A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart

art beach beautiful clouds

“…forgiving one another just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:32

 

Forgiveness must be the ultimate stumbling block to peace. It certainly is the primary factor in claiming your salvation. We seem to be programmed to always have the need to be right or we could humble ourselves to live in peace with one another. I mean look at the world today! It seems to be a contest between me and the other fellow, my way is better than your kind of living. This only leads to failure on all sides, let alone chaos.

Where would you and I be today if God hadn’t provided the way for our forgiveness? Even in the face of all that’s going on today—God forgives. He sent His Son—His own flesh—to teach us the way to forgiveness. He gave Himself up on the cross saying; “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He pronounced forgiveness for the very people who nailed Him to the cross. And, might I also say, He extends that forgiveness to you and me. Yes, from the cross, two thousand plus years ago, He forgave us!

Yes, I know it is hard! Believe me, I walk that road also. But, I also know how rewarding it is to finally let go of the burden of remembering that so-n-so that was mean to me and hurt me deeply. Remember how Jesus looked as He carried that heavy cross on His back up through the Via Delarosa toward the hill of Mt. Calvary? He could hardly stand, in fact, He fell to His knees a couple of times. That is the weight that we feel when carrying the cross of Unforgiveness on our backs. Just as the man from Cyrene lifted the heavy cross from Jesus’ back, Jesus wants to lift the burden of Unforgiveness from your back and mine. Jesus’ says, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

Think about it, what are you gaining by holding on to your anger—not forgiving your spouse, your friend, your neighbor, your brother or sister or whomever? You are losing. Losing your peace, your health, and most of all your relationship with your Heavenly Father. There is only one way out of this terrible dilemma you have gotten yourself in—yes, you no one else—bow your head; get down on your knees; look up to the heavens—however, you feel it’s best for you. But, in any case, open your mouth and speak to God saying:

“Father, change my heart that it may be in tune with Yours. Forgive me and help my Unforgiveness. I want to be free to love and be loved. Let me put aside my Unforgiveness and never walk this way again. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

God will hear you in your sincerity.

Now go in peace! And remember God loves you.

Ephesians 4:32   Matthew 11:30   Romans 2:4   Psalm 25:11

 Mark 2:5   Colossians 3:12-13

A Change of Heart

“…forgiving one another just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:32

broken heart love sad

Forgiveness must be the ultimate stumbling block to peace. It certainly is the primary factor in claiming your salvation. We seem to be programmed to always have the need to be right or we could humble ourselves to live in peace with one another. I mean look at the world today! It seems to be a contest between me and the other fellow, my way is better than your kind of living. This only leads to failure on all sides, let alone chaos.

Where would you and I be today if God hadn’t provided the way for our forgiveness? Even in the face of all that’s going on today—God forgives. He sent His Son—His own flesh—to teach us the way to forgiveness. He gave Himself up on the cross saying; “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He pronounced forgiveness for the very people who nailed Him to the cross. And, might I also say, He extends that forgiveness to you and me. Yes, from the cross, two thousand plus years ago, He forgave us!

Yes, I know it is hard! Believe me, I walk that road also. But, I also know how rewarding it is to finally let go of the burden of remembering that so-n-so that was mean to me and hurt me deeply. Remember how Jesus looked as He carried that heavy cross on His back up through the Via Dolorosa toward the hill of Mt. Calvary? He could hardly stand, in fact, He fell to His knees a couple of times. That is the weight that we feel when carrying the cross of unforgiving on our backs. Just as Simon of Cyrene lifted the heavy cross from Jesus’ back, Jesus wants to lift the burden of unforgiving from your back and mine. Jesus’ says, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

Think about it, what are you gaining by holding on to your anger—not forgiving your spouse, your friend, your neighbor, your brother or sister or whomever? You are losing. Losing your peace, your health, and most of all your relationship with your Heavenly Father. There is only one way out of this terrible dilemma you have gotten yourself in—yes, you no one else—bow your head; get down on your knees; look up to the heavens—however, you feel it’s best for you. But, in any case, open your mouth and speak to God saying:

 

“Father, change my heart that it may be in tune with Yours. Forgive me and help my unforgiving. I want to be free to love and be loved. Let me put aside my unforgiving and never walk this way again. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

God will hear you in your sincerity.

Now go in peace! And remember God loves you.

