Grow in Wisdom ,
The Bible tells us that wisdom is supreme; to get wisdom. This means we must actively acquire it. There is a difference in earthly wisdom and God’s Wisdom so we go to Him. When I finally got the revelation that I was lacking; praying and asking for it became much easier. If King Solomon had enough wisdom to ask for it; then perhaps he was on to something; obviously he was. He asked for it in a dream and God answered!
So what do we do to increase in it?
1- Pray for wisdom. James 1:9 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” I started praying years ago for wisdom and an increase in it with each passing day. My life has changed as a result and yours will too!
2- Read a Proverb each day. There are 31 Proverbs probably not a coincidence. When you read have a notepad near by and journal what the Lord reveals. You will amazed at the end of one year all the Lord has blessed with you. You can even read each one Proverb per day for a month pertaining to a particular topic and glean even more.
3- Read Psalms daily. Now because there are 150 Psalms what I started doing was reading at the start of the year day one Psalm 1 and Psalm 50. Then day two Psalm 2 and Psalm 149; etc. What this has done for me is help me to grow in ways that are different than if I just read ‘one’. Once I get to the middle then I read outward to the end/beginning and then I start again. Remember that when it comes to Psalm 119 that you need to give yourself more time because it’s lengthy.
There is so much that the Lord reveals in His Word and these two books are filled with so much about living, the heart of the Lord and even having a heart to know His heart.
I pray this blesses you and that you too are increasing in wisdom with each passing day in Jesus name.
For more articles and videos about knowing and growing in Christ visit www.julieblar.com
I’ve noticed a trend that I have no clue where it started. It’s one that makes no sense that I haven’t found a name other than what it is: manipulation for entitlement. Maybe it’s part of the word of faith movement that started with Kenyon back in the late 1800’s. I’m not sure but it goes something like this:
Someone will read God’s Word and read that God spoke something specific to someone; or someone else in God’s word may be speaking to a group of people and then next thing- the reader claims it for him or herself. You know similar to when an entire doctrine was created based upon Paul speaking to a certain group of people for a certain reason in a certain context. And yet many apply it thinking and making it apply today. No one thinks anything of it; they just live in the bondage it breeds.
I was recently told by someone to follow Joshua 1:1-6 in regards to property. I inquired of the Lord by what authority I would have to claim something that He spoke to someone else in an entirely different time for a specific reason in a specific context that had nothing to do with me then and here is what was revealed that I pray will give you breakthrough:
1- There are many promises in the Bible.
2- There are many promises in the Bible ‘for you’.
3- When you lay claim to something that God gave someone else that you have no jurisdiction to receive He is not obligated to deliver.
4- When you lay claim to something you think you are entitled to just because you want it and add ‘in Jesus name’ at the end of it moves you to a level of witchcraft and usery.
5- When you lay claim to something you think you want because God blessed someone else in the Bible with it- you may be shorting yourself because God may have something ‘better’ set aside for you.
6- When you lay claim to something you think you want and just attach ‘in Jesus name’ at the end without even asking God in the first place He is not obligated to deliver. Refer to John 15:1-7 where he who ‘abides’. Well abide in Hebrew is to ‘dwell’. If you are not dwelling then God is not obligated. It’s about the relationship with the Lord and not your own entitlement.
7- When God speaks a Word to someone or uses someone today to speak a word does not mean it is for every other person who happens to be there. I recall God using me to deliver a word to someone and the person who was standing there also claimed it. I was stumped. How on earth does that even work? And- who gave you such entitlement? The word for that person was based upon a specific context and for someone to just grab it for him/herself is beyond comprehension of the level of entitlement and selfishness. We must stop this and now! Get for yourself what God has for you and stop stealing everything that you think you want and are entitled to that has nothing to do with you! Go with the ‘promises’ He has for you as that is much different.
8- What God has for you is for you- yet if you never grow in that relationship with Him you won’t receive it. You will only be receiving second hand, generational, inherited something or other that while may be good- wouldn’t be ‘all’ that God would have for you.
9- When God doesn’t deliver on what you think you were entitled to that you claim outside of your jurisdiction and ability to receive you have no reason or authority or case against God when he doesn’t deliver it.
So much of Christianity today is based upon a level of getting for self-gain and not the fullness of holiness, repentance, obedience. It is much more carnal, covetness and greed. It is not clear where or when the church was hijacked although what it is clear is that many are being deceived to believe that they are entitled to everything simply because they are. Many have forgotten that God ‘is’ God and that we are not.
Many are leaving the church is perhaps it’s because of what many have been fed. Lies, dishonest gain for selfish pleasures. Things that sound good yet aren’t fully God. It hurts people in the end because they honestly believed and when God doesn’t deliver they blame Him and it’s sad because it’s not God’s fault.
