It is important to keep at the forefront of ones mind the cross. Why? It is the foundation of Christianity. Paul said, “for I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). As the days progress there will be more and more challenges to your faith in Jesus.
Evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). How? Through smooth speech and cunning craftiness will men and women be moved by teachers to fulfill the requirements of the flesh and not God.
Be on guard to remember when you are despised for doing well, that Jesus, who was perfect was crucified. Steven a man filled with the Spirit of God was stoned to death. Many others within scripture and within our contemporary setting are being killed for telling the truth.
So, if you feel bad or beaten and you know your living holy, understand the wicked are being set up and they will have their day. Because God is just he will make sure you have your day as well. Your eternal life is on the way.
It is natural to run from the sufferings of this life, only to find more suffering. Some work to drown sorrows in alcohol, sex, drugs, gambling, shopping, etc. Some may use weird techniques to eliminate the pain by meditating on absolutely nothing. When will earthly suffering end? The answer: The Grave. You must run through life with this understanding. Just accept that life’s suffering unites color, sex, and socio-economic status. There is a natural unity in all of mankind and that is suffering.
The moment resolution is made about suffering in this life, you can move on with faith believing and trusting in the impossible. Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered. Suffering is as natural as breathing air. Let the fire of suffering make you shine as gold.
There are two types of suffering. The first is because of disobedience to Christ and the second is obedience to Christ. You can add unnecessary suffering to your life. For all the pleasure that sin gives there is a tail that brings suffering. Ask the addict who lost everything they had in their life because of it. This suffering should be avoided and can be avoided by obeying the voice of God and understanding his will for your life. The second suffering can never be avoided. This suffering is found when you choose to obey God’s word over strong desires to sin against it.
There is a pain that develops in telling your flesh the answer is no. Ask the dieter who tries diligently to put down the potato chips, ice cream, pizza etc. The body will fight you. The devil will fight you. Spiritual darkness in heavenly places is against your success. Why? Your success shines the light for others to see and rejoice in the fact that making it is possible.
Breathing well in suffering is found in understanding that your suffering is not strange. For the follower of Jesus Christ understands that it is common to all believers. Since it is common, sit back and trust the Lord for the roller-coaster ride is almost over. Grab the hand next to you and say we will make it. Don’t allow the screams of others to cause you to lose hope. Jesus will never leave or forsake you and in the end he will be there to bring you home.
Today is the day I get the most excited. There seems to be something in the air or something in the psychological preconditioning of my youth up until this point that makes this day special. I happen to thrive on this day and sometimes I am successful. I am the doorway to suicide.
What many do not understand about me is that I automatically exist because life is all about me. From the moment I entered the earth and suck the breasts of my mother I understood that it was about me. I exist because I willed it.
For some reason not every girl or guy understood this. I faced rejection. I exist because I willed it. This is not the life I chose. It was not until I met Jesus that I realized that this is not the life I chose because I am not here because I willed it. I am here because God did.
I soon realized my low self-esteem was attached to my desire to be accepted because my identity was in my will. Now my identity is in Christ and no man on earth can remove me from his hand. For you men, a woman can, ask Solomon or Jimmy swaggart, men must flee. Ok! Back to the confession…
We hear this all the time that what you believe you shall achieve and the premise is that you have some sort of power, as an entity, who has willed itself to be. When others, through time and chance, have the appearance of doing so, you run toward the same vain only to find they lied to you. They do not have everything. So rich/poor men have multiple men/women, drugs, alcohol, and still it is not enough and through persistent abuse they overdose, die of AIDS, or commit quick suicide.
If your identity is not fully in Christ, a Judas moment in your life will end yours. Place everything in him and draw your esteem there and you will overcome every storm that life can bring. You will also see life properly and live it properly as well.
What does a Jesus pop-out look like? What does it mean? Do you pop Jesus out whenever you need him and pop him back when you are finished. Today, we see many people asking for prayer in their nearest storm, but soon as the coast is clear, they resume with swearing, getting drunk and doing things that they ought not to. They have no desire or hunger for the things of God. In a nutshell, they are displaying the fruits of the flesh and not the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5).
This is a stench in His nose because they are just paying lip service but their lives are consistently contrary to Gods word. So the question is, is Jesus your whole life or do you pop Jesus out like a lucky charm? Is your ‘commitment’ to Christ limited to just an ackowledgemnt that he exists and that he supplies for you or have you totally surrendered your life to him and desire what he desires and hates what he hates which is sin.
I know of Scarlett Johansson, but I bet if you asked her if she knew me, the answer would be no. In the same way, many people know and even acknowledge Jesus, believe that he died on the cross and rose on the third day but MANY of those very same people will hear Jesus say ‘ I never knew you’ when they stand before him to give an account (Matthew 7:23) because they continued to work iniquity.
So how do you know that you will not be amongst that number. The bible makes it clear. Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.
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Jesus said to another man, “Follow Me.” “Lord,” the man replied, “first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. You, however, go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-60). Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). These are statements that build the foundation for the cost of being a Christian in a fallen world.
There are Christians who run from bad news to their own peril and the peril of others. They are like those who hide their head in the sand or their talent and think that God is going to be pleased, but they are mistaken. Many will hear depart from me you worker of iniquity for not working at all in God’s kingdom. They bury their talent and when the master comes for the harvest he finds them lacking.
The terror of men and the high intensity of evil will cause your flesh to fold, but through God’s Spirit within you, you have the strength to overcome the challenges that would otherwise limit you. The evil spirit of limitation is empowered by your fear to confront bad news. Your cowardice is his elevation, but if you look deep into the love of God, you will find a power that will blow all evil spirits out of the water.
By design those who have God’s Spirit overcome evil with good. God never sanctioned the believer to run, but serve with gladness knowing that your home is in heaven. Fear is a designation that you are lacking in faith and your heart is not entirely above, but beneath.
Before the test of Lot’s wife comes, you better sure up your relationship with Jesus and stop running from bad news and make good news by telling your story of how God as empowered your life by his grace, mercy, and truth.