
It is undeniable that in our nation’s history there wasn’t a hint of equality or equity for non-white Americans until the late 60’s.
Even if you had nothing to do with any of the evils towards Black people through the generations,, legacies and benefits of their behavior and systems transcends generations…culturally, economically, socially psychologically, and spiritually. Narratives and paradigms are set.
The Romans in the New Testament (the people not the book) are the perfect biblical example. They thought they were superior (even though many White people today don’t). They subjugated the Jews. The ‘system’ of their empire was set up to benefit them. Even if you had nothing to do with any of the evils towards Black people through the generations,, legacies and benefits of the system that has established thought and behavior and systems transcends generations…culturally, economically, socially psychologically, and spiritually. Narratives and paradigms are set.
However, rather than admit this, the response is too often…”There’s no such thing as White Privilege!” That’s deflecting.
BLACK ON BLACK CRIME
Black on Black crime is an unfortunate reality in America.
Again, this is from a previous post that I made:
There’s too many Black people killing Black people!
There’s too many Black people terrorizing Black people!
There’s too many Black people doing racists a favor by doing their job for them!
RACISTS DON’T HAVE TO FIRE A SHOT OR TIE A NOOSE WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE KILLING ONE ANOTHER!
And marches…speeches…block parties…the police or politicians can’t solve it.
But, rather than admit and address it, too many times when Black-on-Black crime is mentioned, the response is…’There’s no such thing as Black-on-Black crime.” That’s defecting.
This scripture applies to both individual and ‘corporate’ sins…
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.
Some were surprised, while others say they weren’t. The world watched people who claimed to be ‘patriots’ storm the United States Capital. While vilifying both peaceful and violent protests during 2020, they portrayed their cause as noble. Really?
It’s amazing how some people feel they own the narrative of what takes place in America. They feel they get to determine what’s unacceptable and what’s necessary…What’s disgraceful and what’s honorable based on their myopic perspective.
As people responded to this foolishness, I heard many people rationalize, “This isn’t who we are!” “This is not how we solve things in America. “
I do agree that conflicts should be solved peacefully, but to say, ‘THAT’S NOT US’ simply isn’t true.
Our nation was born through violence.
The land we all enjoy was violently taken from Native Americans and instead of honoring them… gave them less than second class status.
When freed slaves simply wanted to enjoy their new freedom, before the Reconstruction could ‘reconstruct’, they were quickly, and violently ‘put back into their place’ to ‘protect their former oppressors ‘way of life’.
As descendants of slaves struggled for decency, they were harassed, lynched, beaten, and shot by people who claimed to represent our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
My grandparents and their contemporaries were threatened, beaten and murdered if they tried to exercise their right to vote.
Our movies portrayed Native Americans as savages while fighting to protect their land and painted the cowboys as heroes.
Americans love to see the action heroes violently ‘put down’ the criminals while sexing up the women.
Movie theaters and living rooms erupt in cheers as ‘nerd’ who’s been bullied throughout the entire movie finally ‘beats up’ the bully.
Organize crime and gangs of all races thrive through violence.
Christians love so-called ‘strong language’ and threats to blow our enemies off the map if they ‘mess with’ the United States.
Believers put more effort into defending their gun rights than they did to keep prayer in schools. Rather than embrace 2 Chronicles 20 when the priest declared to Jehoshaphat that, “The battle isn’t yours, it’s the Lords” and God fought their battle for them…they want to be King David who ‘killed his ten thousands’. But, because of the blood on his hands was not allowed by God to build the temple (2 Samuel Chapter 7).
People are more passionate about the ‘right to bear arms’ than ‘thou shalt not kill’.
Too many Christians are quick to subtly threaten you by saying, “I haven’t been saved all my life” or “Don’t make me go back to my old self”.
America loves bumper stickers that say, “I will shoot you in the yard and drag you in the house!”
Sometimes it takes so little to bring out the worst in us, but so much to bring out the best!
Ideally, in a perfect world, we solve our problems through peace, but when you look at America’s history and look at our country today…America is
and justifies violence when convenient.
This is us!
I love the way so many people of both sides of the current political battle have denounced the D.C. riots, but some are still subtly justifying it as noble cause.
I love America. We are better than this.
