Why Do Christians Refuse to Deny Jesus, and Choose Death Instead?

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Think about the person you love most in the world. Now, imagine that someone comes to you and tells you that you have to deny this person ever existed, have nothing to do with them ever again, and you have to hate them or you will be killed. What would you do? Would you choose death over denying the one person you love most in the world?

I portray this as an example of why Christians all over the world refuse to deny Jesus as their Savior and instead get killed. It’s because Jesus IS real!! Why would anyone choose death over Someone Who does not exist. It is because He has revealed Himself to them, and they KNOW He is Who He says He is. “If you seek Him, you will find Him.”  Jer. 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Rev. 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.”

This is the reason why Christians all over the world are dying, because they love Jesus and refuse to deny Him and follow the Islamic faith.  Some people might say “why would a God, who is supposed to be so loving, allow this?”  When God created the world, He gave us free will.  That free will subjects us to the free will of others, both good and bad.  If God hadn’t created the world the way He did with free will, then we would just all be a bunch of puppets and there would be no love.  Puppets don’t love; they can’t love.  Puppets do what their puppet master tells them to do.  God didn’t want a bunch of puppets.  He wanted real relationships with us.  He wanted us to choose to love Him.  Many choose not to love Him.

To those whom have sought Him and He has revealed Himself to they DO love Him — more than anything.  Once you have experienced the Love of God, you seriously can no longer deny Him.  You wouldn’t want to!  God’s love is SO amazing, so powerful, so wonderful!  It’s like no other love you will ever experience from any human being, ever.  Everyone has heard the scripture over and over again, but I hope you “hear” it:  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His One and Only Son, that whosoever would believe in Him, would not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Before I came to know Christ in the way I know Him today, I used to think that Christians were CRAZY!  I was wrong!  I was SO wrong!  I asked God to reveal Himself to me.  I sought Him out.  When He revealed Himself to me I no longer could deny Him — He is as real to me as my husband is.  Why would I choose something like this that I KNOW people will think I’m crazy, and even call me crazy?  Why would I choose this?  Could I possibly be right?  I’ll answer that for you — YES, I am right!  I used to mock Christians, make fun of them, call them crazy, avoid them, roll my eyes at them — and now here I am, completely proven wrong.  I was wrong.

I challenge you:  if you have happened upon this, it is not by chance, it is a divine appointment made by Jesus Christ Himself.  This is writing inspired by Him.  You coming here is no accident.  Therefore, I challenge you to seek Him, look for Him, read the Bible, and ask Jesus “if you really are real and You are who you say you are, please show me.”  Don’t give up.  I guarantee you, you will find Him if you are truly seeking Him!  And not only will you have everlasting life with Him for all eternity, but you will have found the most amazing and fulfilling relationship you will ever have in your lifetime here on earth.

Please choose to answer His knock at the door of your heart today.

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If You Died Today, Do You Know Where You Will Spend Eternity?

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Just a quick post today, but I enjoy reading Ray Comfort and following his ministry because it gives me ideas on how to talk to people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He has a new site out:  www.NeedGod.com that is a great evangelism tool.  I am putting this out there because I want to encourage EVERYONE (whether you believe in Christ or not, and especially if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ) to visit this site.

I have some new things that God has been brewing in my heart to be writing about, and will be getting on those fairly soon.  Thanks for stopping by!  Please comment your thoughts!

Too Many Voices

talking heads

Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Matthew 14:23 “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”

Hebrews 5:7 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.”

Of course, there is so much more to be found when digging in the Word of the time that Jesus spent alone with His Father.

This is what I’ve found lately is that there are too many voices out there talking, talking, talking.  We have so much available to us at our fingertips (literally) to watch teachers, television, read articles, read quotes, and it is overwhelming.  I read “this” article to see how to manage this relationship, or read “that” article to see how to pray, or read “this one”, or watch “that one” to hear God’s word being preached.  When really, all I need to do is to get alone.  Just me and Jesus.  That’s it.

I was asking Him the other day “what do I need to do to…..?”  (you can fill in the blank for whatever you may be going through, whether it’s healing, peace, joy, mercy, wisdom, etc., it’s all the same).  And what I felt from Him was “just you.”  I want “just you.”  “You and Me.”  “That’s it.”  Seems easy doesn’t it?

I don’t know about you, but I get distracted very easily.  I get distracted over lists I need to make of things I need to do.  I get distracted over the things I need to do (or think I need to do).  I get distracted by the television (well, my favorite show is on right now).  I get distracted by Candycrush.  I get distracted by Fakebook — I mean, Facebook.  There are  countless distractions pulling me away from Him, when all He wants is me.

When I first came to Christ (fully and completely) in 2004, I used to spend HOURS just talking the Lord’s ear off, literally about everything.  I was SO in love and so excited about this newfound relationship!!  He had made Himself SO real to me I could no longer deny that He was in fact REAL!  I was EXCITED.  But as any new relationship continues on, the newness wears off, and you get comfortable — maybe even complacent.  I did, and I struggle with that each day — making time for Jesus.  How awful is that?  I mean, He died for me, rose again, forgave ALL my sins, and just wants time with me.  Seems so easy, yet sometimes is so hard.

I am a work in progress and I am thankful for His grace and mercy each and every day.  I am thankful for the trials I have had lately that have allowed me to spend more time with Him.  I wish it didn’t take a trial to push me into His arms, but sometimes it does so I will praise Him all the more!

My Life Before CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia, and Now

CFS ME

I let people down in my life all the time.  I don’t want to.  I hate it that I do.  I hate that I’m not the woman who I used to be, that I desire to be, and that I want to be now.  Before CFS/ME I was a very hard worker, doing more than I probably should – all the time.  I remember when I was in high school and college my Mom telling me “you’ve got to stop burning the candle at both ends.”  I think she was right.  I think I literally burned myself down and out.

In college I would get up early every morning, go work out, go to all my classes (a full load), then leave there and go to my full-time job.  I would work there from 2 pm to 10 pm, and then drive home and go study for as many hours as I could.  I would then get back up and do it all again.

For several years of my life I was a single mom of one, working full-time (40+ hours a week), and running a ministry at a local church that took a good many hours every week for me to run.  I loved it.  I also had to take care of my little house, which entailed the yard work, house work, grocery shopping, paying bills, balancing checkbooks, etc.  I was doing it all.  Sure there were times I was tired, but who wouldn’t be?  When my daughter would be with her Dad I would usually work extra hours at work so that when she was back with me that I would just have to work the straight 40 hours in order to have more time with her.

I can literally pinpoint the year that CFS/ME was very evident in my life.  It was 2004.  I was experiencing more than usual tiredness, extreme body pain, nausea, extreme muscle cramping, extreme migraines (ended up at ER many times), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  I had come down with a virus that year and it forever changed my life.  Every part of my body hurt.  It was more and more difficult to work.  I was doing everything I could think of to bring about healing in my body.  I tried chiropractic and massage, different medications, etc.  Nothing was helping.  I would go home on my lunches and sleep I was so exhausted — all the time.  I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat anymore.  Now during the weeks my daughter was with her Dad, I would literally go home from work and fall into bed to sleep.  I couldn’t get anything done anymore.  Doctors didn’t know what was wrong.  I gave up on doctors not too long in 2005.

In 2008, the symptoms got very severe and I decided I was buckling down and going to get to the bottom of this and get help.  I was having passing out episodes, seizures, dizzy spells, heart pain, chest pain, lung pain, migraines, IBS.  You name it, I had it.  I wanted to die.  I thought I was dying.  Shortly after this I finally got the diagnosis of CFS/ME and fibromyalgia.  Even with all the ignorance out there in the world, I can assure you, this is a real thing. I lost my job at this time too, and that was devastating.  At this point, I had remarried so thankfully we had my husband’s income, but we still had four children (teens) in the home.

Do I want to be made well?  Absolutely!  I have had so many people say such ignorant things to me throughout all of this, things that people would NEVER consider saying to someone who has cancer, MS, diabetes, lupus, (you list any other disease here).  This isn’t the kind of disease that people put out “dinner trains” for, or offer to help you out at home, or anything because “well, you sure look good”.   I can count on one hand the offers that have been made to help me out.  One hand.   I am not saying this because I want anyone to feel sorry for me, or to even give me help.  After all these years, I have learned to manage, adapt, and know what my limitations are.  I also have let a lot of things go and just don’t worry about certain things that don’t get done because if I do, I get stressed, and then I get sick  Imagine this, you have the flu and it never goes away, or it may go away for a day or two, but then comes back with a vengeance.  That is simply a small taste of what I have been dealing with for over 10 years.

I have had people tell me “maybe you have a demon”, “have you prayed hard enough?”, “have you fasted for your healing?”, “you just need to do ______ ” (fill in the blank), “you just need to exercise more,” “you just need to take more Vitamin D”.  When I came down with CFS/ME I was running/walking 3 miles at least 5 times a week — I was hardly out of shape.  My vitamin D levels are now good and I still have symptoms.  I take vitamins and supplements, and while they help, I still have symptoms and flares.   I’ve had strangers and friends approach me with their “cure”.  I fell for it one time, and put out over $160 for this stuff that only made me sick to my stomach.  I know people mean well, but again, would they do this or say these things to someone who has cancer.  I don’t think so, but who knows.  Many, many years ago there was a stigma associated with cancer.  People used to think that cancer was contagious.  We now know that it is not contagious.

I know that the CDC (Centers for Disease Controls) consider CFS/ME a real thing because they will not let me donate blood or be an organ donor.  That to me says a lot.  The CDC also has much information on CFS/ME about it, so they DO recognize this as a real disease – incurable at the moment, but very real.  The more research they are doing on it, the more they are finding out about it and hopefully the stupid, idiotic stigmas associated with it will go away.  Let me assure you, I DO NOT LIKE BEING THIS WAY, NOR DO I WANT TO REMAIN THIS WAY.

When yet another person says yet another ignorant comment to me, I’ll tell you what it does to me, it brings back ALL of the negatives comments that have been said to me over the years like dominoes and they all come tumbling down over me — hitting me, hurting me, wounding my already hurting heart because I wonder “what I have done to bring this on?”

I have talked to Jesus about this nearly every day, begging for my healing, asking for my healing, repenting of everything I can possibly think of, getting prayed over by others, and nothing.  I see Him answering many other prayers in my life, so I know He hears me.  I know that other Christians judge me because after this many years, why am I not well?  Do I not have enough faith?  (I’ve been told that.)  Do I doubt?  Yes at times I do doubt and during those times I tell Jesus “please help me not to doubt!”  (Just as the man in the Bible said to Jesus when he asked Jesus to heal his son.)

Yes, there are days I have that are better than others, and I’ll admit that during those times I DO frantically try to get as much done as possible — only to pay for it for many days later, sometimes weeks later.  And if I get another illness of any kind, I end up being sick much longer than I should be because then my CFS/ME kicks in.

I am to the point that I really don’t want to talk about it anymore.  When people ask me “how are you?”  I simply want to say “fine”.  If they ask further, I will sometimes tell them a little more, but I’ll be honest, I HATE it that I am this way!   I hate it when I let my friends and family down because I cannot do yet another function because I am in so much pain, so tired, so sick.

I am thankful for the handful of loved ones who have made it a point to read up (the real literature) on what I am dealing with so that they understand what I am going through.  I am thankful to those loved ones who haven’t given up on me, and still reach out to me — even when I can’t reach back all the time.  I have one friend in particular that I love as much as a sister (V), and she never gives up on me.  She understands that I have limitations, but never gives up on me.  She doesn’t get mad at me if I can’t be there all the time because she knows how much I desire to.  Yes, I have lost friends through this, and that makes me sad, but I can’t control it.  I have friends who are disappointed that I can’t be there for them, and I’m sorry for that.  But here’s my question to those people, where are you and where were you when I need(ed) someone?  When I was laid up in bed for over 3 months, completely unable to get out?  Where were you?  No phone calls.  No messages. No offers of help.  Nothing.  And yet you want to be upset with me because I can’t be there for you?

Am I angry?  Yes, sometimes I do get angry, but I let it go because it does me absolutely no good.  The thing I feel frustrated over is the friends who are upset that I’m not there for them, and dealing with the emotions that go along with that.

Finally, I am very blessed and have been very blessed through this whole process.  Why you say?  It has brought me to a much deeper relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus.  He has never left my side through this.  He has grieved with me through this.  He has comforted me through this.  When there was no one understanding, He was there.  When there were hurtful words, He was there.  I have an amazing husband who supports me more than I could ever ask for.  He checks with me daily to make sure I am not over-doing it, and he never seems to get upset with me at my lack of abilities no matter what we’re going through.  He is the most loving, kind, and understanding man I’ve ever known and I love him more than I can even say.  I have been blessed beyond measure by him.  He just rolls with the punches and never gets ruffled by anything.  He hates to see me sick and in pain, but he has never made me feel worthless or unloveable because of this.  I am blessed.  I have a great doctor now who “gets it!”  What a relief that is after going for many years with so many who didn’t get it.

A lot more education and research needs to be done, but progress is coming and is being done more and more.  Whatever God has in store for me in the future, and whatever His will for me is, I will praise Him.  I praise Him now.  It is not always easy, but with Him I am able to do this.  That’s why I am blessed.

Roadblocks

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If you saw these many, many signs saying “road closed” what would your first thought be?  “How can I get around this?”  “I should go through it anyways and press on through?”  or “Maybe I should turn around and go somewhere else?”  I have come to realize over the years that God does put roadblocks in our way.  I believe it is for our own protection.  Sometimes we insist on doing things that we think are best for us, but they really are not.  God can see what is beyond that “road closed” sign.  He can see the pain, misery, and destruction that is beyond that “Road Closed” sign.  Now I imagine that there is a reason this road above has so many “road closed” signs.  The person who put them up wants to help prevent injury to any person who wants to go through, such as:  the road is washed out; a bridge is gone; a cavernous hole that would swallow you up; or even worse maybe a lion that has gotten loose and would devour you!   1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith”.

I was reading in Acts recently and came across this scripture in Acts 16 “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.  When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”  You cannot tell from the text how they were prompted by the Holy Spirit to not go into Bithynia.  It could have been armed men, an inward prompting, a vision, or other external circumstances.  We don’t know, but Jesus knew why He didn’t want them to go there.  So in obedience, they turned around and went elsewhere.  It doesn’t say what injury was prevented (at least that I could read), but they trusted God and His plan in their lives.  Due to their obedience to the Lord they were led to Macedonia where many came to know Jesus!

Another great example of God putting roadblocks in someone’s path is the story of Balaam and his donkey in Numbers 22.  I absolutely love this story because Balaam doesn’t even seem surprised that his donkey speaks to him!  An angel of the Lord stood in Balaam’s way three times.  Each time the donkey would attempt to go a different direction.  The donkey crushed Balaam’s foot, and then the donkey just flat-out laid down on the ground.  Each time Balaam beat the donkey trying to get her to go where the Lord had already told him NOT to go.  The donkey saw the Angel of the Lord; Balaam did not (yet).  Then the Lord opens the donkey’s mouth and the donkey speaks to Balaam in Num 22:28.  Finally, the Lord opens Balaam’s eyes in v. 31 “Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn.  So he (Balaam) bowed low and fell facedown.”

Num. 22:32 “The angel of the Lord asked him “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times?  I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.  The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times.  If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.”  Balaam then goes on to repent and do what the Lord told him to do, not what men wanted him to do, and the Lord spared his life.

My point in writing this is that God sees what is ahead in our lives.  He knows whether or not it will bring death and destruction to us, or whether it will be life giving.  He could be preventing us from doing something because He knows that we will be engaging in sin that is displeasing to Him.  He could know that there will be utter sorrow should we choose to go through that roadblock He has placed in our path.

Unfortunately, if we persist in going past God’s “roadblock” sign God may allow us to go and reap the consequences of our choice.  Just like a parent with a child who insists on putting their hand on the hot fire.  We put screens around the fireplace, blockades around the fireplace, tell the child “you will get burned and hurt very bad if you touch that fire”.  Some children don’t learn unless they touch that hot fireplace.  For me, it was a hot burner.  My Mom had told me MANY times to not touch the hot burner.  It was only when I put my finger onto that hot burner, and burned my finger that I learned that I should trust what my Mom was telling me.  A big, old blister formed and it was very painful.  A lesson I would never forget.  Unfortunately, I was one of those children who had to learn the hard way and test things out for myself, and pay the consequences later.

Those of us who are saved by Christ Jesus, He calls us His children.  Sometimes He just simply has to stand back and let us reap our own consequences.  He has provided instruction in His word so we know what direction He wants us to go, and what sins He does not want us to engage in.  These are our Words of warning like when we warn our children about not touching the fire.

It’s tax season and we owed several thousands of dollars in sales tax (which we haven’t had in previous years), and if I didn’t pay it that would have been about $3, 000 dollars in our pocket.  I don’t know about you, but I could always use an extra $3,000!  So I prayed and talked to the Lord about it, all the while knowing that it would be stealing if we kept the money.  Honestly, I KNEW in my heart it was wrong, and knew it would be stealing, but I wanted to keep that money.  That night I had a dream (3 separate times) that I was in a burning house and I was the one setting the fire, and fire was all around me!  I got up that next morning, and promptly wrote out that check (gladly) to the State and mailed it off.  I already KNEW my answer because the Holy Spirit had already prompted me it was wrong!  I was tempted, but I was not tempted beyond what I could bear (1 Cor. 10:13).  I also did not sin because I did not follow through with what I had been tempted to do.  I praise God that He gave me the strength to NOT keep that money because HE knew what would happen should I have chosen to willfully sin.

I tell you this story not to puff myself up, but to boast in the Lord and His mercy on me!  Even though He knew that I knew what I would be doing was wrong, He STILL chose to warn me in a dream (3 times in one night) that I was going to get burned and I was the one setting the fire!  Praise Him for that!  Even if I wouldn’t have had that dream, I still would not have kept the money, and knew I was not going to.  I just wanted to.

If you are reading this and God has put a roadblock in your way, please listen to Him.  If you have pressed on past that roadblock and you are on your way to doing something you KNOW you shouldn’t, please stop right now, repent and turn back!  I plead with you.  Isa. 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Has God put a roadblock in your path?  Did you press on through?  Or did you stop when He told you to stop?

2015 Word for the Year — Embrace!

Embrace

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

We have all heard the Lord’s Prayer:  “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses  as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever.  Amen.”

I learned this while I was still attending church as a little kid.  Immanuel Baptist Church in Hoquiam.  The full impact of that prayer never really got me until quite a few years ago.  I came back to Christ on September 4, 2004.  I was reading my Bible plus all sorts of other books about prayer, how to pray, what to pray, etc.  I remember at one point telling God “it shouldn’t be this hard to have a relationship with You.”  In that gentle, quiet, still voice, he replied “it’s not.”  I got rid of all the other books and focused on His Word.  When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He gave them the Lord’s prayer.

The part of the Lord’s prayer that is sometimes hard though is “Thy Will be done”.  I’ve found myself in the past praying that, and then bracing for what was to come next.  I’m sure I’m not the only one!  I’ve totally braced.  Then I had an epiphany when chatting with a friend the other day — don’t brace, embrace!!  My word for 2015 is “EMBRACE”. I pray the Lord’s will be done every day, so whatever that looks like I praise Him!

Each night I pray His will be done and each morning I pray for His will for that day.  I don’t worry about tomorrow or the future because He tells me not to.  He tells me not to worry about anything, and to pray about everything.  I’ve started doing that more and more, at the very moment that I feel worried.  He tells me not to fear.

If you read His word you will see that He tells His people ALL throughout the Bible “do not fear.”  So this is very common to man.  He tells us not to fear because He is with us all the time.  He tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  When bad things happen, praise Him.  I’m not praising Him for evil, I’m praising Him because He is with me and He is good to me, even when bad happens.  When good things happen, praise Him.  Find something good in the midst of the trials you’re going through, and praise Him for those.  I’ve praised Him for the difficulties that I have going on because through those difficulties He has changed my heart about so many things!  For that I’m thankful!  I’m thankful for the trials I have had.  No they have not been easy, but with His strength I have gotten through them.

So EMBRACE each and every day and all He has for you because:   Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Amen

Your Best Life Now?

Joel and Oprah

1 Peter 2:21 – 24 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps:  “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.”  When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats.  Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.  He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.  For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

When Jesus’s disciples abandoned Him (Matt. 26:56) and He was arrested for something He did not do, do you think Jesus was living “His best life now”?  When Peter denied Jesus three times, and Jesus knew His friend denied knowing Him (Matt. 26:69-75), do you think Jesus was living “His best life now”?  When the high priests and other leaders spit in His face and struck Him with their fists (Matt. 26:67), was Jesus living “His best life now”?  When Judas (one of Jesus’s 12 disciples) betrayed Him so that He would be arrested, was Jesus living His best life now?  How about when the crowd is chanting that they want Jesus crucified and a murderer set free instead (Matt. 27:21); when the soldiers took Jesus and gathered all the rest of the soldiers, stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on Him, put a crown of thorns on His head, a staff in His hand and knelt in front of Him and mocked Him (Matt. 27:27-29), was Jesus living His best life now?  When the soldiers spit on Him, struck Him with the staff on the head again and again, continued mocking Him, then took Him away to crucify Him (Matt. 27:30-31), was this Jesus’s best life now?

According to main in today’s Christian culture, if this was to happen now, Jesus must be doing something wrong because God just wants the best for you, right?  If you’re not rich, healthy, wealthy and wise, then you must be doing something wrong.  There must be sin in your life?  You must not be praying hard enough?  Or maybe you have a demon?

Oh, but someone is going to say, Jesus took all that on so that we COULD have the abundant life and live rich here on earth.  Okay, then explain to me why all of Jesus’s disciples went through what they went through AFTER Jesus rose from the dead.  Peter was hanged upside down (which Jesus told him of in advance).  Paul was beheaded.  John was sent to live on a deserted island alone as punishment.  Many of the other disciples were also beheaded and tortured for their faith in Christ.  This was after Jesus’s crucifixion and rising from the dead.

Hebrews 11:35-40 “Women received back their dead, raised to life again.  Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.  Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.  They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.  They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated — the world was not worthy of them.  They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.  These were all commended for their FAITH, yet NONE of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

Just because bad things are happening to you dear Christian does not mean God is not with you.  Just because good things are happening to you, doesn’t mean that God IS with you.  The pharisees during Jesus time equated wealth with God’s blessing in their lives.  You know what Jesus called those men?  White washed tombs, hypocrites, blind fools, full of greed and self-indulgence, said they do not practice what they preach, they tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders but are not willing to lift a finger to move them, that everything they do is for men to see.  (Matt. 23)  White washed tombs look beautiful on the outside but on the inside they are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean (Matt. 23:27).  The pharisees called Jesus demon possessed!

I believe that some of the teachings of today are false, and that these teachers are making a god in their own image.  What else does man want?  Wealth, health, lots of friends, lots of great things to happen to them, beautiful homes, beautiful cars, beautiful children with no health issues, etc.  According to these false teachers if you don’t have these then you’re not praying hard enough, you have sin in your life (we all do by the way, even them), you have a demon (not possible if you have the Holy Spirit inside of you), or that you are doing something wrong.  Really?  Is that what the bible teaches??  I challenge every Christ follower to read the book of Job.  God’s ways are not our ways.  His ways are higher than our ways.

If our words have power (just as God’s words have power) as these false teachers claim, then Job should have been struck dead.  Job cursed the day that he was ever born.  Job Chapter 3.  “May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said “A boy is born!” That day — may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it.”

These false teachers claim that if you just speak it, then it shall be.  Wow.  I speak one million dollars into my life (POOF!).  These teachers take one scripture and twist it to their own needs and desire, again, making a god they have created into their own image.  I heard one false teacher claim that if you speak to your billfold that it is full of money then it shall be.  Wow.  Really?  Then why aren’t all Christians rich?  Is it because they don’t have enough faith?  Jesus tells us that we need faith the size of a mustard seed — that is a very tiny seed.  You only need a little faith.  So why is it?

Could it be that when they are speaking to the god of the image that they have created is the god of this world?

Matt. 4 Jesus is led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil.  Yes, He knew He was going to be tempted by the devil.  The devil (Matt. 4:8) took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said that if Jesus would bow down and worship him that he would give it all to Jesus.

You see these are things that our “itching ears” want to hear.  This is definitely what our flesh wants — the things of this world.  1 Tim. 6:9-10 “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  v. 11 “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”  2 Tim. 4:3 “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

For those Christians who are rich Paul commands them:  “those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”  This is not so we will be MORE rich on earth, this is to do good to lay up our treasure in heaven.

Bottom line, if a teacher is only telling you what you want to hear they are not doing you any favors, and they don’t love you.  If they never talk about sin and repentance, again, they don’t love you.  Christians read your Bibles so that you will know the Truth, the real Truth, not what some false teacher’s truth is that will lead you down the wide path to destruction.  1 Tim. 6:3-5 “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.  He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”  Choose today Whom you will serve.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Josh. 24:15