When in Rome… 2018

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According as his DIVINE POWER hath GIVEN unto us ALL things that pertain unto life and godliness, THROUGH the knowledge of him that HATH CALLED US TO GLORY AND VIRTUE.

Whereby ARE GIVEN unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption THAT IS IN THE WORLD through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-4 

Lovin’ the old saying…”When in Rome… you know… “do as the Romans.” But I want to give you a slightly different take on it as we go into a new year.

We all know that when the clock strikes midnight, December 31st, no magic star-dust will be falling from the sky, we also know that Cinderella’s dress really doesn’t mystically transform back into soot covered, tattered rags.

But most do hold it as time is called on the stop watch of old and a new countdown is set for the future.

Which is why I always just go with it. I believe in HOPE and my HOPE is in the Lord but I will take a little extra encouragement wherever I can find it!

So here we go.. “When in Rome REMEMBER that while everyone was doing as everyone else.. Rome FELL!

Let’s check out our scriptures. Our starter verse greets us with the blessing of praying that grace and peace be multiplied to us! But we are quickly REMINDED that the multiplication of THAT grace and THAT peace comes IN the knowledge of God.

What is the knowledge of God? I personally believe that it would be keeping Him first and foremost in our hearts and our minds and most of all our EVERYDAY lives. Now that is NOT always easy!

But we know that he also PROMISED that he would “keep in PERFECT peace” those who keep their minds on Him. Making time every day to read at least one scripture or devotional. If you do not have morning time to read for yourself, sign up for daily verse emails (my husband reads his aloud for our family) and even social medias have many pages that offer this.

Another great way to stay spiritually fed while multi-tasking is to consider CD’s or electronic devices that you can listen to while driving, cleaning, or while doing almost anything.

It is also great to listen to good, Bible based preaching BUT it is so important to get the actual WRITTEN WORD of God in your Spirit. When we get the Word of God on the “tables of our heart” God uses that to reveal to us what He is saying to us PERSONALLY, not just as it had been revealed to one of His ministers.

I am in no way kicking that, that is His intention by having those who are called to preach the Gospel. But sometimes He will reveal a certain take on a scripture just for you for a certain season or particular battle.

Think about His statement from John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

We  have to have His word in us so that it can be brought back to our remembrance because we have can no memory of that which we have not learned. this is one of those when in Rome areas, we can not rest our knowledge of Christ solely upon what is being taught to us.

We know that currently the world is full of false teaching concerning God and especially concerning holiness and acceptable behaviors.  This gets us into our verse dealing with the fact that we have BEEN CALLED OUT of this world.

We are no longer partakers of the world and the sins and snares thereof. A life that we could not free ourselves from BUT a life in which we are called into.

A life that has been GIVEN by absolute DIVINE power that allows to overcome those snares and traps to live inside that realm of virtue and the blessed state of His glory shining on our lives, in the midst of even the darkness of this world.

And these are those promises, that we are called out and called into Him and that through him and His promises that we will escape the lusts of this world that corrupts us.

Think about the word lust.. not the just the sexual sense. The sexual sense is actually the LEAST of the lusts we have to battle. it simply means DESIRE and think of all the desires our flesh has to battle… daily.

The desire of life, the desire of work, the desire to excel in whatever we have chosen. The desire for monetary gains, the desire for popularity, the desire to be liked, loved, needed, or even the desire to be pretty, articulate, even the desire to be “desirable” NOT in the lustful sense but in the attractive sense.

Even the desire to be competitive, the desire to get even, the desire to be “one up” on a foe.  ANYTHING, any emotion, any thought, ANYTHING has the potential to BECOME lustful if not carefully checked against the word of God. 

That was the trouble with the  ancient Romans. They actually took their ideas for their society from the Greeks. They just made everything BIGGER and BETTER than what the Greeks had. The Greeks worshipped twelve “gods’ so the Romans added two and worshipped fourteen. They built their society based on the thoughts and ideas stolen from the Greeks and as we all know became the world power of the day.

