My Grace is sufficient, His Grace is enough 2 Corinthians 12

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“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

    What does it mean that God’s grace is enough? I’ve heard people say this repeatedly over their life conditions and sicknesses as if they were given a life sentence for misery. When the Lord spoke this to Paul, He wanted Paul to know that He (The Lord God) was in control over everything. Paul had not been abandoned by the Lord in this trial, but he could rejoice and boast in this weakness, because it is here when Paul was weak,  that God was strong.  Let every part of your life glorify God – the good times and the struggles. When we are weak, God is strong . When we’ve fully given God the reign/ reins to our life and when pride is forced out of our heart, we will finally see that it is God who must be glorified in all things.

BITTER OR BETTER? IT’S UP TO YOU
I believe that life struggles have 1 of  2 outcomes: they can make us  better (stronger, change us, better us and give us an opportunity to help) others or make us bitter (destroy us with bitterness, anger, anxiety and resentment). The choice is yours. You have the power to control your mind and your thoughts. Philippians 4:8 tells us and commands us to fix our thoughts and think of things that are “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise”

 When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-4

 The Lord wants you to know that in whatever circumstance you are in:

  • He has your today, your tomorrow and your future in His hands (So stop worrying! Cast fear and worry out of your mind)
  • Today is 100% in His control of today and everyday (Trust in Him)
  • Tomorrow is already taken care of so you don’t need to worry, fret or dread
  • He will pull you out of stormy waters
  • He is your refuge, your high tower and your safety
  • He hears your cries to Him

Charles Spurgeon said that this thorn in the flesh was about destroying pride in Paul. Pride may have wanted to creep into Paul’s heart. That would make sense, not only for Paul but for each one of us. Pride is the sneakiest of all sins, it creeps in unawares without the victim knowing. Perhaps this thorn did keep Paul’s heart in check.  When we consider Paul’s upstanding life (on his own account) his family heritage (Benjamite) and his authority before his conversion, he was a powerful and famous man. His life suddenly changes with a meeting with the Lord Jesus, supernatural events, visions, healings and  visit to heaven – that could send a person today on a pride trip, don’t you think? Maybe or maybe not. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our knowledge, fame, and favor among people (and maybe God) that we no longer have an open door to learn new truths.   When pride slips in the teaching, it can ruin the message. Pride is seen by everyone but the one who has it. It’s invisible but seen, it’s silent but heard.

