“Stay Alert”

even-smaller-bug-light1

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

Paul is telling us to be spiritually alert, sober minded and armed for battle. The demonic forces are well-trained in deception and guerrilla tactics. They are very good at creating illusions that deceive “even the elect”.

 

24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. — Matt. 24:24, 25 NIV

So, what does it mean to be spiritually alert?   It means that we have to be prayed up, full of the Holy Spirit and well disciplined in our study of the Holy Scriptures. Jesus defended Himself against the devil by quoting scriptures to Him.  If Jesus needed the scriptures to ward off satan then we surely need them even more. We need to be aware of where we are weak. The demons know our weaknesses and they attack us in those areas. Don’t walk too near the edge of the cliff. If certain things cause you to be excessive or respond wrongly. stay a long way away from those things. Your pride will tell you that you can handle the situation but your Spirit knows better. Let the Spirit man rise up and mortify the flesh.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. — Romans 8:12-14 NIV

The battlefield is the mind, if we allow the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts, then we can win the battles.

4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Cor. 10:4, 5 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-23-2018

Stay Alert! Stay Ready!

even-smaller-bug-light1

Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. – 2 Peter 3:1-4 NLT

We are to be in the world, but “not of this world”. While it is true that we need to be cognizant of the things going on around us everyday, we should not allow those things to weight us down. With all the bad news we are subjected to everyday, how do we avoid negative thinking? We do what Peter suggested here, we refresh our memories of all of God’s promises and how He has never failed or gone back on His word. When satan tempted Jesus, Jesus rebuked him with the Word of God. We must be so grounded in the Word, that we do the same thing. We must remember that even Jesus said He did not know when the end would come.

32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!—Mark 13:32,33 (NLT)

Yes, there are those that mock and say “Oh, I have heard that for years and Jesus still hasn’t come back.” While that statement is true today, it may not be true tomorrow. We do not need to waste our time trying to figure out when Jesus will come back. We have plenty to do while we wait. We must be on guard against the wiles of the devil and we must stay alert! Do not be deceived, Jesus will come back at the appointed time. We just need to stay ready.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-24-2017

“Pray Without Ceasing”

even-smaller-bug-light1
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

— Col. 4:2 NLT
There seems to be as many opinions on when, what, where, and how to pray as there are people that pray. Paul tell us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus admonishes us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus set the example of praying by going off by Himself on several occasions and praying for hours, sometimes all night. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed so long and fervently that He sweat drops of blood. (Doctors say that it is possible for the body to be so stressed that that could happen). When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is an example of prayer, but the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and us is in John 17. Prayer is not a magic wand that we wave over a problem that arises in our life. Prayer should be something that we do everyday, several times a day. You can pray anywhere, anytime, it is an attitude. It can be as simple as talking with a friend or as formal as you want it to be. It should come from the heart with the expectation that God will hear and answer. Perhaps, in today’s world, we could just think of it as a text message to God. With the added benefit that you can do it while you are driving.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-13-2017

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

— Col. 4:2 NLT

There seems to be as many opinions on when, what, where, and how to pray as there are people that pray. Paul tell us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus admonishes us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus set the example of praying by going off by Himself on several occasions and praying for hours, sometimes all night. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed so long and fervently that He sweat drops of blood. (Doctors say that it is possible for the body to be so stressed that that could happen). When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is an example of prayer, but the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and us is in John 17. Prayer is not a magic wand that we wave over a problem that arises in our life. Prayer should be something that we do everyday, several times a day. You can pray anywhere, anytime, it is an attitude. It can be as simple as talking with a friend or as formal as you want it to be. It should come from the heart with the expectation that God will hear and answer. Perhaps, in today’s world, we could just think of it as a text message to God. With the added benefit that you can do it while you are driving

.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

— Col. 4:2 NLT

There seems to be as many opinions on when, what, where, and how to pray as there are people that pray. Paul tell us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus admonishes us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus set the example of praying by going off by Himself on several occasions and praying for hours, sometimes all night. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed so long and fervently that He sweat drops of blood. (Doctors say that it is possible for the body to be so stressed that that could happen). When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is an example of prayer, but the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and us is in John 17. Prayer is not a magic wand that we wave over a problem that arises in our life. Prayer should be something that we do everyday, several times a day. You can pray anywhere, anytime, it is an attitude. It can be as simple as talking with a friend or as formal as you want it to be. It should come from the heart with the expectation that God will hear and answer. Perhaps, in today’s world, we could just think of it as a text message to God. With the added benefit that you can do it while you are driving

