A Day of Thanksgiving!!

1 Chronicles 16:34- “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. NKJV

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in America, and hopefully around the world because every day is a good day to give thanks to the Lord!

So what am I thankful for this morning?

  • I am thankful for Jesus! For the relationship He has allowed me to have with Him and all that entails!
  • I am thankful for this blog. I’ve always wanted an outlet to share my love for the Word!
  • For each of you who visit my site and read my blogs, whether it’s periodically or regularly! I am grateful for you!
  • For each of you that downloaded the prayer of salvation, about 140 of you, I trust that you have come into a wonderful relationship with the Savior!
  • For my amazing family!!! Yessss! I have been blessed with a godly husband, and together we have raised godly young women!

So I just wanted to take a few minutes and share my heart of gratitude with those of you who are on my heart daily. I love you! I thank God for you! And I pray that today is an amazing day for some of God’s amazing people! Wonderful Jesus!

World Wide Witness!

Mark 16:15- And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” NKJV

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If you follow me regularly, then you know that this blog is out of the blue. We have been going through the book of Mark and have just begun chapter 11, so I am taking a jump to chapter 16.

Sharing the gospel today looks much different from the way the disciples shared the gospel. Their primary vehicle of spreading the gospel was through word of mouth and letters written and shared with other believers. Today, we have countless ways to share the gospel, and we should use every means available to reach the lost. Many Christians are unsure how social media plays effectively in the gospel campaign, so I want to share responsible ways to engage with the world using popular apps!

Twitter is a familiar app to the young and the old. Twitter is a messaging app that users send short messages called tweets to communicate. Twitter allows its users to follow others, to like tweets, but mostly to share ideas. As Christians, using Twitter can be fun and engaging for us, as it is for non-believers, but it can also be a place to share your faith with friends, family, and even strangers. The advantage is that the message is short; you can create a hashtag that will connect your tweet with similar tweets, all while letting your light shine.

Facebook is another social media platform that millions are using around the world to communicate. Facebook was designed to connect with friends and family members you hadn’t seen in a while or keep up with friends who were moving to another locale. With your personal account, you can post in a variety of ways. People share what they are eating, the restaurant they enjoyed, the vacation that was not so amazing, and a variety of other personal and fun moments of their lives. While using Facebook, taking time to invite your friends to an event at your church, sharing a testimony of the goodness of God, and even posting a sermon can be great ways to use Facebook to reach out on the world wide web to be a witness.

TikTok is used by our young people. It’s a site where young people can create and share videos or watch videos that friends have shared. I am not a personal user, but I have seen some entertaining videos through others. As believers, our kids, or other brave souls, can use TikTok to show events and services that bless them, create witness videos that are short and entertaining, or just encourage someone through their day. If you like video sharing, this is the app for you!

Instagram is another very popular communication app. It also draws the attention of the youth around the world. If this is where our children are hanging out, we need to make sure that we can navigate their platforms and reach them for Christ! With Instagram, all messages are short in delivery, short in the time it is visible, and a quick way to share a moment in time. With over a billion users, Instagram messages of faith and hope can penetrate the darkness! Christians need to be using every means necessary to get the gospel message out there!

The last site I want to mention is Snapchat! Again, young people love this app! Your message will only last for about 10 seconds, but it doesn’t take a long time to encourage someone. Mini-video clips, funny photos, photos of memorable moments in a young person’s life can all be reminders of the goodness of God. No matter why the young people create accounts to the different apps, they can use their social media accounts to witness Jesus, or we can use them to remind them why they love the Savior!

Now that we know a little more about some of the more popular apps, maybe we won’t be afraid to log on to begin sharing our faith or words of encouragement with others. But I would be remiss if I didn’t share some things that you need to know that could bring harm into your child’s life. With every media, there is good and evil, and social media is no different.

There are things that we should be aware of as users, parents, educators, or guardians. Whatever our role, we need to know that danger awaits the person who is not paying attention. Paul warned:

lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV

Warnings:

  • Social media allows its users to meet people from all over the world. Because of that, young people can meet strangers online who sound friendly, but wish to harm.
  • Social media platforms allow for free expression from us, but also from all of their users, so some content may not be appropriate to engage.
  • Snapchat is cute, but has no way for parents to monitor it and it gives away the location of its users. Especially when they are near other users.
  • Hate speech, racial slurs, and profanity can be sent to kids, just like the warm and fuzzy messages can be sent!
  • Dares, or challenges can be sent to young people that can get them into trouble on so many levels.

So what are we to do? If it is a platform that we can use to be a witness to the world, to encourage our youth, to share the goodness of God with others, and there are so many negative things attached to it, what can we do to stay safe and keep our kids safe? I’m glad you asked!

Safeguards can be simple and take only a few minutes:

  • When allowing young kids and teens to have social media accounts, become a friend so that you can monitor what is going on.
  • If you don’t want to be a friend, have access to their passwords.
  • Make sure accounts are private and strangers cannot get their information.
  • Talk to them about appropriate and inappropriate content, language, and messages.
  • Teach them how to be safe, especially with personal information.
  • Restrict usage of apps, and show an interest in what they post as a way to keep on top of their online activities.
  • And mainly, pray with them, for them, about them, that God will keep them safe, give them wisdom, and assist you in protecting them!

Jesus shared this word of wisdom with us:

Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Matthew 10: 26 NKJV

Don’t become afraid! We can’t keep our kids from social media forever. One day, they will venture into the world wide web and find ways to communicate with their friends that they think are cool! We can teach them to be responsible and guide them while we can. When we are proactive in helping them use social media, it can be a fun, safe way to enjoy connecting with friends and families and sharing their faith! The same can even be true for you! At the end of this post, I will have some links to assist you in learning more about social media. Wonderful Jesus!

