Love of Pleasure

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Proverbs 21:17

He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

The love of pleasure is a sure road to destruction and destitution. As the rich man in Luke 12:18 died and lost everything, including his soul, after he expressed his love of pleasure by saying,” This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods”, so shall we experience destruction and destitution when we seek pleasure of self instead of the LORD’s pleasure in our life.

We are commanded clearly in God’s Word to love the LORD with all our being and our neighbor as our self. Therefore the love of pleasure results in a poor outcome. The soul who seeks God’s pleasure by loving the LORD with all their being and loving their neighbor as their self, with whatever riches they have, is the soul that goes to sleep at night with an inexplicable satisfaction and pleasure that is beyond understanding.

There was a certain ruler in Luke 18 who had kept the commandments from his youth but was instructed by Jesus that he needed to sell all that he had and distribute to the poor in order to have treasure in heaven. This certain ruler was trying to love the LORD with all his being but was still lacking in loving his neighbor as himself.

There was another time when the disciples were faced with feeding five thousand men, beside women and children. All the food that the disciples had available to them came to five loaves of bread and two fish. As Jesus gave thanks for the food that was available and distributed it to the hungry it was miraculously multiplied and there was more left over at the end than they started out with.

The one that is truly rich is the one who loves the LORD with all their being and loves their neighbor as their self. Jesus please teach us to love as you do.

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Who I Am

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1 John 3:1-3

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Did you ever think, “How can they treat me like that”? We can work as hard as we possibly can and yet someone in a trusted position in our life does their best to thwart, disrupt or undermine our efforts to do right. We feel like if they just understood who were and what we were doing they would, at the least, give us the common courtesy and respect you would give any human being.

According to God’s Word the Father hath bestowed His love upon us and we should be called the sons of God. We are not the Only Begotten Son of God born to a virgin but we are one of the sons of God. That’s why that in Matthew 6 we are taught to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven”. We have been adopted into the brotherhood because of our Father’s love that He hath bestowed upon us.

So that poor soul that seems set on destroying you doesn’t know who you are. If they really knew who the Father was they would know who you are as one of the sons of God. “Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

The world didn’t know who Jesus Christ was either and Jesus was stood up and tried, convicted and executed publicly as a criminal. Yet it was the deplorable acts of cruelty and hatred that released the stream of love, also known as Jesus’ blood, that brought forgiveness of sin and salvation to as many as will receive it.

So how do I accomplish this purifying that the Bible teaches? I do it by choosing to not look on what someone did to me but rather by choosing to look on what Jesus Christ did for me. “We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”. When I look upon Jesus I am changed to be like Him. That is an awesome tool to possess!

Dear blessed Jesus please teach me to look on what you have done for me and not on what others have done to me.

Meekness Brings Peace

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Psalm 37:11

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Spurgeon refers to Psalm 37 as “The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous”. This Psalm has also been understood as a prayer of the persecuted who has taken refuge in the temple or figuratively of refuge in God. This verse was cited by Jesus Himself during His sermon on the mount in Mathew 5:5. Psalm 37 is a great explanation of how to rid our lives of negativity and live in peace in the midst of all the turmoil of this life.

Simply put the Psalmist is saying that if we live in meekness we will have an abundance of peace. While it certainly seems in these days that many people find pleasure and fulfillment and thrive on living in turmoil and stress, I am not one of those. Although there will always be conflict and confrontation in this life, I believe we can exhibit meekness and have an abundance of peace even when walking through conflict and confrontation.

To be meek is to be humble and lowly. What better example could we possibly look for other than Jesus Christ Himself. When on public trial with His life hanging in the balance Jesus exhibited the ultimate meekness before Pilate. Matthew 27:13-14, “Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.”

It is one thing to speak up and defend the truth that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and an entirely different thing to attempt to convince someone that I am righteous and without sin in a situation. Although it seems counterintuitive, it is when I humbly place my faith and trust in God Almighty that an abundance of peace floods my life and I can stand before my accusers knowing that I am a child of the Most High God and He loves me and will never leave me nor forsake me. Jesus alone is worthy of all our praise, blessed be His great Name.

Little Children

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Matthew 18:3

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

We must become as little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Little children are trusting, dependent and forgiving. Little children trust their parents to take care of them, protect them and provide for them. Little children are dependent upon their parents for food, shelter and clothing. Little children are forgiving and immediately forgive the pain of being corrected by their parents, the pain of accidentally falling and skinning their knees or the pain of another child pushing them down or taking something from them.

Jesus said that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must be converted and become as little children. We must become trusting, dependent and forgiving. We must be converted to become trusting, dependent and forgiving when our heavenly Father allows the situations and circumstances of life to teach us and direct us into the place where we can learn of Him.

To be converted means to turn oneself. Mary had this experience at the tomb of Jesus in John 20:16. The Bible says, “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.” She turned herself or she was converted from the pain and death she was looking at to see the resurrected Jesus whom she immediately recognized as her Master.

So I know I have experienced conversion in a situation when I recognize that Jesus has been resurrected and He is my Master and not the pain of life that I may be experiencing at the moment.

Blessed Jesus teach me turn and see you instead of the pain and grief of humanity.

Arise

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Psalm 10:12

Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.

In verse 1 of this chapter the Psalmist had cried out, “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” As the great Charles Spurgeon so rightfully said, the refiner is never far from the furnace when he is refining his gold and scripture says in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” In fact the LORD walked in the fiery furnace with the 3 Hebrew children in their time of refining.

By verse 12 the Psalmist had grown in his faith and trust in the LORD and no longer felt like the LORD was standing afar off and instead of questioning the LORD he speaks directly to the LORD, “Arise, O LORD”.

In verse 1 the Psalmist was more concerned with others and now in verse 12 he has grown and is concerned with himself. “Arise, O LORD”.

This word arise was used by the LORD when He spoke to Abraham in Genesis 13:17 when He said, “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.” The Psalmist was asking the LORD to arise inside of himself.

When we find ourself in the midst of the fiery furnace or in the Lion’s Den as God’s people have done over the years, we can rest assured that the LORD is there with us although our humanity will have doubts. Let us not walk after the flesh but rather walk after the Spirit and as the Psalmist did, let us say, “Arise, O LORD”. Arise O LORD and walk through our heart and our being, refine us and create in us a clean heart for it is in thee that we place all our faith and trust.

Peace of God

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Romans 5:1-2

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

My faith or my trust and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteous death on Calvary’s cross puts me at peace with God. When I am lacking peace in my life, the first step for me to find that peace is to return to the foot of that old rugged cross. There is a peace of God that passeth or excels and goes beyond all understanding and it is found at Jesus’ cross.

When I have found and tasted that peace with God, the understanding of what is happening all around me is not necessary. I will gladly walk through the misunderstanding all over again to find the peace of God that floods my soul when I am at the foot of the cross. Divine, infinite and inexplicable peace so great that I don’t care if I ever understand the situation that brought me into the grace and hope I have discovered!

Jesus was misunderstood and persecuted by His own people and the religious leaders of His day and yet He stood in great peace as He was publicly tried and convicted of blasphemy. It was one of His own, Judas Iscariot, whom Jesus had loved, taught and walked with who sold Him out for thirty pieces of silver. In John 13:27 Jesus said to Judas, “And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.”  Jesus didn’t try to stop Judas or change Judas mind. Jesus knew that misunderstanding and betrayal was the door into the grace and peace of God. That thou doest, do quickly!

As this world accelerates its downward spiral into misunderstanding and betrayal I would say to you that there is a peace that passeth all understanding when we enter the grace of God that is found only at the foot of the cross of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Place your faith in Jesus’ death for you and enter into His peace today. Accept His love and forgiveness and discover an infinite peace beyond all understanding.

Judge Not

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Matthew 7:1-2

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Jesus’ love for me is quite apparent as He suffered and died for me. John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus did not die for me because I was such an awesome human being nor because I would do such wonderful things for Him and add so much value to His life but rather He died for me simply because He loved me.

