As we chase after the intangibles and the fleeting pleasures of this world pondering the questions of life after death or why we even run this race, we overlook the obvious. We fail to see what’s right in front of us and instead we concern ourselves with this worlds treasures and how we compare to those beside us. The world around us sends thousands of bright lights at us each second of every day. Some of these lights are meant to dazzle us with the awe of their beauty. While yet others are meant to seduce and distract us from our course. Some are sent to entice us to envy or jealousy. The last of these lights are meant to fill our hearts with fear. To get us to doubt and mistrust ourselves and those around us.
Thousands of bright lights to distract and entice us as we search for that ever illusive paradise. Paradise – that place where once there, we will be completely whole and lack nothing. The place where we will no longer need the bright lights of distraction because we will in fact have it all. We will have arrived. But has anyone ever really reached this paradise?
The truth is that this “paradise” is the biggest carrot on a stick that dangles out of our reach no matter how hard we run or how far we go to attain it. It is the brightest of bright lights sent to seduce and distract us. It’s is as much an illusion as it is unattainable. Yet we pursue it.
In reality the paradise we seek is inside of us. It’s there inside us asleep waiting to be awakened by the Spirit of the Living God Who died a humiliating and painful death so that the gates of the only one true paradise would be opened for all who seek it. Turn away from the illusion of the bright lights and lies and turn towards the Light of the World – Jesus
Jesus – Son of the only One True God and Creator of all things. He alone can fill that space within you and secure you a place in the everlasting paradise that is soon to come. The days are short and the light of this world will soon fizzle away but Jesus Christ is eternal and unchanging. Turn to Him now in humility and sincerity of heart and He will reach down and touch your soul. You will be new and you will live forever. FOREVER IN PARADISE!
Stop running after the illusion and grab hold of the real unchanging hand of the only begotten Son of God – He reaches out for you – NOW
What’s the Devil like?
Did you ever see that old movie where a family is experiencing strange things in their home? You know the one – a little blond haired girl stands in front of a static filled TV screen and turns to announce “their back!”. Yup, that one. Well there’s a scene in one of the movies in that series where a tall skinny scary old man walks up to the screen door and yells “You’re all gonna DIE!!!”
That, Virginia (and everyone else), is what the Devil is like!
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
And if we left it at that it would be a fairly scary situation to be in
But there’s more to the story
You see, the devil, is a defeated foe. Beaten down by our Lord Jesus Christ
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.
And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Rev 1:18 NKJV
Whatever authority the devil thought he had when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he lost it that day on Calvary. By dieing the death of a sinner the sinless Savior broke the curse and defeated the devil.
Death came into the world because of what one man (Adam) did, and it is because of what this other man (Christ) has done that now there is the resurrection from the dead. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, being members of his sinful race, and wherever there is sin, death results. But all who are related to Christ will rise again. 1 Cor 15:21-22 TLB
If you recall, Sin came into the world because the devil (serpent) deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. That sin was past down threw the years to all by birth. Jesus being both God and man, born of a woman but without the sin of man upon Him, died in all of our places so that the devil has no hold (ownership) on us. Jesus called the devil the father of lies and revealed to us that the only real power the devil has is to deceive. Yes, it’s true that the devils job description is to kill, steal and destroy. But, he accomplishes his tasks by deception. Just pick up a paper or turn on the evening news and you will see acts perpetrated by people who were listening to a liar. Theft, drug addiction, domestic violence, murder, abortion, adultery, fornication, and on and on – all acts fueled by lies whispered into peoples hearts and minds by the father of lies. But we do not have to believe his lies. We do not have to act on his lies. We do not have to die in our sin.
We can be free from our past sins. We can be born again by accepting Jesus as our Savior and our Lord. We can open the Bible and read the Word of God that will tell us how to live a life in victory of the devil. Do not be confused here. I’m not saying that your life will not have troubles or trials. Everyone on this earth will see their share of difficulties. What I am saying is that when trials come we can see them for what they are – bumps in the road. Potholes of life if you will. They are not the end all of all. You are not gonna die!! No matter how loudly that skinny scary old man screams it at your door.
Granted some potholes may be bigger than others. I have had my share of potholes that I thought would take me out. But they did not. Jesus is truly bigger than any pothole you hit. He will see you threw whatever life or the devil throws at you. But if you don’t know that it’s just a pothole. If you think you are alone on the side of the road because you don’t know Jesus or His Promises found in the Word. You may be tempted to believe the liar who is screaming at you that you’re gonna die! That’s why it is so very important to have a relationship with Jesus, read His Holy Word, and be strengthened thru fellowship with other believers –
so that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free John 8:32
If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and Lord you can get to know Him. He is waiting for you to call out to Him. All you need do is admit that you are a sinner. The Bible tells us that all have sinned. Admitting that you are a sinner is the first part. The Bible also tells us that the wages (penalty) of sin is death. Jesus Christ died for your sins. Yes, your sins. As He hung on that cross He thought of you and how much He wants you to be free from sin and be with Him in Paradise. Call out to Him and ask for His forgiveness and ask Him to save you and become Lord of your life – and He Will. The moment you admit your a sinner and ask Him to save you it will be done. Don’t expect to feel or hear or see anything special or different. Your sins silently weighed on you and just as quietly they will be washed away. You will be a child of the most high King and although you die you will live.
If you prayed a pray like that and you meant it in your heart, you are saved and Jesus is Lord of your life. get a Bible and find a church that reads and teaches the Word of God (not mans opinion) and grow in your new relationship with the Creator of the universe.
If you already know Jesus and have a Bible that you read and a church that you attend remember to beware the liar lion that roams about and see if you can help save others before they really do die.
God bless you all and thank you for stopping by, AL
So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 TLB
We all strive to be successful. Whether it’s success in our profession or our personal lives we want to be our best at whatever we do. How can we insure our success in all of our endeavors? What can we do to have an edge?
Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race,
but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 1 Cor. 9: 24 HCSB
If you have run in a race you know that there is a wall that you hit that seems impassable. It can stop you in your tracks or motivate you to push threw. But, it requires calling on ever last ounce of effort. Sometimes that extra effort isn’t enough. Sometimes our best efforts and shear strength is not enough.
What do we do then? Give up? Make excuses?
Jesus gives us insight into how we can succeed in life.
“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NKJV
for without Me you can do nothing
Wait a minute! That’s got to be a misprint! I am an adult who is able to do anything. How can Jesus say such a thing? He can say that because He knows that we are only able to do so much while we live this life. We can get by for awhile but to be successful in this life – in a way that is important to God – we need to be connected to the source of power and strength.
Jesus is that source
and He uses the example of the vine and branches to illustrate His point.
The Word of God is full of people who were incapable of great things in their own strength but will God did mighty works. Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Samson, Paul, Peter and many more. His grace is sufficient for them and is also for me – and You too!
So the next time you are tempted to sin (no matter what that might look like) remember the formula for success –
Humble yourself before God
Resit the devil (the temptation)
Rest in the assurance that you and God have sent the devil fleeing
also consider this
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13 NKJV
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15 NKJV
and finally always remember
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it Phil 1:6b NKJV
Thank you for stopping by and God Bless, AL
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. Gen 2:8a NKJV
I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone knows of the Garden of Eden. It’s the garden that God made to be the home for Adam and Eve. It’s the place where they ate the apple. It’s where they realized that they were naked.
But how many remember that this is where they also had fellowship with God. Gen 3:8 tells us that they heard the voice of God calling to them in cool of the day. I believe that this was a regular occurrence but that this time they hid because of their sin.
This garden was the perfect example of Who God is and how gracious and merciful He is towards us all. Within the garden were all of the trees and plants and animals. Nothing was held back. God instructed Adam that everything was his for the taking except the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. This was, I believe more a cautionary warning regarding something harmful rather than willful withholding of a delicacy as the world would imply. This is where we see the Just and Fair character of God Almighty. He could have just as easily NOT planted that tree and kept them safe. He rather planted the tree and gave a stern warning in hopes that they would trust Him and obey. Not so dissimilar than a parent instructing a child to not touch wet paint or a hot stove.
Armed with their freewill and a relationship with God Almighty they lived in the garden together. Until the serpent showed up. The serpent raises one question to Eve that set the tone for the whole conversation and is the same trap/test that he continues to use today – “Has God said….?” By asking her a question he already knew the answer to he is looking to see just how well she knows God. Sadly, she fails this test by answering him incorrectly. “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Eve added “nor shall you touch it” and that told the serpent that she didn’t know God. Armed with this he was able to plant seeds of doubt regarding the trustworthiness of God. God is withholding from you. He doesn’t want you to enjoy this beautiful fruit and the power it brings. Why, you will become just like Him and He doesn’t want that. Look at how pretty it is. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” Gen 3:6 NKJV
Herein are the three roots of all sin – “good for food’ – the lust of the flesh; “pleasant to the eyes” – the lust of the eyes; “desirable to make one wise” – the pride of life. But we’ll visit that another day.
Eve showed that she didn’t have a complete understanding of what God said and that may have been Adams fault for not telling her or it may have been that she didn’t have a close relationship with God fro herself. Either way this has been the devils doorway into our lives for generations. Sadly, for many years only the “Church” had the Word of God and so people were in the dark as to what God said. In modern times we have the Word printed in every language and spoken loudly on the radio, TV, worldwide web and in churches across the globe. Yet, so many are still unsure of what God did and did not say.
Today, more than ever, it is important to not only know the Word of God but to have a relationship with God and His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit because the devil knows his time is short. We live in a world where you can read online about how God is a myth and how Jesus never existed and how we all get to live over and over again threw reincarnation. We live with thousands of abortions daily but have to rescue puppies from pounds. How we can have intimate relations with anyone we want but just don’t go to that fanatical church. The devil, like a roaring lion, looks to see whom he may devour because his only job is to kill, steal and destroy. The glorification of the sinful nature of man is ramped up all around us. Truly we are in the days when good will be called evil and evil will be called good. By not knowing God or His promises in His Holy Word so very many have believed the lies of the devil and are perishing daily.
Brothers and Sisters let us read the Word of God while we can. Listen to the voice of God always. Tell this dieing world about He Who died for them before it is too late.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Jude 20-23 NKJV