That’s why I’m sharing this reminder and admonition…
This is a season for Americans of all races and cultures to repent of how we grieve the Spirit of God with our weaknesses.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
When Jesus was in the home of Mary and Martha, He reminded Martha that she had become distracted by what was ‘going on in the house’ rather than focusing on ‘who’ was in the house…
Luke 10:41-42 (NASB)
41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Think about those who call themselves Christians.
Think about those who claim they make their decisions based on the bible.
Think about those who claim that they speak for God.
Has the enemy distracted believers from the core mission and message that Yeshua the Messiah gave us…
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.
Is making disciples a priority?
Is sharing God’s love a priority?
Is ‘being the peace’ in chaos a priority?
Is sharing God’s forgiveness a priority?
Is sharing God’s gift of salvation a priority?
Are we as believers repenting of our own sins? Or blaming EVERYTHING that’s wrong on ‘sinners’?
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Have we forgotten that we are all sinners saved by grace?
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Someone’s watching you, and they want what you have.
Yes, they want your body…
Your cancer-free body…
Your disease-free body…
Your two working legs and arms…
They want your ability to walk and run.
They want your ability to go to work every day.
They want your strength. Not you super strength, but your strength to take care of yourself.
They want ‘What you’ve got!’
NOT the opportunity to fulfill their LUST,
BUT the opportunity to fulfill their LIFE.
They want your freedom.
They want a family like yours.
They want to be just like you.
They want a roof over their heads…Food to eat…Clothes to wear.
They fantasize about going to the grocery store and filling a shopping cart…
rather than carrying everything they own in one.
They fantasize about buying a pair of shoes…About going where they want, when they want, in a car.
They fantasize about going to the doctor for check-ups and not treatments.
Someone would trade their good credit for your health…their riches for your peace. They’re watching you.
Please don’t allow our prosperous society to spoil you to the point of covetousness and being ungrateful.
Don’t allow the ‘blessings of abundance’ to become ‘burdens’ to make you feel God is mistreating you if you don’t have everything you want. If you don’ have perfect health. If you don’t have ideal circumstances
The bible teaches us to be content with food and clothes…
1 Timothy 6:8 (NKJV)
8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
God teaches us to not worry about our needs…
Matthew 6:31-34 (NKJV)
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
And, He teaches us to be thankful in all things.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Don’t get your wants confused with your needs. And remember, there is always someone ‘less fortunate’ than you…fantasizing to have what you may be taking for granted.
Life can take people down many roads. As those roads are travelled sometimes people can find themselves in sinful or unhealthy relationships. It could be a spouse in an adulterous or a sinfully emotionally connected relationship. It could be a ‘boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It could be a relationship with the ‘wrong crowd’ or with a person on your job. The bible tells us how we are to choose our relationships…
2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what [a]fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what [b]communion has light with darkness?
Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t interact with people who aren’t believers, but it does means we need to be very careful who we are in close relationship with. When two oxen are ‘yoked’ they are connected and one can’t move forward or turn without the other.
So many times people have tried to end an unholy relationship with a conversation, an explanation, a meeting, an encounter one last communication or connection for ‘closure’. But, what that actually does is draws them back in and keeps them connected.
Trying to end a wrong relationship or even help someone else when you aren’t strong enough can make you stumble…
Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)
6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Sinful relationships do not need closure. They ALWAYS need an abrupt end, no communication, no explanation…just STOP, immediately.
The bible teaches us that we are to always be conforming into the image of Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:29 (NKJV)
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
We conform to His image by emulating His character…His love…His attributes. That’s how we ‘look like Him’.
Unfortunately, the ‘face’ of Christianity has devolved into what is characterized by angry, mean-spirited, insulting, arrogant, and judgmental ‘believers’ who are labeled as ‘evangelicals’. Many, but not all, of these people are impressed by so-called ‘strong words’…threats…profanity…insults…everything that is the exact opposite of the Fruit of His Spirit, and the behavior He demands of all His disciples…
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
They consider what God calls strength, such as gentleness, as weakness and even celebrate and applaud insults and profanity from the mouths of leaders. They consider themselves to be the definitions of patriotism, courage, and Christian character. The character God demands is clear…
James 3:17-18 (NASB)
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, [c]reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, [d]impartial, free of hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace [e]by those who make peace.
