Going Deeper During Adversity

Going Deeper During Adversity - Hope & encouragement for christians enduring hard difficult trials and situationsWhen we have decided in our heart to truly dedicate ourselves, our children and our marriage to the Lord, then He is faithful to make a beautiful thing out of it, but not before He purifies it in the fire. Dedication and consecration are a process.

Believer, if you have said in your heart at some point, “Yes, Lord.” then it brings glory to the Father, but your willingness to be under His hand means that He must sharpen you.

As I have walked through the fire many times, I can tell you in my experience that it often is one trial overlapping another. So as one issue is fading or near over, another one materializes. It’s our attitude, our bent knees/hearts and willingness to learn everything we can (that the Lord is showing us) that are the key.

Can we find praise to give to God?
Can we worship Him during our moments of suffering?
Can we see the bigger plan He has for us in our situation?

The Lord wants your heart, all of it.

Surrendering our heart brings us to a place where we revisit another depth in God where He presses us to go deeper again. Our trusting Him comes in layers. Our depth of forgiveness toward others and forgiving ourselves comes in layers. Repentance comes in steps too.
The more flesh that is burned from us, the more we become like Jesus.
Many years ago, a good friend of mine said, “If you want to be like Jesus, you’ll have to learn to take those Judas’ kisses.” Goodness was she ever right. I have walked through almost unbearable pain time and time again and even public lies and slander. Maybe you have too. All for the glory of God. Almost every issue surrounded a relationship thing with some person. Relationships are SO important to God! I’d say that He deems them paramount. Unfortunately for our flesh, He uses them to purify us, humble us, to bring our broken hearts to Him, to teach us new facets of forgiveness and His mercy. Our tears are never lost, never wasted, in our journey walking with God.

Those scriptures you use to edify yourself are crucial. Ones like “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” and “He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me”, “the prayers of a righteous man avail much” There are so many. Encourage yourself with the word. I post them in my car, by the kitchen sink, the bathroom counter. I repeat them aloud. I preach them to myself in my head everywhere I go.

Don’t let the enemy drag you down into a pit of despair, discouragement and doubt. Being self-consumed is a dangerous slope. Your situation is not bigger than His work in your heart and life. God’s love never fails. He has never left you, Believer. He has always been there. The love and empathy He has put way down deep in you is to share, to pour out.
So even when your world seems like it’s crashing down, like it’s raining anvils- you still have a powerful ministry.
Worship Him.
Love His people.
Love the unloved.
Speak the Truth to them.
Be that light.

Love Demonstrated – Culture Wars – Should Christians be louder or quieter?

The place of integrity and conviction in our culture today has been almost eradicated as self-seeking agendas have been lifted up and established as the new ideal. The trumpeting of an “anything goes” morality has become so prevalent that it has become a chorus of millions all declaring they have the right to prey upon others, directly or indirectly, to make their own personal world better.

They say: It’s our own decision what we do, what we allow and who we victimize, so if you stand for a higher standard of what is right or wrong- then you are definitely the enemy.

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. James 3:14

This massive group of people, because it has become so large, believes that because they have finally become the majority that somehow that makes their self-worship agenda… right, good and noble. This sickness has infected our world in every possible way, including the family, education, entertainment and politics. They literally have changed what is good to be called evil and what is evil to be called good. If a person were to have noticed this shocking evolution in our culture, that person surely has seen the rapid descent of morality and integrity as it’s picked up considerable speed these last few years.

Where is the Church?

The Church has been bullied. Told to be silent and accepting, until eventually the self-seeking agenda had penetrated the Body. Because of the consent to obey and be quiet, the Body of Christ now has a cancer. It is weak. It is without the power of God. It is no threat to evil. The Church has become the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water and has not taken proper heed to consistently affect the world for Jesus Christ. Quietly the Body has cow towed to the rantings and threats to hurt and destroy it. Consequently , most pews are either empty or filled with faithless self-seeking members. Behold: the Church has begun the Great Falling Away.

