False Perceptions

So many in this day and age call themselves “Christian.” But are they really “Christ like?” 

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:21

The word “Christian” comes from the Greek word Christianos, meaning “follower of Christ,” which comes from the word Christos, meaning “anointed one,” who is Jesus Christ.

Are all of those who claim to be Christian, truly a follower of Him? How do you know who is a true believer and who is just pretending? How do you know if they are genuine or if they have just pinned the title to their jacket? 

And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.” Matthew 24:4-5

“And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:10-13

Do not trust names, titles, false perceptions, or positions and prominence in the church. Many walk in falsehood, pretension, and lies, claiming one thing and practicing another.  

It is quite easy actually to tell who is of the Lord and who is not. You will know them by their fruit.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20

It is in how they act, how they speak, how they treat one another, and quite frankly if they do not reflect the character of Jesus Christ, they are false. If they were truly Christian, they would follow and obey the commandments of the Lord and His ways and precepts. They would display the fruits of the Lord’s Spirit. But they make it plain and simple that they do not.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Jesus said, I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. John 15:5-6

They are false Christians, false believers, false teachers, and false prophets. Stop calling all those who claim to be of the Lord Jesus Christ Christians, yet they do not act, talk, or walk like Him at all. 

It simply is not true. If they do not exhibit the characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is righteous, pure, and holy in all His ways, they are not of Him nor are they for Him. But they are of the devil and sent by the devil to deceive, steal, and destroy the lives and souls of any they can.

You need to be wise and walk in the understanding, discernment, and insight of the Holy Spirit. Open your eyes that you may see, open your ears that you may hear, and open your spirit to the Spirit of the Lord, that He may unveil the truth of who they really are. 

Many souls are in danger of being lost forever in an eternal destination of suffering and torment. How important does this understanding make the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are deceived and lost? How very urgent the truth of the Gospel is to those who will perish if they do not turn, repent of their sins, follow, and obey the Lord.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23

Is It Yes Or No

Are you doing what is good, right, and honorable before the Lord? Or is the perception that you give others different than what you display day in and day out, either out in the open or in secret? Does who you say you are and the actions, words, attitudes, and motivations of your heart match up to each other?

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’

But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is His footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matthew 3:32-37

Many in this world attempt to make themselves look good in the way they present themselves before others. Comparing themselves to others. They will point out how bad someone else is to distract from their own misgivings, mistakes, bad and sinful behavior. 

To be honest, it is wickedness and sin that is the problem. It is what is in your heart that is coming out and it is unmistakable and can not be hidden.

“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45

If you are living this way you are not being truthful to others, yourself, and especially to God. You are not hiding anything at all. People can see your faults even when you think you have covered them up sufficiently and nothing can be hidden from the God who sees everything.

And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

We all stumble and fall in many ways. The Lord sees every single sin, mistake, and weakness. You can not hide anything from His sight. So why are you trying to?

Why fool yourself into thinking you can go around in the darkness and continue to sin and everything will be ok, that you will not come under His judgment. Because truth be told, you will be held accountable for everything you do, say, and think.

Jesus said, “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:25-37

Let the Lord shine His light upon your heart and your sin. Repent from it and turn from your lifestyle of sinful behavior. It only will bring pain and judgment upon your head, in this world, and especially the next. Turn to Jesus and follow Him only.

But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:13-14

Christ Jesus wants to shine His light upon you and forgive you and cleanse you from your sins. And where there is no more sin there is no more condemnation or punishment. He wants to show you the truth so that the truth can set you free from the bonds of sin and death.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

If you are living a life of false perception, false religion, false pretension, and you have been playing the game of trying to fool others into believing you are good. But in all honesty, your heart has been set on selfishness, greed, arrogance, deception, and self-centeredness. Repent and turn away from your sins. 

Turn to the Lord that He may show you the error of your ways, that He may shine His light of life upon you today, cleanse you, and forgive you of your sins. Then live a truthful life, honest, and holy before the Lord that He may reward you for your goodness, kindness, and faith in Him. 

