Called to a Higher Standard

RepentCross

Real love calls for repentance. Real love will tell you the truth; you are going to stand before a Holy God.

Real love will press in. God does love you, come to Him as you are, but you can not stay there. The blood of Jesus washes you clean.

Repentance is not an insincere apology.

Repentance is owning your sin, through confession, being broken before the Lord and turning away from sin.

We don’t accidently sin. We make a choice.

scoldingWhen we were kids our mothers would ask us, “If your friends jump off a bridge, are you going to too?”

We can not act like, or do what, the rest of the world is doing. We are called to a higher standard, a Holy standard.

If you fall, repent and get back up.

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 1 John 1:9

Be Free & Stay Free

 

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The Difference Between Pigs & Sheep

Do you know the difference between pigs and sheep?

pig

Pigs like mud. They will wallow in it. They find comfort in mud. It’s their nature.

sheep

Sheep do not belong in mud. It is not their nature. 

“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up from some other place [on the stone wall], that one is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep [the protector and provider].  The doorkeeper opens [the gate] for this man, and the sheep hear his voice and pay attention to it. And [knowing that they listen] he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [to pasture].  When he has brought all his own sheep outside, he walks on ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice and recognize his call. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”  Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what He was talking about.  John 10:1-6

Do you understand? Have you fallen into the mud of this world? Do not stay there. He is calling you to come up.

wolf

The devil is a sly one. He will disguise himself and if you are not listening for the Fathers voice, he will deceive you. 

So Jesus said again, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I am the Door for the sheep [leading to life]. All who came before Me [as false messiahs and self-appointed leaders] are thieves and robbers, but the [true] sheep did not hear them.  I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out[freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His [own]life for the sheep.  But the hired man [who merely serves for wages],who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away; and the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them.  The man runs because he is a hired hand [who serves only for wages] and is not concerned about the[safety of the] sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]—  even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it]for the benefit of the sheep.  I have other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they will listen to My voice and pay attention to My call, and they will become one flock with one Shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life so that I may take it back.  No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down voluntarily. I am authorized and have power to lay it down and to give it up, and I am authorized and have power to take it back. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10: 7-18

The pig finds comfort in the mud, it soothes his skin (the flesh). The enemy would have you believe you can find comfort outside of the will of God. The deception is subtle really. First you dip your toe in the mud, then you are up to your ankles, then the knees, until you are fully submerged. 

Listen… can you hear Him? He is calling you. Jesus is calling your name. He will wash you clean. Listen for His voice. Know His voice. Follow Him, He will lead you to good pastures.

Be Free & Stay Free

The Apostasy

apostasy

Am I missing something here?

Is my Bible the only Bible that does not say, “Come to Jesus and your life will be a happy one, everyone will accept you, you can remain in your sin because God loves everyone and He would never send anyone to hell”?

Having read the Bible cover to cover, and knowing His voice and having a real personal relationship with God, I do not recall Jesus ever offering an escape clause from living a holy life. I do not remember Him ever saying if it gets too hard to follow Him, it’s OK, He understands if you want to go back to your old life, you get kudos anyway for “trying.”

But! He did offer an escape from the judgement that is coming. He did offer salvation through Him. He did offer peace when things get tough. He did promise He would never leave us even when the rest of the world turns their back on us.

Oh, and by the way, He NEVER said it would be easy. He told us to pick up our cross and follow Him. He told us the world would hate us because the world hates Him. And in preparing us for what is to come, He told us to NOT be afraid, because He has overcome the world.

And for good measure and assurance because He knew we could never succeed on our own, He gave us a Helper, His Holy Spirit. So since we have His Spirit inside of us, we can surely say with the greatest of confidence that He Who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. We are fully equip to be over comers.

Let me tell you why I am writing this post:

Apostasy abounds. The great falling away is happening. Great men are falling away from the only truth that can save their souls. Sin abounds everywhere, evil is being called good and good is being called evil. The world celebrates perversion. Christians are being persecuted, even to the point of death. Governments are leading nations astray to a Godless society. Anyone who speaks out is shunned, ridiculed, called names and mocked.

This morning I get on facebook and you know what the first two stories I read were? A Christian artist came out that he is gay and he is applauded for his “bravery.” And he is assuring everyone that God created him this way and he could no longer live the life of a hypocrite. Then I read another artist denounces Christ because “it just doesn’t work for him anymore.”

So I ask, how could anyone who has known God ever walk away? And worse, encourage others to follow them? Because they do not have a regenerated heart.

You see, when we have fully committed our lives to God and we have repented of our sins, He is faithful. He gives us His strength to face the world, to finish the race.

The key word to note is REPENTANCE.

I watched a great sermon by TD Jakes and he talked on this very topic of repentance. How do we know we have truly repented? Does it mean we will never sin again or do the things we used to do before we were saved? No. It means we will no longer be comfortable doing the things we used to do. It will no longer be “normal” or “natural” for us.

You can not fully love and follow Christ if you are comfortable living in your sin.

I am not writing this because I want to point fingers or claim to be perfect. I am far from perfect. I have my hang ups. I have my weaknesses and I know it is then, in my weakest of moments, He always shows up strong on my behalf. If I start veering off the straight path I hear His Holy Spirit warn me and tell me to come to my senses.

You know what? It is not always easy. We are in a time in history where we can not live a silent faith. We must be bold in our witness. Fence walkers do not make it. You know what the Bible calls fence walkers? People who are lukewarm. And do you know what He will do with the lukewarm? He will vomit them right out. Don’t believe me? Then I suggest you read Revelation 3:15-17

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold (invigorating, refreshing) nor hot (healing, therapeutic); I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust].  Because you say, “I am rich, and have prospered and grown wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked [without hope and in great need]

Guys, listen, the end is closer than we think. Read your Bible, He told us what signs to look for of His return. Know His voice, because in these last days you are going to need a lot of discernment. Do not be deceived by these smooth charismatic talkers and do not get side tracked.

Look to Jesus as our example:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us,  [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].  Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. -Hebrews 12:1-3

Be encouraged. Be faithful. He is coming soon.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

Do You Have Love

forgiveness

Oh, you foolish,______________(fill your name here), who has tricked you?! Are you that foolish to believe you can do on your own what Christ has already done for you? Do you not know there is no amount of sacrifice, deeds, or talk, that can save you? Only He can save you. Why do you search for an easy out? Why do you continue to hold on to what Jesus has set you free from?  Galatians paraphrased by me.

We live in a world constantly searching for answers to the wrong questions. We ask questions to manipulate the answers for the results we want. We want to be told we are OK and we want to be comfortable in our sins and denials.

We want the quick fix.

We want to be forgiven, yet we refuse to forgive.

We want to be loved, yet we refuse to love.

We want to be somebody, when we are nobody.

We ask, but we are unwilling to give.

The road to destruction is wide and crowded. It is an easy road to take, because many will point you to it. At first the ride is smooth and without bumps, but when the bumps come you will soon find out you are on a dead end.

Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. Matthew 7:13-14

I think the path is narrow because it calls us to love. It calls for us to forsake ourselves, to die to our wants, our flesh, and to love others. It calls for us to forgive others. This is a hard concept to swallow. What? Forgive someone who wronged me?! What? Love someone who doesn’t deserve it?

Only through death will we find life. Whoever clings to life, will lose it.

It is as if we are more willing to sacrifice everything else, but ourselves. We are such a prideful people we do not even know we are heading to a cliff and we will fall off into the abyss if we do not turn around.

If we are to see revival, then we must lay ourselves down at His feet. We must humble ourselves and repent. Only then will He heal us.

Your lies will find you out. You can give lip service all you want, but the day will come when you will stand before Him and the question He will ask is…. “Did you love?”

Frog in a Pot

Put a frog into a pot of tepid water and then place the pot on the stove, the frog will begin to slowly cook and not even realize it. Because the water heats gradually. He doesn’t even notice the water is starting to get hot. It is like he has become a part of his environment and didn’t notice the change in temperature.

So is it with us…. one compromise at a time, one stretched truth at a time, the next thing you know, you are so far from the truth, you are in boiling water.

I suppose the moral of this story is to look around you, have you become a part of your environment? Have your senses grown dull? Has your love grown cold? Are the lies and excuses flowing right off your tongue and you don’t even feel the conviction anymore? Are you feeling comfortable and like the idea no one challenges you? Or do you find yourself constantly looking over your shoulder?

Oh, my friend, the water is boiling… get out of the pot.