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Is Your Life A Living Love Song For God?

 

Heart of LoveA love song always includes praises for the object of our affection. Would you like to make your life a living love song for God? What would that look like in your eyes? Starting today, how can you make your life a living and growing praise song to your heavenly Father?

A good way to answer this question is to look at Jesus and His disciples. How did Jesus demonstrate His love for us and how did His followers demonstrate their love for Christ? I assure you there were deliberate actions and a concerted effort.

Consider all the gifts and talents God has given you. Every child of God has received a spiritual gift(s) and is supposed to use it/them to edify the body of Christ, which in turn glorifies and pleases God. What are your gifts and how are you using them?

When we step out in faith, believing God has equipped us to help those around us, we are walking through an open door He has provided. This open door is an opportunity to serve, witness, and praise the name of Jesus. Our trust in His provision and our willingness to minister to others, even our decision to put aside our plans for the day in order to follow His purpose, is a means to shower Him with our love and appreciation.

“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NKJV)

A.W. Tozer wrote, “You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.”  

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-love-25-awesome-scripture-quotes/#ixzz2yBHCie00

Your love song to God will be spelled out over your entire lifetime. It will not be one continuous melody. Rather, it will have different movements, like a symphony. There will be pauses. There will even be moments of silence. Different tempos will occur depending on your measure of obedience and submission to His will.

Some movements in your life song will be full of joy and speed, appropriately marked ALLEGRO. Other movements will be very slow. LARGO is a time when you may be required to endure a sorrow or time of suffering, preferably with the dignity and grace God promises to provide. How you carry yourself through a trial can be an incredible opportunity to show God your love for Him. Observers will find themselves amazed and curious when you praise God during your storm, speaking of His unfathomable love, mercy, and grace.

Jesus called us to be the light of the world. If we dedicate our lives to becoming messengers of hope, love, and grace we will get attention. Light demands attention. Light gets noticed, especially in a dark world full of sin and hate.

Goals and ambitions, when aligned with the will of God, will always come to pass. If you find your fulfillment and joy in Christ His passions will become your delight.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)

Will every breath you exhale be a praise offering that honors His glorious name? Will you dedicate every act of service to Him and for His glory? Can you agree to be an extension of His love from this day forth? If so, your life will be a unique and astonishing love song to the one and only God.

“I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me.”Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV)

“’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NKJV)


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Ethel Waters

images[7]When I was sixteen-years-old I attended a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in Winnipeg, Manitoba that profoundly changed my life.  Of course, the world-famous articulate and persuasive ministry of the great evangelist, anointed by the Holy Spirit, was enough to make an indelible mark on my life forever.  Even though I had given my life to the Lord at the early age of four, I was totally awed by the thousands of people who thronged forward to make decisions to follow Jesus.  In addition, I will never forget watching Mr. Graham’s pianist, Tedd Smith, warming up on the keyboard and accompanying the crusade choir made up of men and women from many churches.  I thrilled to the voice of George Beverly Shea and enjoyed Cliff Barrows’ congregational song leading.  The whole experience left me in awe.

But the one thing that literally moved me to tears, and I shall never forget the experience, was a sweet, elderly African-American woman by the name of Ethel Waters, who sang “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”.  She prefaced the song with, “Listen, children….”, and from the first line, “Why should I feel discouraged...” which she articulated with such a nuance of feeling, tears began to come to my eyes!  As she proceeded through several choruses of, “I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free; His eye is on the sparrow; And I know He watches me!”  with the mass choir singing along in the background, I really thought I might be raptured at any moment!  The sheer ecstasy of the whole performance left me feeling like I had been sitting at Jesus’ feet.  It wasn’t even that her voice was the most elegant or dynamic that I had ever heard, but the fact she was able to project to her audience something we all felt way down deep in our souls, that intangible quality that literally brought us into the presence of God!  It was definitely the anointing of the Holy Spirit!

