Tag Archives: Matthew

Why Prayers Sometimes Go Unanswered

Matthew 17:14-20

A State of Despair

14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

The father had no doubt tried everything in the world to get his son the help that he needed, and to no avail. He at last tried the disciples who he had no doubt heard had performed many miracles in the name of Jesus Christ. He came in humility, kneeling down in prayer.

A lesson to those who desire a prayer answered, there needs to be a humility factor at the altar when we’re desiring the grace of God in any situation.

A State of Disbelief and Discouragement

17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Jesus spoke to those who doubted Who He was. Perhaps even the father who desired his son cured, doubted that it would happen. He brought him to Jesus as a last resort. Just as we do our prayers and desires. Or perhaps I speak for myself. I always attempt every man made effort to get a task done. I may half-heartedly bring it to Jesus requesting Him to help me get it done, believing that it is “I” who make the difference.

A State of Deliverance

18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

It is never we who make the difference, but Christ through us. There’s a method to the mustard seed. It must be at first dead, then planted in the ground, fertilized and allowed to grow. Salvation is immediate. Spiritual growth takes time.

The child was cured that very hour. I have to wonder if “that very hour” wasn’t another 60 minute waiting period for the believers. It doesn’t say that his lunacy immediately stopped, it took a few minutes. God desires our patience when working a matter out.

A State of Devotion

19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Even the disciples weren’t above discouragement and doubt. This caused their inability to heal the child.  When Jesus said that “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” He was telling them that their devotion was lacking. They were continuing on in the way that they had been doing it, by commanding the demons and illnesses to leave the body. But this wasn’t just an ordinary demonic force, and there are times that we will face great trials of faith that will not only require our belief but a method in the mustard seed illustration. Prayer and fasting show a deep devotion to our relationship with the Lord.  It allows Him to see our level of commitment to His cause, and it’s rewarded with our ability to move unimaginable mountains. It’s then that we experience

A State of Devine Intervention!

Why and How I know that I know

I will not tell you that in 21 years of salvation I have not ever doubted my salvation. I would doubt that very many Christians could say that. It’s our nature to doubt. Thomas didn’t have the market cornered on it.

But what I can say, it that the Holy Spirit did not allow me to live in that state very long. A friend posted on Facebook this morning the story of the conversion of John Wesley.  As I was reading through his testimony, and the question his dad posed to him on his death bed “John, do you have the inward witness of the Holy Spirit?” I wanted to shout the glory down! And oh, how I wished that during the 34 years of my unsaved condition, someone had asked me that question. They did not.

And when I finally heard it, I knew I did not. But for a while, pride would not allow me to explore it further with those who had asked the question. I had been brought up in church, I had taught Sunday School. I had lead youth. How could I confess that I did not have an understanding of what seemed to be such basic information in the Christian realm.

NOT SO BASIC ANY MORE

In a 2009 Barna Survey, fifty-eight percent strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” More than half of those surveyed! I realize that surveys can be somewhat misleading because of where the survey took place and who exactly was surveyed. But for some reason, I’m not doubting the results. I’ve been in the presence of too many professing Christians that just don’t bear any witness of the Holy Spirit.  They go to church a dry and come out dry. Nothing changes.

When I got saved. I CHANGED. I felt fire in my soul and it hasn’t gone out for 21 years.  So what happened to those who don’t feel it?

NOT SO BOLD ANY MORE

Matthew 24 states it well when says verses 11-12

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

The testimony of the Christian faith has been so tarnished by false preaching and false professors that even the true believer can see their fire go out if they’re not very careful on who and what they allow their mind to be exposed to.

I was watching the show “The Voice” last night and was so frustrated with the “professed Christian judge” on the show who cursed more than the other three non-professing judges that I was nauseous. I started routing against her. One might wonder why I continued to watch the show… I ask myself the same question. And I’ll be asking myself the same question next week, but it boils down to the fact that I love listening to the singing, and the few Christian testimonies from contestants as well as the singing tips from the judges, I glean what I can from their skills for my own music ministry.

But it’s the mentality that you can live any way you choose and profess Christ that has caused the Holy Spirit not be felt or believed upon by many in the church. Couple that with many churches no longer preaching the blood as necessary for salvation, and you can see the problem with their belief in the Word of God. The blood is on the pages of the bible from Genesis to Revelation.