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. James 3:16

What can the Church do?

Essentially the Body of Christ has become like an ancient city in the Old Testament. It has been unfaithful to God. God warned and warned them. Now the Church’s enemies attack, ride in, kill them men, and take their women and daughters off to become slave wives. Wow. Harsh. Well it may be harsh but it can only be expected. If you don’t put a lock on your door and then lock it, you should not be surprised to find yourself robbed. The answer then? Lock the door? Well it’s not that easy. Locking the door now would just help you not to get robbed as easily again. The robbery has already taken place so a locked door will not bring back your stuff. This is a hard truth. Still you still need to stop the robberies.

Stop the invasions from happening.

Typically a person’s home, after being invaded by robbers, gets new better locks, maybe a security system and a form of self protection like mace. The person becomes vigilant, they do not leave their home door open and then go on vacation. Clearly the Church must do likewise and strengthen the House of God. Its people on alert and remaining vigilant. What does a fortified protected Church look like?

It’s about righteousness.

Righteousness in a culture comes from God. Righteousness sounds like a religious exercise in pretending to be holy or other dreadful thing- that is self-righteousness and that is not what we are talking about here. Righteous living is about dedication and true committed devotion to love God in every area of your life to the best of your ability with His help. In short, righteousness is Love. So, righteousness/love in a culture comes from the Lord’s direction and, as a result, the people who choose to live according to what has been declared by the Lord to be Good and not Evil. A people who choose God’s standard because they understand that He alone determines what is right and wrong. NOT US. Therefore, the integrity and conviction of the Lord that is evident in that body of people, begins to affect the world for Jesus Christ. How? Because it’s legit. It is true love.

How does the Church change the culture?

A silent weak Church allows the culture/world to change it. Self-seeking is a powerful force because it is “flesh” and man desires to indulge himself. To be vigilant against a powerful enemy, it stands to reason you must also become powerful. More powerful than your enemy. A strong Church walks righteous and teaches righteous living and declares the Truth of God… His love for all. The opposite of Love is selfishness. Not hate. Think about it for a moment. Self-seeking is the opposite of Love. So, as much as the current self-seeking (selfish) culture angrily shouts that the Church is hateful, the Church is actually represented by Love.  Jesus Christ is God’s love made manifest. The self-seeking culture is by definition- the opposite of Love.

What is Love then?

Love is more than a one word definition. The Lord describes it the best. Most notable in the statement that Love is “not self seeking” and “does not dishonor others” but the entire portion is often quoted, even to the point where we don’t hear it anymore. It is crucial that the Church stop what it is doing and re-examine each portion of the “love chapter” so each person understands their part in demonstrating and being Love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13:4-8

It comes down to each one of us. Each one of us must endeavor to live Love and demonstrate this love and then declare the Truth of God: He loves all. He loves completely. He wants each person to be with Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (Jesus). Whoever believes in him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3

Stand up Church. Be alert. Be watchful. Be prayerful.

Walk in Love. Demonstrate what true Love is. Declare the Truth.

And again I say- Stand up Church!

 

Rebuild the City – Prophetic Word to the Church 10/03/15

We are the city of God.

We have been plundered

and weakened

until we have almost no defenses,

almost no walls, almost no watchmen, almost no warriors, almost no workmen in the fields.

When the Lord’s enemies want something, they come and take it.

There have been some who have been strong and courageous and slung many arrows and shook fists at the enemy’s raiding parties – but much has been lost. Much ground. Many souls taken away, as well. We have been disgraced. A reproach.

In the days of the king Artaxerxes, the City had been destroyed. The Lord’s city, Jerusalem, was essentially gone. God’s people were under Babylonian captivity for 70 years. They were disgraced.

Through the inspiration of God and His releasing, Nehemiah was released with tremendous favor to rebuild. After coming back to the City and surveying it, he addressed the people there:

Then I [Nehemiah] said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.”