Listen to the words Jesus continued to proclaim and do as He commands. You do not know how much time you have left.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

You Are Not Your Own

This life you live is not your own if you are known by the Lord, if you have been made one with His Spirit, and are now a part of the family of God. You have been bought and paid for by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

You may go here or there, decide and choose to do this or that. You may make plans, develop ideas, and pursue ambitions and dreams, but it is the Lord who makes things happen. It is Him who allows you to accomplish those said dreams, accomplish your ambitions, and it is Him who institutes the final results.

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

It is the Lord Jesus who establishes nations and peoples, it is God who sets up kings and rulers, and it is the Spirit of the Lord that either brings prosperity or destruction to every plan, ambition, and motivation of all the peoples under the heavens.

He makes nations great, and He destroys them; He enlarges nations, and leads them away. Job 12:23

Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings;

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.

To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:20-23

It is in Him we live and move and do what we should do. It is according to His will that you must live. Not striving to do as your own mind desires, thinks, or devises what is right, good, or correct.  

In Him we live and move and have our being; Acts 17:28

Seek the Lord in everything you do. In every idea, task, and direction you believe you should go or accomplish. Seek to be cleansed from unrighteousness and sin that you will not be led astray to any deceitful spirit or the desires of your own flesh. 

Desire to be filled by His Holy Spirit that you may hear and know His will, and be willing to stop your forward motion if He closes the door on your current venture. It is not wise to fight against the will of the Lord Himself, striving and chasing after dreams He never intended for you to pursue.

But understand this, and take it to heart, that because of the way He works you will have to endure very hard struggles, pains, and afflictions to fulfill His will in your life. Nothing that is great in His sight or that He would give great praise and acclimation to will be easy. The broad and wide road is easy, yet leads to destruction, the narrow path will be difficult but greatly rewarding. 

“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” Acts 14:22

Paul often told others to follow his example because He followed the Lord. He had to endure very great, strenuous, and difficult trials.

God said to him, “For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Acts 9:16

If you seek the Lord only and allow Him to lead, guide, and direct your steps, He will lead you down the right path, His path. He will establish and exult your ways. He will give you sight to see, wisdom, and insight He will give that you will know where to go and what to do. 

Never will He lead His children down the wrong path or make a mistake or error. But everything will happen according to His perfect will, purpose, and plan. He sees ahead of everything like none other. He sees the big picture from beginning to end. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. He knows the how, the what, and the why for each and every event. 

Trust Him completely and totally. Though you may seem to be following in great blindness and foolishness to all the world. His path is more secure and established then the mightiest of all mountains is secure and unmovable to the creatures that crawl upon it.

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.

For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Hebrews 10:32-39

Love, Compassion, And Forgiveness

Are you in need of God’s help to forgive someone? Have you determined to forgive them because the Lord says you need to forgive. But as soon as you think you have, those same old feelings of unforgiveness, anger, hurt, resentment, and bitterness raise up within you?

Jesus said that if you do not forgive you will not be forgiven, and you desperately desire to be forgiven and to let go of all the hurt, pain, and suffering of the past. Of those who have offended and hurt you. But how?

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

What you are in need of is the love of God, the love of Jesus Christ, which only comes from the filling of the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus possessed a love for His enemies and was able to forgive them no matter what horrors they had committed against Him. You need the love, compassion, and forgiveness that He has. 

Jesus is your example, when He was at the pinnacle of suffering and pain, being mistreated and killed by His enemies, He looked upon them and asked the Father to forgive them because He loved them. 

To the average person, forgiveness seems incomprehensible! To love those who are literally trying to kill you.

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on His right and one on His left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:33-34

But without the Spirit of the Lord, without the love, compassion, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, it is impossible to truly love your enemies and forgive and forget.

Also, forgiveness is not about what the offender says or does to make things right. It is all about the love and compassion you have for them. It is about setting yourself free from the job of judgment and punishment that they deserve and giving it completely to the Lord. Placing every aspect of it in His hand, for Vengeance belongs to the Lord.  

