Whose Beauty Standards?

March 29, 2016


Christian ladies, put down your Cosmo or whatever else you use as a mentor to tell you what beauty is and how you should look. So many ladies try to match those standards and if they do not they are depressed and may do some pretty drastic things to try and achieve the unnecessary. They nay become anorexic, bulimic and use lots of liposuction or plastic to attain a dream. Even beauty contest winners have parts of their bodies they hate or want to change. Maybe it is time to stop the madness and look at a new standard.

Every morning before you do what you do to make yourself fit the mold of your mentor, look into your mirror and say,

I am a child of the King of Kings and I am being transformed into the image of Christ, I am a princess in the kingdom and my Father wants me to do valiant things for Him this day as I am a warrior princess not, a baby doll one.

Psa 45:13 The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

Man looks on the outside, but the Holy Spirit is making me glorious within, which is the true beauty my Father sees when He sees me. I am clothed in the Holy Spirit and His covering is more . valuable than gold and will draw more people to me for a much greater benefit for them and me than all the beauty tips of this world.

Though I will shower this morning I shall never be as clean as my soul is having been washed in the blood of my Savior Jesus Christ. Though my attire may be of this world, it is drab and vain compared to the glorious armor He has provided me.

I am going into battle today, not a beauty contest. I am equipped within and without in a beauty this world cannot attain so I shall not listen to the world, the devil or even myself to tell me I am anything less than His beautiful child!

With this knowledge of who I really am I go forth in His victory to live out my calling to rescue the ones imprisoned by the dragon and to inspire the saints to the same.

I am Saint (your name) and I will be victorious in His power and His glory for He is my strength and I am Kingdom beautiful! There is no greater beauty, I shall do valiantly and win souls while tearing down the strongholds of satan, I am His! Beware lies for the Truth is bringing you down! Amen and Amen!

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Before all the non-Christians rejoice over the title and think I am going to lambaste Christian families let me assure you that is not the case. If you are going to grow up in a family then a dedicated Christian home is the best place to be.

When I was newly saved, my pastor and I were having a chat and he said, “I wish I had a testimony like you because I grew up in a Christian home and been a Christian since a child. I told him, “You are lucky I don’t punch you in the nose because I would give my right arm to have your testimony. Jesus saved you from going into the pit. He had to pull me out and you do not have the scars or the memories. Be happy! “ Remember, I was newly saved. I don’t punch preachers in the nose though I did have one that I wanted be a part of the Kung Fu fighting scene with him, but that is another story. 😉

While a Christian home living in grace and truth is awesome, it also has its danger. Too often, we rush our children into becoming Christians or some think salvation is handed down like blue eyes and blond hair. Once in Virginia Beach at a Service Men’s center I was talking with a sailor who told me that he was born a Christian. I could not get him to see that he needed to have his own relationship with Christi

Growing up in a Christian home has the danger of this kind of thing more often than we might suppose. When I was a junior in Bible college we had five THB seniors get saved at a conference. These lads were born and raised in good Christian homes. They were schooled in Christian schools from 4K through what was not their fifth year of Bible college. They were about to go out and seek a position as pastors of a Conservative, Bible Believing, KJV toting’ church, yet were as lost as a goose in a hurricane.

Over the years I have heard many similar stories. Men who have been pastors for 30+ years, Sunday School teachers, deacons, and music people getting saved. Serving their hearts out for Jesus and yet not in a true relationship with Him. It is not just Baptists. I grew up a Methodist thinking I was OK because I was baptized as an infant and said a bunch of creeds I did not understand.

My wife was a Lutheran who thought being baptized as an infant was all she needed. I never heard about Wesley riding a quarter of a million miles on horseback preaching you must be born again. My wife never heard the solas of Luther. All we had were tradition, creeds and rituals. Many folks from those groups and others have had issues with being good church members but not saved.

