Rest in the Lord

How can we rest in the Lord and not become anxious over Covid-19, or what we have witness within our own communities?

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thyself in any way to do evil.

Psalms 37:7-8

How can we rest in the Lord and not become anxious over Covid-19, or what we have witness within our own communities? I often wonder myself at the injustices that are taking place every day. Last year we have seen an increase of violence in cities across America and it was anything but beautiful. Maybe we should revisit the song America The Beautiful. We need God to shed his grace upon us all in America.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

There are so many voices that want to be heard that sincere compassion left the office and violence moved in. Anger rises because of unfair practices, criticism, or being threatened. When we begin to not respect other peoples feelings or possessions then we are losing the cohesiveness of humanity. Society needs to work towards the wellbeing of all its members and promote opportunity for everyone and not just a few. That is what doing good is all about. That is what brotherhood means.  It means helping one another. We need God’s grace every day to make it when we are hit with financial issues, health issues, and grieving the loss of someone, or even a pet. We need to remember that there is a higher power we can rely on that has overcome the world. God is for us and not against us.

Can we be a person after God’s own heart like David? In Psalms 37 David is telling us not to “FRET,” or become angry, but to trust in the Lord and do good. David surely has seen violence during his time, and he was hiding and talking to God about it. I am sure David became angry at what was happening around him and against him. He may have even been confused as to why circumstances were against him. Yet, we know that God had a purpose in what was happening, and God did help David through his circumstances. We will get through our circumstances as well if we remember that we are not alone. The Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 not to look at others stature because as man they have the habit of looking at the outward appearance instead of looking at what is in the heart. God sees the heart of man. We are to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart.

Our heart must be pure when we ask for what we need. We do not ask to get something so that we can be better than someone else. We ask with a sincere heart like David who prayed and had a conversation with God. Even the apostle Paul said “be ye angry and sin not” [see Ephesians 4:6]. Paul said, “let not the sun go down upon your anger.” In other words, before the sun goes down our anger is to cease. David is warning us that doing evil is not the way to get even, for the Lord sees the heart of man. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ on that day, and we do not want to become a stumbling block to anyone. [see Romans 14:10-12] It is better to cool our anger by talking to God about it and or confess it to someone who will pray with you to be healed of the anger. Let us continue to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him every day. Thank God for His marvelous grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled

Grace, grace, God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe
You who are longing to see His face
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Hymnal written by Julia Johnston in 1911

Temptations Common to Man

Temptations common to man such as alcohol, gambling, money, possessions, and making it to the top like a CEO of a corporation seem to be common today, yet these and other types of temptations can lead to an addiction and even death.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

Temptations common to man such as alcohol, gambling, money, possessions, and making it to the top like a CEO of a corporation seem to be common today, yet these and other types of temptations can lead to an addiction and even death. The simple definition of temptation is a strong pleasurable desire/urge or impulse to do something. It is a short-term gratification that can be harmful in the long-term for it affects others as well as can lead to death such as a person overdosing on drugs. Temptation plays upon an individual’s mind and becomes an obsession. It disrupts your daily routine because you cannot get it out of your mind. If we look at verse 14 of 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul associates temptation to idolatry, which is the worship of an object, or thing. Such as a top-of-the-line car like the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, or a movie idol like John Wayne or Harrison Ford.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 1:14-15 KJV

In the book of James, we can gain a better understanding what temptation does. First, James tells us that every man is tempted. I have not heard of anyone who is not tempted to steal, lie, or cheat, have you? Second James tells us we are drawn away by our own lust. The meaning of lust in James comes from the Greek word “epithumia,” which mean strong desire of any kind. The attraction of pleasure that consumes us can become idol worship.   The object or thing is controlling you rather than you are controlling the object or thing. That is why it brings forth death because you are no longer in control, and many times it really does lead to physical death such as drugs and alcohol. The bible tells us to flee from idolatry, youthful lust, and fornication [see 1Corinthians 10:14, 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22]. However, the apostle Paul tells us that God will make a way out of any temptation we may find ourselves in.

