The Alligator

I watched a video that promised to be a real shocker. A large alligator was sunning in a high bank and a tourist boat came up close to the bank to observe him. One person was filming and many of the tourists were up close to look more closely at him. Suddenly the big gator made a lunge and landed right in the boat with them! The end of the video was a bit out of focus as everyone was running for their lives. It would be quite feasible that that old gator could grab one of them and drag them off with him.

When we get our focus off the Lord the enemy will jump right in with us. He is hungry for anything he can drag off with him. Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy. All three is his goal.

Oh beloved, two things come to mind this morning.

When we see believers “falling away” from their faith we can know they have been enticed by the enemy and he has drug them off. We just see a person saying I believe I’ve seen a new truth. But what is really going on is pure Carnage. We get fearful and run for our lives but it’s not time to point the finger; rather it’s time to pray and intercede for those who are swept from the Truth because God loves them!

Secondly, God reminds me that we are carried away ourselves when we get our eyes off Jesus. We see marital strife but the enemy is trying to pick that marriage down to the bones. We see addiction but the enemy is luring them to the edge with promises that they can’t live without his junk. You get the picture. We want what we want but the devil himself wants to drag each of us away.

All the time Jesus is praying, Holy Spirit is wooing and God is calling us back to Him. God wants us to refocus our eyes to see ourselves and others with pure love. Pure love always seeks to equip, encourage, restore, redeem and save.

God loves you and He’s for you. Whatever you are going through know that the devil wants to destroy you. But God wants to deliver you. Get your mind on Jesus, turn back to Him, give Him your situations. Praise, worship and intimate relationship with Jesus are weapons you have to keep from being drug off the boat. Run to the Lord this morning and thank Him for your faith. And ask Him to give you fresh insight for others around you. And live, pray, love and help in the Light is His unfailing love.

James 1:14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

Deuteronomy 11:16 Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.

Matthew 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

Romans 8:34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

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Friends and Faith

Do you ever have one of those days when you feel like the fly instead of the fly swatter? When you feel like the dam has burst and the drowning has begun? I had one of those days yesterday. I could not pull myself out of the funk. Just so happened that a friend stopped by to ask me something and she ended up giving me a lift up. Isn’t that timing? Then when I got home I was standing at the kitchen bar thinking about supper and God spoke to my heart and enlightened me on part of the problem.

Did you know God loves us so much that He will send friends? And He will just speak to our hearts if we can’t figure it out? How important to have friends in faith and a listening ear for God’s Voice.

Oh beloved, God longs to pour Himself out to you. He longs to give you something to hang onto when things get unfair and the reality of things get a bit much. He will send you someone to lift you up. They will speak the truth in love and maybe even say something prophetic that you should hearken to. Sometimes they might just give an opinion, but God sent them to lighten your load.

And sometimes when no one else is around and you can’t find the rope to pull yourself up He will come and speak and perform wonders just for you! What does He want you and I to remember in the very hard, deeply moving, incredibly sad days? He speaks wisely and confidently over you beloved! He says you may be pouring buckets of tears now but you will end up with shouts of joy! He says life is tough but in Christ you are tougher. He says you don’t understand all He is doing now, but you will. He says every prayer you pray, even the ones where you feel it’s foolish, impossible and futile, is beautiful music to Him. You will never ever go without His Presence, even if friends don’t come to your aide. In the silence, in the aloneness, this is your proving ground. You are learning to lean completely on the Lord. You have rights as a believer – the right to be comforted in your mourning, to dance in your weakness, to be joyful in trials, to have courage when you are fearful… and oh so much more!

God loves you and He’s for you. Your today is being worked out for good by the King of the Universe! Your life is hemmed in the sacrifice and resurrection of the Savior of the World! And you are given the okay to wake up today by indwelling Holy Spirit – the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Run to your Abba Father this morning and listen to His voice – He will never lead you wrong. And live the thankful life walking in the Word and knowing you will be okay every single day of your life!

I Peter 1:6-7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Romans 8:38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

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Where Did You Get That Idea From?

“Momma, am I ba-dopted?” Those words came from our then 6-year-old daughter. First thing I asked her was, “Where did you get that idea from?” Evidently, she had heard about adoption at school. She must have thought she’d better ask to make sure.

Oh beloved, aren’t we like that? We hear something along the way and we assume that means us. We walk with the chatter of the world in our ears. Sometimes it’s the chatter of people. Someone might unwittingly put a word on you and you carry it into your adult life. Worthless, useless, dumb, weak, hopeless, and more…

God says this morning “Where did you get that idea from?” If you hear words that put down, hurt your heart, make you feel less than or not enough, those words aren’t from Him! It’s time to put away the things that don’t line up with His Word and His character. If you don’t know His Word you won’t know His character. Then you are susceptible to every wind of hate speech, misinformation and worldly facts. You, beloved, belong – you are attached or bound by birth, allegiance, and dependency. You aren’t just saved for heaven and left to fend for yourself in this upside down, God denying world. You are the living epistle of Christ’s redemption, mercy, grace and love.

You are His! You don’t have to succumb to the things that the world craves – fame, power or position. You are no longer a victim of your circumstances. You are now a victor with the Sword of the Spirit as your constant companion! What if things don’t go well? What if you think God has given up on you or that He has walked off and left you? These thoughts aren’t from God! It’s time to review the truth about you in Christ and start speaking it over yourself!

God loves you and He’s for you! Even if you harbor feelings of guilt, remorse, inadequacy or failure you have an Advocate! Run to the Lord this morning, get out the Word and check His truth and see what needs to be thrown out! And live, beloved believer, in the Light of the TRUTH and His love!

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.

Ephesians 4:24 And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I Thessalonians 5:5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness

Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.

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Ain’t No Grave!

One of the songs Sunday was “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down”. It’s written and sung by one of our favorite teams Cageless Birds. Love it!

As they were singing up front I heard the Lord speak to my heart – there are more graves than just the grave of death. This morning He talks about the graves and He wants us to know. Keep in mind that a grave is anything that doesn’t line up with what God says about His own.

Oh beloved, don’t allow yourself an early grave. Don’t let the enemy put you there prematurely. The graves in life can shut God’s people down and render them useless for the Kingdom.

There’s the grave of lost hope and expectations. When we believe that it’s over and there’s nothing left for us to do we face the cruelty of life being over. Too old is often used as a trick to get you out of your calling. You beloved, no matter your age, are still living for Jesus. So live!

There’s the grave of guilt. It’s an especially hard grave because guilt is condemnation without release. It’s false. There is no condemnation for you if you are in Christ Jesus. Guilt is embarrassment not repentance. Guilt is shame that wants to bury itself. But you have the grace and mercy of the Lord and you are released from penalty!

There are so many graves it would hold a book. But you beloved, are going to learn the difference between the enemy’s graves and the Lord’s life-giving blessings! No more sorrow, no more fear, no more dead works, no more secret sins, no more confusion, chaos or worry. All these things lead to an early grave while you are still living!

God loves you and He’s for you. This is your key to supernatural life! This is your key to abundance! This is your flag to wave you beyond the grave and on to Kingdom living! Run to the Father this morning and let Him speak His life into your grave areas. And then come out from that grave and release those shackles and live in the Light of God’s Glorious Mercy and Grace!

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.

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

Hebrews 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.

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You Win

We had a great time bowling with the grands and their mom on Friday. We had a last hoorah for the school year just starting tomorrow. Our scores were not very high, but we laughed and had a good time. After the kiddos went home the next day, the weekend brought lots of sadness with it. A good friend whose wife I’ve known since I was a kid, had a serious motorcycle accident. His life has been spared but it is forever changed. My cousin that is quite ill is spending a few days in the nursing home. Okay, that’s not so bad, unless you visit with him. His disease leaves him unable to do a single thing and even communicating is difficult. Sunday morning brought the worst news of all – one of Danny’s cousins committed suicide.

Kind of makes you feel like you are the pins in a bowling alley. Knocked down and the enemy wants you to know he wants his score to be high.

Oh beloved, maybe you’ve met with some hard situations this weekend. Maybe you carry them heavily in your heart and mind. Face it we’d rather be the bowling ball than the pins. But God wants you and me to know that the things we encounter aren’t meant to knock us down. God is not passively allowing the enemy to score big. We are winners, even in the hard places.

What does God say? He says trust Me. That means leave everything in His hands even as you pray. He says believe Me. That means going to the Word and believing it even if you see no evidence. He says He is watching over you. That means you aren’t alone in anything you face. You and I aren’t destined to fall under the bowling ball of torture, pain, agony or fear. You beloved, are walking in victory no matter what you encounter. You may feel you caused the problem you have. Maybe you did. But even then, as a believer, you have an Advocate, Jesus, who goes before you and walks you out as a forgiven child of God, who still holds the highest score – Victory!

God loves you and He’s for you. Every strike you make in prayer renders victory in the unseen world. Every attempt to keep in the game of spiritual life nets you a huge trophy of faith, joy, love, and peace. Run to the Father this morning and thank Him that while life is not a game, you still win! And live beloved, in the Light of God’s victory for you!

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

I John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous

Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

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