Bible

Your Baggage

By Steve Countryman

All of your cares, troubles, problems, addictions, worries, character traits, past sins, flaws, faults, failures, grudges, unforgiveness, offenses, health issues and financial woes are all part of your baggage.  Just like baggage you carry it with you everywhere you go.  Most people are known by their baggage.  Though we all try to conceal our baggage the best we can by putting on our best face, our baggage always cones to the surface sooner or later.

Your baggage is your burdens that you bare.  They are always before you and you cannot escape them.  Satan uses them against you to trap you and keep your attention on them.  Always reminding you of your past mistakes and failures.  He loves to wear you down with them. But you don’t have to bare them alone.  You don’t have to allow them to define who you are.  They are only part of your past and now are part of your testimony!  Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Even with all of your baggage it never scares God off.  God doesn’t ask you to take care of your baggage so He can love you.  He loves you with all of your baggage.  In fact God wants to take all of your baggage and help you fix them.

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”  Romans 6:13 “Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield (surrendering) yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.”

God’s love is so powerful that not only does He love you baggage and all and wants to be involved in your daily lives but wants to take care of your baggage too!  It is a matter of trust.  Do you trust God enough to surrender all of your baggage over to Him?  Do you think that the God of all creation knows something about fixing problems?  Can you submit and commit your baggage all over to Him?  Can you surrender, commit and submit your life over to your creator?  Surrender to God’s will, Word and ways.  Commit your baggage into His hands and trust God enough to leave them there.  Quit going back and picking them up again trying to fix them by yourself.  Leave them with the Master.  It amazes me that God wants my baggage and has plans to bless me besides.  Wow, I’m blown away!  Thank you Lord for loving me so!!

My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona.  In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

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Are You Persuaded?

All You Need is Love

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Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

 – by R. Marie Thompson

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NKJ

This passage of scripture reminds me that no matter what, God loves me! It also reminds me of how much I love Him! My favorite words, “I am persuaded.” I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of tribulation because I know that He loves me and He is with me! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror when I am distressed because I know that He loves me and He will help see me through! I am persuaded that I am more than a conqueror during persecution for His name sake because I know that He loves me and that He honors those who honor Him! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of famine and nakedness because I know that He loves me and ‘He knows what I have need of’ which means He will provide for all my needs. I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of peril because I know that He loves me, He is my sword, ‘my shield and my buckler.’

There is nothing that can separate us from His love for us. It is constant and ever present. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love for us, His creation, never changes. His love is the lifeline that sees us through and it is the one thing that we can always count on! His love for us is more powerful than death, life, angels, principalities, powers, heights, depths, or any created thing.

I too, am persuaded that nothing can separate us from His love and so – me and my house, we will LOVE the Lord!

R. Marie Thompson is a Youth Pastor from New Hampshire who has a love for God and a passion for sharing His Word. Contact

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Am I a friend of God?

Friendship

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By Charell Anderson

Scripture Reading

Matthew 26:50- But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

In the Bible, Jesus knew He was going to be crucified. He knew of the plots and trickery the chief priests, the scribes, and Judas had planned against Him. Jesus was aware of everything, because He is God. He is the Creator, the Most High God, the only True God, and an Intelligent God. He carried a love for the people who had a scheduled day to betray and kill Him.

Even today, He (Jesus) loves us although we continue to not recognize the order He established for us to live by. The Creator reaches out His hand to each of us, every day. God is saying to us, “Friend, why are you rejecting me?” When Jesus recognized Judas as a friend, He was offering Judas His friendship and giving him a chance to turn away from his wicked ways. My husband and I would like for you to envision this in your mind. Jesus was facing Judas while Judas had a multitude of soldiers behind him to capture and kill Jesus. However, Jesus still called him friend. That’s powerful.

There are everlasting benefits of being a friend of the Most High God. Abraham experienced those rewards when God said, “Should I hide what I am doing from Abraham” (Genesis 18:17). In this verse, God allowed us to know his love for Abraham. When you are obedient to God and seek God, He will reveal things to you that you need to know. Through Abraham’s obedience he was able to save his nephew, Lot, from the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. This is what God desires to do for us today.

