An “A” for effort but nothing still equals zero .

“PAUL, CALLED to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the WILL of God, and Sosthenes our brother.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, CALLED to be saints with ALL that are in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, both their’s and our’s. 

Grace be unto you, and peace from the God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 

That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance (speaking) and in all knowledge; 

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you. 

So you come behind (fall short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Who should also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is faithful, by whom ye were CALLED into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,that ye all speak the same, (have a uniform testimony), and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that are contentions (quarrels) among you.

Now I this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and of Apollos; and of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus, and Gaius;

Lest (unless) any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; besides (other than them), I know not whether I baptized any other. 

For Christ sent me NOT to baptize, but to preach the gospel, NOT with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect (considered void and meaningless). 

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND WILL BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRUDENT.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath God not made foolish the wisdom of this world? 

For after the wisdom of God the world by wisdom KNEW NOT God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching  (the message preached) to SAVE them that believe.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

But we preach Jesus crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 

BUT unto them that are CALLED, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  

Because the foolishness of God IS wiser than men; and the weakness of God IS stronger than men.

For ye see (consider) YOUR CALLING, brethren, how that NOT many wise men after the flesh, NOT many mighty, NOT many noble are called.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-26 

The main thought running through this passage is that we ARE called.

I love how Paul pointed out all the “in fighting”, all the contentions, and strife.

Like how so many of us in the “church” NOT one church but as a world-wide universal belief in Christ, have so many different thoughts and arguments about those beliefs… who “should be allowed” to serve what office, and what’s worse who’s “going to hell” or not for not conforming to “traditional” roles, or certain denominations beleifs, but he is teaching us that this is wrong and that we are to belive this… Jesus Christ, sinless son of God, born of a virgin, crucified, dead, and resurrected. Sharing THAT testimony and winning others to Christ through HIM being lifted up, NOT by our “wisdom” and ALL the other arguments are just that, arguments and that has no place and will never have a place in the Kingdom of God.

We are also being taught here to always bear in mind the fact that Jesus saves us, Jesus sanctified us, and He confirms, even keeping us in the confirmation that we are His, until the very end, until we are welcomed into our eternal reward.

But what do we do with this confirmation?

What do we do when we fail to share that testimony of just what the cross has meant to us?

What happens when God has healed us, rescued us, and delivered us and yet we don’t want to share that for fear of looking “foolish” to the world?

We become much like the ten lepers, whom after Jesus had healed ALL of them, only one returned to give God glory. 

When we choose to fear the world or we choose to just “sit” on our gift or calling and make no effort whatsoever to nurture those gifts or pursue that calling and when we fail to help others on the path that God has chosen for them, we are doing NOTHING. And when our “service” to the Lord only consists of what is convenient or comfortable to us and for us, again we are doing NOTHING.

And when church becomes a place we can go IF we need something from God or do not have anything “better to do”, then it the worst kind of NOTHING. When we just don’t feel like serving God, { NOT due to illness, but meaning attitude of being apathetic, just don’t have time, just don’t care} well, Jesus did NOT FEEL LIKE BEING TORTURED AND MURDERED, but He loved us enough to do it.

And ONCE we have known the Lord, we no longer belong to ourselves, we have been, as the Bible tells us, “bought with a price” and that price was Jesus’ life.

And then we turn and “live out” the verse in which the Lord tells us that we have “sold ourselves” for nothing. And by doing NOTHING we are selling ourselves, our salvation, AND those whom we were to minister to and those to whom the gift God had given us should have impacted.

God sent that preaching, that calling, that gift to those who do believe, we know the world will NOT receive it, it is not sent to them and he already told us they will find it foolish.

We can have that friendship with the world, even after God has us warned of this with these words from James 4:4:..“Know ye not (do you not know?) that the friendship of (with) the world IS enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to be)be a friend with the world IS THE ENEMY OF GOD.”  

Again, the “world” meaning putting a higher value on those things of sin and worldly pleasure, and putting the thoughts, opinions of others at a higher value than those of God.

This is a huge problem today with the refusal to speak AGAINST pagan beliefs and sin for fear of offending others. If you know God to be God than you KNOW that He is also the ONLY truth and the ONLY way to salvation.

And the argument of “others having their own beliefs”, but when you know those beliefs are completely contrary to the word of God and say NOTHING you are letting that person be falsely lead and by saying NOTHING you are letting them have  a false sense of security in those false beliefs.

The FIRST ploy the serpent played on Eve was LETTING her BELIEVE that he was her friend and that he was telling the truth, when we LET other BELIVE that we WOULD tell them the truth concerning the way to salvation but we fail to do so, then we become as much a danger to their soul and eternal life as the devil himself.

And all due to our choice of choosing NOTHING.

That does not mean you can not speak to someone or be kind to people but when those friendships and FEAR of ridicule prevents you from sharing the cross and the testimony of God, then that friendship is now of a higher value than your own salvation.

So we all have that choice, DO THE WILL OF GOD, as we are told here:

James 1:22: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves.” 

There is that deception again, it is very easy to deceive ourselves into choosing what we think or what we feel, but you know, when Jesus taught the disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer, a key to that prayer is ‘Thy will be DONE in earth,a s it is in heaven.” and that earth can also mean US, Adam was created from the dirt of the earth, and earth is this realm but WE are also that earth that must allow HIS will in us.

When all is said, and all is done, rewards given and totals tallied we can be assured of getting straight “A”‘s for effort and we can also be assured that no matter how it is calculated “zero” will always equal absolutely NOTHING.

I, for one want those “A”‘s! I changed the name a little and am trying a little something “different” as far as ministry goes, because I was challenged to the thought of what did I have? What could I do with whatever it is that God has allowed me to have to spread the Gospel of Christ, and fail or flop, if we give all we have and try our best, that is all he wants of us BUT we all have to try to we all need to start taking God and His word, His commands, His mercy, and His love and doing something with it.

Σαλπιζω Φλογιζω NBJ2018

Related: go-for-the-gold-but-please-hold-the-jade

To shun the Son

Personal best

“..And let us run WITH patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1(d)

There is nothing like the feeling we have when we first come to Christ and we have been forgiven of our sins and washed and everything is made new. I want to say one thing… keep that feeling!

The enemy has a funny little way of trying to come in and whisper things in our ears the moment we get saved and we often feel pressure from within ourselves asking “Now what?”

Salvation should not be a chore or performance based, the feeling like one wrong move and you’re going to hell.

It should be JOY, and JOY evermore. But as I said the enemy lies and when Jesus saves us,we ARE saved and we are NOT required to do anything other than keep God’s commandments and do OUR personal best in all things. We are all created differently and we all have different gifts, talents, and convictions.

The biggest trap of the enemy (and he will work this through people) is telling you that you should do this and you can’t do that and once that pressure start it will have you even second guessing if you are even saved. So do let it even start! And if you have not committed to Christ just yet, this maybe can answer a few questions to help you make that commitment.

Notice we are all called to run OUR own race, as Paul said he had finished his course (race) I can not run your race and you can’t run mine.  NO ONE will ever be able to complete the course God ordained for you.

It is one of a kind and that is why you have to be so careful AGAINST listening to the wrong voices, especially when you are “new” to the kingdom or “in the valley of decision” so I want to hit a couple of “stumbling blocks” and hopefully push them out of the way before you even happen up on them.

#1. God LOVES us, simply because HE DOES, nothing we have done, nothing we could ever do, nothing we could buy, nothing we could ever earn. He created us and He loves us. He WANTS us FOREVER with Him and once you have accepted Him and are saved He will not let anything separate you from Him, the ONLY way you can be separated is if you WANT TO BE.

Read Romans 8:28-39 for wonderful insight on just how strong the bond between us and God truly is. God said this:

Isaiah 49:15: ” Can a woman forget her sucking (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?  yea, they may forget, YET I WILL NEVER FORGET THEE (you).”

Isaiah 46:4: “And EVEN to your old age I am he: and EVEN to hoar hairs (grey hair) WILL I CARRY YOU: I HAVE MADE, AND I WILL BEAR; EVEN WILL I CARRY, AND WILL DELIVER YOU.”

And Jesus said this: John 16:27: ” For the Father himself loveth you,because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” 

#2. Not a competition. The only person you “need” to be is YOURSELF!

Mark 10:38-40: “And John answered him, saying, Master, (teacher) we saw one casting out devils IN THY NAME, and he followed NOT us, and we forbad him BECAUSE he followed us not (told him that he could not do that because he was not with them).

And Jesus said, Forbid him NOT: for there is no man that can do a miracle in my name, that can lightly (soon afterward) speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part (side).” 

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

Luke 9:52-56: “And sent messengers before his face (Jesus sent), and they went, and entered into a village of Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him (they would not allow him to stay there), because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did? 

But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives BUT TO SAVE THEM. 

And they went to another village.” Doubt that James and John were good guys? Of course they were! But even good guys can unintentionally steer you wrong! The Samaritans hated the Jews and these people thought Jesus was going to Jerusalem for “religious” reasons, so they would not help him, if they only knew who they had refused!

But anyway, angry and offended, James and John ASKED him to GIVE THEM the power to torch these people, which is interesting too, He hadn’t given them that and they didn’t ask Him to do it himself, THEY wanted Him to allow them to do the job !

So maybe it wasn’t all about them “insulting” Jesus but maybe a little about the human response of “How dare they?” And you will find sometimes when people are pushing you in a way you don’t feel you should go, it could be that it’s not about you, or the kingdom, it can sometimes be good old-fashioned control.

Just as they didn’t want anyone using Jesus name without being one of them and you see each time Jesus sets it straight. So remember your relationship is between you and God, no one else. as we are told in Philippians 2:12, to “work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling” that means for us to be serious and knowing that it is only between us and God. 

#3 Relax IN grace. Know that no one knows everything nor will we ever. God does not require of us the things we do not know. When we are saved,we are saved by grace and His grace covers us as we grow.

The more we grow, the more we are taught, then the more we are held responsible for, but God is kind, loving, and merciful and knows exactly what you are aware of, capable of, and most of all ready for.

To fight CONDEMNATION, that either someone else tries to make you feel or the enemy tries to bring, use this verse, because after you’re saved GOD WILL LET YOU KNOW IF SOMETHING IS WRONG, you will feel it.

1 John 3:20,21: ” For IF OUR HEART CONDEMN US; GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR HEART, AND KNOWETH ALL THINGS. Beloved, IF OUR HEART CONDEMNS US NOT, THEN HAVE WE CONFIDENCE TOWARD GOD.”

Of course for that one to apply, you must be saved. But basically what he is saying, is this, God lives in you and if your heart is not convicting you then you are not condemned BECAUSE God is greater than your heart and you would certainly be aware of His will. 

Once you have been saved, those SINS are washed away FOREVER, they no longer exist according to God.

Romans 8:1: “There is therefore NO NEW CONDEMNATION to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Which means, once saved, we are FREE, FREE, FREE! And God wants us to ENJOY that!

Be happy and joyous in knowing that you are saved, that you can go boldly before the throne of grace to ask for help whenever you need it, and to know that the King of the universe has now called you not only His friend, but His child and heir to all that heaven holds! 

Keeping His commandments and loving and honoring Him, He doesn’t ask us for much because He takes care of everything for us, so enjoy your run and know it’s not about placement, it is only about your personal best.

Love, Peace, & wishing you a great week! Till we meet again!

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

Regeneration of Generations

” But YOU ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (special) people; that ye should shew (show) forth the praises of him WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.” 1 Peter 2:9

CHOSEN, how blessed is that term? Jesus himself in John 15:16a said this:Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU..”

There is a major difference between going after something for ourselves, of our will and our desires and being chosen for a very specific purpose. Notice this verse is for a chosen GENERATION, meaning a preordained, predestinate group  CHOSEN to be the polar opposite of what came before. 

To allow the Lord to break chains forged over many generations by those who came before us. A chosen generation that would turn back to the Lord, who would choose the paths of righteousness rather than the broken roads of abuse and alcoholism, and addictions. A generation willing to allow God to shape their lives and repair the breaches in the protective walls of salvation, and that would hear God’s voice calling them out of the darkness that has formed over the ages.

Darkness passed on from generation to generation, until that faithful day that God’s voice is heard and centuries of darkness and cursing, poverty, abuse, and sorrow will be transformed by His marvelous light.

 A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a generation called to be the messengers, priests to their families and peers on behalf of the heavenly King to tell of the goodness of God and the freedom He offers. And as Jesus tells us, we are CHOSEN for the job. Because through Him, with Him and by the power of His blood we can overcome and to have to be chosen indicates that of a certainty that job, that calling, is not going to be an easy task.

I knew a lady who once told me that she had been baptized as a child, but when she grew up, really late in life, she choose to be baptized again, not because she questioned her salvation but salvation was all she had ever known and wanted to do it as a token to her love of Jesus. I have always thought these people were so blessed, to grow up in the Lord, to be taught scriptures and know of God.

But I do think as “first generations” we can witness to those in the world and understand things that they face and struggle a little better, because we really do understand those feelings.

Now to understand the dynamics of some of those battles “first generations” endure, and it is a battle royal of endurance but I hope by the end of this, you will feel refreshed in your battle and the fire and need to continue and fight hell till the last breath.

Satan knows scripture, he knows every word ever written and he is as sly as he was when he beguiled Eve and he knows to corrupt the plant, to blight it, he would also blight the seed of that plant and so with his temptations and snares he pulls down a plant from the garden of the Lord knowing that he has destroyed the future also.

When God gave the Ten Commandments and the warnings of serving other gods, this verse really jumps out: Exodus 20:5: “Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the children unto the third and fourth generation of them who hate me.”

So for me, I think to cause this, the ancestors had to really, really turn against God in a most dreadful way, because He is so loving and merciful and to hate him would require such violation and paganism, I can’t fathom.

The hardest concept to wrap our heads around comes when we see Christians who seem to really never have problems while we struggle in areas that never even seem to come to their door, we wonder what is wrong with us? Why do we go through the things but they don’t.

All people have problems, but it is true that some do seem to face battles that are harder, fiercer, and sometimes even bizarre but here is the reason, YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT.

Satan wants you back in that darkness because he knows if he can defeat you, he will defeat EVEN MORE GENERATIONS that come from you. He doesn’t want you leading others to the light and liberty of God.

It is hard to be the “first” on a path, not having a strong spiritual foundation, and to try to understand what you’re doing, where you are going, or how your supposed to get there. And you can see this in the story of the Hebrews being brought of Egypt, most died in the wilderness because they had only known bondage and slavery and could never get into the mindset of true freedom, BUT the NEXT GENERATION went into that land NEVER knowing the horrors of Egypt.

“First Generationers” often feel overwhelmed because their issues are so numerous that it is a process because each issue must be dealt with one at a time or we would be like those who didn’t make it out of the wilderness, we could not handle the rest of our journey with the needed faith and trust life requires, because even coming out of Egypt, the roads ahead could still be sometimes rocky.

Exodus 23:29,30: “I WILL NOT drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee, By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, UNTIL thou be increased and inherit the land.” 

If everything were suddenly conquered, we would no longer build faith or trust and we would soon be destroyed by the vanities of our minds and leisure.

If you doubt that, read just how many times ancient Israel would prosper and then turn from the Lord thinking they had all they would ever need and how David became so complacent that he didn’t go into battle with his army but chose to have the affair with Bathsheba that brought anguish down on his GENERATION, and Solomon, who had all, peace, all prosperity still rebelled against God in taking pagan wives and worshiping with them.

No, you don’t want to trade in a perfectly good vehicle that may not look great to you right now but is taking you EXACTLY where you need to go for something that appears sharper, faster, but will in the end only drive you had head first into a bad accident. 

Recognize WHO you are and why you fight and why you CAN NEVER give up that fight. Psalm 22:30,31: “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation (accounted of the Lord to the NEXT generation) They shall come, and declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born that he hath done this.”

PSALM 102:28: “The children of thy servants SHALL CONTINUE, and THEIR SEED (descendants) SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BEFORE THEE.” 

Isaiah 54:13: “And all thy children shall be taught if the Lord; and GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF THY CHILDREN.”

See, sometimes the one being fought is not even who the fight is really against. And a good tool to use, as cliché as it may sound, truly is counting blessings, make a list of what you came from and make a list of where you are now, you may just be very surprised.

Hold on to God’s promises and know that you fight and you have to fight for the rights of your parents, your siblings, your children, and your grandchildren, and all that will come after you. You may be hurting now but your trust in the Lord will mean your child will NEVER know what is to hide terrified from a drunken or stoned parent, your child or grandchild will never know the shame and embarrassment of being mentally or verbally abused, the NEXT generation will never know the humiliation of poverty and the pain of hunger and there is no need for me to continue into the places many of you have suffered and tell you, NEVER AGAIN. NEVER AGAIN will you suffer those things and NEVER will your generations.

When God breaks chains, they ARE BROKEN unless we chose to chain ourselves and our families, and our futures  back to Satan’s whipping post. And God has CHOSEN you and He will little by little bring you through all the areas, past all the stumbling blocks set in your way. And He will restore and bless you but don’t give up when you are almost there. Here are some of His promises:

Psalm 22:24,25: ” For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; NEITHER hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” 

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him, your heart shall live forever.” Psalm 25:10: “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

Isaiah 54: 14: “In righteousness (right standing with God) shalt thou be ESTABLISHED: thou shalt be far from oppression: for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”

Revelation 7:17: ” For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living waters; and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.”

Romans 10:11: “For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.”

Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

We could go on and on with wonderful promises and God’s awesome encouragement of “Be not afraid nor be dismayed”, God is with us and for us and He will take you step by step. Just hold and remember all those who will someday be very glad you did!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have never heard this song, please take a minute and let it minister to your soul and let the power of God break the chains and break them forever!