We must ask God through prayer to help us get out of temptation. Jesus tells us to watch and pray that we do not enter temptation because he knew that our spirit was willing, but our flesh is weak [see Matthew26:41].  Now we need to watch and pray to receive a way out.  Confess your sin to God, for He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [1 John 1:9]. Beware of any temptation with an “if” in it such as If you do this, I will do this, or if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. Just read about Jesus’ temptation from Satan and the “if” factor to be tempted into pleasure, power, or wealth [see Matthew 4:1-11].  Know that anything or object that takes you away from Jesus as your focal point is directing you down a path away from God. The apostle Paul tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices and many today do not realize the danger they are putting themselves into when following other people or desiring riches and wealth.

We must believe that God will provide for our every need, but at times it seems we want to help ourselves and forget about the consequences of our actions. Our God can help us purge our desires and to help free us from Satan’s hold upon us. Any kind of temptation we fall into is to be considered carefully by watching and praying.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.

James 1:2

It is hard to consider any temptation as joyful because it just does not feel joyous when we know we are being tempted. James tells us it is the trying of our faith to stay true to the path of our calling in Christ Jesus. That going through temptation will bring patience and that it is God’s perfect work in that we come to a place of not wanting nothing [James 1:3-4]. Have you ever considered the wording “wanting nothing.”? If we are secure in our position in Christ, we should not lack nothing, for He is our life.  This gives us something to ponder upon that when we put our faith in God, we can endure temptation and God will see us through it and provide a way out.  We may need to reconsider by evaluating what we are following today, and if that is taking the place of following our Lord.  May God help us to see what thing or object is holding us and help us to relinquish it into the Lord’s hand.  Cleanse our desire’s Lord and help us to become the people you want us to be.  Help us Lord to watch and pray that we are not lead  into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen [Matthew 6:13].

The Glory of God

The glory of God is all around us if we are willing to see its majesty. Landscapes and seascapes reveal the glory of God in the images of color and light to which many artists try to capture what they see with the naked eye.

Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

John 11:40

The glory of a majestic sunset

The glory of God is all around us if we are willing to see its majesty. Landscapes and seascapes reveal the glory of God in the images of color and light to which many artists try to capture what they see with the naked eye. How can we see the glory of God? How can we see the splendor, beauty, and magnificence of God’s glory in our life? Have you ever wanted to see His glory? Can we believe to see the glory of God? This is what Jesus said to Martha when he yelled out for Lazarus to come forth out of the grave in the gospel of John chapter 11. Can you imagine witnessing this event? I often wondered what it was like and how many were astonished at what they were witnessing with their own eyes. Whatever we may have done, is nothing compared to what God has done.

To see God’s wondrous works among people is amazing to witness and I have seen it with my own eyes. People being healed during a song I have sung or witnessing healings of people during a crusade I participated in was displaying the glory of God. I remember watching Kathryn Kuhlman television program in Southern California in the early 70’s. Kathryn received so much criticism and skeptics were out to discredit the ministry God had given her. The very idea that God would use a woman was unheard of. Some have said it was sacrilegious. Yet, those behind the scenes saw tears upon tears flowing down her face as she laid on the floor praying to God. Let us remember that Jesus too had skeptic’s out to do him in as well, yet He went about healing sickness and every disease among the people [see Matthew 9:35]. No one really knows how many people were touched by the message of the Gospel during Kuhlman’s crusades, only God knows the truth.

