Tag Archives: beatitudes

Does Persecution Still Exist?

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV)

For the last few days, I’ve pondered about what to write about persecution.  Lord, what would You have me write?  Many of us, who have been blessed to live in the United States, are often ignorant of the persecution and crimes committed against Christians.  We often, mistakenly think that the persecution of Christians and Jews is a thing of the past, but that is terribly foolish and wrong, for many of our brothers and sisters around the world are being persecuted, even now, as you read this message.

Indeed, I believe that there is coming a day, when even U.S. citizens will be persecuted for their faith in Christ.  In fact, that day has already begun.

“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  (Mark 13:9-13 NKJV)  

We are living in dangerous times.  You don’t have to look far to see how children have turned against their parents, and parents have turned against their children.  In other countries, we’ve seen how families from other beliefs, (Hindu, Buddhist, and Islam for example) have turned against their own loved ones, by disinheriting them, beating and torturing them, and even killing them, simply because they believe in Jesus.  

The chart listed above, shows the statistics for 2018, for persecuted Christians around the world.  It is eye opening, and if you are a child of God, then this should concern you, because those persecuted Christians are your brothers and sisters in Christ.  I got this information from the following website:

www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/ 

According to these statistics, approximately 8 Christians die daily, for their faith, which totals 255 Christians monthly.  For those who live in the U.S., can you imagine waking up each day, not knowing whether this is the day that someone will betray you for your faith in Christ?  Can you imagine wondering, throughout the day, whether you may be murdered because you are a follower of Christ?  The statistics tell us that 104 people each month, which is a little more than 3 people daily, are abducted for their faith.  Imagine, being snatched from your home, your place of employment, or from the streets, because you are a Christian.  As if this isn’t bad enough, 180 women are raped, sexually harassed, or forced into unwanted marriages every month.  That’s 6 women who are raped, forced into unwanted, mostly abusive marriages and sexually harassed every day, just because they love Jesus.  Imagine the fear, shame and pain that these women endure!  66 churches every month are attacked, and 160 Christians are arrested and imprisoned for their faith, without benefit of a trial.

Beloved reader, don’t just sigh and shake your head.  Do you know that if you are a believer, you, too, may one day suffer persecution?  I don’t share this with you to frighten you, but so that you won’t be caught unaware.  Do you know that here, in the U.S., Christians are being sued for standing up for their faith, which is our first amendment right?

You don’t often hear about these things on broadcast news media outlets, or in most newspapers, because defending the rights of Christians is not part of their agenda.  Instead, many are trying to silence Christians, because true believers refuse to embrace sinful lifestyles, such as abortion, adultery, fornication and homosexuality, to name just a few.  Christians, such as our Vice-President, Mike Pence, are mocked and ridiculed for our beliefs.

Nonbelievers claim that Christians are narrow-minded and intolerant, and yet, they are the ones who are trying to silence us.  All too often, debates end in name calling and false accusations.  They do this because, All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.”  (John 3:20 NLT)  

Beloved, in these last days, don’t be shocked by the things that are happening in the world around you, and in your world.  For Jesus warned us about this…

12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are My followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about Me. 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you.17 And everyone will hate you because you are My followers. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.”  (Luke 21:12-19 NLT)

Indeed, my friend, I suggest that we shouldn’t be surprised that people hate us because of our faith.  We should instead, be surprised by the ones who don’t hate us.  So, what can we do about this persecution of God’s people?  There is one thing that every one of us can do, no matter where we live, or what our circumstances are.  We can pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, who are suffering. The Apostle Paul even let us know what to pray for our brothers and sisters, and so did the writer of Hebrews… 

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.  

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for Him, as I should.  (Ephesians 6:18-20 NLT)

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.  (Hebrews 13:3 NLT)

Jesus promised that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are persecuted for His name’s sake, and that they will receive a great reward.  Beloved, let’s be active in our prayers for our persecuted brethren, and remember, you or I could very well be the next one to be persecuted for our faith.  And if, you or I do suffer from persecution one day, hold tight to Jesus’ promise, and may we have the same attitude that Peter had…  

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.  (1 Peter 4:12-19  NKJV)

Links to sites about Christian persecution:

© 2019
Cheryl A. Showers

Do You Mourn? Be Comforted…

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.  (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

Are you grieving?  Has your heart been broken?  Do you long for the pain to stop?  Take heart, beloved, for the Lord of all mercy hears your cries.  He knows your pain.  Indeed, He has suffered your pain, and He promises that we who mourn are blessed, and that we will be comforted…

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  (Hebrews 4:14-16  NLT)

Jesus knew what it was to grieve and mourn.  He mourned the death of His cousin, John the Baptist…  He mourned the death of His friend Lazarus…  He mourned for those of us who were lost in sin, pain and suffering…

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed His powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance,
nothing to attract us to Him.
He was despised and rejected—
a Man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses He carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.
And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for His own sins!
But He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on Him
the sins of us all.

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet He never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
Unjustly condemned,
He was led away.
No one cared that He died without descendants,
that His life was cut short in midstream.
But He was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But He was buried like a criminal;
He was put in a rich man’s grave.

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush Him
and cause Him grief.
Yet when His life is made an offering for sin,
He will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in His hands.
11 When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish,
He will be satisfied.
And because of His experience,
my righteous Servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for He will bear all their sins.
12 I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because He exposed Himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.  (Isaiah 53  NLT)

mourn-sorrow

Beloved reader, you do not suffer alone.  He knows your pain.  He has suffered for it and from it, and He offers His comfort to all who would receive it.  Are you thirsty?  Are you weary?  Are you worn out from trying to carry the burdens of life by yourself?

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

Beloved reader, if you are in the midst of grief, come, drink from the fountain of life.  Seek Jesus, our great Savior and Comforter.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)

In His first recorded sermon, Jesus tells us that those who mourn are blessed, and they shall be comforted.  It’s also interesting to note that His first scripture reading in the synagogue, after He had been in the wilderness for 40 days, also dealt with the brokenhearted…

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me,
for the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent Me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for His own glory.  (Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT)

Beloved, you  are not alone in your suffering.  If you will seek the Lord with all your heart, He will comfort you…  Shalom.  Peace be with you.

© 2019
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted For Righteousness’ Sake…

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV).

http://dl.creationswap.com/7002.jpg
http://dl.creationswap.com/7002.jpg

I love the Word of God… I love the Words of Jesus… His words are always true. He doesn’t try to sugar coat anything. He just tells it like it is. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NKJV). 

When I was younger, I remember being told that if you’ll just come to the Lord, your life will be so much happier, so much easier. So, when I first began this journey with Christ, I was wearing rose colored glasses. I really thought everyone at church would love me, and that my family and everyone else who knew me would be as happy for me as I was. Bless my heart! I was so naive. Was anyone else out there as ignorant of the truth as I was?

I quickly learned the cold, hard truth when I got home after church on the Sunday that I was born again. I was around 12 or 13 years old, and I was so overjoyed as I ran into the house after getting off the church bus. “Mom, Dad – guess what?” I shouted as I ran into the den. “I got saved today – I’m born again!”

I’ll never forget my mom’s reaction as she and Dad exchanged a look (You know the kind of look I’m talking about, don’t you? A look that says, “Oh no! She’s really lost her mind this time – she’s gone off the deep end!”), then Mom said very coldly, “I do hope you’re not turning into one of those holy rollers like the Whites (Mr. & Mrs. White were the church bus ministers who were instrumental in leading me to Christ. They were living testimonies of the love of Jesus and I can only pray that I can be as Christ-like as they were.), because if you are, you’re just going to have to stop going to that church.”

So much for everyone being happy for my new found joy! I was totally unprepared for the response I received, and as I look back on it, I see that my ignorance about the reality of living a life with Christ led to much confusion over the years, as I eventually backslid because I couldn’t really be saved and be so hurt by people who loved me, could I? 

When my stepfather, the man that I loved and thought of as my Daddy molested me a short time later, I was certain that God didn’t really love me, and that I must be too wicked for Him to love and save me. I remember trying so hard to be a good person so that I could earn His love, but failing miserably as I was a slave to the rebelliousness, sin and pain that shackles people who have been abused.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd211/driselda/spiritual-warfare-by-cooper.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd211/driselda/spiritual-warfare-by-cooper.jpg
By the time I was in my mid to late teens, I fell away from the Lord. Oh I still believed in Him – that faith never wavered, but I didn’t believe that He could really love me. And I couldn’t change myself, no matter how hard I tried. You see, in my naivete, I didn’t realize that I was in the midst of a war for my soul. I had no idea that the enemy was persecuting me, and because no one had taught me what to expect and how to combat it, I felt like dying…

BUT GOD! I didn’t know it then, but Jesus had chosen me! And He had no intention of losing me to the enemy. “My sheep recognize My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from Me, for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from Me” (John 10:27-29 NLT). 

Oh, to be sure, I lost my way for several years, and yet every time I sinned, there was a war raging inside of me. When I got drunk for the first time, I heard the voice of the Lord telling me, “Don’t do it,” but I ignored Him and did it anyway. When I got high for the first time that same night, again I heard Him speak, but I didn’t recognize His voice. I didn’t want to hear what He was saying to me, so I continued to ignore Him. When I committed the sin of fornication, I heard His voice again, telling me, “No Cheryl, don’t do it,” but I did it anyway. And when He told me not to be unequally yoked, I argued with Him and told Him that I would change my future husband’s heart. I’ve been married to that man for more than 31 years now, and the only one who has changed is me!

But do you see? He never let me go! He kept loving me, wooing me, drawing me and I was like a moth drawn to a flame… I couldn’t resist Him. Out of everyone in the whole world, He was the only One who knew every dirty detail about me, and He still wanted me! Such love is hard to resist… He loved me through my own private hell… He loved me when no one else did! He loves me with a love that won’t let me go!

And because of that unrelenting love that He has shown me, I, like the prophet Jeremiah respond to Him saying, “O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the Lord was made to me A reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. For I heard many mocking: “Fear on every side!” “Report,” they say, “and we will report it!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; Then we will prevail against him, And we will take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten (Jeremiah 20:7-11 NLT).

So you see, my beloved brothers and sisters, in this world we will suffer for Christ, but His never ending love makes it all worth it! “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6I16L_O49Y

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Blessed Are the Peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV)

Blessed are the peacemakers… What in the world is a peacemaker? When I think of a peacemaker, I think of the war protestors from the 1960’s… I think of John Lennon… I think of people compromising their values in order to “keep the peace”… I think of

Vietnam War protesters. 1967. Wichita, Kans - ...
Vietnam War protesters. 1967. Wichita, Kans – NARA – 283625 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

abused women trying to please their abusers, even agreeing with their abusers just to “keep the peace”…

I guess you could say I have a warped view of what a peacemaker is, so I decided to look at Jesus, because after all, He was the one who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV), and there is one thing I know about Jesus – everything He commanded us to do, He did too, as an example for us to follow. So, let’s look at the life Jesus led, and hopefully that will help me to settle this within my own heart, and maybe it will help you too. 🙂

First of all, one thing I know for sure is that Jesus never participated in anti-war protests. And let’s be really clear about it, there were plenty of others who were against the Roman government and Herod’s government. If you’ll recall, Barabbas, the one the Jews chose to set free instead of Jesus, was in prison for committing a murder during an insurrection (see Mark 15:7).  Both governments were full of corruption, but Jesus never even addressed that. In fact, He told His disciples to render unto Caesar what was Caesar’s. It would appear that Jesus was more interested in reconciling people toward God than in correcting social injustices. Jesus even said, “For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give My life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NLT). 

So, could it be that those churches that deal with social injustice rather than reconciling people to God have got it all wrong? Paul, one of the greatest apostles the world has known made it clear what his priorities were… “For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. I came to you in weakness — timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you. I did this so that you might trust the power of God rather than human wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:2-5 NLT).

Another issue I have with peacemaking is the necessity for compromise. I am one of those people who sees things as either black or white, good or evil. There are no gray areas with me. This is the way God created me, and while I can compromise on things of little import, if I believe something is morally or ethically wrong, I CANNOT compromise.

My heart desperately desires to please the Lord – and if He has called me to be a peacemaker, then I want to be one… But how can I be a peacemaker if it means compromising my values in order to “keep the peace”?

Jesus Cleansing the Temple.

Again, I look to Jesus. What did He do? Did He compromise on important things in order to “keep the peace”? The first thought He brings to my spirit is when He visited the temple in Jerusalem and saw all of the money changers there.

Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and oxen, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables (John 2:15 NLT). Wow – I don’t see any compromise here. And He certainly didn’t endear Himself to the Jewish leaders. Actually, this is not at all what I picture a peacemaker doing – so could it be that my idea of a peacemaker is twisted?

And just take a few minutes to read the “woes” in Matthew 23. Jesus minced no words in this chapter as He confronted the scribes, Pharisees and teachers of the law with their sin. There was no compromise of His values as He spoke to them, and yet, as harsh as His words were, I have the feeling within my spirit that every word was spoken in love. Yes, there was anger at the sins they were committing in leading many astray, but overriding the anger was grief for the souls that were lost… He was speaking the truth in love…

And just look at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His arrest. When Judas came to betray Him, Jesus knew what was going on. Judas had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which One to arrest when I go over and give Him the kiss of greeting.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Teacher!” he exclaimed and gave Him the kiss. Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested Him (Matthew 26:48-50 NLT). Is this what a peacemaker is? One who faces his/her betrayer and still calls him/her friend? Could it be that even then, in the midst of His own suffering and betrayal, Jesus was still concerned about reconciling his betrayer to God?

And look what happened when Peter cut Malchus ear off… Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s servant. But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup the Father has given Me?” (John 18:10-11 NLT)… And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him (Luke 22:50-51 NLT). With His enemies surrounding Him, Jesus did not compromise, even in the face of His own death.

So if I look at the life of Jesus for instruction on becoming a peacemaker, what do I learn?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/xalamay/3643494502/
photo credit: xalamay via photopin cc
  1. Peacemakers seek to reconcile people to God rather than correcting social injustice… could it be that social injustice can be corrected only if people are reconciled to God?
  2. Peacemakers serve others…
  3. Peacemakers do not compromise their integrity to “keep the peace,” even in the midst of danger… 
  4. Peacemakers love… their friends and family… their enemies… and yes, even their betrayers…
  5. Peacemakers boldly stand on the Word of God, and though it may offend others, they speak the truth in love, because reconciling people to God is a matter of life and death…

My Lord, help me to be a peacemaker, not according to the world’s view of peacemaking, but according to Your word. Let me have the honor of reconciling people to You, rather than merely seeking to correct social injustice. Give me the boldness to maintain the integrity of Your word, loving others as You love them, and always speaking the truth in love. And Father, let me be called a child of God because I am a peacemaker according to Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen. 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV).

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV).

Do you know of anyone who is spiritually fat or filled? We are constantly bombarded with stories and images of injustices and unrighteousness, and it seriously grieves me. Does anyone else feel that way?

Right here, in this country that I love, we see politicians standing up for the very things that grieve God… The Democrats stand in favor of abortion, which is the slaughter of the unborn child. People can call that baby an embryo or a fetus, but the fact is that by the sixth week of gestation, the unborn baby has all of his/her organs. In fact, from the very instant the baby is conceived, it is a separate life living within his/her mother’s womb. Scripture actually talks about the unborn child… In fact, the Lord spoke these words to Jeremiah, the prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:7 NKJV). 

If the Lord knew us before we were even placed in our mother’s womb, and he already had plans for our lives, how could any of us ever even consider killing an unborn baby? And yet, in our country from 1978-2008, over 50 million abortions were performed. That’s an average death rate of 4500-5000 abortions per year! This truly grieves the Lord… and it grieves me too. Is there anyone else who is grieved by this? Is there anyone who longs for… hungers and thirsts for righteousness? 

And when I think of what abortion has done to the lives of the many women who have been lied to… when I think of the many women who have lied to themselves and tried to convince themselves that the life growing inside of them is nothing more than a mass of tissue… when I think of the many women who have been traumatized because of their “Right to Choose” my heart breaks for the guilt and pain they still suffer today. And when I think of those who felt justified by their choice, I mourn for them too, because they have so clearly been deceived by the enemy of our souls… And YES, I hunger and thirst for righteousness… I long for that day when this evil will be outlawed!

Because I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I cannot bring myself to vote for anyone who is in favor of abortion… Because I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I cannot bring myself to vote for anyone who wants to change the marriage laws from one man and one woman to include homosexual marriage. God created man and woman for the purpose of procreation and the Lord commanded His people in Leviticus, “Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin” (Leviticus 18:22 NLT). 

And don’t think the Democrats are alone in their sins against God. Let’s look at the Republicans… Their hearts are for the wealthy and the truth is as they’ve shown time and time again, they have no heart for the poor… Let’s see what James tells us about this… My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others? For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor” — well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives? Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom He promised to those who love Him? And yet, you insult the poor man! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord’s royal command found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin, for you are guilty of breaking that law (James 2:1-9 NLT). 

When I see this evil, my heart hungers and thirsts for righteousness! And if that isn’t enough, let’s look at the man who many Christians and Churches are endorsing for the Presidency… Mitt Romney – a wealthy Mormon high priest. Brothers and sisters, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church) is not a Christian organization. This religion was founded by a pedophile named Joseph Smith, and their Jesus is not our Jesus! They claim that their god came down to earth and had sexual intercourse with Mary and that their Jesus was conceived through this union. They also claim that their Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. They believe that the men of their religion will one day become gods, who will be married to many virgins… I don’t know what’s in it for the women of that religion. This cult has been leading millions to hell since its foundation, and yet many in the Church want to endorse Mitt Romney as President because they say he is the lesser of the two evils.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again!!! Evil is EVIL!!! Don’t you hunger and thirst for righteousness??? Change has to begin in you and me before there can be a change in our country. He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV).