 Charles Spurgen December 8, 1872 “A thorn in the flesh”  He (Paul) had been taken into the innermost part of the third Heaven—into that secret Paradise where Christ dwells with His perfected saints! He had entered into the nearest communion with God possible to a man while yet in this life. Should he not feel somewhat exalted? Surely exultation must fill that man’s bosom who has been brought within the veil to see his God and to hear the unutterable harmonies! It was natural that he should be exalted and it was not unnatural that he should stand in danger of being exalted above measure! Devout exaltation very rapidly degenerates into self-exaltation. When God lifts us up, there is only one step further—namely our lifting up ourselves—and then we fall into serious mischief, indeed.
I wonder how many among us could bear to receive such revelations as Paul had? O God, You may well, in Your kindness, spare us such perilous favors! We have neither head nor heart to sustain so vast a load of blessing. Our little plant needs not a river to water its root—the gentle dew suffices—the flood might wash it away. How many has God blessed in the ministry for a little while, or, if not in the ministry, in some other form of service? But, alas, how soon have they swollen with conceit and have become too big for the world to hold them! Puffed up with vanity, the honor put upon them has turned their brain and they have gone astray into gross folly, sheer vanity, or defiling sin…….He who thinks he is humble is probably the proudest man in the place. But there are some men in whom self-consciousness is so uppermost and so evidently powerful that you can see it in almost everything they do. It is their struggle, if they are Christians, to keep it down—but it will come up in the form of being very easily annoyed because they are overlooked in some good work—or in being easily irritated because they fancy that somebody is opposing them when that somebody never thought of them.
Beloved, above all things it is dangerous for a Christian to be exalted above measure, for if he is he will rob God of His Glory and this is a high crime! The Lord has said, “I will not give My Glory to another.” To give God’s Glory to graven images is bad, but to usurp it for ourselves is by no means better. I see no difference between the worship of a god of stone and the worship of a god of flesh. Self is as degrading an idol as Juggernaut or Kalee. God will not honor that man who retains honor for himself. The meek He will exalt, the proud He will abase. Self-exaltation is equally evil to the Church with which the man associates and the more prominent he is, the more pestilent is his sin…..Suppose Paul to have been lifted up—he would have been of small use to the Gentile Church afterwards. He would have sought himself and not the things of Christ! And very soon Paul would have become an object of parties and the leader of a sect—the cry of, “I am of Paul,” would have been sweet music to him and he would in all ways have encouraged those who adopted it—and a schism would have been the result. Had he been exalted above measure, he might have become a rival rather than a servant of Jesus. He might have disdained his lowly office and have aspired to lord it over God’s heritage. We might have heard of him as a right reverend father in God rather than as the servant of Jesus Christ and His Church. THORN (Spurgeon cont.) The Apostle says, “There was given to me a thorn.” Note that—”a thorn.” If the English word expresses the exact meaning—and I think it is pretty near it—you need not be at a loss to understand the simile. A thorn is but a little thing and indicates a painful, but not a killing trial—not a huge, crushing, overwhelming affliction, but a common matter— none the less painful, however, because common and insignificant. A thorn is a sharp thing which pricks, pierces, irritates, lacerates, festers and causes endless pain and inconvenience. And yet it is almost a secret thing—not very apparent to anyone but the sufferer. Paul had a secret grief somewhere, I know not where, but near his heart, continually wherever he might be, irritating him—perpetually vexing him and wounding him. A thorn, a commonplace thing such as might grow in any field and fall to any man’s lot. Thorns are plentiful enough and have been since Father Adam scattered the first handful of the seed. A thorn—nothing to make a man unbearable or give him the dignity of unusual sorrow. Some men boast about their great trials and there is something in feeling that you are a man greatly afflicted. But a thorn could not drive even this wretched satisfaction. It was not a sword in the bones, or a galling arrow in the loins, but only a thorn, about which little could be said.
Everyone knows, however, that a thorn is one of the most wretched intruders that can molest our foot or hand. Those pains which are despised because they are seldom fatal, are frequently the source of the most intense anguish— toothache, headache, earache—what greater miseries are known to mortals? And so with a thorn. It sounds like a nothing—”it can be easily removed with a needle”—so those say who feel it not and yet how it will fester! And if it remains in the flesh it will generate inconceivable torture. Such was Paul’s trial—a secret smarting, incessantly irritating, something—we do not know what.It was a thorn “in the flesh”—in the flesh. He was not tempted in the spirit—it was in the flesh. I suppose the evil had an intimate connection with his body. Many as the leaves of autumn have been the guesses of learned men as to what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. Almost every disease has had its advocates. I was particularly pleased to find that Rosenmuller thought it to be the gout [Brother Spurgeon suffered from severe gout]—but then other critics think it to be weak eyesight, stammering, or a hypochondriac tendency. Richard Baxter, who suffered from a very painful disorder which I need not mention, thought that the Apostle was his fellow sufferer. One Divine is of the opinion that Paul endured the earache and I generally find that each expositor has selected that particular thorn which had pierced his own bosom
 

LK,TM,UL 

You are surrounded by His lovingkindness, tender mercies and unfailing love  When we fully understand the great depth of God’s grace, we know that we are on the Path He has prepared for us. I imagine it like this- a large supernatural cloak of the Lord’s Tender Mercies, Loving Kindness and Unfailing love that covers me. (TM, LK,UL)

1-He surrounds you with unfailing love.The Lord wants us to trust in His UNFAILING LOVE for us. His unfailing love protects us, leads us, covers us, rescues us, pursues us, is better than life, lasts forever, supports us, teaches us, silences our enemies, came through Jesus Christ

  •  Exodus 15:13“With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home
  • Exodus 20:6But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
  • Psalm 13:5But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
  • Psalm 21:7For the king trusts in the Lord. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling
  • Psalm 23:6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life
  • Psalm 40:11 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me
  • Psalm 63:3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!
  • Psalm 94:18 I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
  • Psalm 119:64 O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees
  •  Psalm 143:12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant
  • John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

2- He surrounds you with Tender Mercies. He crowns you with Tender Mercies and He surrounds you with Tender Mercies that always protect you.