Until we truly grasp the reality of who He is and who we are; and what really we are ‘entitled’ to nothing will change. It will continue to collapse along with the ‘gimme gimme’ yet it’s pretty clear it’s better to give than to receive. Where are the givers? We must understand that we need to get into God’s Word and study ourselves approved otherwise the ensuing calamity will only bring harsher consequences and in the end- it will be just; only because God is a just God.
Jesus said in the Book of John, ‘You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” (12:8) One can look around and see it clear. It’s also known that 3% of the people have 97% of the world’s wealth so one can infer that the rest of us are poor. I was always told that anyone who has to work to support him or herself was poor. I started wondering what Jesus meant specifically by poor and where are these poor; exactly?
Keep in mind when you venture toward something like this; your eyes will be open and what you see may surprise or sadden you. For me it was both. The poor aren’t those who lack financially; no no. It’s so much more than that. Poor in the Strong’s is afflicted (6035) which I know at some point I knew but never paid attention to. I was this time!
I started seeing it everywhere; the hearts of people. The affliction, the pain; the lack of depth in most conversations. Then became the wonder: how did we come to a place of caring more about phones than people? At what point did people become so disposable? At what point did our conversations become reports of our oh so busy pretend lives that we just simply do not ask the most basic of question: ‘how are you?’ and actually have a heart that means it?
The more conversations I listened to the more saddened it became and was so clear what Jesus was speaking about; and how really poor people were then and- now. He tells the disciples that the poor will always be among them; and that they won’t always have Him. How many of us now have Him yet are the walking poor? One may ask what’s up with that? How; how could it be so that we have traded our treasure for trash- and accepted it?
We must remove the spirit of deep sleep and ask our Father to truly open our eyes to see so that we can discern if we are the poor among them; and then rebuke it. We must start paying attention to the poor among us and now before it’s too late. We are losing too many people and simply because our society is so selfish that it just can’t begin to look beyond the next selfie.
Did you know the suicide rate for Caucasian men is at all time high? They are hated in today’s society by so many; men of other ethnicity’s and women alike. And these men alive today are not even responsible for what men hundreds of years ago did; but yet society in its unforgiving ways can’t seem to recognize that. So let’s just add to the poor among us shall we? And for what exactly? We must begin to recognize that while there are always going to be poor among us; having less poor would be more ideal than falling into the enemy trap of propaganda that only creates more.
You see; the person next to you, you know the one- who looks like everything is wonderful on the outside may just be the one poor one knife slit from death or one bullet away from leaving a family behind. You do not know and you never will if you never pay attention to the poor among you.
It is time that we put down the phones and start looking at the people. They, those precious people right next to you will reveal much if only you stop for a moment; just a moment to look. Engage. Listen. Love. You can help the poor be poor no more; simply by paying attention and recognizing that you are needed more than your phone is by others.
There are many questions surrounding Tribulation and Christians often ask if they need to prepare and if so what does it look like? I can say without hesitation that yes one must be prepared; as was Noah in his time. He followed the Lord’s command and as a result was prepared. Apostle Paul also warns about being prepared in and out of season.
During the time of Tribulation not being able to make purchases we must have our homes protected so that we are able to endure such time. We should as Believers wait until its too late to begin preparing as we already have examples to follow in God’s Word. The Book of Proverbs provides much for us as we examine one tiny little ant. In Proverbs 6:6-8 it reads,
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
The ant demonstrates the ability to think not just about the fleeting moment but rather toward what may be ahead. As such we must as well.
Let’s examine what we may need during the time of Tribulation; knowing that as you pray and ask for the Lord’s leading your list may vary although these may be some foundation items that are necessary.
1- Water. Of course everyone needs water so this goes without say. If you start now stocking up on water then you are set for drinking but what about the rest of your life? What about showering, cooking, or anything else. Don’t you need to be able to flush the toilet so you may need more water? If you have the drinking water do you really want to pour that down the toilet? The large blue containers you can fill up with a few gallons of tap water and then store them in the garage so you have something. You wouldn’t want to store your drinking water in the heat in the garage as it will only take more like plastic than it already does. Berkey water filtration systems are also available for a reasonable price online.
2- Canned goods and Food. Of course you have to eat and because you may not have electricity or know when it will be restored you definitely have to plan. What is your daily food consumption now? How long will the food in the refrigerator and freezer last? How would you prepare it? I was told years ago to take old water bottles and fill them with water but not all the way full and then store them in the freezer for occasions just like this. Perhaps a few MRE’s and other items should be accounted for before it’s too late. Foods high in protein and require no cooking are the most obvious. Plan for additional foods for the children and infants in your family. Not only this; how often do people eat out of boredom? Planning now will help you know what you have so your level of irritability won’t be so high. Rice and beans are obvious options; although they will deplete your water so be mindful of every ingredient needed.