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

What you must do is firstly, get on your knees before the Lord and purify yourself, asking and petitioning Him to forgive all your sins and cleanse yourself from any and all unrighteousness. 

Then ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, to give you His love, to see with His eyes, and to have His compassion and forgiveness. That you will be able to look upon mankind with the same love, compassion, and forgiveness He does.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24

Be like the poor widow (Luke 18) who continually came to the judge to ask for justice again and again and again. Keep going to the Lord, keep asking, keep petitioning for Him to give you His love, compassion, and forgiveness. 

Every trial, tribulation, pain, and hurt has a purpose, a purpose laid out by God Himself. To draw you ever closer to His side. That you may humble yourself before Him, so He can clean and purify you and make you more like Himself. To mold you into the man or woman He always intended you to be. 

So then you will be ready to be sent out into the world to do the work He has prepared you to perform for the Kingdom of Heaven, without resentment, unforgiveness, hate, jealousy, anger, strife, or anything that goes against His holy Law and ways of the Lord. 

That you may be filled with His Spirit to love the lost. That you will have His compassion that many may be saved not only from the unrighteous ways of the world but especially from the destination of the wicked, Hell. That you may be able to finally forgive as the Lord forgives, and this will truly make you free.

In the Father’s wisdom, love, compassion, and goodness, He will give you everything you ask for, in His time when you seek Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. 

Draw close to the Lord, seek His forgiveness, and love that you may also be forgiven. That you may be able to love, have compassion, and forgive others no matter what the horrendous things they have done or may do in the future.

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11

He Comes With A Vengeance

Shout, and sing for joy, praise the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, He is Lord of all. He is in control of all things and He will lift high His humble and righteous servants in His perfect time. 

Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a polished arrow; in His quiver He hid me away. And He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” Isaiah 49:1-3

Just at the right time, when everything is prepared, when each piece on the board has been placed in their predestined position, the Lord will do exactly what He has said He will do. According to His flawless will and plan, He will come, He will lift up, He will confirm, and restore.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:3-4

Even now rejoice and be glad for He makes no mistakes! He is faithful and true, and will fulfill all His promises and will not leave His children alone but will care for them. 

There will be no mistaking and no misunderstanding who is of the Lord and who is not. Though many will claim this or that their works will be self-evident. 

He has established His plan for destiny and destination. He will make all things work together for your good and His glory.  

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:3-6

Praise the Lord and Glorify Him forever! He is worthy of your praise! May all creation upon the earth and in the heavens declare His greatness and forever worship Him in all His glory! 

You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.” “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.” 

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples, proclaim that His name is exalted. 

“Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 12:1-6

Eternally Placed And Fixed

So you are looking to the future and you believe God is directing your path. But it seems frightening, not knowing what is ahead. The path seems unsure in your finite mind, the bridge that you are about to cross seems unstable and impassable. 

The devil has been trying to cut the cords your entire life because he knows the Lord has great plans for you. But he is no match for your Lord, who chose you and sees you as the apple of His eye.

While I was with them, I protected and preserved them by Your name, the name You gave Me. Not one of them has been lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. John 17:12

The cliffs, dark valleys, frightening pitfalls, and slippery slopes you had to traverse would have killed you by their great perils if it wasn’t for the mighty and complete controlling hand of Jesus Christ and His blood that bought you and brought you through. He saw it all.

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. John 6:39

But you know who you have believed and you are confident in the power of your Savior. You do not look to the right or left but your face is fixed firmly on Jesus Christ, your love, savior, and confidence. You know and trust the Lord will lead you on to the end.

But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:12

Keep Him in full remembrance, the Lord, the Lord He is God, All-powerful, All-knowing, All-surpassing anyone and anything that stands in opposition to Him. For He has made all things and has dominion, power, and complete understanding over them all.

This was to fulfill the word that He had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” John 18:9

He says, “I will be with you, I will defend you, I will keep you, and I will protect you.” 