But we also know when it fell.. “great was the fall” and will never again rise to its former stature. We, as a society, take our cues from the media and entertainment, and most horrifically the voice that cries the loudest.

Often thoughts and ideas of a very small group of people become force-fed into mainstream population by the media and soon EVERYONE is EXPECTED to conform to that thought or image, when it is not actually even the popular thought.

It is time to relinquish the societal control that we allow to dictate our lives, thoughts, and desires BACK to God so that we can TRULY be conformed to His will, HIS purpose and most of all HIS divine nature.

So “destroy” that influence over your life in the coming new year. basically, if it does not honor God, do not give it honor by allowing whatever that force is to influence your life. If you are doing or seeing anything that you could not see or do with Jesus beside you.. then simply do not allow that to have any place in your thoughts, life, or family.

Check out what He told the Hebrews, Deuteronomy 7:2-6: “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them, thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they WILL turn away thy son FROM FOLLOWING ME, that they may serve other gods, so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

But thus (here’s how) ye shall deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

For thou ART (you are) AN HOLY (set apart) PEOPLE UNTO GOD; THE LORD THY GOD HATH CHOSEN THEE TO BE A SPECIAL PEOPLE (treasure) UNTO HIMSELF, above all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”

As you see THIS is the word of God. HE IS telling us through it that just as the Hebrews were to NOT to have any dealings whatsoever ever with those who were their enemies that we are to NOT have any dealings whatsoever with those things today that ARE our SPIRITUAL enemies.

And notice that He did INCLUDE our children and what we allow to influence them and HE told us in no uncertain terms that exposure to these enemies would lead to REBELLION against Him. That we are to DESTROY those things out of our lives BECAUSE He has called us as His. And fortunately for us, it is much easier NOW to remove those spiritual enemies by making our choices based on His teachings.

So don’t let this world influence your life, you influence the world by living your life for Him!

Finally a couple of quick notes… WHY did Cinderella’s shoes NOT change when everything else did in that fairy-tale? Anyone else ever wonder about that 🙂 ?

Also if you are reading internationally, please know that this title and reference to the old saying and ancient Rome in NO WAY reflects my feelings toward Rome… or Romans, this has been completely symbolic. Rome is a beautiful place that I would love to visit one day!

And I also wanted to thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for reading this past year and it is my sincerest prayer that you be blessed with new revelations, new joy, and the happiness and peace that can only be found in a true personal relationship with our Lord and Creator Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Amen!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

Daniel saw….

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12 

As all know, on November 5, the state of Texas suffered the worst mass shooting in the state’s history. When a gunman who had a history of violence, having been charged with assaulting his wife and stepson, and discharged from the military for “bad conduct”,according to news reports, actually having fractured the stepson skull, had ESCAPED from a mental health facility in 2012, been cited for animal abuse in 2014, managing to not only to avoid jail time, but allowed to harass his mother in law through text messages and show up unwanted at church gatherings.

You really have to wonder WHO was supposed to be “watching” this guy?

According to news stories from CNN, NBC, and FOX, the story played out like this, the gunman whose prime target was his former in-laws, stormed the First Baptist Church, in Sutherland Springs, Texas on that fateful morning, and left in is wake twenty-six people dead ranging in age from eighteen months to seventy-seven years, and also taking the life of an unborn baby by shooting the mother.

Three generations of one family died, a couple who for the first time were visiting the church, and the pastor’s own adopted daughter. Reports also that a five year old child had been shot five times.

Twenty-six dead and twenty more injured. How could anyone ever recover from the horror of that? The arguments have resurfaced again about gun control and YET it was another man with a gun that led to putting  a final stop to this nightmare.

There are always going to be weapons, criminals and the dangerously insane will ALWAYS find something that can be used as a weapon, and that is virtually anything, because it is not the object it is the intent to destroy and no one can stop that intent.