NOT SO BURDENED ANY MORE

Before I was saved, I had heard just enough about Armageddon to scare me to death and pray for life. I didn’t understand it, but I feared it. I don’t know if I believed in Hell, but I feared it. And when I discovered the truth that there was a Hell, and that a child of God would be saved from it as well as Armageddon, Lord have mercy, I had such peace and gratitude for what the Lord Jesus done for me on the cross. I also became very aware that many of my family and friend would not escape, if they too did not become saved by the blood of Jesus. I was so burdened… I was sure Christ would return the next instant. But over time, when He delays His return, my burdened waned as well. It’s a great lie when you hear… there’s still time.

Perhaps, perhaps not. We need our burden restored and the only way that that is going to happen is to get our relationship with the Lord restored and stoke the fire within us.

NOT SO BROKEN ANY MORE

We need our heart broken the way Christ’s is broken every day by the lack of concern for His children. We need to ask ourselves again and again do we feel and do others see in us the inward and outward witness of the Holy Spirit?

 

 

 

 

He knows my Limitations

God's Got This

Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Probably one of the most misused verses to date in my life. Yes, I know there are many, many misused verses, but this is one that I (personally) keep hearing again and again, but only in part.  “No man can serve two masters.” Being used most of the time to insinuate people are serving another god if they don’t do what someone thinks they should do. Scripture taken out of context is a dangerous game. If you read the entire chapter of Matthew 6, there’s a lot packed in there for the believer struggling with life and living by faith. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I’ve had to work my entire adult life, so when leaving that station in life (or rather having it leave me) faith was amped up to a new level. And I’d be a liar if I told you it’s been easy. It’s an every other day thing. About every other day I have faith. The other day is a doubt day, filled that way by myself and Satan who always has plenty to contribute. So when I read in Matthew 6

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

You are what you eat and fashion makes the man the world says, and guilt is laid on pretty thick. And so I keep reading 26-32

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

And then I am reminded, God know my needs and He knows my desires, but better than all that He knows my limitations. So He gives me some instruction that was Manna for the day for me.

Verses 33-34

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

God is limitless. America defines success by the dollar. And that’s where verse 24 comes into context. The other god is money. Hey, I like money! I’ve prayed for money. I need it to pay my bills and when I don’t have it, I get scared. But I cannot allow money to define who I am and how I serve; then I’m serving it and “it” is a god. It’s ruling my decisions and those decisions may put me out of the will of God and that’s scarier than being broke.

But if I seek the Kingdom of God, desiring first to find Him, all of a sudden life’s purpose becomes very clear.

The wise Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:11-13

Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

Knowledge and money may protect you from the elements of life that can be seen, but around the bend for which we cannot see, and must travel by faith, lies limitless blessings, that shouldn’t ever be traded for the things of today.

God’s got this…

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What to eat when you’re hurting

what to eatHave you ever wondered which hurts worst: Saying something you wish you’d never said or saying nothing and wishing you had? It’s tough. And it’s one of the millions of problems God understands. Now if only I could understand.

When you’re a talker, and I am, silence isn’t necessarily golden. I can feel the Spirit of God welling up in my soul trying to overpower the words that are working their way up from my gut. I need to say it! And God says “That’ll leave a mark Shari.” And I reply… “Just a small one God.” And He responds… “You can only see the surface, I see down deep… that little mark you thought your words would leave will go clear to the bone.

And so I shush. But the words pool and pool and pool until they flood out my mouth like tsunami that just hit the beach of a small island! I hate it! I regret it. But it’s too late… and so God begins putting the shores back of the relationship that I cut myself off from because I’d had enough. I’d been hurt one too many times.

In Matthew 18:21, Peter asked the Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? To which Jesus replied, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

I taught this lesson on Wednesday night to my youth. It was timely in my life… but that’s how God works. If you’re a teacher of the gospel you understand. God never allows you to point a finger at anyone and say “You should do this!” without three pointing back at you saying, “So should you!”

I spoke a while back on the subject of hurt in the ministry.  I was shocked at the widespread sentiment of almost everyone there. Many thanked me and said the message was for them, then asked prayer for their issue. I think some wanted me to pray that God would cast coals of fire on their enemies head, but that’s not how God works. I know, I’ve prayed that prayer a time or two. If you’re honest you likely have too.

So what does one do when they’ve been hurt? At least for a while… shush; followed by calming the waters.  No tsunamis! You need to sit in the recliner with a cup of coffee and banana and talk to Jesus. Well, that’s how I did it.