The One Who is Coming!

Mark 11:9-10 -Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” NKJV

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We’re in chapter 11 of the book of Mark. Things are being wrapped up as Jesus heads to Jerusalem for what we call the triumphal entry. Zechariah spoke of this event prophetically when he penned:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 9:9 NKJV

Mark tells us that Jesus sends two of His disciples to the village to get a colt. We have no insight into how Jesus knew this colt would be there waiting for His use. Some attribute this to Him operating in a spiritual gift. Others believe that He set this up before He had need of the colt. I can believe that Jesus knew the colt would be there and that the people would be agreeable to His usage of the colt easier than Him setting it up. However it happened, the colt was there waiting to be used by Jesus.

It is said that in Palestine, when a king went to war, he rode on a horse; but when He rode on a donkey, He came in peace. Zechariah stated that the King would come in humility. Jesus was most certainly clothed in humility during His earthly time. This was confusing to the disciples and Jewish followers because they believed that the Messiah would come and take over the kingdom, conquering their enemies, and restating Israel as a great, even greater kingdom. But that’s not what happened.

He most definitely did come. He came as a babe, lived in obscurity for three decades, then showed up where John was baptizing to launch into public ministry. During that time, as we have discovered in Mark, He worked many miracles. He was passionate about the mission He had been given by God. He moved quickly and things happened immediately.

It didn’t take long for the religious people to dislike Jesus. As time went on, they literally hated Him. They plotted against Him. They tried to catch Him with His words. They tried to make it appear as if He was a zealot. To no avail. And finally they decided that they would just get rid of Him. They would kill Him, to stop Him!

So we find the King of kings riding into Jerusalem. He enters on a colt of a donkey that has never been ridden before. It is said that this symbolizes that this colt was reserved for a sacred purpose, which is why it had never been ridden. When they brought it to the King, they laid their clothes on its back, and Jesus sat upon the colt and was led through the gates of the city.

What came over the people? Was it the Spirit of God moving upon the hearts of the crowd causing them to worship? Was it pandemonium, and people just love to follow a crowd? I think, that God’s Spirit moved and they obeyed.

And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

Mark 11:8 NKJV

What else would cause the masses to stop what they were doing and begin to spread their clothes on the road for the donkey to pass over. This was some pretty high adoration going on. Others cut down leafy branches and spread them on the road, also. Laying out a royal carpet for the donkey to ride upon. A setting fit for the King!

Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Mark 11:9-10 NKJV

A processional heads to the temple, a crowd of worshippers in the front, Jesus on the colt, the disciples leading the colt while others followed. I’m sure it was quite the scene. I’m also sure the religious leaders were ticked off and what was happening!

Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.

Psalm 118:26 NKJV

Hosanna means save now we pray. The very words the psalmist wrote of the Messiah, the cornerstone that the builders had rejected! They are excited about the King who is able to save His people from the harsh rulership of the Roman empire.

He who comes or the One who comes is a phrase directly associated with the Messiah. They are worshipping the Messiah, the One who was to come in the name of the Lord! Recognizing He descended from the seed of David and is the One whose kingdom will never fade! And yet with all of their words of adoration, there was no realization of who they were praising!

John wrote of another scene where Jesus would be lauded:

The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,  saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

Revelations 11:15-17 NKJV

Jesus is that One! They worshipped Him who they knew not. But we know Him and should worship Him even more! He entered Jerusalem as the Messiah who was to come, and they had a different idea of what that meant. But looking back to that time, we know Him as the Messiah! We know He paid for our sins! We know He redeemed us from death, hell, and disease! We know He rose again on the third day! We know He sits at the right hand of the Father! We know He is the mighty conqueror! We know He is God!

And He is still the One to come! He will come back again! This time to take His bride with Him! This time as the warrior King! He will come in all of His Glory! He will come with His angels! He will come with all power! There will be no guessing! No mangers! No star! He is the Star! The Bright and Morning Star!

Are you excited yet? Are you encouraged to know that He came, He left, but He is coming again! And He is coming for us! I’m excited today!

Many in that crowd missed it! Their praise was empty praise! But I’m sure that many figured it out and became true followers and worshippers of the Messiah! I encourage you today to take some time to offer your praise to the Messiah! Genuine praise to Jesus, the One who is to come! Wonderful Jesus!

Healing Bartimaeus

Mark 10:51-52- “So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. NKJV

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Divine healing is a subject that draws much debate. There are some in the Church who believe passionately in divine healing. I am one of them. Others believe it is false. But if you or a loved one has ever received healing after divine intervention, then you can agree with me that it is accurate.

Bartimaeus lived at a time when miraculous healings were a thing of his past. After all, he was a Jewish man, and therefore he knew of the miraculous encounters his people had with God. As a young boy in Timaeus’ home, he was probably told yearly of the Exodus. He was informed of the mighty miracles Moses did at God’s instruction, which eventually led to the children of Israel being released from Egyptian bondage. He was indeed familiar with how Sarah and Abraham were given Isaac, in their old age, because he was the son of promise. So many miracles, and yet, he was blind. A beggar, sitting on the side of the road. Day in and day out in his hopeless state with no help in sight.

But one day, something changed. We don’t know how Bartimaeus came to know that things were happening in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, but we are sure that he did. Word was traveling of the miracles that Jesus performed. Not sporadic miracles, but countless miracles, all because of a man named Jesus!

Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Mark 10:46-47 NKJV

Mark doesn’t mention Jesus visiting Jericho before this event. And he doesn’t tell us that Jesus spent any time there. They went to Jericho, and they went out of Jericho. So it appears that they were just passing through the city. Mark describes the scene as being crowded with people following Jesus and the disciples. A great multitude sounds like a lot of people are leaving out the city. But as they are passing Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is in the crowd. And he knows this is his moment. His opportunity to experience what he had never dared to hope for in the past but was passing by him, a miracle!

People with blindness learn to depend on their other senses. Often sharpening their listening skills to interact with the world around them. Bartimaeus probably heard people talking to Jesus as He passed, or heard someone referring to Jesus in the crowd. One thing is sure, it got him to shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Listen to Bartimaeus’ words again, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! The fact that Bartimaeus refers to Jesus as the Son of David, His messianic title, shows that Bartimaeus understood that Jesus was the deliverer! The long-awaited Messiah, the promised deliverer, the One who could possibly show him some compassion! Have mercy on me!

Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Mark 10:48 NKJV

Seriously? Someone is crying out to Jesus for mercy and those hearing him tell him to be quiet? That’s wrong on every level! Even today, when people turn to Jesus, a naysayer is always in the background telling them not to do it! I implore you to do as Bartimaeus did that day! He cried out even louder! Maybe at first, Bartimaeus was a little shy with his cries. Maybe he was trying to be dignified and didn’t want to sound like a crazy man. But when they tried to silence him, his cries had to be heard over the noise surrounding him, trying to mute him. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” He cried louder than those trying to quiet him.

So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”

Mark 10:49 NKJV

Mark wrote that Jesus stood still! He was walking past Bartimaeus, on His way to something else, but Bartimaeus’ cries cause Him to stand still! Isn’t that something? Jesus wasn’t headed to heal Bartimaeus or to have an encounter with Bartimaeus, He was passing by Bartimaeus, and Bartimaeus stopped Him in His tracks!

There may be situations in your life that seem hopeless. The days for your miracle may appear to be in the past. Maybe, what you need has never happened before, at least to your knowledge. But you need a miracle, cause nothing else will do! It may be your time to cry out to Jesus!

Prayer takes on all forms. As simple as Bartimaeus’ words were, they got Jesus’ attention! Prayer gets God’s attention. Religious prayers don’t move you and they won’t move God. But when you pray with all of your heart, you will get His attention!

Jesus requests that they bring Bartimaeus to Him. Now the people are solicitous to him. “Be of good cheer. Rise. He is calling for you.” Were these the same people telling him to be quiet? I wonder! It would certainly fit! But it’s not important. What’s important is that Jesus tells them to bring Bartimaeus to Him! Throwing his coat aside, Bartimaeus rises and goes to Jesus!

So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

Mark 10:51-52 NKJV

Jesus can tell that Bartimaeus is blind, yet He asks Bartimaeus, what does he want Him to do. Once, in the prayer line, I saw an individual in line with a leg problem. When that person got to me, I prayed for their leg without asking what they wanted. They rebuked me saying that wasn’t why they were in the line. I learned my lesson. Here, Jesus assumes nothing, asking Bartimaeus what he wants from Him!

Bartimaeus wants to see! He has been blind possibly his whole life. He says to Jesus, “That I might receive my sight!” Simple! Sincere! Faith-filled!

Jesus responds to his request by telling him to go his way; his faith has made him whole! Mark says that immediately Bartimaeus received his sight! Just like that! One minute he is sitting on the side of the road begging for his next meal, and the next minute, he encounters Jesus, now he can see!

That’s Jesus! Life can be going in one direction on a downward spiral, then you encounter Jesus and your whole life is changed. That’s what happened to me! That’s probably what happened to you!

As we have become more accustomed to getting medical treatment, we have lost our desperation for Jesus to heal us. Most people turn to Him for healing when they have tried everything else. It’s not a bad time to turn Him, I just encourage you to try Him first. Even when seeking medical assistance, pray and ask Him for wisdom in what to do. He’ll give it to you!

But sometimes, medical science, with all of its technology will not have the answer. Don’t give up and lose hope! Cry out to Jesus! More and more people are realizing that miracles are still happening! There’s healing in the Word! Wonderful Jesus!

It’s In the Cup!

Mark 10:38-39- But Jesus said to them… “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism, I am baptized with you will be baptized NKJV

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The disciples are at it again! James and John approach Jesus with a question that shows they are still interested in positional authority in the kingdom of God. They want to know if Jesus can grant them a favor by allowing them to sit, one on His right side and the other on His left. Jesus then poses a question to them.

“You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

Mark 10:38 NKJV

James and John quickly responded that they were able to drink of His cup.

In this passage, Jesus asks if James and John can drink from the cup He would drink from and be baptized with His baptism. Many scholars believe that the cup Jesus was referring to was the cup of suffering. Scholars also believe that the baptism Jesus referred to is the baptism of death. What He experienced before the cross was harsh. What He endured on the cross was horrific. Yet, that wasn’t the end of His story!

I sincerely believe that they were clueless about what Jesus was saying to them. When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, they couldn’t stay awake to pray, and when He was taken by the guardsmen, they fled! So at that time, they thought they could handle anything that Jesus could handle.

So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized.

Mark 10:39 NKJV

Yet Jesus knew what they did not know. He knew that they would indeed drink from the same cup that He was going to drink from, and they would be baptized with the same baptism. Historically, His words were accurate. Each of His disciples was martyred, excluding Judas, who killed himself, and John, who apparently died of natural causes. Though they tried unsuccessfully to kill him. So they did drink of His cup of suffering and were baptized with His baptism. But did you know that isn’t the whole of the story? There is so much more!

