In life, we go through seasons; seasons of growth, seasons of sorrow, seasons of joy, and seasons of drought. Seasons change, and with each change, there are new tests and trials.
Here lately, I have been feeling a change coming. The end of one season and the start of the next. What will this season bring? What lessons will I learn? What tests will I face? These are the questions that have been on my mind lately. As I pondered, the book of Ecclesiastes was brought up, specifically, chapter three. Chapter three talks about the things I was feeling; the changing of the seasons.
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what was planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV
Reading this just made it that much more clear. Times come and times go, but the most important thing is to be rooted and grounded in Christ. Leaning on him in the good times and the bad. Resting in his promises, that he will never leave us.
Hope this has encouraged you today,
grace and peace,
Today as I sit and ponder a few things keep coming to my mind. Three things to be exact. Parenting, Witchcraft, and Love. I know, I know, how can I even begin to think these things go together, much less put them in the same sentence? I will explain!
So, let me elaborate on the first topic: Parenting. Parenting is a subject that affects all individuals. Whether you are a parent or you have parents. Everyone has parents and even if you are in foster care, an orphan, etc. you have been the subject of someone's parenting. I have noticed my traits in my children, and as I look around, I see the same in other people's children. Most people who grow up in a home of abuse are more likely to pass that abuse down. I am not saying it is an excuse because we all have free will to consciously make decisions. I am just saying that statistically speaking, you can see the same struggles being passed down throughout the generations like alcoholism, and drug use. So I raise the question, do you want your children to be just like you? Do you want to pass down any rebellious traits to your children?
Rebellion is a very dangerous trait to pass down. However, if you don't believe me let's look at the definition in the dictionary.
1) open, organized, and armed resistance to one's government or ruler.
2) resistance to or defiance of any authority, control, or tradition.
3) the act of rebelling.
Now, let us take it to scripture, 1 Samuel 15:23 speaks about rebellion.
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
This verse is talking about King Saul. Samuel is telling Saul that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft meaning it is equal to the sin of witchcraft. Now, I must raise another question. Would you willingly participate in witchcraft or would you want your children too? If not, then why would you participate in rebellion? Now I am sure you see why I used the word "witchcraft."
How do we solve the problem? How do we not pass these things down to our children? The answer is in the Bible.
Galatians 5:16-17 says this "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do." We need the Lord to mold us and shape us into the person he wants us to be. We need to lay down our fleshly habits and ask God to search our hearts and help us to not be rebellious. While God is working on us we will slowly start to bear the spiritual fruit.
Galatians 5:22-25 says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit."
If we follow God the fruit of the Spirit will be produced. The Love! Remember, "We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19) in our sin, in the darkness God loved us. He drew us out of the darkness and shined his light on us. So, when others are in the darkness remember God loves them and they are not beyond being redeemable. Pray for them. Pray that God will shine his glorious light on them and bring them out of the darkness.
I hope this has helped you in some way today.
If you had the cure, would you give it to everyone who had cancer? What about the cancer of the soul? We have a cure for that. How many people have you told lately about that cure?
Many people around the world, many people in our country, and many people in our community have cancer of the soul. We know the cure but yet many who know the cure don't share that cure with others. They take it and bury it. They store it away in the closet or put it in the junk drawer.
Where are you storing that cure? Let everyone know about the cure. Stop storing it away, you need to share it with the world!
The cure is Jesus! He is the cure for that sickness, that cancer of the soul. Without the cure, there is only emptiness because the spot that supposed to be filled by him, cannot be filled by anything else.
The superficial things of this world will only cause more emptiness. Jesus is the cure for the emptiness, he is the cure for the cancer of the soul, and he cares for you more than anything or anyone.
Jesus lived a sinless life. He died on the cross to pay the debt for all sin, and three days later he rose again to defeat death. Now he is on the right-hand side of God. Being that mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5).
If you are wondering what you should do or how to accept Christ into your life. The bible says in Romans 10:9-10
"because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."
You are not too far gone... God loves you! He doesn't want anyone to perish and he certainly doesn't want you too.
In 2 Peter 3:9 it says
"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."
He made the way, it is up to you to accept it. No one can believe for you. You are the one that chooses if you want to be a follower of Jesus or not. Let me tell you though, I know what it is like to not have Jesus. We've all been there. Even if you grow up in a church family or if you didn't no one can make the choice for you. In the end, it is our choice.
I want to stand before the Lord with my sins forgiven and paid for by the blood of the Lamb of God. Jesus Messiah!
I pray that you choose Jesus.
He is worth it all!
Family & Friends
When we are first saved or when we first come to Christ we usually have a fire in us. The fire or the drive that makes you want to go and tell everyone about Jesus. I don't know about you but that fire or that desire I feel is still in me. I feel like I want to let everyone know the "Good News" that Jesus can save them from this world. That he can heal them and break the bondage this world places on them. Whether that be an addiction, lust, fornication, homosexuality, pride, etc. Jesus can break any bondage any chain and there is power in His name. As we start telling people about Jesus there will be a some that will accept him and there will also be some that won't. When people don't accept Jesus it can feel discouraging and even more discouraging when those people are your family or friends.
The most important thing is to tell them in love.There is a right and a wrong way of spreading the Good news. If you are telling people and you don't have love in your heart for the people it will fall on deaf ears, for example, if you are yelling at people saying something like "YOU ARE GOING TO HELL UNLESS YOU COME TO JESUS" that isn't really a loving way to bring people to Jesus. I once heard a preacher say there is a lot of bullets in this bible but that doesn't mean you go shooting them at people. He was meaning that if you jab people with scriptures in the bible that isn't how you bring them to Jesus. I am also not saying don't quote scriptures, by all means, show them how much Jesus loves them. Now I am also not meaning that you sugar coat the gospel either, but you feed baby Christians or new Christians milk because if you try to force some meat down their throat they will choke.
Even if you are doing it out of love there is still going to be people who don't agree. I have lost a lot of family and friends. Jesus said if they hate us they hated him first. We need to realize that there are going to be times when we feel alone, but we aren't alone. God is always there and we can always call upon the Lord. There will be times when we lose "friends" when this happens continue to pray for them and continue to show them love, at times it can be very hard.
Jesus told us in Matthew:
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!"
Matthew 10:34-36 NLT
We know in Ephesians that the Sword is truth also Hebrews 4:12 mentions the word of God being a two-edged sword, and we know that all God's words are the truth.
So even though we might go through things and lose friends and some family might not want to be around us anymore. God has a plan for us. Here is another example in scripture about Jesus's family.
"As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak to you.” Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
Matthew 12:46-50 NLT
Jesus is saying that even if we lose our friends, or our family doesn't want to be around us because we started to change and become a Christian, that we have family in the faith. We have mothers, brothers, and sisters in the faith. That anyone who does the will of God is our family.
Like I said before though, we should continue to pray for them that they find Jesus, and know we have family, our church family.
God Bless you all and I hope you find this encouraging. Know that we are praying for you and I hope these verses bless you as much as they did me.