Tag Archives: father in heaven

Truth or Lie? Once Saved, Always Saved

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once-saved-always-saved-101blog.html

Have you ever heard the expression, “Once Saved, Always Saved”? The first time I heard this expression, a pastor’s wife was confiding her sinful lifestyle to me. I was appalled by her confession, and I remember saying, “I thought you were a Christian.” I didn’t say this accusingly — I was just very confused.

The woman just laughed at my statement and replied, “Of course, I’m a Christian. God knows my heart, and He knows why I do these things. Don’t you know that once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you’re always saved? There is nothing you could ever do to lose your salvation.” At the dumb expression on my face, she in turn, looked at me, equally shocked, “Don’t you believe that? Don’t you know about the doctrine of ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’?” Continue reading Truth or Lie? Once Saved, Always Saved

Words of Jesus – “Not Everyone Who Says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ Shall Enter The Kingdom of Heaven…” Part 2

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ 

(Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)

How well do you know God? I’m not talking about how much you know about Him. There are many people who know a whole lot of Scriptures, but they don’t know God.

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Just because you read a book about someone doesn’t mean that you know him/her. Because you read something written by an author does not mean that you actually know him/her. Many of you who read my posts do not know me, even though what I’ve written has come straight from my heart and reveals much about me; while others who read my posts have come to know me very well. How is it that you all read the same words that I have written, and perhaps even follow my blog, and yet, only a few know me?

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The answer has to do with relationship and intimacy. Some, who have read my words, respond to me, the author of those words. They talk to me, via their comments, and I respond to them. As we begin responding to one another, we come to know and love one another. We become intimate. As we become intimate with one another, both listening and hearing what the other is saying, we begin to see one another’s heart, and as we open up to one another, we come to love one another.

We also learn to see the flaws that each of us have, because we are still human after all, but those flaws do not change our love for one another. If anything, when we see the sin in our brothers and sisters, we hurt and we ache for our brothers and sisters, crying out for their release from the sin, which like a cancer, can destroy them. The knowledge of the sin in our brothers’ or sisters’ lives does not cause us to love them any less; rather it causes us to love them all the more, while we hate that sin which is destroying them, and wage war against it…

In this same way, many who read and study the Word of God do not know Him, because they fail to respond to Him, the Author of those words. Now some may admire and respect His Word, and may know more about His words than others, but they have missed the most important thing. You see, although they admire those words, they have failed to respond to the Author of those words. Rather than taking the time to respond to Him, and listen to His response to them, they just admire Him from afar.

Some people believe the words that He has written, and they apply them to their lives, just as some have admired Socrates and live by his words…

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

Socrates

Others admire Ghandi and live by his words…

A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ghandi

Still others admire Plato and live by his words…

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.

Plato

While people may admire these philosophers and live by what they say, the people do not actually know them. In the same way, while many people know Jesus and admire Him, many even try to live according to the Ten Commandments, this does not mean that they actually know Him personally, and intimacy is the very foundation of Christianity. This is why Jesus said:

“Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to Me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey My Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell Me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’

(Matthew 7:21-23 NLT)

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So, what does Jesus mean when He says we must obey His Father in heaven? How do we know if we really do know Jesus? He makes it plain for us in His word:

 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

(John 15:10-14 NKJV)

Do you see that? If we obey Jesus’ commandments, we will abide in His love… By this we will know that we are saved… So what does He command us to do?

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

(John 15:12 NKJV)

What is the greatest command that God gave us… the one that all of the Law and the prophets is based on?

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

(Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV)

Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ, my friends? Do you love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

I didn’t ask you if you love church, or the bible, or TBN or the God Channel. I asked if you love Jesus… Do you love Him first and best? Remember, the greatest command is to Love God.

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How about your neighbor? You know who I mean… Do you love your lazy co-worker who leaves you to pick up after him? Do you love your nosy neighbor who all the time sticks her nose into your business? Do you love your neighbor who says he loves you to your face, then stabs you in the back when you’re not looking? Do you love your neighbor, who is also your enemy? Remember… Jesus tells us to love one another as He loved us…

Do you know how wide and how long, how high and how deep His love for you really is? Let me remind you… While you and I were still sinners, doing the things that pleased ourselves, without a thought of Christ, He loved us. When you and I turned our backs on Him and rejected Him, Jesus still loved us. When you and I stumble and fall, Jesus still loves us. When we denied Him, He loved us still… In all of the sins we committed against Him, He not only kept on loving us, He forgave us! Not only did He forgive us… He picked us up and cleaned up our mess…

Now, I’ll ask you again, do you love God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Do you love your neighbor the same way Jesus loves us?