He was at your beginning crafting and creating you in His perfection. He was with you for each and every step along the way, though many were stumbles, stammers, and falls. He held and healed you with His loving hand.  He will be with you to the end and congratulate you on a job well done.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:23

So have faith, trust completely in the Lord. Tell that fig tree of doubt and disbelief that has grown up in the middle of your path to wither, chop it down, and cast it behind you.

Pray that God will give you great and powerful faith like no other to forge forward in His plan and purpose for your life, whatever it may be. Say to that mountain of fear to cast itself into the sea! 

Walk forward in the confidence of the Lord. Trust Him fully for you are held by His hand. Rely on Him for He will take care of your every step. He will guide you through to the end. Have no doubt and have no fear, He has seen and planned out your beginning to your end.

He leads, guides, and protects His chosen ones, His dearly beloved ones that they may never be put to shame by His eternal power and penetrating vision.

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:20-25

Honored In God’s Sight

Those who are truly of the Lord, follow and obey Him, watch closely to how they live, and seek to walk in His Spirit that they may obey His will and do as the Father commands. They are to be commended. They will be honored by the Lord. They will be exalted by Him with the beauty of the blazing sun in glory like Jesus shines with glory. 

And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3

They are the ones who listen to the words of the wise, hunger and thirst for righteousness and the Word of God, and are keen to listen and obey the Holy Spirit’s instruction. 

They search themselves daily as looking in the mirror of their soul to see if there is any wrongful behavior or sin. They will repent, turning away from all evil for the Holy Spirit who lives in them will not allow them to remain in sin, and they will turn toward the Lord for Him to cleanse them pure as snow.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 1:18-20

They do not walk in the ways of the Religious of this world. The ways of men and women set in the traditions and ways that have been established by men, not approved by God. But they seek God and His face always. And if there’s something they find that displeased the Lord they forsake it.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24

Always inspect your motivations in righteousness according to His will and not your own. Do those things that are truly pure and right in the sight of your God. Help and do not refuse those who are in need, those who can not help themselves. It is clear who they are: the widow, single mothers left all alone, orphans, homeless, and especially the unborn!

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

Look intently into the mirror of God’s Holy Word. Listen to the voice of His Holy Spirit and live for Jesus Christ with everything that is in you, with all purity and holiness, that you may be honored and revered in the sight of God Almighty. He will reward His faithful servants, they will do as He commands, they will shine like the sun, and they will never be put to shame.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:22-27

Diligently Walk In The Spirit

Be diligent and watchful day and night to keep yourselves pure from sin, resisting temptations at every turn. Because the devil is in hot pursuit to tempt and destroy those who desire to do it God’s way, to follow righteousness. 

Which in reality is the hard way. Yes, the right way is the hard way. Through the narrow gate and on the narrow road is the rough way. But with the hard and difficult journey comes righteous rewards.

If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it. Genesis 4:7

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:14

You must understand that not living life God’s way is sin and sin is breaking God’s Law. It is going against His command, it is rebelling against His word, and you become a criminal in His eyes for your lawbreaking.

But He has promised to lift you up and give you the power to resist the devil’s schemes through His Holy Spirit. But you can not just sit around and expect everything to happen for you. You must work, walk, and endure in His Spirit and not your own spirit, which is giving in to the desires of your flesh.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18 

You must keep awake to the influence of the evil one. To realize that every moment of every day he is sending his demons to tempt, torment, and taunt you, to turn you away from God. But you must resist the devil at every turn. 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:12-13

If you were to be given spiritual eyes to see, as some have been given, to see the battles going on between good and evil all around you, as angels are fighting demons, you would be blown away. You would understand what you are up against. But you must believe it by faith, and internalize it as reality. Submitting yourself to the Lord and resisting the devil firm in your faith.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7-8

The evidence and proof that you have truly been saved and sanctified by God are that the Holy Spirit Himself will work through you, restrain you, and keep you from doing what your flesh desires to do. He will restrain you when you want to give up or give in and He will not allow you to. If you do give in He will chastise you severely.