The Lord is telling us, just as He told the Solomon and the Israelites, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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 heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NKJV).

Brothers and sisters, when you watch the news on TV, are you grieved in your spirit? When you see your family and your neighbors struggling to make ends meet, is your heart burdened? When you see a homeless person, or a drug addict, or a  prostitute, do you feel like weeping for them? Do you long for better days? Do you yearn to see people living holy and uprightly? Do you long to see the Church present herself spotless and without blemish to the Lord? If you do, then you are truly blessed… “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV).

©  2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Blessed Are the Meek

“Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 NKJV)

Blessed are the meek… I don’t know about you, but my whole life I was taught to stand up for myself… don’t let anyone take advantage of your good nature… don’t be a doormat… I was taught that meekness was weakness. And then I met Jesus, and He rocked my world. He took everything that I believed to be true and turned it upside down!

He told me to turn the other cheek… if someone forces me to walk a mile, He said to go 2 miles with them… If someone steals my shirt, give him my coat too! What kind of logic is this anyway? If I do those things, won’t I be a doormat? Won’t I be inviting people to take advantage of me? Why not just wear a “Kick Me” sign on my back?

But as I look at Jesus and the life He led, I see no weakness in His meekness. Do you know Him? He is the One who set His face like flint as He rode into Jerusalem, knowing that He would be painfully tortured and crucified by the very crowds who surrounded Him within a week. Does that seem weak to you? He was the One who rode straight to the Temple, to face the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees who hated Him and plotted against Him, overturning the tables of the money changers and driving them out with a whip, knowing He was provoking the very ones who would judge Him later that week. Was that a sign of weakness? I don’t think so. And how about when He spoke to the multitudes, including the scribes and Pharisees, saying, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites… (Matthew 23:14 NKJV)” Does that sound like a weak and fearful man?

Yet this same Jesus is the One who said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14 NKJV)”. He was the One who wept at Lazarus’ grave – then raised him from the dead! He was the One who could have called 12 legions of angels to deliver Him from the cross, but chose to endure the pain and the suffering for our sake! He was the One who stood bravely in the Garden of Gethsemane allowing Judas to kiss His cheek, knowing that His “friend,” whom He had loved was betraying Him. When Peter cut off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave, this same Jesus calmly picked the ear back up and replaced it, healing Malchus. And when the soldiers and guards stated they were there to arrest Jesus of Nazareth, He was the One who spoke, “I AM He,” whereby all of them drew back and fell to the ground, but still He allowed them to take Him, beat Him, mock Him and crucify Him.

It was in studying the life of my Lord and Savior that I came to the conclusion that meekness is not weakness! Rather, meekness is controlled strength.

Lord, please teach me to be meek, just as You were meek. “Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 NKJV)

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 NKJV).

Wow. Jesus cares about our pain. Oh I know many people think it’s just a cliche to hear someone say, “Jesus loves you.” But He does. He really does, and our pain is His pain. Imagine that. When I am at the end of my rope, when the pain is so bad that I can’t even breathe, when the lump in my throat has reached epic proportions, and it takes every ounce of my strength just to hold myself together, He is here with me, comforting me.

Throw all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7 CJB). Isn’t it wonderful to know that the King of glory, our Creator cares for us. In the midst of my weakness and pain, He cares.

Psalm 56:6 tells He keeps track of our sorrows and collects our tears. You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. I say this often, but it’s good and it’s true, and it bears repeating… I can’t even remember every tear I’ve cried, or every sorrow that I’ve borne on my shoulders, but He does! He has recorded every single tear, every single hurt that I have suffered, and He even saved each one of my tears in a bottle, because He cares just that much. I wonder how big my bottle is? I wonder how big your bottle is?

Are you in pain right now? Have you cried out to the only God, the living God, who longs to comfort you? Or have you chosen to deal with it on your own, the best way you know how? The problem is that when we try to work our way through our pain without Him, we often end up hurting ourselves and others more than we or they were already hurting. It’s not that we mean to do this. It’s just a fact that hurting people hurt people.

If you are weary and burdened, if the pain and the grief are too much to bear, why don’t you call on Jesus and cast your cares on Him? After all, He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. Surely He bore our sorrows, and by His stripes, we are healed. He wants to bless you with comfort.

Do you hear Him calling? He’s saying, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT). 

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 NKJV). My prayer for each person who reads this message is that you will receive His comfort today, in Jesus’ name! God bless you!

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers