Retirement and your Inheritance

Retirement:

Many people will live their entire lives planning for retirement. Ensuring that all of their bills are paid, their 401K has enough money in it, planning a world cruise, or a camping trip across America. Day by day, week by week, they toil in this life waiting for the opportunity to enjoy the inheritance they created for themselves.

Here is a thought. What happens if you die the day before you retire?

The answer is in the story of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-3):

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

What is the difference between a sheep and a goat? Let’s see

Matthew 25:34
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”

Matthew 25:41
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

So what defines the difference between a sheep and a goat? Remember, Jesus is the Lamb of God. Those who are willing to accept Him by Faith, and confess of their sins, repent, and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior have the True Inheritance: Life in His Eternal Kingdom.

It’s amazing how our world has devolved so far to not only accept sin as acceptable behavior, but sanction that very sin. Is there an entity, an individual, capable of driving an entire nation, nay, an entire world into believing that sin is an acceptable behavior?

I’ve been befuddled how everyone that sanctions sin thinks that it is “cool” and “new” and “fresh” to sanction such behavior. There is nothing new in sin, it has existed since time itself. The bible records in multiple places that the pleasures of sin are temporary, and only for a season. That is because those sins can only be enjoyed in the flesh, because the flesh is the source of that temptation. Our flesh is the conduit through which Satan can tempt us, in his unending quest to pull us away from God. We are all tempted, and many unfortunately consciously choose to fall to that temptation in the belief that the temporary pleasure it brings is worth the price of their eternal life.

If you wish to strive for life eternal and receive your true inheritance, you must repent of your sins.

Open your heart to Jesus and pray the following:
Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart. Wash my soul clean. I accept you as my Lord and Savior.

Remember what Jesus said about the sheep and the goats:

Matthew 25:40
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Many people will share memes of various things, but not posts such as these. Please remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” 

Christian Living

Christian Living ✝️🤠
 
In order to live a life for Christ, you must break with the past. Paul gave an excellent description of Christian living, in his Epistle to the Ephesians.
 
Ephesians 4:17-19
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”
 
In his letter, Paul began by reminding Hebrew Christians not to cling to Jewish legal practices (as they were given the law by God through Moses). Here, Paul is showing that Gentiles (non-Jewish persons) that in order to live in Christ, they must also give up their ways.
 
Quite simply, if you are truly reborn in Christ and receive His Spirit, your heart becomes opened to the Spirit of God. If your heart is hardened through years of rejection, it is very difficult to receive his touch, and thus have the truth revealed to you. Notice above Paul says “Having lost all sensitivity,” what he is saying there is that hardened hearts cannot hear or see the truth. Thus, the Word to them is simply a jumble of random words that they cannot comprehend.
 
This hardening of the hearts is quite easy to see in today’s world, where all forms of media are full of deceit, vulgarity, lust of the flesh, and mocking of His word. As Paul stated in verse 19 “they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”
 
Isn’t it fascinating that words written nearly two thousand years ago, so succinctly describe our culture today? Humanity has evolved through cycles of sin that forever repeat themselves. Babylon, the fall of the Roman Empire, the Persians all endured cycles of depravity that lead to their downfall. What Paul is describing above, is the never-ending cycle of man fighting the will of his flesh, and our flesh is not of God. Vanity, ego, greed, sinful lusts are all temptations brought forth by Satan, in order to lure us away from God. If you lose the battle of the flesh, you will lose your right to eternity.
 
This life we have all been granted is a gift, a gift for us to choose. We will all eventually die and defend our actions in this life to the Father. The only arbiter that guarantees our victory, is our Savior, Christ Jesus.
 
Hopefully you attend a local church, and that church has accepted the responsibility to guide your soul to Salvation. Your place in Heaven will be determined by much more than simply being “sought” and “saved.” The walk you choose in this life should pave the way to your front door in heaven, because if there is one thing a person that has not been saved cannot see, is the futility of this life. If you live for this life, your prize will be nothing, as the rewards in this life die in your grave.
 
One of my favorite Bible verses is James 4:14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” So many people lie, cheat, steal, deceive, and succumb to depraved sins of the flesh in this life in search of validation. They believe that validation is achieved through people accepting them, even if the “they” they present is false. All people strive to be accepted in life, but they key is the only true acceptance that can bring you peace is through repentance of your sins and laying your soul at the feet of Christ so he can introduce us to our Father.
 