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

2 Peter 1:16

Peter exhorting for people to remember the power and glory of God to whom he was an eyewitness of his majesty. We do not always remember the near misses of death we may have experienced, but these are miraculous especially if a tornado missed your house, or a car misses your car in a near accident. In 1974 on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, I was struck down by a car walking home with several friends. I always looked both ways before crossing the street, but as I step out on the street, I went a little faster ahead of my friends and was hit by a car. My friends witnessed what happened and exclaimed that the car came from out of no wear with no head lights on. I was partially under the front of the car and knocked out while they were in shock as to what happened. I came around and saw I was under the front of the car. My elbow and hip were sore, but I did not seem to be badly hurt. My friends said that the car stop so fast as if a wall was up, so it did not completely run me over. They believed it was a miracle that I was not seriously hurt. I thanked God for keeping me alive and well.

Sometimes we ignore these miracles, but they do happen every day.  Even when we do get hurt physically, God is still able to bring healing to our bodies.  His healing is still available today if we would only ask him. I am amazed at the many times I have received healing for my body. Jesus said, “whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son,” [see John14:13]. Whatever happens in your life, remember that you are witnessing God’s glory in your life. We need to pass on the glory to God as Andrae Crouch once said before singing the song “My Tribute [To God be the Glory]. Give God the glory today, for all the things he has done in your life.

Search the Heart, Test the Conscience

Everyone can choose the path they wish to walk on, but know that whatever that path is, God will search your heart and test your conscience.

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the conscience, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Jeremiah 17:10

The prophet Jeremiah stood out in making claims of God’s judgment in Judah and Jerusalem. This was in a time much like our own where people did not listen and went their own way instead of heeding the warnings. Jeremiah complained to God about his role as a prophet, for it was not an easy path. His path met with consistent friction of opposing oppositions to his preaching and warnings. Today, we have many false prophets who make money by deceiving many to go down a path that is anything but fruitful. Many are blinded to the actual truth of what is reality and what is not. We see what we want to see with our own eyes. The focus in any ministry that claims to be of God should be that of love for one another, helping parent-less children, and widows [see James 1:27]. James described this as a pure religion. According to the scriptures every word that is spoken will be tested and proven if it is true or not.

Can a man search the heart of another or test the conscience of another? We try to, but we do not always succeed in this endeavor. This can only take place when you are living daily with the person whom you are searching or testing. However, Jeremiah tells us it is the Lord who searches the heart and tests the conscience. Jeremiah also warns those who put their trust in man instead of God [see verse 5 of chapter 17]. Those who trust the Lord will be blessed. Blessed with what? Many believe with wealth, but this is not always the case [see Jeremiah 17:11]. Does prospering mean wealth? If you look at the Greek or Hebrew text for prosper its meaning is that of safety, rest, and security, or being at peace. Today we associate the word to mean wealth, but this is not the truth of its meaning. You do not have to be rich to have peace, rest, or security. It is whether, or not your basic needs are being met and if you can sustain yourself through a year of drought like what we experienced last year with Covid-19 where many businesses closed their doors for business, and people were without a job.

Is the grass greener somewhere else? Many seem to think this is true but, it does not always work out that way. Whatever our lot, it takes effort on our part to make something happen whether for good or bad. The result will display itself in how we react towards whatever we must face. I can remember the time I ran away from home. I was lost in the city of Perth and I was complaining to God. I had a strong belief in God for I have received dreams and vision in my early youth. I heard God’s voice spoke to me when I was complaining about my situation at home. He told me I had to go back home. He told me that He would be with me and help see me through the situation. He helped me find my way back home and was true to His word. Sometimes walking away from our path is not the answer and we end up going around a loop and come right back to face what we are running away from. You might say that He was testing my conscience in the situation I was in which was anything but peaceful.

I learned from the mistakes of my parents that moving to another place to gain riches only brought disparity and inequality. When an individual is set on only making money, love goes out the door for other members of the family. Sometimes it means that siblings are left to defend for themselves. Sometimes even when social authorities come for a visit, it is anything but peaceful after when they leave. I hear people exclaim does not God care. Of course, He cares. That is why He sent his Son Jesus. Jesus is God’s Gift of grace to humanity. God’s grace equals love, kindness, and favor. God will chasten those whom He loves, and it is for our own profit towards the fruit of righteousness. Being chasten by God opens our eyes to understanding the truth behind a situation. It brings revelations to our own feelings about a situation as well as those around us. Being chasten by God can mean learning about something and or educating us as to the fact about a given circumstance. Are we willing to listen and consider another point of view? If we can agree to disagree and still be friends, I consider this to be a wonderful place to be, for whatever the disagreement, it is in God’s hand to work it out to prove before our eyes what the truth is.

