Yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. . .

Who is like unto thee, O Lord? So glorious in holiness is He. Yet, the apostle Paul is telling us to yield our members to righteousness unto holiness.

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Exodus 15:11

Who is like unto thee, O Lord? So glorious in holiness is He. Yet, the apostle Paul is telling us to yield our members to righteousness unto holiness. Through Christ we become servants of righteousness unto holiness. Holiness is to be SEPARATE, TO BE SET APART FOR THE LORD. We were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. We were bought with a price. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:22-23, “likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.  Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” We are Christ’s servants. We respect everyone knowing the time is short, for we serve the Lord in righteousness and holiness. Only through Christ is love made perfect, anything else is consider vanity. “They speak vanity everyone with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak,” said David in Psalms 12:2.

Have you ever considered what it means to have a double heart? A double heart is one who pretends to be your friend, but deep down in his heart he has something against you. It is a form of falsehood. It is like the saying that they will be your friend to your face, and then stab you in the back. It is a breach of confidence and trust. We must be aware that there are some who fall into the double heart situation due to an unfruitful desire that they have. A desire that is contrary to the will of God. If one does not surrender that desire to the Lord, they are in danger of becoming a slave unto sin instead of a slave unto Christ. Therefore, Paul told us to set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth, [see Colossians 3:2]. We must have Christ righteousness and holiness. We are to seek after the Kingdom of God and his righteousness [see Matthew 6:33]. Through Christ, we have been freed from our sins and became the servants of righteousness. 

Let us continue to hold fast our profession in Christ Jesus. Let us not stumble and allow our faith to become useless. We must hold onto our profession with a clean heart knowing that Christ is the sure foundation for our faith. Our heart must be pure so we can see God [see Matthew 5:8]. It is through Christ that we have the ministry of reconciliation. Thank God that we have a high priest who is familiar with our weaknesses, so we can go to him in prayer.  Jesus had strong words of warning about false profession in Matthew 7:21-23. Many would ignore the warning, but my friend it is real and as a Christian we must learn and heed Christ warning about having a false profession of our faith and consider that not everyone will be entering the kingdom of heaven. Those who say I did this for the Lord, and I did that for the Lord may have a double heart. God knows who they are. James said it well in the following scripture.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

James 1:22-24 KJV

We are not to deceive ourselves. We all should look at ourselves in a mirror and behold what we see. We should not forget what manner of man we were, going our own way. Surrender all to the Lord and take the narrow road to holiness and righteousness.  Always keep our eyes on Christ. Allow Christ Spirit to cleanse your heart and mind.  Ask in prayer to be clothed into the Spirit of Christ.  That is what it means to put on Christ who is created in righteousness and true holiness. Scott Underwood song titled “Take My Life,” expresses the desire well in what we need, and that our heart, mind, and will need to be converted.

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.

Pleasant words . . .

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones

Proverbs 16:24

Ah! Pleasant words . . . sweet as honeycomb. Do you ever feel like your missing the honeycomb? Have you ever tasted the sweetness of the honeycomb. In Proverbs 24:13, states to eat the honey, because it is good. Honey has many benefits for the body since it is an antioxidant. Antioxidants can help lower blood pressure as well as lower triglycerides. Honey is also said to have healing properties to heal wounds and burns. A little honey can go a long way to healing our mind when we use pleasant words. Our mind is linked to our heart. Studies in science have shown that there are connections from the brain to the heart. The mind response to a threatening situation brings on stress where the body response is to increase blood pressure, heart rate, and perspiration. If the body is under constant stress, this puts the body at risk to side effects such as heart disease. Words can be toxic to our soul and produce negative results.

No one should have to endure constant put-down of negative statements or humiliating remarks. Yet, it seems to flow out of our mouth like water. This kind of water is not pure or clean. In the early 1800’s washing out the mouth with soap was punishment for profanity and lying. Today, profanity and lying seem to be almost commonplace. Profanity and lying lead to selfish desires in getting what you want. It also causes frequent interpersonal relationship problems. Sometimes we have to limit our exposure from people who have negative behavior so we do not become like them, which at times can be easy to do by just giving in. Let’s remember that the Bible states that it is the wicked with a proud countenance whose ways are always grievous, and his tongue is full of cursing and deceit and fraud [see Psalms 10:7].

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Proverb 18:21

Let us be careful of what fruit we are eating when it comes to the power of the tongue. Words can hurt and destroy an individual, or it can bring love and healing to an individual. Do not become ensnared by someones tongue. Stand back and take note, where or what is causing it. Gently rebuke words that are negative and withhold your own tongue from speaking evil. Proverb 21:23 states, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” That is the key to the tongue, to keep our soul from troubles. Use our tongue for good with pleasant words goes a long way towards healing for our mind and body.