Ethel Waters didn’t always use her talents to sing anointed songs of praise and worship to God.  In fact, she didn’t surrender her life to the Lord until she was in her late 50′s.  She was born in Pennsylvania around the turn of the century, the unwanted product of a rape!  Her mother, Louise Anderson, was raped at knife point when she was only thirteen years old by a middle class mixed-race pianist and family acquaintance by the name of John Waters.  Raised in poverty by her grandmother, Ethel grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time.  She later recollected in her autobiography,  His Eye Is On the Sparrow, “No one raised me; I just ran wild.  I never was a child.  I never was cuddled, or liked, or understood by my family.”  She married at age 13 but soon left her abusive husband and became a maid in a Philadelphia hotel working for $4.75 a week.

However, God had His hand on Ethel.  She soon began singing and dancing, as well as performing at church functions.  In 1917 she made her debut on the black vaudeville circuit and performed in Harlem nightclubs in the 1920′s.  Soon she entered the “white time” vaudeville circuit, becoming one of America’s most celebrated and highest-paid entertainers.  At New York City’s “Cotton Club” she introduced what would become one of her #1 hits on the Billboard charts, “Stormy Weather”.  She wrote of her performance, “I was singing the story of my misery and confusion, the story of the wrongs and outrages done to me by people I had loved and trusted.” Later Irving Berlin, impressed by her soulful performance of this song, wrote “Supper Time”, a song about a lynching, for Ethel to perform in a Broadway revue.  She became the first African-American star of a national radio show, was cast several times as a dramatic actress on Broadway and in the movies, and had three of her recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Still, with all of her success, and even a wonderful husband whom she married in 1938, Ethel knew something was missing!  In the late 1950′s Ethel walked down that famous aisle in a Billy Graham crusade and gave her life to Christ!  Her life was never the same! After becoming a born-again Christian, she dedicated the remainder of her life, until her death in 1977, to touring with and singing at many of the Billy Graham crusades, as well as recording several albums of sacred music for Word Records.  Her life was transformed by the power of Jesus Christ!

Talented musicians have always made a deep impression on me, but for this sixteen-year-old girl sitting in that audience so many years ago, the anointing and impact of the music of Ethel Waters would never leave.  God used her to bless a teenager who decided to use her talents in the same way to influence many for Christ!  I hope to see her and share her music in Heaven one day!

Moved w:Compassion


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Compassion Is Love In Action

Moved w:Compassion

Compassion is love put into action. In Greek “Compassion” is defined as “Inward Affection, Pity or Sympathy, Yearning.” What compassion really means is “Suffering With Another!”  It does not stand still or permit us to ignore problems. It will never turn away when someone is in need.  With sympathetic hearts, we are to put tender kindness into action and work to ease the suffering of others.

Because of our Lord’s mercies we are not consumed.  His mercies are endless and His compassions never fail.  As the sun rises with every new dawn, His compassions and mercies are new every morning.  Faithfully, Jesus is actively moved with pity and sympathy to heal and ease our sufferings.

“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)”

Do you have an ache in your heart when hearing about families affected by tornados, hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters? Are you one who volunteers to sift through the ashes of burnt homes with hopes of finding some object that survived the blaze?  If yes, you are acting out of compassion for those who lost so much, hoping some small familiar object will bring a measure of comfort to them.

Maybe you have volunteered to rebuild homes that were lost in a recent hurricane.  This is an act of mercy and compassion as well. You put your concern into action…. Free of charge! Have you ever volunteered to raise money for a cancer patient or accident victim?  This again is compassion. Acts of love and mercy can be as simple as making a meal for a senior citizen who is lonely and in need of company.

Jesus was frequently moved with compassion before healing others. In Matthew 1:40, we read about a leper who approached Jesus in a humble and imploring manner. While kneeling down to Christ he said, “IF You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus was moved with compassion and reached out to him. Immediately the leprosy left the man and he was cleansed.

How then can we grow in our compassion for others?  First, we can lay aside all judgments and walk in their shoes.  We can also attempt to look at matters with the eyes of Christ.  Ask yourself, “How would Jesus react?” With eyes of unconditional love, what assistance are you able to provide?