Everyone can choose the path they wish to walk on, but know that whatever that path is, God will search your heart and test your conscience. I pray you take the path He leads you on to where you are trusting him with all your heart as is stated in Proverbs 3:5-6. Do not get stuck in the loop, ask God to help you see the truth behind any situation or circumstances. Your path soon will be straight again. Remember He Loves You.

Behold what manner of love the Father has Bestowed upon us. . .

Agape love, a Greek term for sacrificial, unconditional love that God’s Son would go to the cross for humanity.

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God; therefore, the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

1John 3:1

I am remembering back to the late 70’s when this song was sung in church with joy in our hearts for what God’s Love has done,” that we should be called the children of God.” The meaning of Agape love was beginning to spread throughout cities in Washington State in the 70’s. Agape love, a Greek term for sacrificial, unconditional love that God’s Son would go to the cross for humanity. Those who believed, received His Love within their hearts and shared that love to others. It is more than just an emotional experience.  It was a movement among the younger generation that witnessed a change within their heart that God was real.  They wanted more of God and worship was the key to sensing His presence among us.  There was a thirst for more of God in our lives.  I have very fond memories of this time because I witnessed a change in my heart and seen the evidence of my friends changing and having that” joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  Some of us young people went to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Seattle and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit after Reverend Dennis Bennett laid His hands upon our heads in prayer.  We did not fully understand what was happening at that time, but we knew the love of God to be real and that love was making a difference in our personal lives. 

It was a genuine experience knowing that we are now children of God. It did not matter how old a person was, all inhibition were lost in believing in the name of God’s Son and His love for us. We were forgiven and cleansed. We no longer had condemnation within our heart. We had confidence instead in knowing that God would answer our prayers because God had given us a new position of sitting together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus [see Ephesians 2:6].  Through the Holy Spirit God was moving through denominational lines and people were getting saved.  It was a work of the grace of God, for many could not change themselves, but when the Spirit of God got a hold of you something happened.  It was truly the gift of God as the Apostle Paul stated in Ephesians 2:8.   It was a revelation that being a Christian could be more then just a work in progress of trying to change yourself.  We needed God’s gift and anointing, and the Apostle John talked about it as an “unction from the Holy One” that we know who Jesus the Christ is [the Messiah, the anointed one. . .see 1 John 2:20-22].

“God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in Him” exclaims John in 1 John4:16. We have His love living inside us, for perfect love drives out fear [see 1 John4:18]. If we are afraid, then we are not perfected in His love. If we are not perfected in His love, then a breach has occurred. Something has broken the fellowship we had with God.  If we no longer have confidence that God will hear our prayers, we stand alone.  Our assurance is in the Love of God; therefore, we repent and ask God to cleanse our heart and renew us to that position we had in Christ. We ask God to change our heart if we have hatred, bitterness, and envy residing in our heart instead of love for our brother.  We must surrender our self to the Love of God, for the love of God helps us to keep his commandments and it should not be burdensome [see 1John 5:3].  If there is a yoke of burden, then we are not under the love of God.  We have placed ourselves under a different system that is not of the love of God.  In the world the cosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure are the characteristic of a person seeking self-gratification rather than loving a brother or sister. Have we lost our first love from God?  Is a question we all must answer.  The world does not know love because it does not know Jesus.  Let us pray for God’s love to continuously rule our hearts every day.  May His Love not be a burden, but rather a gift to all who would receive and believe. Pray and receive His Love today into your heart.

Take my yoke upon you. . .

Jesus speaks to those who are heavy laden. Those that carry a heavy burden, or those that are oppressed.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Matthew 11:29

Jesus said that His yoke is easy and not burdensome [see verse 30 in Matthew chapter 11]. In verse 28 of the same chapter, Jesus speaks to those who are heavy laden. Those that carry a heavy burden, or those that are oppressed. Jesus invites us to take His yoke, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Have you ever been burdened? Maybe you carry the weight of taking care of a family member, or you are under a harsh and authoritarian treatment. Whatever the case may be, it is time to lay down the weight you carry upon Jesus.

What is a yoke? A yoke is an ox bow, a pole or bands that is tied over your shoulders like what you see on oxen that plows the field. Sometimes the task master of the oxen can be harsh with whips flying to make the oxen move across the field. Thus, the wooden pole becomes the weight of the burden you carry. When David was hiding in the cave, he cried out in Psalms 142:4, “no man cared for my soul.” Unfair treatment from others can mean you have no one to turn to for help. David was praying and asking God to bring his soul out of prison. Are you feeling distressed or stuck in a cave like David?

A careful look at our burdens needs to be addressed, but whatever the burden, know that Christ can lift that burden when we begin to learn who He is and know him as a friend rather than just know about him. I googled “what does Christian mean today,” and the site came up with “A Christian is someone whose behavior and heart reflects Jesus Christ.” If our behavior and heart is to reflect Jesus Christ, then we must know what His will is. It is more than just a confession; it is a way of living.

A person may carry a burden that may be given by an individual who is oppressing them to work for them as if that person was a personal slave. I personally went through this situation in my family where I had an extreme number of duties to perform at home. When I got a full-time job at the age of 16, I had to give up my wages to my parents. It became embarrassing when I did not have decent clothing to wear to work such as a skirt, dress, shoes, and even panty hose. A friend at work provided me with shoes, dress, and panty hose. It was not the fact that we were poor, but that greed had entered in the pursuit of wealth. When I prayed and talked to God about it, He told me that He would help me through it. I did not know how it all happened, but a social worker showed up at our home and spoke to my parents about the fact that I needed a certain dollar amount of wages for personal items such as shoes and clothing. My burden was lifted, and I could retain certain percentage of my wages.

I only share this as an example of how a yoke can be placed upon an individual. This is something that the scribes and pharisees did by putting heavy burdens and laying them on men’s shoulders in making demands into an obligation [see Matthew 23:4]. Whatever the demand may be or the obligation it becomes burdensome because it becomes the focal point that tears at the fabric of humanity. It brings strife into a situation rather than repairing the breach. Isaiah the prophet spoke about putting away the yoke that pointed the finger at those who are impoverished.

If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity, and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity.

Isaiah 58:9-10

Let us put away the pointing finger and not hide from the mirror of our own flesh/reflection. When we begin to see who Christ is, it is a pivotal point in knowing His genuine love for us on a personal level. This love is felt in our broken spirit. He answers our prayer and healing comes to all who were oppressed. Let us learn the truth and seek the Lord and find how to remove the yoke through prayer and find rest for our weary soul. Let each person voluntary help those who are in need and see the blessings of His love unfold daily in our lives.

This is the Will of God even your Sanctification

What does the word sanctification mean? The Greek work [agiasmos] for sanctification means separation or setting apart.

For this is the will of God even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

What does the word sanctification mean? The Greek work [agiasmos] for sanctification means separation or setting apart. The Hebrew word is [qadosh] which means to “to be set apart for a special purpose.” Those who have a confession of being a believer are separated unto God for a special purpose, for it is God’s will our sanctification. How to we possess our vessel in sanctification and honor?

Another way of expressing sanctification is to be made Holy in the sight of God. Sanctification is rarely talked about these days, yet it is one of the most important doctrines of the Bible that the Apostle Paul teaches. Sanctification is only possible through the cross of Christ. It is a part of every believer’s salvation experience. A turning away from darkness into the light of Christ. A turning away from sin to living in the love of God. A believer is set apart to God through conversion and is now dedicated to God in holiness. The process of holiness is a daily surrendering of our selfishness or sinful conduct to relinquishing our will to the will of God. Sanctification in turn becomes our daily walk that the end result is living a holy life.

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:13

Look at what the Apostle Paul states in 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Paul exclaims that from the beginning of time God chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit. Sanctification is done through the Holy Spirit to establish our position in Christ. Through the Holy Spirit sanctification results in holiness or purification from guilt and the power of sin.

If we believe that Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, and arose from the dead, then we enter into the process of God’s divine grace. Grace is favor from God through Jesus Christ. Sanctification takes on two key points. The first point is in the person and the finished work of Jesus Christ and the second point is the provision by the working of the Holy Spirit who testifies and points to Christ. The Holy Spirit works in the souls of men, leading them to the full knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When men received the revelation, a birth takes place in their heart and they receive the inheritance and promises of God. Our sanctification is based on our faith in the Cross of Christ. It cannot be obtained by our own efforts. God only looks at the one perfect sacrifice which is Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is given as our helper to point us to Christ and to help us move and live through Christ. The Holy Spirit works as an agent in the process of sanctification.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

The vessel is our body, and we are to take care that it becomes a vessel of Honor and not sin. Fornication is an unlawful practice of sex outside of marriage. It is unlawful outside of marriage because it lacks commitment and responsibility for the sanctity of human life such as the unborn child. Many times, sex is used as a form of abuse like slavery. The focus is on self-gratification rather than on becoming a pure vessel for God’s ministry. The sanctity of marriage is to speak of true love for each other in consideration of each other’s bodies as being bought with a price [see 1 Corinthians 6:20] through Christ sacrifice on the cross. There is to be respect and honor for each other’s bodies in marriage.

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.

1 Corinthians 6:19

To think about what Paul is stating regarding our body being a temple of the Holy Ghost is seldom talked about today in many churches. In essence it is speaking of our body being a dwelling place or inner sanctuary where the Holy Spirit can reside. The Holy Spirit can only reside in a clean body. That is why it is so important to have a clear conscience before God. We yield ourselves to God and ask for help in cleansing and making us whole again. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, Paul states in Romans 12:1, for this is our reasonable service.

Paul is stating that this is a rational/logical thing to do. This is a mental process that we start with in seeking God, so will we find Him [see Matthew 7:7]. We are always warring with our self-life and we must continue to lay our self-life down at the feet of Jesus. I remember Smith Wigglesworth stating if there is not a continuous change or growth happening in your life, then you are a dead person spiritually. Wigglesworth called it backsliding because there is no growth in a person due to that person going his own way rather than God’s way. That is why we must consider daily where our vessel/body is. Is it for sanctification and honor or is it for something else like our own selfish gratification? I pray that we lay it down so the glory of God’s light can shine through our body as we learn to serve a wonderful loving God. I pray for spiritual growth to start this day as our eyes are open to see the truth of His word.

The Comforter is the Holy Spirit

The Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you.

John 14:26

The Comforter is the Holy Spirit said Jesus, and it is the comforter that will teach you all things. The Greek word for comforter is{parakletos}, which translates to mean counselor, consoler, and advocate. What would the believer do without the Holy Spirit for help and comfort? Jesus promised his disciples that he would not leave them comfortless [see John 14:18] or alone. He would pray to the Father to send the Holy Spirit who was to abide with them as well as with all believers. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. The Trinity consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the least understood member of the Godhead within Christendom. Many churches have taken an approach of controlling the Holy Spirit by excluding its works within their congregation.