Honesty, forgiveness, and liberty are found in Jesus because He bridged the gap of cleansing our heart towards purity, so we may have an open door to the Heavenly Father. We can not come to the Heavenly Father without the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The only way to cleanse the heart of behavior is to have faith in who Jesus is. Through Jesus we have deliverance, safety, healing, and forgiveness. This is what salvation means. There is no other name under heaven that we can be saved accept through Jesus Christ. When we accept that Jesus died for our sins, and that God raised Jesus from the dead, we have the answer to becoming whole in our body and mind.

It is a matter of believing in the gospel of Christ. What is the gospel of Christ? It is the work of Jesus on the cross and Jesus‘ resurrection from the dead that brings reconciliation between people and God. This is “Good News.” We all need some good news around the Holidays. We need to hear sweet words to bring healing to our souls and health to our bones. Christmas brings together people of all backgrounds. The amazing nativity scene can bring a rebirth to the meaning of Christmas. The remembrance of love, gratitude and devotion to God, family, and friends. Will you not believe and bring healing to your own soul? I pray that this will be the day. Pray for peace, love, and joy to resonate within your heart and in the heart of others.

As He Thinks in His Heart

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is He

Proverbs 23:7

What is on your mind? That is a question we all must ask daily.  In Proverbs there are many wise words to consider and this scripture is one to consider, for it states, that whatever is in your heart, that is what you will be. The process of using your mind is the comprehension of working things out that is rational, logical, or sensible. But what if you are not rational, logical, or sensible? We each have a choice in the path we lead and sometimes we need a little help along the way to stir us to the right path. Those who are older and wiser and who have experience life generally have insight into the human conditions. Every person in life concludes that human beings have a weakness of selfishness. Selfishness leads to all kinds of bad behavior such as lying or stealing to get what you want. Are we setting a good or bad example in our behavior? This is our  moral compass. Listen to the words of Jesus in Luke chapter 6:45, which is right after the Beatitudes.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Luke 6:45

What is our mouth speaking of today? The weather, the news, who done that or this, etc. It is so easy to make fun of someone or bring them down on some moral issue, but the fact remains we are all at fault, for no one is perfect. The greatest need we have is for someone to accept us and generally care for us. The one thing that mothers are known for. If one has love in their heart they will not be thinking of evil. Evil is a bad report or false statement. It is abusive in the act of mistreating others. Have you ever heard of the song from Three Dog Night titled, “Easy to be Hard?” The song released in 1968 and was fourth on the Billboards Top 100 in 1969. Ask the question of how can people be so heartless and so cruel? Here is an excerpt of the lyrics.

How can people be so heartless?

How can people be so cruel?

Easy to be hard, easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings?

How can they ignore their friends?

Easy to be proud, easy to say no

And especially people who care about strangers

Who care about evil and social injustice

Do you only care about the bleeding crowd?

How about a needing friend? I need a friend

Is it easy to be hard, cold, and cruel? We must think about this seriously, for actions like this can lead to violence and it puts everyone at risk when it comes to personal safety. In Proverbs 4:23, it states that one should work at doing what is right when it comes to the heart, “for out of it are the issues of life.” Plus, it goes on to say to “put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips.” Many times, it is our mouth that gets us into trouble. If we can learn to listen carefully what a person is saying, usually you will begin to understand what the issue is in their heart. The issues of life are what we face every day when it comes to coping with how to survive. The current situation with Covid-19 has changed our environment and many are dealing with the loss of a family member or friend, loss of job, and in some cases loss of a home. We need to have compassion in our hearts for those who are hurting.

Jesus tells us to even love our enemies, and do good, see [Luke 6:35]. Is this possible to do today? Some may be able to do it while others have a difficult time trying to do it. That is why we need a Savoir to change our heart and cleanse what is in our hearts that bind us towards evil. We have a merciful God that provided a way to cleanse us from all our sins. That way is through His Son, for God so love us that He gave us His Son, who died for all our sins. Amazing as that sounds but it is true if we believe and accept this gift. We pray for forgiveness and ask God for help with our character. Have you asked God to change your heart? Let us pray and sing along with King David for God to clean our heart, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me,” Psalms 51:10.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Confession is the key to forgiveness, and we have the assurance that our hearts will be cleansed, for He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The weight of our sins is lifted through Christ, so do not forget to ask in prayer and ask him to help you daily to live in His love.