Hosea: Then & Now

Many of the prophesies given to Hosea have been fulfilled.

The removal of Israel as a nation and it’s restoration. The removal of Baal from the lips of Jewish people, a name now forgotten among them, and the grafting in of the Gentiles into faith. 

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Eloquently, Hosea reveals the valley of troubles needed for Israel to become a nation once again. Of course we now know it was the holocaust.

It has taken centuries for these prophecies to become fulfilled.

There were two outstanding reasons for the destruction of ancient Israel.

God separates the people or brethren of Hosea from the Nation itself. The mother or nation had become corrupt through trade with other nations. Through that trade the nation had become dependent.

They saw trade as the means of existence rather than the fruitfulness of the land God had given them. They no longer glorified God but instead found strength through their status in the world and desire for foreign goods.

Secondly, they started to diversify by accepting foreign gods. The names of the Baals, the piercing of the ears and noses which signified who they spiritual served.

In their desire to diversify they had accepted and interchanged the name of Baal with the name of God. They began worshiping Baal and ascribing that name to God.

God said they will no longer call Me by the name of Baal. (Hosea 2:16)

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God had revealed Himself from the days of Abraham, till today,  through many names which revealed His character and nature.

Now Israel gave God a name and He called it idolatry.

The Kingdom of God is progressive. He has unveiled Himself by His actions throughout the existence of man and in the process attributed a name to the actions.

Human progressiveness found in any nation outside the realm of God’s Kingdom leads to an acceptance of sin and a distortion of God’s character or outright denial of His existence. It leads to celebrating the distortion in individual identity. It becomes idolatry in its most vile form, the worship of self.

The prophecy found in Hosea 1:10 “You shall be called the Sons of the Living God,” will not apply.

God’s progressiveness is found in the revelation of Himself to man and the power of the revelation to bring personal identity to the individual.

In these last days the full revelation of God’s nature and character was revealed in and through Yeshua, or inActs-4-verse-12-image English, Jesus. There is no other name given among men in which they can be saved, or in other words find and walk in created purpose for living.

It should not surprise a christian when they hear the name of Jesus being used as a curse. It only reveals the heart of the person vainly using His name. Disobedience to the first commandment (do not use my name vainly) can only be done by using Jesus Christ.

His name is used daily worldwide both as a blessing and power to change and vainly as a curse. No other name is used in such a way. This gives us both joy and grief. When a believer hears the name of Jesus being used vainly his or her heart is grieved because of the Spirit within them. But it also proves the very nature of Jesus as God. The disobedience of another can actually build our own personal faith.

Jesus was very clear in stating anyone can be forgiven for misuse of His name and that of The Father. We should not make final judgment of a person misusing Jesus name, but our judgment should be of their personal need for salvation.

In closing, Hosea has much to say to our world today. The power of prophetic relevance, the tendency for a nation to be corrupted by its leadership and not by it’s people, progressiveness which is born from the human heart rather than the revealed nature of God brings destruction to personal identity.

There are many gods in this world but only One true God and He is found through and in the name of Jesus Christ the Redeemer and Deliver of all mankind; any other name given as way to God is idolatry.

Be Free & Stay Free

(This post was written, and shared with permission, by my husband, Jim Kessler.)

 

When God Says GO!

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Have you ever argued with God about something He asked you to do? I mean, has God ever asked you to do something that would require complete trust and faith in Him, and you were afraid because you felt insignificant, so you question if He was really speaking to you?

Yea, I think anyone who has asked God to use them is surprised when He does, especially the first time. I know I was.

Years ago, I had a dear friend who had a ministry for people just out of prison. She loved the Lord and she wanted to love people into His Kingdom.

One day I get a call from her. “Stacey, I got this guy and he is going to be going back to his hometown soon and he needs to get saved. Come over here and get him saved!”

I love this woman. Her and I are very much alike. It’s all about Jesus! Nothing else matters.

So I throw on my super hero evangelist cape, hop in my car, and bee-line right over. Oh, the zeal!

I met them in one of her houses she was renovating for ministry. Inside was covered with drop cloths, paint, and ladders. She made the introductions and it didn’t take long for me to realize he wasn’t expecting me. Yes, my friend put us both on the spot (or was it God?).

I break the ice with him and talk about the things in the natural, asked him questions about himself, like how did he end up in prison, you know, the obvious ice breakers.

Poor guy, there was no escaping this encounter; he was blocked in by two women who were determined that this was the day of his salvation.

Transitioning from the natural, I questioned him about his beliefs in God. Then I shared my testimony with him and how I met Jesus and He changed my life.

Pause here for a moment. I want you to know something. You know all the stuff (sin) you have done before you met Jesus? All the injuries and the shame that came with it? My friend, you no longer have to be ashamed. When you accepted Jesus you became a new creation. While we are no longer the same person we were, the experience of our past can be a treasure chest for souls. There are parts of my story that I only share on a “need to know” basis. We need to be real and honest when we share Christ. If He saved me, He can save you. No one is beyond His reach.

People need to know Christ died for us while we were still sinners, to reconcile us to the Father, and only through Him are we free from the bondage of our past.

Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].  For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2

As I was sharing the Gospel with him, I could feel God’s love for him, and I knew this was a Holy Spirit orchestrated meeting.

The guy asked me how he can be saved. I told him to confess, repent, and receive Jesus.

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I asked him if he was ready to receive Jesus.

“Yes!” He answered.

The reverent simplicity of a prayer from a contrite heart reaches the ear and heart of God. We celebrate with hugs and tears, then after giving him instructions on his first steps in his new life, I say my good byes.

But God wasn’t done yet!

As I am preparing to leave Holy Spirit speaks to me.

“He needs the Baptism of Holy Spirit.”

Now, I have never laid hands on anyone to receive the Baptism of Holy Spirit before. Although I have wanted to, I was too afraid. What if God didn’t show up? It would be a big let down. To be honest, I didn’t think God would use someone like me, there were far more qualified people.

So there I am, in my mind, arguing with God and He didn’t budge.

Do you know what courage is? It is being afraid and stepping out anyway. Thank God for His courage in us.

I turn around and say, “Look, you are about to go home a new man and you will be faced with old temptations. You need power to be a witness of Gods grace to your wife, family, and friends. You are not the same man they used to know. Do you want this power?”

“Yes!” He said.

“I’m going to pray for you.” I said. “His Holy Spirit is going to come upon you and fill you. I want you to lift your hands, open your mouth and begin to speak.”

I barely had my hand on his shoulder and I don’t think more than a sentence came out of my mouth, when the Holy Spirit fell on him so mighty, he began to praise God in baptismHOLYSPIRIT2heavenly tongue.

As this was happening, him praising God, my friend praising God, me standing there with my mouth hanging open in complete awe, a certain male minister came in the door. This minister comes from a denomination that does not believe God can use women in ministry, especially to men. Let me tell ya, this minister walked in the door just in time to catch the guy falling out under the power of the Holy Spirit.

There were some lessons to be learned that day.

A man out of prison learned about God’s great love and met Jesus.

Another man learned God can use anyone He chooses.

And me? I learned it’s not about me. It’s all about Him. And when He say’s go, then go! Because He is already there.

Be Free & Stay Free

End Time Bullies

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There was a boy who was being bullied. Everyday the neighborhood kids would taunt and tease him. And everyday the little boy would come home with bruises and tears.

There was one particular bully who seemed like a giant in the boy’s eyes. He was the meanest bully of them all. Now this giant of a bully would incite the other children to throw rocks at the boy, push him down, and call him names. He would spread lies about the little boy and no one would question if the lies were true; even the most outrageous lies.

The boy tried to ignore the bullying and be nice to the bullies, for he thought if he were nice to them then maybe they would like him and stop terrorizing him. So the boy would offer gifts to them. But the bullies took his gifts, scoffed at him, pushed him down, then demanded more gifts. No matter how nice he was, or how many he gifts he gave them, it was never enough.

Soon the little boy stopped going outside. He stayed in his room, scared, sad, and alone.