The most glaring story was when a lady told me she was a Lutheran and I replied then you believe what Luther said about sola fide and sola scriptura? She said, “Martin Luther King?” Some preachers have failed to to do their job and that is putting it mildly.

Many knew all the right words, hand shakes, routines and rules, yet they were religious but lost because they had learned everything as a child. Did they go forward to be saved to please parents or grandparents? Did their buddy go so they went with him and said the prayer he did? Maybe the buddy was saved because he was under conviction of the Spirit, but he was not as he was just mimicking what he heard. My theologians friends could militate against everything under the sun, but did not know the Son.

We need to make sure our children truly understand what salvation is all about and that they are truly saved or we make them twice the “child of Hell” we were before we were saved by inoculating them with facts not truly mixed with faith making them resist Holy Spirit conviction to be saved. They may think it is just the devil trying to make them doubt their salvation. He does do that, but in their case it is the Spirit trying to keep them from “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7, Hebrews 4:2)

Do I write this to scare you and cause you to doubt? Yes, and I am unapologetic. There is an obvious dearth of true Christianity in the West and Europe as seen in the Word. I believe it because there is dearth of true Christians and a plethora of ethnic, traditional and misguided people who think they are Christians and not truly born again.

We have too many who grew up with the wrong idea of what Christianity is supposed to be about and hence the mess we see around us. Christian has become a diluted and polluted word. There is no Left and Right in Christianity because we are all supposed to be Ambassadors of His Kingdom and He is not a yea and nay God or a buffet of conflicting ideas. There is only one truth for any issue though that truth may have many applications. He is a God of grace and truth. Neither concept exists properly without the other. Indeed, we can add love and call it a trinity as you cannot have love, grace or truth alone and be right. They are inseparable. We are called to all speak the same thing and not be divided. That fact that there are divisions and opinions shows we are not listening to the Spirit who would unite us around truth as that is part of His mission to lead us into all truth. That is why so many are lost in the Church and cannot reach the lost outside it.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Should you question your salvation? Yes, even if you have been a Christian for fifty years. Better to question and make your calling and election sure than be sure because you were “born a Christian”, raised in a Christian home, said a prayer, completed all the rituals and requirements and end up in Hell. Remember, “Christian” leaders who preached around the world and did many marvelous works and even miracles will be in Hell. (Matthew 7:21-25)

2 Corinthians_13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Some of us who think they need to run the church and resist everything the pastor or board does need to examine themselves. No man or board is perfect but if you have roast preacher and board every time you can there is a good chance you are not saved. Yes, Paul had to fuss at Peter and some pastors are lost, but watch your heart and examine yourselves to see if the Holy Spirit is speaking to you or the flesh and the enemy.

Besides checking for our salvation, we should also examine ourselves to see if the Spirit is really working in us or have we grieved, quenched and resisted Him trying to transform us into the image of Christ. If you are in the faith, then the Spirit should be witnessing to you that you are a child of God and there should be some evidence of His fruit in you. We too often clean to 1 John 1:9 instead of seeking to allow the Spirit to lead us into where He wants us be walking in faith and holiness.

So, Brethren, are you really Brethren? Being raised in a Christian is awesome, but avoid the danger of complacency and false trust. Even if you have had what you consider a Damascus road experience it will not hurt to examine yourself and make your calling sure. At death, it is too late. Maranatha!!


Number 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
If you know that God had promised you something you can count on it. If God gave you a vision/mission/calling it will come about if you trust Him for the timing and how it ultimately looks. if you rush it and mold it according your image and not His you cannot blame Him if it fails or is not as joyous and fruitful as you hoped.
If you know He gave it and you are to let Him shape the promise or vision then hold on to it even though it seems to be not soon coming. Don’t lose the hope/trust you had when He gave it. Hold on to it through Hell and high water for He has conquered Hell and He controls the waves. No devil in Hell can keep it from coming to pass. All it requires is your trust in the God that cannot lie. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
When it is as dark and turbulent as the perfect storm heed the song that says, “just be held.” You are not holding on to Him because your fingers would tire and let loose. He is holding on to you and no one, not even you, can pluck you out of His grasp!
So when people or the devil try to steal the promise from you, smile and say God said it and it shall to pass. They can only harass they cannot change the will of God for you.
Stand strong!
Numbers 6:
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
 

During my meditation and prayer time it came to me that I am not retired, I am in full time ministry! Not in a paying position, but certainly in position for having a rewarding life that is more than pay.