I have yet to understand that if the politicians who keep screaming “gun-control” REALLY believe their own rhetoric, shouldn’t they be the FIRST to dismiss their OWN ARMED SECURITY? Seriously, if you want to preach it to everyone else, maybe try living it yourself!

But evidently only “special” people should be allowed weapons and protection and the rest of us… well.. I probably am beginning to advocate “armed” deacons, and I really questioned if weapons in church would be appropriate by any standard.. BUT Nehemiah was forced to work with one hand while rebuilding because he had to stay armed with a sword in the other, so I don’t know and I am not a pastor so it is not my job to know.

That is another very scary aspect to all of this, the gunman had been to church and made others feel uncomfortable, the article did not go into specific, but the question was posed as to how exactly do you ask someone to leave or not attend a church? And better yet how would you determine who and when this would apply? So many questions but one absolute.. we are starting to see attacks on our churches just as our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are persecuted for their beliefs.

Different way of doing but still the same demonic agenda, make people too afraid to worship and too worried about who might come through the door to be fully involved in the work of God.

Just as Jesus said, and you have to think about when he said this, almost two thousand years ago. There have always been evil people, God destroyed the earth with the flood BECAUSE of violence.

Violence breeds and sin breeds and when you have a society that allows ANYTHING and has a whatever rocks your world mentality about every morale issue in the book.

There is no more restraint, no one needs me to tell them just how bad the world is and all the tortures, rapes, murders, and human trafficking, not to mention cruelty to the animals that God gave us dominion over and that dominion does require caring for them. There is group after group dedicated to issue upon issue TRYING to save just a few because the level of iniquity, lawlessness, and sin has reached proportions that would make Noah’s day and Sodom cringe.

Being exposed to this, living in this and being constantly bombarded with the news of this DESTROYS that love, it destroys the “faith” in our fellow humans and just as rescue workers and military personnel run risks of “gallow’s humor” and PTSD BECAUSE of the horrors of WHAT they see, we too can become NUMB.

It is NOT that we want to be but just as Jesus said, IT IS THE SIN that deadens the love. I have often pondered Daniel, and as a young Christian, I was completely overwhelmed by a feeling of sorrow when reading certain of his words, words such as:

Daniel 8:26,27: “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up  (seal) the vision, for it shall be for many days (the future). And I Daniel fainted, and WAS SICK CERTAIN DAY…..” and as he often fasted, prayed, and sat in sack cloth (mourning and repentance) and after another vision of the future:

Daniel 10:2,3: “In those days, I Daniel WAS mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh (meat) nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till the three weeks were fulfilled.”

This is the vision in which Daniel had sought the answer to and when the answer came, he had been told that the devil had withstood that answer for three weeks and the forces of hell had to be fought through before that answer could even arrive.  Think now how sedate we have become in our battles?

But back to my point, this is the verse that cut through to my soul, this was when Daniel SAW the Lord who had brought his answer. 

Daniel 10:7,8: “And I Daniel ALONE saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw NOT the vision, but a great quaking (fear) fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained NO strength in me: for my comeliness(vigor) was turned in me into corruption (frailty), and I RETAINED NO STRENGTH.

The presence of the Lord overwhelmed him but Daniel also SAW the future. He SAW what would come, he SAW the horrors, the abuse, the nudity, the depravity, he SAW the paganism, he SAW the outright worship of satan.

He SAW even worse.. he SAW mass media, not fathomed in his time, promoting the hatred of God, he SAW God’s name and the Name of His son blasphemed and ridiculed.

He SAW those paraded in mocking crucifixions and laughing and spewing hate into their own damnation. He SAW babies murdered inside the womb of their mother’s because they were not convenient.

He SAW these tiny bodies dismembered and sold to the highest bidder. He SAW children bloody, beaten, starved, abandoned, and sold to the highest bidder.

He SAW those so enslaved to drugs, and alcohol that they barely function much less worry about their souls.

