I know it has been awhile since I have written or shared on my blog… for those following faithfully, I want to apologize for the delays. God has had me in a place of learning, of discovery… and it’s taken time for all that He is teaching me and showing me to sink in and absorb.
I recognize that words have the power to both heal and divide, as well they have the power of both growth and deception. I don’t take lightly the power of words nor the influence they can have. God has been showing me the deceptions that are creeping into our Christian literature, the Church and Bible book stores.
I once used these sources as a way to grow in my Christian faith (after all they have done the work already why reinvent the wheel…right?) But God has been revealing to me that it’s not that innocent anymore. More often than not, there is a cross section of Spirituality / Christian and Progressive thinking, influencing many of the authors. God has challenged me to look to His Word for the truths I desire… and I in turn am going to challenge you my friends, to do the same
Where ever you find yourself on this journey called life, I would like to encourage you to take some time and do some critical thinking on some very deep subjects within our Christian faith.
What is it you believe about God? Is He all powerful and omni-potent like we read in the Bible? Does he have clearly defined ways that He desires us live? Does He remain the same yesterday, today and tomorrow? Or, can we shrink him down to fit into a box of our own making? Adjust his ways to fit our agenda’s?
What is it you believe about the Bible? Is it the Inspired Word of God? Is it both History & Future events, as well as our guidebook for life? Or, can we pick and choose which parts of the Bible we will follow and remove the parts we don’t like or disagree with? Is it still the Way.. the Truth and the Life… or has it been broken down into irrelevant fables?
What is it you believe about the Church? Is the Church still relevant today? Is it our mission to grow into mature followers of Jesus and point others to the grace, life and forgiveness that He offers them? Or, has the Church evolved into a type of community group with their focus less on the actual person of Jesus, and more on the social justice issues of our present world, focusing more on how the Church can better fit into the world by just being more tolerant and loving and accept everyone as they are?
Friends, these are some tough questions! Questions we ALL need to review in our hearts and minds. The world is focused on social justice and as followers of Jesus we want to see justice in our world, justice to the poor & marginalized, but there is a troubling difference between this type of justice and the worlds version of politically powered ‘social justice’.
Unfortunately, I’m also seeing a trend happening in many of the Churches in North America, A desire to be more of the world and less of the Bible. To be more involved in the political social justice issues and less about Repentance, Forgiveness and Salvation.
I’ve been witness to those who claim to follow Jesus Christ, but choose which of his Words they like to follow and which are simply not relevant in our day and age. I’ve seen new age philosophies slip into Church staff meetings and small groups. As people seek new ways to discover themselves and grow outside of the gifting of Christ.
Sadly, I believe there is a Great Deception happening within our Christian Churches and I believe it grieves God deeply. I believe the enemy is blinding many on the alter of tolerance. I fully believe one can love a person completely yet disagree on their choices and decisions. I believe Jesus died for ALL of humanities sins, but many Churches are forgetting an important action… the action of repentance, the turning away from those sins that separate us from the Father, in order to receive the gift of Grace.
This my friends is the entire reason Jesus went to the cross, to show us a better way. We were warned the road would be narrow, as the wide road…the easy road… would lead to destruction. I fear for our Churches, for my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as I see a progressive form of Christianity gaining influence across our Countries.
This is a form of Christianity that is more tolerable to the world, less threatening. This is the type of religion that doesn’t require work or change on our part, it’s a ‘come as you are and stay as you are’ type of gospel. This is a form of religion that does not recognize sin as defined in the Bible, in fact this is a form of religion that doesn’t recognize the Bible as the Holy breathed Word of God. And this is a religion that nullifies Jesus’s atoning death on the cross for each of us, enabling us to one day stand cleansed in the presence of the Father.
So I urge you Friends, think deeply about these questions. Be wary of the easy road that requires little from it’s followers. Love deeply, pray hard and ask the Lord God almighty to protect you from this deception creeping into our Churches and our literature. If you have found yourself buying into these lies, turn away and turn back to Truth.