Not all churches took the approach of denying the works of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the first Pentecostal movement began in the 18th century and its origins were British. John Wesley founder of the Methodist was an Anglican priest in England. Wesley not only included sound doctrine but the working of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life to be transformed to a new person in Christ and to live a holy live walking in the love of God. We also have Smith Wigglesworth also a Methodist who spoke about the importance of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. Wigglesworth was adamant about the importance of the filling of the Holy Spirit to guide the believer’s life to be effective in living out God’s will. He exhorted believers to repent and make things right with God to get the gumption of the Holy Spirit back into their life.

Both Wesley and Wigglesworth were moved and controlled by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel of Christ to bring renewal and healing to a person’s life. They were man filled by the Holy Spirit to do the work of evangelism. The importance of the love of God and faith are key to the workings of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will always testify of Christ [see John 15:26], for Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. The Holy Spirit will only come when a person desires to repent and be made whole. “Being made free from sin, and becoming servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life,” said the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:22. In fact, Paul exhorts to yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness in this verse and not to iniquity.

Many forget the threefold work of the Spirit in the world as Jesus exclaimed in John 16:8, “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” If you continue to read verses 9 to 11, you get the full picture of the work of the Spirit.

Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:9-11

The comforter speaks to a personal relationship of being one with Christ in teaching us and helping us to remember the word of God. In verse 20 of John chapter 14, Jesus said, “I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” For many the concept of being one in Christ is hard to conceive, yet we believe it in faith, and it becomes a reality when we sense the Holy Spirit in our life. It becomes an experience that we know without a doubt that we have the Spirit of Christ residing within our body. Living as a Christian becomes more then just a confession. It is a turning away from all the negative characteristic of humanity and living a new life that is born in the image of Christ. When we yield to the Holy Spirit we die to self. It becomes as Paul exclaimed in Philippians 1:21, “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The comforter helps us to pray and to live for Christ. May we all pray for the comforter to come and guide, teach, and bring healing to our body , soul, and spirit in Jesus name.

Live Peaceably with all Men

Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:17-18

Is it possible to live peaceably with all men? The answer is yes, but it takes effort on everyone involved to keep that peace. An agreement must be made. During the 60’s the peace symbol was displayed against the war in Vietnam. It is still used today to speak against violence. For a Christian, honesty and integrity go hand in hand because of the light of Jesus shining in their hearts. The apostle Paul learned from the Gospel of Jesus the true meaning of love and living in peace with all men. He wrote about it in the book of Romans. As Christians we may forget that we were called out of darkness and brought into His marvelous light [see 1 Peter 2:9]. It is by faith that Christians walk in the Spirit of Christ and not in the flesh. When Christians walk in the Spirit there will be no jealousy, strife, envy, or hatred, for these things are dead, for they were a part of the old nature of man. We pray for these things to die in our being so that the Spirit of Christ may rule instead.

To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8:6

For a Christian, the desire is to live a life in peace, and not be waging war, or have hatred against another human being. In a Christian’s life the old nature is put to death to continue living in the new life of Jesus. Paul states to “mortify the deeds of the body,” [see Romans 8:13]. The Greek word mortify means to put to death. Any negative action that is contrary to love, joy, and peace must be put to death, for the new nature that is born through the Spirit of Christ to move in a believer’s life. The believer’s mind should be on spiritual things and not on strife, jealousy, and vengeance. In fact, if we read pass Romans chapter 12:18 to verse 19, it states that” vengeance is the Lord’s.” We put to death the things of the flesh by taking up the Cross of Christ, which is the power of God.

It is through the Spirit that we are victorious and nothing that we have done within our-self. We put on the Lord Jesus Christ because victory is at the cross where all sins are forgiven, and bondage broken because of the sacrifice of Christ to bring deliverance of the old nature of man. We do not overcome evil by doing evil [such as to get even], but we overcome evil by doing good [see Romans 12:21]. We go back to the place of presenting our body to the Lord, for this is sanctification, to know the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and to be obedient in allowing His will to reveal the truth of who we are in Christ. We yield our life to God for the working of Christ’s character to come forth in love and peace. This is surrendering to God and repenting in order that we might live the life of peace.