 

Ephesians 4:32   Matthew 11:30   Romans 2:4   Psalm 25:11

 Mark 2:5   Colossians 3:12-13

Changing Times

“…pain will exist no longer…” Revelation 21:4

close up of hands holding baby feet

Change sometimes happens slowly and sometimes quickly, but change is inevitable. Many of us are most comfortable with the “same old, same old,” but things cannot stay the same forever! For one thing, from the time of your birth you are growing and with the growing comes change. You change from a baby that cannot sit, stand, walk or even feed yourself—totally dependent upon another human being—you are changing from total dependence to independence. As you get older, change becomes more difficult, but it still happens.

Today change has come upon us in a blink of an eye. One day we were all rushing around going to work, shopping, partying, and going pretty much where we wanted. And the next day we are ordered to stay in our homes and keep our distance from one another. All because of an unseen enemy, an evil force that no one can see. It feels good for a while; it gives us a time to rest and re-connect with our families and with God. But, this too is only temporary—it will pass.

The one unchangeable element in our lives is “love.” God has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and loves us in spite of our sin and disobedience to His word. In this time of change—the likes of which none of us has seen before—know that you are not alone. God is right there with you and light will come out of the darkness. God always works all things for good (Romans 8:28). Open the eyes of your heart and wait patiently for the Lord—blessings are on the horizon. God’s love is the one thing that is unchangeable in this life and the next. The best is yet to come.

Dear Lord, thank You for loving me—undeserved as I am. I do not know what you have planned for me today, but whatever it is, help me to walk confidently knowing that You love me and will NEVER leave me nor forsake me. I am not alone! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

[Nothing] will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

2 Corinthians 13:12   Genesis 1:27   I John 3:2

 

Be Patient In Waiting

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57

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Waiting is a fact of life. But who among us likes to wait? We wait in line; we wait for a phone call; we wait for someone to answer when we call; we wait at the doctor’s office, even though, we have an appointment; we wait for the traffic light to change; etc. We wait every day for all these things and more, but when it comes time to wait for the Lord’s direction, we can’t do it. What do we do? We take matters into our own hands and expect God to bless it!

A while back, every Saturday night, we watched a TV program on the British Broadcasting Network. The program was entitled “Waiting For God.” It was about a nursing home—two of the residents in particular—a man and a woman. The show was about how they spent their later years in this nursing home, waiting for God. They had lived their lives to the fullest, and now waiting was all they had left. It was quite sad, however. Their life became one of uselessness—in their minds—and they spent their days sitting on their respective porches or fighting with the administrator or listening to their family tell them what they should or should not do.

What I’m trying to tell you is this: the most productive waiting that you can do is waiting upon the Lord. Today we are all waiting for the Coronavirus to be defeated. We sit behind our doors, as we need to stay away from each other so the virus will not spread—and wait. Every single person needs to take part, it is called responsibility. Yet, there are still many who fall short, are too anxious, and refuse to wait. In other words, they continue to travel, shop, and gather in large groups. If the experts cannot get a handle on defeating this virus, the people who did not follow the rules will be the first to complain.

Even though it may not seem it at the moment, the Lord God has everything under control. At the beginning of each day, it would help immensely to repeat over and over again, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) and let Him lead you through your day. May you be a sweet fragrance to God.

Dear Lord, help me to live as though I believe. Give me strength to wait for the blessing that will come at the end of the storm, In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Romans 8:37   John 16:33   I Corinthians 15:57   Galatians 2:20   Ephesians 5:2   Revelation 1 :4b, 5

Be Quiet

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1

photo of child reading holy bible

Amazing and awesome is the Word of God! I have always interpreted the phrase “Be still and know that I am God,” in Psalm 46:10, to mean I should quiet my mind that I may hear God speaking to me—end of story. It is that, but also so much more.

This morning I was amazed, and dare I say after all the years, had my eyes opened to a new and exciting revelation! I do my meditations using the Holman Christian Bible—in it I read these words from Psalm 46:10:–“Stop your fighting and know I am God…” not, “be still” but “stop fighting!” This caused me to read the whole Psalm and several commentaries on those verses. This is what I discovered:–

  1. I was reminded that God, and God alone, is our refuge and strength. He is a help that has been proven to be a reliable stronghold in the past. Therefore, even the great hold evil has on the nations today, you and I need not fear because God has our backs.

 

  1. In contrast to the raging environment there is a peaceful river of supply in God’s sanctuary that produces life.

 

The river that the Psalmist speaks of is symbolic of the river of life flowing within us which is the Holy Spirit. Further, it is believed that there is a subterranean water supply that is the source of various pools in Jerusalem. This unseen river becomes the symbol of the inner life, grace, and joy that only God gives. In verse 4 of Psalm 46, the river actually refers to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which flows to and brings life to every member of the church (believers) also “the city of God.” This river is referred to God the Father (Jeremiah 2:13), God the Son (Zechariah 13:1), and God the Holy Spirit (John 4:14; 7:38).

 

  1. The enemy will attack. In Psalm 46:5, that time is referred to as “the break of day.”

 

  1. As it is true of today—“The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! (46:5) But, even above all that violence God’s voice can be heard, if we will stop fighting and listen!

 

  1. It brought me to the story of Hannah in I Samuel who was crying out to God because of her barrenness. God moved on her behalf, but also advanced His larger plan through her. His heart was breaking for the barrenness of Jerusalem for it was a season of spiritual need and little prophetic activity. God used Hannah’s voice to speak on His behalf to the people. God’s voice can come from a most unsuspecting place.

 

  1. God will act in His time. Psalm 46:8 tells us that God will destroy the evil that lurks on the earth. He may allow it to continue for a time which will bring persons to Him who have not known Him, but in the end He will act and peace shall reign.

 

  1. Be still—stop fighting—(vs 10)—God addresses the wicked warring nations with a warning—“cease and desist; it is I, God, who will be exalted in victory; you do not have a chance of winning.”

 

God spoke to me today through the words of the Psalmist. He can do the same from you. He is standing at the door of your heart knocking, waiting to come in and sit at your table with you. (Revelation 3:20) But, you need to open the door and invite Him in. Your body is the temple of the Lord and there is a river that flows therein—that river is the Holy Spirit. “Be still”—“Stop fighting” against God and fight WITH God as a member of God’s army.

 

Father come and dwell within me. It is not about me, but all about You. Give, me peace that I may live. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Psalm 46:10: 100:3   Isaiah 2:11, 17   Ezekiel 47:1   Genesis 2:10   Revelation 22:1

Darkness Over The Land

“Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.” Matthew 27:50

orange moon in the sky

It seems like yesterday that Jesus was walking among the people healing and giving encouragement to everyone who would listen. Yesterday He gathered His disciples together in the Upper Room for their last supper together. They were all there: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas son of James, otherwise known as Thaddaeus, and Judas Iscariot. (Luke 6:13-16) They were all there around the table.

Jesus took the bread and broke it indicating that it represented His body. He took the cup and passed it among the 12 saying it was His blood that was shed for them that their sins might be forgiven. The disciples were mystified! What did Jesus mean?

However, there was one among them who Jesus knew would betray Him. He told the group that one of them would in fact betray Him on that very night. They looked at each other wondering, “Who could it be?” Amazing isn’t it how we always seek to blame someone? In fact, Judas Iscariot left rather quickly—so they knew.

Then, Jesus and the Disciples went to the garden to pray. He left eight of them at the entrance telling them to wait. He took Peter, James and John on into the garden with Him leaving them beside a tree and told them to stay awake as He went a little farther. He fell face down and began to pour out His heart to His Father in heaven. He knew what He had to do in just a very short time. He cried out, “My Father!” (You can almost hear Him on that dark night so long ago.) “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” (Father, is there any other way We can save these people…?) “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) Jesus bowed down to His Father’s will and conceded to give Himself up to the torture and humiliation that was to come because of the Father’s love for His people. The end will justify the means! Yesterday’s gone, today is Friday.

The next day He had a trial of sorts that resulted in Him standing above a crowd that had gathered in the square. Pilate and the soldiers present Him and a thief named Barabbas to the crowd—they were going to be the judge. Some instigators were among them encouraging the crowd against Jesus. So that when they were asked which one should they release they shouted “BARABBAS!” When asked about Jesus they shouted, “CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM!” (Matthew 27:22, 23/John 19:15) The map was drawn.

The soldiers put a robe on Jesus and a crown of thorns was jammed down on His head so that droplets of blood began to flow. They flogged Him to an inch of His life and marched Him through the streets carrying His own means of crucifixion on His back. Finally, after arriving at the place, they nailed Him to that very cross and raised Him up for all to see. A hush came over the crowd as, I think, they were beginning to become aware of what they had allowed to happen.

Blackness came over the land. Jesus hung there not saying a word accept to answer one of the thieves beside Him when he asked forgiveness saying, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” Then one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear causing blood and water to gush from His side. (John 19:34) Jesus endured insult and injury during His last days on earth. Then came the end. The ground quaked; the heavens rumbled; lightning flashed; and the curtain in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies, tore from top to bottom opening the way for forgiven sinners to come to Him. For Jesus had shouted just before the end, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!” (Luke 23:34)

Father, today we remember once again the great sacrifice You have made for your children. There is no way to repay You but to love You with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul and to love each other. Your will be done. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Matthew 27   John 19   Luke 23

A Cry For Help

closed eyed man holding his face using both of his hands

“Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me…” Psalm 86:1

 

These are uncertain days for our country, indeed, for the world. God’s creation is moaning and groaning, wreathing with the pain of sickness and death. People are staying in their homes, keeping away from each other trying to stop the spread of this evil called Coronavirus. This could be called World War 111—the war that we have been dreading for a long time now. However, it could be said that we never expected to be facing an unseen and unknown enemy. It is hard enough to fight an enemy that you know and see, but this is unprecedented. How do we fight it? Let us turn to the Psalms for some Godly wisdom.

The Psalmist—mostly David who had sinned greatly in the sight of the Lord, and had enemies (some he did not know) cries out to God for help and forgiveness, in repentance. Here is where we find ourselves today. We are in a fight for our lives! We need to assess where we have been and where we want to be going. Today is the day of salvation. Do you not see it?

Psalm 86 is a Psalm of supplication for help against enemies. This virus, although it cannot be seen, is our enemy. It is against everyone—the young, old, rich, poor, no matter what nationality, or party you belong to, or color, or creed—we are all in this together. And there is only one way to fight it and win this war—TOGETHER.

David writes, “All nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” (Psalm 86:9) God is faithful. He is, was, and ever shall be. “I am the Alpha and the Omega” says the Lord God, “who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8) The only way to win this war is to come together as one—united we stand, divided we fall. Put away prejudices and haughty ideas and humble yourselves before the Lord. I say again, today is the day of salvation!

Jeremiah writes: “Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (33:3) The Psalmist writes, “In the day of trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.” (Psalm 86:7) Remember God loves you. He knew you before you were born; He knew you before you were in the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) He will never forsake you nor leave you. (Hebrews 13:5) So therefore, when you humble yourself and bow your knee to honor His Holy name, “Steadfast love and faithfulness WILL meet; righteousness and peace WILL kiss each other. Faithfulness WILL spring up from the ground, and righteousness WILL look down from the sky. The Lord WILL give what is good and our land WILL increase.” (Psalm 85:1-10)

Together—you, me, and the Lord—we will win this war and defeat the enemy. With the Lord’s help we will kick ole-sloo-foot in the butt and send him yelping back to his cave. Amen? Amen.

Father, I know—I feel, that You are about to reveal Yourself to me, and all who believe, in a great and mighty way. May we recognize each other when that Great Day comes. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Further reading:

Psalm 85   Psalm 86   Habakkuk 3:2

I Will

“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.” Psalm 85:10

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The way I see it, the Lord had no choice but to allow evil to enter His land. We were an accident waiting to happen. The whole world was spinning out of control and things kept going faster and faster. We walk fast, talk fast, and technology allows us to do several things at once (multitasking)—faster. Until suddenly God put the brakes on and stopped His world.

Now Evil roams God’s world seeking to devour ALL the people. And, for a time, he will be allowed to do so, but not forever.

All of this has forced us to slow down and take a look around us. Those whose eyes are open will be able to see the blessings that they have been given. Blessings such as family—children and grandchildren; homes– we have been offered the chance to love and be loved. We now can take time to absorb all of this and much, much more. Take time to be His!

Looking back you should be able to see the handwriting on the wall. As they say, “Hindsight is revealing.” But what must we do now? All the clues were there:-our civilization as become rich with many, many resources at our fingertips, which have become god to too many people. And, if we read our Bible, we know that doesn’t work—at least, not for long.

This has separated families—we barely speak to each other anymore. Now, since in some places you are forced, under law, to stay in your homes, you must speak to each other. If you are to survive, you must talk to and interact with each other. At the end of this time—and THERE WILL BE AN END—you will have come to know and love each other, recognizing the great gift you are to each other.

This morning I turned to Psalm 85, and realized that even though it was written centuries ago, in another time and place, it applies to us now. Turn to Psalm 85 now and read through it slowly and meditatively, asking the Holy Spirit to give you understanding and wisdom. I believe that you, just as I, will find encouragement and hope in the words of the Psalmist. And perhaps, you will fall on your knees and ask God to forgive you and our land, after which, He WILL restore you and give you peace. Note how many times God says, through the pen of the Psalmist, “I will.”

 

Father, I pray for the restoration of the world. Great evil has been allowed to come into it because of our complacency and selfishness. Yet, You call us to confess and repent of our sins. You are calling us to “Believe.” If we do, You promise to forgive and restore us to your peace. Even so, Lord Jesus, may Your will be done. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Besides Psalm 85 read the following:

Haggai 2:9   Zechariah 9:10/2:5   Isaiah 46:13   John 1:14

(I am hoping you will take the time to read God’s Word—it will be rewarding)

Almost Time

agriculture brown country countryside

“…Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.” John 4:35

My Dad knew when it was time to ready the field, plant the seed, and harvest. He knew the signs of each season. The thing, however, that he could not predict was the weather. There could be too much rain or not enough rain. Too much sun or not enough sun. All of which could throw off his schedule. Even at those times he had someone to alert him when bad weather was coming—the weatherman. Only if he did not heed the warnings, would he fall into disaster.

The world is in great disorder and chaos at the moment of this writing. In order to fight the “Evil” that is lurking everything has come to a halt. They have given “evil” a name—it is called “Coronavirus or Covid 19.”

Recalling the steps that brought us to this point you can see the subtlety in which evil was working. You can see the acuteness, the penetration of minds and the delicacy of discrimination. There was great revelry in all corners of the world. There was lively and noisy festivities; large crowds gathered together; no consideration to others. Our government was battling it out on a daily basis, seemingly without concern of each other’s feelings. No one was doing the job that they were called to do. As this world spun out of control, there was only one way to stop it—unleash evil!!

Today we have been forced to pay attention to each other—to supply each other’s needs. Businesses have shut their doors, schools are closed; in some cities no one is allowed out unless for food or medication; we are in a state of disaster. However, in the midst of all this, “the fields…are ready for harvest.” (John 4:35)

There has never been a time when people were more ready to be introduced to the salvation of the Lord. Paul wrote to the Christians (the believers) of Thessalonica telling them that the fields are ready for harvest. It was time to witness to the unbelievers, telling them that no matter what they had done, no matter what horrible sin, if they turned to the Lord He would receive them and forgive them. For you see, things are going to get worse and many will succumb to fear and be lost—only the Lord can save you now.

I may sound like an evangelist or a fundamentalist, but what I am saying is true. Only those who are children of God will be saved. And the only way to become children of God is to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) It is a misnomer that every living human being is a child of God. Just being born does not make you a child of God! Come to the Lord before it is too late. So, “put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” (I Thessalonians 5:8b) “Put on the whole armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Dear Lord, may whoever reads what I have written be compelled to read Your word and seek Your face. It is harvest time. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

ALERT

closed eyed man holding his face using both of his hands

Hello Church,

I feel that something very significant needs to be said, even though, we may not want to hear it. I think everyone is able to acknowledge its existence. We need to get our heads out of the sand…we are not Ostriches.

Whether we like it or not we are in a battle—a spiritual battle. Paul writes in Ephesians, “…our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 MEV) Indeed, Satan has taken a foothold on all of creation.

One thing is very evident, we need to gather together in prayer to the One who holds the keys to heaven. Surely you can see the battle taking place. The question is which side are you going to be on? To not acknowledge the gravity of the situation is to be on the side of evil. All you need to do is look around you. People are shooting each other; they are coming together in mobs because of their frustration; our government is divided and would rather be seen as right than do the job they were elected to do, they fight like a bunch of children who haven’t grown up yet; and maybe worst of all, Satan has infiltrated the church causing divisions within them. Divided we fall, but united we stand.

The word Satan is not heard in very many churches today. We need to be aware of his presence. Do not give him room to work his wiles. He will charm you and court you and con you, but DO NOT fall for it. More is needed than to sit in the pew on Sunday. We need—I’ll say it once again—to gather together in prayer. We need to stop being ashamed of being seen praying in public. We need to teach our children the power of prayer at an early age. What a shame, for some that has already been lost.

Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged. Put on the full armor of God—live according to the truth; make sure your heart is right with God; spread peace not unrest; stand firm in your faith; guard your mind with the Word of God and in your hand carry the mightiest sword of all the Holy Bible. Then wrap it all together by praying in the Spirit for yourself, your family, and the world.

Remember these words spoken to Solomon conditioning him against the evil that is to come and giving him the prescription for surviving…God said,” If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 MEV)

GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!

Thank you for listening…now let’s get busy and do something about this!

 

II Chronicles 7:14   II Chronicles 6: 26-42