Many of us, in order to gain a heart of compassion, will have to suffer through personal trials.  Weathering a difficult storm allows us to view things with a Godly perspective. Past personal struggles will propel us into action when we see others suffering heartaches that we know all too well ourselves.

I encourage you to act when the Holy Spirit gives you a heart of compassion.  Don’t quench the Spirit by sitting…. Move! Love in action is full of sensitivity. True compassion is not complacent or lazy.  Some effort and time are required, but the investment you make will be worth any inconvenience you may endure.  Indeed, you will not only bless those you reach out to but yourself as well.

“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.”  Mark 1:40-42 (NKJV)

“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14 (NKJV) 


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What You Need To Know About Hell And The Reality Of Salvation

Originally posted on: The Olive Branch Report

heaven-or-hell

The truth about hell

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

In Matthew 10:28 the body and soul are in view. The body is easy it is our fleshly body, and can be destroyed by any man and God as well. The soul is different…the Greek word for soul: psuché, means life. Our soul therefore is what makes us “us”. The soul cannot be destroyed by man but by God alone. Our soul is eternal the body can be kept alive with or without the soul as evidenced by todays machines. But no soul; no you.

Notice that in Matthew 10:28 Jesus says “able” to destroy both body and soul, not will. When we see passages that seem to conflict with each other we must then look to other passages to seek the meaning as well as reading in context.

There are many places in the Bible that speak of eternal punishment.

Isaiah 66:22-24 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

It is important to note here the wording used: the NEW heavens and the NEW earth…eternity is in view here
(Revelation 21). This gives us a clue to this phrase:
for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched–permanent, not stopping.

Daniel 12:1-2 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

“Many” may refer to the Jews, but much more likely it refers to all people that have died. Other places in Scripture “many” is used to convey a great multitude, not to mean some of all. As well, we know from the Word that all will stand before Christ at the end; therefore all will be raised from the dust not just some. All will face judgment before Christ but not for the same reasons. The Saints will be judged according to what they have done with that which God gave them, and unbelievers will be judged for their sins. The “book”  (Revelation 20:15) mentioned in verse 1 is the book of life.
(2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10-12, Revelation 20:12-15)

Matthew 18:6-9 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Obviously Jesus is speaking using parabole, similitude, or comparison when He says to cut off your hand or pluck out your eye to avoid sinning. Note verse 8 speaks of “everlastingfire”;this then is the comparison we need to see here, in other words sin is very serious and has an eternal consequence: hell.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Everlasting and eternal…self-explanatory.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day.

Note the wording of verse 9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” everlasting destruction…meaning without end. The destruction of the body and soul does not end it continues eternally. The second clue to note here is the word ”from”. Meaning that those who are placed in hell will be separated from God forever, this is the second death and the one truly in view when death is spoken of in (Romans 6:23) and supported by Revelation 20:14-15

Revelation 20:10; 14-15 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire

Forever and ever…self-explanatory.

Then there are passages used to deny the truth of hell and the inerrancy of the Bible:

Luke 16:22-26 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

This would seem to be a parable at first glance a warning to get our attention, but lets take a closer look at it. First when Jesus is speaking in parables we see in the text that He is noted as speaking using a parable or that He uses terms such as “likened”, or something is “like” this or that (Matthew 13 has some good examples of this). Second when Jesus spoke in parables He NEVER used real names. Later in the text Abraham is using the name of Moses and refers to the prophets. The rich man asks for a drop of water to cool his tongue which seems improbable, but the rich man knows full well that IF he were to have this relief it would only be momentary as evidenced by his request (Luke 16:27-31) for Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers that they would not wind up in this place of torment.