If your answer to either of those questions is no, then you, my friend truly don’t know Christ, and if you don’t know Him, you don’t know the Father… And if you don’t know them, then when Jesus returns, it doesn’t matter how many good deeds you’ve done, He will say to you, I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.” (Matthew 7:23b NLT)

It’s up to you, my beloved readers and followers… Do you want to know the Author of these 66 books we call the bible? Respond to Him. Develop a relationship with Him by talking to Him and listening to Him, as He speaks to you through His Word. My prayer for each one who reads these words of mine is that when Jesus returns, He will look at you and say, “Come here, My beloved. I’m so glad we’ve come to know one another, and that you did everything I authorized you to do!”

Words of Jesus – “Not Everyone Who Says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ Shall Enter The Kingdom of Heaven…” Part 1

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)

Today, I want to continue to study the Words of Jesus by examining our own hearts to determine if we are truly children of God. You see, just because you may be on the church’s administrative council, or the board of trustees, or a member of the choir, or the choir director, or a Sunday school teacher, or even a prophet, evangelist, apostle, bishop  or pastor, does not make you a child of God. These things to not guarantee you or me free admission to heaven. Indeed, even if someone works miracles, and does signs and wonders, this does not grant them the privilege of entering God’s Kingdom. 

There are many people in the U.S. and around the world who claim that they are Christians… many who attend church every time the doors are open… many who preach… many who prophesy and evangelize, but they are not who they say and even believe they are. Do you understand that claiming to be something, or someone does not make it true, not even if you believe what you’re saying? There are a lot of insane people who truly believe they are someone else, perhaps even someone famous, but no matter how much they believe, it is not true.

It’s the same with Christians. The Word of God tells us what we must do to be born again and saved… 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:16-21 NLT)

How do you know if you are a Christian?

  • You must believe in Jesus Christ – that He is the only Son of God… 

 Salvation that comes from trusting Christ — which is the message we preach — is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Romans 9:8-11 NLT)

    • Contrary to what you’ve been told, praying a sinner’s prayer or repeating words after someone will not save you… Scripture says nothing about this… Remember in my post from January 17, 2013, you were warned to “Beware of False Prophets.” This is one of the false teachings that are taught, which lead people to think they’re saved when in reality, they only recited some words, which did not change their hearts…
    • Salvation comes from trusting Christ – do you trust Him?
    • Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is ***Lord? (see definition of Lord below)
      1. It is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord?
    • Do you believe in your heart that God raised Christ from the dead? Believing in your heart that God raised Christ from the dead, makes you right with God… 
      1. Please note – good deeds, random acts of kindness, giving to charity, following all of the commandments, etc. are not what makes us right with God:

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6 NLT)

  • You must trust Jesus…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

    • Do you trust Jesus with all of your heart in all of your circumstances and situations?
    • Do you trust Him even though you don’t understand Him, and you cannot see how you can accomplish what He has sent you to do?
    • Do you trust Him even though you see no way out?
    • Do you trust Him to make all things work for good, even though you see no good in your situation?
    • Or do you rely on your own wisdom and ability to rescue you?
    • Or do you rely on others to help you?
    • Do you acknowledge Jesus in all your ways? Below is the definition for acknowledge from dictionary.com:
      1. to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of: to acknowledge one’s mistakes.
        1. In all of your ways, do you admit that Jesus is real and true, that He does in fact exist, and that He is the only One who gives you true love, life, hope, salvation, deliverance?
      2. to show or express recognition or realization of: to acknowledge an acquaintance by nodding.
        1. In all your ways, in everything that you do, to you show or express recognition… do you recognize Jesus as the Lord of your life?
          1. The definition for ***Lord in dictionary.com is:
            1. a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler. 
            2. a person who exercises authority from property rights; an owner of land, houses, etc. 
            3. a person who is a leader or has great influence in a chosen profession: the great lords of banking. 
            4. a feudal superior; the proprietor of a manor.
            5. a titled nobleman or peer; a person whose ordinary appellation contains by courtesy the title Lord or some higher title.
      3. to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of: The students acknowledged the authority of the student council.
        1. In everything you do, in all your ways, do you recognize Christ’s authority?
        2. Do you seek to obey His will or your own?
      4. to show or express appreciation or gratitude for: to acknowledge a favor.
        1. In all that happens in your life… the good and the bad… do you show or express appreciation and gratitude for all that Christ has done for you?
        2. When you accomplish something, do you show or express appreciation and gratitude to Christ, or do you accept all of the accolades for yourself?
      5. to indicate or make known the receipt of: to acknowledge a letter.
        1. Do you make known to others all that Christ has done for you?