Christ came into this world, was killed on a cross for your sins and mine. He died and rose again on the third day so that we might receive forgiveness for our sins and one day spend eternity with Himself and the Father in heaven. He sent us the helper, the Holy Spirit, that we might discern between right and wrong, that we might be strengthened for the battles we would face against the spiritual forces of darkness within this world.
So why do I choose to share this with you today? I believe it is because God has been preparing me for the last three years for this message. While I was in the ‘desert’, waiting on what He would do in my life…with my life, I was compelled to dig deeply into Gods Word.
I spent time, desiring to know Jesus better, more intimately. I sought His plan for my life, rather than continuing trying to fit Him into mine. And here we are in 2021, and He has rewarded me for these efforts. He has opened doors that both Mike and I could serve him full time as we had prayed so many times.
He has rewarded us with Godly friends and relationships that build us and that we can build into. And He has opened my eyes to the beautiful Truths that are contained in His Word. I have experienced his Word being alive, sharper than a double- edged sword. It has separated Truth from lies within my own heart and mind and sharpened my discernment from within.
Finally, I fear the apostasy of the Church… the falling away by turning away from Truth. I fear for Brothers and Sisters in Christ that I love dearly, and I feel God is calling His followers to sound an alarm so that eyes might see and ears might hear. Praying that these words fall on open eyes and open ears.
Thank you for Your Word, not a day goes by that You don’t show me something that prompts my heart. When I think of my sinfulness and having my sins laid open before you; with no justification or excuses, it makes me shudder.
I much prefer the image of the Good Good Father, this image loves us (inspite of our failings and our ugly parts), He accepts us as we are, he would never lay our sins out in the open to actually be seen… would he? I prefer to tell myself that You see past all of that ugliness, this is the image of Jesus who washes our sins clean and we can live forever in the land of Grace. Which You do and we can !
Yet, I am reminded that there are other images of You Lord, that are also correct. Images we prefer not to focus on, and that is the God who SEES. Your Word tells us that You see into our hearts and our minds, You see ALL of our sinful thoughts and actions. As much as You are the God of Grace… You are also the God that desires Repentance. Thank you for that reminder today Lord.
Thank you for reminding me that unconfessed or justified sins hinder my relationship with You Lord. O God, would You open my eyes to those sins in me that I have either justified away or convinced myself that they are not really sin.
Forgive me Lord, for allowing the enemy to deceive me into this habit of justification: “that little lie really didn’t hurt anyone”, ” that person didn’t know what I was thinking about them and how I was judging them”. The truth is Lord, that you know and you have told us that those secrets will not remain secrets, that they will be revealed, unless we acknowledge them for what they actually are…sin, and confess them to you.
Help me to see those things in my life that I have Not put in front of You, those things that I have justified. I lay them out before You Lord that You might teach me to walk closer to You, following Your ways rather than mine. Open my eyes to see…open my ears to hear…open my heart with a desire to follow.
O Lord, Your Word is always instructing us to search for wisdom: our need and the importance of wisdom, of growing in our wisdom. You tell us learn discernment, and to practice discerning not only between right and wrong, but as C.H. Spurgeon so eloquently said, “ the difference between right and almost right”.
Lord God, in a world where everything is shaded in grey, help me to still see Your black and white… Your truths for right and wrong. Not as the world sees it but as Your Word teaches it.
Thank you Lord, for the reminder that my life is like the wind… here for a moment then gone. Forgive me for allowing myself to believe the lie that we have all the time in the world: time to serve You…time to be all in…time to…(fill in the blank). When in fact, today could actually be my last, and my time on this earth could in fact run out.
Forgive me Lord, for focusing more on my comfort and desires than on fulfilling the very mission which You created me for. Every single one of us was created by You with a purpose that will glorify You Lord. The gifts of Grace and Love that I have received were not to be kept for myself, but used to lead others to You.
Forgive my wasted years Lord Jesus. Forgive my inward thinking, my self-serving thoughts. Help me Lord…teach me… to live for You. Help me Father, to see the ways I can live for You every single day. Forgive my very lack of wisdom, my foolishness, as I have flitted my days away with so little of eternal value to show for them.