Jesus himself said (John 15:13): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” That is exactly what Jesus did for us. Through his blood at Calvary, if you repent and accept Him as your savior, all of your sins will be washed away, and God will not even remember them.
 
Please do not live your life for this life. 🙏 Understand that at some point this life will end and a recompense must be made. Only Christ can pay that bill. Do you attend a church? Is your church meeting your needs? Do you feel confident that you are saved, and that if your heart should stop beating today you will wake up in heaven? Don’t depend upon your pastors to guarantee your salvation, that is something that you alone are responsible for.
 
If you want to be saved, open your heart to Jesus and pray the following:
 
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 
😎✝️🤠🙏
 
Many people will share memes of various things, but not posts such as these. Please remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” ✝️🤠
 
🕊

Discernment – A Gift From His Spirit

Discernment

Discernment is a gift from God, delivered through his Spirit. Discernment is simply the ability to know what is right, or wrong, and that knowledge is delivered through His Spirit to His children, so that we may choose our own path through his gift of free will.

However, that can be problematic can it not? If one has not accepted Christ as their Savior, so that their sins can be forgiven, and receive the Gift of the Spirit, will they have the true power of discernment? If people do not receive the Spirit can they truly discern? Paul had something to say about that very subject:

1 Corinthians 14 (emphasis added)

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

I am often mocked and ridiculed, because I allow people to take advantage of me, or mock me, or steal from me, and in return I try to be kind to them. Many will ask why? Quite simply, can a person who commits sin, even a sin of conscious forethought truly know the repercussions of their actions?

Think about it a little more deeply. Here Paul is saying that if they do not have the Spirit within them they simply do not have the true power discernment that is within the Spirit, which is a gift from God! A child one time was playing with a glass on the kitchen table, knocked it off, and it broke. I said “Don’t worry about it” but the mother was frantic because her child broke my glass. In that situation, the child did not with consciousness of forethought make and execute a plan to break my property, she was simply playing with it on the table. This story shows the difference between an accident, intent (conscious forethought), and a lack of discernment if that person was an adult.

The key with discernment is you must feed your gift of the Spirit for it to grow. Many churches today preach the gospel of Salvation and nothing more. In order to grow in Christ, build your faith, and your Spirit, you must feed your spirit daily, even more than you feed your physical body. Or perhaps, you might consider asking yourself: “Which body do I care about more. The physical vessel that my spirit is currently living in, in this world, or my spiritual self that will live in Eternity with the father?”

It is so difficult for people to move beyond the physical trappings of this world; the sins of the flesh, the lust, the greed, envy, and spite. I wish I could communicate to them that this life was intentionally designed with a shelf-life. How long that will be is not up to us, but to God. You who are reading this, on your phone, tablet, or computer screen… can you feel your heart beating? If you place your hand over your sternum, can you feel the blood pumping in your body? What if it stopped… right now!

Are you ready? Are you ready for what comes next? Will God allow every single human being alive now to move on to the next life, or might there be a process to “ween the herd” so that only those that are willing to follow his desires may pass through into the next world.

Hebrews 4:12-13

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Hey… if you read this far you might consider clicking “share” and “like” if you found the words useful… Would a “click” on Facebook be written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

Don’t Be Troubled….

Don’t be troubled….

The God who upholds the stars loves and supports his people. We all grow weary, tired, confused and even sometimes bereft of hope. It is important to remember that hope is never lost, because God knows those who are against you, and those who are for you. He flings stars into space, and walks through time as if it were a revolving door of convenience, because time can not constrain God, nor can gravity, evil, childish affectations, or Satan. The key to troubled times is to understand that all of our trials and tribulations serve a purpose, and we must accept His purpose as our purpose to be part of the plan. Never lose hope and faith, but build your faith and Trust in God, because once you are safely and firmly within His grasp, you will know that nothing on this earth could ever truly bring you harm, because His love is Hope Everlasting. Even Jacob became troubled, and remember Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Don’t let the troubles of this life bring you down, they are minuscule in the breadth of eternity. Pass the tests placed in your path, shrug off enemies as a minor inconvenience, because next to the power and love of our God, nothing can stand in your way. He is your rod, your staff, and your shield 

I Worry

I worry. Have you ever been in a crowded place like a movie theater, or stadium; and taken a moment to look around to realize that every single person you see is an individual human life? Each with their own thoughts, dreams, fears, joys, hopes, and more importantly, their own view on life. At the same time, each of those people will at some point face the end of their life. Then…. What will happen?

