Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Depression in the Bible –

This is Part one of  Depression and its cure.
Depression in the Bible –  

Yes, Even our favorite Bible Characters had times of depression.  At one time or another, we have all been in the mulli-grubs.  The thing is - - to only visit - - not to stay there. 
David spoke to himself:  "Oh My Soul, Why are you Cast Down?"

Psalms 42:5  Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again--my Savior and my God. 

The Bible tells us of those who experienced grief, sadness and depression and what they did about it. 

1.     David was troubled and battled deep despair.

2.     Elijah was discouraged, weary, and afraid.

3.     Jonah was angry and wanted to run away.

4.     Job suffered through great loss, devastation, and physical illness.

5.     Moses was grieved over the sins of his people.

6.     Jeremiah (the weeping prophet) wrestled with great loneliness, feelings of defeat, and insecurity.

7.     Even Jesus Himself was deeply anguished over what was before Him.

Each of these persons, suffered a pity party with kicking, weeping and screaming, but soon they picked themselves up and made a decision to trust God.
What did David do?
Samuel 30:6  And David was greatly distressed; - - but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. 

What did Jesus do?
Jesus submitted to God’s will:  “Not my will but thine be done.” 
They no doubt heard the still small voice bringing them comfort and telling them, “I understand and - - It will be alright – just trust me.” 
They made a choice to adjust their attitude from sorrow to hope as they reached for joy.
This is where “SELF TALK” will become a cure.   

Instead of itemizing all of the reasons you are sad - - In its place and as a replacement for depression, begin to count your blessings.  Speak to yourself  and say with your mouth:  “YOU are a blessed person and God is your helper, comfort and protector.”  Speak positive truth over yourself.  It is good to use a Confession list of Positive Scriptures to do this. 
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  When you HEAR yourself speak God's word it builds up your Faith. 
You might be interested in Jim Kaseman’s Web site with scriptures to encourage and build up your Faith and Trust in God.

To be continued soon with Part 2



Teachings Of Jesus

Our Bible Study Lesson was taught by Donald
this post is from my lesson notes and gleanings

Jesus taught about His Father and the Kingdom of God

Teachings Of Jesus  (For this lesson we are considering Five Commands of Jesus) 

Understand that our past is not me.  There is a place in time where we draw the line and begin to follow Christ Jesus.  All is new, and we discover we have many “Pastors,” but only one Shepherd.   Today’s lesson we will reflect on five of Jesus teachings.

1. Be Reconciled   Matthew 5:23-24

•Learn to walk in harmony with others, discerning their needs and building bridges.
•Valuing people more than things. 
Take care of past offence and make peace with your brothers.  If you are accused, perhaps agree with your adversary lest you be taken to court.  You can’t always make something right, or like things once were, but the important thing is to forgive and move forward. Forgiveness toward others will set you free.  Understand you are forgiven by God.

2. Do Not Commit Adultery  Matthew 5:29

•Learn to protect your marriage and your children.
•Mastering the appetites of the physical senses and building the spiritual senses
to discern right from wrong.

3. Keep Your Word  Matthew 5:37

•Learning to make commitments you keep and recognizing how personal integrity
feeds our confidence and influence.  Understanding the power of words and expectations.

4. Go the Extra Mile  Matthew 5:38-42

•Giving beyond what is required to change the context of the relationship. 
If someone asks for a loan, give realizing you do not expect it to be paid back.  If he asks for a jacket, give him a coat also.

5. Love Your Enemies  Matthew 5:44-46

•Destroying your enemies, by making them your friends. Whatever you give
energy too expands. By feeding hate you get more hate. By loving enemies we
feed another powerful spirit, and it in turn, feeds us with peace of mind.

If you only love those who love you, that is easy.  Realize we are to love everyone even our enemies.

Jesus said:  Follow me.  What did Jesus do?  He went about preaching, teaching and healing the sick.

Know that you are salt.  Salt brings flavor to this sour world. 
Rejoice if you are persecuted. 
Pre-plan your reaction before it happens, and decide to sing like Paul and Silas did when they were in prison.

Let your light shine, so others will see your good works and glorify God about your good works. 

Matthew 6:33  Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all will be added to you.

Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will take care of itself.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Honoring Fathers

 (This post is from my notes as Pastor Allan brought the Sunday morning message at church.)