And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me.

So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.

Nehemiah 2:17-18

The words of Nehemiah struck their hearts and spoke to their desire to set about rebuilding what had been lost. They saw that this was Good work. Even when strong opposition came, they persevered. God’s city was rebuilt.

Today, even as we are in disgrace and destroyed, The Lord is calling us to rise up. We must gather ourselves together in unity and strength.

We can rebuild our city. The City of God.

We can take back souls.

We can take back land.

You can be a part of that. The Lord is calling us to it.

 

 

Lord, rescue me

ZionFire.org - Prophetic teaching, Biblical Truth, Edification -- Lord Rescue Me! Spiritual Warfare Trials Faith Prayer Help In Time Of TroubleHow many times have we found ourselves distraught and overcome by the difficulties that are happening in our lives? It is hard to endure and always seems to go on longer than it should. We are desperate. We cry out to God for victory. Lord, make it all just go away.

To use a cliché, “Life is not easy”. The Lord never promised us it would be.
Good news is that when we stay under the umbrella of God’s protection, His care and His instruction- we can carry on in victory. This all hinges on what we choose though.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are saved. Proverbs 18:10

What does that mean to run to the name of the Lord?
How would we be saved by His name?
Because of what Jesus did for us, we can come to the Father and petition Him in the name of Jesus. Without the name of Jesus Christ, without the finished work of Jesus, we cannot approach God.
There is no other Name by which we are saved.

It is through Jesus that we are saved from our sins. We must first repent of those sins before we can be rescued. When we come to Him humbly repenting, the good news is that He is faithful and just to forgive us. Every time.

When we reject Jesus, we choose death and destruction.
When we choose Jesus, we choose life.
So, follow God’s way, it leads to abundant life.

ZionFire.org - Prophetic teaching, Biblical Truth, Edification -- Lord Rescue Me! Spiritual Warfare Trials Faith Prayer Help In Time Of Trouble

In The Fire – Enduring Trials and Tribulation

In the fire we are tested. In the fire we are purified. Will we break? Or will we become a shining reflection of Jesus? When we read about Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego we may be tempted to dismiss them as a children’s story. Don’t make the mistake! These guys are powerful witnesses of faith. They were a few young men who loved God but were captured by their enemy and then forced to work for a powerful government. The enemy king at the time had become very prideful, wallowed in sin and served idols. It was a dangerous place to be for all the captured Israelites. Every day they faced unbelievable persecution and slavery. Still they stood up well and served while serving the Lord in their hearts. We do not know how many close calls they had with torture or death. We know that at some point, the king commanded everyone to worship a false god and our heroes made a choice that would bring their deaths for sure. They would not bow. Enraged, the king chose execution by fire in a kiln. He was going to cook and vaporize these men. Imagine what Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego were thinking as they looked at the furnace before being thrown in. I doubt they had 100% holy thoughts. They had to have been afraid, but they were resolved to not turn away from the Lord. They KNEW who they served. The Bible tells us that as they were in the furnace, these men were not killed or even burned. A fourth man, Jesus, could be seen in there with them. Their miraculous encounter with Jesus turned this idol worshiping king to the one true Lord and a nation would follow suit. These young men literally went into a fire and walked out without even the scent of smoke on them. An incredible account from history that we all can take a lesson from! Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego lived in the middle of idolatry and had to serve in an idolatrous government. The things they had to witness and endure in this kind of environment probably made their skin crawl, yet they did not give up serving the Lord. Many many Israelites had long since given up. By these young men’s faithfulness, God was glorified and a nation turned to Him. If they had not chosen to stand for the Lord, we would never have heard about them and the country would have continued serving idols.

The Lord can do great things through a righteous person and bless them in the process.

Take heart. Stand firm. Persevere.