  •  Psalm 103:4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
  • Psalm 119:77 Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight.
  • Psalm 40:11Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
  • Psalm 69:16Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

3- He surrounds you with Lovingkindness. His lovingkindnes preserves you and is always with you.

  •  Psalm 26:3 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth
  • Psalm 40:11  Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me
  • Psalm 42:8  Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
  • Psalm 119:159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thylovingkindness
  • Hosea 2:19  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

The Grace of God

If the Holy Spirit lives in you, you can be assured that you are covered under Grace of God. The Lord wants you to know and understand that:

  • He will get you through today and tomorrow
  • All you need is His grace – that is knowing that His unfailing love, tender mercies, loving kindness covers you
  • Don’t let the enemy fill you with fear, doubt, worry and hopelessness- you have been set free ; ”For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord (in you!) is, there is freedom.2 Cor 3:17

In a previous post on God’s Grace, I found, according to scripture, that grace is like a current or pathway that the Lord God has us on to keep us safe. We are the apple of His eye and He leads us to the life He has planned. He will turn your sorrow to gladness and crown you with everlasting joy. Psa56:8:  “You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”  Though tough times may surround you, lift your head up for your redemption draweth nigh. Don’t let mans words fill you with fear and dread, trust in God. God’s word is always true. (romans 3)   In your weakness, God will show Himself strong. Your sorrows will turn to joy and the troubles of today will soon be gone as He carries you though each day.

David’s prayers during tough times: 

David had many struggles as Paul did. David always found a way to praise God even in the worst of circumstances. In death, in fear, in life, in rejection, in hiding, in despair – David would cry out for help, remember and recite God’s promises while praising the name of the Lord.

David’s prayer during storms and trials   (from Psalm 42-43,142-143)

  1. Remember the Lord: He is your strength. He is your help. He is faithful and righteous
  2. Meditate on all His works and His words
  3. Muse on all the Works of His hands
  4. Praise Him, enter His gates with thanksgiving.
  5. Cry out to Him
  6. Declare His Good works
  7. Pour out your heart to Him
  8. Lift up your hands
  9. Take Shelter in Him

HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD:    

  • Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.  For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5  Romans 15:4 Matthew 5:4 
  • The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Ps 27:14 Ps 9:9
  • Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all Ps 34:17-19
  • Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength: Is 26:3-4 Psalm 147:3 Ps 55:22
  • But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:31,
  • Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. James 4:10, 1 Peter 4:12, 5:7, 2 Peter 2:9

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 3:3 Ps 40:1-3

Bad Company Corrupts Good Character 1 Cor 15:33

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Bad company corrupts good character. Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Company: Homillee-ah=companionship, to be friends with, partnership (strongs)

Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers.

How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God.


As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them.

I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD.

Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you
And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty. 2 Cor 6:14-18

If God is walking with you, does He approve of the company you are with? The words spoken? The places you go?

We are 4 given commands:
1. Come out from unbelievers
2. Separate yourself from them
3. Do not touch or get near their filthy things
4. Do not team up with unbelievers

I Considered the questions Paul asked…
1. Can righteousness partner with wickedness?…well…no
2. Can light live with darkness? Uhmmm impossible
3. Can there be harmony with Christ and the Devil? Never
4. Can there be union between God’s temple and idol? No way!
5. Then why do you think a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? Because I’m wrong

This verse reminds us:
1. You are the temple of the Living God
2. He is your Father
3. You are His sons and daughters

Separate yourselves and you shall be my sons and daughters.

They can “shipwreck you”
When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness. Jude 1:12

Enjoy the company of those who call on the Lord with Pure hearts
If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.  Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22

Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they receivedfrom us.  For you know that you ought to imitate us. 2Thes 3:6

Stay away from them, but warn them as you would a brother or sister
Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. 15 Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister 2 Thes 3:6

“Stay away from people like that….
in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!  They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence ofvulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres

I call it “Keeping a healthy distance” 1 Cor 5:9-13

When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.

