Tag Archives: Hebrews 13

When Is Nothing Enough?

contentTo tell you “I struggle with contentment” could quite possibly be the understatement of the year. And while there is a spiritual truth in the fact that we should be constantly growing toward Christ and never content with our spiritual state, there’s also a very humanistic ideal that nothing is enough. What an oxymoron! How could nothing ever be enough?

I’ve heard it again and again that God put the emotion of desire in our hearts, but the first mention of desire in scripture is in Genesis 3:6 where woman saw that the tree was “a tree to be desired to make one wise,” and so she took the fruit. Well… that didn’t end very well for us did it? Obviously there are boundaries for which our desire should or should not be acted upon. The world tells us to “go for the prize,” which I guess that’s okay if it’s the “prize of your high calling which is Christ Jesus” spoken of by Paul to the Philippians, but what about the desires in life of a non-spiritual nature. It’s where guilt enters the picture for me.

I am blessed beyond ridiculousness when it comes to having the desires of my heart met. And yet I have things in life that seem to be out of my reach at all times. Spiritually speaking I feel like I need to “drain the swamp” in my own life and get rid of some things that have me bogged down and fighting to stay afloat. As you can tell, my mind this morning is a battle between the principalities of the air and the Holy Spirit within. God set me on a journey and in this present state of mind I feel like the path is a thick brush that I’m having to hack my way through; I’m so tired from hacking away at it that by the time I get to a clearing I collapse… and the brush has time to grow again. Dramatic? Yeah, I guess so. But that’s life too, always dramatic! So I determined this morning to slow down… not let the monotony of life take the few minutes that I have this morning, and make it mayhem.

Hebrews 13:5-8

Look at what you have

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Looking around my home this morning I can tell you that there are things I want. I can also tell you that there is nothing I need. That statement can lead a conversation in two directions: covetousness or contentment. One will lead to a feeling of resentment and the other will lead to a feeling of resolve. It’s not hard to see which conversation is healthy, but we know it’s not that simple. It would have been healthy for me this morning to have oats and toast for breakfast, and yet I chose a cherry ®Pop Tart. Healthy isn’t as convenient is it?

Look at Who can help you

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

My time lately hasn’t been mine. And I’m not speaking of the time I spend serving others… although that is a decent portion of it. But I speak more to the time that I spend trying to figure out life. Oh my stars! It’s insane how much time I waste pondering what to do, what not to do, what I should have done, how I’ve failed, how I’m going to fix my life… Ha! And then I read verse 6 and see “the Lord is my helper.” Boy, have I missed the mark.

Look at who you’re listening to

Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

I spend way too much time listening to Satan and his minions tell me I’m a failure to which I reply, “Yes, yes I am.” Why do I do that? Because it’s convenient. I can go there and it costs me nothing. But in order to hear the positive words of positive people that God has sent into my life I have to put forth an effort. Read the word of God, find a sermon podcast, etc. Church is a no brainer for me. I wouldn’t even consider not going to church, but come Monday… it’s Satan’s playing field.

Look at the Real Reality

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day3, and for ever.

Back to my first thought, “how can nothing be enough?” The reality is, no “thing” will ever create contentment. Only Christ leads to contentment because He never changes. There’s always an upgrade on the things of life, but it gets no better than Jesus. So this morning as I try to make sense of the chaos I call life I need to look:

Look at what I have – Jesus (all knowing) He understands where I am

Look at Who can help – Jesus (all powerful) He understands what I need

Look at Who I’m listening too (all present) He understands I am weak

Look at Reality – Jesus is all. He Understands

While it is called to day

today

Words are heavy on my heart today. My words and those belonging to other people. I’m flabbergasted at the fact that so many people believe they have the right to say what ever it is that comes to mind and give no thought to the repercussion emotionally, spiritually or otherwise.

