VISION: AN ANGELIC VISITATION TEACHES ME THE HIGH COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

The process of being conformed to the image of God’s son, Jesus Christ, and being transformed into His nature is certainly not for everyone.

Following Jesus Christ does not come without many sacrifices made and high costs being paid. Only those who are truly desperate for a deeper, more powerful relationship with God are willing to go through all that is required to weather them, mature them and purify them.

Only those who are willing to allow God to stretch them will encounter what transcends our wildest imagination. Only those will experience the most amazing and rewarding relationship made available to mankind.

Many are not willing to pay the price required to achieve God’s definition of righteousness. The fear of man labeling them a self-righteous, overly religious fanatic is too much for most to bear. Many also fear the supernatural and feel that submerging themselves into the depths of the unknown is far too intimidating.

Mature Christians have discovered that their level of spiritual gain is based on their degree of fleshly loss. We must be willing to die to self and we must be willing to lose all that we believe gives us life here on this Earth to truly live for Jesus Christ. Anything that does not draw you closer to the Lord, draws you further away from Him and keeps you from experiencing the most intimate relationship with God made possible on this side of Heaven.

Child of God, you must know that for you to go deeper with God, you must be willing to reach further beyond the basic Christian requirement of reconciliation with the Father. Allowing God to have His way with you so that He can purge your flesh, your soul and your spirit, will hasten your sanctification. And why do you need to go through this?

In order to progress in your walk with the Lord, God needs to purge your flesh of sin and carnality. He needs to purge your soul so that He can cleanse your mind of unrighteous thoughts and emotions. This includes your stubborn nature and all of your false self-assurances. He needs to purge your spirit of your self-righteousness and your self-sufficiency. All this is necessary for you to be move to a level of spiritual maturity where you can receive the fullness of all God has for you.

The Lord was in the process of purging me of a stronghold that was hindering my spiritual growth, as well as my ministry, at the time that I received the following vision. I would not have believed this about myself if the Lord had not allowed me to have this experience.

In the early part of 2016, I lay in bed one night wide awake for I was restless and could not sleep. My husband, who slept through this entire experience, was laying next to me sound asleep.

in the distance I heard the sound of what I can only describe as a whirlwind. I did not see the whirlwind itself but, I could hear it. As it came closer to me, it’s sound became louder and stronger and intensity. At the same time, I saw a small, bright light appear and grow, widening and spreading, until it consumed my bedroom. I could see nothing around me but a brilliant light. It was brighter than anything I had ever seen. I was not frightened for knew that it had come from the Lord. In fact, I lifted my head up off my pillow and struggled to hear what I hoped would be God’s Voice through the sound of the whirlwind which was getting louder and stronger.

You see, in the summer of 2001, I heard the Lord audibly call out my first name. The night that it happened also found me in bed. When I heard the Lord’s voice, I was frightened. All I could do was cover my head with my bed sheet, and I did not respond. As I lay there, I listened intently waiting to hear something else but, the Lord did not say another word. The next morning after recovering from the shock of the experience  and explaining everything to my husband, I prayed and ask God why He didn’t say more to me. I did not get a response at that time. I came to the conclusion that God did not speak further because I did not respond to Him. So I made a promise to God that if He ever saw fit to speak to me again, I would most definitely respond. 

So as the light in my room  grew brighter and the whirlwind grew stronger, I struggled to listen for the sound of the Lord’s voice hoping that He would speak to me again – however He did not.

The brilliant light in my bedroom consumed everything, and although I could see nothing around me I could still move around as I lay on my back in my bed. Then out of the corner of my right eye I saw a figure. The bodily figure stood to my right and was even brighter than the brilliant light that had consumed my room. As my eyes focused on the form, I saw it lean over and place its arms under my body. Then I felt my body begin to lift up off the bed.

Within a split second, many thoughts began to flood my mind. I was reminded of a prophecy that was spoken over me, also in 2001, by a woman of God who told me that the Lord had spoken to her about me. She said that He had instructed her to anoint my feet for I would walk on Holy Ground. I also had thoughts of my four-year-old grandson growing up without me. I remembered my son whom I have not seen in over 10 years, my two daughters whom I love dearly as well as the lives of my four sisters. Finally, I remembered the plans my husband and I had made for our future.

Then suddenly, a different thought occurred to me. “What if the Lord is taking me away and I am not able to return.” I then thought to myself, “I am not ready.” So I reached out my left hand to feel for my husband, who was laying next to me, and I grabbed his pajamas. Within an instant after grabbing ahold of my husbands pajamas, everything disappeared. The sound of the whirlwind stopped, the brilliant light vanished and the Angelic vision was gone. I immediately woke up my husband and told him everything that had happened.

Later that morning, after praying to God about my experience, the Lord spoke to my spirit. He explained to me that He allowed me to experience the vision so that I could learn a few things about myself. He wanted me to know that He has called me for a work but, until I am willing to break the ties that are binding me, He would not be able to use me to the extent that He desires.

Jesus said, ” If any man come to Me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yae, and his own life also he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26

Reading and understanding the scripture above in its context, we know that this statement is a metaphor. Jesus, in essence, was saying that we must count the cost of discipleship and be willing to pay it to follow Him. He is also saying that we must also understand that if we desire to be His disciple we must be willing to give up everything for Him. Jesus sacrificed everything He had to give for our salvation. The question He asks His Church is just how much are we willing to give up for Him?