Associate: soon-an-am-ig-noo-mee: means to mix with, associate with, and keep company.

       This is different from the meaning of words used in other scripture (1 Cor 15:33/ Ps 106). which implies creating friendships, marriage, partnerships with unbelievers and those living in sin. It would be impossible to avoid every non believer. We do associate with them, but the scripture warns us not to joined in a relationship that could destroy our walk with the Lord. Be an example of the love of Christ and remember the people that Jesus came for – the sick, the lost, the captive, the sinners- be an example of Christ – but stay away from the sin that binds them. Putting all the scripture together, we can see that there is a line we are not to cross. We can associate with non believers living in sin, but we are not to team up with them or mingle to the point where we corrupt ourselves. Now about the believers who live in sexual sin- what would that say to the world if you were to form a partnership with them? Just think about it..on to the rest of my post…..

I teach my children that if their friends choose to be bullies and hurt others, they need to back away and find new friends to associate with. They still associate with them at times and are nice, but they are not to take part in the things they do.

What about marriage??? 1 Cor 7:12-23
 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace.) Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you? Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments. Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you.

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Prov 13:20

You must influence them; do not let them influence you! Jeremiah 15:19

But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works Psalm 106:33-42
Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.

Mingle : aw-rab – to intermix, have fellowship with, mingle, partnerships

What was the trap? The snare that destroyed them? They were mingled among the heathen and learned their works.

What were the sins that they learned and lived? (nlt version)
1. They learned and adapted their evil customs
2. they worshiped their idols (worshipping things of this world –Eph 5;7-11)
3. sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons
4. shed innocent blood
5. polluted the land with murder
6. defiled themselves by their evil deed
7. adultery – their love of idols.

 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 2 Thes 3: 6 

As a Christian, I find that sometimes I have to step back and stay away from certain circles of people even though I like them and enjoy their company. I cannot stand with them when they make fun of others, when they mock the weak, gossip about friends, get drunk, use filthy language, live promiscuous lives or hurt others with their words. At times I can feel sad about this and feel left out, but Psalm 1 encourages me. The words remind me of His promises for me and lead me along the path that pleases Him. My life goal is to live a life pleasing to Him. When I stop to remember 2 Cor 6:14- that He walks me, it makes me really consider the people I mingle with – would the Lord approve of this conversation?

Psalm 1- Blessings for obedience

 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 1 instructs us:
1. Do not walk with the ungodly
2. Do not stand in the way of sinners
3. Do not sit in the seat of the scornful

Don’t participate in the things these people do Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.  Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.  Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them Eph 3-11

Don’t participate and don’t have it AMONG YOU –OR AROUND YOU.
 What should you keep away from? What is not for you?
1. obscene stories
2. foolish talk
3. coarse jokes
4. impurity
5. greed (idolater)
6. sexual immorality

Here’s our warning: Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do.
Warning: Some want to lead you astray from your fellowship with the Father and the Son 1 John 2:24-27

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul Prov 22:24

Instructions: 
1. Love others. 1 J 2:9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
2. Be careful that we don’t fall into idolatry and begin to worship the things of this world. 1 J 2:15-17: Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
3. Be Patient with others Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.Eph 4:2
4. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection,and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Romans 9:12-16

Hear the Word of the Lord

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Prov 13:20

So this is what the LORD says to his people: “You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.” Jeremiah 14:10

The LORD has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. Isaiah 8: 11-13

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth. The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness. Prov 12:18-23

All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. John 3:20-21

Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted. Proverbs 2:20

If you have ever had to separate yourself from certain things, events or people because of your beliefs, you can understand how Jeremiah felt: Jeremiah 15: 15

I said “LORD, you know what’s happening to me.
Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors!
Please give me time; don’t let me die young.
It’s for your sake that I am suffering. 
When I discovered your words, I devoured them.
They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name,
O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. 
I never joined the people in their merry feasts.
I sat alone because your hand was on me.

I was filled with indignation at their sins. 
Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable?
Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook,
like a spring that has gone dry.” 
This is how the LORD responds:
“If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!  They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I, the LORD, have spoken!  Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands.” 

