Silent, But Deadly

Amos 5:6-7, 10-13

The modern church has fallen into a state, where Bible learning, and soul salvation have become afterthoughts, and financial gain, and titles have been on the forefront of men’s agendas. The wisdom and knowledge once gained from healthy church gatherings, have been substituted with hours of wasted time of opinions, falsehoods, and carnal doctrines. In a time when the world needs to see the love of God, through His people, they instead are entertained with behaviors of men and women “of the cloth”, that is at times, worse than their own.

Throughout the Scriptures, the men who gave Jesus the most trouble were religious leaders, and this hasn’t changed since. Rather than meet the needs of the people, these men prefer to “tread upon the poor”, take away their provisions, build expensive homes, and make large investments, unrelated to the betterment of the people. Rather than denounce sin altogether, and do right by God’s people, they boast in their positions of authority, and fine living. While the behaviors from these individuals often cause many to become frustrated and upset, the text mentions, “The prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.” (vs. 13). We may get mad, and want to tear those wicked leaders apart, but many of them won’t change, no matter what we say, or do to them. However, God knew these times would come, and already established, that all the wealth, fame, and possessions corrupt church leaders try to accumulate, will be enjoyed by someone other than themselves. These people think they are getting by, with ignoring the needs of God’s people, and filling their pockets with vanity, but they will all be in for a big surprise, sooner or later.

Remain steadfast in the Lord, and don’t allow the wicked devices of corrupt leaders to hinder your faith. Be strong, watch, and pray, as God reveals Himself in ways we’ve never seen!

Walk in love,

Ell

Life Is Bliss

Amos 5:4-5, 14-15

Is life truly worth living? It’s obvious, the state of the world is in steady decline, as we witness Bible prophecy fulfill before our very eyes. The uprising of wars, and rumors of wars, persecution, affliction, and all those things mentioned in the Scriptures, are surely coming to pass. With all the chaos, and turmoil ravaging the lands, can the people of God experience a life of goodness, and prosperity during these prophetic end-times? I’ll first answer that question by listing a few scriptures that support my strong opinion.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 KJV

“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3 KJV

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 KJV

“In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Deuteronomy 30:16 KJV

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:1-2 KJV

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV

Is life truly worth living? Of course it is! Despite the fact that this world will soon be over, God allows those who are engrafted into His royal family, to experience the full benefits of His amazing love! When we seek good, and not evil, God promised to be with us. Whether in times of sickness, trial, or testing, God will always defend those who seek to fulfill His will, over their own.

The enemy knows his time meandering around the earth is nearly up, so he’s pressing hard against the children of God, trying to convince them to give up. But, we already have the victory over satan. The problem is, many of us aren’t living as if that’s true. When we allow our problems to be bigger than the Problem Solver, this causes issues with our professed beliefs. Even as we live in obedience to God, we must remain bold and steadfast, regardless of what comes against us.

Believers have the power of God working within them, through His Spirit, that helps them do great things in the earth. We receive power, after the Holy Ghost comes upon us, to get wealth, call those things that be not, as though they were, lay hands on the sick, and help them recover, and many other wonderful things! So, rather than spend your life focusing on all your problems, look to God, and trust Him to help you live a good life on this troubled planet.

Walk in love,

Ell

A Little Too Late

Amos 5:1-3, 16-17

If you were in a position of great authority, and were presented the opportunity to save a life, by use of extreme punishment, or to refrain from executing discipline, so that the convicted could continue on a path to their eventual demise, which would you choose? It’s never a good feeling when bringing discipline upon others, because it hurts to see them suffer, especially when they could have chosen a better direction. Judges and jurors are met with this challenge on a daily basis. It’s not easy to condemn someone to punishment, because most people have a heart, but when your hand is forced to put someone away, because of their consistent unlawful behavior, there’s no choice left, except judgment. Parents also experience these feelings quite often, when they are forced to discipline their unruly children. It matters not how cute and precious those little rascals can be, when daddy and mommy lay down the law, those little ones are expected to obey. But, when they consistently refuse to adhere to the standard, parents are forced to execute plan “pow pow”.