3- Paper items. Toilet paper, napkins and other items are good to have on hand. Because water supply is limited doing dishes won’t be easy using paper products can serve the purpose. If count for how much toilet paper you use per month then perhaps an extra month supply would be good. Obviously if you are single you use less than a family of five; and that is the last thing you want to run out of. One opened item of anything is never enough! If you are the one with toilet paper it too can be used to barter for items you may not have.
4- Protection. It’s wise to be able to defend yourself in all seasons. Keeping current with firearms training and having ammunition is just prudent. My CHL is current and being proficient in using it doesn’t take much time out of my life. It’s just one of those things that is no different than taking care of the laundry. While some may say Christians and Bibles don’t go together; history reveals that our forefathers carried their firearms to church with them. And regardless of who does or does not believe; I will stand protected in the manner in which is most suitable for me. Prayer is obvious although a nice Springfield is something good to have on hand.
5- Toiletries. As I said before an opened anything is never enough. Are you at the bottom of the shampoo bottle? Last roll of the toothpaste? What then? Relying on others may not be the wisest choice; time to start walking in a new level of prudence. How terrible would it be to not be able to brush your teeth for a few days or weeks?
6- Lighting. Candles of course can work just great; but how many would you need to use for light and warmth? When I look around my home I see 30ft ceilings which means all the warmth going everyone else except to me. I would need to get creative with where I would spend my time because I obviously don’t want to waste my candles. My personal idea is pretty simple. My bathroom is a decent size and is closed in so it would make the most sense to set up shop in there. I would set up an air mattress in the bathtub and that room would be the warmest with less heat escaping. Sitting on the air mattress also gets me off the floor. Because my dining room, kitchen, living room; and bedroom all have windows using candles simply would not be the best option. Additionally; any light that is viewed from the outside can cause you to be a target from the undesireables. GE sells the LED lanterns that take D batteries so for 20 bucks I have light and with my candles have warmth. Don’t forget the matches or lighters. I have a fireplace that was one thought although the bathroom would still provide better options for longer warmth. Start looking at what you have and what you can do with what you have; and how to make what you have fully operational when you need it.
7- Pet food and supplies. You can’t let your pet go hungry now can you? Of course mot! The Olive needs her food too. How much does your pet consume daily? What about flea, tick or heart worm medicine? Having these items on hand will only help you better protect your animal. Perhaps a few extra treats or raw hide bones would serve as a distraction from the situation. You may also think about a dog sweater or sweatshirt. While most with the purse dogs spend more on these items; your lab or Great Dane deserves one too!
8-Prescriptions. While it’s easy to call the pharmacist to place the prescription order on most days; during Tribulation that option won’t exist. Not only this; you most likely wouldn’t have phone service to make the call or be able to get to that location to purchase it. Having enough supply on hand is wise as you would have to have your mother or child suffer those consequences!
9- Extra glasses or contacts. If it’s dark and you lose a pair of glasses now you are stuck. Stuck using your light to go search in the cold of the night to find them when if you had an extra pair in an easy to find location you would be just fine. This is one thing on my list without a doubt! I’ve never lost a pair but that doesn’t mean an extra pair wouldn’t be beneficial. I’m also learning that too many things that can be done tomorrow can wreck havoc on it too!
10- Blankets. If you happen to be like many bachelors you may just have your sheet and comforter that you sometimes use; or even perhaps you have the old quilt from someone years ago. Having enough blankets to keep you warm is a definite! If you hold up in one room you can always use one at the base of the door to keep any heat from escaping. My favorite is my down comforter; although I have two other bed sets and numerous other blankets that I have picked up along the way. This one item that can definitely serve it’s purpose. Of course if you have the sleeping bag that you use for those hunting excursions those will work just fine.
11- Generator. Sure you may not want to spare the expense of a few hundred bucks and no one blames you. For those who like to really be prepared it may be the best way to go. While others may be suffering; those with the generators wouldn’t lose any power so perhaps it is something to consider.
While we know God always provides and He did so for the Israelites; although they were traveling. Many today will not be and will need enough to care for themselves. It is up to each of us to get with the Lord and inquire what He knows you need. We can learn in scripture in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 that a man who doesn’t work doesn’t eat; and one who doesn’t prepare now probably will starve during Tribulation.
So long as you start now in building your faith, your time in His Word; and your relationship with Him you will survive. The time now that you have must be spent with the right mindset for a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Remember that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy and any way he can deceive you he will. Do not be deceived but rather be strengthened in your faith, in your mind and in your body so that you can endure to the end and be saved as Jesus says.
What is going on in the Body of Christ today? A few questions may be why are people leaving, where the miracles signs and wonders have disappeared to; and what happened testimonies? When the church and the world look the same it should have every Christian questioning themselves by asking one simple question: Am I a lukewarm Luke or Lucile?
Being a follower of Christ is a lifestyle; not just a Sunday afternoon retreat for a feel good sermon to enjoy yet that seems to be the commonplace for America. Don’t like the message; jump to another church. Oh yes and don’t forget to stop at the one giving away Cowboys tickets in the raffle! And then of course repeat until you find the one that gives you the most goosebumps and talks the least about repentance. I get it. I too once liked the messages that made me feel good; until I got that feeling good was like eating tiny food at a restaurant- you leave hungry because you didn’t get fed.
Not growing up in the church I didn’t know what it truly was to be a Christian and even when I became one all I did was sit in church; for 18 years. Yet my life didn’t change. I had no power. I walked in no authority. I had no relationship. I was broke, beat down, discouraged and a sad excuse for what a Christian should be; much like many today. It didn’t change until I did something about. And it won’t for you either. So if you are lukewarm and do nothing; you simply will stay that way for there is no other way. And where really is a testimony of that? If you were to have a conversation with a non-believer what really would be the sharing point that you have that would have them wanting to be a follower of Christ?
Being a Christian isn’t about sitting and just listening to a message but rather taking action and territory for God and His Kingdom. You have an assignment; a purpose and it isn’t camping or glamping until His return. It simply is not! It is about your obedience to fulfill what you were created for. Nothing more. If you are not actively doing something beyond seeking yourself and your own glory; perhaps getting into His Word and seeking Him for what He would have for you is the best place to start- and really the only place. You can’t get beyond yourself only looking in the mirror and seeing your reflection.
It took me years to get that it was’t about me. I didn’t know how to not make it about me. I was a victim in many ways of many things and my life reflected it. You may be there to except here is the thing. Your life can reflect that of you or the Lord- it’s your pick.
As I fast forward to a life of growth in Christ I see it now. It is so painfully obvious when pastors and church leaders today have the audacity to tell their congregations that sin filled lifestyles are what are going to revolutionize the church. Are you serious? Shame on you! Never mind that Jesus came to set the captives free. Is that not for today?
We must ask ourselves: Why do we think so little of ourselves and of Christ to be ok living in sin, justifying it; and then trying to manipulate people into the church by telling them that sin is ok and to keep on sinning; that abortion is ok, that homosexuality is ok, that just because there if forgiveness all is ok. Where does that edify the Lord? How on earth does that advance His Kingdom? Are we ok with just giving to God 1.5 hours on Sunday and then get mad when He doesn’t deliver what we think we should have? Give me a break! Where are the messages of repentance? Oh yes is that not for today? Well; we need repentance and obedience more than we need one more prosperity message as it’s clear those aren’t truly helping the Body as a whole!
I was told that if I wanted to grow in Christ it would require 40+ hours per week. I thought my Bible teacher was high; he wasn’t. How could I even give 40 hours per week when hockey season was starting? Let’s get real here! I got serious about what it means to be a follower of Christ and my life changed. Yours will too and guess what? You won’t miss football for you will see the sin filled agendas they push down your throat. Oh yes when the NFL tries to bully cities about the gender confusion laws with the Superbowl. You won’t be so deceived that you fall for the satantic rituals performed during half-time. No you won’t feast your eyes on such rubbish because you will again see the Truth and of course be set free! The time in your life will be forever changed as much as you are in the name of Jesus.
You won’t miss the violence in movies or the hatred of women everywhere. You won’t find it funny when women act stupid and put down one another and curse and slander each other. Oh no. You won’t miss the need to be entertained because your standard of living will be beyond accepting sin filled crap in your life. You won’t be deceived by the feminist movement that is pure hatred. You won’t settle for less than what God has for you because you will recognize that the God you serve is holy and makes the impossible possible and just for you. You won’t miss not being seen at the bar looking oh so fly because the only One your focus will on is the One who matters most. And you won’t settle for less; oh no you won’t ever let someone call you out on being lukewarm because you know it won’t be possible.
Until we as followers of Christ are willing to stop placating sin, justifying it and minimizing and morphing it then the answer to the question is and will continue to be- you are a lukewarm Lucy or Larry and yes you will be spit out by Jesus in accordance with His word. It is beyond time to let these words sink in before it’s too late:
To the Church in Laodicea
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” (Rev 3:14-19)
There is time for you to make the personal change to not be known as the lukewarm lazy one but the gipper for God or as some may label but why care? At least you know who you are in Christ and that no weapon formed against you will come to pass.
It’s time to stop pretending as those days are revealing exactly what they are. It’s all collapsing and right before our very eyes. Too many people are losing their lives being deceived by what God says sin is and isn’t. It’s time now if you lay claim to being a Christian that you get up and stand up for Truth and stop actively networking your way through the social club of popularity in what is fake and fraudulent in the first place. Get with God and His level of holiness and then and only then will there be the full manifestation of transformation that takes place. Anything less than that is as fake as the Prada or Birkin bags people want people want you to believe are real. The time is now to do something about getting the real thing; and while you still can.
Stinking Thinking ,
You have a choice about what you think about. What you choose to think about will dictate where you go in your life. God’s Word tells us to ‘choose life so that you and your family may live’. It is a measure of protection that begins in the mind. The stinking thinking that you allow in will distort everything else in your life. Removing the stinking thinking will protect you and your family and will bring more of God and His larger plans into your life.
God’s Word also tells us to demolish every argument and pretension set up against the knowledge of God and so therefore; as we do that our lives will change. This is so that we can live in the freedom that comes only through taking every thought captive unto Him.
Brothers and Sisters; God is on your side. He wants the best for you it’s just time that you align yourself with you to align with God’s Word to receive just that.
You are not alone- He is with you!
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Adapting to Change ,
Many people believe that there is nothing new under the sun; although those are simply the words of King Solomon and nothing more. There is something new in each day; there is His grace and there is His mercy. And with that there too is the increase in capacity to love. As everything around us changes; we have choices about how we respond. And when that change is to a heart of love we all benefit.
You see; there is always change. It doesn’t matter in what way; there is. Change is everyday life. How you handle it is completely up to you. You can resist it all you like; and in the end what will it gain you? Change is there. Naomi turned Mara It is up to you to decide what you allow in your heart and how you move in that change; whatever it is. Many are demonstrating that they wish to have no love and no wish for it but rather are choosing unforgiveness, resentment bitterness, pride and more. Let us move to the scripture where it reads plainly: “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12. It is very telling where the hearts of people are and on this day let it be that of love. If you want radical change in your life, your family, your community, your state, your country then you must move with and in a heart turned toward love. Period.
In accepting change, know it can be challenging at various times and it mostly proves so when we look inward and focus on ourselves. There is no freedom in self or self-focus. There never has been nor will there ever be. If there were no person would ever need Jesus.
As we grasp that in order for us to move forward in change in our lives we must seek the real issue and stop focusing on the symptoms of the issue otherwise we will never change for the better. We can no longer stand up to the future focusing on the past that most of were not even alive to experience. We can no longer punish those standing next to us for what they neither were alive for to even be witness to. No. We simply cannot.
What we must do is forgive. We must claim that our love for one another is greater than the hatred we have been breeding. We must stand and say that while the past hurt we forgive it. We must if want to live. We must stand united and say that there is change today and while it may not be the change that everyone wants – it is change. And no change is not easy.
We must forgive those next to us who have walked in hatred and resentment for they know not what they do. We must forgive ourselves for what we have allowed into our hearts that have been the example others have followed. And we must recognize that until we start being the example of love- we can’t expect others to get there. We must recognize that we all have a responsibility as Christians to be obedient to God’s commands which are not minced: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30 These words begin with a heart focus on God and that is where we must turn- and stay; and for the benefit of our lives and for those of our children.
For more about growing in Christ visit www.julieblair.com
Julie Blair went from homeless to hope-filled in Christ. Her tv and radio program Living in Forgiveness airs daily to 3B worldwide.
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It’s a funny life to live being in ministry without growing up in the church, having no desire to be in church; and not knowing what any of it would be like. My best guess is that God knew if I knew beforehand I would simply have told Him, ‘No thank You. What else do you have in store for m?’ NEXT! I say that with all seriousness as I truly had no idea yet I thank God for His protection that keeps me strong with each passing day.
And so in a conversation with someone recently we talked about how the church changed over the generations- to which was amusing because of my level of ignorance of it all. This man has been in ministry about 60 years so he knows a thing or two. Me; well I grew up Catholic. I never owned a Bible yet went to private Catholic school. Not only this; my adoptive parents did the church renovations and I was an alter girl so needless to say I had my overfill of religion.
I did go years later to a charismatic church and I had never seen anything like it. So many people doing all those weird things; their arms in the air, some running around, and people of every color. I didn’t know what to think to say the least. It was like seeing Vegas I guess for the first time. You just don’t know what to look at first- or if you should look at all. I did go back although never became a member because I didn’t understand why I needed to give them my address. Why did they need to know where I lived? I didn’t get it. That was my level of ignorance that I brought to the table.
Years late and thousands of hours with the Lord I started growing in this thing called ministry. It was life changing; and in ways that I truly did not expect. There are so many things that if I knew I would not be here today. Again; it’s only God’s hand on me that has me here and for that I am grateful. When I look at the Pharisees and what they are about really wasn’t just them back in the day behaving as though they did; it’s no different today. My guess is that we always will be in some form or fashion. In fact you may be one; but we won’t tell. Let’s identify just a few things that Pharisees did then that are still done today. I share these things so that you too can be free to just be you and who God created you to be:
- You hold people to your own higher than the Bible standards. It’s amazing how many people have told me that if you are woman in heels you just can’t love the Lord. I laugh. I didn’t use to. Oh yes; you can’t wear that, say that, do that, eat that, hang around ‘those’ people, go there, live there; read that version of the Bible, and the list goes on. I can tell you brothers and sisters; if you have fallen under this by anyone- rebuke it and run! It will only steal from you as it did me for many years and I certainly do not want you to give way to the bondage it breeds. If you are forcing others to follow only the rules and regulations that others have forced on you; perhaps you are a Pharisee and just haven’t yet been free. It’s time to just be free in Christ. Then read 1 Sam 16:7 , ‘But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Imagine that.
- You follow man-made traditions more-so than the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. Oh yes you have your traditions and they carry more weight than anything Jesus said. You may be aware of what Jesus said; but what you do and how it was done in the past just means more. Matthew 15:6 identifies it clearly, “…Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” What man made traditions do you currently follow that aren’t even in the Bible? Do you know? Time to find out! You just may be making life more difficult for yourself trying to keep up. Let it go and just live.
- You seek the opinion of man more-so than the Word of God. Man will always have an opinion; just ask him. (man being Biblically gender identified as man and woman) Just because man has opinion means nothing more than this. The pharisees upheld their own ideas and opinions as the truth though the Lord Jesus was right in front of them speaking Truth but they were so blind they could not see it. The modern day Pharisee will spend more time sharing and seeking man’s ideas and justifying them for purpose of self-righteousness rather than humbling themselves to the Word of God which is Truth. It’s hard to grasp that man’s opinions are just that; opinions. God’s Word is Truth. (and I’m not going to argue that as you can just go to God for that one.)
- The purpose for glorification is about self. Your focus is about you for you and you make sure everyone knows it. When you are about you; others will see it. How much you give, how often and long you fast, how many Psalms you have memorized and the list goes on. Where is your focus will always be identified. I often ask my coaching clients this one question: ‘Are you using your platform to build your audience or your audience to build your platform’? The response says everything. The Pharisees were all about self and making sure everyone knew how great they were and if you are too; then perhaps ask the Lord to reveal new areas of life to you as it will be refreshing to you and everyone around you.
- You feel better knowing you aren’t like ‘that person’. Oh yes it’s everywhere. The moment that you are thankful you aren’t someone else or that your ministry isn’t like that person’s you entered into a level of comparison and judgment. You have just elevated yourself to a status that you really are not at. You are not any better than the person with the larger or smaller ministry. You are no better than the person with the smaller bank account. You are no better than the single man or woman. You simply are not. And the moment you feel better about not being someone else is the moment you aren’t thanking God for who He created you to be and that open door is one that the enemy can taint in more ways than most realize. Wouldn’t it be sad to learn from the Lord that that person you were judging was more Christian than you think you are? Yeah- so don’t even open the door.
- You are offended easily. Oh yes; it’s so funny to read all about the Pharisees who were just fit to be tied. Why on earth; think about this- would so many people be offended by what someone else says that isn’t even to them? It’s like going to a Trump Rally to be offended on purpose and then blaming him for what he is saying. Ummm…. hello. Get a clue. Your offense is your problem and if you are living offended it’s just something to talk to God about. The Pharisees probably would have enjoyed life more if they weren’t so offended and uptight. You being offended is making everything about you and well; it just isn’t. Jesus died on the cross- not you. It’s just life so just get over it and start enjoying yourself.
- You love to argue because you believe you are right. It’s amazing to me how much Christians like or rather; love to argue- and with each other. I had absolutely no idea! I also had no clue entering into this life that Christians love to do it so much to prove themselves right and so blatantly while not grasping the reality that someone doesn’t have to be wrong in order for you to be right. It’s all ok. The Pharisees just loved the argument and for what reason? You arguing louder doesn’t change the content of the argument. You calling other pastors, ministers or anyone else names doesn’t make you right. It just doesn’t. Seriously- what is the fuss about? Ok- so you are right? What does that change? Did you bring someone to Christ? Oh- you didn’t? No you just are right in your own mind for your self-glorification and elevation. Now isn’t that special? The Pharisees are those who just love calling out others who just don’t agree with them and here me clearly Saints- it does no one any good. In fact; it proves what everyone else says! It’s ok to just be you, be wrong and be happy.