Thank you Father, that You have been teaching me and changing the desires of my heart, to be more in line with the Your desires for me. Create in me a new heart Lord, one that is on fire for You with purpose and passion. Thank you for this time of ‘waiting’ Lord, time I needed for You to wake me up and get my attention once again… this desert place is good for that.
Once again, I submit my life to You Sovereign Lord. To be used for Your purposes and Your Glory, rather than my own . Let there be less of me and more of You Father. Use whatever days I have remaining in this brief existence of life. For when I meet You face to face, there are no words I desire more to hear from You than, “well done good and faithful servant”.
In Jesus name ❤️Amen
In the book of Joshua, after bringing the Israelites into the promised land, Joshua challenged the Israelites against turning away from the one true living God to follow useless and worldly ways. He exhorted them to follow the Living God. He said, “choose today whom you will serve…but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. Joshua 24:15.
Like Joshua, I choose, truth… the Bible… historical Christianity…and I will serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I recognize that there are many today that believe the God of the Bible, and the biblical version ofJesus, to be outdated. They would rather see a Jesus that accepts us as we are, that wouldn’t ask us to give up anything for him.
But the Jesus I know gave up his very life for each and every one of us, He chose to give it up for us as the way for us to come close to the Father. Without His sacrifice we had no way to be forgiven. God is a just and holy God and no one can come before him without first being justified. Our ONLY way to be justified is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to acknowledge his death and resurrection as our atonement for sin.
If Jesus gave up so much for us, how foolish it would be to think that nothing is required from us. We can’t earn our way to the Father by following a bunch of rules, but we acknowledge the price Jesus paid, when we turn away (repent) of our sinful actions.
I don’t know about you my friends, but I know my struggles… I don’t like looking at my sin. I would much rather bury it and pretend that it doesn’t exist, but therein lies the problem… it does!! If it didn’t we would never have been separated from God in the beginning, but Gods Word clearly tells us we were.
Sin is ugly, it’s selfish, it’s mean spirited, it’s everything I don’t want to be, yet sadly, it is so much of who I am all wrapped up together. I am so grateful for Gods gift of forgiveness and grace, that I can give it to him and it does not control me any longer. Does this mean I never sin again? I wish…
But sadly no, our broken human nature has been forever tainted. We can gain mastery over it with the help of the Holy Spirit, but until that day that we are fully reconciled to Christ in the heavenly realms with our new ‘unspoiled’ bodies, we will continue to deal with the sin factor.
Yet, this world would have us believe that SIN is an outdated theme. What is sin? what’s right for you and what’s right for me don’t have to agree... these are lies from the pit of hell. The enemy would love us to believe that we can choose what is sin and what is not, based on our own desires. The Bible tells us that “our hearts are deceitful”, that they cannot be trusted for truth… only God’s Word provides trustworthy Truth.
So my friends, what are we to do in such a chaotic time? We can look around and see many of our loved ones fall under the spell of tolerance. Tolerance simply avoids dealing with choices about right and wrong… tolerance is always shaded Grey, rather than absolutes like black & white.
I for one choose to believe that the Bible is Gods Holy Word for the world. It is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow… forever unchanging yet never the same ( how’s that for a mind bender?). If I was basing these decisions simply on what my heart desires, I would be totally led astray, but I am standing on what I KNOW to be true based on what I have experienced in my own life.
I am so thankful that God did not leave me as I was… broken and frail. I am so thankful that He built me up and built into me to become all that I am today. I am so thankful for His gift of Grace… because boy do I fail… often. But, because of His incredible Love for us, He picks us up … dusts us off… and sets us back on our feet again… ready for another day.
Blessings, Janet ❤️
Do you know Jesus? He’s waiting to meet you…
As I sit here reflecting on this journal entry from three years ago, I have the gained vision of looking back at it from the other side. I can read and remember the fear, uncertainty and pain that I was in from the loss of our business and the loss of our home… all the uncertainty that we were facing.
I remember not knowing how we could possibly move forward… what would that look like? What would we do for work? Would we be able to serve God in our work? There were far more questions than answers, Yet the Lord took our hands and led us out of the desert of our making in the promised land that He had for us all along.
I find myself reminiscing back through the journey… how we got from there to here. I can’t help but smile and feel God smiling back down on us. He taught us the importance of complete surrender… the type of surrender that does not take it back, but trusts that He was in control and we are not. He taught us to have Faith not fear… and focus our eyes on Him as our healer and redeemer.
Have you ever thought of the “monuments” of your life? Those moments of time, that you could look back and see Gods hand at work so clearly? This blog post is one of those monuments for me, two years ago I was gasping for air, trying to keep my head above water with our finances…then Covid hit and we watched every other part of our world change before our very eyes.
Over the course of the year we have become aware of many new slogans: “flatten the curve, bend the curve, keep each other safe, social distance, self isolate, non-essential travel’… this list is pretty much endless. There are fear mongers and conspiracy theorists.. with most of us caught up trying to figure it out somewhere in between the two. News outlets no longer appear to have journalistic integrity or independence, as every major news cast speaks from the exact same script, world wide.
Then there’s the division, and WOW is there division; families divided, politicians against constituents, medical opinions vary widely and we are left scrambling to try to understand what is happening to our world. We are living in a new world of “cancel culture”, if you don’t like the narrative rewrite it, or better yet erase it. Differing of opinions is no longer accepted or welcome, we have to be of the same mind or we are to be removed from the platform. Growth no longer has multiple avenues as only one is currently accepted.
Yet, In the midst of all of this, I have seen Gods hand moving mightily. He has been at work molding and teaching us new things. He has strengthened and encouraged us, teaching us to trust when we cannot see and He has filled us with Hope rather than Fear. He has shown us to identify with the disciples and apostles who lived in a culture that could not accept them nor the message they chose to share, where God encouraged them to Love in a world that often hated them.
If you are struggling to overcome fear or simply can’t see where God is in the midst of this chaos, let me encourage you before going on…
God is still very much in control. His Word tells us what will happen and how these things must come about. So be at peace my friend, stay true to your faith, dig into Gods Word and allow the Creator of our universe to calm the stormy seas. Learn from the apostles and Fathers of our faith, recognize how He has gone before us preparing us for such a time as this.
He has a plan and a purpose in ALL things, so read on my friend and be encouraged…❤️
Can you think of a time when you found yourself in the midst of a circumstance or crisis that looked totally and absolutely hopeless? Maybe you are in the midst of that today. Regardless of the situation, all of us find ourselves in these “wilderness times”. The times that feel like you are caught in a storm without shelter, when your entire being is exposed to the elements. This wilderness has many faces: illness, divorce, financial stress, business… this list goes on and on, symptoms may vary but the right response remains the same.
Friend, let me tell you, I’ve been there. When I wrote this journal entry, I was exactly in that space. There was no calm on the horizon, and most days all we could do was hang on, but hang on we did. We hung onto the Words of Jesus in scripture, we hung onto the lessons learned through the Kings & the Prophets of old. We hung onto Hope and that the Lord was ultimately in charge. We learned that until we could surrender ourselves and our circumstances into the capable and trustworthy hands of the Father, we would remain in the eye of that particular storm much longer than necessary.
It was here that we had finally come to the end of ourselves and the end of our ability. Although the storm had not diverted, we started to see an incredibly important lesson beginning to emerge. Humanly, we often believe we need to get out of the storm before God can actually use us. But this is where I hope to challenge you by reminding you of one of my favourite Biblical prophets. When Daniel was thrown into the lions den, he never entered the storm alone, the Lord met him there. God was In the midst of that very storm with him, and like Daniel, He is IN it with us.
When Daniel was in the lions Den, it was pitch black, he could not see anything, his senses would have been reeling, His sense of smell would have reacted to the mangy lions kept in a cave for just this purpose. His sense of touch would feel the beasts as they brushed past him, but it was the very presence of God, that allowed his sense of sight to see in the darkness. Just like the story of Daniel, we need to know where to focus our eyes when we are in the midst of the storm. Will we focus on the “lions” surrounding us, or focus on our Lord, believing in His plan for us.
1) I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.
2) I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
3) Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
4) I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
5) Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6) In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.
7) For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
8) Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9) Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.
10) Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
Psalm 34:1-10 NLT
Thank you for Your Word, Your Word is precious to me, more precious than food. For it fills my soul and speaks to me in both good times and bad.
Thank you for speaking to me in this Psalm today Lord. Reminding me how much I have to be thankful for, how good You have been to me and how much You Love me. Thank you for reminding me to give honour to You, for who You are and for all you’ve done for us. Praise you Lord, Praise your Holy name!!
Thank you for reminding me that when I pray to You, I will be freed from the fear that tries to grip my heart. Thank you for reminding me that I can be filled with Joy, even in the midst of these difficult circumstances. Thank you for reminding me that You hear our desperate prayers and that You save us from our distress… Thank you Jesus, Praise You!!
Lord, I don’t know what our future holds, as I can’t see past the moment of the day that I am in, I don’t even know the outcome of today. Yet, I trust in the One, who numbered my days and created me for His purpose before I was even born. I believe that You will use these circumstances for Your glory, and use us to bring glory to Your powerful name.
Lord Jesus, You know all our needs, we know that you hear all our prayers, would You show us what we are to do, would you advise us on how we are to proceed. We don’t trust our own thoughts and plans, as they have proven worldly and foolish. It was our lack of wisdom that got us to this point… O forgive us Lord for our foolishness with the resources You had provided.
Forgive us for not giving back to you what was already yours. Forgive us for living beyond our means and for Loving the things of this world too much. Forgive us for all the foolish and careless decisions we have made. Cleanse us Lord from all of these sins, forgive our rebellion against You, thank you for Your Grace and Forgiveness. Thank you for removing our guilt for all of our failures.
Help us to move forward into a new future Lord, one that spends time with You and time in Your Word. A future where Mike and I can serve You together… free of the past. Direct us I pray: Where we will live, how we should earn a living and how we should clear up this mess we have made.
Be our wisdom we pray, Lord Jesus, hear our prayer and answer us. Redeem the remainder of our lives for You and in service to You. Thank you that You are with us…even when we find ourselves in the wilderness.
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
How are you holding up my friend? Are you a battle weary soldier, just putting one foot in front of the other to survive? The enemy would have us believe that we are fighting a losing battle, that we don’t have sufficient strength to carry on. As soon as you starting thinking these thoughts, you need to recognize the schemes that are at play.
The enemy’s goal is to convince you that you need to take care of problem and come up with a solution on your own, he knows that if he can get you to believe this, you will rely on your resources rather than trusting the one who gave us the amour to fight these battles (Ephesians 6). The enemy wants you to focus on the lions… Jesus wants you to focus on Him and His plan.
As I write this encouragement to you today, I have mostly come through this wilderness time, we are for a large part of it, on the other side and although we are still carrying some battle scars, these actually feel more like monuments to remember what God has done as these were the areas we saw Gods plans begin to unfold and life started to make sense again.
I don’t know what you are battling today, nor do I have any magic answers or solutions for you. But, what I do offer is encouragement. It IS possible to have joy in the wilderness. If you ask God to take your eyes off the lions so that you can see HIS presence, you will be profoundly changed, your experience may not change but your perception will be radically altered, as you allow Him to show you what He has begun in you.
Let’s jump back to the previous story about Daniel, for all of us animal lovers out there, we might cry out, “but Lord, you took away their food, now they will go hungry again”. Yet, God was working out His glory in All areas related to this situation. The King discovered that it was the deception of his rulers that tricked him into this very situation in the first place, and these men had their schemes against God turned against themselves. Yes, the lions still had a feast, and Gods Glory & Power was shown to many that day.
Whatever it is you are facing I urge you dear friend to trust and believe that God is in the midst of the storm (illness, divorce, loss of a loved one, financial crisis etc.) He has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. May you be able to take your eyes off of the lions that are encircling you this day, and see the face of the master, working through you in this very storm. Molding you in new ways to do new things in different ways than you could have ever imagined. So take your eyes off the lions my friend, and place your focus on the lamb… He has great plans for you.
Blessings, Janet❤️. Journey4Jesus
Do you know Jesus ? He’s waiting for you… ( click the link to learn more)
Can We Ever Measure Up?