If you’re feeling discouraged or maybe you don’t know of God or maybe you just need strength, we ask you to take that step of faith and allow God to be your friend. God already acknowledges you as a friend; He is just waiting on you to answer Him by saying yes on today. Allow God to show you how it feels to have peace of mind by casting your worries on Him. God cares for you. God forgives you as He did Judas. It doesn’t matter what sin you have committed, because God still has His hands reaching toward you, saying “friend”.

A Prayer for Today

Father in heaven, forgive me for all the days I have betrayed you. Teach me how to walk according to your word; I am willing to be your friend. I desire to have a close relationship with you by reading your word. In Jesus name, Amen.

I currently live in Mississippi. I have been writing since I was approximately fourteen years old. When God stepped into my life at the age of 23, God transformed my writings into devotions to Him. My husband also inspires me each day to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through my devotionals.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

Accentuate the Positive

Growing In Grace

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Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

by Sheldon Bass

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT )

Ever notice how powerful our thought life is? For example, dwelling upon the wrongs someone has perpetrated against me tends to produce bitterness and strife, anger and resentment within. These resulting negative emotions, eventually are manifested in my words and actions. They lead to sin. Or if I allow myself to become irritated by the inappropriate attire of others (perhaps at church), a judgmental attitude develops. This will cut off the blessings of a pure heart that God intends for me.

In a sin cursed world, there’s an abundance of negative things to ponder. However, there’s also good things as listed in this verse. Directing our thoughts toward the wholesome and good, sows unto a beautiful harvest of joy and peace. Searching out the positive in people, places and circumstances births within us the happy and healthy virtues of godliness.

We can displace the negative, by filling up on the positive, resulting in an out pouring of praise to God for all of His goodness. And we reap the bountiful stores of wisdom, happiness and better health. Searching out the silver linings and rainbows, obscured by a dark world, and thoughtfully dwelling upon them, returns rich dividends to our lives.

Perhaps you remember a song from years ago that said, “Accentuate the positive.” Christian, shine on for Jesus!

Sheldon Bass is a Minister and Writ er, published in various Christian magazines and creates content for three web-sites. Watch for his devotional book coming soon: “Forty Days on the Mountain”. Contact

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The Lord is Good

Romans 8:28

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By Jerry Ousley

Sometimes we love the praise of man don’t we?  Those pats on the back and all those “at-a-boys” can really make us feel good.  Often it can be the very reason we do good things; we desire the compliments of others.  Let me illustrate with something that happened just recently to me.

Part of the ministry of Spirit Bread is sending Bibles into various African nations.  Many of these nations use English as a second language and a good number of the people speak it fluently.  Several other people contribute regularly to this ministry because they see the need and benefit of getting a Bible into the hands of someone else.  Once they begin to read and understand who can tell how many more they will lead into the Kingdom?  It is a wonderful, though very costly ministry.  Of course Bibles in the United States are relatively cheap if you don’t go with the expensive bindings and so forth.  But the expensive part is the shipping.  On the average, it costs around $5.00 for the Bible but it takes another $8.00 to ship it.  So it costs an average of $14.00 each to send these Bibles overseas.

The other day we went to the Post Office with seventeen packages going to different ministries who distribute Bibles to their people.  These are often small church groups or evangelistic ministries who cannot afford to purchase Bibles for their people and because of their small size are overlooked by the larger organizations who give away Bibles.  That’s where we come in.  We seek out (but more often we are sought out) those in need of Bibles.  We have a backlog of groups needing Bibles that dates back as much as a year.  As we get the money to purchase and ship Bibles we work on that list.  Anyway, we had received enough money to ship 112 Bibles.  The cost was over $900.00 just for the shipping.  The lady taking care of me at the Post Office commented on “what a good thing we were doing.”  Sometimes I’m not good with compliments.  She actually had said, “What a good thing your church is doing.”  Of course, right now we aren’t pastors of a congregation but minister through writing both on the Internet and books.  So I blurted out, “It’s not a church but we are doing it individually.”  That impressed her even more.