Before Jesus rose from the dead and restored the disciples, they had difficulty staying the course. We see them wanting to be the greatest, wanting to call fire down from heaven to consume others, cutting off the ear of a soldier and a host of other things. At times, I can see that they didn’t quite know what to make of Jesus, nor what He really wanted them to do. But the light came on for them after they met in Jerusalem to await power from on high! And although they died a martyr’s death, if they could testify before you today, it wouldn’t be about how they died, but how they lived!

As apostles, leaders, trailblazers, they had a more challenging way of things than the average Christian will experience. I will even go so far as to say that the early church members have the same testimony. Establishing and then expanding the kingdom of God amongst heathenistic nations came with a heavy toll. But it was in the cup, and once they understood what was in the cup, they drank from it wholeheartedly!

Every believer will have to answer the same questions during their time on this earth. Am I able to drink from the cup that Jesus drank from? Am I able to be baptized with His baptism? It’s surprising how many times the Bible reference a cup, and all references are not as deep as the cup Jesus mentions!

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Psalm 23:5 NKJV

In this cup, David found the overwhelming goodness of God. As David worshipped the Shepherd, he marveled at the fact that his cup ran over. When I think of drinking from the cup, I know the goodness of God is also in the cup! As the apostles learned to trust God and be led by His Spirit, they also experienced that the cup offered more than suffering!

What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.

Psalm 116:12-13 NKJV

What shall any of us give to the Lord for all His benefits towards us? The psalmist answered by saying that he would take up the cup of salvation! This reminds me of a chorus to a song my husband loves so much:

When I think about the Lord, how He saved me, how He raised me, how He filled me with the Holy Ghost, how He healed me to the uttermost, how He picked me up and turned my life around, how He place my feet on solid ground, it makes me want to shout!

Christ for the Nations

There are so many benefits in the cup of salvation! Are there sufferings? Sometimes! But mostly, there are great benefits in the cup! The apostles experienced every one of them! And because the drink of the cup of salvation was so refreshing, they had no issues with all the other stuff that was in the cup!

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.

Psalm 16:5 NKJV

Most important of all, David discovered that God was his cup! God was not in the cup, but God is the cup! And because He is the cup, even in the valley of the shadow of death, or death, He is with us! No one could ever love us more than God can love us! Nothing could ever be more beneficial than experiencing God. Everything won’t always turn up roses, but everything will always be worth it when we stay plugged into God!

This is what the apostles found! This was their hope and the experience! Having an opportunity to connect with God, to know Him, and to be known by Him, was worth everything that was in the cup!

Remember, I wrote above that wasn’t the end of Jesus’ story? His story is yet being told! He didn’t stay in the grave, but He rose from the dead. After restoring His disciples, He ascended to the Father, where He now sits as a mediator for every believer! Every time someone drinks from the well of salvation, it is made possible because He willing drank from His cup! It wasn’t easy that night for Him. His flesh was screaming, “Lord, if it is possible, let this cup pass!” But His Spirit was willing, “Not my will, but thy will be done!”

The apostles saw miracles. Their lives were transformed. They caught the vision of eternal life, and then they went forth that others may have the same opportunity to experience God. James died not soon after the resurrection at the hand of Herod. He drank from the cup before his friends and brothers in Christ! But they didn’t stop! They didn’t cower down! They didn’t say the cup was too bitter! No! They continued with Jesus and His agenda, knowing that whatever was in the cup was worth it to be with Jesus!

Is He worth everything to you? Are you genuinely willing to enjoy the goodness of God while experiencing the attacks of the enemy? As a believer, you will not have a choice. You will drink of the cup! But knowing all the benefits, all the blessings that are in the cup, it should be easier to drink from. Wonderful Jesus!

With God!

Mark 10:26-27- “And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men, it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible. NKJV

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Jesus watched as the rich young ruler walked away from Him. The love that He felt as the young man spoke with Him was still in His heart, but there was also a sadness that went with the love. Remembering His disciples, He turned to them and told them it was hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Mark said they were astonished at His words. But when Jesus compared the difficulty of a rich man entering the kingdom of God, to a camel going through the eye of a needle, Mark wrote that they were greatly astonished.

“And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”

Mark 10:26 NKJV

Abraham, Isaac, and Israel were all very rich men. Men who God had made a covenant with. Every time Abraham met someone new they were trying to give him possessions. Isaac was very rich according to the account of his life. And Jacob was also made to prosper. It was quite possible that the disciples were also rich, and when Jesus spoke these words, it caused them to be shaken to the point that Mark said they were greatly astonished. This astonishment had them asking the question amongst themselves, “Who then can be saved?” If God isn’t saving the rich, the ones who looked favored amongst them, then who is He saving?

I heard a famous comedian share one day how many people don’t believe that he is a Christian. He loves God and believes in Jesus, he attends church, and so he is a Christian. I don’t know where this man is spiritually, but there are some things that he say that are not Christ-like, although he is very funny. After he made this comment he said that he looked more like a Christian than many others, referencing his financial state. There are those today who equate prosperity with God’s blessings on their lives.

Let me clarify that I believe that God wants His people to prosper. He said so in 3 John.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers

3 John 1:2 NKJV

Prospering in all things, includes prospering financially. That doesn’t mean that rich people are favored and blessed by God, anymore than it means that poor people are not. Again, God doesn’t care how much money you have as long as money doesn’t have you.