Daniel SAW and it was not seeing the final destruction sin would bring upon man that brought him to a state of overwhelming sorrow…Daniel SAW what we would become.

We are beginning to see it to, there are things now I would have never dreamt WOULD ever come to pass as I began my walk with the Lord, and I know many of you feel the same way.

But the secret is that love, love has to go on. But God help us for what we have already saw and what yet remains to be seen.

And there IS no understanding of the things and how our brothers and sisters will ever go on and recover from these horrors, but LOVE untimely wins and LOVE truly conquers all.

Please don’t let the hate and anger of this world ever take that, remember the words of Jesus as we all await the final vindication and justice and redemption, the day we WILL be delivered from the evils of this world, wait and wait patiently for Him. 

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” 

Just keep holding on and holding on to each other! God Bless you, until next time…

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

“How do I love thee?”

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Old school groove, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” that one has been around for ages! But it is  wonderful question, once Jesus gives us those new hearts and leads us in His paths, we are met with that question, once the true realization of His presence and love is known to you, as He said, He will give you a heart to KNOW him, then we are faced with the humanly overwhelming question of how do you relay your love back to the God of the universe, who created heaven and earth , and who can hold time, space, and eternity in the palm of His hand and if He wanted, He could speak one word and completely destroy every single thing that now exists?

Obviously, as mere mortals, it would seem that we have nothing, nothing to offer as a token of our love in return, our love to Him for creating us, caring for us, and most of all dying on a cross for us so that we could be saved, and never giving up on us.

So how do we love Him and what exactly is it that He wants? Well, we are created in His image and He wants the same thing we want from Him, He wants our love and our heart, and He does not want a little portion of our hearts, you know a spot that remains empty while the main space is taken by other people, other things that we cling too while He gets whatever love is left. He will not go for that, not now, not ever.

No He wants ALL our heart or none of our heart, that is why he said to seek Him with our WHOLE heart. he wants a real relationship and not to be a God in the distance in our lives, He wants fellowship with us and this has become so messed up in the world thinking. He is love BUT He also tells us if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and when you think about it, there is nothing on that list that is unreasonable and every single command He has ever handed down is FOR OUR GOOD.

So we have to get into that thinking that He IS love and He IS our friend but we are also required by that love to do as He asks. Our world has major rebellion problems on this one, it is taught as well He loves us, we can do what makes us happy, No, that is NOT loving Him, that is trying to compare His goodness toward us with some sort of fairy godfather who grants your every whim. And that is in no way loving Him or respecting Him, that is loving our flesh and being so arrogant as to think our DESIRES are of a higher value than His Holiness, and that kinda thinking will get a person a quick trip to the grave.

“But the hour cometh, and now IS, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” John 4:23,24

So we know with Jesus arrival on earth, all things were changed and no longer were prayers and sacrifice made by a priest needed and all who truly believe could be allowed entry into the Holy of Holies through his presence with the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is where we must worship in TRUTH, truth to who He is, truth of His commands, truth of His word, and keeping our lives and actions subjected into and under that TRUTH. We worship Him in Spirit, in His presence  in the “places” of salvation:

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” Isaiah 60:18(a)

Believers are surrounded by those walls of salvation in your worship time and praise is the gate by which we enter and there you worship in fellowship, love, and adoration and there you know Him and receive joy, peace, and assurance and rest from your troubles. 

So here is a scriptural checklist:

Deuteronomy 10:12 : “And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? But (only) to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART and ALL THY SOUL.” 

Deuteronomy 11:13-14:  “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, and the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather  in thy corn, thy wine, and thine oil.”

That is His promises to us of all good things, and the word of God, the bread of life, his blessings, His anointing. So now we answer the question.. “My Dear Lord HOW do I love thee?  We enter into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, and in the safety of your pavilion surrounded by those walls of your salvation we will allow ourselves to be taught, loved, and led!

This is the how you count the ways! Seek Him, Love Him, Honor Him, and get to know Him, and let His blessings and His mercy transform you!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Majesty

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