His father, wanting to help his young son, enrolled him in self defense classes.

“Son, I don’t want you to go around looking for fights, because the fights will come to you.” The father said. “But I don’t want you to be afraid or defenseless to stand your ground. When you stand strong, most bullies will run away. Sometimes you will come across a giant of a bully and you will have to rise up and face him.”

In the class the little boy met other boys and they became friends. As he grew in courage and wisdom he no longer felt defenseless.

It wasn’t too long after,  the little boy had to put into practice what he learned. One day the boy rounded a corner and came face to face with the giant of a bully and his gang.

“Get out of my way!” The giant of a bully demanded.

But the little boy stood his ground.

“Are you deaf? I said get out of the way!” The bully sneered with a shove to the boy.

Yet, the little boy held his ground.

“Are you blind, too?” The bully mocked. “Can’t you see my gang with me? You are out numbered!”

Still the boy did not back down.

The bully’s gang began to get nervous at the newfound boldness of the little boy. Some joined in with jeering the boy and some ran away.

Soon other children started to gather and stood beside the boy. Even though the bully continued to scream threats, the boy and his friends were not intimidated. With each threat the bully uttered, the boy and his friends took a step forward, pushing the bully back.

The little boy was no longer afraid to stand his ground, even if it meant bumps and bruises. If he had stayed hidden alone he would have never known there were other kids who would stand beside him to face the bullies down and send them running. He could stand  and not give up any ground. He could advance and take the bully’s ground from him. He just had to be courageous and put into practice all he had learned.

In many ways we are like this little boy. We are bullied everyday. Though it may not be a bully in the form of boy on the street throwing rocks at us, but the adversary we face is very real.

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The Bible says our adversary is the devil and he is very sneaky and stealth in his attack. Sometimes his attack is so blatant we doubt we are seeing what we are seeing. He knows our weak spots and he aims to hit it hard. When his frontal attacks don’t work he tries to come in through the backdoor to disqualify us; through temptations, attacking our marriages and our family, our finances, our health. He will use people, things, our past, and our minds against us. He is a dirty fighter.

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 

1 Peter 5:8-10

He will hit, hit, hit us until we are too weary to even fight back. His fancy foot work exhausts us and we just want to get out of the fight and go to sleep. But, my friends, this is not the time to sleep. Edmund-Burke-Quote-The-only-thing-necessary-for-the-triumph-of

Jesus knew the battle we are in. He warned us, if the world hates you, remember it hated Him first. “Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves [have no self-serving agenda]”. Matthew 10:16

It is difficult, I get it, to not feel the suffocating presence of evil around us. Ten years ago we would have never imagined the blatant attacks against our Christian faith as we are experiencing. We must remember it is a spiritual war and the attack is against Christ, His Truth, and His elect. It is a battle for souls.

When the world seems to want to hurry up and get to hell, we must put on our battle clothes and fight! We don’t fight like the world. Their battle plan is to destroy, wreak havoc, create confusion and chaos. The world uses intimidation tactics.

The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,  being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6

I don’t know about you, but I will admit that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I get angry and I want to lash out and just slap some sense in people. Even in writing this post I had to delete some of what I wrote (well… because it was me talking and being very carnal).  It is difficult to not get caught up in the politics of the world. Sin abounds, but His grace, my friends, His grace abounds even more.

How did Jesus turn the world upside down? His love! He spoke the truth and it stepped on people’s toes. He knew His purpose, He knew He was going to the cross, He even knew who was going to betray Him, yet He loved. He was bold and not afraid of “popular opinion,” because only Truth is able to set the captives free.

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The early church were revolutionaries! They were imprisoned, stoned to death, crucified, beheaded, and scattered. Yet, they didn’t take to the streets and burn the cities down. They didn’t go on a smear tactic campaign.  They continued in Christ and boldly proclaimed the Gospel message.

For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy,  but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense],  but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  [This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort]. 1 Corinthians 1:22-25

I ask God, how can I make a difference? I feel inadequate. I feel outnumbered.

I (and you) make a difference with Christ in us. He has already equip us with all we need to be victorious! We have His Holy Spirit. We can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens us! He is not setting us up for failures. He is for us!

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Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth.  But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty].  God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are,  so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.  But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin], so then, as it is written [in Scripture], “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

What are we to do? 

First, we get on our knees before Him:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

We seek Him:

In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. -Proverbs 3:6

We ask: 

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. Philippians 4:6

We listen and obey: 

If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. James 1 

Remember the boy in the story? He did not stand against the bullies alone.

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We must come together, as true followers of Christ, in one mind, unity, encourage and pray for each other. We must stand in agreement. Remain in battle formation, watching out for each other, covering each others blind spot, and remember each other always in our prayers. Because it is not about us, it is about souls and His glory! If we truly love Him, then we love each other and we will be about His business in sharing His love and His truth to a lost and dying world. Live a life worthy of the calling, do not compromise, do not fear, and do not back down. Stand!

This is how I fight my battles!

Be Free & Stay Free

It’s in the DNA

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My fathers side of the family is recognized by “the chin.” Most of my cousins have inherited this feature, including myself.

When my children were babies they looked like their father. As they grew they developed some of my features; big eyes and dimples. Mostly, they took on my mannerisms, no doubt because of my influence of them. (Insert smile here)

I am known to my friends by my laugh. When I was young I was called giggles. Sometimes my giggle would get me into trouble, I just couldn’t help it, to stifle my giggle I would look like I was having a seizure with my body shaking trying to keep the laugh inside. My family calls my laugh a cackle. My “cackle” was usually heard before I entered a room.

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When my oldest daughter left home I would worry if I prepared her for life. Even though she is a responsible young woman, a mom still worries. To my delight I received a call from her one day.

“Oh no!” She said. “I inherited your cackle.”

She was in school and when she rounded a corner a friend told her she knew it was here coming down the hall because of her laugh. Of course we both got a cackle out of this.

I have told my kids that no matter where I am they will always have a home to come home to. My kids are grown now and spread out, but no zip code will ever change the fact that they are my children. They carry my DNA, they are mine.

This is the same for God’s family. Because of the blood of Jesus Christ, we have His DNA, we are His.

As we grow and mature in our walk with Jesus we begin to look more like Him; we take on His characteristics. The more time we spend with Him, the more we know Him, then the more our thoughts begin to reflect His.

You ever see couples who have been married for a long time? They begin to look alike, right.

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I lived many years in NYC, so there are certain words I say differently than my husband who grew up in the mid-west. Just the other day he caught himself saying something and he sounded just like me. I found this funnier than he did, I think. But, there are some things he does that I have noticed I have picked up, too. This is what intimacy, spending time together, and knowing each other does. You become one.

This is the intimacy our Abba Father desires us to have with Him. After all, we are the Bride of Christ and He is coming for us soon for the wedding feast. What a celebration that will be! Until then, our courtship with Him, through the Holy Spirit, seals us. He loves us, cares for us, provides for us, laughs with us, cries with us, He knows or every thought.

Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. 
You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];

You understand my thought from afar. 
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

The more we know Him, the more we want to know Him; to be so intimate and hidden in Him that the world no longer sees us, but sees Him. As we receive His love, we reciprocate by loving others. We become His heart extended to a world that truly needs Him. We become His light in a world that is fumbling around in the dark.

There is no shame or fear in Jesus. Let us be the city on a hill, shining the beacon of Truth and Salvation. If you have Jesus then you carry His DNA. Let people see Him before they see you.

By this they will know we are His.

Be Free & Stay Free

Secure in Father’s House

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I do not live in Mayberry or Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, but I still like my neighborhood. I have only lived here for a short while, but I have gotten to know some of the neighbors and people and businesses close by.  As an extrovert I tend to say hello, good morning, or good evening to nearly everyone I come in contact with.

stick girl and dogBecause I have a little dog who loves to be walked I get the opportunity to be out and about the neighborhood several times a day. My little buddy is a people person and he loves to meet new people, too. Actually, I think he just enjoys all the extra attention, In fact, because of him I have made new friends with other women who walk their dogs.  Dog people are friendly people… just sayin’

Everyone knows JJ (that’s my lil’ buddy’s name). Most of the people I meet are friendly and harmless. Some are lonely and just need to talk to someone. For some reason a little dog helps to break barriers and people are more inclined to open up and tell you all about themselves. I like people, so I will smile and listen and try to leave them with an encouraging word.

But then there are people who are not good people. I am sure I do not have to draw a word picture for you to understand what I am saying. We have to use wisdom and practice boundaries for our own safety. Sometimes it is best to just cross the street and walk in the opposite direction.

I grew up in a big city, but I now live in a smaller city. Being a city dweller I am well aware of precautions and safety measures we have to take. For example, while it may be fine to say “good morning” to a neighbor, it is not wise to bring a stranger into your home.  While I do not live in fear and paranoia, I do lock my doors. If someone knocks on my door I will not just open the door without first knowing who it is. There are some people that I do know and I still would not just open my door or invite them in.

I may share the same zip code as my neighbors, but I do not share the same address.

When my children were small I was even more careful. I took great care to be sure they were safe. I allowed no one into my home who could harm them, be a bad influence on them, or steal from us. As a parent it was my responsibility to be sure my children were safe. And I am just a mere woman. No matter how good of a parent I am, God is a greater Father.  Which brings me to the point of this post…

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If you try to enter a home uninvited… you are a trespasser.

If you do not know the owner of the home… you are a stranger.

If you mean harm against the family in the home… you are a criminal.

If the Judge finds you guilty and throws you in prison… He is just.

There is a half truth circulating that is meant to deceive and to kill you. We all know what a half truth is… it is a lie.  This is how the deceiver tricks you. He tells you a half truth and because you do not know the full truth you will believe it, because it sounds familiar.

Does this sound familiar to you?

“God is love, we are all His children and He would never send anyone to hell. If you believe in God you will go to heaven. It doesn’t matter how you live, He understands.”

This is a very dangerous deception!

Here is the truth…

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Yes! God loves you. He loves all of us, saint and sinner.  If you believe in God then good, even Satan believes in God, but Satan isn’t going to heaven. Satan was thrown down from heaven and a place called hell was created just for him and his followers.

And it does matter how you live! If it didn’t matter then He would not have told us to repent. Of course He understands, that is why He died on the cross for us. Just as He gave His life for us so we may live, we must give our life so we can be born again and live for Him. It is through rebirth we become heirs with Jesus and we are adopted into His family as sons and daughters. His death and resurrection has reconciled us back to the Father and now all that He has is ours. We share in the inheritance of eternal life.

It is only through faith in Jesus Christ we are saved. It is not by being a really good person. There are many “good” people and old grandmothers going to hell. Not because God doesn’t love them or because He is unfair. But because they have chosen to deny Jesus and refuse the free gift of salvation. They are guilty and the penalty for their guilt (sin) is death (hell) and this is a just judgement.

There are many people in prison right now, maybe even on death row, and ex-cons, drop-outs, wash-ups, thieves, unwed mothers, you know… people who would clear a sidewalk; who will be accepted into heaven.  Don’t believe me? Remember the thief on the cross?

No matter how much you think you know… you better know Jesus.

I don’t write this to condemn anyone. Rather, I hope this challenges you to pause and ask yourself, do I know Him? Does He know me?

We all have our struggles. Trust me… no, don’t take my word for it, take His word for it.

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me[following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

No matter where you are, you do not have to stay there. You want peace of mind? Then know you can’t save yourself, no one else can save you either, only He can. No matter how far you have fallen, you can still come home to Jesus.

He is a place of refuge for those who call on Him. He is a good Father and He is preparing a place for you and He will come back and collect His children.

Home with Him is a safe place to be. You have no need to fear. Just as a good father here on earth will not let anything in the home to cause his children harm, you better believe God is even greater!

The next time you hear someone preach salvation without repentance… run from them!

Your best life is not now, your choices do matter, you matter,

If you are truly His then your character will become like His, the fruit of His Spirit in you will be evident. The things you used to do will no longer be appealing to you, because quite simply…. you are dead to the old you and alive in Christ.  With God this is possible.

Listen! We are all HIs creation, but we are not all His children. Many are called, but few are chosen.

If you want to know peace, then you better know Jesus.

Call on Him now while He may still be found.

If you have any questions, or if you want to follow Jesus and just don’t know what the next step is, then contact me or leave a comment and I will be happy to introduce you to Him.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

 

The Fall: A Short Story

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His tactics are stealth and he is sly and shrewd. His jealousy withered away his majestic stature; but his mastery of deception lent him the ability to take on any form.  He speaks into the dreams of the unsuspecting and the minds of the weak. He prays on the souls of the mortal; pushing them ahead, only to set them back. It does not matter the age, the race, the sex, the political party, the wealth – or lack of. What matters to him is winning. Sure, he knows it will be his ultimate defeat, but that does not deter him from collecting trophies.

This is a battle that has been waged long before man walked the earth, before the water and earth separated and the mountains peaked. This war between the created and the Creator has been personal long before mans first name was spoken aloud.

I should have been the chosen one! I am better, stronger, and certainly more beautiful than the rest! I am the bright morning star!” He consoles himself into the blackness of hate and pride. “Pity, no one else recognizes my talents.”

Sure… he is not God, but he wants to be like him; maybe even better. But then God had to go and create this thing… this man;  in His own image no less. The smell of man makes him want to vomit. The very sight and sound of man infuriates him.

Man so innocent, walking around in his own personal garden, as if he owned the place, as if this creation was made just for him.

If he could have his way he would gut him right there. With just one blow he would wipe him away. But man is protected. He has to think of a more subtle way to eradicate him. A blow to man would be a blow to God and this is what he hungers for; to show them all what a mistake it was to throw him down from heaven.

He stands back, hidden in the shadow as he watches man and God walk in the garden deviland talking as if they are friends. He sneers each time he hears them laugh as curses hiss under his breath. As close as man is with God it is going to be nearly impossible for him to get close enough to strike his blow. At least there is only one he has to contend with and the day will come. Just the thought of striking a blow to Gods heart fed his lascivious delusion.

As his hatred grew, his beauty began to wane, and the luster of his precious stones began to dim. He retreats back into the only shadow in the garden, his own. Wrapping his wings around his body to stay the smell and sound of the man; detest wafting around him like a putrid vapor, he watches and waits.

But, wait! What’s this? His ears perk to the sound of something unfamiliar and soft. A gift! God gave the man a gift. Rage boiled inside of him like a volcanic churning. It was an insult to injury.

How could God be so enraptured with these two creatures? Why, compared to him they were small!

Of course God is blessing them! Of course God says they are good! He created them.

Yea, yea, yea, go and multiply and subdue the earth.” He mocks in his own imitation of Gods voice.

He did have to admit the man and woman did have a beauty; perfectly formed. They flowed naturally with each other and with God; the three walking as one.

Three! There can be no more three!” He snarled. “The trinity must be crushed!”

How dare God give this man complete rule over the garden! After all, wasn’t it he that led worship before His throne?

It was me!” He mumbled under his breath. “I was the Cherub that worshipped before His throne. He didn’t even appreciate me. Even with all my beauty and the symphonies of my worship… I am Lucifer! I was the highest in rank! I was even greater than Michael and Gabriel.

Then a smile crosses his lips; he can barely contain himself when he sees his in. Yes!  God created another. Ha! He will have to strike fast.

At first, the thought of any seed coming from the two sickened him. But, then another thought flashes into his mind; he can use the woman to be the downfall to man and then God will not walk with him anymore. Yes! Let God throw man from the garden as easily as He threw him down.

He knows it is not going to be easy, but he will wait.  He will watch for the perfect moment and then he will strike the fatal blow with such precision they will not even know what hit them until it is too late. He waits, watches, and studies the man and woman. He makes note of every instruction God gives to man.

Foolish God!” He laughs. “Does He really believe man will follow orders? Even so, He should have told the woman too, instead of trusting man.

The realization of the free will God gave to man and woman burned within his stomach. The darkness of his heart crept to his mouth, releasing the stench of pride and hatred through his up-curved lips. This is almost too perfect. Why didn’t God protect man better? Surely He has to know his enemy is in the garden with an axe to grind. If He really wanted to protect them He wouldn’t have given them the choice; to obey or not to obey, to love and trust, or rebel.

His disdain for man was matched only by the delight he relished in the thought of getting woman alone. He knows he can’t touch them until they are disobedient because God wants obedience. But, if he could entice a third of the angels to follow him, then surely he can entrap this woman. He only needs to get her alone; temptation always wins in isolation.

“Rebellion works for me.” He laughs. “His creation will worship me and I will be the god of this world!”

At last, opportunity presented itself; woman strayed from man and was alone in the garden. Veiled in deceptive brightness, Lucifer showed himself to the woman as a serpent. Woman did not know fear, she has never tasted it, making it that much easier for him to approach her.

Can it really be true that God has said ‘you shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Lucifer said in his most matter of fact and innocent sounding voice. His pride fluffed with his own cleverness; casting a little doubt can go a long way.

We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden.” The woman answered. “God said, ‘You shall not eat from it nor touch it, otherwise you will die’.”

Ha! This is almost too easy. Lucifer knows exactly what God told man. This little embellishment from the woman to not touch it, is his in.

You certainly will not die!” Lucifer feigned surprise. “For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like Him and you will know the difference between good and evil. Die? You don’t really believe that you will die, do you? I mean, after all, do you think God would kill you?”

The woman looked at Lucifer and then looked at the tree.  It was delightful to look at and the fruit does look good, after all.  He touched her slightly and waited for desire to give birth. He must keep her captivated with the beauty of the tree and not let her become distracted. It was almost too easy.  Man silently watched the woman; his presence hardly noticeable.

You will be wise, just like God.” He whispered, nudging her, tapping the tree with his finger. “See, I touched it and I didn’t dieJust take a little bite, it won’t hurt anything.”

The woman tenderly plucked the fruit, holding it in her hand she turned it side to side. It did look delicious. “Maybe God didn’t really mean we would die if we ate this.” She reasoned. “I will just take a little taste.

Yesss, taste it.” Lucifer urged, glancing around to be sure God was not there. ”Just a little bite won’t hurt.

Adam And Eve002

The woman held it to her mouth and slowly bit. Lucifer could see the juice from the fruit touch her skin. He licked his own lips, the taste of his victory sweet in his mouth.

See, that’s not so bad, is it?” Lucifer chided.

She handed the fruit to the man.

Taste it.” She coerced. “The serpent is right, I didn’t die.

The Bible

The man took the fruit, looked at the woman and serpent, then held it to his lips and bit.

See! I told you you wouldn’t die!” Lucifer laughed.

Instantly shame covered them as they became aware of their nakedness. They hurried to tear leaves from the fig tree and covered themselves up.

Amused, Lucifer took a few steps back to watch, as man and woman were trying to cover themselves. This turned out better than he planned. He was going to have a front row seat to watch God’s heart break. Yes, goodbye man and woman, now they are going to see a different side of God. Let them feel His wrath as He turns against them!

Adam? Where are you?” They could hear God call.

A new feeling began to take hold of man and it caused him to tremble; fear and shame. The man and woman tried to hide, but it was of no use.

Over here, over here, Lucifer wanted to laugh. Your man and woman are over here. His satisfaction swelled knowing what just happened and what is to come.

Bring your angels, God! Tear them to pieces!”  Lucifer thought, but dared not say out loud.

I heard you walking through the garden.” Adam answered, his voice shaking. “I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.

Who told you you were naked?” God said. “Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you not to eat?”

It was the woman you gave me.” The man answered, slightly stepping away from the woman. “She gave me the fruit from the tree and I ate it.”

Lucifer withdrew behind a tree, he was not going to run, he would face God and glory in His fallen creation; but he would do it from a distance, of course.

Then God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

Is that sorrow Lucifer heard in His voice? He expected anger, lightening, or maybe some good ol’ fashion smiting; but sorrow? This is not fair, he pouted, I am far superior than these bones and flesh!

It was him!” The woman pointed at Lucifer. “The serpent tricked me.”

Immediately, Lucifer regretted wanting the front row seat. There is no sorrow in Gods voice towards him. Lucifer knew the smiting is going to strike him hard. He coward back and lowered his head, maybe if he took a submissive stance God will go easy on him. Yet, even with the fear, Lucifer could hardly contain the satisfaction of striking the first blow.

Because you have done this,” God said to the serpent, Lucifer, with lightening in His eyes. “You are cursed more than all the cattle and animals of the field. On your belly you shall go and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between your seed and her Seed. He shall fatally bruise your head and you shall only bruise His heel.”

What seed? How dare God not strike the man and woman down! Why do they get another chance? No, this is not how it is suppose to go!

Then to the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will give birth to your children and your desire and longing will be for your husband and he will rule over you and be responsible for you.”

Then to the man He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree which I commanded you to not eat; the ground is now a curse because of you. In sorrow and toil you shall eat the fruit of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you’ You shall eat the plants of the field by the sweat of your face. You will eat bread until you return to the ground, for from it you were taken, for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Then God made clothes of animal skins for the man and woman and sent them away from the garden. God drove man out from the garden and then stationed a cherubim with a sword with a flashing blade which turned round and round in every direction to protect and guard the entrance to the tree of life.

Guard the entrance and do not let them return.” God said to the cherubim. “He must not eat from the tree of life as well, and live in this fallen sinful condition forever.

God knew from the beginning and He already set in motion the redemption of man. And Lucifer? Well, Lucifer will feel the fatal blow.

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Be Free & Stay Free

 

Are You Saved? Really?

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The pastor at a church I visited yesterday gave a really good message. I will paraphrase because this is a truth we must not ignore.

There are so many who think they are saved, or “Christian,” merely because they said a prayer, or because they attend church. This is a great deception.

I fear because there has been a loss of fear and reverence for the Truth of Gods Word. I cringe because it as though we trample on His blood when we lessen the price He paid for our salvation.

To some, the message of the cross is nothing more than a cheap trinket to be worn on a necklace or a dirty bumper sticker on the back of a car.

First, to the church, I will say… Stop it! Quit raising false converts for the glory of the numbers you receive at alter calls! Preach TRUTH! Quit fearing man and fear God!

To those who think they can say a quick flippant prayer and think “all is well” and you can continue living the life you want without consequence, I say to you…you have no idea what you claim to be saved from!

True repentance leads to a change of heart. You are no longer comfortable living in sin. You will respond to the conviction you feel in your spirit when the Holy Spirit tells you to turn back, stop, don’t do that!

There is a false gospel being preached and it says God loves everyone and He will send no one to hell. This is a half truth. Yes, He loves everyone, if He didn’t He wouldn’t have came down in the flesh and die on our behalf. And yes, He does not send people to hell. But, people are going to hell if they do not repent and receive Jesus as the ONLY way to the Father! Why? Because they choose to.

Jesus said, if you love Me you will keep My commandments.

If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. John 15:15

I wrote a post not too long ago asking, “Does He know you”?

Look, even Satan knows God. He believes in Jesus.

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’ Matthew 7:21-23

Sanctification is a process. But it is a process you must participate in. His grace is sufficient when you struggle, when you are weak, when you fall. His grace helps you back up and puts you back on the path that leads to Him.

This is not a game. Your soul is not worth gambling.

Repent! Get out of the mud and come home! He is calling you!

Quit playing games! If you are not living right, be honest, you know! He created you with a conscience.

There is no greater joy than knowing your name is written in the Book of Life. There is no greater peace than what Jesus gives you. There is NO substitute. No addiction, no relationship, no drink or drug, can compare to what He has for you.

Please, please, please, if this is you, get right while there is still time. Hell is real and Heaven is Glorious!

You were created for so much more than where you are now.

He loves you!

Be Free & Stay Free