The best life is a God First life

Month: July 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

What’s depression look like?

It’s not always the person that looks depressed that needs a listening ear; it could very well be the one with the biggest smile.

Scripture tells us to carry each other’s burdens. To encourage one another and build each other up. If you’re dealing with a difficult struggle, you don’t need to carry it alone. In fact, let me encourage you to share it with a trusted brother or sister in Christ. They love you! So, let them share your burdens, listen to you, pray with you, let them be there for you. Jesus Command’s us to love one another as Christ loved us. In this and many other scriptures, Jesus wants us to be there for one another; on the other hand, Satan works to make us feel alone and bring us down. Christ wants us to be prepared with the whole armor of God, That we may fight the internal spiritual fight against the unseen enemy and win.

Scripture tells us,

“humble ourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you,”

“… If God is with us, who can be against us!“

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

James 4:10, Romans 8:31, Ecclesiastes 4:12
  • Galatians 6:2 (Share burdens)
  • 1st Thessalonians 5:11 (encourage/build-up)
  • John 15:12 (Command to love)
  • 1st Peter 5:8 (satan)
  • Ephesians 6:10-20 (armor of God)

God First!

Advocate for Christ!

To be clear to my new friends who are reading my post. Some have made assumptions. I am not a pulpit, preacher; I am not affiliated with any denomination. I am simply a Christian, an Advocate for Christ. I worship and study weekly with my brothers and sisters in Christ at the Buford Church of Christ congregation in Buford, Ga. The use of ”God First!” as my profile or to end many writings is because I believe God should be first in our lives. I believe that with God at the helm those ”In Christ” have God’s promise for eternity in heaven. Comfort and joy are ours to have from the “God of all Comfort,” even during the horrendously sad and difficult stuff.

Many people wear spirit wear to depict their favorite teams, school, sport, etc. My idea of ”spirit wear”- is the term God First! (seen on many of my clothes) Sometimes its presence sparks a conversation and probably curtails language I’d prefer not to hear. While it’s true that I do sell items with “God First!” It’s not for personal gain but rather to help those who love God share that love with the world. I started using the term “God First” because I believe putting God First adds significant Joy to our lives. I care about myself, my family, and others, so why would I not want to share such a message? A message that makes life better for all who choose to live by it, a message that offers the promise of everlasting life with our loving creator.

God has given us every reason to love Him as He first loved us; I am extremely grateful for all of God’s creation and sacrifices that we might have an eternal home with Him. Eternity is a serious matter, and loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is a natural response to those with an understanding of God’s love for us.

I once heard this from Brother Don Blackwell – ”The Lords Church is not a country club for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners.”

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-9
  • Mark 12:28-34
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • 1 John 4:19

God First!

Important rhetorical questions

What action are we as individuals taking to advance the message of Christ?

  • To edify others?
  • To help the Poor?
  • To help Widows?
  • To help Orphans?
  •  Etc., etc., etc.

Could we, or should we, be doing more? As I ask myself this question, the answer is obvious.  Not nearly enough!

I hope for you the answer is much greater than the one I must admit. The theme at the congregation of the Lord’s Church I attend is “Go and Do,” So for me, I will strive after pondering these questions again this year to do more.

God First

Blindness opened Paul’s eyes.

Paul’s eyes were Opened in Blindness on the road to Damascus, Jesus told Saul… “But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:6‬) Saul had 3 days of blindness to think and pray about his “literal” come to Jesus meeting.

In a vision, the Lord came to a disciple in Damascus named “Ananias.” The Lord tells Ananias where to find Saul and to heal his sight. Scripture reads: “So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;” (Acts 9:17-18).

Note: Baptism was the very first thing Saul did after meeting Ananias and having his sight restored. Why? Had Saul/Paul’s sins were forgiven before this moment, he would not need to be baptized to have His sins forgiven or, to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, would he?

Acts 2:38 tells us when we receive forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit, “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

In 1 Peter 3:21 it reads: “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Jesus’s own words are very straightforward in Mark 16:16,

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Mark 16:16

Paul shares his story in – Acts 22:1-16

Why do I believe all of God’s word? Because not believing would be to call God a liar, and I know God cannot lie. How many scriptures need to state something before it is true? God breathed out all scripture, so only one. (2 Timothy 3:16) This said, it is important not to take any single scripture out of context as God’s Word encompasses all of Scripture; if scriptures seem to contradict, we can know we have the wrong understanding of those scriptures and need to seek what fits the whole. There are a lot of teachings in this world about what God wants, a lot of feelings about what God wants, yet it rests upon each of us to decern what God’s Word actually teaches. Don’t believe me, believe God!

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:9-13

God First!

Learning how to please God

To become proficient in our professions, we study and practice to be Doctors, Nurses, Accountants, Engineers, Firefighters, Carpenters, bricklayers, etc. Learning and skill are not developed by osmosis. To do our profession to the best of our ability, one must be studious and committed to learning every aspect possible about our endeavor. Shouldn’t we put even more effort into getting to know God and keeping his commandments? The less we know of God’s Word and the message of Christ, the less we know of God; Yet, our soul’s eternity depends on our submitting to God’s will in accordance with God’s will, not ours. How can we do what we do not know? we should be making ongoing efforts to grow in our understanding.

Still today, many in our world are deprived of access to Bibles and would love to have scripture to study, yet in our country (America), most homes have more than one. So for us, there is really no excuse for choosing ignorance when God’s Word is so readily available. Understanding comes through study, and there is no better time to begin study than right now. Why not grab your closest bible or download a bible app and read it daily starting now?

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)

God First!

Include God; He offers so much!

We know from Scripture we are made in the image of God; we also know from God’s Word that God has feelings. For example, that God hates sin, God loves, God is righteously jealous, etc. so; I have a few questions for us to ponder:

How do we feel when the only time someone thinks of us is when they need or want something?

How do you think God feels when we treat him that way?

Why treat him this way?

It’s obvious from Scripture; God wants to be included in our lives; He wants us to love Him as He loves us. This said, Why would we not want to include God in all that we do?. After all, Jesus told us to: ask, seek, and knock.

Our very breath is dependent on our creator! By embracing God’s love and keeping his commandments, we secure God’s promise of eternal life. Thus, we can obtain the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If we are truly In Christ, our hearts are filled with joy and the comfort of God. Therefore, it seems kind of stupid to me to exclude God when he offers so much life both in this world and for eternity.

  • Ephesians 6:18 – pray often
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – God of all comfort
  • James 5 – prayers of the righteous
  • Matthew 7:7-11 – Ask, Seek, Knock
  • Philippians 4:7 – Peace beyond understanding
  • John 15:1-16 – Joy

It is what it is, but it will be what we make of it!

This statement applies to many things, but today I think of social media. Platforms like Facebook turn so many people off because many abuse freedom of speech with disrespectful, attention-grabbing rants, gossip, foul language, crude or distasteful images, etc.; I’ve heard many refer to social media as “the devil’s workshop.” Well, this may all be true, but; “it will be what we make of it!”

Social media can indeed be viewed as a workshop, but it doesn’t have to be just Satan’s.

No, If every Christian turned off by these abuses decided to post, share, like, and love only good things rather than walk away and be quiet, they could help make social media a better place. The simple truth is that Satan is in this world, his actions are all around us, and “we can’t make a difference if we don’t try.”

Jesus charged us to share the gospel with all the world; we are charged with planting seeds of Truth. So, when we choose to walk away from farmland that is ours to cultivate and plant, we leave only Satan planting seeds of weeds and destruction. So, rather than decide social media is not for me, rather than be quiet, why not be engaging? Simply refrain from negative comments and use your platforms to encourage and share the truths of life with Christ.

You don’t have to post articles, but you can support good ones with likes, Loves, and encouraging comments. You can share articles and memes of truth and good thoughts. Don’t take negative statements personally. They are often spewed from ignorance (hint: the seed lands on all soil types); cast it and let it grow, let God provide the growth. Jesus Himself cast numerous seeds and was rejected by some in much worse ways than a negative or hurtful comment.

Social media can be a tool to teach what scripture says rather than feelings. You can share links to sites that specialize in sharing Truths, Sites like The apologetic Press, Search of the Lord’s Way, among others whose sole purpose is to teach truth according to scripture rather than what they feel Scripture meant. I personally don’t want to gamble my soul’s eternity on what someone feels scripture meant when there is so much understanding to be had by gaining a fuller understanding of God’s Words themselves.

It is what it is, but it will be what you make of it!

God First!

Snackelfracle!!!

It’s almost impossible to break a bad habit. However, it’s very possible to replace it! For example, when I was young, my dad suggested replacing any profanity that surfaced in my mind with his made-up word… “Snackelfrackle

Admittedly, this has gotten some strange looks from people, some questions, and a few laughs, all of which are better than any profanity or using the Lord’s name in vain. However, it also sends the soft message that I don’t use that type of language.

In today’s world, a large percentage of people use, condone, and even defend their use of profane language and taking the Lord’s name in vain. However, most are respectful of my stance when they realize that I do not appreciate its usage. I very much appreciate their efforts in controlling their language while around me.

I personally don’t understand the need for using vulgar or profane talk and I know what God’s Word says about it, so, whether it’s one word that has become a bad habit or a slew of them I know “if a person wants to” they can replace these habits with good ones.

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator”

Colossians 3:8
  • Ephesians 5:4
  • Matthew 12:36-37
  • James 1:26
  • Exodus 20:7
  • Romans 12:2
  • Romans 12:21

God First!

Encouragement Challenge

I want to challenge everyone to say something honestly encouraging to as many people as you can today. In-person, on the phone, on social media, at work, at school Etc. Go out of your way today and build each other up!

Divisiveness is a tool of Satan; God plans that we love one another; if we do that, Satan cannot divide us. God’s way leads to peace that goes beyond understanding. So let’s encourage each other today and Strengthen our bonds of love.

Matthew 22:37-40, Philippians 4

God First!

Regrets, humility, forgiveness, and change

Almost 6 decades of choices, both poor and excellent. Some success and many regrets. However, I don’t dwell on regrets or let them hamper my attitude. For me, many regrets are used as fuel to feed a burning desire to help others avoid similar mistakes. Occasionally I share pieces of my life that can be embarrassing, shameful or seem boastful and prideful at times. Over the years, I’ve achieved some small levels of success, but my biggest success was when I decided to put God First! Not by words but by commitment.

The results of my decisions once had me living in a tent for a few months. This consequence forced me to swallow my pride, learn humility, and accept help from others to get back on my feet. The family that helped us asked one thing from me. They asked: When opportunities arise, I help others. I will never forget them, their commitment to God, or their kindness and have tried to honor that request ever since.

When I share my life, it’s, for this reason, I hope others will gain from my experiences, good or bad. I hope that my sharing will help someone avoid similar mistakes and maybe embrace some of my most excellent decisions. At the top of that list is my decision to follow Christ and all His teachings to the best of my ability. Although I failed for many years, I now take comfort in knowing God has forgiven me for turning my back on his love and pursuing my own desires. I now know I have an eternal home waiting in Heaven and can’t fathom ever turning my back on God again. Simply put, No desires are worth the eternal risk.

All of us have the same opportunity I had. Everyone!

Scripture points out that we must hear God’s word, we must believe Christ is the risen Son of God (Romans 10:8-17), we must repent (make the decision to change our life course and follow Jesus), we must confess Jesus as the risen Son of God (Acts 2:38) and, we must be immersed (baptized) in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). It’s at this point (after baptism) that our sins are forgiven. After baptism, we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is here that we are added to “The Church” (We don’t join, we are added) Acts 2:41.

From this time forward, we are looked upon by God to be as pure as the driven snow because Christ’s blood continues to cleanse us. (1 John 1:7) We are then “IN CHRIST” with the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us walk in the light, putting God First and doing all we can to show Jesus our love by keeping His commandments and loving others, as Christ loved us (John 14:15)

  • John 14:1-6
  • Revelation 21:1-27
  • 1 Cor. 15
  • Gal. 3:26-27
  • Rom. 6:3-5
  • Gal. 3:27

God First!

« Older posts

© 2021 Advocate for Christ

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