It’s said to be an old Cherokee tale, but whosoever it is, it is wise and it is biblical:

***

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “the one that you feed.

***

 Our words have great power. The spoken and the unspoken. Although we may never say aloud many of the things we think, the thought process still feeds our spirit. And like the tsunami that got its start down deep on the ocean floor, the things in the pit of our stomach that causes us anger and resentment are what we feed upon. If we continually think negative thoughts about issues and people it will eventually erupt and likely cause a broad path of damage.

The coffee and banana were good… the Words of God, were great! Feed on those.

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If Jesus Coached Little League

Jesus and Little league

Let me begin this blog by saying I’m a musician, not an athlete; so my view of sports is from the sideline as an encourager. But that doesn’t prevent me from having an opinion on the matter and being that what I’m writing about isn’t really about sports at all, I do consider myself somewhat of an authority. Little league sports is a season of beginnings for both the little ones playing and their parents. It’s a whole new set of emotions for parents who are almost for certain their little Johnny or Jenny have the potential to be a national star. And that’s as it should be. Parents should instill in their children at the earliest of possible ages that they can do or be anything they want… provided God approves.  That’s the part most parents skip. And mainly because many little league activities are held on Wednesday evenings and now Sunday’s when kids should be in church, but that’s another blog.

If Jesus were a little league Coach, this is how I believe He’d go about it. The same manner for which He built the church.

He knew the game

Matthew 4:1-2

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Jesus was every bit God and every bit man. He experienced and faced temptation the same way we do and yet He overcame sin, so we are without excuse. If Jesus hadn’t experienced that for Himself we’d been given the opportunity to say, “But Lord, You don’t understand.” But He does. And for certain a Coach, even of little league, should have at some point experienced the game.

He knew He was dealing with Amateurs

Matthew 4:18-20

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

They weren’t preachers, they were fishermen, and Christ used that same analogy to convince them that they could play ball… or win souls as the case may be.

The one thing that most children love to do is play ball. Of any kind! And they’re pretty sure they’re the best at it, until somebody tells them they’re not. Now before any die hard athletes go on a rampage here, I understand the concept of winning and losing. You have to have both, not everyone can win every time. But winning and losing was not supposed to be the precept of little league ball. It was to train children to play.

Now let’s put that in a church perspective. I was blessed to begin my Christian walk in a church of really messed up people, (you know… sinners) with a leader who believed that we could be trained to be leaders. We weren’t expected to be perfect, but we were expected to try. When we broke the rules, we weren’t taken out of the game… we were brought to the sideline, instructed of righteousness and told to try again. That’s good teaching.

He knew they needed time

Most little league players don’t come out of the womb with a team jersey. There are the gifted, but most are just average kids, just like the church. A very small percentage of the church become paid servants, most of us are just average joes, or jills as the case may be; but you better believe there wouldn’t be a game if we didn’t show up.

Matthew 5:1-2

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Jesus taught not only the disciples but the multitude as well. Little league sports is a community event. It should be a time of learning and fun for everyone. It’s not the making of professionals, it’s the teaching of a team. Jesus wanted the disciples to understand that the game wasn’t about them, it was about those they served. And teaching kids to have a team spirit is the most valuable lesson you could teach as a coach. Because they’ll always be winners if they learn to treat one another with respect.

Teaching church members that lesson goes a long way too! The team’s attitude is usually a direct reflection of the coach. Bad or good the team is usually a mirror image. Jesus’ first lesson was an attitude check.

Matthew 5:3-9

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

He knew sometimes they’d lose

Matthew 5:10-11

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Jesus understood and taught how to take a loss. No matter what… treat people right.

Are you ready for today’s journey?

chick bow

Why is it that in my mind the desires of Christ and the word of God are ever ready to spew forth, but the actions that follow are often bound in fear? Why is it that I fall to temptation and my discipline is lacking? In Matthew 4, Jesus withstood Satan’s temptation 40 days, and yet  I can’t seem to make it 40 minutes. Christ’s actions through and after that period of temptation are a road map for us today…

Matthew 4:8-12

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.  Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

Three things from that scripture that can be applied to life for a successful walk with Christ, and I’m not saying it will be easy, but it’s necessary.

