Geez, Did God Get Pushy? Or Did I Forget Who He Is?

In the beginning God never forced anyone to disobey His Will. Nor today does God force anyone to obey Him. Every man/woman must make up his own mind by the freedom of his own will to obey God. The more you develop your thinking and understanding of the True God and His gift of freedom of will and how He makes each and every individual responsible for his/her decision, the more of the greatness of the truth of the One God will be made manifest in your life and you’ll be real thankful.

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Those with children understand, God has as much control over our lives and decisions as we do our children. Do your children obey every word?

The other side of the coin is always possession. The devil possesses people so he can control their actions, their decisions and eventual results long-term. The one true God never possesses us. First, why would God give us freewill, then take it away. It says in Romans that God’s gifts are “without recompence” meaning He never regrets or takes back the gifts He gives. Freewill is part of that. Now, He knows what choices we will make because He knows all things, but to use us and rob us of our most foundational, primal function called freewill, that would not be love. That’s control. That’s a dictator.

You may have heard me talk about a “Doulos” which in the Greek means a servant and a servant implies absolute obedience.

  • Obedience must always be by a freewill choice and it must be in agape/love.
  • Love without obedience is hypocrisy.
  • Obedience without love is abject slavery.

Obedience is simply an indicator of whose servant you are.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18

 We obey from the heart. That is how loving obedience starts. It starts in the heart. It’s a falling in love of sorts. When you get to know this freewill gift you start to see a much bigger picture. Everyone of us has a choice whether to believe God, or not. He never forces us to come to Him with an open heart. And once we get there He never belittles us. Look at this verse.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5 KJV

So, you finally decide to come to God with an open heart. You acknowledge Him and trust Him with it and He says here He will give you wisdom liberally and never upbraide you. Upbraideth is the Greek word oneidizō, meaning reproach, or revile, in simple terms He will never throw it back in your teeth. This is a promise! Promises are like God-Cash or God-Bucks. You can spend them where and when you need them. Wow! Eh? This is our Father. The One True God.

In many religions today, the concept that God is in control has filtered down to the point of Him controlling our every move in life. IF that were true, then the whole Bible would fall to pieces. And no wonder so many bright, young believing men and women are hard with bitterness and turmoil. They think God is “throwing their choices back in their teeth.” IF He did that He’d have to take back these words.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

Aren’t we implying, as abject slaves, that God is condemning us? And how could He trust us to walk in the spirit, He’d have to keep controlling us so we don’t get sidetracked. Does anyone else see how ridiculous this thinking is?
What about this verse?

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

IF God controls every step of ours or was in control of every part of our life, wouldn’t we always be doing the right thing. Why would we need to confess our broken fellowship at all? If He controls us, we’re never sinning and always in fellowship with Him. I mean, isn’t that where Adam and Eve took their first steps toward ruin by their own freewill?

The freedom of will gift is so powerful that the closer you get to God the more freed up you get.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

 There is liberty! Inside that liberty you’ll find the pinnacle of deliverance. Inside that deliverance you find your sonship (or adoption) rights and inside that adoption you’ll find God’s only begotten Son. Once you found the Son, he points you to the Father and in Him is liberty. Our identification with sonship bathes us in God’s Love. Once you fall in love, you want to obey. Obedience in love is the meaning of servitude.

God Bless You Today!

I Don’t Know–Maybe It’s Not That Hard After-all

Life is a busy, crazy, gooey mess and how are we supposed to keep our priorities straight?

 

When God put us on this planet, it was well thought through. Adam and Eve had their dominion and jobs. Everything was in it’s place and all was well and good. Then, evil entered the scene. Lucifer, otherwise known as the fallen angel of Light, approached humanity with a sly debate. One, that over time, (none of us know how much time) made Eve’s freewill weaken and break. Then he, the devil, tricked her and Adam out of the calm they lived in. God knew this would  happen. He knew they would get tricked from before the beginning of time, but He created them anyway. Why? Why? When He knew all the crap that would follow? Here we are now thousands of years later trying to explain to our children that most of what they see on television, read in books and hear in songs isn’t true. The devil infiltrated every sector, culture, thought and ideal of mankind to publish his own agenda. Temptations, sin, anger, constant barrages of wrong doctrine hit us every single day. HOW DO WE SORT THROUGH IT ALL? How do we discern truth from error?

If we’re lucky we know some bull-headed person who just will not quit reading and studying the Word of God. IF we are even more lucky, we do it for ourselves.

“But Terri, I read the Bible, and I don’t understand it much less enjoy reading it.”

I would be rich if I had a penny for everyone who’s said that to my face. My question is…Why? What is it about studying that makes studying so hard?

Let’s go to the one verse I know about “study”.

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2 Timothy 2:15- KJV

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

If you break this down and add a sprinkle of the literal Greek meanings, it’s an amazing sentiment straight from the mouth of God.

“Study” is the Greek word spoudazō. Funny word eh

It means to endeavor, labor, and give it a try.

REALLY??? I can’t believe that! All I have to do is TRY??? Try by opening the book. MAybE even add a reference book or website to my study. He’s asking me just to show up and open the Book. LOL!! How many of us talk ourselves out of even doing that. Showing up is the hardest part of any work-out regimen. God must have known that too. What if I just tried a little more? What if I just made a commitment to be here, at my computer every day and just threw up with my words all over this blog post? What if? Could God direct me from there?

Let’s move on. (For you who may have noticed this is my first blog post in over a week…this post is a self-needed, self-medicating blog. I do this for me. I’m blessed that you read it…really I am. That you can make some semblance of sense of this girl’s jumbled prating is kind of a miracle in itself. God love you for it. Lol)

Okay, so now I know study means try, or endeavor, show up to work. What does, “to show thyself approved unto God” mean?

  • “to show” in Greek is: paristēmi which means: to come, be near, intimate placement of oneself in the proximity of, to present, to set at hand, to provide.
  • “thyself” in Grk is: seautou is a pronoun which means: yourself, your own.
  • “approved” in Grk is: dokimos, which is the word for tried, prove, or proof of, acceptable, pleasing.
  • “of God” in Greek is: theos which means the one true God.
  • “a workman” in Greek is: ergatēs which means, one who does the work. A worker for hire. A laborer.
  • “that needeth not to be ashamed” is one Greek word: anepaischyntos, which means: having no cause to be ashamed.
  • “rightly dividing” is Grk, orthotomeō: meaning to cut straight, correctly dissect, straight paths.
  • “the Word” is the Greek word logos, meaning the written Word of God.
  • “of truth” is the Greek word alētheia, meaning the truth as God is truth. True, truly.

When you correctly dissect this verse into pieces you see it’s greater meaning. All of the literal Greek meanings break down the heart of “Study” as a topic.

Here’s my uneducated stab at a literal translation of the whole verse 2 Tim. 2:15.

   Open your Bible and look at the Word. Read it, ask questions,  and most of all try. Show up with an effort in mind and put yourself in the proximity of the Word to prove to yourself and to God that you actually care. (We only put our time, energy and money into what we CARE about) Show up for yourself, but also show up for God, not your pastor, not your friends, not your parents, or children. Studying God’s Word is between you and God. Roll up your sleeves and dive in like a woman with a house to clean. Work diligently because honest labor is nothing to be ashamed of and always reaps good fruit. Cut through the Word and dig until you know you are at the most honest understanding of it, dissect the fat away (There is fat found in the many translations and versions as spin offs from the originals,) and digest that which is Truth and pure and honestly God.

You and I know it takes a commitment. But what if you just took one verse at a time? Heck,  what if you took one word out of a verse? You will never regret the time you put in. You will never regret the labor and the investment. It is a principle. You reap what you sow. Sow God’s Word into your life and watch how much blessing and abundance you’ll reap.

God bless you today!!

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

The Touch of the Master’s Hand ~ by Myra Brooks Welch

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“Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile.

“What am I bidden, good folks,”  he cried,

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two! Only two?

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

“Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;

Going for three–” But no,

From the room, far back, a gray-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll made it three?

Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,

And going, and gone,” said he

The people cheered, but some of them cried:

“We do not quite understand

What changed it’s worth?” Swift came the reply:

“The touch of the master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine;

A game–and he travels on.

He is “going” once, and “going” twice,

He’s “going” and almost “gone.”

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

THe worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought

By the touch of the Master’s hand.

God bless you today!

Are You Fossilized in Traditions?

We are approaching the holiday craze with a quick as lightening speed and many of us, entrenched in the tar pits of old tradition, hope to keep the sentiment of giving still alive.

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How many of us are just going through the motions? Maybe no one will notice our sentimental feelings have left us.

Why do we cling to old traditions anyway?

I remember some years back when I was feeling this way. Everything had changed for me on the inside. I was going through a crap-ton of problems including divorce, and I didn’t see the need for going through the trouble of the “Thanksgiving Bird.” I was sarcastic, lacked thankfulness and truly longed to forget the season. I know there are other reasons for a little holiday drama and believe you me when I say, “I’ve been there”. But it sucks the joy right out of the song, “Joy to the World.” I wanted so badly for everyone to see things from my perspective. I wanted them to ask, “Why are we all doing this?” and “Who made the rules about this day, this celebration and this week?”

Jesus Christ must have felt the same way. He grew up in a spiritual household where every holiday and religious custom were observed. But when it came to the way God wanted things done, he knew traditions were about to change forever.

Look at this section of the Word of God in Matthew 15;

“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. ” vs. 1-2

The Pharisees, or (PC Police, = Politically Correct) wanted to know why Jesus was allowing his men to disobey and not observe tradition. Tradition was a big deal. Why though? Why?

“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.”

This was a rule given to them by God through Moses. Look how they twisted it.

“But YE (You all) say, Whosoever shall say to [his] father or [his] mother, [It is] a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

The Elders in the church had changed what God had given. They changed the intention the rule, and the heart of why it should be done the way God wanted it done.

Today,

Traditions dull the sharpened understanding of God’s new reality which is the New Man.

 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

The old traditions of men cannot compare to the new reality of God in Christ in you. God is love, when He asks you to do a task, it’s out of love not duty or obligation. God has enriched our view points, and our motives and everything that was the old way of thinking. Now, when we go about our traditional events, we can ask the God of all Flesh, how He’d like things done. Don’t be surprised if He changes things up for you. Don’t be surprised if He says go, when you think to stay, or stay when you think to go. Let Him surprise you. Ask Him this year…”God if you were me, how would you get things done during the Holidays.” Don’t be surprised if He puts a fresh new flavor on all the fossilized flavors of tradition.

God bless you today!

I Hate to be the One to Tell You But…

Our society can’t tell the difference between light and darkness.

They can’t tell the difference between truth and error.

I know this because, this last week, I used myself as a human test subject. Here’s what I found out.

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They say that a culture’s thoughts and heart are revealed by its media, art, music. I figured I was as good a test subject as any. I have a strong renewed mind, I’m disciplined to read the Bible and I’m convinced or persuaded about what God has in there. So I started by soaking up the Top 50 Pop and Country tunes. (And immediately noticed a common theme. Brokenness, death and theft.) I stopped reading everyday in the Word and tried to stop thinking about God. (Dangerous experiment…I know)

Here’s what happened. Every step away from the Word, was a step out of the light and into the dark world around me. Confusion resides out there. Neglect is the king of our culture including hopelessness and even physical pain. Yesterday, at the END of my experiment, I was told that many thousands of dollars was removed from my bank account without my permission. Confusion, anger and physical pain hit me in waves. Literally, I had chest pangs and a migraine. I went reeling out of control in my mind. Who had the permission to do that? Who would be allowed? How could they have stolen thousands of dollars, well let’s be honest, there wouldn’t have been that much for them to take. But still what the $*#! Within seconds, my heart rate climbed and my blood pressure was in the stratosphere.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105

Okay, back to my experiment.

How could the little ‘ol Bible have helped me here?

How would this seemingly antiquated book have been a practical means of literally keeping me safe?

“Trust in the Lord with all then heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I would’ve stopped and asked God first if this was something I needed to worry about. Right? Ha!  If I had, He would have said something like…”It was a typo, and a misunderstanding both, on the party involved. Stay calm and just take care of it.”

Instead of FrEaKinG out. I could have had peace. So here’s what I realized. I was standing just outside the light of God’s Word and I wasn’t asking God what to do in situations that come up, as a result my “Truth-o-meter” was disabled. I couldn’t tell what was true and what was error.

Have you ever had a big stinky pail of muddy compost and dirt in your possession? One that was too big for you to just dump out and refill. How would you clean it up? You’d have to begin the process of filling it with good pure clean water and over time all the mud would be gone. When we allow the devil to fill our minds with his putrid, smelly disgusting ideas tainted with error and half-truths, we essentially allow him to vomit into our mind. Before long, we are filled to the brim and only we can decide to stop him and start filling our minds up with that good pure clean truth of the Word of God. What benefit is there? EVERY BENEFIT you can imagine including and deeply important, your own peace of mind.

“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (respect) the Lord and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

When you are tight with God, you can tell the difference between light and darkness and truth and error.

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” 1 John 4:6

Has it been awhile since you picked up your Bible? How about a daily routine of study? It is never too soon to have peace in your life. It is never too late to have a victory.

God bless you today!

Discouraged? It’s a Trick!

Some people make discouraging others an art form. They go around throwing a wet blanket over every good, sound or inspiring idea. But aren’t you glad some of the people we know didn’t let the discouragement win? Say, like…Christopher Columbus. Here the guy is called crazy more times than he was called sane! Or Benjamin Franklin when inventing the light bulb…now that guy was a multi-tasker. Look at all the brilliance and wisdom beyond his years that guy exhibited. Mother Theresa, Henry Ford, Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul and the list goes on. We could name people all day who had big things to do in life, and didn’t give in to criticism, self-doubt or discouragement. Oh sure they may have had moments of it, but they didn’t let it win.

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If you’re discouraged, you begin to worry, then you doubt then you become afraid. Fear limits your abilities in every way. It stifles creativity. And you need to be creative to solve problems. It stifles motivation by taking away the very reason you started the journey. Even a tiny thought of discouragement can be toxic to motivation. WHY? Why so toxic to motivation? Because motivation is the baby. Babies are always fragile. Who are motivation’s parents?

Thoughts are the Mother

Thoughts are the mother of motivation for good or for bad deeds. But did you know you can control what you think? Yep. Our minds are like a computer, but it is our freewill choice to use it whichever way is profitable to us. We can even stop and control it with practice or let it run as far and as out of bounds as we like. It’s up to us. God made our minds like a super computer wired for billions of thoughts over years of memories. Wow! It would be worth millions if someone could rebuild it. Since we have this kind of thing in our hands everyday why not promote the best. Discouragement shuts down the positive synapses, so why not think good, encouraging and positive thougths?

There are so many to choose from in the Bible. But here, try this one on for size.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

God knows His thoughts of us, and they are good thoughts. Thoughts of peace so we can have a future and hope. Doesn’t it say in Ephesians we are supposed to be imitators of Him? So let’s just copy His ideas. Let’s think thoughts of peace towards ourselves first and then of others. Once you have that down, then you can meet Motivation’s daddy.

Action is the the Father.

Action defeats fear every time. If you’re discouraged act. Give and sow good seeds of prosperity. If you’re in real estate and frustrated, go door knocking, make cold calls, and prospect. Do something creative and action oriented that forces yourself out to of the pity party. When the pressure is on give. Giving is a principle. Everytime you give you receive. You know the saying, what goes around comes around. What are you acting on? Fear or Love? Peace or confusion? Encouragement or discouragement?

Action is extremely powerful when you link it with God. Ask God what to do, what’s available and how to receive it. Know that He is GOOD always. Depend on that. I like to make this fun. I like to go on bless missions. I ask God, who can I bless today and really listen for the thought He gives. Then I act. Do you know the miracles that produces? Now you have our super computer worth millions, linked to the creative power of the God of all Creation and BLAMO! Blessing is popping out, spilling all over everyone. Could you do just one per day? How about more? What if you made it a habit?

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good words, and glorify your father which is in heaven. ” Matthew 5:16

God bless you today!

All of Life is Simple, For Those Who…

…Who want it that way.

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Below are 5 steps to a simpler life. A life that lifts us high above and on to a new perspective and way of thinking.

“Wait a minute there, Miss Positive. How can you say I’M the one complicating my life! Don’t you know what kind of cards life has dealt out to me?”

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” Romans 9:20

Yes, I’m sorry to say, yes. We complicate our own lives, but that’s because we don’t understand how to unwind all the knots and twisted motives of our enemy. Before we can begin doing that, work on our own perspective of God.

  1. The first step to living simply, is accepting, embracing and submitting to God through His son Jesus Christ.  Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved..”
  2. The second step is easier than that. Phillipians 4: 4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.” This shouldn’t be two hard, right? You may say well I don’t always have something to rejoice about. Really? Did you wake up and fog a mirror today? Rejoice doesn’t mean you have to break out into a musical every morning it simply means, find the positive truths in your life. Reach for them, point them out and receive them into your life. One great one is Jesus Christ could come back today. That is something extremely positive.
  3. The third step is just continued in the verse. “Let your moderation (gentle patience) be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.” (Verse 5) The Lord the God of all the universe is “at hand”. That’s an old English saying that means, He doesn’t take off for a lunch-break right when you need Him, He is present, involved and concerned for you. But He’s not ever going to make you love Him, or “make” you ask for Him. He’ll just make life a lot simpler when you do. I’m just going to follow the verses here.
  4. “Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Verses 6-7) See how simple it is?
  5. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.” (vs. 8) Here’s the catch, I told you life could be simple, but I didn’t say easy. We have to train ourselves to think positive and not think negatives. That in itself can be a very big job.

How simple do you want life to be?

“(27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV

Simplicity comes when we submit to the wisdom of God, not our own wisdom.

(3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (hard to do.)” 1 John 4:3

Simplicity happens when we do what He asks us to do.

God bless you today!