The Beginning of the End (A challenge)

It’s been awhile since I have posted anything on Zionfire. I have wanted to put up a new posting for a long time but what I wanted to post seemed to be so out of place on this site. Most of what I have posted here is Biblical or Spiritual revelation and most of that has been topics that have been either tough or challenging for the Church. Although it is ironic that most of what I have posted doesn’t seem to be as challenging for those outside the Church.
Today I wanted to address something a little ‘outside the box’. So I will begin by saying that unless you have been living in another dimension, in a coma, or totally asleep for the last 10 or 20 years, you will notice that the United States and the rest of the ‘civilized’ world is on a crash course with a New World Order. We as Christians know that the end times are coming just as the book of Revelation, Daniel, Amos, and many other Prophets have revealed. Some Christians think that these times are a long way off and we wont see these things during our life on Earth. My response to that is, “are you absolutely deaf, blind, and spiritually dead!!!!!” For one it is hard for me to believe that there is a people that are so focused on themselves and their own personal safety and comfort that they would want their children or grandchildren to face the anti-christ and the New World Government so they didn’t have to. Secondly if you have read the Word of God concerning the events of the end times then you know without a shadow of a doubt that we are seeing these events unfold before our very eyes.
Also for many of you who have studied the history of the United States, and Europe you know that there have been a great number of events that have already occurred over the last few hundred years that have set the stage for a World with the technology and ability for a few extremely wicked and satanically controlled people to rule the World. I would really like to write lengthy articles(I still may do that) and make a few videos on the subject, but I thought I would open this can of worms with a challenge. This is a challenge to those who believe that we are living in the end times(or the beginning of the end, if you wish) and to those who do not believe it, but are open to listening to another point of view.
I am going to post a series of videos that explain to anyone the true condition of America and the rest of the World. These videos will explain many of the conditions of our Governments, financial systems, and social ideologies that are making it possible for us to fall so hard, so fast. I mean have you ever wondered why a ‘free’ Country like America with such a strong Constitution and Bill of Rights could completely unravel into a Socialist tyranny throwing away their inalienable rights for ridiculous lies, and do it all in one generation? Why are we not putting up more of a fight? Have even we who believe been mentally trained to lay down all that we love and hold dear to go along with this wicked plan?
I challenge you as I took this very same challenge myself a couple of years ago, to watch these videos and discover what I did. See if you can watch these videos and walk away unchanged in your mind and in your heart.
Some will question why I would post something like this on a site dedicated to Gospel teaching and truth, but I will tell you that I feel an overwhelming sense of urgency to tell people what is happening and to expose what has been overtaking us for so long.

Video 1)  Agenda 21 the grinding down of America

Video 2) The Fall of the Republic (full version)

Video 3) America Freedom to Fascism

Video 4) Iron Mountain – The Blueprint for tyranny

In addition to these four Documentaries I also want to add two more. These two documentaries are shorter and are specifically aimed at teaching us what happened and how it happened step-by-step so that all the blanks are filled. It was just a few years ago that I began learning about all this stuff and my eyes were really opened up as to what was happening in the World around me, giving me a new sense of urgency about the times in which we live. Some people will argue that we should focus on the ‘positive’ things and not worry about the ‘scary’ things that are going on around us. Well all I have to say is that if we really are a people of faith then our reaction to truth will not be fear, and we will not need sweet little lies to keep our spirit happy(what kind of spirit is that anyway). So if you are like me and really like detailed teaching on the things you learning then you will really like these two short documentaries. I will say as a kind of warning from the get go that the second documentary ‘The collapse of the American dream’ does have a couple of references or scenes that I personally feel aren’t appropriate for children, however it never goes overboard. The reason I am including this documentary is because it is so good at explaining the truth through animation concerning exactly what has happened to the America we all believe truly existed. I guarantee you that if you take the time to even watch half of these documentaries you will begin to see what is happening to our Country in a whole new light. Then after seeing these things I challenge you to read the Book of Revelation without seeing it in a whole new light as well.

