Now that I am in my mid-thirties and pushing 40, I notice many of my high school friends that I reconnected with through the amazing power of Facebook comment on how they are getting old. Some are just joking but some actually do have a fear of old age. My dad always taught me that you are only as old as you feel and that life is only as hard as you make it. Life is only hard when we make decisions that are out of step with the will of God which is laid out in scripture; of course any devotional or inspirational that focused on Yeshua as the Messiah and if anointed by the Holy Spirit can be divine inspiration.
When you live right, i.e. focus on God, life seems easier because we are supernaturally regenerated. The healthcare system may think we are “manic” and try to medicate it. I believe one hippie biker Jesus-freak referred to that as the “Jesus High”. Also, our bodies seem to supernaturally balance itself out and even the medical professionals in the Orient say that sickness only happens when our bodies are out of balance. I could recommend a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer called “Being in Balance.” I don’t know what Dr. Dyer believes about Jesus but I notice he is the most charismatic new age teacher and he quotes the New Testament and Jesus Christ a lot. I also notice how amazed I am when I hear someone who looks like they should be in college tell me that they are approaching senior citizenship as fast as they can.
This goes with a story of someone that was close to me seeing a strand of gray hair and insisting that it was blond. I am not colorblind, I have my own gray strands on the sides (they are just overshadowed by the dumbo ears). Anyway, sometimes I have to wonder if the fear of gray hair, fear of getting old, or whatever you call it is related to something much deeper that the Bible talks about.
It’s called the fear of death. No true believer in the Living God and His Messiah will fear death because the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life will assure them of righteousness and peace. It will also give them joy which in God-terminology is true happiness and transcends one’s circumstances. The real assurance that you are a child of God is that you are led by the Holy Spirit. Many evangelists say you can have assurance and peace if you believe (or trust) in Jesus, say the sinner’s prayer, and walk down an aisle to get baptized.
You can do all those above things and not have a genuine assurance of your salvation if you are not led by the Holy Spirit! The Bible, or Jesus the real Word of God, teaches that many will be deceived. Many will come to Him when He returns expecting Him to let them into heaven because they think they knew Him; only to have Him tell them to depart from them workers of iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-scariest verse in the Bible).
Do you fear getting old? If you don’t know the Father and the Son and experienced the supernatural filling of the Holy Spirit then you will likely have the crap scared out of you when you read the book of Revelation. In which case you will probably need an immodium at the first sign of gray hair.
I once saw a quote by a charismatic pastor named Ted Garner in Colorado about how each individual is in one of two trees-the tree of life or the tree of knowledge of good & evil. For a little background, Ted Garner was a charismatic pastor for over twenty years until a scandal came out in 2006 about a homosexual encounter that he had. While I learn more towards charismatic beliefs than doom & gloom hell-fire and brimstone, I don’t know if I agree with pastors that have six figures in salaries and millions in assets; although Pastor Rick Warren was quoted on CNN’s Piers Morgan show as saying he increased his giving every year and was now up to 90%. So technically you could make seven figures a year and only keep 10% and still have six figures in assets. Makes sense since you can’t outgive God. Pastor Warren was quoted as saying that it’s not a sin to be rich, it is only a sin to die rich.
Back to Pastor Ted in Colorado. Aside from his sexual encounters (I might add that if you search hard enough you can find skeletons in the closet of any renowned spirit-filled evangelist), Garner was quoted as saying we are either in the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge of good & evil. Those in the tree of life hate sin because of the damage that it does to those who are enslaved to it. Pastor Ted used the example of an abortion clinic. The protester who is in the tree of life would be protesting the abortion out of concern and compassion for the mother and her family while the other protester who was in the other tree merely protested because they saw abortion as evil.
To sum it up, you either avoid sin because it is evil, meaning you are probably keeping a mental checklist of “good & evil” and becoming frustrated in your walk with God; all the while exalting yourself over those that appear to be enslaved to the evil in their lives and serving God out of fear. If you are in the tree of life, you serve God out of love which leads to a desire to want to obey His commandments and hate evil because of what it does to those enslaved to it.
Which one do you think is truly abiding in Christ? I John 4:18 says “perfect love casts out fear”. Do you subconsciously judge those who practice evil or lovingly encourage to seek God so they can be healed of the underlying issues by the MIghty Counselor and the Balm of Gilead? It’s safe to note that the Cross is a tree and Jesus the Messiah is the way, the truth, and the life; aka Tree of Life-get it? I think I just answered my own question. Those in the tree of knowledge of good & evil have head knowledge about God and are merely pursuing religion rather than a relationship with the Living God and His Messiah.
I know my goal this year is a blog a day, the beginnings of a successful freelance writing career that’s more than just content mills through Elance, and hopefully remarry and start a family. God’s primary New Year’s Resolution is to prosper you and not to harm you. Spiritual prosperity doesn’t necessarily mean financial prosperity, but that’s a matter how good a steward you are with what He gives you. Remember if your Heavenly Father blesses you with wealth it’s not so you can keep it to yourself. God’s New Years resolution is tp fill those with His Holy Spirit that hunger and thirst after His righteousness. To conform us to the image of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ; aka Yeshua HaMashiach. Pursue whatever dream you feel God has placed on your heart. Just do it as a follower of Jesus. Don’t let anything become an idol and separate you from the love of your Heavenly Father and His New Year’s resolution of Christlikeness. God bless and Happy New Year, E Bishop
Hungry? Jesus said “man does not live on bread alone buy by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” The only food you need is the Bread of Life that’s found in the Messiah as well as the Living Water He offers that will fill you up to everlasting life and overflow into others enabling you to show your love for God by the way you love them; thus fulfilling the Law of God.
Many churches talk about devouring the Word of God (not literally like my rat terrier did one time). Even charismatic Baptistcostal preacher Charles Stanley said you can study the Bible and miss God. The question is why do you study the Word of God? Many people, especially in America, have enough head knowledge about the things of God to enable them to miss heaven by 18 inches (the difference between your head and your heart). Do you study the Word to get to know God personally? Are you seeking His Face? Are you you guilty of be a gnostic, or worshipper of merely knowledge?
Full Pentecostal preacher Steve Hill of Heartland World Ministries Church in Irving, TX. declared one time “it’s not how much you get into the Word; it’s how much of the Word gets in you.” There’s truth to the Prosperity Gospel. However many fall away because they expect God to deliver on demand; making Him sound like a Sear’s Catalogue. First off you can’t just pray for whatever you want and expect God to cater to your every whim. That’s trying to manipulate your Heavenly Father. You seek Him and His Kingdom and all else will be added; including the desires of your heart or what God wants you to do with your life.
Do the desires of your heart glorify God and line up with His Word? Are you asking amiss if you aren’t receiving? God won’t bless you with anything on your timetable. If He did there would be no need for faith that perseveres. You would just be seeking God for what He can give you rather than what you can give Him; which is only your heart and life in exchange for Him giving His life for you.
America is a fast paced society. We want everything now! We are willing to settle for what’s right now rather than what’s right for us in the long term; I.e.; instant grits (actually gratification but grits fits the title of the Blog). God’s timing may line up with your timing but that’s still not exactly when you want it and it’s not exactly what you want. You should be thankful He doesn’t give you everything you want for it might destroy you. It all depends on how close you are to God; meaning how Christlike you are.
Shabat Shalom in the name of Yeshua Mashiach
It’s true we will always have an unmet need in life. However whether we have unfulfilled desires depends on our drive, passion, and where we’re at with God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Spiritual hearing comes when you open your heart to the one true and living God, which is Him drawing you to the Cross of His Son; the more you seek after the things of God the more He fills you and you know what you truly want out of life. Then the Holy Spirit will empower you to git er dun. 2 Peter says God adds to faith virtue; this is moral excellence or a striving for holiness, i.e.; to be made whole. If you are not striving for this you are out of fellowship and your faith is small. To virtue He adds knowledge which leads to temperance. Knowing how to live right and having the self-control to do so by keeping your focus on Him. These lead you to steadfastness and godliness which leads to brotherly love (Phileo) and Charity. As we become more humble and dependent on the Holy Spirit for His Life we are filled to overflowing and able to supernaturally love God and others unconditionally. So the only unmet need we really have is for more faith which is where it all begins with the size of a mustard seed. Also when you do step out in faith God and receive His blessings He is going to continue to draw you to a deeper level of faith and dependence which only serves to enhance your ability to do the other things that follower; namely leading to a greater love of God and others which makes you more Christlike and fulfills the Law of God given to Moses.
Jeff Deyo/More Love, More Power
Ever wonder if the 12 steps work? It seems like everytime I went to a support group it was just people complaining about their issues. I never felt uplifted by it and I often wondered who their “higher power” is. To me calling the Living God and His Messiah a “higher power” waters down who God is. It’s like refering to Him as “the Man upstairs.” God is not upstairs. He’s everywhere. Any addiction you struggle with is just a stronghold or idol in your life that you are using to fill the void that only a loving God can fill if you will only trust Him. For information just go to the category labeled Take Heed Ministries. Meeting times are every Friday at 5:30. Address is 1015 S. Jennings #1414 with the gate code of #0049. Contact Mike Martin at (817)938-0843 or Rusty at (214)cur-hard or (214)287-4272 or myself at (469)245-2132. Emails are email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know it’s short notice but if you get this post and you feel the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or computer and call one of us and find your way there. It might be short notice but with God all things are possible and it is weekly. Also feel free to read the other articles that were formally the Mental Illness & Addiction category. Society tells you “once an addict, always an addict.” Jesus teaches that He is the way, the truth, and the life and the truth will set you free. If you are not walking in freedom then this ministry is for you if you’re in or around the Fort Worth area.
Stress & Anxiety are the main issues that burden people down in life and cause the majority of health problems. Mental as well as physical. Adversity is another one and probably the reason why most people live an unfulfilled life and never really receive their hearts desires in life. It has been said that anything worth having is worth fighting for to defend. I’ve also heard people say that you get out of life whatever you put into it. Many people get overwhelmed in the simple daily grind of living that they fail to pursue their goals and settle for mediocrity. Only about 20% of people truly overcome these barriers and have reached something known as Self-Actualization on Maslow’s Heirarcy of needs. Where they are happy and feel like they gave it their all and have lived a full life. Of course as long as you are truly content with where you’re at, whether you are President of the United States, Bill Gates, or a waiter or a cashier/bagger in grocery store, then that is all that matters. Anything you give up for the sake of spiritual growth God will honor. However, most people never feel truly content because they are not challenging themselves by choosing to settle. This can create added stress & anxiety because if you are not happy in your work, you can’t be happy anywhere. Work is a blessing and not meant to be a curse. It’s only a curse if you make it an Idol because God can’t bless it if He’s not first. Also, for those that choose to be ambitious, especially entrepreneurial types, prepare for adversity from mediocre minds. It’s human nature to feel intimidated and try to shoot down ambitious types. Christians who lack ambition are the worst because they have a tendency, whether knowing or not, to make a fellow believer question his walk with God by subconsciously placing thoughts in his head that his ambition is pride or idolatry when it may be something that God has placed on his heart.
Pride is known as the mother of sins. Although people that don’t have faith in God are usually living in fear, and fear leads you to hide from God, which leads you to trust in yourself, which puffs you up. There is also spiritual pride. When God brings you through a trial or helps you to accomplish something big in your life and you get too comfortable where you are at, it leads you to forget that it was God who put you there. Then you could lose everything you worked hard for as God’s way of reminding you where you came from-by making you start all over again. This would be the case of the Israelites who kept going in and out of bondage throughout the OT (or Tanakh in Judaism). It’s also true for nonspiritual people who rise from rags to riches and, rather than giving back to their community, they end up looking down on people that had it as rough as they used to have it. God doesn’t show favoritism and neither should we since we are called to be like His Son. At the foot of the Cross we are all equal. I know I don’t want to forget where I came from the last few years. Started out in college at 20 to pursue my dream of becoming a journalist or a disc jockey, then got promoted into retail management, then laid off when that company closed and had enough of a severance package to not work while I went back to school to take up where I left off. What do I do? Take a job at another grocery chain for fear of being out of work. By the way, your job could be a sin if you are only working there for the job security. Needless to say, I was unable to go to church, then I suffered from Depression along with my social anxiety, which oddly enough didn’t go away till I told God I didn’t want to be a retail manager if He had something better. A month later I lost my job, started blogging, and working through Elance, Inc. to launch a Content Writing Business. Only lost everything in the process but had a spiritual growth spurt. Like one pastor said, you can focus so much on being righteouse (living right) that you become self-righteous and forget you’re living right actually God working in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure (even if you don’t know Him because no one is that far away from Him that he just pursues his own course). It’s all a matter of if you are trusting in God or not. The only real sin is the sin of unbelief.
Everybody needs something they can believe in. Something that is bigger than themselves. A Cause worth fighting for. Even women like a man that is willing to stand for something. Someone once said, “if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” However, some people in the areas of religion/spirituality are only committed to an ideal. Judeo-Christianity is a commitment to an actual person that lived 2000 years ago, and is still alive today as the firstborn among the brethren and is interceding for the saints who are born-again in Him. In one sense we are rebels to a fallen world in that we are supposed to be renewed thru the blood of Christ and the Word of God and not conform to the world, but are supposed to sumbit to the laws of the land unless they tell us to do something that go against the Law of God. In the words of Jars of Clay, “I wanna love the world but I don’t know how.” What are you committed to that’s worth fighting for? Are you taking a stand for the One who created you? Actually I need to work on that. I’m only good at it behind a computer and quiet in person.
Jars of Clay/Revolution
From the words of the half-brother of Jesus Himself. Count it all joy when you encounter various trials & tribulations. Man, that’s easier said than done. They say life is hard, although Psalms says the way of the transgressor is hard. My dad (earthly) taught me life is only as hard as you make it. When you have a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe, nothing is too hard. Of course it takes years of growth to realize that. Each trial you go through should bring you closer to God as you step out in faith and face it. The opposite would be to try to hide yourself in the things of the world which brings about depression. The same trial will usually manifest itself over and over until you walk through it faithfully. Jesus Himself declared. . .”In this world you will have tribulation.” Wait, there’s more!!!!! Did anybody “hear” what He said after that? “I have overcome the world.” In 1 John, the writer reminds us that our faith in Christ is the victory that overcomes the world. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together to those that love God. Genesis 50:20 says of those who intend to harm us (whether intentionally or not) that what they meant for evil, God uses for good. So all the tragedies that have happened to America, God could have prevented. However, if it wakes people up and draws people to Him, then He will do what it takes to win souls out of love for them and a desire to see them turn from the chains of Satan that bind them. In the words of Mercy Me, “bring me anything that brings you glory.” Featured in this song by the popular crossover group, “Bring the Rain.”