Psalm 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy

It needs to be noted here that this verse is pulled from a Psalm that’s main theme is praising the Lord. In the preceding verse the psalmist is reflecting on the fact that God will hear the cry of those who fear Him and will save them and satisfy them. We can infer then that “destroy” likely means the death of those who appose God and His design and at the most eternal destruction may be in view but likely the former. This does not refer to God destroying anyone permanently. God did indeed destroy many who apposed Him by killing them. Israel made war on many and was victorious through the blessing of God in the Old Testament.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

This verse does NOT represent a second chance to accept Jesus. Once we die, there are NO second chances. We all must choose to serve and accept Christ in this life.

Lets look at the preceding verses so that we can see this in context:

Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I know this is a long set of verses, but there is an important point to be made here.

First we see the Lord will sit upon His throne and separate the nations, this implies judgment; keep this in mind for a moment. The nations will be divided into 2 groups: the sheep and the goats. To make this distinction, Jesus needs a basis for His decision. If there were a second chance after death or even if you were yet alive at the return of Jesus, presuming a person had not accepted Jesus as Lord…what would Jesus base his judgment on? Jesus in fact tells us what He bases His judgment on: those that helped the poor, had compassion on others etc. will inherit the Kingdom of God, love thy neighbor as thyself should come into view here. Those who did not do these things thereby disobeying the commandment love thy neighbor as thyself will go into everlasting punishment. In other words, the decision is based upon how we lived out our life here on earth, not a last second decision to accept Christ when those who stand before Him realize that they made a huge mistake in not doing so in life. All people will be resurrected and live eternally, but not all will live with God spiritually alive, some will be spiritually dead (separated from God for eternity) and will spend eternity in hell.

This is why we need to understand the truth of Scripture and realize what will happen if we choose NOT to accept Jesus.

The reality of salvation

It is said as well that all we need to do is accept Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9) and we will be saved. This is both true, and misleading but let me explain that. It is important to note here that people are mislead NOT because of God or the Bible but rather because their own perception of God and the Bible is incorrect.

I could site many verses to back this up but will use only one set.

James 2:14-18 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

In other words if we are truly saved, there is more to it than a simple confession. Yes believing in Jesus Christ saves us, at the same time if we are truly saved then our life will show forth the fruit of the spirit, and we will do good works. Many are those who miss this truth or simply choose to dismiss it to their own peril. Works cannot save us only Christ can, yet if our life bears no fruit are we really saved?

This applies as well to the living in sin arguments and once saved always saved. If a person is truly saved are they always saved? Yes I believe so but there is a “but”.

Consider the person who accepts Jesus but falls away for a time into sinful living but at some point returns to the fold repenting of what they have done are they saved? I would say yes. Now how about the person who accepts Christ (supposedly) and falls away into a sinful lifestyle never to repent of their sin and showing no fruit are they saved? No I do not believe they were ever saved to begin with and that is the whole point.

Matthew 7:19-23 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Verse 19 describes what will happen to bad trees, (unbelievers) they are destined for hell. Verse 20 describes good trees as they produce fruit (Believers). The rest of these verses 21-23 describe those who think they are saved but are not.

The above passage is serious and frightening…it describes many today that say they are saved and yet live lives that say otherwise. Only God knows for sure who is saved and who is not, still the Bible does make it clear how the blessed ones of God will behave. Praying a prayer in and of itself does not save you. The guy that says he is saved because he prayed a prayer, but drinks like a fish and cares not a rip for the less fortunate is not saved. We will behave in the manner prescribed by God if we are truly His son or daughter, not the way of the world living always for self.

The time for truthful self-reflection is now, today. Christ is coming soon and we need to be ready for Him or risk being left behind. We can choose to ignore what the Bible says to our own peril, in so doing we fool only ourselves not the Lord.

No one that takes God seriously is going to look at His Word and say that some parts of it are not true. That attitude speaks of someone who is unsaved, or honestly very ignorant and that perception will change in time and relatively soon. Choosing what parts of God’s Word are true or not is opening a door for Satan to walk through…very dangerous.

If you do not agree with what the Bible says, change your opinion. The Bible is right and you are wrong, it’s that simple. Understand that the Bible contrary to popular belief was NOT written by men, the Bible was written by the Holy Spirit operating through those men. Men can be wrong, God cannot.

Choose Jesus while there is yet time and choose life, God looks after His own.

 

Build each other up


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Quick Christian Encouragement on Facebook

Build each other up
If you are in need of some quick daily encouragement please visit my FB Author page athttps://www.facebook.com/cherylzelenkaauthor


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Satanism, New Age Beliefs, and Being Your Own god: The Road to Hell

So Loved The World

Following is a comment I received from a Satanist on one of my posts and my answer to him.

Is it the case that Christianity casts all human individuals as “evil” to place the individual into a lifetime of servitude proving themselves as “good”? In Satan there is no such thing as good/evil.

 

Christianity itself casts no one as evil. Christianity is merely a term for those who follow Christ and has no authority to assign status or blame.

As far as “evil” goes consider this: Luke 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God
Instead of “evil” look at “good”…NO one is good except God alone. That means that regardless of who and what we are as a person, we are not good. We have all sinned, broken God’s laws. We are of course speaking of “good” in God’s eyes here, not whether or not a particular person is a good person or not. We all know people we think are good people; that is not in view here. God’s standard of “good” is His own, perfection.

Have you ever lied? Or stolen something even a pencil? Ever hated someone? Then you have broken God’s commandments and have sinned. “I don’t know God’s commandments” some will say. Well what about your conscience? Who do you suppose gave you a conscience? No matter the persons race, where they live, or their religious affiliation or lack thereof…all people have a conscience. It is that inner feeling that when you have done something wrong, you know it and feel it. That is your conscience, God’s law written on your heart.

Serving Jesus is a choice that the individual person makes. God makes no one serve Him. Regardless of how well an individual serves God that does not make that person “good”. As was mentioned before no one is good except God. I can be the best servant there ever was to God; I still will not be “good”.

Although we are not “good”, we are made acceptable in the sight of God; we have nothing whatsoever to do with this new perception that God the Father has of us however. There is not one thing I can do, not one that will cause my Father in heaven to look upon me as “good” or acceptable to Him. God’s standard for us is perfection because He is perfect. Obviously none of us can meet that expectation.

So since we can’t meet God’s standard for perfection all is lost correct? We have no hope of heaven. This would be the logical conclusion and the one fostered by Satan but nonetheless it is incorrect. Let us keep in view here that what Satan does best is lie and deceive and that includes “Christians”.

So how can I be made “acceptable” in God’s eyes? ONLY through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You see; when a person accepts Jesus as Savior receiving forgiveness for sin, a miraculous thing happens. Although I as a person have sinned, and will continue to sin as I cannot possibly reach the state of perfection that is required by God, God the Father sees in me the perfection of His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ had a perfect slate, no sins…the only perfect man to ever live. Yes Jesus was and is God, but chose to live as one of us to experience what we do but never sinned. So when a person chooses to accept Christ as their personal Savior in effect Jesus says here, I will take your slate filled with checkmarks (sins) and give you mine, which is clean. This then is what the Father sees…Jesus perfect and clean slate instead of your own slate of sin. How can this be?

Jesus chose to die on the cross and pay the penalty we all owe God for sinning so that we do not have to…death. This is referring to spiritual death not physical death meaning being separated from God forever. This is pretty serious; all are under the dominion of the Living God no exceptions and this includes Satan who was created by God. Satan in the beginning was a high-ranking angel of God remember before deciding that he wanted God’s glory for himself.

So we have established that all have sinned and there is no hope of heaven without accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. What is the alternative? Plainly spoken the alternative is eternity in hell, which is where Satan and the demons will be. It will NOT be fun and a big party. Hell will be a place of pain, torment, and unhappiness forever without end. Sounds awful right, and how could God do such a thing if He is loving? Answer; God did not do this, you as a person will do it to yourself. Refusal to accept Jesus is accepting eternity in hell. God is a gentleman, He will in no way force a person to accept Him. Anyone is free to NOT choose God, but then remember you have chosen to reside in hell for all eternity. When a person meets God at the end of days whom has not accepted Christ, God will say to that person…your will be done not mine. The person that lived life refusing to accept God; that choice will simply be honored by God for all eternity.

Satan; I could write a book about him. Of course there is no distinction between good and evil as that would be counter-productive to Satan’s designs. Let us look at a few verses here:

Luke 4:3-8 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ “

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.

Luke 4:33-34 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!”

Obviously the demons and Satan himself know who Jesus is; that Jesus is God.

Just as obvious Satan desires people to live in any way that they choose; to do anything a person wishes to do whenever they desire to do it. If a person chooses to live their life any way they see fit, then that person will not be in heaven for eternity and that is Satan’s main goal. If Satan can deceive a person into thinking that they can be their own “god”, then he has won the battle with that person. Trying to be “god” is all about serving self, exalting self and seeing to self’s needs regardless of the cost to others.

On the surface Satanism is self-serving; it is all about “me”, but that is the least dangerous part of it. The deeper levels of it are much more serious and involve actual worship of Satan (which he desires) and many evil practices as well like animal sacrifice and blood rites.

Satanism has one main objective no matter a person’s interpretation of it, forsaking God who is Satan’s enemy. Hell was created for Satan and his demons; those that choose to forsake God will join Satan and the demons there.

Lastly, being ones own “god”, and there being no distinction between good and evil in Satanism accomplishes one thing. A person choosing this is not answerable to anyone but self and Satan knows this. Do not be deceived…Satan himself understands the difference between good and evil. Each person understands this as well; don’t believe this? Then why does your conscience bother you when you do certain things if there is no distinction between good and evil? Satan does not want anyone to understand that difference because then a person may realize that they have been lied to by Satan and that in Christ there is hope. A person may then realize that they ARE answerable to someone (God) and turn to God and be forgiven and healed and given new life in Christ.

Choose life…choose Jesus

Related post: What does it mean to have a seared conscience?


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Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?

“I’m basically a good person, so I’ll go to heaven.” “OK, so I do some bad things, but I do more good things, so I’ll go to heaven.” “God won’t send me to hell just because I don’t live by the Bible. Times have changed!” “Only really bad people like child molesters and murderers go to hell.”

These are all common rationalizations, but the truth is that they are all lies. Satan, the ruler of the world, plants these thoughts in our heads. He, and anyone who follows his ways, is an enemy of God (1Peter 5:8). Satan is a deceiver and often disguises himself as someone good (2 Corinthians 11:14), but he has control over all the minds that do not belong to God. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

It is a lie to believe that God doesn’t care about small sins or that hell is reserved for “bad people.” All sin separates us from God, even a “little white lie.” Everyone has sinned, and no one is good enough to get to heaven on their own (Romans 3:23). Getting into heaven is not based on whether our good outweighs our bad; we will all lose out if that is the case. “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6). We can do nothing good to earn our way to heaven (Titus 3:5).

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The Story of Paul and Silas

There were a couple of preachers mentioned in the Book of Acts named Paul and Silas. Of course, most of us have heard of the Apostle Paul and his fearless preaching of God’s Word even in the face of great persecution! Less well known, is his partner, Silas, who participated in several of Paul’s adventures in ministry to the Early Church. Paul and Silas were not too interested in being “politically correct”! When they cast out a demonic spirit from a young girl who had been used by her wicked masters as a fortune teller, the masters became extremely angry because she could no longer bring in the money they were used to collecting from her services. When these evil men saw that all hope of gain from her services was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, drew them into the marketplace before the magistrates and brought them up on false charges. The magistrates, urged on by the violent mob, tore off the apostles’ clothes and commanded they be severely beaten with rods and cast into prison! The jailor promised to keep them from escaping, thrusting them into the inner chambers of the prison, and binding their feet fast in the stocks. (Read the entire account in Acts 16:16-24)

So, what did Paul and Silas do? Did they begin to complain and cry out about being falsely accused and the harsh treatment they were forced to undergo for the cause of Christ? Did they try to contact the Church leaders and circulate petitions for their immediate release? Did they weep and wail to God, asking Him to explain to them why they were forced to endure such horrible pain and suffering? You and I might have done this, but the Word of God says in verse 25, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Evidently they made a great noise with their prayer and praise meeting!

Apparently, God heard it, too, and was pleased with their praises and worship to Him. It seems He began tapping His foot along with their praise songs, because the Word says in verse 26, “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” (KJV) When God gets ready to release you from your bondage, nothing on earth can stop Him! God can work in amazing ways to confound even wicked leaders! I believe we have been seeing some of this lately in our own country! Remember the Tower of Babel, where God did not allow wicked men to prevail and confounded their languages?

Getting back to Paul and Silas, verse 27 says that the keeper of the prison, awakening out of a sound sleep, was ready to kill himself with his sword when he saw the prison doors open and all the prisoners’ bands loosed! “But Paul cried with a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” (Acts 16:28, ESV) The result of their obedience to the law and not just escaping caused the jailor to ask them, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” (verses 30 and 31, ESV) Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to him and all that were in his house! Then the jailor washed and cleaned up their bloodied backs from the beating, and he was baptized, along with his household! He also gave them supper in his own house and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. (verses 32 – 34) The next day the magistrates came and publicly apologized to the apostles, letting them out of the prison and asking them to leave the city. (verses 35-39)

Wow, what an amazing story! Just another day in the life of the Apostle Paul? Or is there a deeper truth for us today from this story? Could it be that God wants us as His children to offer Him the sacrifice of praise and worship even when we are faced with extreme difficulty in our lives, wickedness in our leadership, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles? Does it sometimes seem that all of our prayers are futile? God sees all and in His sovereignty can deliver us out of even the most extreme persecution if need be. Sometimes He doesn’t deliver us from it, but allows us to go through it, to show His power, delivering us out of severe pain and suffering as we praise and worship Him in the midst of it, just as Paul and Silas did!

What a beautiful lesson of God’s deliverance and power in the lives of His servants!


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The Must Read Interview with Satan!

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Copyright© πίστις 2013

Me: Do you acknowledge Jesus as being truly God?

Satan: Of course I do as do the demons, it is only foolish humans that do not.

Me: So why do you think so many people refuse to acknowledge Christ as Lord?

Satan: Because they want to live any way they choose doing what they want when they want to, works for me! It makes my job easier.

Me: Did you really temp Jesus?

Satan: Of course I did! If Jesus would have accepted my offer of all the kingdoms of the earth being His to rule we would not be having this conversation because I would have won!

Me: How do you figure the earth and its’ kingdoms are yours to give?

Satan: When Adam disobeyed God his dominion over all the earth passed to me. You did notice that Jesus did not say I was wrong when I offered Him MY kingdoms right?

Me: Did Jesus truly die on the cross?

Satan: Yup He sure did, I was there and had a hand in that…one of my finer moments.

Me: But then on the third day Jesus rose from the dead…

Satan: Oh…yes that was a really bad day for me. He was not supposed to come back to life that really upset me. I’m still angry about that day.

Me: Lets talk about the people of this world. Why do you temp people so much with so many evil things?

Satan: HA…don’t make me laugh! Have you not read James? That miserable cretin got the picture right away.

Me: Explain please…

Satan: People believe (at least those that believe I exist) that temptation originates with me. It does not it originates with the people I tempt! I only encourage all those foul thoughts that are already there in their minds.

Me: So we are to blame for the temptations that overtake us?

Satan: Precisely…that is why most of the world is mine! I just encourage all those bad thoughts, those actions that people know they really should not do.

Me: What are your thoughts about prayer?

Satan: I HATE prayer! Then people don’t listen to my “suggestions” so easily. So don’t pray people and do not read the Bible.

Me: So you DO believe the word of God is real and powerful.

Satan: Ummm yeah unfortunately I have to. People have been using that book against me for a long time. The Apostle Paul did lots of damage and he used to be on my side!

Me: So the Pharisees were your children?

Satan: That’s what Jesus said.

Me: So what about those who do not even believe you are real?

Satan: That is one of my finest works! I deceive and lure people to their deaths…permanent separation from God Himself and they do not even believe I exist…I love it!

Me: But the Bible says you are real…

Satan: True it does, but people have to actually read the Bible and then believe what they read. I deceive people into NOT believing what the Bible says. And then they argue over what is real and what is not…I whole-heartedly encourage this!

Me: So do your deceptions also work on Believers?

Satan: Oh my yes! Many believers in God do not want to acknowledge that true evil exists…after all a loving God would not permit that now would He…

Me: So you are evil then?

Satan: No no…of course I’m not! I just give people what they want! You only have one life to live after all!

Me: True…but the question is where are we going to live our eternal life?

Satan: With me! It will be one big party with friends!

Me: Oh come now Satan, you know that is not true! According to the word of God hell is anything but a party, it is a place of eternal suffering.

Satan: People don’t believe that.

Me: But it is true nonetheless. Why don’t you give your life to Christ and have your sins forgiven and be set free?

Satan: NEVER!! This interview is over!

This is of course not real, but the principles of this interview are. Satan is a master of deception even among people who DO believe in Christ. So many do not believe in Satan because they are blinded by the fact that God DOES allow evil. I did not say God causes evil, but it IS allowed…for now. You have only to look around you at the world in general to see that this is true.

So you have two choices: believe that there really is no God because of the rampant evil in this world…or you believe that God is real in which case you MUST believe that God allows evil things in the world. If God be God, and He is all-powerful, then it only stands to reason that evil IS allowed. Evil in this world was and is brought about by the sin of man…so no one should be blaming God for it!

The rightful ruler of this world has allowed it to be ruled by Satan…for a time. If you read your Bible you know this. But that time is fast drawing to a close. We live in the end of the End Times. It will not be long before the return of Jesus Christ to this world once more.

So where do you stand? Have you given your heart and soul to Jesus, or are you still serving Satan? You cannot have it both ways you know. Your Father is God Himself, or your father is Satan…choose this day whom you will serve! Not making a choice IS making a choice. You will NOT have a second chance after death as some teach! If you die today without having accepted Christ, your fate is sealed…hell for all eternity.

There are no scare tactics here as I and many others have been accused of but rather simple facts. You cannot serve two masters, and God will not be mocked! You serve Him, or you serve your father the devil…Satan.

No matter what sins you have committed, you CAN be saved! Do NOT wait until you are “better” to except Jesus. This is another lie fostered by the father of lies Satan! Jesus will accept you as you are; no matter what you have done if you come to Him truly repentant of the things you have done. If you have lived 70 years as a wantonly evil person…God will accept you as His child provided you come to Him and repent of what you have done and ask His forgiveness! Hitler himself had he dropped to his knees and earnestly prayed for forgiveness would now be in heaven…that may offend some of you but it is the truth!

No fancy words are needed, just pray…tell the Lord you are sorry for your sins and ask for forgiveness. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today! Accept that Jesus death on the cross was enough to pay for your sins. Place your trust in Him, not yourself or your works that are of no value without first trusting in ONLY Jesus to save you. If you hear His voice calling, do not wait another moment! Commit your life to the only One who can save you, Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, meaning that you change your life and live the way that God wants you to no longer living the sinful life you once did.

Yes it really is that simple. God will give you the strength to change! True change comes from within, the power of Christ within you once you have accepted Him.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He (Jesus) is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

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Win A Free Copy of Facing Trials: Thoughts for Meditation

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Hi Everyone!

I am giving away three free copies of my book Facing Trials: Thoughts for Meditation on goodreads. Just go to this link and enter for free. Hope you win! God Bless you, Cheryl

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