Standing Strong In Our Faith

This post is a discussion on things we encounter when we stand strong in our faith.  I want to state clearly that we are not to Judge others, but instead pray for those that don’t know the Lord or have fallen away.  It’s never fine to act like we are self-righteous, hypocrites, or Prideful.

When we encounter someone that has not repented from sin or continues to live in sin, we do not condemn them.   We are to pray for them and always show the characteristics of Christ.

We are never to go around as a Gossip either.   If we know something as a fact, we can discuss this with another brother or sister in Christ for the purposes of prayer and understanding.   This information is never to be used for Gossip!   If we attend an organized Church, we never ever use information to shun someone!

We are never to dismiss what another believer tells us, because we don’t see things the same way they do.  If we encounter someone that has a lot of ingrained false Church Doctrine, pray that the Lord show them the truth in his word.

Sometimes the Lord may answer our concerns by showing us the truth in scripture.   We need to look at what Jesus himself did when he encountered people asking him about Old Testament Law.   We know he didn’t come here to hang out with the Pharisees to discuss Law, but instead came to bring Salvation and truth to all sinners.

We all need an individual walk with the Lord.  Everyone of us has different experiences and our faith can be different from the next person we encounter.  There are different gifts of the spirit and each is important.

What truly bothers me the most is when I bring up a private matter to a brother or sister in Christ, then they respond by telling me I am judging someone or that the scripture I reference does not apply?  I still have difficulty when someone tells me that the New Testament scripture that references what Jesus himself said, doe not apply!  When I bring up something, it’s for the purpose of prayer and discussion.   I don’t do this to bring judgment on someone at all.

I’ve had people tell me that my concerns were not relevant, and that I am opening up a door to the enemy?  I’ve had others walk away from me, instead of offering prayer and discussion.   It’s important to forgive everyone.  Most often, people don’t want to discuss the honest truth.   Sometimes the truth hurts.  I’ve had people tell me that my concerns were based on an issue from my past and not what is currently going on?  I don’t treat any of these people differently, but instead pray that the truth be brought out.

Some people place individuals on a pedestal, which causes others to believe they are not capable of making a mistake?  We are all humans and yes we do all make mistakes.   We ask the Lord to forgive us, show us the truth and ask that he keeps us on the narrow path.

Because I do not have the gift of prophecy, teaching, etc … I’ve had people dismiss what I believe the Lord has shown me in scripture relevant to Bible Studies, Visions, Dreams or answers to my concerns.  Again, I don’t treat these people any differently and instead pray for the truth.

Some people have said, “It’s not o.k. to agree to disagree” — meaning stand strong in your faith and don’t compromise.   Some of those people dismiss what I say when I stand strong in my faith.   My point:   Stand Strong in your faith no matter what comes your way. I personally have more difficulty dealing with those that proclaim they know the Lord and are very stubborn, vs those that don’t know him yet.

We can gain from each other by listening, praying and carrying one another’s burdens.  If someone brings a private matter to you, don’t ignore them.  Even if you don’t feel comfortable discussing a situation, at least offer prayer.  Ask the Lord to guide you in these areas, so we don’t make a situation more stressful for someone else.

For me, it’s more stressful dealing with people that have a long history of Church Doctrine that is often a twist on the truth.

Standing Strong in our faith can sometimes bring about a break in communication with our own biological families, friends or neighbors.   Some of us may have been told to walk away, but continue to pray for them.   I personally have had to do this, even though I don’t like it.  I also know that sometimes non-believing family members will misquote scripture to try and bring about guilt or shame.   Continue to stand strong, as others do not always understand the truth in what is going on.

In closing, I want everyone to know that I am still learning and always willing to listen. I don’t proclaim to know all the answers and am not above correction.  


John 8:1-11

cast_first_stone

1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  2 At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them. 3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. 4 “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6 They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him.Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. 7 When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. 9 When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

follow_Jesus8

Matthew 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me

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Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”

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Galatians 6:1-3

Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. 2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

one_in_the_spirit

1 Corinthians 12

Now concerning what comes from the Spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. 7 A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:

8 to one is given a message of wisdom
through the Spirit,
to another, a message of knowledge
by the same Spirit,
9 to another, faith by the same Spirit,
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 to another, the performing of miracles,
to another, prophecy,
to another, distinguishing between spirits,
to another, different kinds of languages,
to another, interpretation of languages.
11 But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.

12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 So the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 Now there are many parts, yet one body.

21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. 24 But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 28 And God has placed these in the church:

first apostles, second prophets,
third teachers, next miracles,
then gifts of healing, helping,
managing, various kinds of languages.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets?
Are all teachers? Do all do miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing?
Do all speak in other languages?
Do all interpret?
31 But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.


“Higher Ground – Smucker Family”


“We Are One In The Spirit”

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56 thoughts on “Standing Strong In Our Faith

  1. Spot on Jc. You are hereby nominated a place in the snipers of the Word battalion as staff sergeant! Questions sergeant? Otherwise you are ordered to continue blogsniping truth to the world.

    At this pace you will make colonel in notime. Ten hut………..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And you Jc most definitely have the gift of teaching! Maybe not oratory but in writing and by studying.

    If your heart is aligned to scripture, then the Lord will open an avenue for your abilities. This blog is but one of many i suspect!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your outlook sounds good to me, James. Fellowship in the body is challenging. It’ll be wonderful and easy when we are with the Lord and of one accord. But here on earth during the waning days of Babylon, it’s often bittersweet.

    “I personally have more difficulty dealing with those that proclaim they know the Lord and are very stubborn, vs those that don’t know him yet.”

    Me too.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, I am always learning and the past week have had 2 days that were such intense attacks and oppression it caught me off guard. The others were waking up at 2 with praying in the Spirit and/or worship songs in my heart. Something very serious personally in a relationship to deal with and yet the Lord had me make my mind up to serve in His love regardless. It has mocking and deceit.

    SOooooo nuff said about that, I want to shout out a praise report for Jesus!!! His presence today is just awesome and a friend that’s been coming over for ministry and Bible study is a new person in Jesus!! I mean she is glowing with Him and even with being able to “see” all going on. No fear!!!

    The learning part was how difficult this has been in the waiting and not so desirable behavior. Thank you for your prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Dance in the Holy Ghost!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Daily Devotional — 1/14/17
    LEAVES ARE ALWAYS GREEN
    “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…its leaves are always green…” Jeremiah 17:7-8b

    Trees were not plentiful in Israel and most grew by sources of water like an oasis or a stream. Jeremiah’s simile indicates a person with confidence in the Lord is like a deep-rooted tree by the stream whose leaves never die but are always green.

    Aunty Esther was the first Christian I met inside China thirty years ago. She was a diminutive elderly Chinese medical doctor with a soft, kind voice that masks the many years of suffering through which she has passed.

    “During the Cultural Revolution,” she says, “I was called in by my superior one day. At that time I was in charge of eight large pediatric wards in my hospital. “The communists were cracking down on people who did not toe the current party line. My superior warned me that I should deny my faith and join the communist party or I may have to face the serious consequences of job demotion and salary reduction.

    “A few days later, I was rudely awakened by four nurses who roughly pulled me from my bed and marched me to the hospital. En route they stopped at a barbershop and shaved off half of my hair. In front of the rest of the staff, I was confronted to renounce my faith in Christ and join the communist party.

    “I responded, ‘I can’t deny Jesus. I love Jesus!’ At the mention of his name they threw me down on the ground and cursed. Later, the communist cadre at my hospital tore the stethoscope from my neck and said, ‘You are no longer Esther; you are now The Fool.’

    Esther continues. For the next eleven years she lived in the basement of the hospital and obediently submitted to her new task—cleaning the floors and toilets of the hospital wards that she previously headed. Her already meagre salary of 50 dollars per month was reduced to 15 dollars. And she had to buy the cleaning materials from it. The rest was used up on food.

    But Esther practised the presence of Jesus in her job. She sang as she toiled. With a twinkle in her eyes she adds, “My hospital had the cleanest floors and cleanest toilets in all of China!” Hospital staff would come to her and with great envy question her source of joy in spite of her troubles. Esther responded, “When you have Jesus in your heart, it doesn’t matter what job you do or what position you have. It only matters that you love Him and are faithful and loyal to Him!”

    When the Cultural Revolution period ended, Aunty Esther was reinstated in her original job and given back pay for all that she had been deprived during those eleven years. This amount enabled her to send one of her children to the USA for higher education. She faithfully carried on her public witness for Jesus until the day she died in her late nineties.

    RESPONSE: I will allow my roots to grow deep in the Lord so that my leaves will always be green.

    PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the example of faithful Aunty Esther whose life reflected Your love.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another Video From Israeli News Live — 1/13/17. Dutch Government sending 3,600 troops and equipment to Poland — this is in addition to the U.N. troops and equipment sent from various countries, including the U.S. — This sounds like preparation for World War 3 to me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thats what happened in Rome in the days also. The natives where fighting and dying and the slaves of foreign nationality who were mostly of Chaldean stock residing in what we know as Venice today took over slowly but surely.

        California will be majority spanish in ca 30 years and im seeing Zechariah being fulfilled in the modern Usa. Your nations political leaders have burdened themselves with Israel and trying to cut it up. Hence your country will be cut up too!

        Im praying my own will not actively oppose Israel. But there are strong voices against Israel here too.

        All we can do is pray and watch scripture fulfill itself!

        But if you need asylum in Finland i can vouch for you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thinking over all the post you wrote James. The other day a friend gave me a journal. On the front was “Do All Things In Love. Would fit perfectly at the bottom of your post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Daily Devotional — 1/15/17

    NO WORRIES IN A YEAR OF DROUGHT
    “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…It has no worries in a year of drought…” Jeremiah 17:7-8c

    Trees were not plentiful in Israel and most grew by sources of water like an oasis or a stream. Jeremiah’s simile indicates a person with confidence in the Lord is like a deep-rooted tree by the stream which has nothing to worry about even when a whole year goes by with no rain.

    A young Christian boy in Iraq shares this insight after the bombing of his church in late 2010:

    I always imagine having a special cape, like superman wears, as I run in and out of my sister’s bedroom. The cape is gold with red print just like the curtains in our dining room. I think of myself as a protector of the royal realm and my sister as a princess to guard—well, ok, when she isn’t making me mad.

    I used to play outside, but when the war started we had to play inside all the time. When we do go outside we take the car, but I help my dad check under the car first for bombs. We are always checking things around the house and everyone is very nervous when we travel even short trips around the city. We even have some suitcases stuffed with things in case we have to leave in the middle of the night. I wonder if any of my toys will fit in those bags.

    A really, really bad thing happened at our church and I lost a lot of my friends. They were all killed. I didn’t see it, but I heard most of the stories. I think lots of things will never be the same and that I need to take the role of protector and guardian of the realm. If I have this special cape I can protect my family.

    At night before my sister goes to bed my parents pray with her. I can hear my sister now. She is praying, “God help that they don’t bomb another church and that there are no car bombs, stop the blood.” She has been very scared since the bad thing happened in the church and my mom often comes to her at night to pray with her again after nightmares. She didn’t used to have these things.

    Then my dad comes to pray for me. He tells me that Jesus will take care of us and I mustn’t worry. He tells me that God even loves the people who hurt us. He tells me that Jesus is love – and that it is something like my special cape.

    With confidence in the Lord, we can have no worries even when the drought lasts a year or more.

    RESPONSE: Today I will place my trust and confidence only in God asking Him to bear my worries.

    PRAYER: Lord, give courage, peace and confidence to those of our family living in areas of violence.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This Jason A video was a good watch. IT shows what is happening and that Obama is trying to burn all bridges that allows return to peace. A Very devilish attitude.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This Scripture was referenced in the Video from Israeli News Live

        Psalm 83

        1 God, do not keep silent.
        Do not be deaf, God; do not be idle.
        2 See how Your enemies make an uproar;
        those who hate You have acted arrogantly.
        3 They devise clever schemes against Your people;
        they conspire against Your treasured ones.
        4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation
        so that Israel’s name will no longer be remembered.”
        5 For they have conspired with one mind;
        they form an alliance against You—
        6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
        Moab and the Hagrites,
        7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek,
        Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre.
        8 Even Assyria has joined them;
        they lend support to the sons of Lot. Selah
        9 Deal with them as You did with Midian,
        as You did with Sisera
        and Jabin at the Kishon River.
        10 They were destroyed at En-dor;
        they became manure for the ground.
        11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
        and all their tribal leaders like Zebah and Zalmunna,
        12 who said, “Let us seize God’s pastures for ourselves.”
        13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
        like straw before the wind.
        14 As fire burns a forest,
        as a flame blazes through mountains,
        15 so pursue them with Your tempest
        and terrify them with Your storm.
        16 Cover their faces with shame
        so that they will seek Your name Yahweh.
        17 Let them be put to shame and terrified forever;
        let them perish in disgrace.
        18 May they know that You alone—
        whose name is Yahweh—
        are the Most High over all the earth.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. After spending time in prayer this morning, this statement keeps resonating in my spirit:

        “I will fulfill what I have spoken through my servants the prophets.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I posted a video om Lindas blog where a man used precisely that map When he talked about natural calamities about to hit the Us. Debra called him the man in black!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Mike, I believe those words you shared “I will fulfill what I have spoken through my servants the prophets.” — are confirmation that we all need to be ready. Even if we just look at the prophecy found in the Holy Bible, we know that things are going to unfold here in the end times. My personal beliefs are that once things start, they will keep coming like waves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The waves is the part I dread yet my personal beliefs also James. Most think of how things effect them in the here and now. If it’s not their city/state it’s all “ok.” More deception. More complacency vs awakening to the true times we are in and Who is in control. Lord have mercy!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Have you Mike made yourself aqquainted with Bill Salus work on psalm 83 prophecy? Its a treat and a interesting conclusion to what happens. His conclusion in a nutshell is that Isral will turn into a economic superpower after the psalm military assault on Israel and will remain as such until the Gog-Magog assault led by Russia or Turkey or Iran. Those are the 3 major suspects.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Like

    1. Hi Stig-Ove,

      I just checked the weather in Helsinki and it’s colder here in Idaho: 25 degrees F vs 16 here! We’ve had an arctic blast for a couple weeks that is really making it cold.

      I haven’t read Bill Salus’ book but the outline you gave fits how I understand it. My 2 cents:

      Psalm 83 seems to be a battle of Islamic jihad against Israel. The aggressors will be defeated with the Lord’s help.

      Gog and Magog is a second war against Israel that will be led by Russia and also include Islamic nations and probably European nations too (Gomer = Germany?). However, Israel isn’t the only target. There will be a second nation attacked, indicated by the “ALSO” and “AT THE SAME TIME” in the KJV:

      “Thus saith the Lord God; ‘It shall ALSO come to pass, that AT THE SAME TIME shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.'” – Ezekiel 38:10-12

      This is a wealthy land of unwalled villages (rural country) full of cattle and goods and spoil. Israel isn’t a wealthy, rural ranching country, but America is. America also consists of people “gathered out of the nations” who consider themselves “at rest, dwelling safely.” The phrase “in the midst of the land” could also be translated “at the summit or center of the world,” which would describe America’s superpower status since the end of WW II.

      So I believe Gog and Magog is World War III, out of the ashes of which the New World Order and the Great Tribulation will emerge. Israel will be saved but America will be destroyed. Order out of chaos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is an very interesting angle that i never considered. I quite rarely am found blindsided but you got a new one for me there Mike. I was in contact with the late R.A Coombs author of America the Babylon in times back and he never to my memory had that one in his writings.

        Finlands southern part is usually alot warmer than middle Europe and we rarely get really deep frozen here. But in Greece they got snow. Very rare! Something is globally wrong with the weather indeed. I suspect the sun is the culprit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Stig-Ove,

        Well I didn’t think of it. I heard Benjamin Baruch talk about it in an interview once.

        Blessings,

        Mike

        Like

      3. Love the “Shadowbanned” logo too Mike!!
        This is how I’ve interpreted the last days. It seems Psalms 83 is unfolding with Joel 3 rather quickly…

        The stage is certainly set for the old evil one.

        Like

    2. This article from Dave Hodges published today seems like a confirmation of what we are talking about here:

      http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2017/01/17/the-globalist-timetable-for-americas-destruction/

      Hodges isn’t really keyed in to Bible prophecy, but he has good inside sources and a talent for connecting dots. Here is a quote from the article:

      “Both circumstantial and direct evidence demonstrate that the United States is destined to lose World War III along with 90% of its people.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe consider a look at the Book of Jude:

      Jude

      Greeting
      Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James:

      To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.
      2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

      Jude’s Purpose in Writing
      3 Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. 4 For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.

      Apostates: Past and Present
      5 Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: The Lord first saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe; 6 and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling. 7 In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced perversions, just as angels did, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

      8 Nevertheless, these dreamers likewise defile their flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme glorious ones. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the Devil in a debate about Moses’ body, did not dare bring an abusive condemnation against him but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these people blaspheme anything they don’t understand. What they know by instinct like unreasoning animals—they destroy themselves with these things. 11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, have abandoned themselves to the error of Balaam for profit, and have perished in Korah’s rebellion.

      The Apostates’ Doom
      12 These are the ones who are like dangerous reefs at your love feasts. They feast with you, nurturing only themselves without fear. They are waterless clouds carried along by winds; trees in late autumn—fruitless, twice dead, pulled out by the roots; 13 wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shameful deeds; wandering stars for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved forever!

      14 And Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about them: Look! The Lord comes with thousands of His holy ones
      15 to execute judgment on all and to convict them
      of all their ungodly acts that they have done in an ungodly way,
      and of all the harsh things ungodly sinners
      have said against Him.
      16 These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage.

      17 But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 they told you, “In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.” 19 These people create divisions and are unbelievers,[h] not having the Spirit.

      Exhortation and Benediction
      20 But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. 22 Have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

      24 Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Daily Devotional — 1/16/17

    NEVER FAILS TO BEAR FRUIT
    “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8d

    Trees were not plentiful in Israel and most grew by sources of water like an oasis or a stream. Jeremiah’s simile indicates a person with confidence in the Lord is like a deep-rooted tree by the stream that bears fruit faithfully year after year in all kinds of weather.

    The most remarkable report I’ve heard from China is about a Christian lady in prison during the “anti-spiritual pollution campaign” in the mid-eighties. She spent her time in prison hand carving scripture verses in miniature lettering with a sharpened end of a toothbrush on the walls and even on the frame of the cot in her cell. Years later she actually met another person who subsequently spent time in the same cell and came to Christ through reading those verses over and over.

    One year when visiting Christians in the north of China, I asked the whereabouts of Aunty Mei Bo. This short octogenarian medical doctor, I was told, was away on a missions outreach in spiritually needy Tibet. The next summer she was home and very anxious to hear of our group experience in Tibet—the rooftop of the world—since she was planning another mission trip there soon. She concluded, “Jesus is saying, ‘Hurry up and get the job done so I can come back again!’”

    Aunty Mei Bo often stored Bibles from foreign couriers in her home where she lived alone. One day the Public Security Police raided her home and confiscated all the Christian materials they found. Later in the day she found a JESUS video they had missed. So off to the police station she headed with the video.

    The young lady at the desk looked askance in her direction. “I want to talk to the Chief of Police!” Mei Bo demanded firmly. “Today his men were at my house and they did not see this,” she said waving the video tape in the air. The receptionist ushered Mei Bo into the police chief’s office. He acted oblivious to her arrival yet grunted a question of intent.

    “Sir,” Mei Bo began slowly. “Earlier today your men raided my house and took all the Bibles I had stored there. I understand that they were just doing their job. But after they left, I noticed that they missed this video tape. I need to know from you if this is acceptable material or not. Would you and your staff check it for me?”

    “Very well, come back in two weeks,” he muttered dismissing her with a wave of the hand. Mei Bo almost skipped out the door with overflowing joy as she headed toward home. “Thank you Lord! How else could I get the Beijing chief of police with his staff to watch the JESUS video?”

    Aunty Mei Bo led many to the Lord all through her long life and spent her time in discipling them. She never failed to bear fruit.

    RESPONSE: I want to be a tree that bears fruit without fail, regardless of age and weather conditions.

    PRAYER: Lord, may my deep rootedness in You cause me to never fail to produce lasting fruit.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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    1. I believe Bette’s message is true. The Lord is now going to right the scales of justice and judgment. I think this is in part what He meant by: “I will fulfill what I have spoken through my servants the prophets.”

      “In wrath remember mercy.” – Habbakuk 3:2

      There is still hope for those who repent and turn to the Lord: Redemption will come with vengeance, and salvation will come with wrath. See Isaiah 63:1-6.

      http://mystic2020.blogspot.com/2016/08/redemption-will-come-with-vengeance.html

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi everyone!!!

    This IS a GREAT post and a wonderful reminder of how we are to be, act, love, etc., etc., etc., as followers of Jesus Christ. Some of my favorite scriptures here James. All your posts are GREAT! However this one really touched me today…thank you for being ever faithful to the Lord and His direction in your life and for sharing what you learn and believe!!!
    Your opening lesson in your own words is so beautiful and so true. I love truth!!! It takes me back to being a little girl and the very things my Father taught to me. He was also ever faithful to our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ and a wonderful example of what Jesus taught. Your words are so like the things he taught to me.