This message is for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

VISION: MY ANGELIC VISITATION & THE HIGH COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

Being conformed to the image of God’s son, Jesus Christ, and being transformed into His nature is not for everyone. It does not come without many sacrifices made and high costs being paid. Only those who are truly desperate for a deeper, more powerful relationship with God are willing to go through what weathers, matures and purifies them. Only those who are willing to be stretched to uncommon depths will encounter what lies beyond our imaginations. Only those will have access to life’s most amazing and rewarding experience made available to mankind.

Many are not willing to pay the price that is required for God’s definition of righteousness. The fear of man labeling them a self-righteous, over-religious fanatic is too much for them to bare. Many also fear the supernatural and feel that submerging themselves into the depths of the unknown is far too intimidating for them to fatham.

Mature Christians have discovered that the level of our spiritual gain is based on our degree of fleshly loss. We must be willing to die to self and we must be willing to lose all that we believe gives us life here on this Earth to truly live for Jesus Christ. For anything that does not draw you closer to Him draws you further away from Him and keeps you from experiencing the most amazing, most intimate relationship that is possible to have with God on this side of Heaven.

Child of God, you must know that for you to go deeper with our Lord, you must be willing to reach further beyond the basic Christian requirement of reconciliation with the Father. Allowing God to have His way with you so that He may purge your flesh, your soul and your spirit will hasten your sanctification. And why do you need to go through this? In order to progress in your walk with the Lord, God needs to purge your flesh of sin and carnality. He needs to purge your soul to cleanse your mind of unrighteous thoughts and emotions including your stubborn nature and your false self-assurances. He needs to purge your spirit of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency. All of this is necessary for you to move up to the level of calling that is on your life and so that you will receive all that God has for you.

The Lord was in the process of purging me of a stronghold during the time that I received the following vision. I didn’t realize it at the time and would not have believed it about myself if the Lord had not shown me. What was hindering my growth, as well as my ministry, was my strong attachment to the things of this world that are dear to me. This stronghold was preventing me from walking in the fullness of the call God has on my life.

In 2016, I lay in my bed one night wide awake for I was restless and could not sleep. My husband, who slept through this entire experience, was sound asleep next to me. In the distance, I heard the sound of what I can only describe as a whirlwind. It’s sound became stronger in intensity as it drew closer to me. At the same time a bright light began to envelop the entire room. It started as a small circle of light and began to widen and spread until it consumed the entire bedroom. I could see nothing around me but light. It was brighter than anything I had ever seen. I was not frightened for I immediately knew it had come from the Lord. In fact, I lifted my head up off my pillow and struggled to hear what I hoped wold be His voice through the sound of the wind which was loud and strong.

You see, in the summer of 2001, I heard the Lord audibly call out my first name. I was in bed then too the night that it happened. However, although I knew it was the Lord, (I don’t know how I knew, but I did) I was so frightened that all I could do was shake from fear so I covered my head with my bed sheet and was afraid to respond. That night, the Lord didn’t say anything more to me. He only called out my name. Ever since then, I have always regretted not responding to Him and wondered if that may have been the reason why He didn’t say more. After I recovered from the shock of the experience, I prayed and told the Lord that if He ever saw fit to speak to me again, I promised Him I would respond. So as the light grew brighter and the wind grew stronger and both drew closer to me, I struggled to listen for the sound of the Lord’s voice hoping that He would speak to me again. However, that evening He did not.

The bright light in my bedroom had consumed everything. Although I could see nothing but light, I could still feel myself laying on my back in my bed. Then out of the corner of my right eye, I saw a figure. The figure was in the shape of a human body and was brighter than the light that was in my room. I could not make out any features for all I saw was a brilliantly bright bodily form. As my eyes began to focus on the form, I saw it lean over me to place its arms under my body and I felt my body begin to lift up off the bed.

Within a split second, many thoughts began to go through my mind. I was reminded of a prophecy that was spoken over me also in 2001 – a week or so before I heard the Lord call my name. A woman of God told to me that the Lord had spoken to her about me. She said that He instructed her to annoint my feet for I would walk on Holy Ground. Thoughts of seeing my four-year old grandson, Prince, grow up also came to my mind. As well as thoughts of my son whom I have not seen in over 10 years, my two daughters whom I love dearly and my sisters. Finally, I had thoughts of the plans my husband and I had for our future.

Then, suddenly a different thought occurred to me. “What if the Lord is taking me away and I am not able to return?” Quickly, I thought to myself, “I’m not ready.” So I reached out my left hand to feel for my husband who was laying next to me and I grabbed his pajamas as I was not ready to go. Within an instant after grabbing my husband’s pajamas, everything was gone. The sound of the wind and it became quiet, the bright light disappeared and the Angelic vision left me. I then woke my husband and told him what happened.

Later, after praying to God about my experience, the Lord spoke to my spirit. He explained to me that He allowed me to go through that experience for there was something I needed to understand about myself. He wanted me to know that He has called me for a work, but until I am willing to break the ties that are binding me here on this Earth, He will not be able to use me to the full extent of His plans.

Jesus said, “If any man come to Me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yae, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26

Reading and understanding this scripture in its context, we know that this statement is a metaphor. Jesus, in essence, was saying that we must count the cost of discipleship and be willing to pay it. We must also understand that if we desire to be His disciple, we must be willing to give up EVERYTHING. Jesus gave everything He had to give for us. The question He has for His Church is, just how much are we willing to give up for Him?