My friend, I urge you to pray about the things I’ve talked about in this post, and seek God’s face as well as His word. It is important that you research these things, that you read the Scriptures so that you will know whether I speak words of truth to you or not. Although there are many false  prophets who will pay for leading many people astray, understand that each person is also responsible for his/her own salvation. In other words, even though there may be a false prophet among you, misleading many people, each person is responsible to read the word of God to see if what they are being taught is in fact true… (To be continued…)

May the Lord bless you as you search His word for the truth, in Jesus’ name.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

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Words of Jesus – When You Pray

http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/lord_traditional_king_james.html

Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be honored. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:7-13 NLT)

Have you ever gone to a church where the pastor begins to pray, and twenty minutes later, he/she is still praying the same prayer, repeating him/herself over and over and over and over and over and… well, you get the picture? Or have you ever listened to someone pray, and they keep using these big, long words and you’re not even sure if they know what they’re saying, let alone anyone else? Or how about the person who, whenever he/she is asked to pray, starts yelling and shouting, in a certain rhythmic style, always praying the same way, every time they are asked to pray, and you wonder, is this prayer meant to impress the Lord, or is this prayer meant to impress the people?

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Do you ever listen to people pray and think, “Man, I could never pray like that!” Have you ever had prayer envy? You know, some people seem to pray so beautifully, and their words just flow out of their mouth, while all that comes out of yours is just, “God, help me!”

Well, cheer up! According to Jesus, God isn’t at all impressed by the big words, lengthy prayers, repetitions and rhythmic prayers. Remember? He’s the Word, so why would the Word be impressed by words? The Lord wants us to communicate with Him. Period.

When I have a conversation with my husband, I don’t often use big, long words (unless I’ve just learned a new one that I like). When I talk to him, I look him in the eye, and I say exactly what’s on my mind at the time. Sometimes, I don’t even have to say anything, because we are intimate. We’ve been married for over 31 years, and we know each other. Sometimes, I know just what he’s thinking without either one of us saying a word.

http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/preaching-teaching/150717-tom-rogers-do-pray-the-text-before-you-preach-the-text.html

When I have a conversation with my husband, I’m not always the one who does all the talking. Sometimes, I keep my mouth shut and just listen to what He is saying to me. 🙂 Sometimes, I like what I’m hearing, and sometimes, I don’t. But that’s the way it is with communication and conversation. That’s the way it should be with prayer.

I can just imagine the look I would get from my husband if I started shouting and chanting at him. He would probably think I’ve lost what little bit of sense I did have. And so, I have to wonder how the Lord feels when we do that.

Oh, I know, some of you may be thinking, “You’re talking about having a conversation with your husband, but that’s different than praying to God.” Is it really?

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Jesus said that we’re His bride, so doesn’t that make Him our husband? And if He calls Himself our bridegroom (husband), well, doesn’t that imply that He wants to be intimate with us? And if He is our Husband, then that makes God our Father. Would you ever walk up to your dad and start shouting, or drone on and on and on and on and on…? When you’re asking him for something, would you keep using great big long words that you wouldn’t use in a normal conversation with him? Would you call him “Thee” or “Thou”?

If your answer is no to those questions, then why do we think we should do that with God? And why should we feel “less than” someone else who does pray to God like that? Is it just possible that people and churches who pray like this have become “religious”?

We have to be really careful, because sometimes, we can become religious without even meaning to. We might look at some people who don’t pray or praise as loudly as we do, and look down on them. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. We look down on ourselves, because we just don’t seem to fit in the same mold as everyone else around us, and we keep trying to fit ourselves into a church’s or another person’s mold. Brothers and sisters, if this describes you, STOP IT!

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Jesus knew that the scribes and pharisees didn’t know how to pray to God, and that the people had been trained by them, so they didn’t know how to pray either. The truth is, every one of us needs to be taught to pray. It doesn’t come automatically to us.

That’s why Jesus teaches us how to pray in His word. Now when we read this prayer, understand that Jesus didn’t say these are the words that must be used. He said, “Pray like this.” This is an outline for how to pray, not what to say.

Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be honored. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Let’s break this down…

  • Our Father in heaven we’re praying to our daddy who lives in heaven
  • May Your name be honored… honor him when we’re praying, show our reverence and our respect for His holy name
  • May Your Kingdom come soon… we’re asking Him to bring His Kingdom down here to us right now, on earth, right where we’re at
  • May Your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven… let Him know that we’re not asking for things to be done our way. We want His will. We want what He wants to happen right here on earth, just like it already does in heaven.
  • Give us our food for today… We’re asking the Lord to take care of our needs today. We’ll talk to Him about tomorrow when it gets here, but for now, Lord, please just give me what I need to do what You’ve called me to do today.
  • Forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us… Don’t forget to ask the Lord to forgive you for sinning against Him, and make sure that while you’re asking for forgiveness, you’ve forgiven people who have sinned against you.
  • And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one… We don’t have time for big fancy words here, sometimes, all we have time to do is say “God, help me!” Ask Him to help us not to fall into the same traps that keep catching us, and ask Him to save you from the enemy!

I love how Jesus breaks it down for us. Praise God! I don’t have to pray like anyone else, and I don’t have to shout and turn red in the face to make God hear me. He’s not deaf to my cries. I just need to talk to Him just like I talk to my husband or father, and because we’re intimate, sometimes, I need to be quiet and listen as He speaks to me.

Isn’t it awesome to know that He wants to hear from us, and that He doesn’t want us to fall into the trap of praying like everyone else, or shouting at Him (sometimes shouting out to Him is good, depending on the situation and the urgency of your prayer, but not every time you pray)? He just wants us to open the lines of communication, and His ear is attentive to our needs. 🙂

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

 

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Words of Jesus – Sh! Don’t Tell Anybody

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“Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do — blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-6 NLT)

Does anyone else struggle with this portion of scripture? I don’t mean to imply that I don’t understand what it says, because its meaning is abundantly clear! When I ask if anyone else struggles with this scripture, I mean does anyone else have difficulty living this one out?

There Jesus goes again, turning my world upside down. You see, my whole life I’ve bent over backwards to win people’s approval, first my parents, then later my teachers and later still, anyone’s approval! And then He comes into the picture and tells me to stop doing what I’ve always done – the only thing I know how to do.

Just when I think I’ve got a handle on things, and I’m really starting to do what’s right in my walk with the Lord, He shows me that I’m still not like Him as much as I want to be. “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)

So again, I’m thrown into a quandary. What happens when I try to walk this out, and people reward me with their praise? Do I lose out on God‘s blessing?

I don’t want to do that. You see, as much as I want others to love me and validate me, I NEED His love and approval, because the truth is, I could still write, preach, and minister without another person ever witnessing it, but, without His anointing, without His presence, without Him giving me the words, the heart and the mind to write and minister, I couldn’t do it!

Yes, it feels good when you deliver a powerful word from the Lord, and people confirm it. But, as I’ve said before, it also makes me apprehensive… What if my motives are wrong? What if I’m trying to please people more than Jesus? Lord, what if I’ve totally missed the mark?

And then, things become more challenging for me when Jesus speaks about prayer. “And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NLT)

So, here’s my other dilemma. I’m a minister. I minister in prison and I’m part of the ministerial staff at my church, as well as being a Sunday School teacher, and I’m often called on to pray – Publicly – where others hear my prayers. And again, when I’m writing, I often pray as I write, and everyone who reads my posts, may at some point or other read my prayers.

Lord, am I cheating myself out of Your blessings? 

And I hear words of the Lord saying, The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:8-9 NLT) 

http://sheddinglightonthepath.blogspot.com/2012/05/jesus-prayer-for-you-and-me.html

You see, according to this, I don’t even know how wicked my heart really is, and my heart is likely to lie about its motives. I might think I’m doing the right thing for all the right reasons, when in reality, my heart may have deceived me. So, now what?

All I (we) can do is cry out to the Lord. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT) 

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. (Psalm 51:10-12 NLT)

He knows our hearts, better than we do, and He is able to search them out. Praise God, He is so faithful too, telling us that if we confess our sins to Him, He will forgive us and clean us up from all unrighteousness. Aren’t you grateful for that? I know I sure am.

So, in conclusion, God is interested in the motives of our heart. What motivates us to minister, to give, to pray or to serve? Is it the accolades we receive from others? If so, we’ve already received our reward. Do we do it for recognition? If so, that is our reward.