.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Armed and Ready for Battle

even-smaller-bug-light1

11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  — Eph. 6:11 NLT

Every day we are involved in spiritual warfare. This warfare will not be won by flesh and blood because our enemy is not flesh and blood. The enemy may very well come to us dressed in human form and looking beautiful enough to entice us into fighting the battle on his terms and his territory. We cannot and must not allow him to do that. The battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s and we must allow Him to fight the battle through us and for us. Evil rulers, spirits, and authorities in the unseen world are stronger than we are. But they are no match for the One who lives in us. Do not fear the enemy unless you are not prepared to meet the enemy. Be prepared at all times.
God has prepared the armor for us to wear when we are in battle and the battle rages 24/7. There is never a second when we are not engaged in spiritual warfare. The devil never rests, so we must always be on alert. Our belt is the truth of the Gospel and our breastplate is the righteousness of God. Our feet are shod with the peace of God, faith is our shield, salvation is our helmet, and the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Immerse all this armor in prayer without ceasing and we will be well able to resist the enemy and able to stand firm in any battle.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 02-23-2017

The Next Opportunity

even-smaller-bug-light1

13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.  — Luke 4:13 NLT


Jesus was tempted for 40 days by satan. We are not told how long each temptation lasted or how often the temptation was repeated. Since satan has probably not changed his pattern of tempting humans, it was probably a constant nagging to just go ahead and do it. When the first temptation fails, he tries another tactic, always going about like a roaring lion, but having no power. The first temptation that Jesus faced was one we are all familiar with; pride: “you don’t need God, just do it yourself”. The second temptation was idolatry and greed: “just worship me and I will give you everything you want”. Why should you wait and go through all the pain and suffering when you can have it now, just by bowing down to sin? The third temptation is the sin of presumption: “You know God is going to take care of you, just go ahead and do what you want to do, it doesn’t matter”. We are told in Psalm 19:13 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.”  Yes, God will take care of us in dangerous situations, but to think that we can do outrageous things of our own choosing and expect God to always react is presumptuous and deadly. It is one thing to test God’s faithfulness but it is completely different to tempt Him with

our foolishness.  Be sober, be alert, satan is just waiting for his next opportunity to test us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 11-29-2016

Seek Purity of Thought

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

— Psalm 19:12 NLT


As Christians, we are not usually tempted to go out and do what the world normally perceives as sin.  No, satan has to be a little sneaky when he comes after us.  Every decision we make has a consequence, either for good or for bad. Do not be deceived, 
there is no neutral ground in spiritual warfare. How can we know when we have “missed the mark”?  God sent His Spirit to lead us into all truth and convict us when we have erred.  Our sins are usually those of the presumptive type. We presume to know answers to things that are too hard for us to know.  The reason presumption is a sin, is because it is a fruit of being prideful.  We would never be so bold as to say out loud that we can make decisions without the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.  But, have you ever had that thought cross your mind or do you act out of habit without consulting God?  Jesus said if we consider the thought, we are guilty of the sin. Those thoughts lead to ideas which lead to actions and those lead to bad habits.  When this happens, sin is trying to get dominion over us.  We should ask God’s Holy Spirit to correct us and ask for forgiveness, so that we can be blameless and innocent of great transgression. We set alerts so that certain websites send us a notification if we are about to cross a line. Set an alert with God’s Holy Spirit and ask Him to notify You before You cross the line.

16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy. — 1 Peter 1:16

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Alert and Fully Sober

even-smaller-bug-light113 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” — 1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV

God has made each of us different, but there is one thing that every human has in common, we were all born in sin into a sinful world. We have all succumbed to those fleshly desires that kept us from enjoying the freedom that Jesus died to purchase for us.  When we have those thoughts that we might be better than others we need to be reminded that there was a time when we lived in ignorance of the goodness and the graciousness of God. ​ Paul warns us in Romans not to think of ourselves as better than others.
 
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. — Romans 12:3 NIV
In Philippians, Paul takes it a step further and advises us to put others and their interests above ourselves and our interests. 
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. –Phil. 2:3, 4 NIV
If we practice doing this instead of being judgmental, we will be following the example that Jesus set for us.  If we have this mindset and focus on the fact that the only difference in us and them is the grace that God has so generously given unto us, it will cause us to show those around us the same kind of grace and forgiveness that God has shown to us. That is a step toward being holy even as God is holy. 
Post 12-10-2015