The best life is a God First life

Month: September 2021 (Page 1 of 2)

Problems come and go.

Today’s problems sometimes seem insurmountable, but so did several past problems; if you think about it. Many issues that once daunted our thoughts are now; no more than distant memories.

With God’s help and our trust in God, we can resolve and overcome difficulties, even count them all Joy as our faith is strengthened by trusting God. God tells us to ask for help, to lay our burdens on Jesus, of whom we have been given the avenue of prayer, by praying in Jesus’ name. As disciples of Christ, we are told to believe, and our request will be answered, that “…the prayer of the righteous person has great power as it is working”.

God wants us to accept his Grace through our Obedient Faith so we can look forward to an eternal existence with Him—one without hardship, without pain, where there are no tears, full of joy and song.

Our short span is but a speck of sand in outer space yet a spec God deemed worthy of Christ- His only begotten son who died that we might be forgiven and live forever with God!

Whatever we do; Include God and seek to pursue those things he asks of us in Scripture. Not adding or taking away from His Word.

  • James 1:1-8
  • James 5:16
  • Matthew 21:22
  • Matthew 6:34
  • Revelation 21:4
  • Matthew 19:26
  • Hebrews 13:14
  • John 3:16
  • Deuteronomy 4:2
  • Revelation 22:18-19

GOD FIRST!

Relationship bliss

It’s not luck; It’s caring!

From time to time, people have commented on how lucky Virginia (my wife) and I are to have a relationship that works so well, and while I appreciate their words, I also know it’s more than luck. I believe it’s largely due to our aim to please, not just ourselves, but each other.

Our daily actions are mindful, considerate, and inclusive of each other, so we end up doing many things together rather than taking part in the “ME Me me” attitude of today’s culture, which is destructive to relationships and opposes the teachings of Christ.

In today’s environment, it’s all too common to exclude loved ones from our lives with individual activities that distract rather than encourage communication and interaction. Yet, our time together is one of the most valuable earthly blessings we have. Seize its blessings with every breath you take!

  • 1 Peter 3:7
  • Proverbs 3:3-4
  • Proverbs 30:18-19
  • Song of Solomon 8:7
  • Ephesians 4:2
  • Ephesians 5:1-33
  • Philippians 2:1-30
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • Romans 13:8-10
  • Mark 12:31
  • John 15:12
  • Matthew 22:37-39
  • Colossians 3:4-8
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
  • 1 Corinthians 16:14

God First!

The eyes of love

If you saw the glories of life through my eyes; You would go to sleep with great anticipation! Looking forward to the next morning’s air, its sunshine, its birds, and playful squirrels in the trees. Through my eyes; Each morning brings new opportunity to hear the voice of those I love, to do my best to see them smile and hear their laughs. To tease them, hug them, play with them or even; just sit with them and soak the glories in. Through my eyes; We all miss out when we sleep in late and must rush to start the new day’s race. But even then, I do my best to start their day; it’s very best! To bring that smile upon their face, they can carry through that race. ~Boo boo aka WRJ

We can learn from the attitudes displayed by our loving pets. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone displayed this type of anticipation and attitude of love towards one another as we started each day?

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10 NIV)Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The fall of Jericho in today’s world

In the Old Testament book of Joshua, we read about the miraculous Fall of Jericho. As I thought of this story, I imagined how this might go over in today’s world?

Although this was before Christ when God Spoke directly to some, through prophets, angles, and in dreams, can you imagine if today’s technology and media had been there? Can you visualize how social media and the news would explode with interviews, conjecture, ridicule, and laughter run-amuck touting these people as crazy who say their God, “The One and Only God,” told them to do this, and the city would fall to them?

If today’s media had been around, we would watch as TV news personalities mocked the ideas of those believers; we would have a continuous live feed as they marched around the city once a day for six days, staying quiet, and on the seventh day march around it the city seven times with priests blowing trumpets.

Can you imagine everyone’s profound astonishment when as they all yelled at the sound of the last trumpet, we watched those thick city walls fall flat, letting them take the city?

Can you imagine the wall-to-wall coverage? Can you imagine the shock to all the unbelievers?

Now, If someone in Joshua’s camp had treated the Word of God given to Josuha, the way so many treat God’s Word today, given to all of us, someone might have said; “This is ridiculous; we don’t need to spend 6 days marching around this city. God loves us; he is here for us because we are his people! So let’s just advance on the city and take it; God will provide.

Do you think the walls of Jericho would have fallen had they done their own thing? Had they done anything less than God commanded? I don’t.

Today many believe and teach others that God loves them so much that he does not mean what he says in Scripture. Thus, they can live as they wish, treating sin as if the word itself was wrong rather than actions that go against God’s will. In doing so, they attempt to justify their actions by twisting God’s word; many try to make their will God’s rather than seeking to make God’s will theirs.

Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:20

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

  • Joshua 6:1-27
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:4
  • Matthew 6:33-34
  • John 14:15-31
  • John 13:34-35
  • John 14:6
  • 1 Peter 1:23
  • Acts 8:36-38

God First!

It helped me overcome stress; Maybe it could help you.

I once found myself extremely stressed as multiple concerns snuck up, combined, and weighed me down. I remember feeling so distraught and so overwhelmed I knew not what to do. Then, I decided to write down my thoughts. Not for the purpose of sharing them with others but rather to take those muddy thoughts in my mind, organize them, and put them somewhere else. (like on paper) For some reason, doing this helped me considerably to think clearer in the following days. It helped me prioritize my thoughts and clear away the mud in my mind.

I still do this from time to time. In fact; If you’re reading this, you see I share some thoughts on my website and other social media platforms but certainly, not all.

I also have found that just as important as writing down those thoughts, to begin with, Is to read them back later, even if I find that what I wrote to be nothing more than incoherent Babel, which is embarrassing if I have shared it publicly (but that doesn’t matter).

What does matter is the point: writing down my thoughts and rereading them helped me clear my mind and get the garbage out. It helped me discern the issues and separate what I could control from those out of my control.

If you’re struggling in some way, maybe writing can help you also. So, take a little time and write for yourself, even if no one but you ever reads it.

Don’t discount prayer! I highly suggest pray, then write. Maybe even write out your prayer telling God what’s on your mind. This helps you recognize those anxieties you can’t control so you can turn them over to the one who can; Jesus.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

I extend these thoughts in the hope that what’s helped me through some difficult times may help others.

God First!

40 Christians on a bus

40 Christians on a tour bus for the week, a day has come and gone. How many of us will get to know the bus driver’s name? Is he married, does he have children, is he a Christian? Does he believe in Jesus? Is he In Christ?

By the end of the week, will the bus driver think of us as “good samaritans”? As 40 Christ-loving, Christ-sharing Christians concerned for his well-being, for his soul, Christians willing to vest some of our vacation time sharing the love of Christ with this stranger, or will we be just another group of people he drove around for the week?

This is a challenge for all Christians as a group or as individuals. So that we plant the seeds of truth in all that we do, will those we meet know more about Christ’s love for them after we’re gone than they did before we met them?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” – Mark 16:15

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13:34

Rhetorical question: How can we claim to love others and not seek every opportunity to share the most important message of our lifetime? The saving message of Christ, the message that can bring eternal life in heaven with our creator.

Let us plant Seeds in all that we do

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

God First!

Do we really believe God? If so, who will humbly reason?

We have no shortage of knowledge at our fingertips, yet we have a vast shortage of open minds. Minds willing to humble themselves in the discussion and reasoning of God’s Word.

Instead of being offended when something flys in the face of what we currently believe, let’s go to Scripture and let the complete words of God be the final answer.

Why not let scripture do the talking, that we may learn more fully? Let’s study the whole truth so that we may unite with scripture, rather than trying to force pieces of scripture to unify with our feelings and current understanding.

This is the example the Apostle Paul gave us; he went into the synagogs to reason.

While in Thessalonica, Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I proclaim to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded…” Acts 17:2-6 (Paul reasoned from Scripture yet not all were persuaded)

Later in the town of Berea, Paul went into the synagogue to reason, and God’s word points out of those in this synagogue, “Now these Jews were more noble than those of Thessalonica; They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Why were they considered more noble? because of their open minds and eagerness to know the truth)

By approaching God’s word with an open mind, we will indeed do our best to learn. So, let’s do so eagerly examining scripture to see if; what we understand is so.

2nd Timothy 2:15 tells us: 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.”

1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬ tells us: ”For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,”

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”‭‭James‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”‭‭ 1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬“

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.”‭‭ 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

(God’s word is complete)

God First!

Edge walking, Fun or Peril

Some like to walk on the edge, and in doing so, make it appear fun, liberating, and exciting rather than extremely hazardous. Like-wise, many Christians attempt to walk on the edge of God’s Word and, in doing so, make it seem to those doing their best to walk on the safety of God’s firm foundation; they are somehow missing out on some of life’s enjoyment.

  • Why do those who walk the Edge of God’s Word want to bring others there too?
  • Why do so many accept their invitation and walk the edge behind them?

One simplified answer to these questions is a lack of understanding; scriptural understanding is needed for building strong faith. We can’t trust God and then distrust or discount God’s Word and/or the warnings found therein of the eternal peril associated with edge walking. We can’t be lukewarm and expect anything less than to be; spewed out. (Revelation 3:15-20)

Some discount their actions with the phrase “God loves us” as if that fact (and it is a fact) means God does not mean what he says in scripture. This statement implies that because God loves us, He will not really allow anyone to spend forever in hell; however, is that what we find in scripture? No.

Instead of edge walking, let’s strive to walk together with our brothers or sisters in Christ. First, let’s follow the pathway of strength and righteousness found in the knowledge and practice of God’s Word, holding securely to the extended hand of Jesus that we may be secure in our footing. Then, being strong in our faith lets us extend our hand in Christian love for others to hold; and instead of being influenced, let’s influence and encourage others who might be walking the edge to walk on the safety of the firm foundation of God’s Word.

When we walk the pathway that God’s word lays out, there is no doubt of our salvation; yet, when we walk on the edge, we are but one misstep, one loose footing, one heavy wind, away from certain eternal death.

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Hebrews 10:26-31
  • 2 Peter 2:20-22
  • Colossians 2:2-8
  • Acts 11:23
  • 1st Thessalonians 5:11
  • Acts 14:22
  • Ezekiel 18:24-26
  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • Matthew 18:6
  • Colossians 2:2-8
  • Jeremiah 50:6

God First!

Abundance of love

To have an abundance of money is not something I can truly understand, however; having an abundance of loving and caring brothers and sisters in Christ is.

We are so blessed to be servants among servants for the Lord. We love our brothers and sisters in Christ both near and far and pray consistently for your well-being and success in sharing the message of Christ.

LOVE is so much more than a mere word

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV)

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV)

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” (1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV)

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

God First!

Covid19 and Preparation

I’ve been enjoying life for almost 62 years, and while this may seem long to a 20-year-old, It’s very short in my mind. From time to time, I’ve seen and experienced many different Illnesses. I’ve either suffered or seen others suffer from diseases like flu, pneumonia, colds, diabetes, mono, dementia, mobility loss, hearing, eye issues, etc. I’ve lost loved ones to accidents, cancer, heart failure, liver problems. I’ve experienced a friend being murdered and know others who have lost loved ones to crime. Life is difficult at times.

Today we have the threat of Covid19, a manufactured virus that brings death and extreme anxiety as we fear the horrible pain, suffering, and loss it causes. Covid’s existence spurs division among family, friends, and countries. Many feel the need to isolate themselves and fear being around others. Hugs and closeness fade from reality into memories as fears of catching or spreading COVID reign and are adopted as the new norm.

Today, a scratchy throat, the slightest sniffle, sneeze, cough, or faintest fever insights worry and fear.

So, What do we do?

We take precautions, use hand sanitizers, wash hands, pay attention to distancing, some wear masks, and some fight over mask effectiveness. I think most who refuse mask mandates object most to the idea of governments’ abuse of power. (I’m not debating this here, just pointing it out)

All this said: I personally refuse to let fear control my life! Instead, I trust in God!

My Trust in God does not mean I will not die of this virus someday. It does not mean I will not lose loved ones to it.

One ICU nurse stated: “lt takes who it takes,” Since this is true of every ailment, it adds perspective.

I contracted Covid a few months ago, and it hit me hard. In 2019 I found myself close to death with blood clots in my lungs, and I’ve had other close calls with accidents. The fact is; We are going to die of something someday, and none of us know when.

So, what actions should we be taking? And what do I mean by “Trust in God”?

Some dare blame God for this evil virus, but no evil comes from God; evil is Satan’s territory. Some blame God for the death of loved ones. However, death is certain, and as stated earlier, “none of us know when,” so; rather than blame, why not prepare? How? By learning, sharing, and teaching others about Jesus. Jesus is the pathway to an eternal life where death, sickness, and pain have no existence. None!

This life is not the end; it’s the beginning!

When we are “In Christ,” We take advantage of the grace God has extended, our sins have been forgiven, and our forever home is with God. If we are in Christ and pursue a Christ-like life, we can live without fear of death. So why worry? In Christ, we can count it all joy; in James 5:16, God points out the prayers of the righteous avails much so let us live fully using our time to pursue righteousness and have our prayers well heard. There is great comfort in the confidence that our loved ones went on to paradise from this earth.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Always be prepared

  • Matthew 24:36-51 (No one Knows the Day or Hour)
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (Fight the good fight)
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (God of all Comfort)
  • Philippians 4:4-7 (The Peace of God)

In Christ

  • Grace:Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith:Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance:2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confession:Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin:Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

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