This message is for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

IS BEING HOLY JUST TOO HARD FOR YOU?

Is following Jesus just too hard? Yes, it is not only too hard, it is impossible. But, for Christians who have the Spirit of God resident inside of them, it is not too difficult for God’s power is at work.

There are many who flippantly excuse the sin in their lives. The sad truth is that they also believe God excuses them as well. They say things like: “God knows my heart.” God does not expect me to be perfect.” “I’m only human.” “I can’t be holy for I’m not God.”

If holiness was impossible for us to achieve, God would not have made it a requirement. For the Word telIs us: “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

God is inherently holy and it is true that, in and of ourselves, we are not. However, we can become holy through a true relationship with and obedience to Jesus Christ. This pursuit of holiness begins immediately after we dedicate our lives to Jesus. Upon becoming His born-again followers, God requires us to cultivate a lifestyle of holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16). Then, as we mature spiritually in our walk with Jesus, our ability to obtain and maintain holiness increases.

What does it mean to cultivate a lifestyle of holiness? It means that we willingly go through a process of purging ourselves of all uncleanness from the flesh, the soul and the spirit. In this, our lives begin to outwardly and inwardly reflect an increase of spiritual growth and a decrease of a desire for the things of this world. However, we live in a world surrounded by evil and sin therefore, there is not a one-time fix. In our daily pursuit of holiness, it is necessary for us to continuously confess and forsake sin. As we do this, we perfect our holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Child of God, if you are struggling in the area of holiness, seek God for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. For without Him, holiness which is righteousness in God’s eyes will be impossible for you to achieve. However, be mindful that the Holy Spirit will not dwell inside of an unclean vessel. If there is sin in your life, you must remove that sin and go through the process of repentance and deliverance. As the power of God will not work if there is a barrier between you and the Lord. The good news is that you, as a child of God, have all the tools you need to remove these barriers. Use them. There is no time to waste. You are called to be about the work.

“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” I Thessalonians 5:23-24

This message is for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

CHRISTIAN YOUTH = SATAN’S #1 TARGET

Allow me to be quite frank here: All Hell has broken loose and its aim is at your children. Now, what are you going to do about it?

As you must know, Satan is the temporary god of this world. Therefore, you can believe that he has his hand in everything concerning it. Your focus may be on many things in this life however, you must know that Satan’s focus is unrelenting and is on one thing and one thing only: How to kill, steal and destroy – this especially applies to our children. If the enemy is after your children, where do you think he orchestrates his plans of deception and corruption? Let’s talk about this.

THE ATTACK

Of course you are aware of the many traps he sets in this world to ensnare our youth using drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality, right? Well, are you aware of the enemy’s control over the media? Do you know that Hollywood (with all of its acclaimed indoctrination into every form of witchcraft and the occult), and everyone involved in it, are all puppets in the enemy’s hand? How about the music industry with all its demonic curses and satanic rituals? Are you aware of this? And then there are the industries of advertising,  fashion and pornography. You have to know that these industries thrive on the exploitation of our youth. And let’s not forget the video games – do we really need to go there? Oh, and let me throw one into the loop that you might not be aware of – or maybe you are. Can everyone say (so-called) secret societies i.e. the Masons and the Illuminati? What about the generational curses that have been passed down to the children as the result of their parents’ (and their parents before them, etc.) association with these affiliations? How about your children’s education? I’ll bet you weren’t aware that Satan also goes to school – or maybe you are. Let’s just pause right here for a moment.

You know that our schools today are programming our children to believe and accept everything that goes against the word of God, right? I am sure that this is no surprise to you. Of course this includes teachings such as false theories of evolution, the acceptance of gender changing and the embracing of the homosexual agenda – just to name a few. But are you aware that the educators that are teaching your children are now permitting Satanic education and allowing Satanic clubs into the schools? Hmmm, maybe you weren’t aware of that one. SATAN IS TRYING TO DESTROY YOUR CHILDREN – no holds barred. His intent is to leave nothing to chance.

Child of God, how are you going to counteract this attack? Now, that I have your attention, let’s talk about that.

THE COUNTER-ATTACK

The Bible tells us that we (the children of God) are to be in the world but not of the world. So, we are not expected to live in a bubble or hide under a rock. However, we are expected to walk in the authority that’s been given to us by the power we have in Jesus Christ. Are you doing that? Let’s talk some more.

First and foremost, you must PRAY for your children every day – if not multiple times throughout the day because they need it. Then, you must take everything you know (and possibly don’t know) about spiritual warfare very seriously. For the fight that is upon us is truly a matter of life and death – especially where your children are concerned. What’s next? Okay, let’s talk about something else you may not take very seriously – your WORDS.

I know you have heard this said plenty of times before but now, I really want you to listen. THERE IS POWER IN THE WORDS THAT WE SPEAK. Be careful about what you say to your children and be careful about what you think about your children. For as soon as your words leave your mouth, something happens in the spiritual realm. Now, just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If you speak negative, hurtful words to your children, you are speaking curses over your children. When you do this, you open a door for the demonic to come into the life of your child. This gives authority to the demons and they take those words and run with them, using them against your child in every way they possibly can. Think about it. We all know people who continue to struggle with something that was said to them, as a child, by someone who was in authority over them? Maybe this is you.

Likewise, the same thing happens when you speak positive, encouraging words to your children. Only now, you have spoken words that bless your child and IF you have the authority of Jesus Christ – and you MUST be in good standing with Him for this to work God will honor what you say. When you walk in His authority, you can actually operate in a principle called binding and loosing: “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18 – and God will honor what you say. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather speak blessings over my children than curses. The good news is now that you know this, IF you are operating under the authority of Jesus Christ, you can break these curses – both off of yourself as well as your children.

Now for the fun part. You (as a child of God) must cover your children in your home by practicing godly parenting. Parents, DO NOT leave biblical teaching and the training up of your children to the schools and the churches. You must take responsibility for instilling an uncompromising biblical mindset – even as early as in the womb and most definitely from birth. So, how do you enforce Christian parenting?

I’m so glad you asked…

  • Commit your life to Jesus Christ.
  • You must put God first in your own life before you can require it of your child. Then live it, don’t just talk it.
  • Show your children how to live in ‘pursuit of holiness’ and set an example for them to live by.
  • Don’t compromise – even in the small things. For your child is watching everything you do.
  • Commit to a godly marriage and choose your dates (which will lead to your mate) accordingly.
  • Nurture your children in a godly household, i.e. be mindful of what is entering their ear-gate as well as their eye-gate. Also be mindful of the people you allow them to interact with. You can’t control what goes on in the world but you can control what goes on in your home.
  • Train your child up in the way they should go by teaching them the words of the Bible. (Proverbs 22:6)
  • Encourage an intimate relationship with Jesus by sharing your testimony with your children.
  • Teach your children to pray – about everything.
  • Don’t be afraid to engage them in dialogues of real truth concerning everything. Truth is not subjective. Truth is absolute – and according to the word of God.
  • Teach them to make independent decisions based on the word of God. Walking this walk is not for the faint of heart. It can be a lonely journey at times. If your child buys in to group-think, they will never make it. For what they, themselves believe WILL be challenged.
  • Lovingly and consistently discipline your children.
  • Forgive your children when they fall and when they fail – for they most definitely will.
  • Love your children unconditionally – always.
  • Bathe your children daily in prayer.

The Lord holds you, the parent, responsible for giving proper instruction to your child. You will be held responsible until your child reaches the age of accountability. When will that be, you may ask? Only God knows for sure. However, we do know that this age is determined by the child’s ability to truly distinguish the difference between what is right and what is wrong. If you are wondering if children can go to Hell, the answer is YES. Now that you have been warned, what are you going to do?

The Lord has been impressing upon me for a time to continuously pray for the children. I invite you to join me in this, for the life of your child may depend on it.

In all things, to God be the glory.

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THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: A DIVINE SETUP

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Followers of Jesus Christ, CONCERNING YOUR DECISION IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, as well as every other decision you are responsible for making in this world, be mindful to FIRST SEEK GOD with all your heart – then be obedient and do as the Spirit leads you. Vote or don’t vote, as you feel you should, but KNOW THAT HARD TIMES ARE COMING. It is unavoidable. Be diligent and prepare. Unless the Lord calls you home beforehand, there will be no escaping it. However, you should also KNOW that those who FOLLOW the Lord and DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM HIM (for there will be a great falling away of believers in the last days) during the up and coming time of tribulation will be fine.

Remember that nothing catches God by surprise. He knows the end of the story. Not only does He know what is to come, He is orchestrating (and allowing) things to happen in this world – as well as in your life – exactly as His will dictates. It is all a divine setup. However, if you know the Lord, be at peace. If you don’t, there is no time like the present to REPENT and SEEK GOD (JESUS CHRIST) with all your heart before it is too late.

TRUTH BE TOLD

The anti-Christ is alive in the earth today awaiting his time of unveiling… Judgment is upon the nations… God’s wrath will soon be unleashed… You can see it and you can feel it all around you as you observe world events and even people who are – and will be – coming onto the scene… Do not be alarmed. These things represent the birthing pains of what is sure to come – and what must come – before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can and will return.

However, you – true follower of Jesus Christ – be at peace. God has made and will make provision for you. Stay faithful and unwavering in your walk. Listen for the Holy Spirit to speak and obey His every word. Now, be encouraged for though rough times are ahead, your God – He who is greater than he who is in this world – is still very much in control of it all.

WHO DOES GOD SEE WHEN HE LOOKS AT YOU?

Pic walking-in-holiness

~

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

~

Don’t Allow What You See To Conflict With What God Sees

We all come from many different backgrounds and with many different experiences in tow. Some have suffered very little in life compared to others who have endured an unusual amount of heartache and pain. Sometimes our life, including all that we strive to overcome, has a tendency to blind us to God’s truth and God’s plan for our lives. Satan uses everything at his disposal to try and keep us from seeing what God sees when He looks at us. Although life may feel overwhelming at times, we must remember that God has EVERYTHING under control. Reminding ourselves of this helps us to keep things in their proper perspective.

We must remember that God truly does have a plan for us. We must also remember that Satan has a plan for us as well. The two plans counteract which make living in this world, with all of its sin and distractions, a great challenge to say the least. The goal is to remain focused on the real reason we are here which is to honor Jesus Christ in everything we do.

How Does The World See You?

Many people in your life have helped to form the identity you have of yourself today. This identity is based on who you represent to them and who they represent to you. You have been taught by your teachers how to make the grade and you comply because you want to prove that you are more than capable (according to the world’s standards). You have been trained by your employers on how to excel and progress in your choice of profession and you comply because you want to be a success (according to the world’s standards). You have been conditioned by your friends to conduct yourself in a way that makes them happy and you comply because you need acceptance (according to the world’s standards). You have been programmed by this world to chase after people and things and you comply because you want to be happy (according to the world’s standards).

How Does God See You?

God is the creator of all things and all people. He desires to be in relationship with those He has called unto Himself. He also desires to, one day, bring His children home to live in His Kingdom and be reconciled unto Him. However, because He is sovereign and Holy, there are requirements that we must all meet. God cannot violate His own laws. This includes the law of sin which carries with it the penalty of death. Therefore, knowing that none of us were capable of living a sinless life, God made the ultimate sacrifice and sent His Son – who is Jesus Christ, God-personified – to live among the people of this world for the purpose of sacrificing His life on the cross as an atonement for our sins thus allowing us to be in right standing with God. That is, IF we choose to believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him. “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (New Living Translation).

God does all of this for you because He loves you. He has no ulterior motive. He ‘sets you up’ so that He can bless you. Do you agree?

How Do You See God?

When we follow Jesus Christ, nothing on this earth should take precedence. NOTHING. There are no relationships, no establishments and no pursuits that should take priority in your life and be more important than your relationship with Jesus Christ. Anything you pursue above, or in opposition with, Jesus will lead you into a life of disobedience. God will then be forced to reject you, cut you off from His blessings and you will have no inheritance with Him. How do you see God in your life? The decisions you make every day reflects how you truly see Him. If you are placing the demands of this world over God’s demands, you will be lost to Him. If you desire to be the person God has created you to be, you must repent from your sins, turn away from the lifestyle that displeases God and live for Jesus. This is the only way to be accepted by Him.

The Bible explains: “A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be My disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be My disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become My disciple without giving up everything you own. Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” Luke 14:25-34 (New Living Translation).

See Truth, See Life

The decision to follow Jesus Christ must be a sober and reverent one. It should not just represent a simple prayer that you pray to ask Jesus to come into your life, as many are teaching. The decision to follow Jesus Christ is a worthy and rewarding cause. Those who take it seriously receive much from God therefore much is required of them by God.

Commonly taught today is the belief that once you have been saved, you will always be saved. This teaching is a deception and a very dangerous lie. You make a decision every day to pick up your cross and follow Jesus. At any given point, you can renounce His covering over you simply by rejecting Him and His word. People who believe and teach this lie will only accomplish three things in life. 1) They will prevent themselves, Christians who believe this lie and those who are truly searching for truth from seeing the true power of Jesus Christ. 2) They allow Satan to gain access into their lives and the lives of others. 3) Their destination will be Hell when they die. When you chose Truth, which is Jesus, you truly do choose life.

Who Does God See When He Sees You?

Regardless of the image you see when you look in a mirror, it is not the image God sees. When you look in God’s Mirror, He sees only two images. One image is a vision of Holiness. This is the vision of Jesus… Are you seeing what He sees when you see the world? Are you hearing what He hears when others speak to you? Are you speaking the powerful words of Jesus into the lives of those around you? Are your arms reaching out to heal the sick and mend the broken in the name of Jesus Christ? Are your feet walking towards others eager to share the gospel good news of Jesus Christ? If Jesus is not the image God sees when He looks at you, He sees the other.

The other is the reflection of Hell.

Let’s talk about it…

 

 

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LIVING WITH DEATH

LIVING WITH DEATH

Death pathwayI would like to share what has been on my heart for quite some time now. It concerns a subject that has not ventured too far away from my mind. Granted, although this is a somber topic, I believe it to be a necessary one. Let’s reflect upon the reality of DEATH.

Over the past three years, between the two of us, my husband and I have been stunned by the death of a surprising number of family members. Included among them to date were my mother, my father, my husband’s father, my husband’s sister, my husband’s two grandfathers,  four aunts, five uncles, three cousins and a great nephew. If I have missed anyone, please excuse the oversight as it was not intentional.

The truth of the matter is that our bodies are ALL going to die one day. Let’s face it, death is an inevitable part of life and yet we are always caught off guard by it when it happens because no one – but God – knows how, when, and who will be next to go. Whether by way of natural causes, old age, accident, illness or just plain evil intent, we will all experience the sting of death. And we will all have to experience it ALONE. When your time comes, there will be no strings attached, no favors to be bought, no family and no friends to help you. Death is a price that only YOU alone will be required to pay for the sin you have committed – unless, Jesus has paid the debt for you.

As each day passes by, we are all getting a little bit closer to the end of our days here on this earth. For each and every one of us, it is simply just a matter of time. We have all heard the familiar phrase: “Tomorrow is not promised.” Well, I would like to add to that phrase: “Tomorrow and age are not promised.” Youth does not guarantee life and death does not just happen to the old. Being young does not necessarily mean you are guaranteed a long life here on this earth. The family members I listed above died at different ages ranging from prenatal on up and I would venture out to say that none of them knew beforehand the precise moment and circumstances through which it was to come.

God has set a predetermined time for each of us to die, and we will not remain on this earth one second beyond it. Likewise, when that time comes, there will be no one and nothing that will be able to prevent us from realizing our soul’s destiny with eternity. At that moment, it will be too late to change from the path that decisions we have made have placed us on. As it is with life, even death has to submit to the will of God. For He, alone, has control over it ALL.

These days, I tend to filter everything through my pragmatic, no-nonsense lenses. I view life, death and everything in between with a more godly, rather than worldly, perspective. My rationale has caused many to consider me callous, cold and even a bit insensitive. I don’t mean to be and I pray that this not be the case here. However, if my insight offends anyone, I ask for your forgiveness. My intentions are not to be an offense but instead to give you a defense.

The principles that govern my life are pretty simple: “Live for Christ, die in Christ.” My focus is very narrow for I am concerned about the destination of one’s living soul – that will continue – rather than the destination of one’s dying body. I say this out of love and I mean no disrespect to anyone.

I consider myself a very inquisitive person. I have lots of questions about lots of things and, usually, I get lots of answers. However, I have found that God does not always comply with my voracious curiosity and I have had to learn to be okay with that. Honestly, concerning the subject of life after death, God has not given me all the answers to my questions. However, He has given me all that I need to know at this time. That is that those who have made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior, before they die, can look forward to receiving the gift of salvation, eternal life, the joys of Heaven and the coming of the Kingdom of God. “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6 (NLT).

God also makes it known that those who did not trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, before they died, will be eternally separated from Him and will enter into an evil, dark and torturous place that is completely void of His presence, His grace and His blessings. The Bible speaks often of this painful reality that awaits those who do not live for Christ and have not repented from their sins. God, the Father loves His Son (Jesus Christ) and He has put everything into the care of His hands. You simply cannot come to the Father except through His son. Anyone who does not obey the Son will never experience eternal life but will remain under God’s wrath throughout eternity. (John 3:35-36).

The focus of this world, and the people in it, is primarily on the body and the pleasures the body finds through the pursuing of things that please the flesh. This is by the design of Satan. He has deceived the people into believing that to make yourself happy in this life is the most important goal in life. He does not want you to know that living a meaningful life does not come through “the pursuit of happiness.” It comes by pursuing Jesus and doing what is right, according to His word. Because not only do your pursuits affect your natural body, most importantly, it affects your supernatural soul.

The Bible clearly tells us that death is not the end of our existence. It is merely the separation of our bodies from our souls. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT).

Therefore, when we die, it is our souls – not our bodies – that continues to exist. So, where do our souls go? There are only two destinations prepared to receive our souls. They will either go to be with Christ, in a place of unspeakable joy and glory or they will be separated from Christ and go to be with Satan and his demons in a place of shame and unspeakable torment. It is for this reason that I speak to you about the right way to live your life today on earth so that you will be able to live life tomorrow with God. Many do not understand this pursuit. In fact, many consider this a “Holier than thou” complex. I’m okay with that. You see, Jesus was accused of the same thing. If you ask me if I am trying to be Holy? My answer will always be “Yes” and “Amen.” For my Father in Heaven requires it of me. “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be Holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is Holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be Holy because I am Holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16.

This is my life long goal. Am I there yet? Absolutely not. I am still a work in progress.

When our loved ones die, we mourn because we miss their presence on this earth. However, in the midst of our mourning, we can find peace in knowing that we will see them again. Nothing is more painful than the thought of suffering and eternal separation from those we love and care about. It is far better to know that we will, in fact, one day see them again where we can be together experiencing unspeakable joy living with Jesus Christ and the Father in His Heavenly Kingdom. Wouldn’t you agree? When that day comes for one of our loved ones to go, it will be far better to say, “I’ll see you soon” than it will be to say, “Goodbye.”

If you are reading this post, you have been given a gift. It is the gift of time. This gift has been given to you for a very specific reason and it is not to pursue selfish happiness and pleasure. God has given you a most precious opportunity to ensure not just your own salvation and eternity spent with Him, but also to share Jesus Christ so that your loved ones will have that very same opportunity. I encourage you to speak out and not keep silent – even at the risk of ridicule and persecution. It is worth it. For you must always remember that our time on earth is short and “Tomorrow and age are not promised.”

THE HIGH COST OF OBEYING GOD

THE HIGH COST OF OBEYING GOD

paying-the-price-pig-with-stack-of-coinsWe are all so interconnected and intertwined together within the fabric of God’s universal purpose that the minute one obeys Him, others immediately become affected. As a Christian, you can expect to endure all manner of persecution on account of your faith. Because of this, you may find yourself being tempted to keep quiet about the word God has given you to share. Or you may want to guard the word in an effort to protect it from those who do not appreciate it. Satan will use everything, and everyone, to test your allegiance to God. And God will allow some of these tests as an opportunity for your growth and to strengthen your resolve. Some of these tests will come in the most challenging of circumstances causing many to persecute you simply because they have had their feathers ruffled by your beliefs. When this happens, and it will, what will you do? Will you rise to the challenge? Are you willing to risk it all to obey God and allow the consequential chips to fall where they may? Your response to each challenge that is placed before you will reveal much about your true relationship with the Lord.

There will be many situations in life that will sneak up on you and catch you off guard. You may even be surprised by the way you respond to these circumstances when they happen. However your response will never be a surprise to God. He knows how you will handle every challenge that comes your way. Whether you choose to do the right thing or whether you choose to falter, God will use it all for His greater purpose. Yet, it is important for you to know that every decision you make will equal either a penalty or a reward for someone, as we ALL have to pay, in one way or the other, the high cost of obedience…

Living With Self & Death Of Self

There are two periods in the life of every Christian. These time frames combined make up the person you are as a whole. Each period plays an important part in your life. There is your life as it was once lived pursuing Self, before Christ (BC) and there is your life as it is currently being lived pursing Jesus Christ, after the death of Self (AD). Your BC life was necessary as it has enabled you to have a testimony. One is not separate from the other for without the prior, there would be no appreciation for the latter. One gives fuller meaning to the other.

To truly follow Jesus Christ is to live for Him with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind. However, this is impossible to do unless you have first crucified Self. You will know when you have successfully denied Self for it is only then that you will be able to successfully live for Jesus Christ. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ (who) lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.

Self vs Jesus

Living for Self is living to glorify and serve YOU through the pursuing of fleshly desires. These are pursuits that are contrary to the word of God. This is completely the opposite of living to glorify and serve Jesus Christ through the pursuit of God’s word. Are you willing to honor Jesus Christ by obeying God’s word? Are you pursuing God or are you pursuing YOU? Obedience to God is choice-less. This means you do not have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to doing what He says. You cannot say that you are living for Christ based on your own definition of Christianity. I hear people often say, “You honor God your way and I’ll honor Him my way.” However, there is only one way to honor God. That is according to His word, which is not negotiable or optional.

No Regrets

Obeying God is not always easy. However, if you truly love Him, obeying Him should be a pleasure. I have been a Christian for over twenty-nine years. When I made Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, there was much in my life that needed to change. As I began to live my life pursuing Him, there was much that did change. In fact, thanks to Jesus, I am still changing. He is taking me through a complete transformation. The changes He makes never stops and they don’t all happen overnight. As God miraculously changed my heart, I saw a gradual change in me, and as I gradually changed, so did the choices I made for my life.

Though the changes in my life have not all been easy, none of them do I regret for they have all drawn me closer to the Lord and enabled me to have a witness that testifies to the wonderful love, grace and mercy of God. I consider it a privilege to have been called by God to serve Him and sacrifice Self for Him. Nothing, or no one, is too important to me that I would not be willing to give it, or give them, up if He asked me to do so. Everything that God has given me, or has removed from me, has worked, or is working, towards my ultimate good and towards His ultimate will for my life – as He promised me it would. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NLT).

You Have An Obligation To God

In my relationships with my family and friends, there are times when I feel it necessary to keep my own personal opinions to myself, that is unless my opinion is solicited. However, when it comes to sharing the opinions of Jesus Christ, I see things quite differently. As a Christian, you have an obligation to God to share your faith with others. God gives you the opportunity to honor Him by demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ to the world. When you do this, you are engaging your relationship with God through your obedience and giving others the opportunity to be blessed in the process. It is important to know that your obedience may cause you to become a target for conflict, disagreements and ridicule. Yet, be encouraged for God’s word says: “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when He comes to set up His Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

Love Requires Action

Jesus was asked by one of His disciples: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT).

Many people confuse love with emotions and feelings. Love is not a feeling. Love is a decision you make. It is a decision that requires action for it to manifest. There is no better way to demonstrate love for someone than to obey God by sharing His Son. However, as it is when you give any gift, not everyone can or will appreciate the value of your sentiments. You never know how someone will receive a gift you give. Those who see and receive the beauty and extravagance in the gift of Jesus Christ will be eternally blessed. Those who don’t won’t. This is why it is so very important and worth any amount of inconvenience or ridicule you may have to experience to give it.

You Can’t Save Anyone

Allow me to make something perfectly clear. You sharing Jesus with people does not save people. As a Christian, you are only a vessel that God uses to plant a seed through. It is up to God to water that seed and bring forth fruit. It is not your responsibility to save anyone. You couldn’t do it if you wanted to. That is God’s job. In fact, no one can come to the Lord unless He draws them to Him. The Bible tells us that those few who find God will enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to Hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT). Because of this fact, it makes sense that everyone will not be able to accept Jesus when you share Him. So, don’t be surprised when they turn you away.

Leave The Consequences To God

So, what do you do IF obeying God causes others to be uncomfortable or even suffer? The truth is that your obedience to God WILL cause others to be uncomfortable as well as suffer. There is no avoiding that. However, know that you are ONLY responsible for your obedience. You must leave all the consequences that will follow to God. He does NOT hold you responsible for what happens as the result of your obedience. However, He does hold you responsible for what happens as the result of your disobedience. Remember, God is sovereign. EVERYTHING is under His control.

God’s Word Is Alive!

God’s word is alive… “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12. (NLT).

God’s word is a living demonstration of His power. It speaks of His law over everything in and outside of this world. God’s word also rules over each and every person, regardless of their belief in Him. “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT).

Because God’s word does not come back void, His living word carries with it costs, or consequences. Those who obey God are positively affected through these consequences which are called blessings. Likewise, those who disobey God are negatively affected through these consequences which are called curses. And yes, God does curse people. “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on Heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)

Are You Willing To Pay The Price?

Your obedience to God will require your willingness to give up plans, give up people and possibly even give up your life. Though many profess to love God, many are not willing to make that sacrifice. “Jesus was aware that His disciples were complaining, so He said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe Me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and He knew who would betray Him.) Then He said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to Me unless the Father gives them to Me.” At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” John 6:61-67.

Are you willing to pay the high cost of obedience to God?

WHAT’S NEXT, NOW THAT I’VE BECOME A BRAND NEW CHRISTIAN?

WHAT’S NEXT, NOW THAT I’VE BECOME A BRAND NEW CHRISTIAN?

stages-300x300This was the question I asked myself twenty nine years ago when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Honestly, I felt completely lost. Although I looked forward to moving full speed ahead into my new life in the Lord, I knew absolutely nothing about the things of God. Yet, through God’s grace, alone, I stumbled along. Even though there was much trial and error, I made it through. However, there is an easier way.

Now before you read on, allow me to be completely honest with you. Following Jesus Christ, in spirit and in truth, will be the most difficult, as well as the most rewarding, experience you will ever encounter in your life. Not everyone will be able to see it through to the end. As the Holy Scripture tells us: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to Hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life (Heaven) is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT).

Because of this fact, I highly recommend that you pray for the resolve to stay the course and never give up, no matter what. If you will do this, you will be on your way towards an exciting, fruitful and supernatural relationship with the one and only living God. Pray this, in Jesus’ name.

STEP 1 – GET BAPTIZED
Jesus tells us: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 (NLTV). Baptism represents the partaking of the burial and the raising of Jesus Christ so that we, too, may walk in the newness of life. It is for this reason, we are told to repent AND be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of our sins. We are also told that the baptism will allow us to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38), who is our Helper.

The first thing Jesus did before He began His ministry was to be baptized, (Luke 3:21-22). Where do you go to get baptized? Any true follower of Jesus Christ (believer) is authorized, according to Jesus Christ, to baptize. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV).

Baptism can be done in a Jesus-following church or even in a bathtub within the home of a true believer. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to follow His example. So regardless of where you get baptized, get baptized as soon as you can!

STEP 2: BEGIN READING YOUR BIBLE
You cannot truly follow Jesus Christ if you do not know who He is and His word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV).

There is no substitute for reading your bible every day. Begin immediately. There are many translations available. Find one that is most faithful to the original text. I recommend beginning with the King James Version. If you are sincere in seeking Him, God will open up His word to you and give you understanding (discernment). Do not allow yourself to become too busy to read God’s word. This is a tactic of Satan who is your worst enemy. Set aside time when and where you can meditate on Him without being interrupted. The quantity of time you spend reading your Word is not as important as the quality of time you spend with the Lord as you read. If you allow yourself time to listen to Him, He will speak to you through His word.

STEP 3: PRAY OFTEN
As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are to pray always without ceasing. Prayer, very simply, is talking to Jesus. Talk to Him about everything. He cares about everything that concerns you. There is nothing too small or seemingly too insignificant that you can’t share with Him, no differently than you would share with a very dear friend. Speak to Him for Jesus has now become your dearest friend. Through prayer, you are developing a very real relationship with the true and living God.

I suggest that you begin by praying every morning before you start your day and every evening before you go to bed. Pray, also throughout the day. Begin by thanking Him for all He has done for you. Pray for others as well as yourself. Commit decisions you have to make to God by asking Him to lead you according to His will. If you find it difficult to find the words to say, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts as you pray. “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6(NKJV).

STEP 4: BUILD FRIENDSHIPS WITH OTHER TRUE CHRISTIANS (FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST)
The Christian life is not an easy life. As a true follower of Jesus Christ, you will be under constant attack and scrutiny from your enemies who will come by way of Satan and his demons. Not only is it good to fellowship with like-minded Christians for times of enjoyment, it is also wise to fellowship with those you trust for encouragement as well as admonishment (correction), during life’s challenges and struggles. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting (encouraging) one another, and so much the more as you see the Day (the day of Jesus’ return) approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV).

Also be mindful that we, as Christians, are warned to not be unequally yoked with non-believers “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV).

STEP 5: OFFER YOUR GIFTS & SERVICES FOR GOD’S PURPOSE
As a new Christian, the Lord will begin a miraculous new work in you. You will go through a process that will transform you from the old to the new for the purpose of transforming you into the spiritual image of Jesus Christ. The new Spirit that is now alive in you will cause you to have a newfound love for all that is godly. Go for it!

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV).

STEP 6: ALWAYS LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE YOUR FAITH & YOUR TESTIMONY WITH OTHERS
Through Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, you have received salvation. You can now stand alongside of Him and claim your inheritance to the Kingdom of God. Through Him, you also have access to the power of healing and deliverance as well as access to the throne of the one and only living God. There is much for you to be excited about! So, share your excitement whenever you have the opportunity.

It is through your testimony, and the testimony of others, that Jesus Christ will be shared with the world. You also share in His victory of overcoming Satan and the evil that is in this world. “And they (Christians) overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:11(NKJV).

As you continue in your faith and your walk, remember that there is nothing you have done that was deserving of the wonderful and mighty blessings you have received through Jesus Christ. You have been saved by grace alone. Even still, God has started a work in you and His promise is to finish it. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:6 (NKJV).

STEP 7: PRAY FOR GOD TO LEAD YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY
Only God knows the plans He has for you. Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray for spiritual sensitivity to hear Him and obey His every word.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

To God be all the glory!