It is a hard thing to understand for many believers, both new and old, when it comes to the hatred of the world. We sometimes have this belief that if we are Christian the world will still love us just as we love them. It is almost a Disney type of mentality that we conjure up in our minds to help us overcome the reality that someone might actually not like us. But the truth is that the world is against us as the world is the devils own, so to speak.
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19 NKJV).
As tough as it is sometimes for many good willed Christians, we must accept the fact and move on while be filled and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. We must understand that the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the world do not agree nor do they care for one another, but are rather enemies and opposite ends of a magnetic for a visual type of analogy.
We can not become disgruntled by this hatred though, but instead we must remain strong in the Lord. As the end times near the world will only increase in it’s hatred towards Christians and greater persecution will follow. As long as we understand that this is the norm for Christ followers and as long as we keep our sights set on Him who provides, then all will be well.
As Christians we tend to lose many old friends along the journey of self denial and devotion to Christ, but this is the way things sometimes roll in life. We can tell others about Christ and pray for them, but if they wish to follow the world and it’s hatred instead of Christ, then that is their freewill and all we can continue to do is pray for them and be an example.
We can not allow our emotions to overcome us as we travel through this crazy world and life. We can not allow the devil to seep in and ultimately trick us into compromising our faith in order to please others. Let’s live for Christ fully and pray for the lost world around us. Do not stop the work the good Lord has called you to pursue regardless of what the world might throw at you, for your reward is great on the coming day. Let’s praise the Lord for choosing us out of the world and making us His own. God bless.
There are times in life when we feel like the little guy in situations as people or problems we face seem like giants in our sight. I know I have personally encounter several people and scenarios that caused me to curl up in fear, but looking back I regret having fear in mind at all. When we set the Lord as God in our life and He is our shield, then fear should be absent and only faith should prevail.
“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of host, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.'” (1 Samuel 17:45-47 NKJV).
Just as David was the little guy and but a youth in the sight of the army of Israel, he stood firm in the promises and power of the Lord God, ready to fight against the giant and prevail. We are faced the the same thing on a day to day basis and it is up to us to stand firm in the word and power of God, and face the giants that try and put us down.
Every giant looks different and every person perceives their own giants differently than others, but regardless of what giants you may be faced with know that the Lord is with you and you are a over comer in Christ Jesus. Stand firm and pronounce victory over the evil that tries to suppress you and move forward in faith. The Good Lord has provided us with all things necessary to live victorious and ultimately bring Him glory.
When we defeat our giants we are then a living testimony to the power of God. Standing firm provides an example to both believers and non-believers as how to live for God victoriously. Let us be vessels of God, regardless of size or stature, and move forward ready to defeat the evil that lurks throughout the land before us. Let us go shine forth God’s light to the lost world around us in such a way to win others to Christ and light up the world. God bless!
There are many peoples, things and places we put our trust in on a daily basis. We seek comfort and peace a lot of times from sources of familiarity. But all in all these people and things will ultimately leave us empty and hopeless at the end of the path. Putting our faith in the correct place is by far one of the most crucial aspects of living in this fallen world.
Every once in a while I catch myself praying that the Lord help me in a particular area of struggle, but end up finding myself looking for help and safety from other sources. For instances when my wife and I were struggling financially a while ago we prayed and sought the Lord, but we kept looking at our job or other ventures to save us. When all hope failed I began to slow down, put fear and worry away and simply trust in the Lord. Ultimately He did provide through our work, but He wants us to trust in Him and not necessarily rely on ourselves or other things.
We need to put our full trust in the Source where the blessings reside, not the vessels in which the blessings flow through. The devil likes to trip us up in this area by setting certain tough obstacles in front of us and then whisper in our ears the fallacy of trusting in our own strength and knowledge, instead of trusting the Almighty Himself. When we simply let go and let God control the situation with patience in mind and peace within our hearts, we can then be rest assured that all will be well.
Sometimes the Lord will bring us to the brink of collapse before blessing us in order to truly see where our hearts and faith are set at, and thus ultimately building us stronger and closer to Him. Abraham is a prime example of this brink collapse as the Lord made a promise through Abraham’s seed, and yet when Issac was a young man God called Abraham to sacrifice him. God did not intervene until the very brink of death where He saw Abraham’s heart and faith set within Him and His promise.
“A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 28:20 NKJV
No matter where you may be set at or what trials you may be faced with, just know that the Lord is with you and that you only need to simply trust Him while being patience and filled with praise. Hold strong and endure and watch the blessings of the Lord cover your life. God bless!
Loving others is essential within the Christian life and can only be accomplished by a close walk with the Lord while being filled with His Holy Spirit. We are called to not only love our brothers and sisters within the body of Christ but even those outside the realm of our belief. We are suppose to show the love of God to everyone we meet with the hopes that we will lead them to Christ at the same time.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 NKJV).
Now with this love we are suppose to care for and about the person, but at the same time this does not mean we love their sin. This is where many Christians become confused for most believe in order to love someone correctly means accepting even the bad which is true only in part. We all sin each day and fall short of the glory of God, but this does not mean we do not keep striving to better ourselves for the Lord by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said that every branch that produces fruit He prunes that it may produce more. We are the branch and we must allow the Lord to prune things away in our life that do not need to be there in order to glorify Him more. If we tell people that their sin is OK and that God loves them anyways, we then do them an injustice and ultimately condemn ourselves. We are to build one another up by helping each other better ourselves within Christ and not allowing our brothers and sisters to continue to stumble within a certain area.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 1:20-23).
It does not matter whether the person is a homosexual, transgender, murderer, thief, etc., we must help them overcome their sin rather than condone it. Telling someone that their sin is OK is the same as telling a crackhead that it is OK that they keep smoking crack even though it is killing them physically. We must understand in spiritual terms that sin is spiritual crack and that we must help each other overcome sin and not succumb to it. Who do you know that keeps stumbling in an area that could use your love and support?
It is difficult to love others that do not return the love back. It seems rather unorthodox to show such grace and mercy to such people, but it is only unorthodox to the world. God loves us all regardless of how much we screw up and do not show him love back. He loves us show much He wishes no one should perish, but that all would come to know Him and dwell with Him forever in heaven.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV).
When we are filled with the love of God, we then should be able to love all people while expecting nothing in return. If they do return the love, then wonderful! But if they do not we should continue to shine for the love of God to them in hopes that one day they will come to Christ and know true love themselves. When we stop showing others love is when people continue to grow colder and we then bring no one closer to the grace and love of God. Only love can break the hard exterior of an individual and cause them to ultimately fall to their knees in desperate hope of a savior; Jesus Christ.
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8).
Love should even be shown to the people that despise us and that dwell in sin, because the more of God’s love we show them, the more they will begin to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit working in their lives. Simple acts of love can go along ways especially within the spiritual realm. The light and love of God can break someone down and then rebuild them into a new creation. It is up to us as disciples of Christ to continue to shine forth His light and love to the lost world around us, expecting nothing in return, but hoping that one day they will come to know the One that can save them.
With knowledge abounding today and Universities growing, many people have conjured up a lot of facts and can spit them out very well. But when it comes to knowing the Bible and teaching others it is much more than knowing the facts. To truly penetrate through people’s hard exterior and into their inner being we must speak with power, and not just any power, but the power of the Holy Spirit!
“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20 NKJV)
We can have all the facts and no power and do little to none for those that are seeking a new relationship with Christ. It is easier to speak all that we know rather than stay connected to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to speak through us. There is no other way in which we can truly touch people’s hearts and lives around us, except that the power of the Holy Spirit reach forth and break through the old man and into their hearts and minds.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged word, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).
Let us not speak with crafty words like the world, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us to those around us. Our words can by no means do anything eternally, only by the working and piercing of the power of the Holy Spirit can the saving of souls and transformation of hearts be done. Let us speak no with intriguing complexity, but rather with simple, and yet profound words of truth. By the power of the Holy Spirit we can change the lives of those around us, not by the words of our own craftiness.
God is love and with His love sometimes it calls for a little tough love. Just like a good parent He must show us tough love, discipline in order to keep us straight and to help us grow. When the Lord chastens us it is not always a punishment scenario, but can also just be to help transform us into the person He has called us to be and to teach us and impart wisdom to us.
“For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:6 NKJV).
We all need a little tough love from time to time to help us not get too lackadaisical. God does not want us to have it so easy to where we forget Him and His Law He has given us. It is much easier to become laid back with obedience with there is no punishment or period of chastening, and thus the Lord does so in order that we do not lay back and fall into the world and its ways.
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction.” (Proverbs 3:11).
The Lord loves you and loves you so much so that He wants to help correct you in times of needed correction. He wants to teach you and impart wisdom when the time is called for. He wants to guide you closer to Him by striping away the filth we tend to gather through this life. What area do you feel the Lord disciplining you in today?