Tuesday: April 04, 2017
Oh My World
As excited as I am that my favorite Men’s College Basketball Team won the championship last night, it is a fleeting moment in my thoughts. This morning, that win wasn’t overtaking my thoughts. What was overtaking my thoughts was the following passage of the Bible. God used a phone conversation I had with someone close to me last night to help form what He has been trying to get me to understand. It goes to the reality of the world and times we live in.
2 Timothy 3:1-9 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
This passage is quite sobering and it strikes with a deep reality that, though we see it day in and day out, we do not fully grasp for whatever reasons. In the above mentioned phone conversation, the person was talking to me about a current news story and the conversation went into how a specific city in this country has an up-sweep in crime over the past decade. The city we were speaking of is not the only one this is occurring in. However, unless we live in a high crime area, we tend to not bother ourselves with these details.
There is a lot of chatter on social media related to the United States government. We quarrel over who is in the Presidential office and what he is or is not doing. We also quarrel over past Presidents and what they did or did not do. Yet most of us (myself included) fail to see things happening in our own communities and our neighboring communities. When we do see things, we have become so jaded that we either dismiss it, complain about it, or judge it as another’s fault.
Oh my world!
There are many skeptics to what I am about to say. Some should be skeptical because they do not believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, or Holy Spirit. Those that carry the title of Christian, Believer, or Disciple of Jesus Christ should not be skeptical of what I am about to say nor should we try to force anyone to believe what we believe.
It’s time to stop complaining and get back to praying!!!
It is past time that we understand our authority in and from Jesus Christ! Jesus fed the multitudes with hardly enough to even feed a family (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:33-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:4-13). One thing we believers know but do not yet fully understand is:
John 14:12-14 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Jesus fed 5,000 men (that number did not include the women and children so it was even more than that). Jesus healed the sick. Jesus raised the dead. Jesus was mocked, tortured, crucified, and was risen from the dead in His flesh before He ascended to Heaven. The Lord is still performing these miracles today through multiple vessels but many of us do not see them. Some of us have a hard time believing them when we do hear about them. Why? Hard truth: because we lack understanding and have unbelief within ourselves. Another issue I see is, in our lack of understanding, we try to do these things but it is out of our own strength and not by the Divine Power of God Himself.
Back to the original topic of a rise in crime. Common sense tells me that crime is a product of poverty. We can argue for days about who is responsible for the increase in poverty. In the bigger picture, it really doesn’t matter who is at fault; it only matters that it exists. What can we do? Outside of those of us who are able to give financially or to give our time in support, we can pray. When we pray, we cannot pray from a place of selfishness.
How many times do we ask God what He wants us to pray for? Sure, some things are a no-brainer because they are in the Bible. Sometimes, there are specific things that are on God’s heart at any given time. In the past two weeks I have come across a few testimonies of people saying how God showed them what was on His heart and how His heart was broken because of the apathy from us (believers) to care about His heart. This broke my heart and convicted me of my own selfishness. If your earthly father, who was always there with and for you was deeply saddened and heart-broken over something, it would affect you also right? How much more should this be so with our Heavenly Father? God is love and He loves everyone. What He despises is wickedness and sin. Ooooohhhhh. I said the s– word. Yes sin. Here’s the deal:
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IS A SINNER!!!
If we weren’t, Jesus would not have had to die for us. He would not be seated on the Throne at God’s right hand interceding for us (Romans 8:34). We ALL fall short of God’s Glory (Romans 3:23). The good news is we all have a chance for complete redemption because the Blood of Jesus Christ was shed for ALL. We make the choice to accept Him as The Sacrifice and come into the Presence of God with clean hands and a clean heart or to ignore Him. By God’s grace and mercy, He gave us an escape from our sinful nature. We must come to a place to believe in His absolute love for us and accept Jesus in our hearts then pray that God will reveal Himself to others.
It is not our responsibility to save anyone. It is not our responsibility to force anyone to believe anything. It is our responsibility (as believers) to believe in the everlasting name of Jesus Christ, to love our Lord with everything we have and own, to seek Him where He sits, to obey whatever He speaks to us, and to grow and go from glory to glory to glory through understanding of Who He is and who we are in Him. Here are some connecting thoughts that Holy Spirit is speaking to me right this moment:
2 Peter 3:8-9 – But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Psalm 49:20 – A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish.
Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Proverbs 29:18-20 – Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. 19 A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. 20 Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Our Hope, our Law, our Testimony, our Peace, our Salvation, our Redemption, and our Righteousness against these things comes through and is Jesus Christ.
John 3:14-17 – And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Everything I have written has been deep on my heart for months now. There have been many times that I wanted to respond to things I have seen on social media from believers. Holy Spirit would not allow me because my responses would have been out of my emotions and flesh instead of from my spirit-man. It is only now that the words are able to flow because of He Who lives within me. I am still a work in progress and I am thankful for that. I am grateful that I do not have all the answers. I am thankful that the Ancient of Days is the One Who knows the beginning from the end. I am grateful that I am coming to know Him deeply and personally to the point that my response to someone or something is becoming less out of my emotions (not always but again, a work in progress). I am thankful that God has given me a chance to be with Him forever and that He continues to grow me through trials and knowledge of Him. It has not nor will it always be easy. Writing this post was not easy because of the content. However, here it is. I cannot worry about how it will affect others. My responsibility is to be sensitive to Holy Spirit and write from that perspective. He knows the hearts of the people; I do not. He knows to what end this will affect others; I do not. He knows how to counteract negativity with positivity; I’m working on it (hahahahahaha). He knows how this writing will affect my own personal growth for my future; I do not.
How do we, as believers, navigate through these current times we are living in? We believe, love, trust, and obey the One Who grants us understanding.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
Jeremiah 9:23-24 – Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
May we all come to know who we are and who we are created to be by coming into the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of Who our Lord is.
Proverbs 9:7-12 – “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”
May we all grow in our knowledge of the Holy One so the fruits of the Spirit can bud and take place abundantly in and through our lives.
Blessings, Dear Loves, to all who take the time to read this. Please, provide your comments, thoughts, and constructive feedback. Any nay-saying/derogatory comments will be ignored and deleted for the sake of growth and unity. Constructive discussions are always welcome because we can’t grow as The Body if we’re not talking to one another.
Remember, we only have today to use yesterday and prepare for tomorrow.
Peace to and upon you all!!!
Alicia R. Shipe
[Be sure to check out the new series the Lord has given me to share. Click on the following link to be directed to that page. The Order for Advancement. Also, have your daily Cup of J.O.E. (Jesus Over Everything) by going to gatheringathisfeet.org.]