Welcome to Throwback Thursday. I’m always in awe of how God chooses to use our circumstances (if we let Him) to come alongside others. God doesn’t waste anything, and wants to use us and our life experiences, both good & bad, to walk along with someone else who is struggling. Maybe that’s you today, maybe God has something in this that will speak into your heart and circumstances, I’m praying He does… read on my friend, may you be encouraged today.
Have you ever been in a place that feels so dark, so deep, that it feels like you are being swallowed into the depths alive? I have been there, more than once in my life, each time feeling like I would not be able to survive what I was going through.
Yet each time sensing this almost tangible string (as thin as a spiders web) reaching out to me from the heavens. You see, I knew of God… I thought I knew who He was, he was somewhere out there, all -knowing and all-powerful… but out there. I guess I was a slow learner because it would take multiple major events in my life for be to begin to fully understand and know the heart of God.
I gave my life to Jesus as an eight year old child, at a backyard Bible school. I had never heard the words “I Love you” from anyone within my family, so when I was told that God Loved us so much that He sent His Son to save us… I wanted that very much.
Unfortunately as a young child and little Biblical training outside a weekly Sunday school class, I really never grew… I never forgot about God, I never stopped believing, but I never grew closer to Him. This led to my life as a teenager in the early 80″s, the time of “sex, drugs and rock & roll”, where the lures of this world, specially for a girl that desperately desired to be loved, was all too alluring and I was quickly sucked right into the culture.
As I sit down to write and think back as to when this journal entry was written and the uncertainty that was engulfing us, all I can say is “God you are so Good!!” At the time of this journal entry, we were in the process of becoming “unencumbered“. The problem is, we really couldn’t even understand what that meant, never mind how it would play out.
Our mantra for those days was “Faith not fear”, we had to ground ourselves in those words daily if not hourly, and as difficult as those days were, I am so thankful for them. God used those days to mold us and prepare us for where we are today.
Miraculously, the necessary funds always came, other times we were extended great favour from those with the power to do so. Every time we thought we were stripped down, we discovered God had another layer to reveal, more work to be done in our molding process.
As I sit on this last day of the year and reflect upon a new year beginning tonight at midnight, I feel a sense of awe… God where are you taking us? What is around the next corner? Suddenly, in the quiet of my mind I sense His presence… reminding me that I have no need to fear, all is going according to the plans that He has set into motion from the beginning of time.
Bible verses with significant messages begin to swirl through my mind: “who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” Matthew 8:27. “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!”. Jeremiah 32:17, and so many more reminding me of the sovereignty of God over this world. Check out more strengthening verses here.
In the Lords gentle way, He reminded me and reaffirmed in my mind, that WE, his children were created for such a time as this. Just as we recall the deeds of our heroes of both the Old & NewTestaments of Gods Word, that stood for their faith in the midst of fear and/or loss of life: Abram, who left his entire family to follow a God his people did not know to a new land, completely unknown to himself. Esther who had to approach the king without being summoned, David who hid in caves refusing to kill Gods anointed, trusting God’s timing rather than his own. The disciples crowded in an upper room trying to understand the past 3 years of their life and watching their saviour killed on a cross. Saul who went from killing Christians to writing the majority of the New Testament… ALL of these were born for such a time.
I believe that we too, are born into a place of history that God had planned before we were even in the womb. “you saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16… what an incredible life changing concept to understand. Nothing is happening that God is unaware of, everything man sets in motion has already been ordained by God our creator.
As we look forward with anticipation at the coming of a New Year, we may be hopeful that all the bad is behind us, everything will start looking bright and prosperous again. But, what if it doesn’t? What if Gods plans are different than our hopes, how will we, as Children of the almighty God respond?
Thankfully God gave us all of the answers we need inside His Word. He has told us that this world is not forever, that a time of great distress and heartache would come. We were told to watch the signs, just as the fig tree prepares for a coming season, so does the Lord. He has shown us through His Word, that we do not need to fear, but we need to be prepared to serve in ALL situations.
Three verses in Hebrews 10, sum up so beautifully how we are to live in these times regardless of what the world throws at us. vs. 23 states; “ Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Let those words sink in like a drink of living water.” God can be trusted! Amen and thank you Father.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” vs. 24. These are the things that we can do for one another, leading others to Christ that do not know him, and affirming those in Christ that are living in fear.
Finally, vs. 25, I believe is equally as important in a time such as this; “And let us not neglect meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” I understand this verse will be very controversial in the day we currently live in, but the Lord was very clear in what He instructed Paul to write for His children.
All through the centuries Christ followers have been targeted, many times having to go underground and meet secretly, even at risk of imprisonment and/or death, why would they risk this? Because they knew the importance of these Words. The enemy is working to divide and weaken the Church (the people of Christ)…
To be strong we need to be together.
To be effective we need to be together.
To serve a broken and hurting world we need to be together.
This is exactly the reason the enemy of the Church, wants to keep us apart. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that we need to disregard everything at the detriment of your health or someone else’s, but we need to prayerfully find ways to meet, encourage and strengthen each other, and be the light in this dark world… Jesus is returning soon, and He wants none to be lost… He has chosen to use US, His adopted children in such a time as this.
“A Frightened world needs a FEARLESS CHURCH”.
Let me encourage you my friends as we head into unchartered territory this new year. Rather than grieving what has changed, and yes although there is much worth grieving, shift your focus to where we are in the history of this world… could it be that Jesus is returning soon? No one but the Father knows the date, but we are told to keep watch, and be prepared.
Let’s move into this new year with a heart of preparedness. Let’s choose to be the church that God created and called us all to be. Let’s move forward intentionally and without fear, trusting the One who created us exactly for this time.
Thank you for creating us for such a time as this! Lord, we recognize that You are in control, that nothing is too hard for You… Praise you Jesus! Forgive us Lord, when we hang on too closely to the world, you have called us to be IN the world but not OF the world. Teach us Father how to live in this new year with all the changes that come our way. Give us wisdom Lord, to encourage and strengthen each other, to find ways to serve those that don’t know you and lead those within our circle of influence to You, as You want none to be lost. Open our eyes to the signs Lord of Your return, help us to be watching, ready and engaged, serving You in these days. Help us to have the courage to trust in Your Word Father, to meet together and Trust in Your plan for Your Children (who is the church). Thank you that this past year is behind us, and a new year is approaching… May we be Your light in this dark world Father.
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
Friends, may this New Year be an opportunity for us to live the life that Christ called us to lIve. From my family to yours… HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2020 has admittedly been a difficult year across the globe. The attacks have felt like they have been coming at us across many fronts.
It is impossible to get through a 24 hour period without hearing the words: Covid, coronavirus, social/ physical distancing, masks, anti-masks … and the list goes on and on.
Politics has been heated and divided, not only in the USA but as a world power, has caused much strife, confusion & concern across the globe.
Friends, I’m not sure where you are and what policies have been implemented in the name of safely, but here in Canada, our Country feels likes it’s been divided into two camps. Those that believe the government is for us and taking care of us, and those that believe our freedoms are being stripped away and separation and isolation are becoming the new norm.
I’m not here to tell you which side of the gap I think you should be on, we each need to make those decisions for ourselves, as we alone are responsible to God for our choices we make in this life.
Here in Canada, particularly my province of Alberta, the government decided another lockdown was in order. This one over Christmas. No family gatherings allowed , even going to the point of encouraging neighbors to report those that would choose to gather.
This brought a whole new level of divisiveness… over Christmas?? How could this even be?? Admittedly I too, struggled with this decision. My hopes and dreams this year were to spend Christmas with my new granddaughter. I met her as a newborn just prior to Covid lockdowns and have not seen her in person since. This just felt cruel and unfair and I felt deep despair and grief at my loss.
Honestly, I allowed myself to wallow there for quite some time, brought to tears numerous times in my grief. Over Christmas how can this even be happening? Admittedly, I was becoming angry at the thought that the government would “take Christmas away from us”.
And it was here in my grief and anger that God opened my eyes to some truths I had never realized. In my minds eye, He showed me Churches over the the last 2000 years that held traditions equal to the Gospel message. He allowed me to see how quickly that action led them astray from the simple beautiful message of Christ coming to save us from our sins… Messiah arriving on earth.
Then He showed me what we, (including me) as a society has done with Christmas. We have allowed our “traditions” to stand equal with the actual meaning of Christmas. As I pondered that thought, my first instinct was to object…”Lord, we always kept you in Christmas”. Which we did, but the realization of the depth of my grief, showed me the truths that I had not recognized.
I was grieving what I could not have, even to the point of complaining that Christmas was being taken away from me. then God in His ever gentle way reminded me that NOTHING could actually take away Christmas. Man could prevent our traditions from happening as we liked…But does this take away Christmas?? Rules and regulations could alter our shopping habits… but does this take away Christmas??
The answer to that is a resounding No!
Let’s go back to the simple gospel message of Christmas. Jesus Christ was born as a baby, to live on this earth so He could conquer sin, bringing us into a right relationship with him, so that one day we would be clothed in His righteousness,and that we could spend eternity with him as His Children.
Christmas is a Birthday celebration of our Lord and Saviour… and nothing on earth can ever take that away from us.
Thank you for opening my eyes to truth. How easily we compromise the day of remembering your birth and reason for that birth… to one day die on a cross for each and every one of us. We know Lord, that family is important to you, so you understand how easily we fall into the trap of our traditions. Forgive me lord, for allowing those traditions to turn into an idol, causing me to put them equal to you. Wherever we are Lord on this Christmas Day, may we be filled with the Love of Christ as the gift of Christ. Thank you for slowing us down and removing the extra packaging so that we could be brought into that place of simple worship for the most important gift we could ever receive.
In Jesus precious name ♥️ Amen
Friends, if you were in anyway struggling like I was, I encourage you to lift your eyes to the heavens, remind yourself that God is still on His throne. What the enemy planned for evil God can use for good.
Merry Christmas…may the Christ of Christmas fill your hearts this season with Joy in what He has done for us .
Blessings , ♥️ Janet
I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that I never thought that our world would change so drastically so fast. Going back to New Years Eve of 2020, we didn’t know that within mere months we would live life in a very different way and using a very different vocabulary.
Friends, I am not here to voice my opinion on what is happening in our world, there are too many voices already adding to the chaos and confusion. My goal with this short post is to remind you that God is still on his throne.
Nothing happening today, has left God unaware. In fact if it’s happening… He’s part of it. I’m not saying he’s part of the scheming and confusion that ensues, but He allows the brokenness and oftentimes evil within the hearts of others to fulfill His plans and purposes foretold centuries ago.
We, as Children of the most High.. know that this world is not meant to last forever, it is broken beyond repair. We know that the prince of this world has his time running out and he is frantic to take as many down with him as he can.
So what do we do, in what could feel like a hopeless situation? We recognize that God chose for us to live in such a time as this. Why? because He still has a purpose for us in this broken world. We, my friends are called to be the Light of Jesus to the lost, to bind up the broken hearted and care for those in need.
It’s pretty easy to see that we have a world in need. There are many things that are needed right now… Answers…Truth…Freedom, and although these are ALL good things, I believe what the world needs more than anything else is Love. Remember the old song…”they will know him by our Love”
Then this message came to Zechariah from the Lord: / “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. / Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.Zechariah 7:8-10 NLT
Jesus has given us the way to live in this world, by binding ourselves with him… in thoughts…deeds…and prayer. Be purposeful in your prayers, call out on behalf of the unbelievers, pray for unity within the body of Christ, and pray for how to navigate the challenges before us.
From the days of the prophets to today, the message of how to Love in Jesus name has never altered. Let us be children OF the world but let us not stoop to the actions of those IN the world. We live for an eternal glory not an earthly one… Shine your light from within my friends… shine your light.
” Lord, help me….Be Prepared, but not anxious… Be aware, but not desperate…Be vigilant, but not in fear…Be joyful but not clueless…Be faithful, but not careless…Lord, Be my hope and strength.” Amen [Fr. Goyo Hildago]
Blessings, Janet ❤️Journey4Jesus
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