The God of all creation has had His own share of similar instances, when the children of Israel forced His hand to bring judgment upon them, through their continual disobedience. God loved the nation of Israel unconditionally, and had amazing blessings in store for them, but they found more pleasure in their hypocrisy, than in remaining steadfast in His will.

Our text presents prophecy of future lamentations Israel will face, because they had fallen so far away from God’s standard, until there was “none to raise her up” (vs. 2b). After reminding the people of their blatant sins, God offered them one last chance to change their ways. In verses 14 and 15, God said, “Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph”. After all the hypocrisy, sinning, and wicked things Israel were undoubtedly guilty of, God gave them another opportunity to clean up their ways. Are you generous and compassionate to others, when they wrong, or offend you? Do you give second, third, fourth, and fifth chances, so others can eventually get themselves together, and have time to ask your forgiveness? Or, do you bring down the hammer, the moment someone comes at you in an unacceptable manner?

God’s mercy is everlasting, and the truth of His Word, will endure through every generation, but there will come a time when those second, third, and tenth chances will be taken away, and God’s hand will be forced to bring judgment down on all who remain in sin, and refuse to correct the error of their ways.

Walk in love,

Ell

The Day Of The Lord

Zephaniah 1:14-18

There are many areas of Scripture, people are hesitant to read, because they either bring fear, or confusion, when trying to understand them. In fact, the average Bible reader prefers to study more about the blessings of God, as opposed to learning about end-time events. Our lesson text details a very unique day, that will come, according to God’s schedule plan.

Every man, and woman, who refuses to accept Christ as their savior, will soon face a day, that will be like none anyone has ever experienced on the earth. Although many believers will unfortunately experience end-time tribulation, when the enemy amplifies his attacks against God’s people (which seems, at times, to already be in effect), and causes hurt and shame to many, the day of God’s wrath will come, after Christ has taken His people away from the plagued, and sin-sick world.

The prophet Zephaniah was very descriptive, as he mentioned the details of that sad, and terrible day. It’s mentioned that this day will be one of great wrath, trouble and distress, waste and desolation, darkness and gloominess, clouds and thick darkness, trumpet and alarm, bloodshed, and a day wicked men will not escape.

We serve a God of love and justice, and not one who desires that men perish in sin, but to willingly refuse His salvation, and liberty from eternal damnation, automatically sets one on the path to experience this tragic day. It’s the will of God that no one perish, but that all come to repentance, so they’ll have no fear of the great day of the Lord, when it comes.

Walk in love,

Ell

Have A Heart

Luke 11:5-13

Why are people so mean these days? Have you thought about that lately? I’m not too sure how things went on back in the olden days, but from my experiences growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, men showed a bit more respect for one another, than they do today. Fathers taught their sons proper work ethics, and how to be kind and courteous to women, and mothers would show their daughters the ways of womanhood. Far gone are the days of “yes sir”, and “no ma’am”, because children aren’t being taught to respect their elders. Instead, are youth are being groomed by Disney and Nickelodeon, rather than good old fashioned wisdom, and Bible teachings. Old cartoons usually conveyed chivalry by showing a man laying down his coat over water, so a woman’s feet wouldn’t get wet, or by young boys holding doors open for elderly women. Those virtues are hardly seen today, because men have become selfish, and more self-centered than ever before.

In my 38 years of journeying on this planet, I’ve learned, the farther men drift away from God, the more inclined they are to entertain immoral, and unethical behaviors, but the closer they remain to the Father, the more apt they are to show love and kindness by default. Jesus taught that friends are to always be there for each other, even if it comes at a cost. When you say love someone, there will ALWAYS come opportunities for that love to be proven. Our text gives a few examples of the proper way to handle friends in need, and the importance of showing kindness to those in desperate situations. If I’m hungry, and come to a friend in the wee hours of the night for food, is it right for them to shun me away saying, “it’s too late”, or give me a bag of rocks? Not at all. Instead, they should make it top priority to see that my need is met, especially if they have more than enough to spare. This is especially relevant for the body of Christ. No brother, or sister joined to God, should ever deny a fellow believer assistance (within reason, obviously). Even if you can’t personally assist someone, the least you can do is help point them in a direction where help can be rendered.