It is easy, after living in the love of Christ for a while, to slip into a judgmental attitude toward others. We do it unconsciously at first but there is an attitude that begins to surface that says something like, if they weren’t so ignorant they would just give their life to Christ and quit acting like that. That’s entirely different from, Jesus please let them find your love and forgiveness as I did. The first is a judgmental attitude and the second is the love of Jesus for others.

The hardest thing in the world to do is to see myself as I really am. The easiest thing in the world to do is to give someone advice.

There was a prophet by the name of Jonah who held a revival where an entire city got saved and turned to repent and follow the LORD. Yet Jonah had an issue seeing himself and went and sat outside the city so he could see if God would destroy the city or not. Jonah was convinced Nineveh should be destroyed even if they had all just repented and turned to the LORD. Yet Jonah was condemning, angry and unforgiving.

Jesus please teach me to see as you see with righteous judgment through eyes of love for all.

Deliverance

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Joel 2:32

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

So deliverance can be found in mount Zion and in Jerusalem. However what you will not hear spoken of very often is that deliverance is also found in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

This remnant is a survivor or one who has escaped a great slaughter. This word is used in Numbers 21 when Israel came up against Og the king of Bashan and this heathen king intended to prevent Israel from doing what the LORD had called them to do. Numbers 21:35, “So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.” Until there was none left him alive means, there was no remnant.

In today’s world it can often seem as if christianity will be completely destroyed from our society. Any public profession or display of belief in a life of christianity is immediately attacked as inappropriate and offensive while any other expression of whatever “belief” someone wants to express is protected as free speech. Do not misunderstand. I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, even including those who disagree with my beliefs and value system. If someone will talk long enough you will know what kind of person they are and then can decide where they belong in your life. In spite of the very public attack on christianity I firmly believe there will be a remnant that survives.

The LORD has promised that there will be deliverance among the remnant. Those who have survived attacks possess the wisdom that comes from experience. If you feel like your world is being destroyed ask the LORD to lead you to someone who has survived what you are going through and they will be able to share with you the life saving wisdom that they have learned.

There is deliverance in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Look Up

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Psalm 5:3

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

David declares his intention of putting the LORD first in in his daily life by saying, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning” and then “in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”

David was going to look up and set his eyes upon the LORD because in the LORD is no wickedness, evil, foolishness or iniquity. Instead of looking at all the corrupt confusion around him, David choose to look at purity and holiness.

There is much talk and discussion in the religious world about what holiness is and what it looks like. Many groups go to great lengths in dress, talk, social behavior and all sorts of outward gymnastics to prove they are holy and worthy of God’s presence. However we can never merit, earn or buy God’s favor. The only reason we can ever be near Christ is because of His death for our wrong on Calvary’s Cross. Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

I do not make myself clean and holy by some religious creed and then deserve the presence of God and thus receive the reward of Christ’s favor. Rather I come to Jesus through the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb of God slain at Calvary and then I am accepted into the presence of God Almighty. It is not because of what I did but because of who He is!

David was determined to immediately place his focus on the LORD in the morning and thus have the necessary mercy and grace of God Almighty that he needed in order to be able to walk with God that day.

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed by thy Name!

Peace

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Proverbs 25:24

It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

This illustrates the value of peace in our lives. It is not an attack on women. I have known plenty of situations where the opposite of this was true and it was the man who was the brawler. This woman could be our alter ego, the church, our passions or just about anything that causes dispute and stress in our life.

This is not about the other person but rather it is about me. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Then in Romans 12:18 we find these words, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

We struggle and strive to prove we are the one that is right in a situation and we struggle and strive for possessions, positions and privilege. Yet true wealth and happiness is the peace of God which passeth all understanding.

There are many things that it seems we will never understand on this side of eternity while we live in a human body. There is a peace that goes beyond and excels all understanding however that money can’t buy. It is the peace of God that I find at the foot of Calvary’s Cross with my head under the feet of the crucified Christ.

Ephesians 1:22-23, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”