  1. Stand Strong

Again and again Jesus stopped Satan cold with the word of God. If we’re going to fight this battle we’d better have some tools in the arsenal by reading and remembering the words of God. Jesus didn’t say   anything new, He repeated the sentiment of Deuteronomy 8:3 where it was written

 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

The same holds true for us. Although the tactics Satan uses may appear different they’re the same temptations in a new coat, and although we always think there is a new and improved way of fighting sin there is still only one way… the word of God.

  1. Be ministered to

Following that period of temptation Jesus sat still and was ministered to by the angels of God. Bring on Wednesday Bible Study! Church is crucial to survival. I realize that there are those who cannot get to church because of health or other conditions, and I fully believe that if they desire being ministered to God can make a way. But for those of us with shoes on our feet and a vehicle in the driveway we are without excuse and in a heap of trouble if we choose to stay at the house rather than go to church and be ministered to. It’s where you reload your arsenal for the coming days and it’s where we find encouragement for the battle. Don’t sell yourself short and put yourself at risk by buying Satan’s lies that you don’t need church. You need it! I need it! Thank you Jesus that we have it, there’s plenty of people across the earth that would gladly go in your stead and not run the risk of being killed.

  1. Hit the Road

Temptation for me often comes in idle times. I guess that’s why God created me with a mind that runs  24/7 and is continually filled with “I know what I’m going to do today” notions. As soon as Jesus’ church service with the angels ended, He hit the road. He’d heard John was in prison, He knew there were some disciples along the way He’d be needing to add to His team, there was work to do! And so it is for us. I’m excited about my Wednesday night youth group, I have bows and arrows in my arsenal (for real!) and a lesson on friendship using the characters of David and Jonathan. Exciting days are ahead… but I have  to keep with the program.

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I’ve come to appreciate the weird

CHICK WHEAT

How easy it is to fall into the mundaneness of life. We are creatures of habit and routines that become the accepted way of our day and anything outside that realm upsets the apple cart, or the wheat cart as related to today’s scripture. I’m one who’s more apt to be anything but the norm but I too can get into the mundane of life spiritually speaking very quickly. I have to work at keeping my faith on fire because Satan stands ready to quench it at every opportunity and often times with a good dose of normal.

Matthew 3:11-12

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Fire Starter and Fashion Stopper

John the Baptist fanned the flames of the religious crowd. They thrived on normal, religious practices and ceremonial acts that looked fancy and gave their self-righteous egos a boost. But enter on scene the camel clad, bug and honey eating John, preaching repentance and stirring up the fires of faith and the normal seekers were out of their element and not very happy about it. John had caused quite a stir in the community by preaching of the Messiah that was about to be made known and in the process calling out the Sadducees and Pharisees calling them a “generation of vipers” in verse 7. I would venture a guess that that is the equivalency of our “snake in the grass” sentiment of today. Yes, John had upset the norm.  His taste of style didn’t fit their flair, nor did his taste of locust and honey likely fulfill their dietary delights. To be honest, if John entered my home town I’d think he was a little weird too.

I’ve come to appreciate weird.

I attended for my third year, Winter Jam (a Christian Rock Concert) kicking and screaming all the way. Not really, but it’s not my favorite music; however it is some of my favorite people and friends of the faith, so I go… with a “bless me if you can attitude.” And God said… “Okay I will.” And He did. With the exception of couple of the acts who I considered to be loud and obnoxious, at which time I scoped out the merchandise tables. But my point is this… to the judgmental religious crowd the Winter Jam scene is all locusts. It really bugs them. So much so that they feel compelled to preach and condemn on the banks of the river while the Holy Spirit has arrived in the water.

It’s not their norm. Those weird dressing people with the long hair and strange message in music upsets their wheat cart.

Well, it didn’t upset mine. I felt the fan blowing the chaff (unimportant, useless things) out of my life as the Holy Spirit moved the crowd and moved my heart to do more for the Kingdom of God. It wasn’t my normal, Baptist service. Those bands will likely never don the platform of my home church, and that’s okay, because that’s not how we worship there. Our multigenerational crowd worships in obedience to the Holy Spirit.

And that’s what matters most.

Goal for 2016… Be less normal. Unusual. Some might say I’ve been practicing that for years…

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Chick Pic of the Day

I’m starting a new post for 2016, posting a “Chick Pic of the Day”  for your viewing pleasure. 🙂 Hope it  encourages your day!

chick pic 1.1.16

My husband David is super excited about this find. Kind of a belated Christmas present to himself. His goal is to restore her back to her days of glory, as for now she’s a rust bucket. I have named her, Ruby the Rust Bucket. I do have to admit though that I’m kind of looking forward to helping him with this project, but for today it brought to mind that scripture in Matthew 6. The things that we treasure here are but temporary blessings… even rusty blessings. How wonderful to know that the treasures that God has in store for us in Heaven are eternal blessings!