Video 5) Money as Debt

Video 6)The collapse of the American dream

Marriage: How to be married and protect it

When we first become engaged to the woman or man of our dreams, we envision a certain amount of perfection that will follow in our marriage. We see our life filled with smiles, laughter, passionate kisses, maybe some children. We don’t dare imagine life without a few little bumps in the road, because after all we are trying to be honest with ourselves.

What happens after we say “I Do” is where the rubber meets the road. All of our hopes and dreams we have separately, jointly and even unspoken ones… all join together. The brightness of a newly married life and romantic adventure wears off a bit. After years it may fade away completely.

Why would this happen? Why is it accepted as part of the way things are when you get married? We should automatically reject that lie and also then understand that marriage is a life long romance that requires us to be vigilant to guard it and our hearts. [Proverbs 4:23] The enemy of our souls is seeking to kill and destroy and our marriage, Christian Marriage, tops his list of things to destroy.

There are a lot of reasons why he does this. Mainly because marriage is holy before God and he hates everything called holy. Another big reason is that when we are married before the Lord, we are blessed, strong and bonded in unity. Literally that must make the devil’s skin crawl. When we remember all these things, we should stand a bit taller and be ever more committed to protect and strengthen our relationship with our husband or wife.

We know that satan prowls about like a hungry lion and breaking a godly marriage is pretty delicious to him. So, how can we strengthen and protect our marriage from that?

It takes a hard and focused stand on the issue. We must eliminate everything, yes every thing, that comes between the husband and wife relationship. If our marriage is full of bickering there is a struggle for power in the marriage. That will take some serious denying of your flesh and giving God control. If we are spending too much time or too much money on “things” or “hobbies” then cut that out too. Sensual movies, sensual books, victorias secret (soft porn!) have no place in your marriage. Ever. Don’t fool yourself if you think you are not affected by it. Your eyes & heart should only be for your sweetie. God’s word is clear on the matter.

Our children, according to scripture, are NOT ahead of our spouse. The Biblical order to your priorities is

1. God
2. Husband/Wife
3. Ourselves
4. Children
5. Other family, Friends, Serving in Church
6. Exterior world

When we are at worship practice 3 nights a week, playing video games or out with friends frequently, shopping for kicks, on the net chatting or facebooking, texting, at soccer practice & games, pta meetings, television, netflix and so on… we are spending way too much time NOT being married or a family. We have our priorities out of whack.

Of course then, the result is we will have a cascading failure of our marriage and family.
If we take the time to prioritize our walk- God first, Our husband or wife second- then our life will shift back into proper focus. No longer will chaos, busyness, fighting, power struggles, passive aggressive remarks and behavior, sexual problems in the bedroom and our children’s behavior plague us. All of these things do straighten out if we genuinely turn all of this over to the Lord. Sometimes it takes more time than we prefer, but that is part of healing oftentimes.

On the subject of our bedrooms, it is a taboo topic for some reason in the Church. Secret sin abounds in this area and many are hurt and broken-hearted. It is not a place to manipulate, coerce or avoid and make excuses. The marriage bed is pure and holy and good and safe. A place of trust and intimacy. God says so in Song Of Solomon, “Drink deeply!” Passion and romance are very good and He wants us all to have it. When we begin to treat our husband or wife like they are a treasure to us, with honor, with adoration, we will see a change. Make an diligent effort and do it regularly. Progress may be slow at first, but keep praying and keep up the good work. Your marriage is worth it. Every little step counts. If you need help, a fantastic book “The Love Dare” is a good resource.