The disciples of the early church never called themselves Christians, they were called Christians by outsiders first in Antioch…
Acts 11:26 (NKJV)
26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
THIS IS WHY I’D RATHER BE CALLED A DISCIPLE RATHER THAN AN EVANGELICALS. HERE ARE 2 SIMPLE REASONS…
1. JESUS HIMSELF DESCRIBED HOW WE WOULD BE KNOWN AS HIS ‘DISCIPLES…
John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Notice that Jesus said, “As I have loved you”. Go back and look at how He loved us. He had compassion. He healed. He fed. He forgave. He always spoke kind and compassionate words to ‘sinners’ while He always sharply rebuked the ‘religious’ people for their hypocrisy and His disciples when they displayed ‘small faith’. Contrary to how mustard seed faith is depicted as ‘little faith’, it takes great faith for something as small as a mustard seed to grow into something big. From when Jesus calmed the storm in Mark Chapter 4: 35-41 to when He rebuked His disciples in Matthew 17:17, the Savior was always frustrated by ‘little faith’ while He was impressed by ‘great faith’ (Matthew 8:10).
Loving AS He loves us is how we are recognized as He stated…His disciples.
2. MANY OF THOSE WHO ARE KNOWN AS EVANGELICALS HAVE CHANGED THE ‘FACE’ OF ‘CHRISTIANITY’ FROM A SMILE TO A ‘FROWN’…
Those who claim to be evangelicals claim to speak for God, but through their chosen narrative of the scriptures. They are angry, self-righteous, justify pride and arrogance, place more faith in guns and weapons than the power of Yehovha Saboath (The Lord of Hosts), and don’t share the Gospel in love. Jesus told us to be very careful how we carry ourselves among unbelievers…
Colossians 4:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
It (1) takes (2) just (3) as (4) much (5) strength (6) to (7) ask (8) for (9) forgiveness (10) as (11) it (12) does (13) to (14) forgive (15).
Anyone who has ever hurt someone knows how difficult it is to sometimes admit that you were mean, unreasonable, impossible…that you were wrong.
Many times we assume that it takes more strength to forgive rather than to ask for forgiveness. But, both are selfless acts of denying ourselves and a total rejection of pride.
When we already know that someone has something against us, and we have given them a good reason to feel that way, then God places the responsibility on us to go to them and ask for forgiveness.
Matthew 5:23-24 (NKJV)
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Sometimes the best way to say I LOVE YOU is saying I’M SORRY. Once you’ve done that in sincerity, the spiritual responsibility shifts from you. ARE YOU EASY TO APOLOGIZE TO…?
The bible teaches us that it’s God that gives us the power, ability, knowledge and strength to get ‘wealth’, and that is very true…
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NKJV)
18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may [a]establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
But, how many times have you heard someone say, or said yourself, “I deserved everything that I have because I worked hard for it!”
You’ve worked hard…
You’ve made good decisions.
You even had great faith.
Let me give you a quick reminder in humility and God’s grace and mercy…
Yes, you definitely ‘earned’ it, but be very careful before you say you deserve it.
Before you say that you deserve your success and influence because of your hard work and effort, think about all of the people who also planned, worked hard, sacrificed, made good decisions, and had great faith…and for whatever reason, things just didn’t work out.
Think about all of the businesses that fail every day.
Think about all of the relationships that fall apart every day.
There are plenty of people who have planned and worked…
Just as hard or harder…
Just as smart or smarter…
Sacrificed just as much and more…
Made decisions that were just as good or better…
And, things just didn’t work out in their favor.
From the macro-economic environment, to social conditions, unforeseen sicknesses and circumstances, there are innumerable reasons why sometimes hard work is not rewarded with success.
And let us not forget about those people who want to work but can’t because of a disability they can’t help.
All in all, it’s only by God’s grace and mercy and His plan for our lives that things, work out as we hope and plan.
Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)
9 A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
Psalm 128:1-4 (NKJV)
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you eat the [a]labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord.
It’s God’s will for you to enjoy the fruit of your labor, but never forget that any ‘success’ is only through His grace and mercy.
Don’t let the enemy to allow arrogance into your testimony.
If you have ever worked hard, planned well, sacrificed, made great decisions and had great faith, only to have things not work out in your favor, please respond to this post as a testimony. Be humble in your success, and never steal God’s glory, grace and mercy for yourself.