But what if we write, we pray, we preach and we minister, because His word is like a fire shut up in our bones and we grow weary when we try to hold it back? If some people are inspired by those words or “like” them, then we must make sure that we let them know they’re not our (my) words, but only a gift from Him. And if they dislike those words, they’re still His words, not ours (mine), and it’s all for His glory, and not ours (mine).

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

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Words of Jesus – Turn the Other Cheek & Love Your Enemies!

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.’ But I say, don’t resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too. If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.

“If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:38-48 NLT)

This where a real man or woman of God proves their mettle. Do you love Jesus? Give up your rights… That’s a powerful message for the church in America today.

One of the things we do well in this country is defend our rights, and if we believe someone violates those rights, we take them to court. Imagine with me for just a few minutes what it would be like to live in a world where we obeyed Jesus’ commands… and understand this, Jesus wasn’t interested in whether His commands were fair or unfair.

I believe it comes down to love. Do I choose to love the person who takes the credit for something I did? If I do, let him/her have the credit. God knows the truth. Do I choose to love the person who just took the shirt off my back? If I do, then let me get my coat and give that to him/her as well. And what if my boss unjustly demands that I stay and work overtime for an extra hour without overtime pay? If I love him/her, not only will I do it, but I’ll stay as long as it takes to complete the project.

http://fifchristian.com/messagemanager/listen/44

This kind of thinking goes against the grain. It goes against everything we’ve been taught in our lives. Jesus takes everything we’ve ever been taught about what’s fair and just, what’s right and wrong, and He turns it upside down. He tells us to do things that rub us wrong, things that make every hair on the back of our necks stand on end.

He tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Love my enemies??? Pray for those who persecute me??? Lord, don’t you even care about my feelings? This doesn’t make a bit of sense! 

What about justice? What about right and wrong? How do you love someone who has abused you? How do you love someone who has mortally wounded you? And you’re asking me to pray for someone who has permanently damaged me? You’re asking me to pray for them and not against them? What kind of sense does this make? I don’t understand!

 “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)

Ok Lord, but You just commanded us to be perfect just as my heavenly Father is perfect. Everybody says nobody’s perfect, so how can You tell me to be perfect? Isn’t that impossible?

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NLT)

Ok Lord, I hear what You’re telling me and I want to believe You, but how can I love my enemies and be perfect like You are? Help me Lord, to see things as You see them, to see people as You see them, and to love them as You love them… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

Thank You Lord!

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – You Are the Light of the World

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt6Vw9_X1AI

I love this scripture! It made me think of the old Newsboys song, Shine and you know I just had to post that! 🙂

Light of the World
Light of the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t you just love the Lord and His word? Just think about what He’s saying here. The Light of the world is telling us that we are the light of the world! How about that? Did you ever think of it that way before? I’ve read this Scripture many times, but tonight, He just spoke that to my heart… The Light calls us the light…

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into His family — calling Him “Father, dear Father.” For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we will share His treasures — for everything God gives to His Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering (Romans 8:14-17 NLT).

So, since I’m a light, what should I do? I know! I should do what the Light does, right? So let me see… Life itself was in Him, and this life gives light to everyone. The Light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:4-5 NLT)… “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)… Jesus said to the people, “I am the Light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the Light that leads to life” (John 8:12 NLT).

Ok – Jesus, the Light, shines in the darkness… He went to dark places and the darkness can never extinguish His light! So if the Light goes to dark places and shines, then you and I, the lights, must go into dark places and shine! And praise God! He gives us instruction in case we don’t know how to shine… All we have to do is follow Him! If we follow Him, we wont be stumbling through the darkness because we will have the Light – His Light – that leads to life.

Do you see? When we follow Him, His light shines through us, and we are able to go to the dark places, as we follow Jesus, and we will shine. Isn’t that awesome?

A powerful light shines in the dark.
A powerful light shines in the dark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But we’ve got to be wise. Not everyone is going to welcome the Light… “There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The Light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil. They hate the Light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the Light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the Light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants” (John 3:18-21 NLT). 

Don’t think there’s something wrong with you or with the message the Lord has given you when people reject you, because they don’t want their sins exposed. Don’t be surprised if people get angry with you, if they hate you, if they plot against you and even if they violently attack you. Don’t hide your light because of this.

http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2012/04/16-reported-killed-in-nigerian-church.html

Brothers and sisters, we have to shine, not for our own glory, but for the glory of the Lord! We mustn’t shine so people will pat us on the back and tell us what good people we are. No! We must let His light shine through us so that people will give glory to God!

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT).

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers