Darkness, Light

Put on the Armor of Light

The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

Romans 13:12

Oh! The night is far spent, meaning that we may have spent too much time working for ourselves and doing for ourselves. We may have become farsighted in that we only look at things from a distance instead of up close and personal. Sometimes things that are seen up close may be too personal to deal with. We would rather avoid them altogether. Putting on the armor of light is talking about personal relationships with each other and God. Those of us born in the Baby Boomer Generations were concerned about relationships. The value of spending time with family and friends. I made it my mission as a teen to find out the true meaning of what love is. The Baby Boomers brought the symbol for love and peace. Anti-war walks against the war in Vietnam and to live in peace by loving one another was the theme of the day. LSD was the “tune in, turn off and drop out,” drug along with marijuana smoking. Some of us thought it was the end of the world.

Does this sound familiar? If you could only have seen what I have seen after a party at a home in 1974 in Southern California where everyone was dropped out on the floor and lying down into a stupor. Talk about zombie land. There was no light shining in this place of darkness. The Baby Boomers may have inherited the American Dream, but at what cost? Married couples worked very hard to achieve that dream of owning a home. Those who have settled down knew the value of love and friendship within the home and wanted the next generation to understand that value. The world was growing at a fast pace where education and technologies were the key to getting ahead and to have more time for family and friends. I wondered what happened to having more time for family and friends. Today, it is Twitter and Facebook that has become the new method of socializing. Have we become far sighted in our own relationship instead of up close and personal? The divide between each other seems to be the distance between the diamonds of the baseball field. Will we ever reach home plate? Why the division? Is it not self-gratification? Yes, self-gratification has taken over in our actions. When the self is not gratified, it screams out for attention.

Not everyone is looking at the full picture. How did we get to the place we now sit in? Many are living in the moment and denying everything else. The circumstances of Covid-19, the lack of baby formula, the logistic issues, the change in weather patterns, the breakout of war, the shootings, the burglaries, and the crystal meth problem has society screaming out for attention? We see it at a distance until it is up close and personal. Some people are demanding accountability while others are ignoring it altogether. Who is held accountable? It is so easy to point the finger. The apostle Paul states to “make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts,” in Romans 13:14. The principal key in any relationship is responsibility, trust, and respect.

He that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”

Romans 14:1

Faithful servants of God are responsible to make sure that love works “no ill” against its neighbor or to those within the body of Christ. Let’s step back and look at the word darkness. When a room is dark, one cannot see what is in the room, or what danger there is in the room. Without the light to fill the room, one cannot see their steps. If you stand in darkness, how far can you see? Does not the darkness make everything obscure? Is it not the darkness that makes things unclear, concealed, and hidden? The Hebrew word for darkness is “chashak.” It means to be or grow dark. The word “chashak also speaks to the sanctuary of God in being a place of refuge, but it can also take on the meaning of being separated and cut off from God. The darkness is to consume and destroy without the covering or atonement of God. Who is walking around seeking someone whom he may devour? Is it not the adversary the devil? [ see 1 Peter 5:8]. What about consuming one another?

But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”

Galatians 5:15

Paul is warning the church to not bite and devour one another to the point of consuming or filling one’s mind and attention to arguing and accusing one another. We all will be judged by God. Remember that anyone who is troubling you shall bear his own judgment, [see Galatians 5:10]. We must step back in order to not be consumed by the enmity of an individual. We must stay under the shelter of God. Under His protection and not to follow those who follow after the flesh and its desires. Remember the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed, can it be, [see Romans 8:7]. Those who are walking in the flesh and who are carnal have lost their blessings or favor in God. We must repent from living in the flesh and come back to God to live in the Spirit where love, joy, and peace reside and not arguing, anger, and bitterness.

To put on the armor of light is to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts, [Romans 13:14]. Whatever I do in life is for the Lord and not for myself. That I cannot achieve within myself, my own righteousness since righteousness is a gift from God, and we all were bought with a price. That price was paid through the blood of Jesus Christ. God sent his son that the world might be saved. This is the love of God for us in that He gave us His only Son. This is the reason why we put on the armor of light, for that light is the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the reason why Paul tells us to follow after the things, which make for peace, and things with which one may edify another, [see Romans 14:19]. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service, [see Romans 12:1]. This is done on a daily basis for each day belongs to the Lord.

If we are to live unto the lord each day, then we must cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light that will guide our steps in the path of righteousness and not into the path of darkness. Listen to the red-letter words in Revelation chapter 3.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19

The above quote was said to the church at Laodicea who is in a state of apostasy. They are denying the truth and changing doctrine to meet their own personal belief. If you are not in conviction even as a Christian in your everyday walk with God, then something is wrong with your communion with God. We must continue to grow into the image of Christ, and this only comes as we learn about God’s ways and receive instruction into the word [the bible] that brings conviction into our heart. If you have stopped reading his word, you have no conviction and you have no instruction into the heart of God. Part of the armor of light is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [see Ephesians 6:17]. How can you overcome the evil if you do not know how to stand in faith and put on the armor of light. If you are not chastened by the Lord, how can you grow into the image of Christ. Therefore, be zealous and repent while there is still time. Repent is to change your mind in the way you walk to the way of God. If you have fallen from the grace of God, get back under it by repenting from your ways to that of God’s way.

Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace where we may obtain mercy. If you have any kind of need, any unbelief in your heart, or a weakness, take it to the Lord in prayer. It is only Christ that can reconcile us back to God. It is Christ that has given us life. It is Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith. It is Christ who will keep us in perfect love. May we put on the “Armor of Light” each day and walk in love until He comes.

Who is knocking at the door?

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Blessings in Christ, Walk

Have you lost your Blessings?

Where is then, the blessedness you spoke of? For I bear you witness that, if it had been possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.”

Galatians 4:15

If you do not have eyes, then you are blind. Have you lost your blessings that you first had when you believed in Jesus Christ? The apostle Paul is asking this question to the Galatians who have lost their liberty in Christ. The question of how they were saved was put to those churches in Galatia. Were they not saved through the grace of God in Christ Jesus? Was it not by the revelation of Jesus Christ? Many Christians have gone back into legalistic rituals that have chained themselves under the law. These laws are legalistic rituals that they perform in order to be righteous or justified. They no longer have their liberty that they had under Christ. It is as if they could not or did not have faith anymore to continue their walk in Christ. Have we forgotten the words of Paul who stated, “whatever is not of faith is sin,” [Romans14:23]. Have we lost the free and unmerited favor of God? Maybe, for if we are not living under the grace of God through his son Jesus Christ, then what are we living under? How are we to live under the love of God if we serve men under the law through the flesh.

Everyone is responsible for their own actions, however, the apostle Paul states that “no man should put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way,” [see Romans 14:13]. We must remember that “love does not work any ill towards a neighbor; and is therefore the fulfillment of the law,” [see Romans 13:10]. There is only one person who fulfilled the law and that is Jesus Christ. If you do not have love, get down on your knees and pray to God in regard to your lack of love for that individual. Why do we not have love for so and so. Why have we become bitter towards that person. God help us if our love has grown cold. We must receive back that gift of love that God has for all of us through his son Jesus Christ. We must ask him to allow the fruit of the spirit of love to reign again with in our heart of flesh. We must cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light that is in Christ Jesus. Have you put on the armor of light? Each of us struggle with our own weaknesses of the flesh, and not loving someone is one of the weaknesses of the flesh. If our faith is weak, it could be that our love is also weak.

Rituals within the church are good up to a point, and that point is servanthood. Is our servanthood towards men or God? That is a question that each of us should be asking ourselves. Servanthood means a person who performs duties for others like an employed person. A servant of Christ is one who serves God by being a follower of Christ and a person who sets aside their own selfishness to serve others. It is Christ’s love for them that has enabled them to be able to love others. Christ’s love is perfected within the individual’s heart. That love has freed them from the bondage of sin. The works of the flesh is what puts one in bondage of sin like lying, jealousy, envying, hatred, strive, and more, [see Galatians 5:19-21]. The opposite is the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace and self-control etc., [see Galatians 5:22-23]. If your work is to achieve a status within the Chruch then this is not of the fruit of the Spirit. If your work is to achieve righteousness within the Church, then this is not of the fruit of the Spirit.

The only way we can achieve the favor of God is when we come as a child and confess our sins before God and repent from living a life in the flesh. It is the Spirit of God that frees us from the spirit of the flesh. We are to mind the things of the Spirit and not the flesh since whatever is of the flesh brings death. Those living in the flesh are carnally minded and Paul comments “to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace,” [Romans 8:6]. We should all desire to have life and peace. We must have Faith that the Spirit of God will change us into the image of Christ. We must be led by the Spirit, and it is that Spirit of Christ who will raise our mortal bodies if we have His Spirit living within us. This is done by faith in Christ Jesus who bore our sins on the cross. Redemption is by blood and by the power of God, and this is done through Jesus Christ. That is why Paul stated that “there is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, [Romans 8:1]. Are you in Christ Jesus?

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 8:2

Has the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set you free from the law of sin and death? Test yourselves to see if this is true or false. We have read that it is love for one another that fulfills the law. Everyone must bear his own burden and prove his own work whether it is of God or of their own works. Our sanctification is done through the Holy Spirit and not in the law. The law points to our weaknesses that proves we need to be saved. This is for many, a fathomless concept to understand, and for many it is still a mystery. We cannot understand it in the flesh unless the revelation of the mystery comes to us through the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul tells us to walk in the Spirit.

This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Galatians 5:16

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the victory over the law of the flesh. We read how the flesh is contrary to the Spirit in Galatians chapter 5 verse 17. It is only by being led in the Spirit that we will not be under the law. Here comes a revelation that is not always clear to our natural mind let alone a carnal mind.

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.”

Romans 7:14

Since the law of God is spiritual in that we cannot obey it due to our human status through Adam’s sins, we were sold under sin. However, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth, [see John 4:24]. The law is spiritual, yet we are carnal sold under sin. We must be born into the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. We must have the Spirit of Christ living inside us as Paul stated in Romans chapter 8, verse 9. This Spirit gives us life and not death. This Spirit has raised up Jesus Christ from the dead and that Spirit now dwells in every believer who believes that Jesus died for their sins. Quicken thou my body by thy Spirit, Oh God! He will do it. God will quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit. We will be healed in the name of Jesus and the Spirit will do the work. We must trust in God and believe. Some of us will exclaim what is written in Psalms 119.

Make me to understand the way of thy precepts; so, shall I talk of thy wondrous works. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity and revive thou me in thy way.”

Psalms 119:27,34-37

Let this Psalms be your prayer for every new day, and He will not only revive you but also quicken your mortal bodies. Repent and be healed in the name of Jesus. Those who trust in the Lord will be blessed. Remember your inheritance is in the Lord. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, [Romans 8″14]. We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear but we have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry out to Father God. It is Christ who has redeemed us from the curse of the law, [see Galatians 3:13]. Stand fast in the liberty you have in Christ and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage, [Galatians 5:1]. Come back into the fold of Christ who has redeemed you from the curse of sin that is under the law. Christ is the fulfillment of the law. You cannot establish your own righteousness. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Let us keep our faith in Christ alone so that we all may be heirs according to the promise of God. Let us receive our blessings and favor in God and continue to always walk in His Spirit.

Let us put on the armor of light and walk in it.

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Servant

Well Done Faithful Servant

Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Matthew 25:21

To hear the words of our Lord, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” when our end has come on the earth would be a great joy. May this be the words we all hear when our time has come to an end. Well done, thou good and faithful servant, I pray is what Queen Elizabeth hears as she enters into heaven. In the world today, we would rather fight our way to the top of some kind of glory or status symbol, but for Queen Elizabeth it was handed down the throne of rulership. In 1952 Queen Elizabeth was not afraid to ask for prayer before her coronation. This was quoted in the written obituary of Christianity Today online news . . .

Queen Elizabeth II

“I want to ask you all, whatever your religion may be, to pray for me on that day,” she said, “to pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.”

Died: Queen Elizabeth II, British Monarch Who Put Her Trus…… | News & Reporting | Christianity Today

As we all mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth, let us remember that every human being will give an account of their “talents,” along with every ruler around the world. Stewardship is very important to our Lord in how we use what God has given us. We are given a special talent to the work of our hands to which the Lord blesses. We must remember that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” [see Matthew 12:34]. This bears much thought and meditation to give heed to what the written word states.

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 

Matthew 12:35-36

It is the heart that determines the path of men either for good or bad. Can we say along with the Queen, “I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad.” How much have you relied on your own faith in Christ Jesus? Our identity is at stake along with a sense of belonging for every individual living in the world. Let us consider where we each stand on this day. It is a time to evaluate our own heart before the Lord God. As the Queen has said that our responsibilities go way beyond ourselves. Any selfish desires are put aside for the good of all. We must all be faithful to what we were called to do in this world. We must all ask God through the Holy Spirit to guide us in the path we should take. Whatever we do, we do it for the glory of God.

What will our Christian conduct be during the time we now live in? We are to be soberminded and watch as we pray not only for ourselves but for our brothers and sisters and those who rule over us. We should have a heartfelt love for each other and be hospitable. We find these words in 1st. Peter chapter four.

But the end of all things is at hand; be ye, therefore, soberminded, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent love among yourselves; for love shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

1 Peter 4:7-10

We are to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Let us repent if there is anything that is with-holding us from being good stewards. Remember that God resisted the proud but gives grace to the humble. These past years has seen many challenges in all areas of our life. It is time to take stock of ourselves and to consider where our identity and the sense of belonging lies in. Is it in Christ Jesus or is it in something else. Only you yourself can answer this question. Our faith is in Christ Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith [see Hebrews 12:2]. Let us stand on a sure foundation where Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone [see Ephesians 2:20]. Let us then grow into a holy temple in the Lord where we are built up into a habitation of God through the Spirit [see Ephesians 2:20-22]. We belong to God and our inheritance is in God alone. This is our identity and sense of belonging.

As we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, let us cast all our cares upon Him who cares for us. Let us be sober, for the devil, like a roaring lion is walking about seeking someone to devour. Let us stand fast in our faith knowing that there are brothers and sisters in the world who are also under afflictions, pain and distress [ see 1 Peter 5:7-9]. We are to have patience like Job who suffered many things and is said in verse 22 of Job chapter one, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God with folly.” The Lord was merciful with Job, and He is merciful to all those who belong to him. Even though we may suffer for a while, our God is perfecting, establishing, strengthening and settling us in our vocation and life here upon the earth until our time has ended.

Will we follow Christ’s example like Queen Elizabeth who exclaimed in 2016 Christmas Broadcast, “billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives.  I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.” We can learn from the words of the queen as well as from the word of the apostle Paul who tells us to fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold of eternal life, but not before he stated to flee from the temptation of coveting and money.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.”

1 Timothy 6:11

Can we follow after these things as stated above? Can we flee from the temptation of coveting and money. God has surely blessed Queen Elizabeth but remember no one can walk in her shoes. She took her vows seriously and worked hard through the years and has endured many hardships. She has encouraged many to carry on, for each day is a new day. Each day we are given opportunities to do good unto others. What value do you have in doing small things with great love? Let us follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness and continue to do small things with great love. I thank God for Queen Elizabeth’s service to her people. Let us continue to pray for the Royal family and other leaders throughout the world. May God bless us all richly in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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Heart, Inheritance

I Am Their Inheritance

And it shall be unto them for an inheritance; I am their inheritance, and ye shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.”

Ezekiel 44:28

What inheritance will you have? For some it may be a strong desire to have in so much that some go out of their way so to see to it that they receive what they believe is owed them. The uncontrolled longing to get gain is a driving force for many.

An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning: but the end thereof shall not be blessed.”

Proverbs 20:21

What should be our attitudes be towards an inheritance? When it comes to money it always brings speculation and everyone is judged as to their individual actions towards the one who has a will. Many families are broken up because of a will of a testator. Everyone in the family believes that they have a right to what is left of an estate by the testator. We forget to do the right thing in everything we do here on the earth. When we look at the house of Israel the main grievance that the Lord God had against them was harlotry along with idolatry. The house of Israel was unprincipled and immoral in their actions towards the house of the Lord. They have abused the sanctuary of the Lord and in Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 44, God is setting things in order and only the priests from the Levites are allowed to stand before the Lord. The Levite priests are given instruction to teach the people the difference between what is holy and what is common, to discern between what is clean and unclean [see Ezekiel 44:23].

To be able to minister in the inner court of the sanctuary, one must offer his sin offering. After the cleansing and sin offering, this is when an inheritance is set up where God himself shall be their inheritance and He is also their possession. What does it mean to have an inheritance. Is it not an irrevocable gift of God? This takes some thought and meditation to think it through in its meaning.

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”

1 Corinthians 7:23

Who has bought you with a price? Is it not Jesus Christ who died as a sin offering in order that we may all stand before God in the inner court. Are we not to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, [see Hebrews 3:1]. The answer is yes. A Christian after hearing the gospel of Jesus and believing in the truth of Jesus is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise and this is the down payment of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, [see Ephesians 1:11-14]. We have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things to the glory of God. That is why we are not the servants of men, but of Christ instead.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

1 Peter 1:3-5

God has provided an incorruptible inheritance for the children of God. This inheritance will not fade away and it is reserved for us in heaven. We are kept by the power of God through our faith in Christ Jesus. No one can take this inheritance away from us. Take note that a price was paid in order that an inheritance could be made. Let us not abuse the privilege that God has given us. An inheritance that is gotten hastily by a person is not innocent because he has fallen into temptation and a snare because of his own lust. Coveting brings destruction to all men even in the house of Israel. We should think twice about our earthly inheritance as to not abuse the written will of a testator as well as the Lord God.

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

Proverbs 13:22

Have you ever wondered about why in Proverbs it states that a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children and not his children? Why should we leave an inheritance unto the next generation? Does this not take into account the future generations rather than the current generation which has already benefited by his parents love and support. Lest we forget that “children are a heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward,” [Psalms 127:3]. God knows the heart of man and in what state his heart is. I have witnessed and experienced the war one can wage in getting more than their fair share of a will. I was left standing alone many times as a young child, and as a teen by my own mother. I was born out of wedlock. Almost given up for adoption and used as a slave rather than a child/mother relationship. My mother disobeyed her parents and went her own way. It was my grandparents who kept me in mind in their will. And I am reminded that a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. I received a portion of the will but received a letter from a lawyer that my mother was contesting the will. I received a copy of the will and showed it to a cousin. My cousin could not believe or understand why the will was being contested but told me that I was entitled to what the written will had stated.

At that time, I was not sure what the real issue was in regard to the will except for the fact that my mother wanted more. It was not the fact that she needed it, it was the fact that she desired more. I gave her what she wanted knowing that God is my inheritance. I knew that my grandparents were good and trusted in God. The labor of their hands God did bless. I have not spoken to my mother in over 40 years. She is estranged from me and has been since my youth. God has provided for my needs when I did not have a penny to my name, and this was before the death of my grandparents to whom I have never seen. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light,” [Romans 13:12]. Our attitudes must change to the mind of Christ. We must know what is clean and unclean. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts, [Romans 13:14]. We must not walk in strive and envying, we must walk honestly before all men. We live unto the Lord, and we die unto the Lord, for we are the Lord’s.

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”

Romans 14:9

Remember we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. “The kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit,” Romans 14:17. Lord help us to follow after the things which make for peace. Let us give thanks unto the Lord who is our inheritance and has provided a place for us in heaven. Keep us from all forms of evil and help us to discern what is clean and unclean. In Jesus name, amen.

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