I recently had a conversation with a mid-level manager who said she was ‘chewed out’ by upper management to whom she reported.
It just so happens that someone who was lower in the hierarchy overheard the harsh rebuke and expressed that they felt it was totally disrespectful.
I don’t know when it became established in our work culture that harsh, disrespectful correction is ‘managing’.
Too many people allow their emotions to turn them into a compensated bully.
I’ve noticed that whether you agree or disagree with President Trump’s leadership style, many of the people who oppose him lead just like he does — as a bully.
The United States Declaration of Independence asserts that ‘All ‘men’ are created equal’ and endowed by our Creator to the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’.
However, many people’s pursuit of happiness is daily undermined by the dread of going to work each day because of managers who are allowed to bully their subordinates. This takes place at every level in organizations from the ‘lowest to the highest’.
Here’s the truth, that no matter what your job title may be, we are all just people who are working to support ourselves or our families, period. We are all equal citizens, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, pursuing our happiness by working.
Every organization has a progression of consequences when expectations are not being met from verbal warnings to termination. These can be administered without emotional, degrading rebukes or public embarrassment. No one enjoys being disrespected or embarrassed. If you’re a manager and you consider yourself to be a disciple of Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, this is where He reminds us to…
Luke 6:31 (NKJV)
31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
If you are a Christian and you have people who report to you (civilian or military), don’t let your emotions turn you into a compensated bully.
A person’s level of respect should never be determined by their job title or job description.
Here is God’s expectation…
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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.”
Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)
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.
HERE’S WHEN THE BIBLE DOES ALLOW SHARP, OPEN REBUKE…
Notice, that the word of God allows sharp rebuke when LEADERS ARE BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
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.
You don’t hear this preached much do you? The bible says that leaders, not followers should be rebuked openly.
However, when leaders administer discipline, it must be done within the context of “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.“
Sometimes we have to forgive the same sin against us over and over not because they did it again…
But, because when we think about what they did we still feel angry over and over again.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. God made us and knows we are made of weak flesh…
Psalm 103:14 (ESV)
14 For he knows our frame;[a] he (A)remembers that we are dust.
But, He still expects us to continue to forgive again when the thought of what they did feels our hearts with pain, anger, shame and a desire for revenge…
Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV)
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
It’s one thing to forgive someone ‘seven times seventy times’ when they do it again and again. But, it’s another to continue to forgive them in your heart when they have truly repented but the pain and anger comes and goes.
Don’t backslide in your forgiveness to them!
I know it’s hard, but you can do it.
1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than (A)he who is in the world.
I’m a middle aged dude and comfortable in my role and season of life.
I frequently see ads targeting my demographic trying to sell the benefits of boosting testosterone. They claim enhanced energy, vitality, muscle growth and yes, libido.
They claim to restore testosterone to teenage levels.
There’s only one problem.
Teenage-level testosterone is not natural for a middle-aged man. Just like any medicine, there may be unwanted side-affects for a man to have an unnatural level of testosterone for his age.
People use the ‘God created it, so it must be good’ argument for many things, including marijuana. But, even if there are medicinal benefits to ‘weed’ that doesn’t mean it was meant for recreational use.
The natural sugar in fruit juice can still be harmful if it’s consumed in large amounts. Even an overactive immune system, meant to protect us, can be deadly.
The Bible teaches us to use moderation in what we place in our bodies, even wine…
1 Timothy 5:23 (NKJV)
23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent [a]infirmities.
Take care of yourself and your body which is the temple of the Living God. Be careful of everything you allow to enter your body.
As the year 2020 comes to a close, we are all hopeful for 2021.
However, we must remember the God doesn’t ‘go by’ our Gregorian calendar.
Think about how many preachers and pastors made optimistic, ’20/20 Vision’ predictions at the beginning of the year this time last year..
While we are all ‘absorbing the blow’ from 2020’s horrible ‘gut punch’, we must accept the fact that it may only be the beginning of challenging times.
There is no guarantee all of the difficulties of 2020 will suddenly stop on what we call New Year’s Day.
The bible clearly tells us there will be an escalation in evil and difficult days before the return of Christ.
From the book of Daniel, to Matthew Chapter 24, to 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2, to The Revelation…God warns us that things will get better before they get worse.