Jesus responds to the disciples question by saying:

“With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Mark 10:27 NKJV

With men it is impossible for any of us to get saved. As a matter of fact, if it was left to man’s idea of how to get saved we would all be lost. But not with God. With God, the possibility of salvation for all of mankind was made possible by His grace, because with God all things are truly possible.

When the children of Israel stood at the shores of the Red Sea, and Pharoah and his army were approaching from behind, it looked like there was no way for salvation. But with God! God told Moses to stretch forth his hands and the waters parted until the bottom of the sea only showed dry land. Not muddy land, dry land! No one else could have brought their salvation. Things looked impossible from man’s point of view, but with God, they became very possible!

When the Israelites looked at Jericho, things looked pretty impossible. The walls were so thick they had chariot races on top of them. There seemed to be no way inside the city. And they were correct! There was no way for man to get inside of Jericho, but with God a way was made. God gave instructions to Joshua to walk around the city for seven days and on the seventh day to shout! Is that humanly possible to shout loud enough to bring down walls of a city? No it isn’t. If it was possible, stadiums would not be able to handle all of the cheering and shouting that fans create! But with God, a simple shout will bring down the walls of a city! Ask Rahab! What looked impossible to man, became very possible with God.

There was a famine in the land. Things were so bad that two women made a deal to eat each other sons. That’s horrific! The king was so angry he wanted to kill Elisha, the prophet. But Elisha told him that things would change on the next day. There would be so much food that it would cost next to nothing to purchase it. This famine was the result of Syria laying siege to the city and it had been going on for awhile. Elisha’s words were so ludicrous that the king’s armor bearer said that if God opened the windows of heaven, it wouldn’t be possible! He failed to understand that with man, this was truly impossible. But with God, all things are possible. Didn’t He do it? Oh yes, He did!

A young girl was going about her daily chores, when suddenly an angel appeared and told her that she was highly favored of God. He also told her that she would have a son, but not just any son, the Son of the Highest and she was to name Him Jesus. When she asked how this could happen, seeing that she didn’t know a man, he told her that man wasn’t going to be involved in this conception, this was happening with God! The Holy Spirit would overshadow her and she would conceive! This same Jesus, born of a virgin knew that with God all things were possible!

Are you still with me? Who then can be saved? Hear the words of the prophet:

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV

You see, Jesus knew that He was about to obtain salvation for the world. All of mankind, even the rich young ruler, needed more than what we could do to receive eternal life. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t a thing that we could do! We needed what only God could do! Because with God, all things are possible! So He sent Jesus! The answer to man’s dilemma for salvation!

Jesus knew His death was imminent. He knew the devil had plans for His demise. But what the devil didn’t know, was that He was more than willing to be made a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Because only He could provide the eternal life that man was seeking!

We can’t save people, because we can’t save ourselves! Only God can! He has given us the assignment to proclaim the good news of the gospel! That gospel is powerful enough to save the roughest gangster, the quietest librarian, the loudest drunkard, the most perverted of individuals because it isn’t about what they can do, but what will happen when they partner with God! With God, salvation is possible, but without Him it is not going to happen.

The rich young ruler, like so many people today, missed a divine appointment with God! He missed the opportunity to have more than what money could buy. He missed God! With God, all of our impossibilities become possible. Our hunger for eternity is satisfied. Our need for love is fulfilled. Our desire to be accepted is made possible. Our need to belong happens. With man, these things are impossible, but with God, all of these things, and so much more, become possible.

If you don’t know Jesus as your savior or the God of impossibilities, it was my pleasure to introduce you to Him. There is nothing like the grace He offers us to enter into the kingdom of God. If you will ask Him for salvation, and trust Him to deliver it, it will be yours. With man, it is truly impossible, but with God, through Jesus, it is very possible. Wonderful Jesus!

Prayer for Salvation

The Eye of the Needle

Mark 10:23,25- Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” NKJV

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I’m not much of a seamstress, but I did learn to sew. Trying to get a piece of thread through the eye of the needle required a steady hand and good eyesight. Even still, it is a challenge for some. But eventually, I learned to get the thread through the eye with little to no effort.

As Jesus is walking down the road with His disciples, a young man runs to Him and bows before Him, asking Him what must he do to inherit eternal life?

“Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Mark 10:17 NKJV

Apparently, he had heard the message of the kingdom that Jesus shared everywhere He went, and the thought of eternal life appealed to him. So he wanted to know what did he have to do to have eternal life?

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

Mark 10:18-19 NKJV

The young ruler addressed Jesus as the Good Teacher, and Jesus asked the ruler why did he call Him good? No one is good but God, Jesus responds, so are you acknowledging that I Am God?

Then Jesus says that the young man knows the commandments, don’t commit adultery, don’t commit murder, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, and don’t cheat people, or defraud them, and honor your father and mother. The young man looked at Jesus and told Him that, yes, he had done all of these things since he was a young boy. In other words, he was morally upright and a good person at that. But Jesus knows how to get to the heart of the matter, how to reach us when no other can. So with His next statement, He does just that. He addresses the ruler’s heart.

He looked on this young man and love-filled His heart for him. One version states that compassion filled Jesus’ heart. He knew what He needed to say to this young ruler, and He knew it would be a struggle for him.

“One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Mark 10:21 NKJV

After Jesus tells this to the young man, he walks away saddened because he had a lot of property. The bible says that he was rich. Isn’t it interesting that the young man asked Jesus what he had to do to have eternal life, and then when Jesus tells him what to do, it’s too much! He can’t do it! He can’t give up all that he has obtained to follow Jesus! He wasn’t interested in treasure in heaven when he had so much treasure on earth. For him, this was a hard saying.

People learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus then realize the cost is too deep. They can’t walk away from their lifestyle. They can’t leave that individual. They can’t give up who they are to become what they don’t know. Fear grips their heart and paralyzes them, disabling them to answer the call to come to Jesus. It’s too hard. It’s too much!

Jesus looks at His disciples who have watched all of this transpire and makes an interesting statement:

“How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 

Mark 10:23 NKJV

Mark tells us that the disciples were astonished. It’s my personal opinion that they were surprised because some of them had money and possessions. And a lot of it. After all, they were fishermen with more than one boat and others working for them. Matthew had made a lot of money as a tax collector. This probably was a shock for them to hear. If they were poor, they would have had a different reaction. You know the have nots enjoy watching the haves be rejected. That’s why I don’t believe the disciples were poor. So Jesus repeated it, this time adding something else to His statement.

“Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Mark 10:24-25 NKJV

The first time Jesus addresses the subject of riches and the kingdom, He remarks that it is hard for people with wealth to enter the kingdom. Then He restates it for the disciples that those who trust in riches will have a hard time entering the kingdom of God. This is where some attack prosperity-minded ministers saying that riches prohibit us from entering into the kingdom of God. Yet, some of those same people who protest prosperity ministers are equally rich. The religious leaders were wealthy, and the Pope is rich. Lots of people become rich off of the gospel message. And many others remain poor. Some speak of having money, and others don’t. Jesus isn’t against us having money, He doesn’t want money to have us! That’s us trusting in riches!

Some in the body say that when Jesus made this analogy of a camel going through the eye of the needle, He was referencing a gateway in Jerusalem. I watched some videos of the gate that is supposed to be the eye of the needle. It was demonstrated that if the camel had nothing on his back, it could crawl through the narrow gate, referred to as the eye of the needle gate. So the camel could get through the gate, but it would be with much difficulty.

Since Jesus used a lot of figurative language when He spoke to His disciples and the crowds, this could be what He was referencing. However, I tend to think it was an actual eye of a needle. It may not have been a sewing needle like I used to stitch a hem, but a needle nonetheless. Whatever view you have, Jesus said that it would be difficult or hard for a person who is trusting in their wealth to enter the kingdom of God.

Why? Look at the rich young ruler. His money was so important to him, he allowed it to keep him from following Jesus. Had Jesus told Him to set up a food bank, he probably could have handled that. But Jesus asked him to sell everything and give it away, then follow Him. But the young man could not because he trusted his wealth more than the promises of the Savior! The One he called Good Teacher!

What hinders you from following Jesus? Is it riches? Is it a position you hold in government, in a company? Is it social media? Friends? The attention of the opposite sex? Can your eye of the needle be pornography, or drugs, or sex? Whatever it is that hinders you, it has become your god. It means more to you than the promises of the Savior.

Jesus didn’t say that this ruler or other rich people could never enter the kingdom of God; He said it would be hard. We’ll discuss it more in my next blog. Wonderful Jesus!

Let Them Come!

Mark 10:14- “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” NKJV

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Sometimes, as adults, we can miss it! Such was the case with the disciples. In chapter 9, Jesus demonstrated His love and willingness to interact with children:

Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

Mark 9:36-37 NKJV

Jesus held the child in His arms and told His disciples that whoever receives a child in His name receives Him. You would think that the disciples would understand that Jesus loved kids and didn’t mind having them around. As a matter of fact, He made them sound pretty important to Him, when He said that to receive them, was to receive Him.

Yet, here in chapter 10, we can clearly see that those words went right over their head!

Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

Mark 9:13 NKJV

The people are starting to bring their children to Jesus, wanting Him to touch them, and the disciples rebuked the parents! It makes no sense! Jesus had just finished saying that if anyone would cause a child to stumble or fall, it would be better if they had drowned in the sea, and they are trying to keep children from Him!

Mark lets us know that Jesus wasn’t happy with His disciples. Not only was He not happy, but He was also greatly displeased! Can you imagine His displeasure? Their embarrassment?

But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:14 NKJV

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me.” I mentioned in my previous blog that my mother-in-law was involved in child evangelism. My husband and his siblings speak of how they came to the Lord at an early age, along with all of their friends and the kids in the neighborhood. What a legacy! Every Saturday, their mom would host child evangelism classes in their basement as kids came to hear about Jesus. For years!

I remember being in church as a kid and sharing my “determination” that Jesus would be my Savior and heaven would be my home. Everyone thought that this was “cuteness”, but I was very serious. Many people share their testimonies of backsliding and then coming back to Jesus. I can genuinely state that I have never walked away from Jesus, I have never “laid down my religion”, and I have never wanted to. I just needed Him so desperately, I realized at an early age, I couldn’t do life without Him.

Jesus understood the heart of a child and was trying to help His disciples to also understand.

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:14 NKJV

Children are important to Jesus. Their open spirit is waiting to be written upon, and as adults, we need to make sure the right message is written in their hearts. No child is too young to genuinely open their heart to the savior. While they might not understand theology 101, they understand how He makes them feel loved and protected. I’m a witness!

There are parents who choose to not see the value of bringing their children to Jesus while they are young. They were made to go to church so they won’t make their children go. It’s their only time to sleep in. The kids don’t want to get up because they stayed up late playing video games. It doesn’t take all of that! I’ll let them decide when they are older.

But when we take this position or have this attitude, we are forbidding them to come to Jesus. If Jesus was displeased with the disciples for trying to keep the children away, how do we think He feels when we keep our children away?

For such is the kingdom of God. Prayer is communicating with God. Children may not be able to throw bible verses into a prayer, but their hearts of trust and faith make their prayers just as powerful as an adult. Maybe more! Worship may be something they cannot articulate, but when they lift their hands in praise and worship with all of their heart, it’s magnifying. When they tell others about their Savior, they may not be able to explain the four spiritual laws, but they understand the One Who loves them.

I’ve worked with children most of my life and I know they can come to Jesus and be sincere as they come. Especially since that is what happened to me. I’ve also seen them come to Jesus, want to really learn of Him, and had to watch their parents snatch them away. It’s heartbreaking!

I’ve watched children serve the Lord with all of their hearts. They get involved in children’s choir, dance, playing instruments, praying, evangelism, and they are serious about Jesus. If nurtured and trained by godly adults, they will grow into godly teens, and later godly adults. If children are tolerated in a church, and not allowed to be a part, they will drift away feeling irrelevant and unimportant. Forbid them not!

What if I did all of that, and they walked away from Him? When I think of wayward children I think of this verse in Isaiah:

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.

Isaiah 43:6 NKJV

Some of us need to become mediators for our children. Instead of giving up, we need to tell the devil, the drugs, the sin in their life to give them up! This is your baby, not the devil’s baby, and the devil shouldn’t be allowed to have free access in their life! Fight the good fight of faith for them, especially if they had a heart for Jesus in their youth! Trust God to bring them back to Him!

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Mark 10:15-16 NKJV

If you follow me, you know that I believe that the kingdom of God is real. The kingdom of God is accessed and experienced through faith! Jesus said that if we don’t receive the kingdom of God as a little child, we won’t enter it! Children are trusting until you teach them not to trust. They just accept what they are told as truth. This is how we operate in the kingdom. If we are to experience it, we are going to have to trust that what Jesus taught about the kingdom is true. And to access it, we must believe. Plain and simple!

This isn’t talking about going to heaven, per se! But that’s for another blog on another day! Wonderful Jesus!

With This Ring!

Mark 10:7-9- ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” NKJV

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When I was newly married, I had a conversation with my mother-in-law. It wasn’t an adversarial conversation, but looking back, I know it was a necessary conversation. When my husband and I first met, he spoke often and highly of his mother. He talked of her love for the Lord, her quickness to pray, and her willingness to tell them the truth of God’s word, even if it angered them. She was known by many as a prayer warrior and a child evangelist.

One day she called the house looking for my husband, her youngest son. He wasn’t at home. Then she made a comment that I was keeping her son away from her. My husband is his own man, quite capable and willing to do what he believes needs to be done. I would have never tried to interfere with his relationship with his parents, and he wouldn’t have allowed it. It just wasn’t true!

Marriage is God’s idea. He established it in Genesis. The Pharisees knew this. Yet, they came to Jesus to test Him by asking Him about the legality of divorce. This is how the conversation went:

Pharisees: Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?

Jesus: What did Moses command you?

Pharisees: Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.

With this ring, I thee wed! That is the promise couples make worldwide, and it has been happening for millennials. We pledge to love, honor, and be together until death departs us. Not through us murdering one another but understanding that nothing but death can separate us.

However, we know people who have not made the lasting journey. For a variety of reasons, they ended up in divorce. Can I be honest and say that “but for grace,” none of us could be successful at anything, including marriage? And had I experienced some of the situations I have heard through the years, my story might be different! So I’m not being judgmental; I am making a point. The Pharisees were not really interested in what Jesus thought about divorce; they just felt they had found a way to trip Him up!

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.  But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,  and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Mark 10:5-9 NKJV

With His reply to the Pharisees, Jesus tells us what we need to know about marriage and divorce from God’s perspective.

First, Jesus agrees that a divorce was made possible with a law from Moses. Moses, however, didn’t give a divorce decree because he thought it was a great idea but because he understood the hardness of the heart of man. Some people are just determined to make others miserable. Some people are just plain mean and selfish. Some people should never get married. They have hard heart issues.

Jesus shares that when God instituted marriage in Genesis, it was not with divorce in mind. God, from the beginning, created them male and female. It matters not that we are in a time when marriage is being redefined; before God, in the beginning, it was for males and females. This was the first thing about marriage that Jesus shared!

He tells us that a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife. In biblical days, the family stayed together, frequently living in the same house, under the same roof. Even if that is the arrangement, the man is to cling to his wife. Some men believe their moms are more important than their wives. If that is true to them, it isn’t biblical. A man shouldn’t have to choose between the two special women in his life, and they should not ask him to. But if there is to be some choosing, his biblical responsibility is with his wife!

This leads me back to my conversation with my mother-in-law. The Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit before I replied to her and told me to ask her if she believed the Bible? She said that, of course, she did. I then asked her if she believed what God said about a man leaving his father and his mother to be joined with his wife? She said that she did. And that was the end of that conversation. I never felt like I had disrespected her or slighted her in any manner. As believers, we had chosen to honor His word and His perspective on the situation, and it was settled. I shared what happened with my husband, and being the wise man he is, he began to visit her more.

Then Jesus explains what is supposed to happen in marriage. The two become one flesh. How? Through sexual intimacy. Paul gives us a little more insight into what this looks like.

 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 

1 Corinthians 7: 3-5 NKJV

Sexual purity within a marriage is a blog unto itself. But suffice it to say, sex is not a tool we use to manipulate one another; it is bonding material. It makes us one! This is why fornication and adultery are not suitable for us. We can’t keep binding ourselves to all of these people and then taking them into our marriage bed!

The only point I am going to make is the one about withholding sex. We don’t withhold sex because we are mad or trying to punish one another. That’s a dangerous game to play, and it opens the door to the enemy. Keep that door closed!

What God has joined together, let no man put asunder! That includes you. Don’t be the reason that your marriage fails. Don’t invite the devil into your bedroom or into your home. Fussing and fighting, name-calling, anger, bitterness, insensitivity, disrespect, and selfishness are marriage killers. Making your spouse the butt of your jokes is childish. Comparing your spouse to an ex, a parent, a pastor, a friend, a sibling is not cool. These things, over time, will lead to a hard heart which will lead to divorce. Don’t let it happen!

Everyone needs someone to confide in, but be really careful about the influence you allow people to have in your life and marriage. Your friend who is trying to convince you to leave your spouse may have ulterior motives. They may want you or your spouse. Be careful! Ok! My passion is showing, and I need to stop!

With this ring, I thee wed! God intended for it to be a lifelong journey of love, respect, and intimacy. Not a revolving door. The original plan for marriage is still the best plan! Wonderful Jesus!

Cut It Off!

 Mark 9:42-43- “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched” NKJV

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My plan was to skip over this part of chapter 9 and move on to 10, but as I spent time with the Lord, He began talking to me from this passage. Let’s dive in and see what God has for us today!

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

Mark 9:42 NKJV

As we come to the end of 2021, it’s amazing to think of all that we have experienced as a nation, as a church, and even as individuals. If anyone prophesied to us in 2019, what 2020 and 2021 would look like, we would have thought they were false prophets. But looking at where we are, we have to be honest in our private time with God and ask, how did we get here?

Yes, the pandemic threw us for a loop, shutting down much of the world. Yes, many lives were lost, and therefore, many more were changed. Jobs were stopped, businesses were closed down forever, the world went digital through IoT (internet of things), and the way we do life saw many changes.

Online services have become the norm causing some to be content to stay home during service times. Those who were left out because they were ill or the church was inaccessible can now enjoy worship with their friends and family. This is a blessing! But for those who are just staying home, you are causing others who are babes in Christ, quite possible yourself, to stumble.

Jesus said that if we cause one to stumble! That’s a pretty high calling by which to live. For if we cause one to stumble, Jesus said, it would be better if we were thrown in the sea! Now let me stop to say that Jesus isn’t encouraging suicide or murder here. He is saying that it is really and truly serious to Him if we conduct our lives in such a manner that it causes others to stumble.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched

Mark 9:43 NKJV

Let me also point out that I don’t believe for a second that Jesus believes in self-mutilation. Nothing anyone could ever write in a commentary or preach in a sermon could ever convince me that we are to start cutting off our body parts if we sin with them. But I do believe, because I heard Him addressing me, that there are some things that we do need to cut off. As a matter of fact, the phrase, “cut it off” has been ringing in my heart for days.

Let’s read this in the Amplified version:

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe and trust in Me to stumble [that is, to sin or lose faith], it would be better for him if a heavy millstone [one requiring a donkey’s strength to turn it] were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.  If your hand causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It is better for you to enter life crippled, than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.

Mark 9:42-43 AMP

When God spoke to my spirit this week, this is what He said to me. If there is something that will cause us, or others to stumble, that we are involved in, it’s time to cut it off! Today, is my first time reading this passage in the AMP version, so I know that I wasn’t just meditating on this version. God said, some things need to be cut off, or out of our lives.

What things? There is absolutely no way that we can live the kind of life that won’t offend someone. I know people who get offended at the concept of supporting their church financially. Let them! But there are other things that are offensive, and we know they are offensive and divisive, yet we participate with them or at least approve of them. It’s time to cut them off!

That individual who you are still involved with, knowing what God has to say in His word, is an offense to young believers and a sin you need to be rid of. It’s time to cut it off! Your heart may break, your life may change, children may be affected, but in the end, your eternity is what matters! Get mad with me if you need to, but you can stop deceiving yourself by thinking God is okay with homosexuality, fornication, adultery, or any other sinful lifestyle. Just because you are living what you think is a good life, He is not in it! Cut it off and go on to live His best life!

When our daughter was in undergrad, she attended a church that believed it was okay to drink alcoholic beverages. We had many conversations about that! I know all the scriptures about Jesus drinking wine and sitting with the sinners. But deep in our spirit, we know that is not the behavior of believers and it could inadvertently cause people to stumble, including us! Just cut it off! It’s not necessary for a healthy and prosperous life!

Paul said it this way:

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

1 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV

You may be feeling like you have the liberty in Christ to drink, to smoke, to do whatever, and I won’t argue with you about it. But Paul wrote that our liberty can become a stumbling block to those who are weak, and we should be mindful of that as we exercise our liberties.

Cut it off! It’s really, really hard to look at our lives and think that there is anything in our lives that can cause others to stumble. I can look at Sister So and So’s life and see that she just needs to stop doing this or stop acting like that. But can she look at my life and do the same? I am sure of it!

James wrote this to the church:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:22-25 NKJV

We don’t want to be that person who looks in the mirror of God’s word, sees something He is showing us, and then walks away with our heads hung because we can’t see ourselves letting go of it, like the rich young ruler. No! We want to respond immediately!

Just this week, as I was before the Lord, He showed me something in my life that I need to cut off. I know it’s the truth! So I repented of that thing and asked Him to help me as I learn to walk free of it. It’s a blessing to realize that He loves me so much He wants to prune me to look more like Him.

Maybe He is speaking to you through today’s blog. Maybe He is using it to confirm something He has already spoken to you. Whatever it is, take courage and cut it off today! Wonderful Jesus!