Now, my intentions weren’t to give all the praise to me, but that’s the way it came out.  After I left and returned home I got to thinking about the situation.  I thought of the other people who give to help with this service and frankly, I couldn’t do it without them.  I had cut them out all together and had taken all the credit.

This resulted in yet another occurrence of me sucking on toes as I sat there, realizing what I had done, with my big foot in my mouth.  The only thing I could do was to swallow my pride (being careful not to swallow my toes) and call the lady at the Post Office and explain that I wasn’t in this service alone, but that several other people were helping with the costs and supplying Bibles.  I had to make the call, and I did.  So was I really good?  Actually, not; I had taken a good thing and robbed others of their portion of that praise.  I did make it right, but I should have made it right the first time.

We aren’t as good as we think we are.  We’ve been talking about how God can cause the earth to quake merely by His presence and how that He can be a fierce God.  It is to illustrate the awesomeness of His power.  But the thought in Amos is concluded by saying, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Amos 1:7).  Even though God is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, and always present, He is also good, and each and every day that we live proves that.  Often we are disobedient, or we rob God of the glory by taking the credit ourselves.  Yet He is good; He is our strong and mighty fortress when we get into trouble, and He will remind us when we do wrong.  It may mean that we have to swallow our pride and risk embarrassment to make it right, but He will give us that opportunity.

Despite our disobedience, regardless our labor for recognition by man, still He knows those who really trust Him.  We may look like we trust God on the outside but only God knows what is truly in our hearts.  He knows why we do the things we do and He knows our motives and attitudes.  That’s a good thing because we can never pull the wool over God’s eyes, and because He knows we can be certain that He will always be there for us, forgiving us when we mess up because He really does know our hearts.  Do we really trust God?  In light of how good He is, we should

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, “Soul Challenge”, “Soul Journey” “Ordeal” “The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional” and his first novel “The Shoe Tree.”  Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com
or email us at jousley@spiritbread.com

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Living Under the Influence

Radical Living

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By Steve Countryman

Driving under the influence means that your ability to operate and maneuver a motor vehicle is greatly impaired.  Those who try believe a lie and are deceiving themselves.  Trying to drive while under the influence will cause you trouble.  It will hurt you, those around you and those close to you.  It will bring destruction, destroying your life, your job, your finances, your family, your friends and perfect strangers who get in your way.

Living under the influence refers to those things that influence your daily life and decisions either good or bad.  The sinner lives under the influence of the ruler of this world, Satan.  All decisions the sinner makes are affected, one way or another, by the influence of sin and temptation.  Even when it seems to be a worthy cause or good intentions there always seems to be a hidden reason for the decision.  For example expecting something in return for doing a good deed if only recognition.  Or being deceived into thinking that by doing good deeds they will qualify to enter into heaven.  Driving drunk or high is an indicator that the person could have an addiction problem and is living under the influence of the kingdom of darkness.

Even Christians live under the influence of this world to some degree because we live here surrounded by sinful influences daily.  It is when you allow those influences into your thinking that trouble begins.  Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Allowing the little things is where it starts.  Your friends start complaining about their job, their spouse, their sickness, their finances you name it and the next thing you know you are doing the same thing.  Seemed harmless enough just blowing off steam right?  Wrong!  Your words carry power and by confessing with your mouth your complaints you are pronouncing curses over yourself and your situation.  Take your concerns to the Lord not to your friends.

Fear, doubt and worry are all opposites of faith in your God which leads to complaining and murmuring that leads to poor decisions, more curses and more trouble!  It shows a lack of trust in God’s ability to provide for you and is contrary to being a child of the Most High God.  You must choose to put on the mind of Christ daily and ask God for wisdom.  James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But you say you don’t have enough faith Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.   Being a Christian is not an honorary title but requires commitment and dedication to God and His Word.  You have to spend time with God daily and develop an intimate walk to know Him better.  Spending time with God and in His Word will build your faith.  Like anything else you only get out of it what you put into to it, like what is means to be a child of the Most High God as revealed in your daily walk.