It is important to honor our father.  In this world today, there is so much “Put Down,” on men. 
My dad was a great guy, but there were faults too.  He taught me to walk up and down, in and out like a roller coaster.  There were situations where my Dad was not honest and was difficult to depend on.  It has affected the way we look at God. 

We face God and say, “You remind me of my Dad.”  Can I depend on you God?  Many of us have ‘Daddy issues.”

I have worn many hats:  Son, student, pastor, husband, but the best one is to be a Father.

We come to church to worship and we praise Jesus, but how often do we approach the Father. 

Psalms 68:5  God is in his holy habitation.  God is a father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows.

God is our provider, our protector and He cares about us everyone.

Jesus tells my favorite story about the Prodigal Son who returns to his Father.  He came to his senses and made a decision to go back home.  His father was expecting his return.  His father did not give up on his son.  Our father’s love endures and is ever compassionate, and rejoices in the return.  This is about repentance and relationship restored that was once broken.

Sometimes we give up on some people, but God never gives up.  You were worth it for God the Father to give His Only Son to die for you.  It is about having a relationship with our Father God. 

1 John 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.

We are debtors after the flesh and are led of the Spirit of God.

Romans 8:16,17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

We are God’s children and we can call out 'Abba Father.'  We have been grafted into the blood line and have become co-heirs with Christ.  We are no longer bound by fear, but are covered by grace and love, becoming joint-heirs with Christ.

You can’t get any closer than that.

Of ourselves, we aren’t perfect, but because we are “one” with Jesus, we are being perfected.

“Daddy” is a term of affection.  Relationship with our Father we will understand His Father’s heart, to protect and care for you.

Pastor’s 6 year old daughter brought up a stool to sit next to her Dad.  She was acting up a bit and fell.  Pastor picked her up in a hug and comforted her as he patted her on the back.

Pastor said, Our Father God, picks us up when we fall and gives us comfort.

We fellowship with God, but we also need a relationship with one another.
Pastor called Father's to the front and 16 men came forward.  He prayed a prayer of blessing over them and gave each one a small gift.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Kingdom of Priests

A Kingdom of Priests  - -  a few excerpts are from Rod Parsley’s devotional

As a Priest - - We can Pray from God's Throne Room

As we began our Wednesday prayer meeting, I was reminded that as Christians, we have been delivered from the “KINGDOM” of Darkness and have been translated into the “KINGDOM of Light.”  We are children of God’s Kingdom and are to pray believing God hears and He delights to answer our prayers.   

Something else that occurred to me was the Priest who entered the Holy of Holies wore a beautiful robe.  We are clothed with the Robe of His righteousness; and Garments of Salvation. 
Just a thought:  (As we enter into the Holy Throne room, we do not wear the armor of God which we often wear as we intercede, but we wear a gorgeous robe.) 

Our lesson was to show that we have the right and privilege as Priests to enter the very throne room of God and bring our requests. 

Revelation 5:10  And has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.  A literal translation renders this verse not "kings and priests" but rather "a kingdom of priests."

Matthew 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.   We pray to bring down heaven to this earth so God’s will may be done. 

Fifteen hundred years before Jesus ever came to the earth, God told His people they would be a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6) You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. 

God is now fulfilling His original plan through you and me—His church! Just as the priests of the Old Testament bore the ark on their shoulders, we are to bear His glory wherever we go—the malls, the streets, or the workplace.    Carry the Glory of God with you and people will notice. 

We have all been called into kingdom priesthood and anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit to minister the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  When the Priest of the Old Covenant was anointed, oil was poured over his head that ran down to cover his body.  

The Oil of the Holy Spirit anoints us and although in ourselves we are nothing, IN Christ we are an anointed King and a Priest. 

You are part of a holy nation, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out. 

Live today as a priest, a minister, an intercessor, and one anointed to take the gospel into every area of your life. 