This is the Spirit of adoption whereby we can come to God through prayer because we have been grafted into the vine. That vine is Jesus. Our focus is on Jesus and doing good works.

These things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Titus 3:8

Paul tells us in Titus 3:8 that if we believe in God, we are to maintain good works, for it is profitable unto men. We should be mindful of our everyday actions as to not allow another person to stumble. Many times, we do not fully know or understand those who live around us. We are so consumed on our own needs that we forget those around us. This happens a lot in families. Sometimes mom and dad work so hard to keep the family going that it becomes overwhelming and children may be neglected. Take time to have a break and refocus. Think it through and ask God to help you through whatever you are struggling with. Talk to those in the family to solicit help. The stress is less when we refocus our everyday actions to perform a good deed. It brings a smile upon someone’s face. It also allows a moment of happiness when we have satisfied a basic human need. Take time to refocus and help someone out today and let the peace of God rule your heart.  Ask for forgiveness of the person you have upset or injured.  Ask in prayer for God’s spirit to intervene upon the situation to bring peace to all involved.  These are simple steps to take to grow daily in His love and learn to live in peace with all men.

Coming Down from Heaven

For the bread of God is he who cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

John 6:33 KJV

Coming down from Heaven is the light that breaks through the darkness of the storm. When we see it with our own eyes, there is hope for a bright sunny day. Recent events in America such as Covid-19, civil riots, and domestic terrorism has put a lot of people on edge. The shocking events of the violent break-in at the U.S. Capital on January 6th bought on the concern for the safety of other U.S. citizens at the White House. This was not a peaceful demonstration. When your fellow citizens life is endangered, it is no laughing manner. Darkness and evil are present when violence takes place for its motivation is to bring ruin and destruction. The U.S. Capital symbolizes the American people as a whole and not one individual or group. Those at the U.S. Capital were voted in by the people to ensure the purpose of creating peaceful and prosperous communities in their hometown or cities.

Let us consider that it is a thief that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We know this to be true throughout human history. Even in the Bible Jesus himself states what a thief does in John 10:10 then Jesus goes on to state that He came to bring us life. This life is a life of love and not death. “This is the work of God, that we believe on him whom he hath sent,” John 6:29. Jesus came to save man and not to destroy man [see Luke 9:56]. If we believe that there is a God, then we should believe on the one who came down from heaven to save the world. Jesus is the living bread that came down from heaven [see John 6:51]. The living bread is alive and not dead. He is continually giving life. We cannot comprehend it, let alone fully understand the meaning how Jesus is the living life for all humanity. Especially if we have tendencies towards hatred, unforgiveness, and bent on destroying someone’s life to get even.

We have laws in place because of those who are lawless and disobedient. The apostle Paul talks about this in 1st Timothy chapter one. If we lose our moral compass, we lose the peaceful coexistence within society. We do not have a pure heart or a good conscience anymore. What does a person do to change this condition of living in darkness? Let us consider what the apostle Paul exclaims in Romans 13.

Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 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 armour of light.

Romans 13:9-12, KJV

We are to put on the armor of light. That light that shines in a dark place. That light who is Jesus, who came down from heaven to save our souls. Salvation is near to each person. Today is the day of Salvation. We repent and ask Jesus to save us from the darkness that has taken over our soul. We renounce all evil deeds in Jesus name. We ask forgiveness and for Jesus to heal our soul from hatred, abuse, and any other evil deeds. We ask for Jesus to come and purify our hearts and cleanse us from all sins and to clear our conscience. We ask Jesus to bring in His love into our heart and to help us to walk in the light of His Love. We ask Jesus to help us to walk in love since it is the fulfilling of the law. Praise be to God for His Son Jesus, who is the final sacrifice for the world and deliverer of mans sins. He gives humanity eternal life. Let us put on the armor of light that came down from Heaven.