  But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.  So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

Dear children,
   Don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.  But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.  So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. o you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.

    May the grace of the Lord be with you. May He fill you with all knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Be a light in this world. Work hard to please Him. He loves you.

www.hearhisword.wordpress.com

The Love TEST : are you a clanging cymbal? 1 Corinthians 13

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Okay, here comes that Sword of the Spirit. The Lord has been searching my heart lately and showing me some things. Not fun, but I can understand why Adam and Eve wanted to run and hide in the garden, because sometimes I want to run and hide too.

If you were to ask me if I loved other people, I would say ” OF COURSE! I have the Love of Jesus in my heart. I forgive, and quite frankly, I can’t think of anyone I hate.” I would answer this patting my back, “oh, Lisa, you are just sooooo Christ like” If you were to ask my friends, they’d probably agree too….uhhhmmmm, right?

So lately, I can hear the spirit say and remind me : Love does not demand it’s own way. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!  Really?
Not that I’m some big brat, but I do like things to go my way. I’m just being honest. I plan my days, my hours and my trips- allowing for some interference, but if my entire plan goes haywire-I not always thrilled (ok, I get mad). For instance: My Disney trips are planned from morning to night- I have everything mapped out- where we go first, who gets the fast pass, what restaurant we will be in for lunch, who gets the next fast pass, while I get in line for small world, and run to line for Mickey signing.Then a quick run to the parking lot to get to our 6:15 dinner reservations at sho-gun. My family doesn’t mind, in fact, they know if they follow me, all will go well and everyone has fun. I tell my outside family and cousins ” no, I will not go to disney with you, you do not want to go with me”. So they know, that’s one place I draw the line when it comes to sharing the day. However,circumstances beyond my control……. throw me in a big family vacation… with other dictators besides myself- totally annoying! I could rip out my hair and roll around the asphalt screaming or take an advil and tell myself this will be the worst day ever (which is actually my coping mechanism, that way if anything good happens, I’m super happy)

To add to it, I was flipping through channels early this morning and I heard Sid Roth say “What is love, that one would lay down his life for another”. Immediately my mind said to me, yep, Lisa, that’s you…… There isn’t anyone you wouldn’t  lay down your life for. Before I had a chance to pat myself on the back, the Spirit reminded me “are you kidding? you didn’t even let that car get in your lane yesterday”

So the Lord has been showing me, maybe I’m not all there like I thought I was. This one “not demanding my own way” is going to be a tough one to get through. I didn’t realize how many things I want -“my way”. I can’t even watch the tv unless the clicker is in my hand- seriously- I think I have small seizures if I can’t hold it while I watch tv.   How can I not demand my own way?  I’m getting a stomach ache just thinking of this change in me- not going to be easy ! However, I’m jumping in and will accomplish this- not on my own, but the grace of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus. Pray for me.

Now on to the LOVE TEST— and note to self- don’t just ask yourself in your own wisdom these questions, but ask the Lord to show you if there is anything in your heart you need to change…