Scripture says

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29

It happens to be the verse of the day which I read after I journaled the image attached to this blog. If I were to give people a piece of my mind, first: it might be all I had left and second: it may be a waste of my energy. Which is why I usually keep my trap shut because wasted time speaking your mind is like a clearance sale item, you probably don’t need it and it’s not returnable. So what are we to do when people hurt us or those we love with words.

Hebrews 3:13 says

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

While it is called to day

Spell check wasn’t happy with the words to and day being apart. But further study shows me why it was written as such. Written in that form is to say “until that day”, meaning until eternity. That puts that sentence and life into a totally different perspective. Until Jesus returns we’re to encourage one another, because to do anything else will harden our hearts which is sinful.

To not care what we say, or think causes a callousness that hardens us, and I think we all know “those people.” They are not fun to be around! They suck the life out of me. It also hardens us to the spiritual things of life and feeling the Holy Spirit move. A negative Nellie or Ned as the case may be will squelch the Holy Spirit moving in a service faster than a race car. But church seems to be a chosen place to practice idiotic commentary. Oh dear… I may have just meddled. But it’s true!  On more than one occasion I’ve heard a “well intentioned” church member cut someone to the core and fail to realize any damage was done.

That ought not to be.

Every word that proceeds out of our mouth, whether is to blood family or church family, will be answered for.

My advice to myself and to you is … until Jesus comes back choose your words wisely and at every opportunity sew kindness, mercy and grace. And when someone cuts into you with their words, speak Jesus, He is the balm that heals all.

 

Zero Tolerance Christianity

zero tolerance1

While I will agree there have been behaviors by self-proclaimed Christians that should not be tolerated, I would not tout them as Christian behaviors. Therein lies the difference and a misconception of the world that all Christians are alike. But in all honesty I don’t think the world cares that we’re not alike, it serves their purpose to collectively lump Christians into a group of extremists trying to take over society. And yet we ignore a real group of extremists who have set their minds to violently take over the world and call them a religion of peace… seriously? “Oh but there’s just a few ‘extremist’ in the bunch that give the religion a bad name,” they say, and then those same “theys” will complain because a Christian organization wrote scripture on a cup and gave away hot chocolate on a college campus. Is this a Sunday morning rant? I sure hope not. It’s not my intent to rant, it’s my intent to give you something to ponder about your own toleration.

We have only ourselves to blame for the intolerance in the world, because we (collectively, as they like to judge us) have been tolerate of their intolerance of us. They say we cannot pray in school, and we say “okay.” They say gay marriage is acceptable in the sight of God, and we say “okay.” They say killing babies is not killing because the baby has yet to be born, but a drunk hits a pregnant woman and kills the child and is charged with murder, and we say that that   hypocritical thinking is “okay.” A Muslim religious ritual can be conducted in a public school and it’s “okay,” but we dare not bring a Bible into a classroom. We have a President who has 10 more months to finish his anti-God agenda  and the liberal’s hiss like a snake at conservatives who dare object.

Is it any wonder we’ve become tolerate of our own sin? We’ve certainly accepted everyone else’s. God is viewed by socialistic society as an angry God of judgement because He doesn’t tolerate what destroys society. Sin destroys us from within. America is proof of it. They have not had to fire the first shot on our soil to have us cowering to their way of belief. That same notion that has been accepted nationally now knocks on the door of every home and most open the door and offer it cake and coffee, followed by cake and ice cream for the kids because we want them to grow up being tolerate of intolerance.

All the while there are sects in the Church who are removing the blood from the gospel because it seems harsh and intolerant and the God of the New Testament doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings because he loves everyone and accepts them as they are, even Muslim. Yeah… that’s how far we’ve come.

For the record, Christians are not all the same. There’s still a few of us left who believe the inspired Word of God as it was written and without apology.  The Old and New Testaments explain that God does not change. Old Testament scripture says in Malachi 3:6

For I am the Lord, I change not

New Testament Scripture says in Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

It’s not God who wavers on His word, it’s man. And before we, who have not changed, get on our high horse and shout to the top of our lungs, “preach that!” Because we’ve stood firm on our foundation… have we also stood firm on our foundation personally?

  • What words crossed our lips (or minds) this week?
  • What attitude did we share with friends, coworkers and family?
  • Did we have God’s stamp of approval on every decision?
  • Did we turn away from ungodly images or thoughts?
  • Did we love others as ourselves?
  • Did we tell someone about Jesus?

At what point does God tolerate sin? On our minimal sins or the world’s maximum sin?

Neither. God has no tolerance for tolerance.

Will we sin, yes, we’re human, 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

But the difference in Christians should be that it’s never tolerated nor accepted. If every Christian in America would get back to that basic belief-ism and stop allowing the double standards that liberalism has placed our country in II Chronicles 7:14 would come to pass. I’m not ready to give up on America…

  • Search yourself and ask God to shine the light on darkness.
  • Never accept sin as an acceptable standard.
  • Pray that Christian Americans will stand up for God’s word.
  • Never stop talking about Jesus.
  • Pray with purpose

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When healing won’t come, trust His heel

trust His heel

This morning has been a time of worship and praise… I’ve sat with my guitar for over an hour, I’ve listened to worship music and I’ve wept over heart aches and illnesses. Heaven some morning’s seems too far away. It’s not that I’m wanting to die… no I want to live!!! I want to live for Jesus and tell the world of His goodness, but Satan is right on my heels every second of the day. Trying to defeat my witness, he can’t defeat me because Christ is within me, but he can sure do some damage the outer being of who I am. I know that my Savior has his head under His heel because the scripture says so in Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

I need that image in my mind… the image of the victory! Satan does his very best to cover it with the grief of the world when healing seems impossible, or distant. I follow the story of Joey and Rory Feeks and my heart aches for them; I want God to take away this heartache from their family and friends and heal her. That’s the kind of “heal” I want today, but it hasn’t come. And so I sing about Heaven and thank God for those songs of praise that cause my heart to rejoice, otherwise it would be in despair and I’d be of no purpose for encouraging you. My heart breaks for children that I minister to who don’t live in the best of circumstances and I want to show them that image of Satan’s head beneath our Savior heel and tell them to hang on. Christ will win their victory. I have friends in the faith whose children have broken their hearts and I want to tell them to keep praying!  God can turn those situations around as quickly as it appeared to get out of control. He’s got this. He will have victory over every evil plot that Satan has devised to bring us down.

So what do you do when physical or emotional healing won’t come? Trust His Heel.

Hebrews 13:5 says Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Content… at ease.

My heart is breaking… allow the balm of His words to soothe it. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I don’t have the strength to get through… then He’ll carry you. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I’m all alone… that’s a lie from Hell. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Nobody understands… yes He does. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I’ve been hurt so deeply… so was He… beyond our imagination and by us. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I’m a failure… no, you’re human. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

It’s not fair… Nothing about this world is, but there’s a better world coming. Until then… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Thank You Jesus, that in the pits of my despair, You are there. I feel Your presence and Your Spirit well up within my soul as a reminder that You are truth, and Satan is a liar. Thank you for the gift of music that draws my mind into worship and help my friends Lord, to understand that You’ll bring them through. And in the end we’ll see you destroy that demon and his forces that cause us heartache today. And from that day forward there will be only Joy!  Great joy…

Trust His Heel. He  will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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But Now… are you willing?

chick content

Judges 6:13

And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Far be it from me to be disobedient to God and then wonder why I feel forsaken. (…yeah right) And I have on more than one occasion claimed the latter part of Hebrews 13:5: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” ignoring the prefix of that statement where it says  “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have” and then it says “I will never thee, nor forsake thee.” I for certain want God not to forsake me, but I don’t want to have to do without stuff! That was a side bar on the Gideon story, but the truth of the matter is, God had allowed Israel to get into bondage again with the Midianites because they had traded Him for the gods of the world. Tell me that doesn’t ring familiarity to the church today and in our individual lives.

We want God in a crisis, “but now” that’s it’s over we’ll see what we can do about penciling Him in. We don’t have to ask ourselves why the circumstances of America are playing out as they are; it’s because the nation as a whole has turned their back on God. Gideon hadn’t turned his back on God, because God called him a “mighty man of valour.” So why then was Gideon the mighty man of valour hiding in the wine press to thresh wheat? The logical answer for me is, because he was human. Even those of us who desire to stand up and fight against the wickedness of the world find ourselves cowering down somewhere because the enemy seems too much and we seem so insignificant by comparison.

Through God’s counsel Gideon and Israel had victory but there were a few steps in between.

He questioned God’s judgment on using him.

Vs 15 – behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

To country quote it, “I ain’t got any money, and I don’t have the strength to fight that battle Lord.” God doesn’t’ need our money or our muscle! He wants a man willing to use what He’s equipped with. That’s why in Hebrew 13:5 Jesus tells us to be content with what we have, because that’s what God needs. What we have.

Gideon didn’t have much, but what he had he was willing to give to the Lord. In verse 18-19 of Judges 6 Gideon said. “Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.”

 In reading chapter 6 we discover that he sacrificed what he had, sought God’s counsel, and followed His instruction. The very same thing that we too have to offer God.

  • What we’ve been given… a little, or a lot doesn’t matter.
  • Time in His presence (costs nothing)
  • And obedience to His instruction (and He’ll equip us with the rest)

But now… America is here. But with a few Mighty folks of Valour, willing to be content with what we have, and listen to God, we could be a far better nation. Are you willing?

When the laughter stops… the launching point

Robin Williams Tickets

My heart was broken for Robin Williams last night when I heard the news of his suicide. A man known for making us laugh, a comedic genius and yet couldn’t pull himself out of sadness. Suicide is no respecter of persons, be they rich or poor, young or old, elite or unknown. It’s a selfish death, in that those who love you are left to morn and self-blame and the very pain you wanted to stop you’ve now inflicted on those you loved. For the Christians there is always the question, “Were they saved?” And then there are those who callously comment that they couldn’t have been. I disagree.

Depression (for which I occasionally inwardly battle) and mental illness are not Band-Aid-able nor can you always medicate them away, although that sometimes works. It’s taken much too lightly by many who think it’s something you can just “get over” or it’s triggered by something else. I have no profound answers for anyone seeking a solution to understanding the why’s of suicide, I have only this…

If you contemplate suicide – Seek Christ

If you care take the suicidal – Seek Christ

If you are confused as to why it happened – Seek Christ

No that’s not all there is…that’s just a launching point. He has to take over from there because everyone is unique; but until you seek Him he cannot take you in the direction you need to go. Your questions may even go unanswered for a while, it may be a time of contemplation and healing, or even re-grouping. But seek Him first, then launch, not visa versa.

My friend ReAnn Ring posted on Facebook this morning the quote “One thing we know for sure … the Lord chases us all the way to our death and beyond. I love when He catches me … and doesn’t let go.”

He caught me in 1996. I guess that is why He makes His disciples “fishers of men,” or women as the case may be. I’m now the fisher, not the fished. Are you near my net? Did this post strike a chord in your heart?  Please take heart when I say “The Devil is a loser and a liar!” Turn a deaf ear to his tongue and seek Christ; it is in Him you’ll find life and a life worth living. It is in His people that you’ll find a physical hand attached to the Spiritual Hands. We are God’s ambassadors to the earth and our job is to allow you to see Him working through us.

If you’re struggling I urge you to find a good Bible believing Church near you and get hooked up! It’s not an instantaneous fix… remember… it’s the launch.

Hebrews 13:5b

… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.