Unfortunately, even people who claim to be believers dig deeper into their pride, arrogance, traditions, compromise, idolatry of ‘patriotism and nationalism’, point fingers and blame (remember, God calls the devil ‘the accuser’), and are impressed by the very opposite of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). And, those who don’t believe dig deeper into their unbelief and presumptuous sins…we are all sinners saved by grace, and all have things of which we need to repent.
So remember this, God has always protected those who call themselves His through obedience and repentance on a family level…
Exodus 12:7-14 (NKJV)
7 And they shall take some of the blood and put iton the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that (A)night; (B)roasted in fire, with (C)unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but (D)roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 (E)You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: [a]with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. (F)It is the Lord’s Passover.
12 ‘For I (G)will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and (H)against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: (I)I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
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.
Isaiah 26:19-21 (NKJV)
19 Your dead shall live; Together with[a]my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. 21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her [b]blood, And will no more cover her slain.
Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)
15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of [a]the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
But know this, that (A)in the last days [a]perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, [b]unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 (B)traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 (C)having a form of godliness but (D)denying its power. And (E)from such people turn away!
No matter how bad things get…
No matter what plagues and pestilences ravage the world…
No matter what political, social or economic upheaval may come…
No matter what catastrophic natural disasters threaten us…
No matter what wars arise…
No matter what perilous times challenge us…our homes and families CAN be covered through our faith in God through Yeshua the Messiah, obedience and repentance.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
14 if My people who are (A)called by My name will (B)humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, (C)then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
We are responsible for our own family’s protection in both the physical and spiritual world…no matter what happens around us…
Psalm 46:1-3 (NKJV)
46 God is our (B)refuge and strength, (C)A[a] very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the [b]midst of the sea; 3 (D)Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
Revelation 12:10-12 (NKJV)
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Whether you believe in pre-, during, or post-tribulation return of Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ…the stage is clearly being set now.
Earlier this year, 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… 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.
Thanks to each and everyone of you have stopped by my devotional blog not only during the unforgettable year of 2020, but since my first post in August of 2016.
I’m so thankful for this platform to share what God has placed in my heart. I pray that His gifts of exhortation, edification, equipping, inspiration, admonition, unification, and salvation are perfected in each and every word.
I pray that BEBLESSTIFIED.COM provokes both believers and unbelievers to submit to God’s word, will, love, and truth…and that unbelievers submit to His gift of salvation.
Romans 10:8-9 (NKJV)
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Here are links to the 10 posts that received the most views during 2020.
As we look forward to the new year with hope, please remember that God doesn’t limit himself to our Gregorian calendar.
Some things never change. Yeshua the Messiah made the ‘religious people’ so angry that they wanted to kill Him, and with the help of the Romans they did…at least thought they did.
Many Christians of every race claim to be His disciples, but we prove how we would have responded if we lived then by how we respond today. We prove on which side of history we would have stood by where we stand now.
The fact is that many of the people who claim to be Christians would have rejected Jesus, and here are 7 reasons why…
1. WOMEN SUPPORTED HIM WITH THEIR MONEY
Few people ever talk about the women who followed Jesus and supported Him financially, Not, just the women, but the ‘type’ of women…
Luke 8:1-3 (NKJV)
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and [a]bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and [b]infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for [c]Him from their [d]substance.
So you had a woman who many believed was a prostitute, wives of ‘important’ men and many other women who were following the LORD and supporting Him financially — we all know that would be beyond scandalous today. How many men would co-sign on their wives following and giving money to a broke, uneducated, controversial traveling preacher?
2. HE THREATENED THEIR TRADITIONS
One of the most common complaints today is ‘cancel culture’. Too many people today are devoted to traditions, memorials, statues, etc. to the point of idolatry. Several of our modern traditions are clearly in direct contradiction to the word of God, such as swearing in officials…
Matthew 5:34-37 (NKJV)
34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [a]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. (Can’t get more clear than that)
…but, some people would rather die than change. To many, patriotism, nationalism, racial pride, the economy and institutional traditions have become psuedo-religions. But, Yeshua made it clear that they were prioritizing their traditions over the Word of God…
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.
3. HE HELD THE ‘LEADERS’ ACCOUNTABLE
Jesus openly rebuked the Pharisees, Scribes and teachers of the law concerning their hypocrisy, arrogance and pride. These were equal to respected political, religious and professional leaders today. But the LORD called them out and pissed them off. No matter what political or religious affiliation, how to react when those whom they respect are held accountable?