  1. Are you Kind? Do you consider others? what do your actions say?
  2. Are you patient? How do you behave in line at the DMV? Are you patient with others? Do you allow for the faults of others with patience? Do you expect everyone to be where you are spiritually and get annoyed if they are not as holy as you?
  3. Do you get jealous? Do you despise your brother’s house? Do you want to kick your sister’s car? Do you stand angry and silent when someone tells you something wonderful in their life ” I won $100,000 with the lotto numbers you gave me”
  4. Are you boastful? Do you love to toot your own delirious horn? Do you take a compliment and let everyone know about it for the next 10 years (in your own words).
  5. Are you proud? haughty? prideful? Do you judge others? Do you think you are super Christian and everyone else is pathetic because they are not at your high level of religiousity?
  6. Are you rude? be truthful! How do you treat others? Are you nice to everyone? Do you consider other’s feelings? Do you talk to others and say hello? Do you enjoy slinging rude comments like darts to insult people? How do you treat others who are rude to you? yikes! it was easier thinking of all the rude people we know- wasn’t it? Well, how do you respond to the rudies?
  7. Do you demand your own way? guilty!
  8. Are you irritable? I’d like a recall on this one- but that is not gonna happen – so when I’m irritable – I’m not being loving????  great, another one I need to work on. If you’re judging me here, let me know and I’ll give my kids a huge chocolate bar and send them to your house for the afternoon. hahahahahahaha, then tell me you never get irritated. okay, fine, I’ll work on that too.
  9. Do you keep a record of wrongs people have done to you? yes you do! I know it. Erase them from you brain and determine not to think about them again. Give it to God. I don’t want my wrongs recorded, so I probably shouldn’t record the wrongs of others either. Fix your thoughts Phil 4:8
  10. Do you rejoice about injustice or rejoice whenever the truths wins out. Sounds like a safe one, doesn’t it. hmmmm let’s rephrase.. Do you rejoice when you are caught in a lie? Do you rejoice always in the truth? Do you try to make your own truths?
  11. Love never gives up! Are you determined- have you set your mind to never give up? Are you always walking with the Lord and remembering and hoping in all His promises? – it’s another post- but I’ve been noticing examples in scripture where Persistance pays off – it’s true. Be persistant and determined in your prayers, your studies, and you walk with the Lord. Don’t give up on the Lord, and keep praying for the salvation of those around you- and never give up. (The serpent chants “I can’t, I can’t”- if you catch yourself saying that, consider it’s orgins)
  12. Are you always hopeful? or are you always complaining? stop complaining! Where’s your faith? Don’t you know the Promises are God are true- they are yes and amen!
  13. Love never loses faith- Fear God and not man! Do you let the words of man worry and shake you or do you rely on the Lord your God?
  14. Love endures all things. Satan wants you to give up- he chants “I can’t, I can’t” in your mind continually.  You know that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! He will give you the power to endure all things.

 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proudor rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

  If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

     May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty Power.  May Christ dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and the length, and depth and height, and to know the Love of Christ which passeth all knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Disobedience to God. “my ways are higher than your ways” says the Lord Isaiah 55: 8 – 9

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“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

      God’s thoughts are above mine and His reasoning is above mine. The Lord has taught me a big lesson this week. As I think of it, I stand trembling before Him. He has given me instructions and at times, I’ve altered them according to my own ways, thoughts and understanding. I meant good, but what I should have done was to seek God’s guidance. I didn’t even notice my wrong until I was reading through Numbers this week and suddenly this was revealed to me.

Blessed is he whose sins are forgiven
I acknowledged my sin to you
I will confess my sins to the Lord
and you forgave me the iniquity of my sin Ps 32

Moses Punishment: He was not allowed to go into the Promised land- that’s a huge punishment! He spent the last 40 years trying to get there- and he never did. Why? Because of disobedience.

Pay close attention- so you understand what he did wrong.
The Lord’s instructions to Moses: (when the people were crying out for water) Numbers 20
1-Take the rod
2-Gather the Children of Israel
3-Speak to the Rock

So Moses did the following:
1-took the rod
2-Gathered the Children of Israel
3-He spoke to the people (he was not told to do this)
4-Struck the rock 2x  (he was not told to do this)

He did three things wrong. He did not speak to the Rock.  He struck the rock 2x. Isn’t that interesting. I wonder if in anyway this is symbolic of Christ?  Instead of speaking to the rock to give them water, he struck it. Jesus is our rock, our source of living water and He was struck.
I’m sure at the time, Moses thought he was obeying- but he added on things of his own understanding and with that we know there was a lack of trust/faith there that was a sin before God.

God said to him in vs 23: because you did not believe in me- to hallow me before the people

Walk in God’s ways not our own ways

” When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.[f] 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.  For,
“Who can know the LORD’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ

If we are going to walk with the Lord, we need to make sure we are not walking in our own understanding or our own knowledge. We need to seek the Lord’s counsel in all things and obey with complete obedience and faith. We obey, we trust. We cannot make the water come out of the rock- we have to trust Him-the Lord. This is similar to stepping out praying for healing for others. We just need to step out in faith knowing we, on our own, cannot do the healing, but our Healer can. We obey- we pray for the sick as Jesus commanded us to (do the works He did) and we have to trust Him that He is there and He heals.