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3 Habits of the Heart to grow in Faith

chick pondering

See a need, fill a need

Galatians 6:10
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

The world is certainly filled with people in need, and so is the church house. The bible is clear that it is the responsibility believers (who God has empowered with ability) to fulfill the needs of certain people. Now… the sad part of this story is, there are people who take advantage of good hearted Christianity and cause us to question whether or not we are lending a hand or enabling someone who could have taken care of it themselves. I could tell you dozens of stories from my own church of less that reputable people staging themselves for assistance. But that’s where spiritual discernment comes in. A twenty year old begging at the door of the church may need help with diapers for her baby, but she also needs help learning to provide for her family and most importantly needs the Lord in her life. A hand out should always be a hand up. I have more concern over the needs of the elderly. Most of which will never darken the door of a church, will not ask for a hand out or a hand up but will suffer silently because that’s how their generation was raised. As a church we’re instructed to take care of the elderly… and to teach the young. Make it a habit to be aware of the elderly who cross your path.

Look more within than without

James 1:22-24 ~ 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.

If I spent as much time preening myself spiritually as I do physically I’d be a much better woman of God. A post it note strategically placed that reads “Who were you today?” where you see it often would serve us well. Did you help or hinder. Show love or hate. Did any see Christ, or only you?

Give More, Take Less

Matthew 10:8 ~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

What has God gifted you with? Money, time, talent? Likely all three if truth be told but assuredly He has gifted you with the power of the Holy Spirit if you are saved. If every day we made it a habit to give something away, imagine the blessings that we’d receive each day from God. Are you in the medical field… what a gift to stop by and check on an elderly person who will feel loved and honored that a person of your stature thought enough to stop by. Child of God… you have His Word, give it to someone today in some form. Have a few dollars in your pocket, or a cake mix in your cabinet? Why not share some food with a person living alone who never takes the time to cook.

These are not notions that we think of as  habits. Because they take a conscious effort to make something happen. Making something happen regularly is what we call a habit. It’s how Christ lived His life… what a novel idea! Is three too much pressure? Try just one!

Purple Lizards and Christ’s Return

chick watchThere was a time when I sang in another Bluegrass band that one of our most requested songs was “Matthew 24”. A song about the coming of the Lord and our need to be ready. Oh it was a beloved song, but the message in reality is not readily accepted. Nobody wants to hear about the return of Jesus Christ, and yet they do. I know… sounds like either a riddle or a bluegrass song. Perhaps I’ll write it! If there’s time. The blood moons got several people excited and ready for a major spiritual event. But what if that event was a major spiritual non-event.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 says But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

This verse always causes me to roll my eyes when the predictors start giving dates of the Lord’s return. What part of Matthew 24:36 do they not understand when it says But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” God said simply to “Watch.” In verse 42 of that same book, and so that’s what I’ve been doing. Watching…

I’ve watched:

  • As many have professed to be God (Matthew 24:5)
  • As there have been wars and rumors of wars (24:6)
  • Nations have risen against nations (24:7)
  • Pestilences (diseases) have come (24:7)
  • Famines have come (24:7)
  • Earthquakes have occurred (24:7)
  • As Christians are killed and hated by all nations (24:9)
  • Many are offended (24:10)
  • False prophets deceive man (24:11)
  • Iniquity abounds (24:12)
  • Many wax cold (24:12)
  • The gospel is preached to all nations (24:14)

Yes, I may roll my eyes at the predictors, but I’m not fool enough not to watch.

Verse 42 says Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

Before I put the last dot on this blog… Christ could return. And that brings joy to my heart until I read  the end of verse 43 ~ But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

That brought new definition to “Broken Homes” for me. And it breaks my heart to think that many of the people that I know and love, and who love me in return, won’t take heed. I might as well be telling them that there’s a purple lizard is taking over the planet; because for them the return of Jesus sounds just as crazy. And lest they take heed, their homes will be broken eternally.

Did it happen on the night of the blood moon? Nope. But it will happen. Look at those bullet points of Matthew 24 and tell me which one has not occurred. The “non-events” are precursors to “The” event. Don’t watch the predictors… watch the skies.