letsloveothers

Love one another as Jesus has loved us.

Chaos is not my friend! It…

Hijacks my peace. 

Muddies my life. 

Barges into my routines.

All of which isn’t good for my physical or emotional well-being. 

I know I’m losing the battle when I go into hyper-organizational mode. Although an anemic attempt to control my life and environment, it momentarily brings relief. It’s not effective long term because it creates something even more insidious— perfectionism.

Over the past few days the battle was raging, and nothing I did was working.

No relief from organizing. 

No relief from fall decorating.

No relief from praying.

No relief from reading and studying Papa’s word.

NO! RELIEF! PERIOD!

So what did I do?

Increased my time praying and studying Papa’s word.

The result?

A paradigm shift was birthed.

Chaos— confusion is the new normal. Learn to anticipate so you can adaptKeep your eyes focused on the reward— Christ’s return and eternal reign.

We are living in times when unpredictability is the word of the day. What was once considered earthquake proof is being shaken into pieces so small that putting them back together is impossible. 

Problem solving has entered unchartered waters. Adrift in a sea of chaos, we can no longer rely upon past strategies to solve the current tsunami of economic, political and social problems washing over our lives. 

In the search for answers, many have blindly wandered into quicksand. Slowly sinking in a quagmire of knowledge that’s no longer applicable. 

This chaos— confusion I believe is a sign of the birth pains that Jesus said would precede His return. Jesus warns us in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 that devastation will envelope the earth before His return. War, famine, economic upheaval, plagues, natural disasters, and animal attacks will increase in frequency and intensity. Although there will be times of peace— rest, the time between catastrophic events will diminish over time.

Isaiah 19—a messianic chapter of Egypt’s birth pains prior to Christ’s return, outlines both Papa’s judgment and salvation of Egypt. Although a prophecy for the country of Egypt, it has prophetic implications for the entire world.

For almost 30 centuries ancient Egypt was the primadonna of the Mediterranean world. Her art, architecture and religious traditions were unequaled. Conquests by Persia, Greece and Rome initiated the demise of Egypt’s grandeur and reign. Cumulating in the seventh century when she was conquered by the Arabs, and Islam was introduced.

Isaiah 19

IDOLS

Look! The Lord is advancing against Egypt, riding on a swift cloud. The idols of Egypt tremble. The hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear. (Verse 1)

What’s an idol? Anything or anyone that you…

Love more than Papa. 

Want more than Papa. 

Desire more than Papa.

Treasure more than Papa.

Enjoy more than Papa. 

Who do you trust to supply all your needs— the idols of this world or Papa? 

So put to death and deprive of power the evil longings of your earthly body with its sensual, self-centered instincts, immorality, impurity, sinful passion, evil desire and greed. Which is a kind of idolatry because it replaces your devotion to God.

Because of these sinful things the divine wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. Those who fail to listen and who routinely and obstinately disregard God’s precepts.

These sinful things you also once walked when you were habitually living in them without the knowledge of Christ. But now rid yourselves completely of all these things: anger, rage, malice, slander and obscene (abusive, filthy, vulgar) language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another. For you have stripped off the old self with its evil practices and have put on the new spiritual self who is being continually renewed in true knowledge in the image of Him who created the new self. Colossians 3:5-10

TO BE CONTINUED…

Say the word “family” and a myriad of images comes to mind, a collage of both personal and fabricated images. Images that nonetheless influence thoughts, feelings and beliefs— individually and collectively.

Sadly, no one exits childhood without trauma, some more than others. For many, parents are the instigators of this trauma. Inflicting physical and psychological pain.

My father was a selfish, abusive, alcoholic. Nothing I accomplished measured up to his unrealistic expectations of perfection. Never did I hear him say, “I love you or great job.” 

I learned early in life to keep secrets. To do whatever it took to remain invisible. Vulnerability was taboo. Dependency upon others was foolishness. 

One of the problems with relational invisibility is that my relationships were superficial, devoid of intimacy and trust. Nevertheless, nothing quieted the deep seeded longing I had for relationships in which I could be myself without fear of rejection. 

Overtime this superficiality and distrust took a toll. Despondent and desperate I resigned myself to living on the outside, alone— even in a crowd.

Thankfully, that voice has been silenced! My heavenly Father— Papa rescued me. Enveloping me in His healing love. Reassuring me I was His beloved. 

Overtime those childhood scars healed. No longer wrecking havoc in my life because I chose to believe Papa when He tells me:

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Knowing You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.

I will offer You my grateful heart. For I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence. Your works are wonderful. I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. Psalm 139:13-14

Grateful for the incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us. That we would be permitted to be named and called and counted the children of God! 1 John 3:1

So trust Papa when He tells you.

YOU ARE HIS UNIQUE CREATION!

The inherent desire for justice is primal. Instinctively, all know that justice is the gatekeeper that prevents the proliferation of evil.  Evil that…

Betrays trust.

Enslaves the downtrodden.

Preys upon the innocent.

Victimizes the vulnerable.

Proclaims the guilty innocent and the innocent guilty. 

Without Papa’s— God’s judgment there would be no justice. It is His judgment that shouts to the heavens and mankind.

“My eternal and infallible truth is the standard for a life of excellence. It’s the yardstick by which I define what is just and unjust. My ways are entirely just. I am a faithful God without prejudice. I am righteous and true and will judge the world with justice and its people with fairness.”

For God watches how people live. He sees everything they do. No darkness is thick enough to hide the wicked from His eyes.

We don’t set the time when we will come before God in judgment. He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone, and He sets up others in their place. He knows what they do, and in the night He overturns and destroys them. He strikes them down because they are wicked. Doing it openly for all to see. They turned away from following Him. They have no respect for any of His ways. They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention. He hears the cries of the needy. 

But if He chooses to remain quiet, who can criticize Him? When He hides His face, no one can find Him, whether an individual or a nation. Job 34:21-29

Yes, there are times when Papa’s judgment is evident. The guilty punished, and the innocent exonerated. But sometimes He’s silent, minimizing or removing His grace and mercy. Allowing an individual or a nation to fully suffer the consequences of sin.

Sadly, “ME! ME! Christianity” ignores or minimizes judgment. Relegating it to the law and the Old Testament. No longer applicable to those living under the grace of the New Covenant. Foolishly believing repentance and obedience are optional.

Papa’s judgment must be internalized, not ignored, because all will be judged.

A truth that should fill disciples of Christ with awe and gratefulness. For one day, like the apostle John, disciples of Christ will be able to proclaim, “I saw a great white throne, and Him who was seated upon it. From whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. For this heaven and earth are passing away.

I saw the dead, the great and the small standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as written in the books. That is, everything done while on earth.

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and Hades (the realm of the dead) surrendered the dead who were in them. They were judged and sentenced, every one according to their deeds. Then death and Hades [the realm of the dead] were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death— the lake of fire— the eternal separation from God. If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was hurled into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

Papa’s judgment cannot be ignored or feared by those who call Jesus Lord and Savior. 

Why?

Justice is one of the hallmarks of Christ’s return and rule. Once and for all, wrongs will be righted. Injustice will be punished and eradicated. Eden, at long last is ours. 

Welcome home beloved!

The time of judges was a turbulent and chaotic era in Hebraic history. The Hebrews spiritual disobedience and rebellion— apostasy, kept them immersed in a vicious cycle of idolatry, sin and subjugation. 

Refusing to acknowledge God is not mocked. He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt, nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside. For whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. For the one who sows to his flesh— his sinful capacity— his worldliness— his disgraceful impulses will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7

I believe we are living in such a time. 

A time when there are more cultural Christians than authentic disciples of Christ.  

Are you a disciple of Christ? How many of these statements describe you?

Committed to serving Jesus as Lord, Savior and the Son of God. 

“I, Jesus will open their spiritual eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of satan to God. That they may receive forgiveness and release from their sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified, set apart, made holy by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18

Papa— God requires commitment, repentance from sins and love for fellow believers. Don’t be deceived. There are ALWAYS consequences for disobedience.

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again. If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the Spirit He has placed within us should be faithful to Him. He gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Purify your hearts for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor. James 4:4-10

Your personal relationship with Papa, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, not outward appearances, is the focus of your life.

I am the Good Shepherd, and I know without any doubt those who are My own, and My own know Me and have a deep, personal relationship with Me. Even as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My very own life. Sacrificing it for the benefit of the sheep. John 10:14-15

The entire bible is the true, inspired word of God. It, not the culture defines truth.

The word of God is living and active and full of power. Making it operative, energizing and effective. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. Penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit— the completeness of a person and of both joints and marrow— the deepest parts of our nature, exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Being a disciple of Jesus requires radical sacrifice and a backbone.

If anyone wishes to follow Me as My disciple, he must deny himself— set aside selfish interests and take up his cross daily. Expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come and follow Me. Believing in Me. Conforming to My example in living, and if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me. 

For whoever wishes to save his life in this world will eventually lose it through death, but whoever loses his life in this world for My sake. He is the one who will save it from the consequences of sin and separation from God. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world— wealth, fame, success and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed here and now of Me and My words. The Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the heavenly Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26

If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

Do you remember what I told you? “A slave is not greater than the master.” Since they persecuted Me, naturally they will persecute you. If they had listened to Me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of Me, for they have rejected the one who sent Me. 

They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.

Anyone who hates Me also hates My Father. If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did. Yet they still hate Me and My Father. This fulfills what is written in their ScripturesThey hated Me without cause.” John 15:18-25

Papa is drawing a line in the sand. Separating the “ME! ME! Christians” from His faithful remnant. A remnant He promises to put into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, “They are my people.” And they will say, “The Lord is my God.” Zechariah 13:9

I believe the COVID madness is part of this refining process. (Fall On Your Knees 3/19/20 and Love Story For Then Ages 4/01/20) Revealing idols and false paradigms that oppose Papa’s truth, righteousness and will for His children.

A refining that will increase in frequency and severity as the return of Christ nears. 

Why?

So we, like John witnessed in the book of Revelation, will gratefully shout. 

Then I heard something like the shout of a vast multitude, and like the boom of many pounding waves, and like the roar of mighty peals of thunder, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all reigns.

Let us rejoice and shout for joy! Let us give Him glory and honor. For the marriage of the Lamb has come at last, and His bride the redeemed has prepared Herself.’

She has been permitted to dress in fine linen, dazzling white and clean. For the fine linen signifies the righteous acts of the saints—the ethical conduct, personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character of believers. Revelation 19:6-8

AMEN!

So many Christians today are oblivious of the impending judgment that looms on the horizon. Decades of “ME! ME! CHRISTIANITY” has obliterated their vision of eternity. Blinding them to the signs of the end of this age. 

Woe, judgment is coming to those who drag along wickedness with cords of falsehood, and sin as if with cart ropes. Towing their own punishment. 

Who say, “Let Him move speedily. Let Him expedite His work, His promised vengeance so that we may see it. Let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel approach and come to pass so that we may know it!”

Woe, judgment is coming to those who call evil good and good evil. Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness. Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe, judgment is coming to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever and shrewd in their own sight!

Woe, judgment is coming to those who are heroes at drinking wine
and men of strength in mixing intoxicating drinks. Who justify the wicked and acquit the guilty for a bribe and take away the rights of those who are in the right! 
Isaiah 5:18-23

“ME! ME! CHRISTIANITY” fails to teach that life on this side of eternity is a tapestry of victories AND trials and tribulations. Synergistically demolishing strongholds, ungodly thought patterns.

Many Christians fear trials, or erroneously believe that once you‘ve made Jesus the Lord of your life your home free. 

Wrong!

As a young believer were you blindsided by any of the following? 

Your life didn’t get easier. 

Problems didn’t disappear. 

Your character wasn’t transformed instantaneously. 

Temptation continued to rear its ugly head. 

Yep, that’s the life of a disciple of Christ. 

Don’t think for a single moment you’ll survive this battle for your soul with a Pollyanna attitude. Sitting around the campfire, holding hands and singing Kumbaya only makes you an easier target for the devil. Yes, Papa will give you wings to fly above the circumstances of life, but you’’ll first have to take flying lessons from the master flight instructor, the Holy Spirit. He alone can teach you the skills that’ll keep you safe even amidst end time turbulence.

End time turbulence will increase in intensity and frequency as the return of Jesus nears. Turbulence that makes you question Papa’s goodness and faithfulness. Crying out as David did.

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer and by night, but I find no rest.

(Then David remembers.)

Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted. They trusted, and You delivered them. To You they cried and were rescued. In You they trusted and were not put to shame.” Psalm 22:1-5

End time turbulence draws a line in the sand. Separating those who truly belong to Papa from the wannabes. I believe this separating is underway.

So, dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you. As if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.

If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer or a meddler,

 But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

If a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:12-19

Jesus tells us, “There are two paths before you. You may take only one path. One doorway is narrow, and one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad. The wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it. But the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. 

 Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it.

Along the way, watch out for false prophets. They will come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath that quaint and innocent wool, they are hungry wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. You don’t find sweet, delicious grapes growing on thorny bushes, do you? You don’t find delectable figs growing in the midst of prickly thistles. 

People and their lives are like trees. Good trees bear beautiful, tasty fruit, but bad trees bear ugly, bitter fruit. A good tree cannot bear ugly, bitter fruit. Nor can a bad tree bear fruit that is beautiful and tasty.

What happens to the rotten trees? They are cut down. They are used for firewood.

When a prophet comes to you and preaches this or that. Look for his fruits. Sweet or sour? Rotten or ripe?

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. Simply calling Me ‘Lord’ will not be enough. Only those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven will join Me in heaven.

At the end of time, on that day of judgment, many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive demons out of the possessed in Your name? Did we not perform miracles in Your name?’

But I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Now you must get away from Me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:13-23

End time turbulence compels you to make a choice. Choose wisely! 

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