But if someone dives into sin, disregarding the convictions of the Holy Spirit He sends them, and continues on in sin, and yet claims they walk with Christ. They are not walking in the truth but they are a liar.

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.

By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:2-8

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

Be very careful to examine yourself daily. Make short accounts with God, stay walking in the Spirit and not in your flesh. Do not hesitate to repent quickly for every sin, and listen carefully when the Holy Spirit brings conviction to your soul. 

He understands our weaknesses, He knows your thoughts and motivations, and He will reward you for your faithfulness and diligence for obeying His command. 

This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins,

He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10

The Truest Of Friends

True friendship is a very rare gift. It comes from God, created and cultivated by God, and refined by the very hand of His Holy Spirit. You will know true friendship by its enduring fruits of the Spirit, throughout the depths of every dark valley of difficulty, toil, and trouble.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

Many great Saints of the Lord who were faithful, chosen, and called by God for a special purpose, had a close trustworthy friend. Someone who God Himself had placed in their lives to help them, support them, to lift them up when they fell, and to be there for them when the strain and torment of their struggle were too hard for them to endure on their own. 

God gave David Jonathan to be his friend who was closer than a brother. Elijah was given Elisha, Jeremiah was given Baruch, and Paul was given several friends that were close to help him because of his great call which included Luke, John Mark, and Timothy, his true son in the faith.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 1 Samuel 18:1-3

Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11

To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:2

This is a supernatural and spiritual bond that occurs between true friends that are given to you by God, for His purposes, plan, will, and even to save the life of the other. In a way, the assignment that God has given to His chosen men or women would be impossible to accomplish without the truest and faithful friend. A friend that sticks close through every trial and tribulation.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

True friends sacrifice everything to help, to encourage, to love, and to care in every situation no matter how difficult. No matter if they are separated by a thousand miles they remain steadfast, unmovable, and reliable. They will put themselves in danger and at risk of hurt and harm to assist and aid their friend. 

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Has God given you a close friend? Someone you can trust and lean on through the thick and thin? Who prays for you daily, encourages you, and will not hesitate to lift you up when you fall? Then you are very blessed by God. For they are rare, extremely valuable, and irreplaceable. 

I would never trade my best friend for anything in the world. Not for all the riches, this world has to offer. Perhaps God has given to you a great and true friend. Be the best friend you can be, loving, kind, patient, truthful, and long-suffering, that you may have the favor and pleasure of the Lord poured out upon you as well.

“After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD, saying: ‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 32:16-19

Love Like The Lord

God has poured His love down upon the earth, upon all mankind, though they rebel against Him daily. God shines the sun and blows a refreshing breeze of life upon the good and the evil. He gives all breath each day, goodness, pleasure, and delight to enjoy His creation and the handiwork of all the earth. 

He loves them while they are yet sinners and evil in heart and action, and still, He offers forgiveness if they repent. He offers them a second, third, and fourth chance even though they continue to rebel. His offer of forgiveness stands until the day they die. 

Shouldn’t you be like your Father in Heaven and love your enemy too?

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:44-45

He has poured out His love, compassion, and care upon you. In like manner, He is calling you to do the same to others. Even to the unlovable and the irreverent. You were once that way as they were, sinful and without sense, without understanding, or hope. 

But God loved you so much that while you were still a sinner, He died for you and offered salvation and forgiveness. He offers it to even the unlovable and rebellious.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21

If you have come to this great realization that God loves you unconditionally, then you also should love one another without conditions. Pray for those who suffer, intercede for those who are in need, who don’t even know they are lost, and help all those you can with what you have and pray for more to be given that you may love beyond measure. 

Love the lost, heal the broken, restore to health the sick, be kind and compassionate to the lowly, persecuted, hurting, unloved, and your enemy. Show the Father the proof of your sonship and be like Him and love one another with the love that comes only from God.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12