    Thank You,
    Vicki

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi James & everyone,

        I’m doing much better…thank you! My stent placement was a longer than usual recovery due to several complications. I never knew there could be so many problems associated with a stent placement. I still have some discomfort, a consent feeling in my chest due to inflammation around my heart. Also, my body does not want to adjust to some of the medications. Actually my spirit is not agreeing with the prescribing of all the medications. I believe in healing through the power of Jesus as I’ve been healed of disease before. Prayers are welcome, I’m praying for complete and total healing for the “hardening of the arteries” (the cause of my heart problems) diagnoses and everything associated with it.
        I’m grateful as I praise the Lord for all He does and will continue to do in my life.

        Blessings to all,
        Vicki
        Ps…As I get stronger I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to write and share a painting, one I painted last summer. It’s on my heart to get this done in obedience to the Lord.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Praying and IF you get blessed with luck you can hit an elk on the way home and put IT on the engine Hood the american way and have meats for winter😬 Without damage to Car of course.

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    1. Thank you for the prayers! Much needed. Hours of dense for yesterday but finally lifted. Goodness….. Mega cities that used to be cow towns….and a turnpike… whatever that is…..did not feel like a scenic view after 12 hours in the road……managed to take a wrong turn on that and a tollway…thanks to GPS……no flashing lights for not paying….wherever you are supposed to pay???? Rofl…good thing too. Managed to hit rush hour and for once GPS directed correctly to destination.

      I can bring coyotes Stig. Odd just odd. Saw 3 live Coyotes within 15 minutes of the second morning travel……then many, many dead ones. My friend I picked up on the way down, commented on the number of them too. She sent me a video she took this week of a Wal-Mart parking lot so covered with large black birds, the employees were trying to shoo them away from front doors and cars ..

      Praying for you Vicki. God is good!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Vicki,
        its as though each of us going thru the physical ordeals are, in reality, rushing headlong into the fullness of His reality. Jesus said these signs will follow those who believe. God has a plan and we are smack in it/ whole/good as new:)

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Daily Devotional — 1/17/17

    THE POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH
    “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

    January 17 will remain a vivid memory in the mind of forty-six-year-old Ali Moses for a very long time. The almost fatal attack on Ali’s life in central Nigeria turned out to be a powerful testimony destined to touch many more lives.

    On the afternoon of that day, Ali was heading home to his family after a long day’s work. He got paid that day and like many previous pay-days had something special planned for the family.

    On his way home Ali heard gunshots. Panic made him turn around with an urgency to get back to his working place as quickly as possible. But before Ali could make it back there, he ran into a group of irate jihadists. The incited protesters were proclaiming the name of Allah in Arabic, shouting profane slogans, insulting the Christian governor of Jos and called on the killing of Christians as infidels.

    Within seconds Ali found himself surrounded by the violent mob. Brutal blows were raining down on him. More than eighteen hours later, Ali woke up in the hospital. His swollen body was throbbing and covered with bruises. Open Doors representative, Isaac, went to visit Ali in the hospital shortly after the incident to bring encouragement and assistance and learned about his near death encounter with the Muslim radicals. Considering the course of events, it appears the assailants buried Ali alive while in a state of unconsciousness.

    Ali refers to the person who came to his aid as the “Samaritan.”

    On the morning following the incident, Ado was passing by what looked like a new grave. He noticed movement in the pile of sand and went closer to inspect. To his astonishment, he could tell from the motion that it was in fact a person. The man immediately called for help.

    Military police dug Ali from the shallow grave and rushed him to the hospital. At first, the medical staff found it very hard to believe that he could still be alive after his eighteen-hour ordeal. But hearing Ali’s testimony gave sceptics food for thought. After spending some time in hospital he made a complete recovery.

    “I am grateful to God Almighty for saving my life from the hole, it is a miracle. God rescued me in a special way…Now I believe that the power of life and death lies in no-one’s hand but the Lord’s. All thanks belong to Him,” shared Ali from his hospital bed.

    RESPONSE: Today I will live victoriously in the realization that my life and my death are in the hands of my loving Lord.

    PRAYER: Pray for many Christians in hot spots of the world—like central Nigeria—who face death and death threats on a regular basis. Pray they will have the same assurance as Ali about God’s power and protection.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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