Tag Archives: hatred

What are you feeding?

Have you ever had a garden? Whether it was a flower bed or a vegetable garden you probably learned very quickly that if you neglected to water or feed it things died. Conversely, if you diligently took the time each day to weed and feed and water it things flourished and grew.

   It’s a very basic rule of gardening –

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

   The Bible speaks often of spiritual things in terms of gardening and farming for good reason. The same rules apply. Neglect a garden and things die. Forget to water a potted plant and it will wilt. Don’t spend enough time with your spouse or family and you loose connections. Keep putting off time for Jesus and you will loose your strength.

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

    We like to have flowers in the Summer. Hanging baskets and flower beds as well as potted plants on the deck and steps but what the sprinklers can’t reach we have to water – or else. We took a two week trip this Summer to London and Paris. Family members watched our home and tried to keep up with the flowers.  When we came home we had to throw out some plants and patiently nurse others back from the brink of death because they didn’t get the attention they needed.

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

    Habits can be like gardens as well. Little white sins too. Our enemy, the devil, roams about like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. Give place to him with a secret sin or a bad habit at your own peril because what you feed grows and what you starve dies. Have you ever been able to quit a habit? Maybe smoking, over eating, drinking, gambling, gossip, anger, whatever? Do you recall the difficulty that you faced those first few moments after making the decision to turn away from the habit? How the days seemed so long? How hard it was at times? You were breaking a tie. A soul-tie and the way you were breaking it was by starving it. You refused to give in to it’s pull. You stopped feeding it and it didn’t want to die. If you were successful it did die and no longer has power over you or pulls at you. But it took time and prayer and maybe even family and friends to get you threw it.

   I quit smoking in June of 2004. Eleven years ago. Cigarettes no longer call to me or have any power over me. But it wasn’t easy. I had tried before and failed. Thank God that I got the victory but if I go back to smoking it will start the cycle of slave and master all over again. Now, before you say that I’m being melodramatic, consider that Jesus told us that we can not serve two masters. You will love the one and hate the other. Maybe cigarettes aren’t your problem. Maybe you have no problems. Maybe Jesus is the Lord of every area of your life and Praise the Lord if that’s true. But for those who struggle with secret sins or bad habits (anything you know the Word speaks out against) please keep this simple truth in mind –

What you feed grows and what you starve dies

You can do all things threw Christ Who strengthens you

and you can be victorious over any enemy

stop feeding it and it will die

and a dead thing

can not

hurt you!

Be blessed, AL

Let Your Light Shine

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:

the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4 KJV

    Jesus declared Himself The Light of the World, John 9:5b KJV, and in doing so He challenges us to consider what He meant. Was He saying that He is the very sun that the earth revolves around? I don’t think so! Was He trying to reveal to us some deeper meaning? Most assuredly!

 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 

God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. Gen 1:4 KJV 

   God divided the light from the darkness. So, if darkness is the absence of light and if Jesus is the Light of the world, then the night that Jesus spoke of is a time when there will be an absence of Him. I know what your thinking, “Jesus left the earth so very long ago so how can any of this make sense?”

   Simply put – He is still here.

   He is with us in the form of the Holy Spirit. In John 14 Jesus promises the Disciples that even though He is leaving He will send another to comfort, encourage and empower them.  In verse 18 He tells them –  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. I will come to you, in the Holy Spirit, and so He is still here with us. Jesus is here also because of us who believe. We are His body Eph 5:30  and as such we are the light of the world. We have the light of Jesus Christ within us. As long as we are here we must let that light shine because the night comes when no man woman or child can work.

“If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world.

If anyone walks during the night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him.”

John 11:9-10 HCSB

      The Night is coming. Just look around and you will see that this world is spinning out of control faster and faster every day. Wars, rumors of war, sickness, starvation, diseases, floods, fires, political upheavals and corruption. Immorality, hatred, murder, greed, pride and godlessness are all around us. But this doesn’t have to worry us. We have been warned that these things must happen but the end is not yet here. These are the birth pains that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24.

    Armed with this truth and the hope that lives with in us let us remember the words our Savior said –

“You are the light of the world.

A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father   Matthew 5: 14-16 NKJV

Go out empowered by His Holy Spirit with a smile on your face and a song in your heart because you are a Child of the Most High God. Be blessed, Al

Why do you call me good?!?!?

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good?

No one is good but One, that is, God.

Mark 10:18 NKJV

Do you consider yourself to be a “good” person? Do you do the right thing? Follow the rules? Treat others like you would like to be treated?

Do you believe in the Ten Commandments? If so, do you keep them? Would you say that you do a better job of being good than Jesus?

Of course you don’t think that you are “good-er” then Jesus especially considering the verse quoted at the start of this post. But, let’s be honest here,  if only for a moment – You know that you aren’t better than Jesus but you KNOW you are better than __________! You fill in the blank. There’s someone whose name you would write in there.

It is a shame but true that human nature causes us to compare ourselves against one another.  The way others dress, speak, park there car, care for their children and on and on all comes into our focus and is accepted or criticized based on our own standard of right and wrong. I may not be the best Christian but at least I never did __________ like he/she did. Again, you can fill in the blank.

The only problem with this aspect of human nature is  that it goes contrary to Gods Word and Jesus’ teaching. Sure, you never killed or raped anyone like so-and-so but Jesus clearly said that if you harbor hatred or lust in your heart – YOU HAVE DONE SO. But, of course, you know that you aren’t guilty of doing those things because you can clearly see those who do and you look nothing like them.

The comparisons continue. Even comparing what’s forgivable and what is not. We have our own list of what is forgivable and what is not. You can disrespect me but don’t you dare say anything about my kids! You can have different beliefs than I but don’t put my beliefs down. You can …….. the list is endless but you get my point. But in the final analyses we have no legs to stand on here.

In Gods eyes the murders, perverts, liars are in the same group as cowards and unbelievers and idolaters and they are all on the same bus heading to the lake of fire for all eternity. Don’t even get me started on the Gossip!!

When Jesus was approached by a rich young ruler He corrected the man for calling Him good. So, if Jesus says that He shouldn’t be called good – Who are you to think so highly of yourself? The next time you look down on someone try to remember that Jesus looked down on you – from the Cross where He died for YOUR sins and loved you the whole time.

Judge not that you be not judged.

Forgive or don’t be forgiven!

Love because He first Loved us!

ps – I know this isn’t the usual “feel-good” post but I felt lead to write it and hear it. Be Blessed, Al

Is history repeating?

 

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it – George Santayana

I believe it’s common knowledge that the Jewish people have faced hatred and persecution throughout history. To this day we still see antisemitic  graffiti defacing synagogues. We just this week saw a shooting at two locations in Kansas that appear to have been motivated by hate for the Jewish people. Bigotry and hatred will always exist, but in 2014 are we ready for this?

Jews emerging from a (Donetsk) synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website, and Ukraine’s Donbass news agency.

You can read the entire article here –

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/

 I would ask you to pray for Israel and Jews all over the world.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Ps. 122:6 KJV

Darkness 1

If you need of a refresher course on what the Jewish people have suffered, check out this link to see what Wikipedia has on the subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jews

 

Let The Games Begin!!!

2014 Winter Olympics logo.svg

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, are being held in Sochi, Russia and all eyes were on the opening ceremony last night. The teams entered the stadium proudly lead by their nations flag with broad smiles as they waved – they have arrived. Years upon years of hard work inspired by the dream of being an Olympian have brought all of them here. Today. For this, and now they are here! From the veteran members who have taken this walk before, to the newcomers who can hardly contain themselves, the faces can not hide the excitement of the moment. Tomorrow they will compete. Some will fall. Some will cry. All will strive and give their best but ONE will win. OK, Three will win (Gold Silver and Bronze) but you know what I meant.

I can appreciate the level of commitment and hard work these athletes have endured to get to Sochi. They set aside the better part of each day to train. They worked through the pain, self-doubt, discouragement, fatigue and distractions. They had a goal in sight and their gaze was unwavering. Day after day and year after year. What commitment! What determination! What devotion! To reach the Olympics and WIN the prize!

Jesus was such an athlete. He knew what He needed to do and set His face towards winning the Prize. He endured so much on His way to win the prize. For 3 1/2 years He traveled teaching and preaching to both the eager and the skeptic. His Haters tried to trip him up and bring Him to shame. Even His followers disowned Him when the road got rough. Yet, He endured. Who knows which was worse for Him to bear. The rejection and hatred from the people He loved or the lash across His back? The pain of being spat in the face or having His skin pulled off with fistfuls of His beard? The hanging on the cross like a common criminal or the separation from His Father as the sky turned black? Yet, He endured. For the Prize.

 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 Living Bible

We are the prize! We are the Joy that He endure it all to reach! We are the Gold medal around His neck! We are! The Word of God tells us the He would come and that in coming He would be the Lamb Who would take away the sins of the world. John the Baptist announced this while standing in the Jordan River. Jesus knew what course of action He must take to win the prize as He walked from the Jordan River that day.

 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3:21,22 KJV

In Thee I am well pleased! – Before Jesus healed a single person, preached a single sermon, raised anyone from the dead, opened any blind eyes or deaf ears. Before Jesus did any of the things we hear the most about – God the Father said He was well pleased with Jesus. Why or what was His Father so pleased with? I believe He was pleased with Jesus’ decision to take the first steps towards the goal of winning the Prize even though He would have to walk down a road that would be hard, painful and discouraging. In spite of the years it would take. No matter how hard or lonely. Even when self-doubt and temptations came. Jesus’ resolve was firm. His eye was on the prize and no one and nothing would stop Him.

We are that prize. Our freedom was WON for us by Him on the cross. No Olympic grandstand holds the glory of the Cross of Jesus Christ because He won something more precious then Gold or Silver or Bronze. He WON YOU!…….. and now its your turn to run the race and win the prize. This short life we live is our race and the prize is Eternity with Him in Heaven. He secured it for us on the cross but we have to claim it for ourselves and reach the goal…….. Paul encouraged all of us with theses words….Let it become our anthem…..

….. In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around. Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside. 1 Cor 9:24-27 Living Bible