If you claim to have the love of God residing in your heart, it should ALWAYS show in your actions. Remember to treat all men the way you desire to be treated, and love them with the same love God shows you every day.

Walk in love,

Ell

Proper Prayer Posture

Matthew 7:7-11

There are countless verses of Scripture in the Bible, that teach us how to receive answers for our prayers, from God. Whether we ask, seek, knock, fast, meditate, perform good deeds, worship, or praise, there’s a requirement that must first be met, in order for our prayers to reach God ears, and merit a legit response. God is holy, and demands that His children be holy as well. Just as a good parent seeks only good for their children, God cares for the church as a good Father should. But, in order to justly receive all God has stored up for us, we must be free from sin. Free, not in a sense that we’re perfect, or mistake-free, but free as in forgiven, born-again, and striving to do God’s will daily.

Oftentimes, men pray amiss, and seek things that will only please their selfish desires, but God blesses us, so that we can be a blessing to others, while bringing glory to His name as well. Even children born into wealthy families have rights to obtain an inheritance, but certain behaviors must still be maintained, in order to receive what’s due to them, at the appropriate time. The prophet Isaiah understood this when he wrote, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). When we live outside of the will of God, He’s not obligated to hear, nor answer anything we cry out to Him. This is similar to a parent being asked for a treat, from a child with consistent unruly behavior. A good parent understands, rewarding children for bad behavior is not a common standard, and could possibly encourage the child to continue in their unhealthy habits (although there are times when you can actually show kindness to a child who’s deserving of punishment, and shock them back into reality). When we learn to desire only those things that are pleasing to God, then He’ll be more inclined to listen to our requests, and bless us accordingly.

So, when you pray to God, what do you ask, and seek from Him. Do you make petitions for things to make your name great, and draw attention to your own plans, or do you desire things that will benefit yourself, and others, spiritually and naturally as well?

Walk in love,

Ell

Effectual, Fervent Prayer

Luke 18:1-8

“…men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” (vs. 1). Jesus spoke in parables for a number of reasons, but more so, to instill valuable spiritual lessons into the hearts of His listeners.

Our text details the parable of the unjust judge. In this story, a woman was being treated unjustly by her “adversary”, and sought justice from a ruler, known to be biased, and unfair. Under normal circumstances, the judge would have ignored the woman’s request, and push her case to the side, but she was persistent in seeking justice, and came to the judge on multiple occasions. The woman’s “continual coming” would eventually give the judge intolerable annoyance, and pester him beyond endurance, so he elected to avenge her.

Jesus never mentioned the details of the woman’s adversary, nor the unfair treatment she was experiencing, but the message was clear; if a selfish, and unrighteous individual can be convinced to give support to the innocent, how much more would God do for those who love Him? God is merciful, and gracious without question. He is love, and offers it freely to all who will accept it. Unlike the woman in the story, who was persistent in seeking justice, many Christians unfortunately give up, and stop seeking God, the moment things turn south in their lives. I must confess, I’ve had my share of experiences, where I wondered if God was even listening to my cries for help, because it seemed that all my praying and fasting rendered no results. But, God always had a way of reminding me, He was well aware of the goings on in my life, and had blessings at the end of all my tests. There were times, when God would allow things to last for a season, to monitor how I would respond. Some tests I passed with flying colors, whereas others, I had to retake a few times, until I got it right.

Jesus encouraged His disciples to never stop praying, nor lose heart, because God would always support them, despite all the hardships they’d encounter on their paths. When hard times come, it’s easy to throw in the towel, and the devil doesn’t make things any easier by trying to convince us to doubt God, and live in fear, unbelief, and worry. But, through Christ, we have the power to overcome doubt, fear, and unbelief. Because of Christ, believers have access to God’s supernatural strength, that enables them to overcome natural experiences.

In those moments when you’re on the verge of giving up, take 30 seconds, and ask God to restore your strength, and equip you with all the tools you need, to remain steadfast during your tough seasons. Always remember, tough times don’t last, but tough people do, so don’t stop praying, because God will see you through.

Walk in love,

Ell