Calibration Block 3-A,B, and C

It has taken me quite awhile to write part three of this message, I assure you it isn’t because I didn’t want to but this has been a very difficult and somewhat intimidating article to write.  As these articles progress it becomes clear the immensity and depth of our calling and what it means to truly examine ourselves with Christ as the measuring stick. Of course non of us will ever be Jesus, but as Christians we are all called to be like Him and if we are truly His then He is transforming us into His image from glory to glory. However sometimes I think many including myself(more often than I care to mention) forget what, and who glory is. Instead we choose to come up with our own definition of what is Christ-like rather than what truly is like Christ. The only real reason that this happens is because all to often we find another glory, something other than Jesus that captures our attention, our focus, and gains our adoration. It takes alot to care and nurture another glory and it is easy for a person to end up serving another master, and obeying the will of something that is in opposition to the will of God.  In this third part of the calibration block, the will of God is going to be the issue. The question that was posed at the end of part two of the calibration block was, what are the three reasons that Jesus gives that the people of Matthew 7: 21-23 were not allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? These are the people who had prophesied in Jesus name, cast out demons, and in Jesus name had performed many miracles and yet they were not allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven by the very Jesus by whom they had done all these spiritual works. So in review, the three reasons are, 1) They were not doing the will of the Father(even if they were doing the things that are supposed to be done for God). 2) Jesus says He doesn’t even know them. and 3) they practiced lawlessness.  Since these three reasons cover so much space I decided to tackle them one at a time in three separate ‘sub articles’, and since I have had such a hard time writing this final part of the calibration block, I have decided to do this via video rather than write it. The video has it’s challenges but it is the first of many to come, so please click ‘play’ and see if the Word of God and the Spirit of God aren’t speaking the very same things to you.

I am going to add all three of the Calibration Part three videos to this one post so that all three will be stored together. So here is part 3-B. This video has it’s ‘hot spots’ all the way to the end. I really enjoyed this part.

Last but not least here is section C to part three, I hit a couple of side note rabbit trails on this one, but not too bad, and I always get right back to the point, there is some good stuff in this video that you don’t want to miss if you have been watching the series. As far as the rabbit trails, I will get better I promise.

Lawlessness and The Church

Though there are plenty of important discussions debating the semantics of whether or not Christians are subject to the Law, as given by Moses, that is not my subject today.

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 29:18

When you think of someone who does not keep the law, what do you see? Is it a stereotype you imagine, a rough looking individual? Does the phrase “cast off restraint” make you think of Mardi Gras in New Orleans? At its most basic definition, lawlessness means without law. That does not necessarily mean against the law. It is a very important distinction we must see.

The spirit of lawlessness has borders that might surprise the average believer and there are some very interesting ways this spirit affects people. In fact, it may shock you to hear that most people today have it. A spirit of lawlessness has paved the way in the hearts of men to think and do a myriad of appalling things.

The subject of lawlessness goes deep and has far reaching ramifications. The distance of which, we as the Church, underestimate.

To begin with, God makes the rules. He set the laws of nature, of what is love, what is holy and so on. He set them all, regardless if we accept them as true or not. We cannot rewrite the laws, the standard, that God set into motion. But that is exactly what we try to do. We are ridiculous and head strong.

Each of us has our own personal concepts and our personal defining of what is right and wrong, even in light of scripture we do this. We actually put our individual self on the scale of righteousness. Like a shade of gray on the spectrum from black to white. If Adam did that and shifted the awareness of his own sinfulness and need for the Lord and then next generation shifted that a notch down the ladder? Multiply that from generation to generation further on the scale away from holiness. Our “perceptions” are so far off the mark now that we are standing neck deep in sin and claim we are barely up to our ankles.

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Matthew 24:12

This personal standard (pure invention) of right and wrong sets up an entire panorama of justification for sin and perception on who is in error. Yes, it means hating God’s law in many cases (some would argue “all cases”), but this lawless spirit goes farther. Some of it is along the lines of ‘what is right for you is not what is right for me’ but that is way over simplified. Really that is just the first layer. The foundation being- we as creatures are steeped in sin and we refuse to conform or obey ANY standard unless we ourselves judge it to be acceptable. By doing that- we are setting our own laws– not conforming, but instead copying portions of a premade set of standards. Creating our own new set, and because these new laws are our own, we can flex them and bend them to allow ourselves to still be “sinless” in our own eyes and therefore above judgment. What a set up! We are fooling ourselves. It is exactly as if we are plugging our ears and singing “Free To Be You And Me” as loudly as we can, all the while believing that butterflies and sunshine await us when we die. Denying truth and embracing the lie.

Jesus said, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Matthew 7:23

“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13:40-42

We cannot reject God’s law without consequence. We are not above judgment. We are not sinless. We do not set the standard. So then, what can we do? Can we correct this gross distortion our society (and the Church) is entrenched with? Perhaps. I believe we need to start within each of ourselves and teach our children as well. We must pull in the reigns on our ideologies. Correct our vision. We must get on our faces before the Most Holy and pray for revelation:

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 29:18

When we receive revelation FROM GOD, we see clearly. The false perceptions we have fall off like scales from our eyes. Restraint becomes very important suddenly… Righteous living, or rather living within the standard that God has set, has enormous significance as a result. Therefore, our personal relationship with the Lord will intensify and deepen. One by one, we raise the societal standard of righteousness and holy living… OR one by one we each lower that standard.

Today, the Church has a choice.

.

Will they know you belong to Jesus?

Will the world know you belong to Jesus? Surely the sweet temperament we have, our prayer at meals and the fact we go to church every week tells people. Right? That is not what we see when we look to scripture. People should have no doubt if we are His disciple. We should stand out. Our lives should be without hypocrisy, an undimmed light, a constant pouring out of the words of Jesus. Is your life becoming of Christ? Do others raise an eyebrow at you and think you talk too much about righteous living, the Bible, Jesus and His soon return? If they do, you may be on the right track. If they don’t, it is time to check yourself.

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ. [Phil 1:27]

What does it mean to have conduct that is worthy of the gospel?

Our conduct means our behavior, attitude, thoughts and actions- in short, our whole life. Therefore, our whole life has become a daily laying down of our own flesh, obeying and all that doing that entails. Understanding what our flesh is and learning how to put our flesh at the foot of the cross can be a long agonizing road. We must do so to the best of our ability as we ever increase in our understanding in how to do it.

When our conduct becomes worthy of the gospel, it is because it represents what Jesus did for us. He gave all. Jesus is the complete gospel. He is the Good News. Our whole life becomes worthy of the gospel of Christ when we endeavor to strip off the “old man”, to crucify our own ways and thoughts and become more like Jesus. We can only go through this ongoing process with His help.

The more we conduct ourselves worthy of the gospel, the more we will not look like the world around us. The changes that have been taking place cause us to say and do things that inevitably draw attention. We choose to embrace the cross rather than be ashamed of it.

Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. [Matthew 5:15-17]

This attention we invariably draw is usually either very negative or very positive. If we continue to lay our flesh down then we care less and less about what the world has to say about it. There certainly will be those excited about what God is doing in your life, but there will be plenty of people who will not “glorify the Father” when they see the light spoken of in this verse. As horrible as it may sound, they may even begin to hate you. That’s a good sign.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. [John 13:35]

Would the world have known the gospel, if Jesus lived as you do? Ouch. Let’s each diligently seek the Lord to gain better understanding, revelation, on what Love is. The lessons on Love never seem to end, but they are critical in every way when it comes to knowing the Lord and reflecting Him to others.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. [John 10:26-28]

Jesus is telling us volumes in such a short sentence here. Right now we are just going to touch on a bit. If we belong to Jesus, we have relationship with Him. He knows us and we know Him. If we love Jesus: we follow Him, we obey His commandments (John 14:21). Jesus makes an important statement first: He says that if we belong to Him, we hear His voice. We should hear His voice.

How will the world know that we are His? By conducting ourselves worthy of the gospel, by our obedience to Jesus’ commandments, by the brightness of our light shining, by the way we love Jesus and one another, and because we look and sound like Him. Let’s put our focus to become more like Him and let the world know who Jesus is.