You can’t have the victory in your life trying to survive on the prayers of others.  You can’t have the victory over your problems, troubles and fears by going to church every once in a while.  You can’t have the victory if you can’t forgive others who have sinned against you, your family or your friends.  You can’t have the victory by going on the words of a preacher and not read the Word of God yourself.  You can’t have the victory by listening to the advice of this world and ignoring what God’s Word says.  You can’t have the victory if you don’t know who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you.  You can’t have the victory in your life without faith in your God.  Faith is the bridge that joins the known of this world to the unknown of God’s kingdom.

Being a Christian is more than wearing a cross around your neck.  Being a Christian is more than being a Sunday pew sitter.  Being a Christian is more than carrying a Bible.  Being a Christian is more than having a Christian bumper sticker.  Being a Christian is more than being just a survivor, more than an over-comer, more than a warrior and more than a conquer.  Being a Christian means that your life brings glory to God.  Being a Christian means that you are a child of the Most High God and you represent His kingdom everywhere you go.  You proclaim His goodness in your life instead of complaining to others.  Your decisions, actions and words all reflect His influence in your life as you conduct yourself daily with the mind of Christ.  By doing this you bring glory to your God.

It is His will that is manifested in you, with you, to you, for you and through you.  It is His will that you are healed and in good health.  It is His will that you prosper as your soul prospers.  It is His will that you walk in ALL power and authority of heaven.  It is His will that all spiritual blessings and spiritual gifts are made available to you.  It is His will that you have abundant prosperity in every part of your life.  Think about it, how does it reflect on God for one of His children to be sickly, complaining, grumpy, sinful, hateful or destitute?  Where is the glory of God in that person’s life?  How do they bring God glory?  What kind of testimony is that?  We are God’s witnesses and He is our testimony.  “If I can only hang on until Jesus comes back” is a defeated shameless statement that too many Christians use.  Where is their victory and how do they bring glory to God?

The fullness of Christ lives and dwells in us at the time of salvation.  We Christians spend years grasping what that all entails.  We have what no other powerful men and women of God had in the Old Testament.  When God worked through them the Word said that the Spirit of the Lord came upon them.  Because of the finished work of the cross of Jesus we have the Spirit of the Lord in us always!  That is why His Word says that the latter house will be greater than the former house.  And why Jesus said that we would do greater things than He did.  We are the latter house!  Knowing who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you is found through faith.  The fullness of Christ is made known through your faith.  It is through faith that you are able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you.  It is through faith that you walk being led by the Holy Spirit.  It is through faith that your salvation is made possible.  It is because of your faith that God is pleased with you.  And it is by studying the Word of God that your faith is founded, perfected, put into action and grows strong.  By faith the influence of God’s kingdom is manifested in your life daily.  Living under the influence of God’s Word, commands and love will impact your surroundings and those around you everywhere you go!  The time is ripe!!

About the Author:
My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona.  In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

What Motivates You?

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By Steve Countryman

oes your goals motivate you? Does getting older and not being able to do what you used to do motivate you? Does your anger motivate you? Does your love motivate you? Does your rage and hatred motivate you? Does getting even motivate you? Does your feelings motivate you? Does your addictions motivate you? Does your social life of partying, bar hopping and one night stands motivate you? Does your hobbies or your favorite sports teams motivate you? Does your friends motivate you? Does making friends or being liked motivate you? Does your family or spouse motivate you? Does your boyfriend or girlfriend motivate you? Does your job or boss motivate you? Does the bad report from the doctor motivate you? Does serving time in prison motivate you? Even a hermit living in a cave is motivated by nature, by hunger, by survival and by necessity.