Most of my life, I have been bi-vocational and ministered without pay. The nutty thing about that though is it hurt me when I would seek a vocational ministry. I asked a friend once to tell me what was wrong with my resume or me. His reply was that I did not have enough titles and no vocational salary. Sounds a bit like secular logic. You don’t have enough experience, but how do you get the experience if no one will hire you to get it. I can’t minister to you because I did not have a large salary history, but how do you get that if no one will give you a ministry opportunity with a salary or give you titles?

I figured lack of titles while doing the work would show I am not in ministry for an ego trip. Lack of salary I thought would show I was not in it for filthy lucre’s sake. Silly me. Funny, how we fuss about ministers who have huge salaries, but we look at past salaries to call a pastor. Oy! I think I freaked one church out when I told them that I would come for 10K less and they could use that money to pay off the mortgage. Never heard from them again after that. They probably thought I was crazy or something else was wrong me as no one considers a lower salary. 😉

The up side of that is that no one could say I was in it for money. Even with the few times I received some compensation, I probably lost more money in ministry than I earned from a secular perspective. Indeed, I have given away more of my books than I have sold. Yet, I have always been taken care of so I could do ministry with or without title or salary and that has its advantages as well.

I have seen and heard some crazy things in ministry. Without a salary certainly freed me from folks who think they own a pastor and hold “firing” over his head if he should upset the board, the ladies or whoever. I could preach what I saw as truth and my feelings might be hurt if they ran me off, but my family would not be in trouble financially.
Thus, I think God was preparing me the last forty years for full-time ministry by providing the finances to allow me to retire and be dependent upon Him for what ministry I can do without having to cater to board and congregational whims that may not have any biblical basis, but satisfies their flesh.
Also, I am not limited to any particular position. There are many types of ministries at my church and I am participating in as many as I can. I have my internet ministry which has several forms. I can reach out to other folks as well through my PC skills. I am trying to get a Veteran Peer Support group started. I serve my community through Citizens on Patrol and I’m open to whatever God puts in my path.
Now, some might think I am tooting my horn here, but actually I am trying to inspire everyone, but especially retired folks, to ask God what they can do now that they are able to be in full time ministry rather than just sucking air and eating groceries waiting for the undertaker or the Rapture.
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Pastor Mike Mizell spoke on this passage last night. These dudes all had major issues. None of them would have been people we would have called to do the mission God called them to do. Their resume would have went in the round file. Yet, God did call and use them. These lads prove that there is plenty of room for us.
You can do what you are willing to do and what God wants you to do regardless of education, age, approval of men, financial situations, etc. Health issues only mean you serve in a different capacity than a healthy person.
Do not feel worthy? OK, that attitude can be used far more than thinking you are all that and a bag chips with God lucky to have you. I say this with all honesty, if serving Him had anything to do with my worthiness then my only course of action would be to sit on the back porch sipping tea because I am not worthy of anything I have, especially my wife, or worthy to have done any ministry I have ever done even taking offering or cleaning the church. For years I said in all sincerity that the only reason that I am the Assistant Chief of Sinners is because Paul already took the Chief slot. We are all unworthy, but God said He loves us knowing all our junk, even junk we do not know we have or junk we forgot. Thus He uses imperfect people. Failed? All God has to use are failures as there are no perfect people.
I am afraid we look too much at the super stars or at least so called super stars in the church. We may well be very shocked with some of the folks who get the most crowns and whose lives have the least wood, hay and stubble are people in the background that we never even knew that made the preachers and the worship team more fruitful then they would have been had these people not prayed. The prayers of a child, a blue haired man or woman or that person with the disability that may have affected his/her mind, but his/her spirit was in better communion with God than one of our ministry heroes.

Ask God to show you what He wants to do through you. If He can use me, He can double use you. I have been the one who was not often chosen by men, but like the lads in Hebrews, He used a weak, weak vessel named Ron. Look up and let Him use you!!! Shalom! Maranatha!!!!

Tradition?

March 18, 2016


Tradition? During these holy days, many will be following traditions of men. Some can be dangerous as they can lead people away from the true Gospel. Others muddy the message taking the focus off of Christ.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Jesus was not a big fan of men’s traditions, but very strong on the commandments of God. So many of men’s traditions are just a mess that should be removed from God’s people. Ah, but who can fight with tradition? Indeed, for some it is blasphemy to even suggest that something that is traditional might be an error or just a thing no one even understands why they do it. It is tradition and how dare you try and challenge me to think! Oy!
2Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Traditions or doctrines and practices that are based upon Scripture is another story. If what we do comes straight from Scripture like how and why to baptize or why we have the Lord’s Supper then those traditions are forever. Man did not come up with those and things like them. They came from God.
We have dumped many things that God said we should do throughout the NT as well as doing things we should not because “times have changed” but He does not change so we may be in for a big surprise at the BEMA. Culture changes all the time, but we are to be following the culture of the Kingdom, not the culture of the World.
How I work it out for me is if tradition is truth, treasure it. If tradition is just tradition, trash it. If in doubt, throw it out or seek Scripture and the Holy Spirit to figure it out. If we did this, it would be amazing the changes that would happen in the Body of Christ!
שלי עבור משיחית האחים והאחיות שלי אני מאחל לכם שמחה ושטח פסח לא שמחים פסחא. אתה צודק. הוא כבש הפסח. חן עם שלום יהיה לכם תמיד!

For 40 years, I was a cessationist.Baptist and used this passage as one of my proof texts. Unfortunately, we forgot to follow one of our basic rules for interpretation. In college, they stressed context, context, context. We have taken verse ten out of context.
 
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
 
Verse 10 tells us when all the things mentioned will pass away or fail. “When that which is perfect shall come.” Left alone without verse 12 we might well surmise that which is perfect is a thing. Thus our thought that the Bible being completed with the writings of the New Testament was that which was perfect or complete.
 
However, when you look at verse 12 as a continuation of the topic we see that really that which is perfect is a time frame . We still look through a glass darkly and know in part, which ties back to verse 9. If that which is perfect has come we should no longer know in part. We should know absolutely everything. Seeing we have too many groups of Christians with various beliefs we are obviously not at the time when we will know everything and we will all speak the same thing and are undivided.
 
1Co_1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
 
That which is perfect will not happen until the end of the Millennium when all things are fulfilled and eternity begins. If you were to debate that it happens at the Second Coming, I would concede that it is a possibility, but since there is a 1000 years where we will see Christ on the throne and actively ruling the World in our presence I would submit there may be many things still to learn in that time period. Nonetheless, that time is not now and has not been for the last 2000 years.

Indeed, we still know in part as even in my Bible college I heard various interpretations of a Scripture passage or verse.  Thus even if prophesy is only speaking the Word we are definitely prophesying in part because there are parts of the Scripture that are not yet fulfilled so we have to say it could mean, might mean as we do not know exactly how they will play out in detail.  If perfection had come with the final NT Book being written we would know exactly how everything is going to come together.

At the end of the Millennium prophecies will fail because they will no longer be needed. Everything will then be fulfilled.  Tongues will cease for we will all speak the same language.  Knowledge, as we know it, will vanish because all things will have been revealed and our theologies corrected.  We shall then have our dark glass will removed and we will see face to face.   We will be full grown saints of God and the things we needed in our childhood will no longer be needed. Love will never fail because eternity will be all about God’s love for us and our perfected love for Him.  Faith will exist forever because it means trust and we will still be trusting in Him forever.  Hope or anticipation will survive because we will be anticipating what glorious thing will He do or do for us each “day” of eternity.

Thus cessationists have missed out on many blessings and the power of God in their life due to unbelief and oops theology.  Yes, we do not seek the “showy” gifts or miracles, but rather look to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit dispense the gifts as He chooses.  That doesn’t mean we can tell Him what to dispense or when He can or cannot do that.  He is God.

We believe that God said. “I am the Lord, I change not.” We believe in “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” yet we believe that somehow the Holy Spirit’s mission has changed because we have a finished Bible.  The Bible does not halter or hobble the Holy Spirit, but He will not do anything contrary to the Bible since He had an integral part in writing it.  Not everyone has the same gift and just because you don’t have something don’t deny the Spirit the right to give it to someone else.

Are there fakes out there?  Absolutely!  There are crazy people out there.  That is why you need to try the spirits as John commanded. Jesus tells us that there will be people who did all sorts of things in His name that He never knew and we know that the Anti-Christ will come with lying wonders that are so good that it were possible it would deceive the very elect.  The elect are not deceived because they know the real deal and have discernment by the Holy Spirit.  Don’t let fakes rob you of the real treasure.

I like how Todd White said it. “It’s God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, not God the Father, God the Son and God the Bible.  Without the Holy Spirit you have a closed Bible.  Baptists and other have allowed the Holy Spirit to partially open the Bible to them, but have not allowed Him to open the whole Bible in their lives.

We are no way living in a world made perfect.  What gifts do we not need today?  Doctors have  taken bits and pieces out of our body thinking they are not really needed and fortunately we survive without tonsils and gall bladders, but God put them there for a reason.  The Fall created the problems where they are diseased and need removed.

God gave the gifts to His Body and He does not take them out because He wants the Body completely functioning for His glory.  Cessationists have been playing doctor and telling the Body that something is wrong with various gifts.  Yes, the Body has survived without welcoming and using some of these gifts, but they were given the we might thrive, not just survive.

What gift do we not need if God gave the gifts?  Do we need healed?  Yes!  Would being able to tell a person what illness they have and then heal them make them listen to the Gospel?  Yes!  Would a person who despairs that God loves them be encouraged if we could tell them something about their sin or hurt  as we pray for them knowing that He revealed their issue to us?  Would being able to speak to a foreign atheist in their own language spontaneously get their attention?  Yes.  Would the healing and speaking their language be a miracle?  Yes.  Would these gifts help people to find the truth and not just trust in rituals or the teachings of men?  Yes. Did Paul say that he came to the preach the word not just in word but in power?  YES!  Did not D. L. Moody have a new experience with God after salvation and even preaching that changed his ministry and put power in his messages so he could win a million souls to Christ?  Yes.  Did Hudson Taylor experience years after conversion what he called the “exchanged life” that changed his ministry?  Yes  Do you think you might need such an experience in your life?  I do and I am seeking it.  Call it what you will, “exchanged life”, second blessing, baptism or filling of the Spirit, but the Body needs it especially at this late dark hour in history.

Are you saved if you don’t have some of the gifts or experienced what Moody and Taylor did?  Yes, salvation comes by faith and faith alone.  Yet, God wants us to be lights on a hill not passengers at the station waiting for the Glory bound train.  We are more than conquerors through Him, but we cower and hide like we are defeated behind our church doors.  Todd said, “The Rapture is not a rescue mission.  It is a pickup for the wedding.”

Maybe we need to allow the Holy Spirit to be who He is and not tell Him what He can and cannot do thus quenching, grieving and even resisting Him in our life.  When is the last time you heard Him?  Did you feel a tug to witness or to walk over and offer to pray for someone or give a word of encouragement and you didn’t do it?   You resisted, quenched and grieved Him.  If you resisted these little things it is unlikely you will see Him work in mighty or miraculous ways in your life.

In your own words, tell Him that you are sorry that you have resisted, quenched and grieved Him.  Repent of not letting God be God in your life by allowing the Spirit to move freely in your life so that He can make you like Christ and take you where Christ wants to go in you to do what He wants through you.  You ARE the light upon a hill and the salt of the earth so surrender to God, the Holy Spirit in your walk as your surrendered to God the Father, God the Son and the God the Holy Spirit when you were saved.   Shalom!  Maranatha!

Too Fat To Serve?

March 10, 2016


We were discussing on FaceBook an article by Kirk Cameron, “Is It A Sin To Be Fat?” I have provided the link below for your edification.

D. L. Moody and Charles Spurgeon were both 5′ 9″ tall and weighed 350 lbs. Both won over a million people to Christ. If it is a sin, it would appear that God is not opposed to using such sinners. After all, all He has to use is saved sinners and failures so why would fat be an obstacle He could not overcome?

It is hard to fight genetics, I come from a line of tall and relatively skinny people on my Dad’s side and short chubby folks on Mom’s. You have the Standard American Diet (SAD) that does not help. Man was meant to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, not the furrow of his brow, so you have anxiety or stress eating of the SAD. That is why our great-grandparents could eat six eggs and a half pound of bacon fried in lard as well as grits drowning in butter every day for breakfast and still die old, fat and happy because they worked their tails off in the fields and factories, sitting on their tushes in front of a computer answering calls by rude people. In my college days one of my bosses trying to encourage me to lose weight asked me if I have ever been to the funeral of an old fat person. I said that nearly every old person’s funeral I attended was of a fat person. A few were skinny, but most were fat.

Our whole culture is wrapped around eating. There is Taco Tuesday, Doughnuts and Kolache Fridays at work. A Christian motto is We meet! We eat! We live in a fast society so we eat a lot of fast food. We snack our brains out watching movies or at sporting events. None of that is conducive to being a lean and mean fighting machine.

In other cultures being fat is a sign off wealth and admired. Others think a man is a lousy provider for his family if the wife is not fat. Indeed, the reason many expensive portraits were done in the 1600’s to prove that the reason a man had a skinny wife was not due to his lack of funds or support to her. If a man wanted to boast, I guess he did a portrait of his fat wife. My mother even told me that my dad found her more attractive after she put on weight after having me. She was a skinny doll before that and yet dad liked a full figured woman. The Scripture also says that the liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat. Fat again is a symbol of wealth. In America, even our poor people are fat. Unfortunately, that is because most of the food the poor can afford or choose is full of fat and sugar as well as other ingredients that make you fat,

I am not only old, fat and ugly, but I am not the greatest Christian in the world, yet God has used me in many ways that I did not deserve to be used and in many ways that I was certainly not humanly qualified. Not only did I have a pastoral ministry, but through the Internet I have ministered to people around the world including an MD in Bosnia. So the only limitations are what we put on ourselves.

Men can try to impose limitations. I have been too young and not too old. Too strict and not strict enough. Too educated and not educated enough. Too fat for one place. Could serve if I went on a diet. Yet, as you can see God managed to use me in spite of those limitations by men.

It has been said that the greatest ability is availability. I think that is pretty spot on. I have made myself available and God used me, in spite of my many weaknesses, because no one else would step forward. I have been a Captain many times when I was nothing more than a Private, but the Captains never showed up. ;-(

Just let Pastor or someone know that you are reporting for duty and let God lead you and him to show you your gifts and your place in the army. When you are in your place and exercising your gifts let the haters hate because more than likely the haters are AWOL or a 90 day wonder butter bar with a big head but a small brain. Go get’em, Brothers and Sisters! HOOAH!

Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

Is It A Sin To Be Fat?


Hos 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

God hides Himself when we turn from Him.  He causes or allows affliction so that we will seek Him. When we realize how weak we are without Him then we will seek Him. As one song says “When you’re tired of fighting, chained by your control there’s freedom in surrender. Lay it down and let it go!” Return to Him and seek His grace and the relationship where you listen as He speaks.

Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

Also as one man prophesied in church, “I will move when you want me.”  God will not force you to want Him, but affliction will change your wants if you see the need for Him in that affliction.  David sang about his afflictions and how it led him to keep God’s Word.  He wants to bring us to obedience for our good.  He is not the celestial killjoy as some see Him.  He made the universe and knows how we should live in it with joy and peace.  The deceiver paints God as harsh and uncaring.  If we teach and discipline our children because we love them and want to spare them pain how much more so does a loving Father Creator do the same for us?

Are you afflicted?  Some may have come from God and some from the devil but often most of our affliction comes from self-inflicted wounds.  We turn from God if we know Him or have never sought Him because we think we know better than the one who created us.  Learn from the affliction and turn to Him or turn back to Him.

You may think that too much water has passed under the bridge or that your sins are too great.  David and Jeremiah felt that way.

Psalm 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

Lamentations 3:54 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off.

Yet, what did David also say about sins or iniquities?

Psalm 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

The disciples wanted to count iniquities and felt generous at forgiving seven sins a day, but Jesus had another idea.

Mathew 18

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Even the Old Testament has a 1 John 1:9 for those thought there was no grace in the OT.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

There is room for you in His arms no matter what the sins or the number.  Let your affliction turn you to the one that can heal you and release you into a new life of abundance.  Seek Him and then let His power and Spirit cause you to keep His Word.  You will see things in your life you never dreamed could happen!  Maranatha!!!


Many are concerned about Hell fire. It bothers them that God would make the unsaved suffer for their sins. My personal perspective is that the flames are not the worst part of Hell and may actually be an act of mercy. People are amazingly resilient in physical suffering. People who suffer from pain often have wonderful attitudes and even manage to have joy. People who have gone through torture as POWs or persecution as a Christian often emerge as stronger and with a better perspective on life than those who have lived on easy street.

Yes, physical pain can be managed, in a sense, by the mind and will of the person. However, mental pain is another story, A person can be in the best of physical health and have good surroundings with people who love them and yet be in mental pain that nothing seems to reach. Medicines do not help. Counseling goes nowhere. Love poured out by family and friends rolls off them with no effect. That pain is only mitigated by sleep and sadly even then horrible dreams may disturb that only respite.

Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

Scripture affirms our observations of people in physical and mental pain. In many cases, guilt is the cause of the mental pain. Even in women who have been raped or suffered under an abusive person in their life suffer guilt. They feel they were somehow at fault or deserved what happened to them. It is extremely difficult to get them to release that false guilt.
Guilt over past sins haunts many people, even Christians who know they have been saved from their sins by placing their trust in Christ cannot get over past sins and it only gets worse with any sin they commit because it just unleashes the deluge of past sins in their minds. Some are still functional and others are nearly paralyzed by their guilt.

Dr. Jay Adams recounts incidents where guilt had lead to physical manifestations of the guilt. One lady was actually paralyzed from her guilt of having an affair while her husband was serving overseas. Once she confessed to him and he forgave her it was a “take up thy bed and walk” moment. She had been to doctors who could not find a medical reason for her infirmity because there was none. Once guilt was resolved she was no longer bound physically.

Another man was in a hospital in a catatonic state where he was basically in the “hundred yard stare” that is often used to describe what battle fatigue of PTSD looks like in a person. He was not responsive to anything and so he was just wasting away. One of Dr. Adams’ students sat before the man and just talked about sin and guilt telling the man that unless he confessed he would likely be in that hospital until death. Tears started streaming down the man’s eyes and he started confessing that it started with failing grades in college. The stress from that made him act a little funny and people had pity on him and tried to keep him from being stressed. Well, it just got worse and worse because he used the actions to assuage his guilt of not studying until it got him into this hospitalized state. He did not want to tell his parents that it was his fault he was failing and that just kept the guilt growing and the actions odder. The man was able to leave the hospital after his confession.

Mental pain is far worse than physical. That is what the worst part of Hell will be. You will live your life over and over again for eternity remembering every sin you ever committed and worse every opportunity you had to be saved and rejected it. Indeed, when you get to the part when you stood before the Lord at the last judgment and saw the love Jesus had for you in His eyes that would be the straw that broke the camel’s back sending you into insanity if it were possible.

Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Hell was made for satan and his angels. We do not think of spirits being able to feel pain, but God can create a fire that will cause them “physical pain”. Their mental or guilt pain will be far worse than any human because they dwelt in Glory and indeed, satan was the covering angel so their guilt is exceedingly great.

Yet, in humans that fire may be God remembering mercy in the midst of His wrath as Habakkuk requested. The physical pain may well be a means of mitigating our mental pain. It may distract us somewhat and even occasionally giving a brief respite from our worst pain. Since our guilt, in a sense, not as great as the fallen angels in that we have never been in Glory as they were and rejected Him, He may have some mercy on us making our time in Hell not as bad as theirs. Still, whatever our level or intensity compared to theirs Hell will still be Hell.

As eye has not seen nor ear heard the things the Lord has in store for those love Him we can say the same thing about what He has in store for those that rejected His mercy and salvation. As Heaven will be so far more glorious than we could ever imagine so also Hell will be worst than anything we can imagine and the human mind is very good at dreaming up horrors either for story purposes or actually performing those thoughts on people and even themselves.

Friend, if you are plagued by guilt then you need to seek the only one who can forgive and cleanse you of that guilt. He can heal you of that pain. He came to set you free because He loved you. He must judge sin and Jesus bore that judgment for you on the Cross and rose again to show that His blood paid the price. You cannot pay it yourself. Be not foolish like satan who basked in God’s glory and love yet rejected it. There are hypocrites in the church, but don’t go to Hell with them. Look to Jesus, not those who claim to know Him. You come to Him and know Him. He will deal with the hypocrites, but let Him love and teach you.

My Brothers or Sisters in Christ, are you plagued by guilt as well? Jesus paid for every sin of the world, from the first to the last. When you can to Him for salvation He forgave all your sins past, present and future. He did not buy a pig in a poke. He knew you from eternity past. He has seen every sin in your life. He did not forgive you and then later was surprised by whatever sin(s) plague you most. Confess them, meaning say the same thing He says about them, and seek His grace to go and sin no more, but do not allow the devil to rob you of your joy and your fellowship with the Father. Satan will remind you constantly of your sins and failures to torture you and paralyze you from serving because you are not deserving. He is right in that we did not deserve salvation, sanctification or even a kind thought from God. Yet, He loves us and it is about Him and not us. It is a cliché to say when the devil reminds you of your past remind him of his future, but it is a good place to start to defeat his lies. Indeed, the Cross is God remembering mercy in His wrath over sin. No human should have ever been forgiven or entered into Heaven because of our sin. We all deserve to be in Hell. Don’t let the devil make this life Hell for you because he knows he can’t take Heaven from you. Take your sin and guilt to Jesus.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Hebrews_7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Romans_8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

If you are saved, there is no condemnation. Unsaved friend, now is the time to be saved and be freed from your sin and guilt. After that, it is only the devil that condemns you and yourself if you let him. Hear that, brethren? Only you and the devil condemn you. Jesus loves you and intercedes for you. His intercession or prayer is NEVER answered no by the Father. If no one else prays for you, Jesus and the Holy Spirit does and they are better than any humans praying for you. Even when you are so burdened that you cannot pray for yourself the Holy Spirit steps in for you. It does not get any better than that!

Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly and to escape Hell fire and the fiery darts of the wicked one who would make life Hell for us here. His arms are wide open. Whatever your need walk into those arms and just rest in His embrace! Hallelujah! Maranatha!