(Luke 4:18-19 NKJV) “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

1. The anointing is given to preach the Gospel to the poor
2. The anointing is given to heal and restore people
3. The anointing is given to proclaim freedom to the captives
4. The anointing is given to open blind eyes
5. The anointing is given to set people free
6. The anointing flows in God’s timing and proclaims God’s timing
The anointing is given to preach the Gospel to the poor, to bring the revelation of God’s love to those who are seeking.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What to do When Oppressed - -

This post is from notes at our Bible Study Sunday morning at 9:30 am at Open Door Church.
Lions Inhabited the Dry Places where the City Once Was

What do we do when we pray and don’t seem to get an answer?  We trust that God is at work behind the scenes.

When we are oppressed, we must allow God to vindicate us.  “Vengeance is mine I will repay,” says God.

God’s mercy is great, but His justice requires Him to sometimes punish evil.  As we study the prophesies of Nahum against Nineveh we discover that God sent foreign armies to destroy the city and finally it was inhabited with lions.  What a great city it had been. There was much national pride and celebration in their accomplishments. 
Much gold and silver adorned the city and the King was extremely rich and powerful.  His Assyrian Army was fierce with well trained horses as they made their conquests.  The King would even hunt lions, but eventually after the city was overthrown, the lions took over.

Nahum 2:11-12  NLT Where now is that great Nineveh, that den filled with young lions? It was a place where people--like lions and their cubs--walked freely and without fear. The lion tore enough for his cubs and strangled prey for his lionesses; he filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh.

The city was now empty and a waste land.  Messengers, leaders of Government will not be heard in its gates anymore.

Why would God destroy a nation?  God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  The mouth of the people showed love, but their heart was full of covetousness and pride.

Ezekiel 33:28-29 “I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and the pride of her power will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate so that no one will pass through. “Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I make the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations which they have committed.”

The people were disobedient to God’s laws.  They ate blood, worshipped idols committed adultery, and thought nothing of murder.  Their hearts were quick to do all kinds of evil and they were turned away from serving God in Heaven.

God is patient, but finally enough is enough. 

False prophets brought in damnable heresies and as 2 Peter 2:1 denotes, we must still deal with such falseness today.

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were turned into ashes by God.  Balaam was not allowed to curse Israel, but he persuaded them to party and commit sexual sins.

Proverbs 3:25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes.

It is important for us to not break covenant, lest punishment come to us.  God is Long Suffering and gives lots of opportunity for us to repent, but we must not take advantage of His mercy.

A Nation that shall be blessed must seek God and serve Him.  It is time for our land to clean up their act, and eliminate those things that displease God.  There must be complete submission to God and to His Way. (will.)

2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Part of our nation is rebelling against our God.  Pray for revelation knowledge to chose Jesus. 
We all have a personable responsibility to choose to serve God. 
It is up to us to pray and seek God and His face for ourselves.  It is always an issue to make that choice to have a relationship with Christ Jesus.


Monday, June 12, 2017

I was Dead and Now I am Alive.

This post is digested from my notes as Pastor Rodney ministered Sunday Morning


Sometimes we get tired and consider giving up, but think about this:  IN Christ I Can do all things, so what holds you back?

Usually it is our thoughts of past condemnation, but understand this; we are not under condemnation of our past.

2 Corinthians 5:17, declares “I am a new creature the old is gone and look, all New things have come.

Romans 8:1 reminds us “There is no condemnation for those who walk in the Holy Spirit.”  Keep being filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

Our new self nature is in Christ, so what does IN CHRIST mean?

We are not the same person we once were when we were walking in darkness.  We have come to the light, and we are able to change our thoughts.  Our thoughts are what condemn us and according to God’s Word, I can chose to think on good things.

It is a known fact that we cannot think on two things at the same time, so I choose to Praise Jesus and think on lovely things.

Jesus never gives up on us and He is there to comfort, bless and encourage us. 

Don’t blame the church for not paying more attention to you.  Watch the spirit of offence when you begin to slip into a pity party and are feeling sorry for yourself.

Understand that once you were Not IN CHRIST and the old life had control.  We must recognize that the Bible is true.  Take it for real and accept God’s promises.

Heed the voice of the Holy Spirit.  There are conditions:  God says; “If you will do this, I will do that.”  We have to believe God’s Word is true. 

God says: “Put aside foolish things, and put on my righteousness.”  All that Jesus IS, you are - - because you are IN Christ. 

Of yourself you are nothing, but IN HIM, you are a giant ready to overcome the enemy.  You have a choice.  That is how it is.  We have a responsibility to follow God’s Word and live as His will dictates.

Be quick to repent and quick to forgive. 

Keep in the Word of God daily and pay attention to what you read.  Digest it, think about it and meditate on the words as you take it to heart.

As we saturate ourselves in God’s Word and in His presence, we are daily being changed from glory to glory. 

Paul mentioned that we are in a race, and there is a prize of the High Calling.  Those who complete their race will wear a victor’s crown.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Mysteries and Secrets

This post was my lesson shared at the Prayer Meeting on Wednesday at 9:00 am.


Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

We often question WHY bad things happen to good people, why the young die, and why so many are sick and afflicted? You and I do not have the answer and the reasons behind everything that happens. The entire reasons are hidden from us and are a secret that God only knows the answers.

God does reveal some things to us by His Spirit as we seek His face.  Most of the time we must simply rely on: “TRUST ME” says God.

1 Corinthians 2:10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit search’s all things, yea, the deep things of God.

God chooses to have secrets and there was also a mystery from the beginning of time that was revealed to Paul.

Ephesians 3:3-4 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

Actually the mystery was two fold.  The first mystery was that God loves everyone not just His Chosen people the Jews.  The plan of Salvation was available to Gentiles also which includes you and me.

Paul continued to say:  Ephesians 3:5-6  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

God’s mystery was hidden until Jesus was resurrected and returned to heaven.  God so loved the “World.”  Jesus suffered in the flesh to make of himself one New Man to make our peace with God. He was slain to remove the enmity against us, by taking our place on the cross.

Peter had a vision that resulted in his understanding that Gentiles were included.  Now, we are no longer strangers, but fellow citizens with the Saints and God’s household.  “You are also built for a habitation of God through the Holy Spirit.”

The second mystery is that when we are born again, we become a NEW creation IN CHRIST.  We are changed into another person and Jesus comes to abide within us.  There is no room in our heart for two masters; there is only room for the Holy Spirit of God.

We have a responsibility to learn what the Bible says and to believe that our Identity is not the same as it once was.  Old things are passed away and all things have become NEW. 
Paul urges us in Ephesians 3:19 to be filled with all the fullness of God.  We are called to peace and to love one another and to follow the bidding of the Holy Spirit.  We are implored not to grieve the Holy Spirit of Grace. 
Colossians 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

1 Corinthians 2:9  But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.

God desires to reveal mysteries to you - - more than your imagination can fathom and gave you abundance and victory IN Christ Jesus. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Nahum the Prophet


Nahum prophesied about the city of Nineveh which was wealthy and very busy in commerce.  It’s civilization was advanced, but wicked at heart and the citizens were serving false gods.  
Nahum 1:14 And the LORD has given a commandment concerning you, that no more of your name be sown: out of the house of your gods, will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make your grave; for you are vile.

The king was a warrior and his army had made him rich and prosperous with the spoils of war.  There was a great level of expertise and incredible accomplishments in craft and artistic endeavors.  Their furniture was intricate and beautifully fashioned.

Zephaniah 2:15  This is how the once-proud and careless city will end up--the city that was so secure. She thought to herself, "I am unique! No one can compare to me!" What a heap of ruins she has become, a place where wild animals live! Everyone who passes by her taunts her and shakes his fist.

Nahum prophesies in chapter 2 about the destruction of the city and blood running in the streets.  These were hostile angry warriors with a strategy to take a city as an act of war.  The chariots on fire will be like torches, and the city will be completely destroyed and lions will inhabit the land.

Nahum speaks in chapter 3 against the witchcraft, harlotry which God is against, and that the city was full of lies including robbery. The people were prideful and thought they were better than others.  They believed they could conquer anyone.

Approximately 150 years prior to Nahum, the prophet Jonah obeyed God and entered the large city of Nineveh which was took him a three day journey to walk the land. 
Jonah cried “Repent of your wickedness, because in 40 days God will destroy this rebellious city.”  At this time, the King put on sack cloth and ashes and cried out to God as he commanded the people to do likewise.  God was merciful and was pleased at their repentance, but Jonah was not happy, as he felt the city needed to be destroyed.  Jonah pouted and wished to die, but God spoke to Jonah and said, "Should I not spare the innocent babies and the cattle?"

The repentance of Nineveh was short lived and soon they reverted to their old ways of worshipping images and their wicked practices.

Again God’s grace had given the city time to repent, but eventually it was time to realize their shame and to face up by considering their ways.  There was no repentance, so God sent armies to totally destroy all that was then of Nineveh.  It took clever strategy to take the city of Nineveh. 
According to the words of the prophets, the city eventually became buried under much dirt and was hidden for many years.   
Today our strategy is to do spiritual warfare against the spirits of darkness.  We do not fight against flesh and blood but against a spiritual enemy.  Prayer is necessary.

We don’t like some things that are going on about us.  Many Christians especially in foreign lands are being killed and persecuted for their faith.  We must pray deliverance for our brothers and sisters who are being thus treated.

How then should we live?  Joshua declared, “Choose you this day who you will worship and serve.”  Then he added that his decision was to serve the Lord God.

Each of us has a personal responsibility to make this decision, and a wise choice is to follow Christ Jesus.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Falling Short?

This post is from notes taken during Pastor Allan’s sermon Sunday Morning.


Do you ever feel like you are falling short - - and not measuring up? 
That is what the enemy wants you to believe.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

This verse applies to the lost, and we must not stop there.  Although the struggle is real and we all have our times of feeling a failure.  It is not that we are not saved, but the struggle is still there.  Your struggle may not necessarily be alcohol or drugs, but there is always some little thing.

We are made of flesh and the Flesh wants control.  In Romans chapter 7, Paul is saying the nature of selfishness and desire tries to overrule what he knows he should do.  His flesh wants to make him a slave to sin.  He asks “What is our hope? 

On to Romans chapter 8 and Paul reveals that Jesus provided a way to free us from sin.  The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, fulfilled the requirement to forgive yours and my sin. Jesus took the punishment for our sin.   Now God desires to change our mind-set to become controlled by the Spirit of Life. 

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.

We must move over into the walk in the Holy Spirit.  Condemnation tries to rule and reign in our thoughts, and if allowed it will keep you down and unable to move forward.

Our understanding of "Who we are in Christ," needs to become a reality in our life.

Our very words condemn us when we use a title to identify ourselves by saying: “I am a sinner, I am an addict, I am a loser.”  Christ has made a way to change your identity so you can declare, “I am free, I have been delivered, I am the Righteousness of God in Christ, I am a winner through Jesus.”

Romans 14:10 But why do you judge thy brother? or why do you set at naught your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Each of us must give account for themselves, and pray for your struggling friends.  We must no longer criticize others, but we also must be careful not to put a stumbling block in front of others by what we allow in our personal life.

Yes, because we are human, we will make mistakes.  We will say the wrong thing, and get angry.  However God sees you as a blood covered Christian, and he desires to cover your mind with the blood of Jesus.  Our mind is also washed by the Word of God as we read and think about what we are reading. 
Don’t allow the “World” to shape who you are.  Understand you have been changed, and God is still changing you. 

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

How many times are we allowed to slip and fall?  I don’t know the answer to that, but perhaps it is as many times as we are to forgive others.

God is continuing to reveal things in our lives that need to go.  Honestly there are things I still struggle with, but there comes a point where we must honor what God is dealing with us.

Quit digging in the garbage for that which is old - - It is time to plant new and maintain what you plant so that you will grow and mature in Christ.  Water your life with the Word and the Holy Spirit.

I Peter 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

The Word of God is unadulterated spiritual milk, and needs to be digested and not puked up.

Be careful who you follow, because you may end up in a place you don’t want to be.

Why am I often stressed and upset?  Perhaps I got off the path.  It is time to consider and back up a bit.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Really?  Are you sure?  Do you believe this is true?  I am going to take this scripture and others as being true and believe it.

Discipleship is not always instant, and it may take time to learn to walk and become mature.  Just be diligent and willing to learn and receive truth.

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Continue to strive toward a walk that is pleasing to God, allowing the Holy Spirit to root out and dig those things that need to go, with a no nonsense approach to becoming mature in Christ Jesus.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Costume Wedding Band

Ring courtesy free clipart
By eating sensibly I have lost a few pounds, and noticed my wedding band was loose. 
The thought has occurred to me, that since I am now a widow and being single, should I continue to wear a wedding ring?  Suggestions given to me were wait and don’t make decisions for at least 6 months to a year.
But my ring was very loose. 
I have a lovely wedding set that became too small and probably it would fit now, but I am not sure where it is.  However in looking for it, I did find my costume jewelry.  One nice ring was a pretty band with zirconium's and looked like a fancy wedding band; and I decided to wear it to church today.
As church was ending, Pastor called those forward who needed prayer.  Mike was being prayed for and was noticeably being blessed, and as I knew he had recently married, I assumed the young lady with him was his new wife.  I knew they had married on a shoe string, and noticed she was not wearing a wedding ring.  She had a silver ring on her thumb, and a pinky ring, but that was it.
My costume ring was getting hot on my finger, and God was speaking to me to give her the ring. I prayed, “Lord do make it the right time.”
Because I was seated on the front row – it seemed natural for the young lady to take the seat one away from me.  I reached over and took her hand, and placed the ring on her finger and it fit beautifully.  I told her, “It is just a costume ring, but if it fits, enjoy wearing it.” 
She hurried over to her husband and was so excited as she shared with him.  He turned to me, and gave me a big smile and a hug and said, “Thank you Mom.”
I went home and put on my old wedding band.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bless or Curse?

An Angel told Balaam Not to Curse but to Bless

Do you ever get upset and angry with the people you encounter daily?

Many people we must deal with are sinners, needing Jesus, and it is good to pray that their eyes and ears of spiritual understanding will be opened to the truth of the Gospel.  The Good News is that Jesus loves even the sinner and is anxious for them to repent, and receive Him as Lord of their life.  

In Numbers 22-24, we find the story about Balaam and Balak the king of Moab. 
The King of Moab wanted to weaken the children of Israel, who had moved in on his territory as they traveled on their way to the Promised Land. 
The king of Moab, believed in curses and sent a request to Balaam to come and proclaim a curse that would eliminate the Israelites from his land.
Balaam was a Prophet but his heart was not right.  He was willing to give a blessing or a curse for riches, but first he needed to ask permission from God.  Naturally God did not want his people cursed, so he told Balaam “NO.”  The king of Moab was troubled but he asked Balaam to come anyway, and perhaps God would change His mind.  

Balaam was smart enough to know God seldom changes His mind, but he figured “Who knows?”  Besides he was greedy and thought he might get a payment from the King - - somehow. 
Balaam saddled his donkey and began his journey.  Along the way, there was a steep place with walls on each side.  The donkey pulled over crushing Balaam’s foot. 

Balaam was ready to curse now – except it was the donkey he cursed as he beat the poor animal.
Imagine his surprise as his donkey spoke with a voice and proclaimed, “Why are you beating me as I am a faithful servant to you?” 

Suddenly Balaam's eyes were opened to see a fierce looking angel with a large sword in his hand. 
The angel told Balaam, you are fortunate your donkey swerved, because I was ready to strike you dead for your willful attitude and disobedience.  The angel told Balaam to go and meet the King of Moab, but to ONLY speak blessings over the Children of Israel. 
What kind of people were the children of Israel?  They were stubborn, rebellious, murmuring and complaining and quick to serve other gods instead of Jehovah God. 
Did they deserve blessings?  Probably not, because God does not always give us what we deserve, but He is patient desiring us to repent and be blessed.
The Children of Israel were very much like the people in our city!!  God did not want curses, disaster, misfortune, trouble and disease to fall their lot any more than he wants to send calamity on the citizens of your city.  (or on you and me) . . .

Many in our city are already suffering in their body and in their emotions from their own willful lifestyle, and we are praying that their minds and thoughts will be turned to the Lord.  That the eyes and ears of their understanding will be open to receive Truth.
We are not praying that they will all get rich with silver and gold, but that the spiritual riches of Jesus will enlighten their spirit. 
So many of our citizens were in Sunday School and church as children, but they have turned their back on the Lord.  This is what Paul was saying to those who professed to be Christians but were believers in Name only.    
(Romans 2:2-5) And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice wicked life styles. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

Do you need Jesus?  He is ready and willing to change you when you invite him into your life.  He desires to bless you. 
God's plans are NOT bad and His Plans for you are GOOD.  A Wise person will follow Jesus.