All motivation comes down to two areas that affect everyone everyday. These two areas are also at the center of your daily walk and relationship with Father God. How you handle them or how they handle you is where you will find your future. One can build you up and the other can tear you down. One brings hope and the other despair. One leads to a brighter future and the other to death and destruction. One will mobilize you and the other will paralyze you. I am speaking of faith and fear.

I was once again reading 1Kings 18:20-45 and 19:1-4. I am troubled every time I read this story. There is Elijah who had Ahab summon all 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah. He told them to take their bull and prepare it for sacrifice but not to set the wood on fire. They were to call down fire from their gods to light it. Hour after hour went by and no response from their gods. So Elijah took his bull and prepared it for sacrifice but he did not light the fire either. He went so far as to have the bull and the wood dowsed in water 3 times, so much so that it filled up a trench around the alters. After Elijah finished taunting the prophets about their lame gods and after watching them shout, cry out, ceremonially cut themselves and still no response from their gods, Elijah called on Jehovah God. 1Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. Notice that God’s fire from heaven did 5 things, 5 represents God’s grace in scripture, it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the ground and licked up all the water from the trench.

Then Elijah prayed for rain to break the years of draught. After praying seven times a cloud formed over the sea and a heavy rain was coming. Elijah warned Ahab to leave before the rain stopped him. Ahab got into his chariot and left. The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and he ran ahead of Ahab 15 miles out running a horse drawn chariot. Then Ahab told his wife Jezebel about all that happened and Jezebel sent a threatening message to Elijah that his life would soon end.

Isn’t Jehovah God the same God who just performed these powerful miracles? Isn’t this the same God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt by parting the Red Sea and they crossed over on dry ground? Then since this is the same powerful God, didn’t Elijah believe that God could protect him from Jezebel?

Elijah had just participated in three huge miracles and awesome displays of God’s mighty power. The fire from heaven, the heavy rain and out running a horse drawn chariot for 15 miles. When Elijah received Jezebel’s message the Bible says that he became afraid and ran off to the dessert to hide. That is where my dilemma is found. Elijah with tremendous faith, a mighty man of God filled with courage and boldness had God’s power flow through him to do these mighty things but yet became afraid of a threat from an evil and wicked woman who had killed lots of God’s prophets. God did not tell Elijah to go to the dessert and hide as He had him do before. Elijah didn’t bother asking God what he should do. Fear had gripped and motivated Elijah so badly that he just ran off to hide, or as he told God, that he wanted to die!

Fear will motivate you to make bad decisions. Faith is where courage and boldness is found. Peace is found in faith not in fear. That is why it has always been a bad idea for Israel to give land away to their enemies to appease them in trade for peace. That peace has yet to come even after years of giving away land that God told them not to do! For they were giving away their inheritance. The joy of the Lord is our strength and that joy of the Lord is loaded with powerful faith. Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Psalm 89:8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

God’s faithfulness is not just to His Word and it’s completion but also represents His faithfulness in YOU! God has faith in you! You carry the faith of Jesus in you as the Bible says you have been given a measure of faith. It is the same faith that Jesus had in the Father. As Christians we have what the mighty men and women of the Old Testament never had. We have the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living and dwelling in each of us, quickening our mortal bodies. That same powerful Holy Spirit that is home to Jesus in His temple our bodies has made ALL power and authority of our heavenly Father God available to each of us ALWAYS and in ALL THINGS! John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these. So don’t let fear motivate you but turn to the author and finisher of your faith, Jesus and let faith motivate you and your life every day!

About the Author: My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona. In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

 

Christian Wannabe or Christian Ought To Be?

Reality is not a Show

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By Steve Countryman

I have to be honest here, as I write this it is painfully clear to me that I have a LONG way to go to be the Christian that my God wants me to be.  I could use that right there for an excuse to quit trying.  But all I have to do is take one look back and see how far my God has brought me from the guy I used to be to His servant today and I am totally in awe!

A Christian wannabe is someone who wants to be a Christian but on their terms not God’s.  Going to church, being active in church, having a Christian bumper sticker, wearing a cross, having some religious tattoos or just keeping your Bible on the coffee table at home doesn’t make you a Christian.  Most of today’s Christians don’t read the Bible even if they own one.  If your Bible sits in your car from Sunday to Sunday doesn’t mean that you are armed with the Word of God.  Watching television evangelist or listening to a preacher quote the Bible doesn’t qualify as you reading the Bible.  There are so many churches out there where the Bible isn’t quoted at all for fear that it will offend someone or it is considered to be anti-seeker friendly church material.  The Bible is too exclusive to a church who is ALL inclusive!

There is now a gay-friendly Bible called the “Queen James” version that has removed ALL scripture references to homosexuality.  Another new Bible just released by Thomas Nelson Publishing called “The Voice Bible”.  This version has removed the name of Jesus Christ, angels and prefers to use emissary instead of apostle.  Changing the Bible to accommodate sinful lifestyles, groups of people, false doctrines or eliminate the Trinity is to make a mockery of church and God’s Word.  Church is no longer church but a social club of political correctness.

To be a Christian means to be Christ-like!  You can’t be a Christian if you support abortions.   You can’t be a Christian if you  believe in evolution.  You can’t be a Christian if you support or condone any sinful lifestyle ie couples living together, sex outside of marriage, homosexuals and gay marriage.  To support any sin as acceptable is contrary to God and His Word and that is sin and not Christ-like!  If it is not Christ-like it is not being a Christian.  To believe in God and Jesus doesn’t make you a Christian.  Even demons believe in God and Jesus and they are not Christians.  But there are people out there that spend their lives doing “good deeds” and going to church but they are not born again believers.  They are trying to earn their way into heaven by works of the flesh.  To be a born again believer the Bible says in Romans 10:9-10 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

The seeker friendly churches and the wannabe Christians have one thing in common.  They both have sacrificed their beliefs and the Word of God for worldly thinking.  They have compromised away their righteousness for political correctness, social acceptability and “feel good” Christianity which is not being a Christian at all but having the appearance of being a “Christian”.  These people are self-righteous, arrogant, prideful and “know-it-alls”.  “Super Christians” who do more, act more, give more, judge more and criticize more than regular Christians.  They think that they know the Bible better than any average Christian and will make up stuff so as not to be embarrassed when confronted.  They want to be noticed and the center of attention in church and are jealous and critical of truly gifted Christians and the work they do.  Some are false prophets who think that God ONLY speaks to them and no one else!

Compromising worldly beliefs with Bible facts is very common in these churches.  Some time ago I met a man who told me that him and his wife were retired school teachers.  He also is currently on the board of a local church.  He told me that he and his wife both believe in evolution.  When I started to quiz him about it he told me something that I have just recently heard about.  Today over 60% of those who call themselves Christian believe that evolution was helped along by God and not ALL things were created directly by God.  No matter how hard I search I can’t find anything in scripture where evolution is ever mentioned.  But they call themselves Christian.  That is God on man’s terms not God on God’s terms!  Evolution either fully or partially believed is a LIE and an insult to the God of creation!  Genesis 1:26 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  It doesn’t say that man is descended or related to the ape or that God helped creation along when He created man in His image!

Because the Bible is in direct opposition to such worldly beliefs, the “modern church” has decided not to quote those scriptures or in some cases discarding the use of the Bible all together.  Any church that removes God’s Word cannot expect God to show up there.  To attend a church where the Spirit of the Lord is not present is a waste of time!

“Christian ought to be” is a born-again believer who loves the Lord and seeks His face daily!  I know that this statement sounds simplistic but Father God has designed it that way.  Not to be as complicated as religion has tried to make it.  Jesus created the church while man created religion.  Most all religions have added to God’s salvation plan by making salvation something that you have to earn instead of the free gift that God created it to be!

When you earnestly seek God daily in His Word and in prayer you allow the Holy Spirit to work in you, with you , to you , for you and through you.  When you seek God daily you seek His perfect will for you and you seek His perfect love to you.  2 Corinthians 3:18 And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. (AMP)  Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he, (God), who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  One thing is for sure that as a “Christian ought to be” you will never be the same person again for God loves you too much to let you stay as you are!  A “Christian ought to be” isn’t content with being just a “pew sitter”.  They are the ones who are led by the Holy Spirit, believe the entire Word of God, has the manifested presence of God active in their daily lives and is lovingly obedient to God’s will.  There is no limit to what God will do through a man or woman of God s who is sold out to God and always gives God all the glory!  Ephesians 3:20-21 20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] 21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). (AMP)

My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona.  In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

 

Dare To Be a Real Christian

Take the Dare!

Jeremiah 7:23 (NCV)

23 I also gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Do all that I command so that good things will happen to you.

Do you remember the day you were saved? How did you feel? What motivated you? Why did you decide that this was the path for you? Remember the lost feelings and how you finally found salvation. Remember your relief in knowing your sins was forgiven and you would never have to face life’s challenges alone. Remember the love you felt from those around you, the acceptance, and the power of the moment. Re-capture those feelings and those reasons again. If you haven’t been serving God – only going through the motions – then you need to realize God has a purpose for you and he’s waiting for you to call on Him to get started

Somewhere along the way, you may have gradually, unintentionally lost your focus. You became passive and uninterested, putting your energy into worldly interest and daily problems. Yes, you called on Him during times of real trouble, but not daily. And you occasionally go to church, to make an appearance. Your enthusiasm has become excuses. You devotion has become practically non-existent, but yet you call yourself a “Christian” when asked. You think you are bound for Heaven, so why do anything more.

Today dare to be the Christian you ask God to make you that day you were saved. Ask Him to renew in you your passion and to reveal to you your purpose. Look for ways to help the needy, the lost, and the poor in your community or in the world – think big even if you do small things at first, dream big knowing there is no limit what God can do through you, focus on God at all times. Remember to be a Christian is to be “Christ-like” not “Man-Like” or” Woman-Like”, it is to be so much more than what you thought you could ever be! You cannot be too busy for God, get busy helping God and He will get busy helping you!

He will take those problems that take up your time and solve them every one, meanwhile you must put your focus on doing his work and not those problems – release them to Him so you might be released. Why would you want to be the prisoner of the world around you when you have the opportunity to be so much more? You have talents, love, skills, knowledge that is needed by your church and your community. The more you give of yourself the more your receive from Him – more blessings, more time, more love, more money, more everything – you are provided for and taken care of when you stop holding back what He has given you to give to others.

If you are afraid you will not have time for fun or just cannot have fun while being a Christian – well, I’m here to tell you how wrong you are in that way of thinking. Some of the most precious, fun, memorable moments are those when I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do – not what I  wanted to do. If you think you have nothing to offer, you do – you have love, mercy and knowledge. Be creative and use whatever you have, even if it’s just a smile or a helping hand.

Here is your challenge:

Dare to give of yourself before you give to yourself.

Dare to look for the needy, poor, and lost around you. Pray you will be led to them, so you can help them.

Dare to let go of your problems and let God handle them, so you will be free to handle what He has planned for you.

Dare to spread His word, so all the people you encounter know the wonders he has bestowed upon you.

Dare to praise Him for all you have, for all you are able to do, for all you can do for Him.

Dare to stop complaining, making excuses and blaming – instead stand up and accept responsibility for what God has in store for you to do – ask Him for guidance and support, and go forward with confidence.

Dare to learn your bible by reading a chapter per day and studying its meaning. Don’t just read it – apply it and share with others.

Dare to pray for all those who need his healing, salvation and guidance. Watch in awe as those prayers are answered. It’s truly incredible!

Dare to put the “Christ” back into being a “Christian” and then the next time someone ask if you are a Christian you can say “yes” with confidence – you really are “Christ-Like”, because you are walking the walk and talking the talk.

It’s not always easy letting go and letting God take the lead, we want to be in control and we want our will to be done, but if God is telling you to do His work, it’s time for you to listen; and if you don’t know what His work is, then it’s time for you to pray about it – and I guarantee you will get the answer. Telling God you don’t have time, you don’t know how, you are afraid to do it wrong or worrying about what people will say will lead you away from everything you wanted so much for yourself the day you were saved – and once again you may find yourself lost.

Just pray and He will direct you. As I write this I know it’s His directive and His will that moves my hand. How can I be so sure you ask? it’s my lunch break, I went three places trying pick up a Wi-Fi connection on my iPad, but the connections didn’t show up on my iPad at all – yet they showed up on my phone – which was odd – no, there’s nothing wrong with the iPad. I wasn’t able to use my phone as a connection, since I’m low on data usage for the month – which rarely happens. So, a little frustrated – I sat in my van and ask “What do you want me to do Lord?” and the answer came immediately “Write!”…I had no idea what to write, so I jotted a few bible verses on paper, but suddenly I just turned to a new, blank page and wrote what you are reading here, no prior plan or topic, nothing related to the verses I jotted down – He took me in His direction to do His will. So if you have been directed to read what is written here, perhaps that too is His will and His direction for you. So move into action – you have received the message –  and dare to save yourself from yourself!

God Bless!

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Author: Arlene Price (indirectly J)copyright©2013

Walking in the Spirit – By Joseph Parker

Galatians 5:16-26I say then: Walk in the Spirit, & you shall not fulfill the lust’s of the flesh.For the Flesh lust’s against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.But if you are lead by the Spirit, you are not under the law.Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, Idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,Envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like: of which I tell you beforehand, just I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL, Against such there is no law.And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another (NKJV)

Walking in the Spirit

Photo courtesy of @creationswap.com/michaelabaltzar

THE SPIRIT IS OUR FIREWALL See we can refuse to do the best for our lives because we refuse to listen to the Spirit of God. In so we commit the sin of idolatry. We must show to our selves that we follow our LORDS CALL!!!!!! By listening we become more comfortable with what the lord leads us through. Could we be just playing a card when we call us Christians but lets start to discover our power-filled-lives in the spirit

THE SPIRIT IS OUR COMFORT We must see and listen to be used and comforted by the spirit. Our Lord beckons us to call upon him for our needs. He is our provider and assurity for he knows all that will be and was and is. He wants to be a help to you my friends. Please listen to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit, Obey it, follow.
THE SPIRIT IS OUR HELP  He has determined to help us reach our full potentials. When we realize this it will transform your’s and mines lives forever. Whom can we trust if not the Spirit of the loving living God? God has only the best intention for you my friends. We can be better off with being people of integrity by following the leading’s of the spirit. He is not loud or bold but is compassionate. He wants you to succeed for any one who cares would want that for you. Please understand that God is for YOU!! He is your encouragement.

Application

PRAY AS A CONVERSATION  prayer is meant to be conversation with God not always a petition. He wants to have that deep connection most of your earthly friends have with you. We have this Hope in spite of our circumstances. God wants you, to become the true you!!!!! You don’t know you until you know Jesus.

STUDY GODS WORD(THE BIBLE) His word has never been broken. It still is the most reliable ancient text out today. It might be the only one that actually transforms lives. The Bible actually is sixty-six books that don’t contradict each other. Sometimes it seams like it but what was said may have been written either at a different time or the persons has two different vantage points so if we look we can find these connections. God wants us to be able to discern what is happening. The word holds the key to our problems. Study will enlighten you of Gods love for you. Final thought We can be more fulfilled with less because of the comfort of the spirit. We can grow our relationships better because we finally understand what could have been the worst situation, to die for your enemies. We are called to love in-spite of there response to us. Christ gives us this charge so we must follow.

Conclusion

If we understand this right walking in the spirit simply means to be empowered by God to do His will. His will is to use your life to be a living sacrificial testimony of His Love two every person

About the Author: A former Episcopal Lay-minister now doing evangelistic ministry through this new media.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>