Little sin of Balaam? No, not so little-  punishment of sin is death
In Numbers 24 evil King Balaak wanted Balaam (sorcerer- prophet) to curse the Israelites . The king called for Balaam but Balaam would not go to see him. So Balam went to the Lord to ask Him if he should go to the King.
the Lord said:
You may go only if they ask you again –
The bible says, the next day Balaam got up and went.
Did you notice what Balaam did wrong? He went even though they didn’t ask him to go. Again we see human reasoning. This is probably what ran through Balaam’s mind:  “Well, if God said, I could go, I can go, and they didn’t ask me, but they asked me before, and God didn’t specify exactly what time they were to ask me, therefore I’ll go, and I’m not sinning, because I’m obeying- just with a twist”
Big Punishment: The angel of the Lord tried to kill him 3x while he was on his donkey on the way to see King Balaak. (Balaam needs more study- but just the point here- that he obeyed partially and made up his own way and the Lord counted that as a sin- that deserved death)

Little sin of complaining people against Moses? not so little-they were swallowed up by the earth
 ” So what?” we might think, the people complained against Moses and Aaron. We are so conditioned to hearing complaints about leaders we might think nothing of this sin- but read in Numbers 16 what happened to the families of those who rose up Moses. Their children, wives, family and tents were swallowed up by the earth! The people around them ran screaming for their lives as they heard the screams of those who went down into the earth alive. Was it pride? God wants us to learn from these stories and put within us the first step in walking with Him – this is the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.

Complaining was punishable by death (is your complaining really lack of faith?) Killed 14,700 people
The very next day! After the people saw the complainers getting eaten up in the earth the people complained against Moses again. What happened? A plague killed 14,700 people. Complaining is not trusting. It is so engrained in us, our conversations- do we even notice it?  When I think back of times when I complained- I have to wonder if it all stems from lack of faith in God. Do I really believe His Word? Do I really see Him as a Father. That is one thing I noticed when I studied David and Abraham. Even though they sinned, they both had complete faith and trust in God as their Father. They believed God as a child believes in His father. If you read through the Psalms David wrote, you will understand his relationship with the Lord. No matter what He faced- he always praised God for saving him, even when he wasn’t even yet saved.

“What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,”
says the LORD.
You make plans that are contrary to mine.
You make alliances not directed by my Spirit,
thus piling up your sins.
2 For without consulting me,
you have gone down to Egypt for help.
You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection Isaiah 30:1-2

More Complaining punishable by fiery serpents sent to bite and kill
This happened right after the people had defeated the Canannites.  They had no food, no water and complained about the same old boring bread they were eating. Didn’t they know? Didn’t they remember? Didn’t they know God had never let them down? It’s easy for us to condemn them, but how many times have we feared the worst- when we know that God never abandons us? Don’t complain- go to the throne. This story can be found in Numbers 21. The people were finally spared when they looked at the pole with the serpent on it. That’s another story- Jesus quoted from this in the New Testament.

Little sin of Uzzah- he only touched the ark so it wouldn’t fall! We might think it was a little sin- but it was not before God- punishable by death
That’s too bad, because he was told not to touch it! 6 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God.  Then the LORD’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this.[d] So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.2 Samuel 6:7 . The things we may think are little or unimportant- are not. We need  to be very careful as we walk with the Lord- especially leaders and teachers. We must know that only God is all knowing and that we are nothing without Christ in us and His leading in us. We are not empowered by our knowledge, our reasoning, our high positions or fame. It is only through God’s spirit that you lead, it is not in ourselves.

Even if we mean well and mean good -we need to make sure our actions and our words are not sin against the Lord our God.
O Lord, create in us a new heart and renew a right spirit within us. Thank you Lord God for saving us through your son Jesus Christ. Surely I deserve death, but Praise you Lord God for your Mercy and Love for us. Teach us to walk along the ancient paths of your prophets. To hear your voice, O God. Remind us to seek your counsel in all we do. Give us the faith of Abraham, to walk with you like Enoch, to live in obedience like Noah and to love others as you have loved us.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen