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Only One True God

This Series was originally birthed out of doing some digging into God’s Word concerning how other “religions” see God, our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and the Holy Spirit, our instilled Still and Quiet Voice. So many times people confuse themselves or are deceived into believing that there are “many” ways to get to God, yet they don’t know Him before they determine and settle that “belief”, if you will. Added to that set of challenges, a good portion of people who profess to know that they know God call themselves “New Testament” Believers. Majority of the verses discovered, 12 save 4, are in the Old Testament – which means they would have potentially overlooked or missed such foundational truths which they are used to present.
We have but One God, who exists in three distinct people – to wit, there are NONE other like Him.. Some folks are going to ask me how I know that – well, first off let’s look at God’s Word (notice this is being done FIRST) – our answers should ALWAYS have a sitting spot in the Word of God, continually. He says in Deuteronomy 4:35:

Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.
Deuteronomy 4:35 | King James Version

There is “none else” like or compared to (beside) Him. Beside means:

“Over and Above” or “Distinct From”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

The next piece added is one that ONLY God Himself could offer you and I, for He built this item into each one of us – Consider this:

Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Deuteronomy 4:39 | King James Version

Our consideration is individual, but the capability is presented in all – it is built into each of us; as all the dust settles, in our hearts, we know – sinner or saved – God exists.

Knowing the Three

Many different items are presented in the pages of our Great Book, a Finished Work that we know as God’s Word – the Bible. This Series builds upon that theme, not by accident, but by Providence. At my first starting, I didn’t notice it, then it became abundantly clear to me what was happening. The verses of Scripture were building on three’s – how INCREDIBLE! Twelve passages (not an exhausted list) that would present themselves as a part such that we’d each be able to see His Handiwork through them. I’ll point out one of them…

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isaiah 43:10 | King James Version

REMEMBER this is the Old Testament… We are three things: (1) “witnesses” (2) a “servant” & (3) “chosen”. Slide a little further down to see that we may (1) “know”, (2) “believe” & (3) understand”. It does not end there… He says He is (1) “LORD”, (2) “I Am” & (3) “God”. If we’d not considered the OT, we could have missed this TRUTH that builds our understanding of Salvation.

Also, consider this… I’ve not pulled out a single commentary, other man’s words or placed emphasis on an opinion – and anyone that knows me KNOWS it is almost unbearable for me NOT to pour out right here as to HOW Christ is presented and seen through these verses… Oh, to see how these twelve RING the bell of TRUTH about our True God – God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit.

The Building of Twelve

None Else
Consider
Heart, Soul & Might
Know & Believe
First & Last
Told & Declared
Created & Formed
Remember
None Other
Believest
Three In One
Grace, Love & Communion

When is the last time we got excited about studying the Word of God? I LOVE the Word and LOVE reading it. When I don’t read it, I MISS it. The answer is very simple. For the Christian, it is intended to be the Breath we cannot live without, because it speaks to us as God’s Word. The more the Bible is studied, taken in and applied, the more our lives will reflect the saturation of it in each of us. Proper mirrors reflect the true image of the person gazing into it. If the lives we live are corrupt, filled with lies and deceit, then the reflection will be a distorted, misaligned and tangled version of what it is intended by the Living God. A clean, pure and holy reflection will solely come by worshiping the Only One True God.

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Committed Christians

What an incredibly powerful statement Tony Evans made in saying:

Jesus did not pay full price for us to be half-committed Christians.
Tony Evans

Simply stated, we expect to get full use, joy or effectiveness out of something we pay in full for when we acquire it. For the most part, we are expecting to receive that full use or commitment immediately. Anything less than being fully so, in this day and time is utterly intolerable and will be sanctioned by any and all means possible – whether that be related to the item in question or not, nor does it even have to be remotely close to reasonable.
Somewhere in this is the Christian’s need to consider our “Reasonable Service” (this has been used in another Series in the past) which is plainly placed before us in Romans 12, verses 1 and 2.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 | King James Version

Our Lord committed His life to our ability to have Salvation, being Redeemed and having our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

In What Manner Are We Committed

As Christians we have the benefit of SO much, where the world doesn’t realize even a single real benefit of any of it. Could that be because we as God’s Children have not realized there is a commitment to be made? We don’t have to have blood sacrifices anymore, because the final, sinless Lamb has already been slain – all we have to do is be a “living sacrifice” that is “Holy, acceptable to God…” We are further warned in Romans 12:2 that we “be not conformed to this world…” for it is not good, not acceptable, nor perfect, Will of God. We are NOT perfect for certain, but we are made Righteous in God’s eyes and should be committed to Him through His Son.
That commitment does not come without instructions or helps – Our Lord’s desire is for us to “reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) and be “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (I Peter 3:15) What we do is up to us and how we decide we are going to listen to the Holy Spirit that resides inside the heart of every Believer.

As we can clearly see from a charge given by Kind David to his son Solomon in I Chronicles 28:20:

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
I Chronicles 28:20 | King James Version

His focus, even whilst being King was “for the service of the house of the LORD.

This Series has seven (7) passages of Scripture that comprise as many ways to being fully committed Christians.

Ways To Be Committed

Reasonable Service
Shall Be As Wool
Heardest My Voice
Discern Good And Evil
Good Conversation
Until Thou Hast Finished
More Than The First

What a POWERFUL reminder to bring conviction upon our hearts about being Committed Christians! Unfortunately, at times we may each find ourselves not considering the Full Price that our Lord Jesus Christ paid with His life, death, burial, and resurrection for our Salvation and Redemption. I personally like for things to be completed and done so in the best manner possible, which applies to how I want to represent His Word and Testimony. Just imagine what could be done for the cause of Christ if we each would show our commitment to Him more fully. A couple of things have come to my mind that I can change, will you join me in taking a long look into your own devotion and commitment, to see what might be there that could be changed? This Series can help each of us make that review.
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Safe in Harbor

Cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the thought that ships or boats are safe in a harbor, but that’s not what they are built for. This particular Series is one developed around the very pointed and simple phrase:

Ships are safe in harborbut that is not what ships are built for…”

Indeed, all the hard work in the design, engineering and building of a ship of any size is not to have it sit in a protected cove or harbor, but to be capable and fit to take on open water and all that can be dealt it – come the beating sun or crashing waves. United States Coast Guard rescue ships, called cutters, for instance are designed to turn completely upside down and be able to automatically right themselves right side up in the event of brutal storms on the seas. Each boat/ship is built for a specific duty and needs be considered based upon the type of environment where it will be used. Just like one would NOT take a dingy to the ocean, we have to remember that a ship in a pond would be just as crazy a sight…

The Choosing

This Series is very short, but He that considers will gain the depth of our souls. To first see what boats we have to choose from, we must needs be aware of the Creator, Maker and Sustainer – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is possible, no matter the body or type of water a boat is to be built, to choose the right one. We are not to select or decide upon the ship we need by the harbor where it may be moored for only a little time, but rather the voyage to be encountered. Safety can be a perception of the beholder, which can be very different than a general perception by many. Safety can be found amongst counsellors in Faith and most definitely in the LORD.

We have a real need to remember Who God is… We are reminded of Him and His Son in the Gospel of John chapter 1:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”
John 1:1,14 | King James Version

Robed in Flesh is our King, Saviour, Peace Maker… He is our Safety and our Haven – even in the midst of the most violent of storms in our lives. That Harbor is His Arms, NOT some remote place where folks hide till the sun comes back out and the seas are calm.

The Places

Harbor
Counsellors
Safety
Waves
Distresses
Haven
The Word
Image

How many times have we found ourselves seemingly out in the deep with a storm brewing, where all of a sudden we want an escape to the safety of a harbor until the storm we are experiencing passes by? Truth be told, we’ve each been there – possibly more times than we’d like to count or even let on to others that we have. Each of us as Christians need to remember Who is the Master of those storms – for they could not be ANYTHING without being allowed to be a storm that we experience. We’ve each been designed for specific types of storms in the places where we find ourselves, we have to remember this from Proverbs 21, “safety is of the LORD”. We don’t have to escape to be in our Haven, for He is right there with us – with even “great waters” under His full control, more than a mere rescue can be performed, He can use us for His Glory.

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Deciding to Live

Decisions are most often made from reviewing things that we have learned, to which we make assumptions about the outcome of the action that is considered. For the Christian, learning involves “something” else that the world does not consider, our Trust in God, our Saviour and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But what about how we think when tragedy strikes? Consider God’s Servant Job – a tragedy of and about everything but his life. In the end, because he Trusted and kept trusting, at the time of his passing, he had lived a full life as is noted in Job 42:16-17

After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days.
Job 42:16-17 | King James Version

Preacher Curtis Linton presented those two verses as a springboard into sharing what we should do when things don’t go our way, don’t turn out right and seemingly fail miserably despite our best effort. In doing so, it is critical that we connect what we have to learn with Trusting God, even when things seem to go all wrong.

Deciding

The way we answer this question, changes everything…

“How Do You Live, Till You Die?” -Preacher Curtis Linton

This Series seeks to present How to…

“Really Live till you die… not just to eek by… having a full, fruitful and productive life.” -Preacher Curtis Linton

Sounds like a wonderful, simple, meaningful life, right? When things are going well, our lives tend to be fabulous, but what happens when “problems” arise? A Christian has a few things to learn when the bottom falls out of life. These items are fully contrary to the world response in life.

We have to learn…

  • to have Praise in the Midst of Our Problems
  • to Trust in the Midst of Tragedy
  • to have Commitment in the Midst of Crisis

How can we as Children of the King learn to Praise, Trust and have Commitment in the face of such trouble? We MUST Trust God in these times, as in the following:

Trust God…

  • Even When Things Go Wrong
  • Even When People Disappoint You And Break Your Heart
  • Even When He Mystifies Us
  • Even When We Cannot See Your Hand, Trust Your Heart

Life is full of challenges, not all bad for sure, but they are definitely NOT a bed of roses, unless you consider the thorns…

We must remember that He is with us, no matter where we are, as Christians!

There are SO many things to consider in this Series – it is almost too hard to choose the launching point for it.

To Live

Learn to Praise, to Trust, and to have Commitment
Consider being Glad and Rejoicing
Be Blessed By Abundant Mercy
Exalt His Name Above All Names
Trust He Will Direct
Decide THAT is WHAT my FAMILY has DECIDED to DO!

Believers sometimes lose perspective of the end result of our lives because we are SO tied up in the situation and have even been told that Salvation of the Sinner brings about a perfect life without challenges, hurts or setbacks – which is NOT true. We have the Blessed Assurance that He is ours, that He will NEVER forsake or leave us and that whatever we face, we’ll do so with His Indwelling Spirit. Nowhere in Scripture are we shown or given indication that the Christian Life would be made “perfect” or without “challenges”. Deciding to Live is an incredible statement – with the good, bad, the ugly and ALL of the good – living it out is a WHOLE different matter. I choose Christ and trust Him, for I have learned to Trust Him and Live!

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Keep On, Keeping On

You would have to know the man to appreciate and understand. Some folks just have that magnetism which causes a person to be drawn toward them. Those that have Christ evident in their lives, cannot be missed, nor will they be ignored. A servant minded individual has a “zeal” for sharing the Redemption story as it has happened in their own lives, even if the “zip” is not quite what it used to be. “Far too many Christian casualties” are evident in our time because “they are not Battle Ready“, but not this man – he is “Battle Ready“. This man’s Grandmother, MaMaw, displayed and lived a four word statement in front of him, “Keep On, Keeping On…” that has been a battle cry of, in and throughout his life. Who is this man? One of the funniest, loving, caring, serious, story telling and godly men I know – Bro. Dann Patrick.

All of the quoted parts of this Encouragement Series is attributed to Bro. Dann < yes, that is with two (2) n’s. The passage of Scripture which the framework of this Series is built comes from II Timothy 2:1-7 | KJV, along with a couple of quotes and two hymns. Even as well as I could paint him, Bro. Dann is a mere human being, just as each of us are, but his ever desire is to Never Quit and Be An Overcomer in his daily life – for himself, his spouse, his children, grandchildren, family, friends – most of all his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Overcoming

So many people think that once they become a Christian, all the troubles in the world are just going to disappear, move away from us or vanish into thin air. Well, don’t want to appear to be insensitive or ugly in any manner, but that is NOT Scriptural. We can easily see that in the introduction of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he is telling him to “…be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 2:1b

Paul mentions hardship again in verse 3a, “Thou therefore endure hardness…” II Timothy 2:3a. We are in a Spiritual War which we are only privy to see once facet of, we have to Trust by Faith – as a soldier, an athlete and a husbandman (farmer). Paul challenges Timothy again in verse 7, “Consider what I say” II Timothy 2:7a. It was obviously not “easy” or a “cake walk” for Paul, which he was careful, in the fullness of the Spirit, telling Timothy to expect nothing less in his own journey.

Bro. Dann asked a VERY deep question in the final moments of this particular service:

“What have we hindered in the spirit of disappointment?”

As a Soldier, have you “lost your fight”? As an Athlete, have you “lost your fervency”? As a Farmer, have you “lost your faithfulness”? Keep Fighting… Keep Striving… “Mark ‘Quit’ out of the dictionary!”

There are twelve (12) challenges presented in this Series through Scripture, Quote and Song. Those challenges are declarations that need our decision – in order to “Win the Prize for Jesus Christ”!

Keeping On Declarations & Decisions

Strong In Grace | Teach Correctly | Goal Is Reached | Teach Others
Soldier In The Army | It’s A Battlefield | Battle Mindset | Athlete In The Race
Hitting The Mark | Grower Of The Land | Please The Lord | I Have Decided

What a messed up world we live in today! Just imagine what the Pilgrims must have thought way back at the first settlement in the New World. Whatever the “thing” is that is tripping you up, knocking you down or making it difficult for you to get back up, Keep On! What have we sacrificed to prepare ourselves to be “Keeping On”? Have we fasted, sacrificed our time, missed some sleep, bypassed making some money – in order to “be strong” for our Redeemer? “Be Always Ready.” “Be Battle Ready.” — I Have Decided (for me), No Turning Back!

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He Shall Supply

This Series started very simply for me – a cardboard sign with Philippians 4:19 written upon it, with ALL YOUR NEED larger than the rest of it. No matter what my need is or what your need is, God shall supply that need to whatever extent we need Him. Did you get that last part? There is not a “want” in there, but rather our “need” that our Heavenly Father is promising to meet. It is “almost” too simple to comprehend, but it is exactly what He means by it.

Only four short verses are used in sharing this much needed simple understanding of three words, helping us uncover a truth that we as Christians can share with anyone. The words discovered are the following: supply (to fill), furnished (to put/set on) and provision (to provide ahead of time) – all having to do with supplying.

He Shall Supply

That can be a hard statement to realize or see at times – for we have to understand the “supply” that is being promised. We’ve become a society of want-ers to a large extent because we have such access to just about anything one could have a desire of or think we may need to have. Should we take a few moments to ask with our need focused on how we could/would use it as if Christ were personally handing it to us, I do believe we would change what we ask for… Now I am not in too expectant of a manner saying that we should or need to compare what we are asking for today to what may have been available to Christ in His earthly ministry… but it might help our perspective if we gave that a try now and again to create perspective.

The promise given to us in Philippians 4:19 is this:

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 | King James Version

The pivotal word is “need” and the end provider is “by Christ Jesus” as made possible “according to His Riches in Glory” – now we can see the ownership of those items supplied, they come from Him.

This is yet the first step, an overlooked one I’m afraid of even Christians, the declaration has been made as to Who is being called on to provide the Supply – My God – which requires a walk of Faith, a sweet Commune and Relationship with our God and Saviour.

This simple Series is based on four (4) Scripture passages, providing an easily understood progression to sharing our walk with God and is a reminder of His Grace in making it possible to follow Him in the messed world in which we live.

All Your Need

All Your Need
For I Know My Salvation
Inspiration Of God
Let Us Walk Honestly

Each of us have somewhere along life’s trail heard someone say that doing this or that is “hard”, indicating quite unintentionally that they “might as well not even try…” to do whatever they are speaking about. Added to that, comes some form of “I’ve tried so many times to…” – giving some indication that a re-grounding or re-alignment process has been attempted. How, then, can we Encourage others who find themselves in that situation? Actually, that is the easy part! Brag on our Great Big God! Follow that up with your Salvation testimony – short version. Add how God’s Word is the Guide of all Guides, sharing verses that have specifically changed/challenged and inspired you. Round out by telling them how the Word, Prayer and the Holy Spirit make it possible to walk this journey in life “honestly” and provides a way of escape for you from sin and the consequences it brings. Four very practical passages of Scripture that give us a manner in which to witness of God’s Amazing Grace are provided in this Series, allowing us show through our lives the Word of God at work.

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There Were Four

Many of us can recall a time in our lives where we can remember being all alone in a situation which personified or amplified our realizing of the very fact of being by ourselves, causing us to wish or hope we could have had at least one other person be with us. Oftentimes that concept or construct is thought of as being seen through the eyes of a child, with a helplessness that defies the basic understanding that we can be safe. As Christians we have a Hope that defies the world’s definition of it and the logic contained in it – our Hope is in Christ.

This Series has pulled from deep within me once again the recall of a time when it seemed the entire world was crashing in and crumbling all around me, so to speak, and the mental/emotional devastation that kind of event can bring – even to the most seasoned Christian. The birth of our daughter. The loss of our son. The medical mishap in the operating room that nearly killed my wife. Having that specific roller coaster occur in just 24 hours… is not the worst 24 hours of my life, but it is one that I didn’t face correctly as a Christian. It was in that time that I felt all alone, as if no one was there to help me, nor that any person was there to listen to me or guide me thru what had just happened – and continued to happen in the hours, days and months after.

Not Being Alone

It is in those times of tragedy, despair and isolation, that we as Christians should be able to recognize that we indeed are FAR from being alone or by ourselves. The benefit of having a Relationship with our Saviour and Heavenly Father is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – Salvation brings us all three. The Relationship that Salvation brings is a Blood bought bond, which is the Promise to NEVER be alone, on our own, ever again – no matter the situation or circumstance. We will be as close to the Lord as we want to be, but He is ALWAYS there with us.

Knowing that you are not alone is a large part of the battle, but folks may want to know how I’m so sure of that… For me, that is simple – I keep God’s Word close to me – at all times. The Bible is on EVERY device we own and I’ve got a number of printed as well. Music is displayed, played and noted everywhere – home, vehicles, work, on phones… Prints hang all over our walls at home and at my office. Most everything developed has Scripture included in/on it.

Learning “to pray” is one of the most powerful tools a Christian can develop, it is access to the very Throne Room and Portals of Heaven. Being able to whisper prayer is a whole different level of communication, for when you do, the quiet, still voice of the Holy Spirit, will whisper back to you in a manner that is unmistakable. The Christian is never truly alone, nor are they without One who will talk to them.

This Series was developed in a large part because of the testimony shared by Ms. Norma Bryant of a the tragic accident her husband was in on January 14, 2009, where her very dependence on being able to survive the road that would play out before her would be affected by three other VERY REAL individuals indeed – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Ms. Norma would come to realize that she would require all three of Them to walk this road, for There Were Four of them that would walk it together in Triumph.

Scripture Promises To Us

He Doeth All Things Well
In Christ Alone We Glory
Closer than a Brother
Let Your Requests Be Made
By Every Word of God
My Grace is Sufficient For Thee
Joy Unspeakable & Full of Glory
Everlasting Strength
Fear Not, Nor Be Afraid
I Am Persuaded in Christ

In a moment, our lives can be challenged, changed and charged by things which are placed in our paths of life. We do not have to experience them on our own as Christians, we have the opportunity of so much more – to face them, through Faith, as Romans 5:1-5 states: “…we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…” We, indeed, are NOT to stand alone in our everyday life, nor are we left alone in the tragedies and travails of our lives. Do you realize that there are indeed Three others with you, Christian? The Creator, the Sinless One and the Comforter all join your One, allowing us to walk through this life, not matter what needs to be done.

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Increase Our Faith

This Series is directly tied to our family “fry guy”, Pastor Tico Alonso, a Spanish Minister with a heart big enough to encompass a multitude of folks, willing to reach out, helping others – AND – if you have “fries” at either McDonald’s or Bojangles, he can reach them too… He is SO much more than that to us, as is his entire family, our river together runs deep so to speak. The sermon he preached entitled “Increase Our Faith” from Luke 17:5-10 | KJV, provided a launching pad to explore what our Actions and Attitudes should be, a good measure of our level of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Luke 17:5-6 | King James Version

It was interesting to me that most folks have heard, what could possibly be the most famous of the stories, about having “faith as a grain of mustard seed” told us in Matthew 17:20 | KJV in relation to moving a mountain. There are three other places (in addition to Matthew 17:20) it is used in Bible directly, including: Matthew 13:31, Mark 4:31, and Luke 13:19 – totaling five (5) portions of Scripture overall.

What Need We Do?

Part of the challenge put forth were three (3) pieces supporting our “Increase” of Our Faith:

How Obedient Are We To the Word of God?
Let Us Be Doers of the Word of God
Help Us / Me Live The Word

These items are Actions & Attitudes which will reflect that our Faith has Increased in Him. With that being our challenge, there are four POWERFUL statements we need to consider:

Applying Our Faith
Grow Our Faith
Live Out Our Faith
To Do, To Live, My Faith

That kind of Faith, changes EVERY thing we do, EVERY thing we say, EVERY thing we think and EVERY other aspect of our lives.

What “thing” do we need to be moved in our lives, which will ONLY be moved by an Increase of Our FAITH? Will we choose to nurture and grow in Grace, allowing us to not only see, but to know it REALLY is ALL ABOUT HIM?

This Series presents ten (10) key actions we should consider seeking to accomplish, allow to change our behaviors and adopt in our lives going forth!

Actions & Attitude Items

Increase Our Faith
Blessed in His Deed
Shew Faith by My Works
All Things Are Possible
Rewarder of Them
Striving Together
Rule in Your Hearts
God Gave the Increase
Humble Yourselves
Submit Yourselves

God’s Word gives us the Instruction that we need to have in order to Increase Our Faith, that is if we understand that it requires action on our part, trusting our Heavenly Father to know best as to what He is orchestrating in our lives. Our Faith will increase as we Trust Him, Serve Him, Talk with Him, walk with Him — believing Him as we grow closer to Him, developing a relationship with Him unlike another other relationship we could cultivate otherwise. When another person says of you, “Your Faith is Strong…”, that is because they can see the “fruit” of that relationship. What would / do others say of your Faith? Do they want what you have? Are we willing to share our Faith with them? Those are questions we should be asking of ourselves – for it is a STRONG indicator of our Love for our Lord God and Saviour.

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The Whole World Doesn’t Know

There are so many things that we as Christians can take for granted, not realizing what is “common” to us, can be totally “foreign” to others. I’ve said for many years that we cannot expect others to understand what impact that God’s Word has made upon our lives, for they may not know the Source personally. The sermon that the title ideas came from by our Pastor reminded me of a struggle that a Preacher had a few years back in response to something that probably could have been handled differently and words chosen more carefully.

A question that each of us have probably asked ourselves in recent days, either privately or out loud, is something like the following:

How could these people be so ugly, vulgar and wicked?

Whether it be right around us, close in proximity, or half way around the world, in the mountainous desert terrain of the Middle East, we have the false conception that everyone has been exposed to the same or similar Word of God we have. Why do they act the way they do? How can they say such hurtful, vulgar things? Where does such hatred come from? Those questions were being asked by this Preacher, to which I replied very simply… They do not know what you and I know, they haven’t heard what you and I have heard, they — are in the world, acting like the world and responding as the world responds…

How Could They Know?

The statement made that rang my bell, so to speak, and rose up inside of me, is the very name of this Series – The Whole World Doesn’t Know (John 3:16). Just how is it we have come to expect the “world” to do what Christian’s ought to do, when they do NOT have Christ in them? If we act, behave, entertain, imitate, look, model, operate, speak, transgress and wallow just like they do, pray tell WHY would they want to be ANYTHING like a Christian? All we would be achieving then, is “Blending In” with them, all in the vain thought of “winning them over” to something they already see through. The following thought is modified from the original, but it is sure and true:

“If we are Blending, then Something is Wrong with Us!”

For our neighbors to know, we have to tell them. To expect our families to know, we will not only have to tell them, but we will have to sincerely have to show them. Our workplaces will judge our beliefs by our actions in even the most minuscule of situations. Our expectations of the world, while genuine in thought, is flawed at the very least when we allow ourselves to think they are going to play by the same rules that Our Lord has established for us to abide.

Each of us have a choice that should be reviewed and made anew each day – to be the Christian’s we ought to be, for that is what being a Christian means – being Christ Like. The Mission of DeliverTheWord.com, as a personal extension of me, is to Encourage, Make Available, Present, Share, and Witness through the mediums of Social Media/Networking, E-mail and Internet Presence. That Mission is ONLY the beginning piece for me, how else with the World Know Him if we do not avail ourselves to every opportunity we are by Providence given?

How can we show Him to others? There are nine (9) ways given in this Series, all with Scripture to back them up, of how we can show them.

For Us To Show

Believing to Begin
Obey Him
Begins When We Care
Emphasize the Truth
World Without Grace
Seen In Us
Practice Is A Must
Christian Beliefs
Blending Is Wrong

This Series hits REALLY close to home for me, for it is a personal goal, habit and labor. Thank you Bro. Jeff Jones for being Faithful to deliver what the Lord has lain upon your heart and the Holy Spirit directs. Are we expecting the world to act/respond like we should incorrectly? In order to have Christian Character and a form of Godliness, one has to be a Christian – or else it will not be of Him at all. Commit in your heart today Christian that you will tell the world about Jesus Christ, then watch how He changes them and the lives they come in contact with – then they can know.

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The Attributes of Our God

I’ve always been intrigued by people mentioning others “Character” in consideration of trusting them or at the very least judging their trustworthiness, in light of that person’s history of dealing with all sorts of things, not just the specific situation at hand. Depending on the view being held and the goal desired from the specific situation with which this person is being evaluated, a study of that person will develop, by what may be easiest to call curiosity, intrigue or seeking.

This Series presents twenty-five (25) Attributes as a way to study His Character through Scripture that we can commit in our minds, follow through the Spirit and realize how to have those show through in our lives to others.

Understanding Character

The word “Character” can be researched back to its origin in the Greek (& Latin) language and culture, all the way through Old French > Middle English languages as the following :

kharaktēr – a stamping tool producing a distinctive mark
caractere – token, feature or trait
character – distinguishing qualities

Just as with consequences, there are good items that build character and not so good items that show through as a reflection of one’s character. The more we study God’s Word, a deeper understanding can be gathered as to how our Heavenly Father chooses to do things. It must be realized that if we are going to make a difference in the world in which we live, He is the One who must be the topic of conversation and striving emulation. Our Heavenly Father gives the ability to do so, as we are given a glimpse in I Peter 4:11

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
I Peter 4:11 | King James Version

We have Freedom in Him AND so much more. Each of the twenty-five (25) words allows us to discover how we can have and reflect the Attributes we are to have as Christians.

Each of the prints can stand on their own, which can also be paired up in a smaller set of those things we may need or want to focus on in our lives.

We may not realize that we are “practicing theological tendencies” in our daily lives as we seek to follow our Lord – but we do. In the following list are some of those “words” we use to identify them.

Theology Concepts

Aseity | Beauty | Blessedness | Eternity
Freedom | Glory | Goodness | Holiness
Immutability | Invisibility | Jealousy | Knowledge
Love | Mercy | Omnipotence | Omnipresence
Peace | Perfection | Righteousness | Spirituality
Truthfulness | Unity | Will | Wisdom
Wrath

When a person looks at you and I from a distance, what is it that they see? When others see our Character, would they preface it with “Christian” based upon what they witness us doing or the places they find us taking up? Of course, there are at least five of those words and ideas that we cannot directly emulate, but you may be surprised to find out that we actually can display them in the way we live… It has been my desire and practice to continue my learning process of God’s Character, discovering the attributes we can see and becoming more like Him with every step that I take. Does this sound like a challenge you’d like to take? Sure hope so, because we as Christians are supposed to be showing forth those attributes in our very lives. Learn one, apply it and then endeavor to show those around you Our God.

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Chapter Twelve Day

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First things first, yes this Series has butterflies in it – which has meaning and purpose. The person who this Series was jump-started by in a Facebook post had our Sunday School Class over to her and her husbands house some time back – one of the memories from that time was the fluttering butterflies. No one else may have had any distinct remembrance of them, it stuck with me. As soon as I read the post and her comment for it – my mind went to churning. Her comment is as follows:

“Love that Isaiah Chapter 12 was my Bible reading this morning! It echoes the song in my heart today!”

It is amazing when we hit an entire chapter, many times they are short, sweet and to the point. This chapter is no less a contender to be on point. Mrs. Lin knew it applied to her and we can too!

Seeing The Point

Great, indeed, is the Holy One. There is GREAT Promise in these verses of Scripture, which apply to a sinner (unsaved), newly saved and many years a Saint (still imperfect). All the bases are covered in this truly sure, Song of Praise. To many a surprise, they have Him as their strength, but miss the full joy of having Him as their SONG!

It can be troubling to see Him, when we know we are in trouble, possibly from an askew step, which becomes WAY off course. By this time, we have guilt set up as our factor of consideration, not realizing that IF we’d had Him as our Day-song, the misstep would not have been taken and there would be no mess to clean up and relationships to repair because of it.

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No matter where we think we find ourselves, this short six verse chapter of Scripture can quickly allow us to see the Forgiving Grace our Heavenly Father will provide, we just need to put down those things that have our attention – and learn to sing…

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While the study for this Series is MUCH larger than is even began to be shown here, there are six verses to learn.

Having a Chapter Twelve Day

Verse 1 | Praise & Comfort
Verse 2 | Trust, Strength, Song & Salvation
Verse 3 | Joy & Water
Verse 4 | Praise, Declare & Exalt
Verse 5 | Sing, Excellent & Know
Verse 6 | Great Holy One

Having a day that is “all over the map” so to speak? Who is your guide? Are you having to listen to something to drown out having to thinking about it? Or rather, are you exiling yourself from others so you cannot hear them? No matter where you find yourself, it is possible to sing. Is there a possibility that you don’t remember how? When you are having a tough day and the walk through it seems to be without end, consider having a “Chapter Twelve Day” – a smile just ripped across my face, because I’ve had a few of those days myself. It is possible to have this kind of day, every day – read the verses – it covers just about every kind of day we could have… Somewhere in between the start of verse 1 and the ending of verse 6 is someone’s day. This Series print will go up on my wall as I consider singing it to Him and sharing it with others! THANK YOU Mrs. Lin for sharing your heart so I could catch it too!

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I Waited Patiently

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At the outset, many may not understand the correlation or connection with the theme for this Series and the Moon Lillie (Datura wrightii) which is used as the photography images provided. The Moon Lillie is a rather odd large flowering bell plant in that the bells, or blooms, stick up instead of hanging down – plus they bloom in the middle of the night and retire each bloom by approximately noon the same day. One can actually watch the entire process of the bloom pushing itself out of the covering, extending in to a protruding cylinder and then start to open, all over about a 6 hour time period. That time period begins at about 9:00 PM in the evening and is fully bloomed somewhere between 1:00 AM and 3:30 AM for most we’ve observed.

The flowering heads are absolutely beautiful, as pure a white as one can imagine and they give off a perfume quality odor that with dew is almost indescribable. To see them at their peek, one has to be a night owl or get up pretty early when the sun rises to see all of them on a plant standing up in an array of white. While the bloom looks good – about 12 hours, the smell is intoxicating, but after that it is putrid – a thing to keep in mind also, the blooms are toxic.

Realize That Waiting Is Best

SO, for the purpose of this Series, let’s just focus on the time the Moon Lillie blooms and remains beautiful. Many times we as Christians can “bloom” when no one else is looking and can even “blossom” right in front of others when they are completely unaware. We may wait for things to happen in God’s Time, which are VERY contrary to our expectation of them – but yet, we can with the Holy Spirit’s Help, see the Blessings bestowed upon us and others, even when it looks like it may not be possible.

Possible, you many ask – yes, possible to wait patiently, while continuing to seek His Will and Guidance, we can Thank Him, Praise Him, and have our walk match His Walk. I’d caution against asking for Patience though, a situation could be put before you that would test the Patience of Job… The LORD does hear us as His Children – which Bloom a tad different than the world and we do NOT have to have a stadium of folks witness it for it to be real and/or realized in our lives.

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We of course want to Please Him and be a light in a dark place for others, but He also bids us to be in Contact with Him – sharing our challenges, difficulties and problems with Him, with full knowledge that He is Capable of Answering them, in His Time, simply. These verses should cause us to go back to Him and talk a while – while we wait for Him and Do as He Convicts us.

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This Series of ten (10) prints is based upon the theme of I Waited Patiently from Psalm 40, verses 1 through 17, as there were relevant to today.

While Waiting

Inclined & Heard | A New Song | His Trust | Wonderful Works
Mine Ears | Thy Will | Tender Mercies | Make Haste
Seek Thee | Thinketh Upon

May each of take the time to realize that no all the growing we need to do takes place right out in front of other people. We may very well grow more in those places where there are not SO many others trying to sway us one way or the other as Christians. The time we spend with our Heavenly Father is a beautiful thing to Him, which is going to take some time to accomplish the time component of the process. We may very well Bloom when no one else is looking but our Saviour and our Heavenly Father – which should be the answer of every Believer. When is the last time you’ve grown a bit at the oddest hour in our life? Do you remember when not being able to go to bed had you in prayer for not only a situation in your life, but rather in someone else’s? Those are times when we can be equipped for Service in a manner we do not fully understand, but will recognize has happened. I can be a very impatient person myself, but I’ve seen His Hand in many situations where He has had me slow down – so I could talk to Him, which changed ME and how the situation of difficulty was being approached, handled and ultimately solved.

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Have Faith In God

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While closing down a business trip, which has had my full attention, with my off-time involving trying to recover from Shingles – a result of having a pain management treatment with Botox A, which is NOT cosmetic, it has been difficult to finalize this Series. My concern has been what will remain after this challenge – several scars are already noticeable on the right side of my face and damage to the eyelid. It is too early to tell yet if the optic nerve is damaged as is indicated by the blurry vision and whether or not the desensitization to hearing will be reversible in whole or part.

This challenge has me reminded of what the Lord had to say in such a profound, but yet simple, manner “Have Faith in God.” We can say this at times, when we really have no idea what it meant then to those First Century Christians, of the real application today for our lives some 2,000 years later. They are far from empty words, to be just read or said in the Christian life to be considered Spiritual. There are two books of the New Testament which these direct instructions are taken:

Mark 11:22, 23-26 | Matthew 17:20, 21:21

It is imperative for us to grasp a hold of the person who is speaking, none other than the Son of God, with clear coverage of the challenges we may face and how to overcome them.

Understanding Who Is Speaking

There are key parts to us having the level of Faith that can move mountains in our lives and in the lives of others – it is a matter of the heart. How is it that hearts are to be? Something so simple, but is out of reach of many, who profess to be Christians even – no different today than then – our Heart Beat needs to be God’s Heart Beat. Please get this very plain concept sure – our Heartbeat is to be His Heartbeat. Notice that it is NOT that what we want to do is forced upon God or even the other manner/way. Our Hearts should be a reflection of His Heart, not our attempt to overlay ours over His. When we are right with a Faith that Trusts him, our Heart will be a reflection of His, down to the Heartbeat. Notice in verse 23 of Mark chapter 11:

“…and shall not doubt in his heart…” Mark 11:23e | King James Version

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To have no doubt is to be in full agreement with our Heavenly Father on the matter, at that time on the issue at hand – Trusting in Him by Faith – because we have met with Him in Prayer. We have to talk to Him to know what He wants us to know, has for us to become a part of and to see what we have to do for Him. We don’t want (should not) to move mountains for us, we should have desire to move those mountains because it would honor, obey and fulfill all we have to do with His Presence through us.

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In order to know His Heart — there must be a constant change in us, taken steps at a time, becoming more and more like Him. As we do so, the more easily we will forgive, the more difficult it will become to offend us and the more closely our words, deeds, thoughts, actions, desires and walk will be a more perfect, clear reflection of His Will becomes. Jesus gave us the parts and pieces as to how to accomplish this dedicated lifestyle with miraculous results that by Faith would occur. We must Pray, Believe, Forgive. Only then, can we even think about moving anything of significance, whether it be a fig tree in our lives or a mountain that changes the landscape for lives other than our own.

Have Faith

Believe | Pray | Forgive | Trespasses
The Tiny Mustard Seed
Moving A Fig Tree and A Mountain

Such a simple subscription, isn’t it? Much harder to do, but is something that each of us can have daily, hourly, by the moment – everything He would have us do, is not only possible, but is all within our capability when our heartbeat is in union with our Heavenly Father’s! What today has been accomplished and made possible because you Prayed, Believed and made sure all has been forgiven by you and of you by the Father? Oh, what we could do for Eternity’s sake if we would just have Faith in God!

SPECIAL NOTE | Thank You Ms. Lydia, my flying neighbor on the way back from Nashville, TN to Raleigh, NC! We talked, discussed our kids, share philosophies on life and our Love for the Saviour Jesus Christ – with a time for this Series Introduction to spill out of me onto paper… Truly a Blessing to Share that Religion gets us nowhere, but our Salvation in Christ and Redemption Showing allows us to Know our Destination of Heaven to be with Him.

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When You Choose

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This Series is one of those that presents something that folks sometimes don’t get the first time ’round, as the saying goes… A person, individually, can usually handle something being pointed out to them, when they know the person has their best interest at heart, but a group of people make that practice MUCH more difficult. This is not the first Series created on consequences, but is presented in a manner of perspective of choices – which are ours individually to make.

Most of us have heard something of the nature of the following…

“if you choose to continue doing what you are doing, then you’ll pay the consequences for it”

Life is comprised of moments, choices and the results that both of those have on all who are involved, both directly and indirectly. Whoa, did you catch that fully? Moments happen each second of the day, they stop for no man, woman, boy, girl, animal, plant, insect or even an Amoeba. We make choices in each of those moments, whether we realize it or not – doing something is a choice and refraining from doing something is a choice. There are results that come about for everything that is done or having been refrained from doing. The sum of those is what we refer to a consequence. Sometime they are made of bad choices, which garner not so pleasant consequences, while others have made good choices, which have resulted in good consequences.

One of the most profound definitions that I’ve found on consequences, choices and decisions is the following flow through definition presented in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

Things that are of…

…little consequence, are of little importance, of which small effects…
…no consequence, are of no moment, of which no effect of importance…
…great consequence are of great importance, of which great effects…

will follow.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Each of those lines begin with “Things that are of…” and end with “will follow.”

Choosing

Many times we may not fully comprehend or equally understand the ramifications of the decisions that we make, but a great many of them we could have avoided if the end had been more seriously considered. When we make the “choice” to behave a certain way and have been “warned” about what could, might or would happen as a result, we have effectively chosen the consequence from the very beginning – sobering thought…

We have a magnificent guide and consequence meter built into us as Christians – our Heavenly Father puts Him there – that small, still voice… The Holy Spirit. Mind you, and remind myself, we need to put ourselves in a place where we can not only hear the Holy Spirit speak to us, but rather further be where we can “listen” to Him. If we only “hear” Him, that is choosing to give Him no more of you than the rustling leaves, floating down an empty street. Rather, if we are willing to humble ourselves, placing our selves into a position of “listening” to what He has to say and have the desire to do the Will of God, we then are choosing to used by Him to impact those around us for His Glory, His Honor and His Consequence.

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Choose carefully and wisely, some of the consequences we don’t consider to be all that important, have Eternal ramifications that we may not understand until we are shown at a time where our influence may no longer have any effect.

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There are fourteen (14) standard prints presented with verses of Scripture from both the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) directly placing before us challenges of and through the choices that we make as they relate to what our Lord would have us do and who we influence for His Namesake.

Behavior & Consequences

Enter That Find It | There Is A Right Way | Hear To Be Wise | The LORD Directs
God Shall Be With You | The Lord Give | We Shall Reap | Take Heed
Your Joy Be Full | Serve the LORD | Call Upon His Name | Faithful And Just
He Hath Promised | A Peculiar People

In a world where so much of what is being done is false, dishonest, unjust, vile, ugly, of a negative report, having no virtue, not worthy of any recognition, do NOT let your mind focus on these things! Let it NOT be said of you or seen in you, any of these things, for in none of them is God pleased to see His children. Sounds awful doesn’t it? That is the “other” side of Philippians 4:8-9, which could be any of us, in a moment of time, if we allow it to be so. We should desire consequences of/from our decisions, the good ones that come from godly and right decisions being made in our every day lives that have an impact not only in our direct surroundings, but in everything we do, say, go, be… Consider the ramifications “when you choose” to do each thing of each day, for there will be consequences – the good or bad of them will be closely resemble our Walk with our Master and Saviour. I have desire to see the consequences of my dedication to Serving Him show up in every thing that is done in and through my life. How are others considering your consequences?

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Scripture 143

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This is what happens when two ideas for a Series collide… Anyone who texts often, might recognize the “143” as being “I Love You”, as I is one (1) letter, Love is four (4) letters and You is three (3) letters. The second part, which was actually the primary focus, is about how we think – whether that be positively or negatively – as it does have the tendency to show up in how we carry out our actions. The particular item that the concept was pulled from was concerning “depression”, the part of which we can change ourselves, not the chemical challenge which we can do little about until the cause of the imbalance can be discovered and treated.

This Series directly points toward those things we can and have the responsibility to change, which is actually environmental – what we ALLOW and SHOVE into our senses and minds. Consider the following look at 143:

Scripture | says Wise Actions, Encourages Right Thinking.

For me it is a little more than that, because Psalm 143 is an entire chapter in the Bible about how to think, amidst deep trouble – the Word of God shows us that God Loves Us – if we will keep our minds in the Word, then the influence it has on whatever the world can throw at us, is lessened, if not we get completely knocked aside. The more we stay there, the more capability it gives us to withstand and easily discern between evil and good – for every intention.

What Are You Thinking?

What has your thinking today? Did you wake up with fret, fear or worry? Was it over a situation that is under your control? Most of us would have to confess, I know I would, that there have been too many mornings that I’ve gotten up and not had that first thought be “Thank You, Lord…” But, am here to tell you that those days are fewer and fewer, because I “want” to Think like Christ in, for, around and about every situation in my life.

Now you may not have the reminder in your head like I do to help you “remember” it, but we each have things we pour into our senses that affect our Walk and Relationship with our Saviour. Each verse, chapter and book of the Bible is provided to us because He Loves Us – notice I didn’t put Loved. His Love is Active, thus so should be our thinking, in Him as we go about our daily lives. Our responses WILL change – whatever you get saturated with, will naturally come oozing out of you (oozing in a good way…), impacting everything you do and everyone’s lives you touch.

Spend more time in His Word and be sure to remember – it is provided to us through Love. It is our Love Letter.

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Just as David shared in Psalm 143, out of our circumstances can come some of our darkest hours, but we can take them to the Lord in Prayer. Honestly addressing what we have fear of, will make it known unto an All Knowing God, who desires to hear from us. He wouldn’t have supplied the book to be built of His Word for nothing – it is meant for everything.

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The twelve (12) Series prints are provided in two sections – one for Psalms and the second for other supporting verses.

Get To Thinking…

Hear My Prayer | Persecuted & Desolate | Remember, Meditate, Muse & Stretch
Cause Me to Hear | Thy Spirit is Good | Of Thy Mercy
Saveth Such as Be | I Remember Thee | Let Your Requests Be
Warn Them | For the Morrow | There Shall Be No More

While there are so many things that we have no control over or to do with, there are those many things that we can – especially our daily walk and relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I have NO way of telling you or anyone how things will work out for any given situation, but what I can tell you is that the more I stay in His Book, the Bible, the less those things have control over me – whether that be mentally, physically or in position. There are things that are out of our control – for those things we may need to seek wise counsel with a physician, but by a wide majority of the time, we are the influencing agent of the trouble we bring upon ourselves. Make Him the priority in your life and all of that stuff will begin to change – then you will have this different way of thinking Encouraged by the One who Changed the course of Eternity, Who can Change Anything we are facing today.

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Friends Are Treasures

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The topic of “friends” and “friendship” seem to swarm around from time to time in each of our lives in different ways – and they keep swarming. The world has gone to such a length to be PC (politically correct) as to rewrite, or at least recast, how “friendship” is defined. A simple definition follows:

“One who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect and affection, which lead him to desire his company, and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity; opposed to foe or enemy.”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Most likely, many Christians have heard two of the commonly used “friend” verses in the Bible (KJV):

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

There are two other uses of “friend” in the Bible that few are aware or recall, one of which came to my mind immediately, both of them spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus to Judas when he kissed the Lord (Matthew 26:48-50) and the King to the Wedding Guest who was without the appropriate wedding garment (Matthew 22:11-14). Along that same line, the most well known “friend” quote of all has to be the following:

“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
Chinese General Sun Tzu, The Art of War

It is indeed NOT a Bible quote or reference, although we can see in several places in the Scriptures where the concept of it was mimicked. Yet the one that came to my mind as a basis for this Series, yet isn’t use for it, is John 15:13-14 – the most important “friend” lesson we could ever be taught as Christians:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
John 15:13-14 | King James Version

Friends

Friendship is one of the very first things that we see in the Bible, by the way of companionship and communication – Adam with God the Father and then Adam and Eve, and so forth. Those relationships were paramount, coming at great cost because of decisions that were made at the influence of others. The very first statement made in this Series is a rock solid consideration we need to KNOW:

Friends are treasures, true gifts from God.

What is considered in my mind when “friends” are being discussed, are those that are my “best” friends, of which I’ve had very few. My very best friend from childhood is one individual that at one time would have done anything for me – I’d echo that today, but that friendship is strained because of a series of events which are unfortunate.

Today, I’ve several friendship-relationships (which is what I call them in the place of “friendship”) that fit this Series, one even who loves to sharpen me every time he gets the opportunity… Another who keeps up with me, even when she is down for the count – she calls, texts, messages, e-mails and calls my wife to make sure that I’m doing what I should be doing. I’ve got one who is a self prescribed Doctor – who through all of his “honk-splat, honk-splat” and hair management glue – he takes the time to keep up with me and wants to know things are going – he cares to know.

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The friendship-relationship in the continued building stage with a fella in whom I’m pleased and thankful to call my Pastor, began many, many years ago – he’s OVER 50, so it required two many’s to be used. Never did I have any idea that I’d step back into his realm of influence and be so Encouraged by him – a True Treasure who keeps reminding me to “keep on keeping on for Him…”

These are real people who have become so important to me because of my Relationship with my Saviour – they are True Gifts from God the Father – otherwise, I would have never crossed their paths, nor they mine.

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The following list of “Treasures” describes who “Friends” are and can be. It also is presented, in detail enough, so we’ll know how we can be Friends to others.

Treasures

Friends are treasures, true gifts from God.
A friend is someone, who loves you as you are.
One who sees not only who you are, but who you can become.
One who is there to catch you when you fall, and one you can share your everyday experiences.
One who accepts your worst, but helps you to become your best.
Someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you today just the way you are.
Someone who comes in when the whole world has gone out.

As I really took a look at this list, going past the “friend” defined as we’ve heard it so many times, the real meat of this began to build in my own heart and mind. Questions arose in me to review – am I the friend that is being described here?, do I love others that I call my friends like this?, who would I call the name of that knows me like no one else does, besides the Lord God of Heaven? Who am I being a friend to, which has NOT been built as to be a treasure, as to be a Gift from God? I have those that I “Treasure”, but who considers me to be so for them… This is known for fact: The very BEST friend we can have is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I’m going to keep on acting like, thinking like, loving like, being like the Lord Jesus – for that is where as much of my time as possible will be spent learning how to do so. Bro. Norris, Sis. Nancy, Bro. Steve & Bro. Jeff – all of you are Treasures to me – Gifts of High Value.

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Wait Upon The LORD

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This Series is part of a two part Series on the word “Wait”. The beginnings of the look at waiting did not begin from a study, devotion, sermon, blog or a something that crossed my mind. Rather, this Series is based on a person’s testimony through a trial with dual-partial knee replacements – her testimony, as highlighted by her husband and witnessed by countless others, has Encouraged me greatly. Each day she posts something, of which every one of them is read. The post that sums her up for me is this, Isaiah 40:31 –

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 | King James Version

Many think of having surgery, a major illness or a catastrophic event in their lives as reason to sit down, take load off and STOP everything. NO, NO, NO! If you have thought that, I’ve got some news for you Christian, that is NOT what the Bible says! Over and over again, we are give instruction through God’s Word as to what our actions, duties and heart should be doing – there are fourteen (14) passages in this first Series of two (2) that give us situation after situation where is was NOT a fun time for those suffering, but they waited on the LORD.

Each Time We Struggle

Seasons and storms are going to come our way and enter into our lives at the most inopportune moments, which the world will find fault in some manner to discredit or in a vain attempt they will try as they might to pull the Lord Jesus off His Throne. This Series focuses on the Old Testament, as does the first passage come from Isaiah, which is a very solid foundation in which for us Spiritually to draw life’s lessons. This dear woman has taken the opportunity, through her physical struggle, to shine VERY brightly by way of showing us her personal walk with the Lord – what better witness can one have?

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Her husband travels extensively within the United States and has one of the SWEETEST testimonies about his wife for this time – sharing his appreciation, devotion and love for her everywhere he goes. Her heart and love for the Lord are always pointed to as being a strength to him – how many wives have that kind of an effect on their husbands? I’ve never met her, but to hear her husband talk of her, she is the best friend anyone could have and loves him beyond anything he’d ever believe one could. She Loves the Lord, depends on Him in, during and through her struggle, to support her husband – waiting upon the Lord.

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By spending time in the Word of God, we have the opportunity as Christians to find God’s Mind on the daily places where we find ourselves and the struggles we discover are upon us. We should be Encouraged to find that our Heavenly Father has MUCH to say about those places we find ourselves and those struggles we discover are upon us.

How We Wait

Wait Upon The LORD | Waited For Thy Salvation
Lead And Teach Me | Keep And Deliver Me
He Shall Strengthen | Rejoice and Trust Him
Rest And Wait Patiently | He Brought Me Up
I Will Praise and Wait | His Strength Is My Defence
He Only Is Everything | Findeth Him, Findeth Life
Wait For and Seeketh Him | Good To Hope and Quietly Wait

Waiting can be difficult, especially when it involves a physical, medical or emotional challenges. We MUST remember that we have full access to the Great Physician as Christians, the One who can do something about everything. There is purpose in each time of challenge we have – something to learn, things to change and hearts to be molded. We may question at times whether or not that time is worth the challenge, but most of the time when we turn back and honestly consider God’s Plan – we’ll see He knew what He was doing all along. Are we willing to wait, all the while letting Him mold us and staying ready, when He says go? The cry of my heart is to be just that – letting Him mold me and being EVER ready to do, while staying right close to Him in all things I do. A lesson learned from a lady who has impacted me because of her love for her Saviour and her husband – Thanks Ms. Beth!!!

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WILL YOU BELIEVE?

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Many times we are asked as Christians, “What do you Believe?”, given a situation either you or they maybe facing. Sometimes even, it seems that our answers are arbitrary or random simply due to us, if for no reason other than, having not been faced with that particular situation before. We could say that our response to those situations is “conditional” based on circumstances and who is involved, another interesting thought on how we share things with others on our Belief’s.

Given a definition of “believe” as the following, how does it change the approach and answer when asked that question:

to trust, to place full confidence in, to rest upon with faith, yielding of ones will in humble reliance on the authority of hope

We as Christians are supposed to show our trust, display our confidence, rely upon our Faith and yield humbly upon the One Authority in which we have Hope, the One and Only Sovereign God. How are others seeing your and my Faith in Christ? Is is possible that they are seeing our Faith lived out as something like the following:

You’ll Believe It When You See It.” | vs | “You’ll See It When You Believe It.

This is where it becomes of the UTMOST importance to remember that the Holy Spirit has a work to do that we have no ability to accomplish inside of another person. We can show them in our lives how we have been gloriously changed, share with a person what made the difference in us and describe what we Believe. Faith is of Jesus Christ’s payment, which is for each person on their own, to place their Trust and Faith in for Salvation, and choose to Believe. It is a matter of Trust, not seeing.

TRUST

One of the strongest pieces from this Series is the one that is highlighted this time instead of the very first one designed, Conquered. The statement after the Series name of WILLYOUBELIEVE is the following:

Jesus Alone is Able to Remove Our Sin and Restore Us to God.

It is Jesus Alone Who has made that possible, for which NONE of us alive today were there to see Him be born, live, die on the cross and rise again. He was able to Conquer an Enemy that we cannot on our own.

He Conquered the Enemy We cannot Conquer

The verse of Scripture that is used to show this is Revelation 1:18:

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Revelation 1:18 | King James Version

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Indeed, He is the Great I Am – that Liveth, for He did Die for our Sins and is Alive FOREVER, making it possible for us to be Born Again – those that choose to Believe.

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There are fourteen (14) words in which we can draw specific items to remind ourselves as Christians or show others we are being a witness to of what we Believe.

BELIEVE

BELIEVE | HOLY | JUST | GRACIOUS | REBELLED
SEPARATED | DEAD | LIVED | DIED | CONQUERED
TURN | TRUST | HELL | HEAVEN | WILL

Each of us have the opportunity to share what we Believe and the obligation to show others how they can come to Believe. This Series is designed to give us an easy to share and show guide of what we Believe. I’ve been personally challenged by this Series through both discovery and study to better know what I Believe such that it shows through what I do, how I do it and that I am doing them. Our walk will put proof to our talk every time – it is my desire for others to come to the Saving Knowledge of Christ because of living what I Believe and their wanting to have in them what allows me to do so! Others Destiny hangs in the balance of Eternity, will we be telling them about Heaven and Hell and what our Heavenly Father was willing to give to make it possible for us to be Saved?

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Change Starts At The Foot Of The Cross

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All of the elements of this little, power packed Encouragement Series, are soaked in the Cross being where everyone can begin a changed life, in the exact same manner – at the Foot of the Cross. There are no other “short cuts” to get to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World – besides He didn’t take any either, He DIED on that Cross for You, Me and Everyone that would ever exist with the ability to choose. We as Christians have an awesome responsibility to tell others, which is what began my thinking on the matter of these simple, but powerful statements:

The World Needs the Love and Redemption of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Blood of Jesus Still Saves. It Changes Men, Women, Boys & Girls Completely.

Are we doing what we have been commanded to do, in presenting the Gospel to others in the manner in which our Heavenly Father has gifted and equipped us to be doing? We’ve each been changed as Believers and make Declaration of that Change by exercising our Faith, but what about those who see us each and every day? Do they see a difference in us, other than, of course, dressing up and heading to church on Sunday morning? Evenings when we can… Wednesdays when we feel like it or a “special speaker” has been announced who interests us? Can others see, smell, touch, and feel the manner and impact of the Cross in our lives? Is it possible to show how the Cross has Changed us?

Cross Changed?

The idea of a CC in an e-mail is to “carbon copy” another person in on the EXACT same material as one is sending to the primary e-mail recipient. The original person who is intended to receive the e-mail can easily see who “else” got the “memo” for whatever is being sent in that specific e-mail. Different in that of the BCC, which is a Blind Carbon Copy that the intended recipient cannot tell who they might be, is that everyone knows who the person(s) is/are. This example is used to express the concept because Salvation is provided for us to be “like” Christ – a mirror image which we have expressed to us in the Bible, through Holy Spirit Guidance and the Heavenly Fathers Provision.

In essence we have a perfect CC’d message to God the Father, as when we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we get added to the Lamb’s Book of Life and EVERYONE can know it!

CHANGE
STARTS AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS
FOR EVERYONE

As this is the most important change of a Christian’s life, we should WANT to let others know how they can be afforded the same opportunity, right? We have Peace – we do want others to know Peace, right? We have Joy – we do want others to experience Joy in their lives, right? We have Love, one for another – we do have the desire that others know what real Love is, right? The Cross depicts the Best Love Story of the Ages, Jesus Christ giving His Life for all who would EVER exist, so that we could be Changed and Melded into the Image of the Father.

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My question to each person who has the opportunity to land on this Series by whatever avenue they have found it is this, “Have You Been CC’d?”

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The following list contains eight (8) areas in which Jesus shows us through God’s Holy Word that the Cross is where Forgiveness, Redemption and Salvation are found.

It’s All About The Cross

Change For Everyone
On The Cross
Power Of God
Save In The Cross
One Body By The Cross
Every Knee Shall Bow
Reconcile All Things
Endured The Cross

In a day and time where folks are willing to try anything to achieve view they want others to have of them, it is difficult at times to differentiate between what is being shown off and what is real Salvation experience. It is my desire for people to clearly see that I’ve been CC’d in every aspect of my life – from my family, coworkers, friends, peers, those that have authority over me… all the way to folks that I’ve got influence, whether that be direct or indirectly. My desire is that others, even without knowing the what, why, where, when and how, KNOW that I’m a Christian because of my continued submission to the emulation of Christ in my life. When I speak, those words should be lovingly shared, such that they have a drawing factor to them, pointing to the Cross. Where I go, should be without reproach, to those who are watching, inquisitive and even when they have the desire to ensnare – the Cross in my life should well visible. How I compose myself, must be reflective of what the Holy Spirit is projecting in me – as the Cross must be visible in service. My Salvation is a Cross matter, for the One who Provided me with the Choice, GAVE His LIFE to provide it for me. I want others to see my CC’d life is different, desirable and attainable – not through me, rather through the Person Who Died on that Cross – and ROSE AGAIN, making it available to Absolutely Everyone.

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How Are We To Worship

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This INCREDIBLE Series began with a rather simple word: W•O•R•S•H•I•P. Seven letters that led to a discovery of more than just seven passages of Scripture, the eclipse of it is thirty-five (35) of them in all. With that basic layout of a plan, immediately began honing in on what each part of the puzzle would reveal. The seven (7) letters and phrases were simple and fundamental enough to build a framework around, but would/could it support something more, as to present a framework in which to truly build something that could be used as a tool and eventual Study.

As I searched, tweaking the criteria along the way, something hardly accidental was noticed as the first wave through the text was made… Five (5) verses for each letter & phrase was found – that is ONE set of FIVE for EACH of the seven (7) matched up. It took some time to put into context 647 verses of Scripture, but WELL worth the time. The first set of Series verses can stand alone on its own merit (one verse for each letter), for it is the Word of God, but the Extended Set really gets a better, no barrier to dialog was started. The word “Worship” has seven letters, thus seven verses were matched to them, including:

(W)ait | (O)ffer | (R)est | (S)ing | (H)umble | (I)ntimacy | (P)leasing

“Worship” is often seen or depicted as the time when a congregation of Christian’s get together singing as unto the Lord. More and more these days, the event it called “Praise and Worship” time during the “Service”. A few verses of Scripture that are often used to describe this time and the biblical backing of do so include the following:

All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
Psalm 66:4 | King James Version

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
Psalm 96:4 | King James Version

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
Psalm 86:12 | King James Version

I have nothing against “Praise and Worship” in a Service at Church, but I do think that if that is all the Worship that you do – you are doing so at the peril of missing the best of the Christian Life in Christ – which is lived every moment of our lives. We have the GLORIOUS opportunity to LIVE in Christ – in our Daily Worship!

Our Daily Worship

The thought of routine comes to mind when using the word “daily”, which can produce a rut or a thinly focused appetite for the Christian, making our “quiet time” with the Lord a ritual. Having a devotional guide book, like the “Baptist Bread” for instance, is a great sound bite being delivered from the pen of a person who carves out a nugget for us to benefit from – but that still is NOT what I am referring to in my daily Worship. For each person it will be different, but as for me – Praise and Worship is an ongoing process that goes from getting up to going down.

My routine is anything but routine – on-line reading, Bible Commentaries, Christian Blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Christian Music on GodTube.com and YouTube.com, a vast library of electronic books, historical accounts on Bible events, Hymnal sites and NOTHING would be complete without the MOST important book I have – my Bible. Now that Bible comes in a various formats – on my Android phone (I’ve got four loaded there), Android tablet (same four loaded as on phone), laptop (work and home), desktop (work and home), both my Scofield Bibles, Life Application Bible, Nelson and Thomas, etc. Hardly can I EVER say that I’m bored…

Now here is WHAT I am talking about – do you WORSHIP your Heavenly Father in what you do on a daily basis? When we petition Him for anything, that is an act of Worship, Submission, Humility and Trust? Will you and I both WAIT upon Him to Answer us? How good are we at following instructions? When we do, it Pleases Him. How about us presenting ourselves for His use, even when it is NOT popular or favored by others? By doing so, we are offering our lives as a Living Sacrifice for His Use.

Do you sing? Who hears you? Do we “know” Him like we should? By spending time in God’s Word each of us will get to know Him better. As our prayer time advances from more simple child-like prayers, they can develop feet to them – where we are allowed to see how our taking the time to sow the seed made the difference in the Eternal Destination they can choose to accept. Do we want others to have a personal, “intimate” relationship with the Saviour? If we don’t have the desire for others to be close to Him, then we have a problem – a REALLY big one: that we are NOT intimate with Him.

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How are we to be about “Pleasing Him” in our daily lives? A part of that answer is presented in this Series, but looking into God’s Word to find that answer – not in man’s idea of pleasing oneself. As a new “Christian” – a born-again, redeemed, saved, forever secure Child of God – each of these things will most likely be VERY new. To the more mature “Christian” – the Believer who has seen mercy, forgiveness, humbling, grace – each of these things will stir up in you a recall of events gone by. How many of them do we find ourselves doing regularly?

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This Series began from a piece of artwork that simply stated what WORSHIP is to be, quickly becoming a direction to be heading which we can use as a Spiritual checkup. There are seven (7) “are to’s” in this Series, as follows:

Our W•O•R•S•H•I•P

Wait Upon The Lord
Offer Our Lives As A Living Sacrifice
Rest In His Presence
Sing Unto Him
Humble Ourselves Before Him
Intimacy With God
Pleasing Him

The VERY first Worship item in this Series is “Wait Upon The Lord”, possibly the most difficult thing for me to do personally. Each of them have an element of difficulty associated with them, as each challenge us to do more for our Lord than what we may be doing currently. Another one that is a challenge for me is “Rest In His Presence”, for I want to DO, GO, BE, ACCOMPLISH… right now! The notion of “standing still” is like asking a bug in hot ashes to stop moving – but I’ve found a way to do just that when Thanking Him roles off of my heart, onto my lips and reflection takes place as to how Good He has been to me. Will you consider examining the way you Worship the One and True God of All Creation? Truly, have we considered our entire realm of Worshiping, not just the allotted time taken on Sunday’s to do so? Or might we have desire to say that Worship is “An Action That Does Not Just Take Place On Sunday!” for each of us?

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