We all have our personal view of the purpose of this life. Why are we here? Are we here to trudge through each day going through the motions of living, or perhaps is there a chance that something else is involved?

The truth is that God is real. I was literally healed on the altar, and felt the touch of the Holy Spirit. I’ve always believed in God, but only once in my life felt the truly awesome, powerful, and wonderful touch of his presence. So why do I worry?

Our souls, our spirits are trapped within our physical bodies. We are influenced and tempted by the flesh. Most people will casually disregard these temptations as nothing more than folly, or joy in living. The reason they do this, is they have not felt the touch of the spirit, taken the time and effort to learn the truth, or accepted Christ as their savior. Sadly, even those that have accepted Christ and attend church regularly will often times yield to temptation, usually through self-validation, and consciously commit sins even when they know better. The good thing is Jesus knows our failings, and forgave us through his Blood at Calvary.  So why do I care?

Every life is an absolutely precious gift. Try not to disregard a stranger that crosses your path, as they could be an angel on earth, or a person in need. Have you ever been in need, alone, or suffering, and been walking around somewhere that people simply passed you by, and wished someone would say “are you O.K.”? How nice would it be if you took a moment to do that for someone else?

Take a moment each day of course to praise God, and not just tell him your problems, because he already knows what they are. Then, more importantly, take a part of your day to help a fellow human being. In this day of modern technologies, how many people wake up alone, live alone, and go to sleep alone each and every day? That is a horrible way to live, and no one deserves to spend a life like that.

Many people will have stopped reading by now, but if you have not, here is something to help you out. In this life that you and I are living, we are literally in bondage. Our souls are chained to our physical bodies because of the original sin, and these physical bodies are a constant source of temptation. If you glance at someone that you find physically attractive, are you tempted? Is that temptation pure? How about lying to make yourself look good? Or lying about something you did wrong, so other people will not look down about you. How about stealing because you could get away with it, or hurting someone’s feelings to make you feel good for a moment.

By accepting Christ as your savior, you can break the chains of bondage, but that is only the beginning. You must fill your soul with His Spirit by reading his word, learning his word, and living your life for Him. If you have attended a church and left because you did not feel welcome, that is O.K., find another. I’ve been to churches all across the country, and witnessed people that have attended for years pretending to live for Christ, while falling to unimaginable temptations. None of us are perfect, nor can we achieve perfection in this life, but we can try. Finding a good church that serves His needs, and Your needs is difficult. Don’t give up. Has your Pastor walked up to you and said: “How is your soul?” This is important in many ways. If your Pastor doesn’t ask, ask yourself, and just as important, ask a friend.

No human knows the absolute truth about this life, but it is quite possible that this is a one-shot deal. If it is, are you sure that you are ready for what comes next? I worry about myself, but I also worry about anyone that might be reading this.

Please don’t make the mistake of not seeking the truth; of striving for eternal salvation. Your chains CAN be broken. Accept Christ, learn his word, but more importantly live for Christ every single day. You will love yourself more if you do.

 

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Billy Graham would often quote this saying of Jim Elliot, to emphasize that people who live this life for this life, will risk losing eternity… One of the greatest stumbling blocks for men of this generation is the sin of pride. Believing that they know better than God, or that God is an a la carte amalgam of morals and values that they choose, instead of what God has decreed. I pray that everyone studies the Word for themselves, instead of relying upon teachers that may not have the leading of Christ, or desire to serve that they should, to elevate themselves to the position they hold.

James 4:14 states well and true: “…What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Do not depend upon others to do what God has enabled you to do for yourselves. Admit your sins, accept Christ as the one true path to eternal salvation… then learn, live and breathe His Word. The more you read the Word the more your hearts will be opened, the greater the strength and influence His Spirit can have in your life.

Don’t let pride be a barrier to you and your salvation. Humble yourself before God, because you can not fool him, nor pay lip service when you are falling into the crevasse and expect salvation to be granted.  

–Patrick L. Francis

Whoever Digs a Pit or Rolls a Stone – Synonymous Parallelism

Today I read Proverbs 26 for my daily reading, and within the chapter is an old literary device common to Hebrew Poetry of the time called “Synonymous Parallelism.” So I thought why not share a quick blurb on the idea! The words sound somewhat fancy, but really just mean to say the same thing in two successive lines in a different way. For example the word Synonymous means ‘to have the same meaning,’ and Parallelism means ‘juxtaposed’ or side-by-side.

Here is an example from our reading:

Proverbs 26:27:

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;

if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

These sayings may not mean much to us today, but were similes common to the time.

A simile is nothing more than a figure of speech where you compare one thing with another thing that is different in order to state your idea more clearly or with emphasis. Such as “Crazy like a Fox, or “Brave as a lion” – here [“Crazy” and “Fox”] or [“Brave” and “Lion”] have nothing to do with each other, but help express an idea more fully.. this is a simile.

It helps if we examine each line by itself, in the context of the author’s time.

  1. Why would someone “dig a pit?” Quite simply, to trap an animal, or person
  2. Why would someone “roll a stone?” Stones were rolled to great heights for primitive warfare, literally to drop on someone else.

So what Solomon is saying here, is that if a person works to do harm to another, or institute another form of mischief, the result will inevitably be punishment of themselves. Why? God is a God of justice, and he is always watching. At this time God already clearly decreed to love one another, and to not be foolish (ergo not heeding the His Word). Notice that much of Chapter 26 in proverbs discusses the idea of fools. Here is is simply expounding on the idea that if you are foolish, in trying or working to harm another, harm will inevitably befall you.

We could generally reword the ideas to something like this for ourselves:

Harm will only come to you, if you dig a pit to trap another.

Harm will only come to you if you roll a stone up a hill to drop it on someone else. (doesn’t make as much sense to us today, but you get the idea)

So if you plot or scheme to bring harm to someone else (this can take any form.. physical, mental, emotional, gossip etc..) since God sees everything, you will not escape his Judgment.

Some proverbs are more fun than others… but hopefully you found this tidbit interesting 🙂

Our Human Spirit Is The Lamp Of The Lord

Proverbs 20:27 spoke to me this evening 😎… There is so much in this scripture, that even after reading it, and the commentary, I feel it is worth further study. Here is the NIV version:
 
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
 
Now the NRSV version:
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord,
searching every inmost part.
 
Notice the difference in the translations. NRSV says our Spirit is searching, yet the NIV hints at our Spirit exposing our inner nature… After reading two separate commentaries, my current thoughts are that Solomon is saying when God breathed His life into us, he left a part of Himself, or His Spirit within us, as Genesis attests. However, what else might Solomon be saying? Since I have felt His Spirit, literally, when I was healed on the altar, I can say that feeling is… otherworldly, and indescribable… I feel, but do not know for certain, that the main reason God decided to open His Spirit and heal me, is that when I was praying on the alter, when I was suffering, I humbled myself so deeply and thoroughly, the God knew not only was my repentance real, but my humility finally let Me know, that I can not, and do not wish to live without Him. Thus, our battle as human beings, and His creations, is between the temptation of the Flesh, and our acceptance of His gift that is within all of us. Therefore, if we accept His gift, His Light shines within us. ❤️
 
These are just my current thoughts on the verse… It is a good one… Below are two commentaries that you may find useful if you have read this far 😇
 
Expositor’s Bible Commentary
Conscience that searches motives. God provides everyone with a spirit that can evaluate actions and motives. The Hebrew literally says that the “breath” is the lamp of the Lord (see NIV note–the NIV interprets it differently and supplies “searches”). The “breath” (or “spirit”) is that inner spiritual part of human life that was inbreathed at Creation (Ge 2:7) and that constitutes humans as spiritual beings with moral, intellectual, and spiritual capacities. This spiritual nature includes the capacity to know and please God–it serves as the functioning conscience (the metaphor of “lamp”). This point is further developed in the second part; the searching makes it possible for people to know themselves. If one’s spiritual life is functioning properly (i.e., yielded to God through salvation and controlled by his word [Heb 4:12]), then there should be increasingly less self-deception or indifference to righteousness.
 