In the end it’s really simple. If you are a Christian just focus on the Lord and follow the plan for your life that He has for you. Know that it won’t look like the plan of anyone else because it’s not supposed to. Thank God that He created you for such a time and place as this; that every need you have it met and that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Know that apart from Him you can do no good thing and that as you take every thought captive while seeking His Kingdom everything in your life will change. And you will be free; simple to be you and live.
Julie Blair went from homeless to hope-filled in Christ. She helps people be delivered and overcome issues in life so they can be free in Christ. Her radio program ‘Living in Forgiveness’ airs daily to 3B worldwide. Watch tonight at 9:30pm on the UANetwork. Check your local listing. For more visit www.julieblair.com
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It’s funny; well actually sad when I ask people the question of what God or god they are serving. Most just say; “Well-God”; yeah big red truck right? Others say “My pastor says” and still others just look at me with a question of disgust as if I should already know-yet they never ask the question. So I ask you what God are you serving?
You see; you may think you are serving the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob yet does your life reflect it? Or does the Lord come after as in after school, after work, after church, after football; after you fill in the blank.
I thought for so long that I was serving God; I honestly did. I went to church every Sunday. Yep. I sure did. I sat there and I even took notes. Boy was I such a server of the Lord. Yet in all that what did my life actually look like? It reflected the god I truly was serving. And yours does too.
I recall listening to a pastor from Inda years ago talk about how America and its people believe they have no idols or others gods and how wrong that actually was. He went on to share the judgmental ways of the Hindus who have many gods and I thought that too was of interest. As I tuned him out I reflected on all the gods that are in America that we don’t realize are gods that are idolized. Look around. Again- look around. Here are some of the fake, false gods that are served daily and all with blinders on:
1- The god of food. If you happen to live in Dallas you are blessed with more than 27k restaurants in Dallas county alone. People eat on their way to eating, on their way to shopping, on their way to the shooting range and then on their way home from it all. Food has never been more of a topic in any of the places I have lived in the US or outside the US as it has been in Dallas. It’s about food and of course to be hip and cool you must be a foodie. So there is your god. Enjoy and add extra sauce.
2- the god of time. Are you ruled by the clock? Every waking moment focused on how you are doing this minute compared to the next all in preparation for that next one. And of course the time put into something just to idolize how much time it took to be that expert and in less time than others because others just weren’t as effective with their time to be able to do what you were in less time. Being ruled by a clock simply means it is what is governing you; and most often not even to your acknowledgement.
3- the god of self- While this should be an obvious one; deception is a funny thing. In today’s current society everything is all about self. Self magazine, self-made millionaire, self-embodiment, self-motivated, self-started, self-image; you get the idea. The god of self has more worshiping and idolizing themselves above all which of course is contrary to the Word of God but hey in a selfie world if you are going to pick a god you may as well be it right?
4- the god of titles– Oh yes the titles! The world just loves titles. Everyone must have a title as your name just isn’t enough. Oh no not for today’s society. The love of titles just separates everyone from the next and aren’t we all so important being able to be identified by our titles? When did your title become the identifying facet of who God created you to be? I don’t remember Jesus or Paul carrying cards around with fancy 15 word titles just to prove their importance do you? Yet the love of the title just in recent times appears to be the identity of most. I even remember listening to a pastor tell some business owners that his wife was to only be called by her title because that who she was. Now how sad is that not only that he thought of his wife as nothing more than a man-made religious title but that he too expected everyone else around him to diminish her as well. All in the name of the title that we don’t even realize carries less value that we the people. Who would you be if your title were removed?
5- the god of sports– There was a day when people went to church on Sunday but that was before sports became the god of many families. The church has such tried to compete while just bring your sport to church day instead of saying something like ‘pick your God’ but that would be too easy and what church wants to lose those tithes and offerings right? So let’s just bring in all in and everyone wins. Make no choice just serve all the gods and do it together. Now in all seriousness we can mock it but it still remains a fact that sports in America and probably in your city is a god for many. How many millions of people plants their behinds in front of a screen to watch men run around with a ball all Sunday? All Saturday? Thursday night? Friday night for the young men? Saturday morning? Saturday afternoon? Monday night? Does it end? Nope. It never will until; well the NFL goes bankrupt but that won’t stop anything because pickleball may just be the next best thing. It does really matter what it is because the fact that it is is what is important. The god of sports steals from the lives of many without even their real acknowledgement. One only need to look at the amount of money spent at the local bar on any given Sunday to see what was stolen. Or as those Olympians what their childhood was like and you’ll find out what god was served. There is always a god of sports lurking and more agents to help you find one if you are in need. Now with anything; it’s not to say sports are all evil it’s the mere statement of it being a god that is what will separate you from the One and Only living God.
6- The god of materialism- The acquisition of stuff has never been as high as it has been in recent years. Prior to credit cards people used cash. How ignorant were they? Now; the average American carries 16k in credit card debt. If you have a 1k credit card balance and pay the monthly amount it will take 10 years to pay it off. But have no worry- that item for the first 20 minutes you owned it was surely awesome! Our society has been duped into thinking that more will be more pleasing when in fact that the ideology will only prove to keep you serving a god of death to your finances. The greatest industry ever in innovation in my opinion is that of the storage industry. How many millions of people pay to store stuff they aren’t using?! The average storage unit cost in America is now $70.00/mo with an annual total of $840 not including any fees. That is just one year except most people don’t pay for just one year. Oh no- it’s more than that. So as a result the god of materialism sucks people into a false idea that more means more and yes it does- more maintenance, more cleaning, more stress, more servant-hood to it all. The US has more shopping acreage across its land than any other country in the entire world. It’s wonderful although at what cost? Are your pursuits of material accumulation keeping you from actually serving the God who can change your life and your bank account in more positive ways than last years Prada?
In the end; what God are you serving? The Bible is pretty clear, ‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.’ (Deu 30:19) In that you and your children will live. It’s time to set aside everything else that has been a god and let the One and Only God take the place that is rightly His in your life. Then you will be serving Him above all.
To grow in Christ visit www.julieblair.com
Julie Blair hosts a tv and radio program ‘Living in Forgiveness’ that airs daily to approximately 3B people worldwide. Tune in tonight for a new episode on the UANetwork at 9:30pm CST. Check your local listing.
There has never been a moment in your life when you have not been loved. Never. Not one. While it may sound trite and simplistic in nature; the truth remains. You have been loved before the foundation of the earth. To be that love on this earth; you must love as He loved and loves you. The only solution is Love. There is no other way and until we individually and collectively grasp and live this out as reality we as a society are doomed. Again I repeat: the only solution is love. And God is love.
When we carefully examine our society we see the downfall, destruction; distraction at every facet. Families are in distress, the political climate is disastrous and the economy in despair. We need help. The only solution is love. A heart turned from the evil and wicked toward Love will be the only way in which we will survive. It is time now to allow your heart to experience Love; for there is no other way.
Please know this isn’t a feel good tickle you on Sunday message from the fluffiest of pastors. It simply is not nor can it be because if it truly were; 1) it would be preached more often, 2) it would be received, 3) our society would reflect it. But as such love is not easy. Loving others and receiving Love are the hardest things for us to grasp and as such why we are in such desperate times as we are now.
When love is examined it must be recognized that it is much beyond the waiting for one day per year to demonstrate a nice gesture of flowers that die quickly; and you are worth more than that anyway. What love is isn’t just a feeling for one day. It is a lifestyle and one that we must get if we expect to survive the next day; or even the net moment.
The Bible is written clearly in 1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
The division and dissent among us is evident and more colorful with each passing day. One cannot claim to know God and not exhibit Love because it simply is not possible. The lack of demonstration of love reveals lack of love. Love is patient; as is God. Love is Kind; as is God. Love covers a multitude of sins; as God does. Every single facet of God represents Love and therefore; we must look in the mirror and ask the Holy Spirit to identify the areas of our lives that are not reflecting who we are, what we are; why we are so that we can become all of what was purposed to be done in us, to us and through us; by Love. It is only through that heart change toward love that we will experience any change and hope for our future.
It starts with you; it starts with me. Blaming others for their ignorance won’t change it. Sharing negative comments about idiocy only furthers the agenda. Getting involved with gossip and dissent only breeds it. Titus 3:1-2 reads for us to ‘Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” Notice it does not say some times or some people. No. It is very clear always and everyone; which makes sense that God who is Love would want to be represented in the same manner without discriminating. Otherwise; if there is no love how can others be brought to it?
Today is the day, now is the time and this is your moment. Be the Love that has been given freely to you. Be the change that you want. Be obedient. Be the example for others to follow. Be the one who picks up your cross and says like Isaiah ‘Send me’ and Love; for there is no other way.
To live victoriously in love and forgiveness visit www.julieblair.com
Dr. Julie is president of Julie Blair Ministries helping people live victoriously in love and forgiveness in Christ. To have her speak to your congregation or organization please visit www.julieblair.com.
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