WHAT WILL IT TAKE???

As we approach what most in this world call “Easter,” have been pondering what it will take for people to wake up in this world. People live their lives, for the most part, thinking only of themselves, because that has been the enemies deception. Or, they live thinking only of others and never of self. Balance seems to be missing. Have people forgotten the cross daily, and now remember it only on a “holiday? ” 

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How many people have to perish before God gets His way? The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. But, should we let him? Absolutely NOT! God gives very clear instructions on how to handle the enemy. We must remind him that he is under our feet, according to the word of God. That because of God’s LOVE and sacrifice at the cross where Jesus died, and later the resurrection, the devil has NO authority. 

Yesterday while chatting with and praying with my spouse, he shared a story about some kids in the neighborhood. These kids are a bit on the different side. Not, that this is bad, but it definitely is noticeable. He said the oldest one, may have had a child, from what he gathered. He also said that there are many people living in one house, and that almost all of them are very lost. 

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One day we were walking around the neighborhood and we saw one of the older girls and a guy walking. I smiled, and she smiled and waved shyly. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is. Because we had been praying for this girl, that she would be open to God. They had gone to church, but something tragic happened to their dad, and the family is blaming God it seems. This is not uncommon. The mother does not go to church, but God continues to send loving people into their lives to minister to them, and pray for them.

Also something that came up yesterday was what Sarah Elizabeth wants to be when she grows up. She thinks a veterinarian  I said, “Oh, so you don’t want to be a  pastor anymore?” She said, “Well I really love animals.” So then I explained to her, that being a pastor does not just mean you have a congregation. It is about being loving and nurturing, and letting GOD move in you to do so. She could do this as a veterinarian, just as well as she could a big church. 

You might think these stories have nothing in common, but what they do have in common, is the LOVE. It is that LOVE that people do not always receive, and it often gets distorted, because we are trained NOT to receive it. I know so many people who have kids, and lives and they pride their selves on a nice home, well behaved kid in public, and money in the bank. But, these are only surface things. All of these things fade away. 

Money is just PAPER. That is ALL it will ever be. It is printed paper at that. It is seeds used to plant for evil or for good. Nice homes, can get destroyed, as we have seen many this year, with all the harsh weather, and events. Kids, grow up, and without core values, rooted in LOVE that comes from GOD, often find the wrong path. Not to say God can’t fix all of these things when they go astray. He can! However, we should be doing our part to work with HIM instead of against HIM. 

Last night I had awful dreams. Sometimes I have nice dreams, but these were just all about my past, and who I was. But, every day, thankfully I don’t have to be THAT person anymore. God gives me and you a clean slate. Do we accept it or reject it? Do we wake up every morning and choose joy, hope, love, faith, and  truth? or do we just get up, pick something to wear, not caring what, get our kids ready, an in some cases, out the door, and do something mundane, and scheduled? Am not in any way mocking or picking on the ordinary lives or even working. It all has purpose, but we should enjoy it, not just get through it, and we should plant seeds of encouragement and kindness, and other positive seeds, that share God’s Love. He wants to use us for these, and desires us to let Him. 

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We have been to functions with people from church where there was wine and drunkenness. Then, there were arguments and bickering.  We know of many churches that have potlucks with alcohol, and before the night many are not able to drive. Are we surprised?  Now it is just looked at as the norm for the days we live in, but it shouldn’t be. There are deep root of pain that create that craving for something like alcohol. Not to mention, as a church, we should be setting a good example. We should be addressing the issues, not ignoring them. 

Too much of anything is bad. If a person went out and got drunk  or high the night before, and came in to work the next day, are they going to do a good job at work? Odds are not as good as they would have without that extra baggage. So, what will it take? For people not to try and find escape in these things?

Why not find it in GOD? The word GOOD reminds us that anything good that happens is of GOD.After all GOD is in the word good. GO GOD ! Some may get get tired of us talking about God’s love and HIS plans. But, we are going to keep on doing it. We know it may come across as judgmental at times, but that is not our hearts. We have a heart for HIS Truth and ways alone. 

Our prayer is that God reveal to people that when anything is put above HIM it falls, and often gets destroyed. It is one of the 10 commandments, to not put any other God’s before Him. Anything can become more important than God in our lives. We cannot just go to church and call it good. In fact, this is a time, where many are not finding what is needed in church, so they are walking away. 

Another thing that came up last night was the internet. It can be a great tool, for sure, but it is also a very controlled tool. God is about order not about control. He is about loving not dictating from a place of meanness and condemnation. He is here to lift us up, not put us down. I remember once, that someone said, “I don’t know how you can say God is always nice to you, he sure isn’t to me.” I said, “Well it sounds like we may serve a different God.”

For years we have been warned of events coming, and often people panic instead of pray. But, here is a suggestion, try praying first and praising GOD. The pain and FEAR will then die out. I have to remember this too, because LIFE does get hard at times. Things happen that are sad, and unbelievable. But, everything has purpose, the GOOD, BAD, and the UGLY. 

So, are we going to be doubting Thomas where Jesus has to show us the wounds? What will it take to believe HIM? What will it take to fully surrender to HIS ways? How much are we willing to LOSE or LET GO of? Because one way or another, GOD will have HIS way, with or without us, but He created us to work as a team, united in HIM and HIS LOVE, GRACE and MERCY. 

Would like to share another song that has been on my heart for a few days…it is by an artist named Jeremy Riddle.

“Sweetly Broken”To the cross I look, to the cross I cling

Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing

For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

Chorus:
At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You have called me out of death
You have called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I am reconciled

Chorus:

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness
To the cross I look, to the cross I clinOf its suffering I do drinkOf its work I do sinFor on it my Savior both bruised and crushed

Showed that God is love
And God is just

Chorus:
At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You have called me out of death
You have called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I am reconciled

Chorus:

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/j/jeremy_riddle/

In His Grace,

E

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