Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Enduring Love

Last Sunday I gathered with some friends who desire to walk worthy of eternal life with the God of Love & Truth. A message was shared with us pertaining to the need to be prepared for the trials & difficulties we may face in our lives do to our faith. It was pointed out that throughout history when nations were lifted up in pride, it was not long after that another nation rose up to destroy the nation given to pride. The proud nations that were destroyed were glorying in shameful things such as: gluttony, fornication, sodomy and abundant riches; while forsaking the poor, the orphan, the stranger & the widows. We see much of this in America today. 

As followers of the True and Holy God we are to reflect holiness. Holiness is not tolerated by nations that reject God & His holy ways. Christ was crucified by a wicked generation & those that believe Him & obey Him have suffered throughout time unto the present hour. Many that have been born & raised in America have yet to know what it means to resist unto blood-- (Hebrews 12:4)  "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."

It is becoming more clear & evident for those of us in America that the proud are inhabiting positions of power & changing laws to pervert the good ways of a True & Holy God. (Ephesians 6:12) "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." 

Seeing that it is not flesh & blood that will cause the godly to suffer in this world; the defense of the godly will not be by carnal means...(Ephesians 6:10-11)  "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." The Armor of the Godly: (Ephesians 6:15-18)
  • "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, 
  • and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  
  • And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;   
  • Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
  •  And take the helmet of salvation, 
  • and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:   
  • Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, 
  • and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"
My heart broke today when I read of a tragedy going on in our world. So many things occur on a daily basis that we don't want to think about, that are hard to believe they are true because the actions seem in-human. How could a person torture & torment another human being? How can mankind be so vile, so perverse so contrary to all that is good & pure & lovely & holy & true?!!!
The dreadful truth is we are all capable of committing grievous acts against mankind and if we do not keep ourselves pure, holy & focused on the love & will of God we may find ourselves slaves to evil deeds. In the media we read or hear of many evils committed on a daily basis. It seems those who commit such things have no heart, no conscience, no sense of right & wrong.
To those who lack understanding & think that by means of guns & violence and bombs & physical force evil will be are mistaken. Evil is overcome by good:by long-suffering & gentleness, by loving-kindess.
To those who want to escape the torments of this world the only way out is by having an enduring love. Love suffers long & is kind to it's enemies:  it loves those who hate, torment & afflict it. Because God sent His only begotten Son into the world to save SINNERS. Those who choose to do evil. But how can they be saved if so called Christians take up carnal weapons & put them to death?!! If you are to be like Christ you are to lay down your life for your enemy: endure the torment & shame they put you through, pray that your endurance will bring about their repentance or else your faith is in vain. You do not really believe in the God of love who gave His life for sinners, you do not believe that He will bless you with an eternity free from strife, & tears & sorrow & death.
So the question is:
How are we to have this divine nature that endures the torment of the enemy of our faith?
Do you think you will attain this Christ likeness by following the American dream? By establishing yourself in this world? By spending your days laboring to acquire material comforts & luxuries? 
Ladies, when your mind is full of the cares of the home: adorning your home with pleasantries, adorning your children, adorning your table so your family fares sumptuously everyday, shopping & consuming....How will you fare when the enemy enters your home on a physical level and abuses your children before your eyes? Do you think the divine nature of Christ will be present with you when you have wasted day after day giving your mind over to the cares of this life? (2Timothy 3:12)  "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
If we want to be like Christ & live eternally with Him we need to watch & pray, we need to have oil in our lamps. We can not & should not allow the cares of this life to overcome us. (Luke 21:34)  "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." 
You may not be drinking to excess, but that day is likely to come upon us "unawares" if we are not preparing for it.
When I first came to have hope in Christ & His teachings one thing really stood out to me; humankind has it backwards. We seek the things of the flesh before the things of the spirit. We allow our hearts to fear: what will I eat or drink or wear?! God calls us to seek first His righteousness/the kingdom of God. Many who would be called by His name continue to seek the things of this life before the Kingdom of God. We are more consumed with thoughts pertaining to food & clothes & homes. We are our worst enemy when we fail to love the Lord God with all the heart, all the mind, all soul, all of our strength.

 I understand that we need to eat, we need clothing & shelter, but when we love God fully we are content with little. We are content with what is necessary. We are not wasting precious time and resources. We are about our Father's business. A thought that stood out to me on Sunday was
(1Timothy 6:7)  "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
So many people labor to have....stuff...nice clothes, nice food, nice home, nice car....
Recently, I heard one of the children exclaiming to another, "I labored for that!!" They did not want to let go of the labor of their hand. They worked for it. They earned it. How true this is with adults as well. We labor & attain & we do not want to lose, or let go of, or give too much of what we have earned. Natural disasters come and claim our possessions & we are devastated. Why? Because we have lost what we put our daily lives into earning. The truth is too many of us are possessed by the things we own.
Yeshua (Jesus) taught, (Matthew 6:20-21) "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

When we care more for the things of God's kingdom than we do the things of this world, we will not be devastated by our losses here. When the enemy comes to steal & torment our joy can increase, knowing that our long awaited hope, & what we have truly labored to attain, is right around the corner.

I would like to encourage all who are reading this to take an honest look at how you spend your time and what you are truly working for. Yeshua warns about the cares of this life; (Mark 4:19)  "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."
 The lust of other things can daily assault us, and as days turn to years we can find ourselves in a choke hold, having little to no fruit of the kingdom of God to show forth. Mother's, daughters, ladies, children, watch and pray. Be ready to let go of homes & cars & toys & pleasantries for the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit would inspire us to care for widows, orphans, the poor & strangers. But how can we if we prefer ourselves & say, "I labored to: Take a vacation, enjoy hobbies, eat dainties, decorate my home, buy collectables, have multiple changes of clothes & shoes....all the time, resources and energy we spend to make ourselves so comfortable in this world could be justly distributed to those with true needs. We learn in the Book of Acts, (Act 2:44-45)  "And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." 

There are people starving in the world we live in, people drinking muddy, bug infested, contaminated water, people without adequate shelter, it has been reported that 40% of the worlds popoulation lives without a toilet....ladies why are you spending money to paint your face & get your hair done?!! The revenue of the U.S. cosmetics industry is estimated to amount to about 62.46 BILLION dollars in 2016!!
Is God impressed with a painted face? Does it please Him? (Jeremiah 4:30)  "And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life."  In vain money is spent on cosmetics. For those who have not read my post on Love Your neighbor as Yourself...The world hunger issue could be solved with half the amount Americans collectively spend on makeup in one year!!! What a Shame, shame, shame it brings when women call themselves Christians and waste the resources God gives to paint their face. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelations 3:19) Please women lay this to heart. God has a purpose for us on this earth & the time is short. We must not occupy our days with things that do not profit God's kingdom. Take the Holy women of old for example, (1 Peter 3:3-5) "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.   For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:" My heart yearns to see people zealously repenting and applying these things to their lives. I yearn to walk in love, labor in love, serve in love, endure with love. We choose, we have the choice. People are so zealous to rally for pro-choice...the choice is yours. You can kill, or keep alive the baby in your womb, you can waste your time and money painting your face, making dainties, making desserts, buying decorations, driving sports cars, eating sumptuously everyday, buying, collecting,....but in the end you can take none of this with you & you will not have a place in God's kingdom, you may find yourself saying to God on the judgment day,  "When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?"
(Matthew 25:38-39)
You may say "I didn't have the money to help those in need because I spent it on myself. I treated myself to...."
 1 Timothy 5:6-9
  • "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
  • But godliness with contentment is great gain. 
  •  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
  •  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition."
 Consider how you are living your life. I have, and continue to make many changes in my life for the Kingdom of God. I have made many mistakes in my life; but I have hope that through repentance: turning from all that I know is wrong to do that which I know is right, God will have mercy on me. I find that the way to life eternal becomes more narrow the longer it is traveled. We do not simply say a sinners prayer and go about our life; we examine & re-examine ourselves, we watch & pray, daily clip & trim any unfruitful branches in our life. The more evil I see in this world the more ready I am to lose my life for the kingdom of God. Nothing in this world compares to the Hope that can be had in The True God of Love.

Ladies, I urge you to forsake the foolish & live. Labor for the eternal, relieve the poor, the orphan, the widow, the stranger. Fear not the coming trials of your faith. Be ready to have an enduring love. Have your lamps full of oil.

End Note:
 My husband thought this verse was fitting concerning the present times we are living in.
"For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush." [Jeremiah 6:13-15]