Forgiveness 101- Chapter 1

I was doing a You Version Bible Study Plan again. First in 2013 and here in 2017, I find myself studying it again, for the Holy Spirit told me to do so in the wee hours of the morning.  Here’s the link to the plan: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/75-forgiveness    Day 1 verses are: Proverbs 18:19; Micah 7:18-19; Matthew 5:23-24

The first verse given me by the Holy Spirit was Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”.  The verse was not listed in the plan of verses to memorize, but God. Praise to His Spirit for leading me there first. Therefore, I have concluded that His first message to Shelia is to “lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset”.  “Ya heard me?”  Here are 7 synonyms of beset to make us think deeper about the spiritual healing of forgiveness: 

  • Affected(unnatural)
  • Plagued( snowed under)
  • Tormented(tortured)
  • Overwhelmed(dazed)
  • Harassed(stressed)
  • Surrounded( walled)
  • Full of (crammed with)

 

Proverbs 18:19 (KJV) – A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

This plan started off with a powerful Proverb. It is fact.  We are a people controlled by our feelings which in turn cause us to react heartlessly to what we see as a violation to us. We react heartlessly because our heart has been hurt. Admit it.

We don’t forget being hurt my people close to us, our sisters and brothers, our children, our friends from school, work, and church or from wherever the friendship began.  We are even offended by people we don’t have a relationship with. What is our first reaction? You guessed it.  We put up a guard against the person(s).

Think about relationships in your life. Is not this proverb true to its words? The sad thing about this is that this happens in the Body of Christ.

What did I learn from studying this verse? Let me tell you and I’ll make it short.

offended1Admit and say it out loud “I am offended”. The Holy Spirit guided me this morning to admittance being the first step on my path to forgiveness. Now whether you say it to self or to the person that offended you, that’s something your heart will have to declare.  I was offended by my son’s dog barking as I was studying the bible this morning on the back porch. I wanted to slap the dog and bar up his mouth.  😛

Yes, the Lord’s children get offended. We Christians will put bars up plus walls. Some will remove self from the situation/person and/or plot to repay for the offense.  No one likes to be hurt over and over again by the same situation -different scenario and/or person, especially those with intent to hurt and those controlled by evil spirits.  We do not look to the operation of evil spirits, but to the person we SEE in person as the culprit of the offense. This is our first natural reaction.

Questions to think about. (TYHS)

  • Does the bible show God as being offended? If so, how did he react?
  • What sin doth so easily beset you?
  • So how do we remedy an impasse (standoff, gridlock) when offended?

Share your wisdom. Thanks for stopping in. You are appreciated in Jesus name.

 

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A Good Soldier – Pastoral Counsel from Paul

Surprise, I’m back home…here at WP.  😛

As I was studying 2 Timothy, it hit me that in many churches there is a lack of pastoral counsel. I don’t know why it didn’t hit me in 1Timothy study. (I’ll accept it as the timing of the Holy Spirit.) I believe that there exist a lack of pastoral counsel because of what I’ve experienced, listening to the voice of many Christians and noticing the behavior of sheep and shepherd on Christian broadcasting shows via YouTube and other televised Christian outlets. I read a lot and hear so much about diluted and “anemic”(missing the blood) sermons; otherwise known as “watered down” and “sugar coated” sermons. Ahem.

I also read and hear a lot about/from Christians not being able to speak with a pastor to receive pastoral counseling. Hence, they end up going outside of the church for “worldly counsel”. Most churches are too busy with “busy work” instead of edifying work. I’m just saying. It seems to me that these are some of the reasons within the church that quite a few Christians are confused about what God requires of them; hence division and non-Christ like behavior exists within the body of Christ. Some even leave the church and pursue other entities. Then again, perhaps some pastors may have the thought of being sued on their mind if the wrong counsel is given. I say, be strong in the Lord and speak nothing but the truth to those that need and seek pastoral counsel. America has become a nation overflowing with lawsuits. Yea? Just something to ponder there! With that being said, let us begin.

What is meant by the term pastoral counsel today? Read article here Pastoral Counseling

Per Wikipedia: Pastoral counseling is a branch of counseling in which psychologically trained ministers, rabbis, priests, imams, and other persons provide therapy services. Pastoral counselors often integrate modern psychological thought and method with traditional religious training in an effort to address psychospiritual issues in addition to the traditional spectrum of counseling services. “What distinguishes pastoral counseling from other forms of counseling and psychotherapy is the role and accountability of the counselor and his or her understanding and expression of the pastoral relationship. Pastoral counselors are representatives of the central images of life and its meaning affirmed by their religious communities. Thus pastoral counseling offers a relationship to that understanding of life and faith. Pastoral counseling uses both psychological and theological resources to deepen its understanding of the pastoral relationship.”

For the sake of this blog, I will go by my biblical understanding of pastoral counseling: “In the Bible, pastoral counseling prototypes include ministers assigned by Moses to guide the Hebrew people in family, community, and religious life; the prophets Samuel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel; Jesus of Nazareth; and the apostle, Paul.”

In his second letter to Timotheus aka Timothy, Paul continues to give Timothy counsel. He starts out by telling him to “…be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  What a powerful admonition, don’t ya think?  Simply put, it is a reminder that in our weakness, the Lord is strong. He is our strength. That was a hard and much needed lesson for me to learn. I/we can do nothing by ourselves. I/we need the Lord’s help when we are feeling helpless and/or weak. Think. Did Jesus not say that He “The Son can do nothing of himself…”? Did Jesus not say “It is written” when hounded by the devil? It is clear that a “good soldier” should be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

Now, in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 Paul said, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” And these are the lead verses we are going to receive counsel on since the Holy Spirit put it in my heart and on my mind. I am going to tune them in with other bible verses and my thoughts.