Understanding the Bible Commentary
The Hebrew of verse 27a is ambiguous, as the margin of the NIV attests. The marginal reading is to be preferred. It seems to mean that the life-breath from God, by which a person lives (cf. Gen. 2:7; Job 32:8), penetrates to the very interior of a person. This could be taken as a warning, but better, as a consoling indication of how intimate God is to humans (“more intimate to me than I am to myself,” as St. Augustine said). This is not merely the voice of conscience.
 
✝️

Back to God

This video is a new song released by Reba McIntyre that contains an important message for everyone. We can all see things in our world that should not be happening, but have and continue to do so. The main cause is how each generation over the last century has fallen away from God, who should not only be our central focus, but is the center of ourselves, and our Goodness.

We are alive through Grace and the Breath of God, but if we forget about Him, or mock Him, or ignore Him, the result is moral decay. Simply turn on one of your favorite news channels, or browse to a site, and you will see the results of millions of people falling away from God. Each new generation that I have watched over the last few decades, grows up assuming that they know the answer, the complete truth, and need not be accountable to anyone but themselves.

I pray that they do not face death with that view, and reconcile themselves to the Truth that choices in this life do have consequences. All one must do is open their hearts and minds, and admit that there is more, admit that you have made mistakes and will continue to do so, and pray that the Son of Man will accept your repentance, and forgive you. He really does not ask too much of us, simply that we believe, and show that faith through the actions and choices we make in our lives.

Reba does a good job with this song. If you like music it is at least worth giving it a listen too, and perhaps thinking about the message she is trying to convey. When I watch music videos on YouTube, i like to hit the little “CC” button at the bottom for closed captioning, to make sure that I understand the lyrics they are singing

Hope Springs Eternal Through Our Suffering

We have all suffered in our lives, some more so than others, and then there are those who have suffered beyond what a human mind would consider necessary. Often we will ask ourselves why this occurs if God is real, yet we must remember the control that God has allowed Satan over our lives as we live life in this current form.

People will often reference a verse in Corinthians that God will ‘never give us more than we can handle,’ but we must remember that is temptation, not suffering. Resisting temptation is resisting Satan’s hold on you, his attempt to pull you away from God. Here is the verse most people are referring too:

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Resisting temptation is not easy for any of us, be it lust of the flesh, a vice, greed (which is ever more common), or any temptation to act in a way that is against God. Suffering though, is something else.

I have written about suffering before, but tonight while looking over the Word I came across a verse that touched my heart again, as is happening more frequently than ever:

Romans 5:3
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Notice here that it says “glory in our sufferings.” Most of us would say, how on earth could that be a “glorious” thing? That’s something that is a little difficult to grasp. Essentially, if you are a Christian, and not the ‘pretender’ that was commonplace even in the time of Jesus, but is more so now; you are at Peace both with yourself, and with God. However, just because we are at peace with God, and ourselves, does not mean that our lives will be peaceful?

Why?

Quite simply, we are Christians living in a sinful nation. Our society has begun a path of dissension away from God, believing that they should live life as ‘they’ see fit, not as God has decreed. This is nothing new, as society has repeated itself here before on multiple occasions. We as Christians of course do sin, all humans do, but hopefully we make the choice of sinning consciously considerably less often than others, and at least attempt to live a life that will be pleasing to God. This brings us to the key of tonight’s thoughts: Our knowledge that God has accepted us because of our Faith in Christ, and through that Faith, Grace has been bestowed upon us, and the knowledge of our future glory should result in us exulting in trials and tribulations brought forth in this life.

Many times in this life I have allowed people to “do me wrong,” where I had both the knowledge and the means to “redeem myself” in my eyes, but I would have been wrong in doing so.

Why?

In this life it is not mine to redeem, but God. He is our salvation, and he is a jealous God. Remember our physical bodies and this life were designed with an expiration date, however, our souls have the opportunity for eternity.

I mentioned the other day if you want to live for a lifetime, live for this life. If it is eternity you seek, find out the meaning of life.

Today was one lesson, and that lesson is hope. Faith in Christ should spring hope eternal into your heart, and our suffering in this life should cause that hope to well up in our souls knowing that greater things are to come.

 

 

🙂