Matthew 15:10-13 (NKJV)
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?”13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.
Matthew 23:13-36 (NKJV)
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [a]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [b]hell as yourselves.16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that [c]sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who [d]swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who [e]dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and [f]self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [g]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.33 Serpents, brood[h] of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
4. HE WASN’T EDUCATED OR ‘CULTURED’
How many people only hire Pastors who hold multiple degrees? How many people don’t feel leaders are credible unless they have achieved an expected level of education or status? Many people were amazed at how well Jesus spoke because they knew He wasn’t educated.
John 7:15 (NKJV)
15 And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
Even the Apostle Paul said we shouldn’t be overly impressed with words of man’s wisdom, but in the power of God…
1 Corinthians 2:4-6 (KJV)
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
5. HE HUNG OUT WITH THOSE WHO RELIGIOUS PEOPLE LOOKED DOWN UPON
It’s amazing how we can allow our education, achievements, connections, affiliations, social status and even our faith to arrogantly allow us to think we are ‘better’ than others. We can look down on others because of the decisions thy have made…such as drug addicts, prostitutes, or homeless people…but, those are the people with whom Yeshua the Messiah came to make the most intimate connections. Many people today would complain about the company that Jesus kept, just as the ‘religious’ people did then.
Mark 2:13-3:6 (NKJV)
13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes [a]and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [b]to repentance.”
6. HIS ETHNICITY
The fact is that if Jesus came today of the same ethnicity, that many who so passionately claim to love Him would not accept Him as a leader. As much as it may be unintentional… cultural and racial biases are real. If Yeshua would have come during this era…born in the ‘Middle East’ (the fact that it’s even called Middle East relative to Europe) with the same skin tone, language, etc.,…how many people who call themselves Christians would actually follow Him?
John 1:46 (NKJV)
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
7. HE DRANK ALCOHOL
How many people today would have rejected Jesus because of the fact that He drank wine? Some try to ‘sanitize it’ by saying that it wasn’t fermented, but that simply isn’t true. Jesus said Himself that unlike John the Baptist, he came both eating and drinking wine…
Matthew 11:18-20 (NKJV)
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a [a]winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her [b]children.”
He was called a ‘winebibber’ because He drank wine. Did He get drunk? NO! But, how many self-righteous ‘Christians’ would rebuke Christ for drinking wine?
8. TODAY, JESUS WOULD BE A MILLENNIAL
How many ‘established’ leaders and Christians today wouldn’t take Jesus seriously because of His age? He began His earthy ministry at 30 years old.
John 8:57 (NKJV)
57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
So, be honest with yourself…how would you have received Jesus if you lived back then? How would you receive Him if He had come in our generation?
This is just one example of how many need to ‘re-think’ how we ‘do church’.
The enemy doesn’t mind you going to church as long as you take him with you. He wants to distract and infect your worship. One way he achieves this is through division in the local church. Division in the Body of Christ is strictly forbidden, and is sin…
Galations 5:19-20 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, FACTIONS
1 Corinthians 1:10-13 10 “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
We as people tend to want to be in groups of people with either common interests, or people who can benefit us. Sometimes these groups can form in the church with an unwillingness to let others in…that’s a CLIQUE (FACTION) .
Church can become like high school – The Cool Kids, The Jocks, The Nerds…
Church can become like the outside world – The Haves and The Have Nots…
Church can become like the secular (or Christian) music industry – Pastor, his Entourage, his Groupies and Fans…
Are you in one of these CLIQUES? These are all distractions from the enemy to make our churches carnal, unfruitful and unproductive. Don’t let your small group, your ministry group, your choir, your circle of friends be a CLIQUE in disguise. This mess even tried to creep into the early church…
1 Corinthians 11:18-22 18 “For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”
The Body of Christ is one body with many members (1 Corinthians 12:12) and EVERBODY IS SOMEBODY! Even though we as people tend to be CLIQUE-ISH…. we need to keep that CLIQUE-ISH out of God’s church.
If my blog blesses you, I gladly accept donations of $2 or less. 1 Corinthians 9:14 (CJB) 14 In the same way, the Lord directed that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News.