Let me share three (3) important points on being a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” aka a Christian soldier: 

(1) Read   Jeremiah 20  A “good soldier” will understand how Jeremiah felt. The words of God are like fire shut up in our bones when we don’t speak up about and for the Lord.  He/she will know that we are at war daily between the flesh and the spirit just as Paul was, just as Adam and Eve was, etc.

(2) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.-Matthew 22:37-38 I used to put as a signature on my email accounts “To Know Me is To Love Me” This verse reminded me that to know the Lord is to love Him. It is written.

(3) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.- Ephesians 6:12(KJV)  There are many out there that do not believe that Satan exists. A “good soldier” needs to know that he does exist and he is capable of disarming us. Take a close look around the world, what do you see? Unforgiveness, hatred, gender issues, murderers, false doctrines/bibles, flowered beliefs, watered down sermons, etc. are all disarming works of Satan. Crouching sin have crept into the mind and heart of  many Christians. It is written.

crouching sin verse

Those points helped me to understand why pastoral counsel is important for the body of Christ. Paul also helped me to understand that a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” will endure hardship. A shepherd and other church leaders should be equipped to provide counsel period to congregants about enduring hardships. It brings to mind the expression “War is real”. In this day and time, war just seem to drop out of thin air. The people of God are turning against each other. That is why we need to acknowledge what is stated in Ephesians 6:12. We have been forewarned in the Word…a good soldier must prepare him/her self for this battle by putting on the whole armor of God.  Read Ephesians 6 because :

wrestle demons

BE Aware of Such Demons

Paul also reminds us that a “good solider” does not get entangled in living a worldly life. When a soldier is called to duty in an armed force he/she is no longer considered a civilian (member of the public). Right? Do you think that soldiers think about missing a television show, sex, or partying while a war is going on? A soldier’s primary focus and training becomes that of one thing and one thing only…winning the war.  A “good soldier is one that no longer lives his/her life as a worldly civilian.  Their focus is on the Word of God. A “good soldier” is one that carries his/her weapon (The Word of God) at all times. A “good soldier” should be well trained in using this weapon of  burning fire. War is not watered down nor sugar coated so a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” in training should not have a watered down nor sugar coated mindset. He/she should be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit and be “ready to rumble” as they say before a wrestling match.

A Note– For some reason the word fire reminded me of Daniel 7:9-10(KJV)  “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”

Enough said. Understand the message. Beloved, a war like none before will take place. It’s inevitable. We have received counsel from the Holy Bible. A “good soldier” will be prepared for battle and will overcome. It is written.

Thank you for stopping in. May you and I learn and apply these lessons to our lives daily. May you and I as a good soldier be ready for the Lord’s return. In Jesus name. Amen.

My Journey through Romans 12:9-21

1walk

 

An Exercise on How to Overcome Evil with Good- Walk Daily with the Spirit of God           
Get on your Nike’s on because we are going to “Just Do It.” as the slogan says. I personally prefer Under Amour sneakers. We are going to practice our walk daily with the Lord as one in the body of Christ. Let us begin.
Exercising Our Personal Behavior (vs 9,19) Read Luke 10:30-37; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-18
  • Let love be without dissimulation (pretense). We should be what they call “Keeping it One Hundred” real with one another in the sincerest of ways. Let us not be two-faced but genuinely one-faced. If a person refuse to acknowledge your sincerity, do as Paul said do not regard them as an enemy. Be not in your heart an avenger. That’s love. Keep walking in the Spirit of God and stay focused on the love you have inside for God. I find myself walking away from people because I am so against fakeness. It’s a childhood thing. 🙂
  • Abhor that which is evil. From our experiences we know that hate is a heavy-duty dislike for things and people and it separates the best of us, more importantly it separates us from God when dealing with those in the body of Christ. Note it says hate “that” which is evil, not the person that is evil. That person can always “turn again” to the Lord whether or not you’re a part of their life. Forgive yourself and forgive them if you harbor any spirits of hatred towards them. I’m still waiting to hear present day keeping it one hundred sermons on this matter. 😛
  • Cleave to that which is good. The best vivid picture I can give here is one of baby animals clinging to their parents as they move about, even in rough terrain. Those little creatures hang on for dear life. If they fall off through rough terrain or attacks on parent, notice that the parent will either pick them back up or the baby KNOWS by the parent’s bodily stance to cling to them again. (TYHS) We should have enough love for others to treat them in this way when they are going through some stuff and the person should be comfortable enough to want to cling to us in such a time. They are only going to cling according to our sincere stance. It amazes me that some animals are more caring of their self and their own than most humans.
Exercising Our Behavior towards Family Members & Church Members – brotherly/ affectionate (verses 10-13) John 13:34-35; Galatians 6:10; 1 Corinthians 12:26
  • Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love… We should show members of our family and our church family that they are of great importance to us. I must reiterate as I have done in several posts…Don’t tell people that “everybody is going through something” especially when they confide in you about their issues. That is so not Christ-like and it shows no affection whatsoever towards the person(s); to them it is as though you are casting whatever they are going through to the wind without any cares.  Please understand this. 
  • Be not slothful in business; be fervent (passionate) in spirit serving the Lord. Serving others is a business.  A spirit of slothfulness is a difficult spirit to work with. It comes down to you either don’t know how to or you don’t want to work with others because of past dealings. If you find serving in your church is not for you, then be sure to serve others on your own as God leads you to do so. I’ve found there are many out there who do not want to be affiliated with a church because they have been asked to attend the church in return for their service. This should not be so. As a Christian, just do your part. Either way, we are told to;
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation and continue instantly in prayer for others. Yes, one can hope, be patient, and pray on their own. However, when we sense something is not right with someone, we need to call them up or visit with them to let them know they are not alone. Pray with them. It may give them hope to rejoice in. Don’t say what to them? “_____________________”When one feels left out or alone, regardless of who or what caused it, what hope do they have to rejoice in?  What hope do they have to pray?  Some people are just not at a spiritual level to see the unseen. This is real stuff that affect families in the body of Christ a lot more than we are willing to admit. What are you going to do about it as a member? Warning!!!! Avoid gossip, church cliques, false prophets and false doctrine.
  • Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. If we see a need, fill it, especially for the homeless, the poor, the widows, the sick, the jobless, your family and church members. This type of hospitality has fallen to the wayside with that bad seed mentality planting by thinking “I gotta worry about me and mine.”
Exercising Our Behavior towards Others- (verses 14-21) John 10:16 says And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
  • And this is why we should bless and curse not those that persecute us in Jesus name. There are still others out there who need to be brought to Jesus.
  • We should rejoice with them because there is a way God will reach them through us.
  • Be of the same mind toward them, because we don’t know what others have been through and why they may not believe in God. Hence, we are not to be wise in our own conceitedness. Yeah, we think we know everything about why a person is this way or that, when the truth of the matter is we know nothing of the sort. We can’t fit in their shoes to know their walk; which is why we as Believers need never to look down on others and gossip about the things they are going through. Hell is never full.
  • Return to no man evil for evil. Separate yourself from people that do you harm or just flat out bring you down all the time. Let nothing separate you from God. Live peaceably with all, and let the Lord take care of the rest. The Lord knows better than us on how to stop an enemy in their tracks.

12walkBecause we are not perfect, we will get a leg, mind, or heart cramp during our walks. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good(vs21). Get back up, overcome and “Just Do It.” Read Proverbs 16:1-9 and let the Lord God our Master direct your steps. If people don’t want to communicate and/or be cooperative, walk away. I pray that we all choose to walk daily with the Lord, because we are all on the Devils’ hit list.

Thank you for visiting.

 

My Journey through Romans 12:1-8

Guidance for Building One Another Up – An Exercise in Training the Physical Body to Become A Spiritual Body

Additional Reading : 1 Timothy 4

fitness-buildInside of each and every one of us is the ability to build something. It begins in our childhood with us piling stuff on top of other stuff, taking sticks and leaves to build a campfire or birds nest and building a step to reach snacks sat upon a high shelf by parents. Most of us have built mud cakes and little mud huts when playing with mud and sand castles out of sand. To my knowledge, toy building blocks and upgraded sticks have become very popular the last 30 plus years. I also enjoy building with the grands. Lo, if only we were builders like the ants, birds, and bees. And, throughout our lives we build relationships with others. 

In this chapter Paul focuses on not just building something but on us building one another up in the church. I am glad you asked. How is that possible when we have issues with one another?  How is it possible when people ignore you?  How is it possible when people refuse to work with and communicate with you to get something done?  It is obvious that some of us cannot be friends forever with others and some are just passing through our lives as a lesson.

fitness1Paul gave us several ways to build upon when dealing with such people, especially those within the body of Christ.  Let us remember who the letter was written to: the called of Jesus Christ, to all in Rome who were beloved of God called to be saints, and those he considered “brethren”.  The present day people would be all of those who call themselves Believers, Christians, Children of God, those who are in the body of Christ and those who have received God’s mercy and grace. Clear?

Let us begin.

  • The first and the biggest building up is that we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is our reasonable (makes the most sense) service. In reading the Holy Bible, you will find that God dealt with us as individuals first while teaching us accountability. (vs10) (1 Cor. 3:16-17 ; Ephesians 4:23; Pray Psalm 141)
  • We must not be conformed (dressed to please) to this world. We are to make a spiritual change to be in line with the Spirit of God. (vs. 2)(Exodus 23:2; Leviticus 20:23; 1 Peter 1:14; Pray Psalm 19:12-14)
  • Transform (change) ourselves by the renewing of our mind. (vs 2) (Ezekiel 18:31; Pray Psalm 51)
  • Do not walk around thinking you are higher than God. Remember the Tower of Babel. Think soberly (vs 3) (1Peter 5:8, Titus 2:12;Pray Psalm 131)
  • Remember that we are many members in one body having not the same office( this is diversity of gifts) Think of it this way, you work in an office building shared by many, your tasks are different ,you have an office to self, but all are working together as a whole for the company. It is important for us all to be on one accord according to these verses. Some preachers don’t like this message coming from the pews. I wonder why? (vs. 4-5) (1Corinthians 12:12-14 & 12:28; Ephesians 5:30; Proverbs 27:17; Pray Psalm 133)
  • Realize that there is a diversity of gifts imparted to those who art in the body of Christ according to God’s grace. God created more than one planet in the universe and they all revolve around each other. When God created Adam, he said what?  “I will make a help meet for him.” Each apostle Jesus chose had different gifts. Amen. (vs.6-7) (1 Cor. 12:5; 12:11; Pray Psalm 20)
  • We are to use our gifts accordingly. Those who have the gift of encouraging should encourage those struggling in the body of Christ. Don’t reiterate a fact that “Everybody is going through something.” God never did that. Those who have the gift of giving of time and resources should do so with simplicity to meet the needs of others. It is true, we’re not all cut out for this. If it causes you problems it’s obviously not your gift to use at the time. Those who are in a position to shepherd over others, lead others, and/or instruct others should do so with diligence (carefulness and attentiveness) and be mindful that this gift is not only imparted to them. Those of a compassionate character should show mercy to others with cheerfulness. (vs. 8) (Hebrews 3:13; 2 Corinthians 8:12; James 1:17; James 3:1-3; Luke 6:36; Isaiah 30:18; Pray Psalm 23)
Each of these verses clearly display that we as the body of Christ are to be on one accord with the Lord.  Isaiah 30 also gives us a lesson on what happens when we are not on one accord with the Lord.  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+30%3A1-33&version=KJV 

fitnessYour church may be struggling with the ability to save souls by sharing the Gospel, to build bigger, to keep lifelong members, and struggling with ongoing stress among and between members, hence a sign of discord instead of being on one accord. The church has got to stop covering this up and acknowledge it. Let us stop having so many “ministries” that we lose focus on both the people in the body of Christ and the Spirit of God.  Anything that interferes with worshiping God is discord and shows rebellion toward God.  We need to be very attentive to Isaiah 30:1: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: I confess I have had my moments of rebellion. It’s good to regard that old aphorism “once you know better, you do better.” Therefore, I encourage both you and I to exercise this physical body until it become a spiritual body by setting our affection on things above and not the things on this earth. (Col. 3:2)

Thank you for taking time out to visit this blog.

My Journey through Romans 11

God’s Remnant To Remain Through It All – An Olive Tree Lesson

Romans 11:1-6- I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?  And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.  And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
(vs. 24) After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

When we read about the olive tree in the bible, we probably think of it as being a big tree or don’t give a thought to it until we read the book of Revelation. Surprisingly, I’ve learned it is a rather small tree.  Per Wikipedia : The olive tree, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is short and squat, and rarely exceeds 8–15 m (26–49 ft) in height.  The silvery green leaves are oblong, measuring 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) long and 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) wide. The trunk is typically gnarled and twisted.  Olive trees are not native to the Americas. Olives like hot weather and sunny positions without any shade while temperatures below −10 °C (14 °F) may injure even a mature tree. They tolerate drought well, thanks to their sturdy and extensive root system. Olive trees can live for several centuries and can remain productive for as long if they are pruned correctly and regularly. (Bingo! News for the year.)

Bible facts that I noted and four lessons learned while studying this chapter:

I. The olive tree stood through the great flood. (Gen.8:11)It is the tree the dove picked a branch off of.

Lesson learned: We are a small people regardless of our stature or status in today’s world. We as believers in Christ should have much faith to endure great floods that come upon us and encompasses us round about. We can stand through it all and watch the Lord rescue us TODAY.  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. (Exodus 14:13)

II. The oil has to be beaten out of the olive. (Lev 24:2; Num. 28:5; Grapes were smashed.)

refiners-fireLesson learned: We as believers in Christ must go through a beating with fire and a wash with fuller’s soap to be separated from the crap that grew within us and on us before the return of the Lord. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.  He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,  and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years. “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:2-5)  Let us not be forgetful of what Jesus went through for us. What we go through is just a dead limb falling off of the olive tree. The place where the limbs break have the opportunity to reshoot(new growth) once it receives the proper nutrition(the knowledge and love of God). May the Holy Spirit give you wisdom concerning that thought as He gave it to me in writing this thought upon my mind and heart.

olive-treeIII. The olive tree is wild by nature (Rom. 11:17)

Lesson learned:  Like the olive tree we are gnarled and twisted at times, yet we are still capable of producing good fruit. (TYHS) We go through many stages in life of disobedience to God due to our wild sinning nature. We need to grasp the truth, NONE of us as shepherds and sheep’s are perfect.  When we have been refined in God’s fire and stood through floods what we should not do is let what others think of us and our past keep us in a position of disobedience like the Israelite’s did because the word says “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

I think the olive tree is so representative of our personal family trees (ancestry listings) and church family trees(membership listings). It gives me an understanding of our similarities. Some of us have a sturdy trunk and extensive root system. All are twisted and even as mature adults we get injured. We are not as holy as we think we are with our falling leaves and broken branches. However, we can tolerate a drought with the help of the Holy Spirit. We can stand through floods; we will be beaten to smatterings and we are wild by nature. We need and we should desire correction from the Lord. The word from the Holy Spirit- “Shelia, it’s about the pureness of the oil.” (TYHS) (Read Romans 11:11-24)

storm-calmBreak Time: Have you ever noticed how quiet things are after a storm? Can you imagine the quietness Noah experience after the storm?  Imagine the quietness of the Israelite’s when God opened up the earth to put thousands in check. (Read Numbers Chapter 16 & 26) When we believe and receive correction – in the end we need to remember this: But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Isaiah 43:1-3)

AND

IV. Heed the voice and teachings of God. For of him, and through him, and to him are all things; to who be glory for ever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)

Lesson Learned: Listen for the Lord’s voice when He calls you and be obedient, Wherefore COME OUT from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.(2 Cor. 6:17)

Beloved, with this new year that is upon us,it is my prayer that we work to make this a true verse representative of who we are in Christ before His return, for we shall be God’s Remnant To Remain Through It All – Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.( 1 John 3:9)

Note 2 Self- There ain’t nothing wrong with being God’s leftover (remnant)

 

My Journey through Romans 7

shakesphere

To Live or To Die, that is the question. The question is NOT “To be or not to be.” However, “Shake-us-sphere” aka Shakespeare came close in his soliloquy.  😛

On this journey I made a list of seven notes about being released from the law and sin. It’s important to acknowledge to self that we as Believers do indeed sin and sometimes become so bound up in it that we are unable to release ourselves from it. Peradventure, some are astonished about what sin is and wrestle with it daily.  If we are not cognizant of our sin, what then? (((JESUS)))   And now, allow me to share my words of understanding. Please read the bible verses in Romans 7 to receive your understanding.

  1. God’s law never dies. (Entire Bible)
  2. If you strictly follow the law then the law has dominion over you as long as you live. It’s basically a marriage between you and the law. Paul gives an ensample of a marriage between a man and woman. A living spouse is only released from the marriage if the spouse dies and is free to remarry without being labeled an adulterer/adulteress. If both are still living and one remarries then that one is called an adulterer/adulteress. According to the word a divorce still bounds one to that marriage even if one remarries. Huh? The only thing that is clear to me with this scenario is that the point is this: someone must die for another to be released from the law. (vs.2;3)
  3. You only become dead to the law by the body of Christ which is a good thing. If we are honest with self and with God, we know how impossible it is for us to follow the whole law. Who alive have not broken one or more of the Ten Commandments? Even so, now we are assured that Christ is the ‘someone’ that released Believers from the law. Believers that are alive in Christ “should bring forth fruit unto God.” (vs.4)
  4. Let’s swim for a moment. While swimming in the flesh w/o some lifeguard protection, the motion of deadly waves can cause one to drown. Drowning = Death. Sometimes the flesh thinks its ok to swim in calm waves. Don’t be fooled by the motions. By law, oceans always have waves. (vs.5) Ocean Moment- http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/wavesinocean.html
  5. Deliverance from the law allows you to be more attentive to serve in newness of spirit (the new way) and not serve the flesh which is administered by the letter (the old way). Point– An antique piece can be renewed, yet it is still an antique. (TYHS) In Christ, you still have the same old body but you are no longer bound in that old body when you have freedom in Christ. The chains have been broken; the prison door has been opened. Peter can testify to that. ( vs. 6) Speaking of testify…why is it that some churches no longer allow time for testimonies anymore? Sad!
  6. The law is NOT sinful, but you learn what sin is because of the law. Let’s look at it this way using this statement- “I would not have known it existed had I not seen it there with my own eyes.” (vs.7)
  7. Sin is always ready to seize its moment because of the law. Remember, it is always alive and crouching at your door looking for that opportune moment for breaking the law. (vs.8)

In verses 9 thru 23 we will find the wrestling match between the law and sin, the spirit and the flesh. S-T-R-E-S-S is what it boils down to. The wrestling between the spirit and the flesh cause us to be in a ‘do I do’ or ‘do I not do’ constant Thorn-ful Stress Head Lock.

wrestlingStory Moment– (Read Genesis 32-33) This study reminded me of the wrestling match Jacob had. Let me go into the childhood part of mind here before closing out this blog. Jacob was on his way to meet his brother Esau, who he betrayed while in the flesh.(TYHS) He was afraid to approach Esau first, so he sent his servants ahead of him with a message for Esau. Messengers returned with a report from Esau. Jacob becomes scared, puts the people and things he love most into one group and the people and things he loved less in another group. Guess which group was placed in front to allow a chance for the other group to flee.

He then prays to God, chose gifts to appease Esau and sends his servants ahead of him with the gifts as he slept in the camp. He woke up from his sleep and took his two wives, two maidservants, and his eleven sons and other stuff he had over the crossing of Jabbok’s brook. (Still serving the flesh)  Now he was alone, the wrestling match begins with “a man with him until the breaking of the day.” 

The man could not get a good choke hold on Jacob, so he used his touch move to the hollow socket of Jacob’s thigh to push it out of joint to slow Jacob down. Jacob still had a hold on him as he asked Jacob to “ Let me go, for the day breaketh.”  Jacob said “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” He asked Jacob what was his name. He then told Jacob that his name is “no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power (wrestled) with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Out of that wrestling match comes a new name and something to remind him of why he received it. What something reminds you that you are new in Christ and blessed?  To live or to die, that is the question beloved.

Jacob was blessed by the man and he believed that he had met God face to face and that his life was now preserved. The story ends, Jacob has no fear of meeting Esau, they meet, hug cry (you know what forgiveness releases you of) and introduced family they never met. And so, Jacob arrived at his destination without wrestling with his brother.

There were three points that the Holy Spirit shared with me here. (1) Jacob was no longer serving the old flesh(backstabbing a family member), but was now living and serving God with a newness of spirit and with a new name. I guess flesh shrinkage does wonders. (2)God can work through you to change even the negative attitude of another person that has cause to be against you. Is that not a blessing? Go ahead. Let’s shout for that is an opportunity for a “Praise God” moment. I surely can’t wait for the day that I receive my new name. (3) No where in the bible does it allude to the adage “choose (pick)  your battles wisely” that is preached and taught. The bible does show and tell us that we are to be ready for battles(wrestling matches) as Jacob was. Had he not been ready to fight, the wrestling match would have been over before daylight, don’t you think?

And now I close.

The bottom line of this wrestling match is as Paul states in verses 24-25: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

 Thank you for reading and may you receive many blessings and understanding from the Holy Spirit.

 

Come, let us worship and sing with joy, “I will never be bound again”.

https://youtu.be/r4vx1YKAU7U

My Journey through Romans 4

Justification Through Faith

In the previous blog I learned about the law of faith and how important it is to be obedient to that law for it is of the Gospel of Christ. In chapter three verse twenty two, the light shined that even “the righteousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ upon all those that believe”.  In this chapter I am learning more about justification through faith. This is a touchy subject for many Christians and unbelievers alike. I’ve always wrestled with understanding justification for /through anything. Let us swing back a step and review the meaning of justification.

  • Justification, in Christian theology, is God’s act of removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time declaring a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. In Protestantism, righteousness from God is viewed as being credited to the sinner’s account through faith alone, without works. ( Courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justification_(theology) )
  • an acceptable reason for doing something : something that justifies an action
  • Synonyms: reason, defense, excuse, validation-

 

You may or may not agree, but I found this verse to be the crux of understanding justification through faith (vs. 8- Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute (credit) sin.) Lord knows we are too familiar with sin and its many facets. We also know that sin has a fee attached to it and it is ALWAYS crouching at our door (Gen. 4:7) holding out its collection plate. Amen?

What many of us may miss in this chapter is the discussion of Abraham’s faith and how it was a spiritual matter between him and God. Even so with Rahab the prostitute. Think. Abraham went way out of his natural self to obey and please God. Which one of us would be that obedient to God as to sacrifice one of our children to Him? I’ll be honest and say that is something I could not bring myself to do, even with knowing of Abraham’s outcome.  My outcome could be something different if I were to make such a sacrifice. Lord, let me have that type of faith.  Abraham’s obedience clearly shows us that justification is through faith and not works. It reminds us of this scripture (Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him)  

just The bottom line concerning justification through faith for me was understanding that we are justified in the same way as Abraham- believing. But for us, it is belief in Jesus Christ, i.e. God’s sacrifice.   Not a one of us would be capable(unless you owned your own animal farm)  nor be obedient to the old law of killing animals to be a sacrifice for our daily sins. We’d just die because we could not meet that working quota. Do you know how many animal killings a day that would be?  Those animal rights groups would have a fit and we’d have to figure out another way to pay for our sins. But, God.

Instead of asking us to make a sacrifice as He did with Abraham, God knew we would not be that obedient. Therefore, God debited our account from the guilt and punishment of our sins by sacrificing His only begotten Son. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7-9) Knowing this I ponder why it is that we still waiver in our faith in Jesus?   Knowing this also, all Believers should thank God daily that we will not be asked to make any children and animal sacrifices for our sins ever again.  Just let that faith point soak in!  😛

Anywho, in this chapter I found out that we cannot “by any means necessary” work our way to God, doing so-called “church work” or any other works. Justification is God’s work because it is He who fulfills the promise through our faith in His Son. Do tell… how is it that we think we can “earn” our way into heaven when we are incapable of sacrificing one of our children as Abraham did?  I sure am learning more about the spiritual role faith plays on this journey. Obeying and pleasing God is a spiritual matter. (TYHS) It even caused me to pause and think long about God’s reasoning through the ages of loving generations of a disobedient people. Maybe he thinks of Barbara Streisand’s song, “The way we were” in the Garden of Eden before the serpent slid in.  I think of the moment too, walking with God up close and personal as Adam and Eve did. What a joyful day that will be.

In conclusion, I am assured that we receive justification through faith in Christ. Key words –Faith In Christ. Thank you for riding along with me on this journey.

***Recent find, please enjoy Brother Noel’s biblical stance: https://gospelmuse.com/2014/01/19/are-you-justified-by-faith-or-by-works/

My Journey through Romans 1:1-17

Do we ever take a spiritual notice or any notice at all that before he delivers his message, how Paul introduces himself? He states that he is “a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,”  This led me to the convicting question- what qualifies us to spread the gospel? Thank you Holy Spirit.

You can read about his journey of events that led to his conversion for him to make such an entitlement beginning in the book of Acts 7:54-59; Acts 8:1-3; and Acts 9:1-31. I really like this verse -Acts 9:22 -Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. 

With that being said, the first thing that came to my mind is an event that happens in most churches. Let me call it the Visiting Pastor/Speaker Introduction event. Is it just me that notices that most introductions consist of listing an educational and work resume which never or rarely mentions anything about their qualifications in Christ? 

Word to the wise and unwise alike: When in the midst of church folk and possible converts it is best to keep your introduction short and to the truth like Paul.  Whether the pastor/speaker realizes it or not, the ‘all about my world’ introduction puts all the glory on self; it takes away from his/her message. This is just something I’ve noticed going on in various churches. Don’t hate!

There are three things that the Holy Spirit spoke to me about in this study.Ya ready?

The first thing that I have learned on this journey is to present yourself to God first.  Paul mentions this later in Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Knowing Paul’s/Saul’s history clearly shows that presenting yourself to God first both opens and closes many doors. Paul knew from his personal experience that he belonged to Jesus Christ. He knew that all of his accomplishments were not of his own doing, it was of the Lord. All glory should be given to our Creator and Savior. Amen.

The second thing I learned is twofold.  We should serve with our “spirit in the gospel of His Son” and as God as our witness (vs 9) because “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) How do we do this?

 In two ways- In the OT we are told in Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but 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 with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” And in 2 Timothy 2:15-, we are instructed to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Who are you serving?

The third thing I learned is threefold.  We are to be ready to preach the gospel. We are NOT to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ and we must have faith. (vs. 15-17)  There is a reason that Paul tells us that the “just  shall live by faith.” Ahem! It is the righteousness of God revealed. Would your introductory resume reveal these three things to others as your accomplishments in Christ?

Roadside Rest Stop: It is imperative to know who we are in Jesus Christ before sharing the Gospel with and/or preaching to others. Be qualified to speak with the authority given to us by Jesus Christ. Let our experiences with God and the knowledge we have of God, not men be presented to others. Sometimes we only get to journey on the road to Damascus once. Once was all it took for Saul/Paul. We are living testimonies that the Lord our God will stop us dead in our journeys to put us on the right road.

Therefore beloved as a present day messenger of Christ, know ye this, we are debtor to all, “both wise and unwise” so be ready. Always remember who are you in Christ on any journey and

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.”                Fitzhugh Mullan

My Journey Through The Book of Romans

As I studied this book kind of thoroughly, (just being honest) I discovered it is a great book with great examples and teaching on sin and death and sin and grace. It is one book that I plan to read over and over again and obtain wisdom on how to live daily in Christ. It is a convicting book. It is a law book. It is an instructional book. So, I wanted to share my thoughts/notes made when I studied this book. Learning about the history of places has always given me a clearer understanding of events in The Holy Bible. Allow me to share with you some information retrieved from bible.about.com:

• Rome was a relatively wealthy city and included several economic classes — including slaves, free individuals, official Roman citizens, and nobles of different kinds (political and military). First-century Rome was known to be filled with all kinds of decadence and immorality, from the brutal practices of the arena to sexual immorality of all kinds.
• During the first century, Rome was heavily influenced by Greek Mythology and the practice of Emperor worship (also known as the Imperial Cult). Thus, most inhabitants of Rome were polytheistic — they worshiped several different gods and demigods depending on their own situations and preferences. For this reason, Rome contained many temples, shrines, and places of worship without a centralized ritual or practice. Most forms of worship were tolerated. Rome was also a home to “outsiders” of many different cultures, including Christians and Jews.
• Nobody is certain of who founded the Christian movement in Rome and developed the earliest churches within the city. Many scholars believe the earliest Roman Christians were Jewish inhabitants of Rome who were exposed to Christianity while visiting Jerusalem — perhaps even during the Day of Pentecost when the church was first established (see Acts 2:1-12). Christianity had become a major presence in the city of Rome by the late 40s A.D. Like most Christians in the ancient world, the Roman Christians were not collected into a single congregation. Instead, small groups of Christ-followers gathered regularly in house churches to worship, fellowship, and study the Scriptures together. The people of Rome were tolerant of most religious expressions. However, that tolerance was largely limited to religions that were polytheistic — meaning, the Roman authorities didn’t care who you worshiped as long as you included the emperor and didn’t create problems with other religious systems. That was a problem for both Christians and Jews during the middle of the first century. That’s because both Christians and Jews were fiercely monotheistic; they proclaimed the unpopular doctrine that there is only one God — and by extension, they refused to worship the emperor or acknowledge him as any kind of deity. For these reasons, Christians and Jews began to experience intense persecution. For example, the Roman Emperor Claudius banished all Jews from the city of Rome in 49 A.D. This decree lasted until Claudius’s death 5 years later.
• Christians began to experience greater persecution under the rule of Emperor Nero — a brutal and perverted man who harbored an intense dislike for Christians. Indeed, it’s known that near the end of his rule Nero enjoyed capturing Christians and setting them on fire to provide light for his gardens at night. The apostle Paul wrote the Book of Romans during the early reign of Nero, when Christian persecution was just beginning. Amazingly, the persecution only became worse near the end of the first century under Emperor Domitian.
Conflict
There were clashes between Christians of Jewish origin and Christians who were Gentiles. The earliest Christian converts in Rome were likely of Jewish origin. The early Roman churches were dominated and led by Jewish disciples of Jesus. When Claudius expelled all Jews from the city of Rome, however, only the Gentile Christians remained. Therefore, the church grew and expanded as a largely Gentile community from 49 – 54 A.D. When Claudius perished and Jews were allowed back in Rome, the returning Jewish Christians came home to find a church that was much different from the one they had left. This resulted in disagreements about how to incorporate the Old Testament law into following Christ, including rituals such as circumcision.

For these reasons, much of Paul’s letter to the Romans includes instructions for Jewish and Gentile Christians on how to live in harmony and properly worship God as a new culture — a new church.

And with that being said, today even- in the robotic and government controlled 21st century we still experience conflict in the church. The question I always wrestle with is: Why do we as Christians / Believers still have this unending conflict when we are all reading and studying the same Holy Bible? We’ve read with our own eyes, or have listened to an audio version of the bible with our own ears, yet we don’t appear to totally comprehend what God’s word is teaching us and warning us of. The things that Paul discusses with the church in Rome continue in its full blown entirety today around the world. No country is exempt. How sad! What it amounts to is that we as Christians/Believers think that we are

knockon heavn whilst the majority of us are behaving like OT Israelite’s being led by way too many false Moses, mountain climbing with wolves as our guides, skydiving while hanging on to the feet of a bluebird and even setting sail to the Holy Land vacationing on false doctrine. You get the gist of what I’m saying, I hope.

At the beginning and end of every day, some of us are out there trying our best to get over our human fears to do this or to do that. Fear of God has to become our dominate heart and mindset trait to get to where God wants us to be.

Job said it best in Job 28:23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.(Therefore being obedient to Him daily gives us the opportunity to know Him as one church) and in Job 28:28 , And unto man he(God) said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Speaking of ‘knockin’ on heaven’s door, Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23- Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I hope you enjoy the journey that will teach us how to knock on heaven’s door and enter into eternity with Christ.

I Love You

Love Covers A Multitude of Sins

 

Do You Need To Change Your Dirt? – Alkalinity vs. Acidity- Part 2

Mark 4:5-6- And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

Jesus’ Explanation

Mark 4:16-17 -And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

 

Rocky/Stony Soil
Excerpt from HGTV- Is rocky soil turning your landscaping dreams of green to gravel? Rocks make for a great garden above ground, but when the soil below is made up of the same impenetrable stone, plant roots have a tough time getting the nutrients they need to survive. So what do you do if your yard is full of rocky soil? Homeowners across the country blast, backhoe and burrow their way through compacted soil, not always with satisfactory results.  Rocks aren’t all that biologically active, which means that they don’t enhance the soil’s productivity much.  Just as rocks can affect what you plant below ground, they can affect what you plant above ground, too. Rocks can create microclimates that may either help or hinder growth. 

Let me begin by sharing a few things I have learned from experience concerning rocks. Above ground, rocks can be used as an eye pleasing decoration in a flowerbed and over time they tend to work their own way into the ground. So I head back to Lowe’s to purchase more rocks. Grrr! Rocks can also block the sun that is needed for growth, so don’t put your plants too close to the bordered rocks.  Some plants need sunlight from the time the sun rises until it goes down. However, too much sun will kill any plant that is not planted deep enough to take root. 

This too happens in our lives when we have either no root in the word of God or we are improperly rooted by false teachings.  Jesus said, we “endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, IMMEDIATELY they (we) are offended.”   I know that I was offended by having to purchase more decorative rocks when my next spring planting came around. I also had to dig up some of the old rocks that became embedded in the dirt and I was a bit more than offended. What should I have done differently? Watch HGTV of course.

gardenWe begin to look for answers on how to make life changes sometimes with and/or without the Son.  We too, try often to blast, backhoe, and burrow our way through rocky dirt in our lives to no avail due to the fact that we haven’t rooted firmly enough in the WORD to apply it to our difficulties. It takes a lot of love. But, then there’s God, not Maude. 😛

Jesus said “…who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;” had me thinking…Is it wrong for us to quickly accept and be impulsive about sharing the gospel without thinking about the consequences? Then I remembered that Jesus also said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24)  It just so happens that when we are faced with problems and antagonism because of the word of God, we begin to lose heart; most stop coming to Jesus as they work their way down into a rocky place.  

We are excited when we join a church  and some can’t get beyond a certain growth spurt. They become stressed and yes, they are offended. Could it be because he/she didn’t deny self?  It seems to be a natural process for all humans when hard times hit. But when Believers are hit with hard times and fall away; is it because they didn’t take up his/her cross?  “Hard times flush the chump.  Everybody’s lookin’ for answers….  ” is a line that came to mind from the movie Oh Brother.   I took a moment to look up what that may mean. Here’s what I found courtesy of Ivy Sea Online Leadership Site:

  • It could also mean that people, feeling pressured or fearful, act out from their less skillful selves and are just unpleasant, intolerant or judgmental.
  • Or, like the movie’s Everett noted, hard times make people willing to believe just about anything. Here, he was referring to the overly naïve. Eager to delegate his or her own personal responsibility to someone else, rather than bucking up and taking action for him or herself, these folks are often fast-food for the charlatan
  • It could mean that challenging circumstances flush out the less committed, unfocused or risk-averse, those who don’t have what it takes (or find that it’s not worth it) to see it through. Hard times definitely flush those folks, probably for their own ultimate benefit.

As Believers, I believe that we have to face the fact that we have, we do, and we will fall upon rocky /stony periods in our life because we do not consider the outcome of choices made especially when hard times hit. I agree “challenging circumstances flush out the less committed…” But, as we continue to grow in the word and commit to the word, we learn what it means to show ourselves approved unto God.

We must admit that we can do nothing without the help of the Holy Spirit. We can’t even change our dirt without His help. I think the key to getting ourselves out from amongst rocky soil is to “deny” ourselves. The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is detrimental to our growth in Christ. So to speak, He is the pH balance, the alkalinity that keeps us grounded in the word. Please note that while stony /rocky soil yields life to seeds sowed upon its ground, the growth is but for a short time.  You have to ask yourself, do I want to spend an eternity with God or do I want to spend “but for a time” with Him?  That leads me to my next thought.

running(Running for cover…Not) I also believe that the number one reason some fall upon this type of soil is that some of us tend to rely on the word of our shepherds, i.e. pastors, leaders, and other advisers. Some folks are too lazy to spend quality Holy Spirit led time in the word of God to find answers from the Holy Spirit of God.  When we rely on what others “said”, and have not spent “I” time (not me time) with God, we have no depth about what the word of God says. If you think about many incidents in the NT and the OT, if something were to be proven or questioned, they would always fall back to what “God said”  or what “God did”; many NT writers even referred back to the OT.  Jesus did it too.  

For the last four years I’ve heard quite a few people say during a testimony or just via a conversation with the biggest smile on their face, “Well, pastor said…. And I believe God will do it.” My response is usually to stare at them out of disbelief or I ask, ‘What did God say?’ I have a tendency to blurt out something when I am in utter disbelief. That’s some rocky dirt. Yeah I need to change that dirt! (TYHS) Remember what Jesus said to John and  James when they asked to sit at his right and left hand in the kingdom of God?  He said “Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Mark 10

Question…Can you drink of that cup when you are taking root in rocky soul? Peradventure, some of us may need to change our surroundings, our employment, even so to the point of changing our place of worship. The lesson we need to heed here about this type of dirt/soil is that as Believers and Sowers of the word, we do not need to be in the vicinity of sowing amongst rocky dirt knowing that it hinders our growth period. Jesus has already given us answers  about what happens when we are sowing in this type of dirt/soil. Yes, “Everybody’s lookin’ for answers…. ” therefore heed the teachings of Jesus.

life flowerWhen it seems like the Holy Spirit is dormant in our garden (heart), it is time to change our dirt. It is imperative for us to grow in a more alkalized garden instead of continuing to push, backhoe and blast ourselves into finding root in an acidic garden. The only thing that I can think of growing on rocky soil is the church. 

Proof on the Rocks: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16

Do you need to change your dirt?