The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Posts Tagged ‘fear’

In Perilous Times, Fear Not

Posted by israeliteindeed on April 19, 2013

Undoubtedly, these are dangerous days. There are dangers of bombings and explosions. There are dangers brought in by evil men who destroy the earth’s food, air, and water. There are dangers to our children imposed by the education system, the “health” system, etc.  There are dangers of heresies, false gospels, a false Jesus, and false churches that stumble souls rather than help them. There are dangers due to wicked governments all over the earth.

Then you have the “truthers,” who claim to expose all the truth for us. But there is a subtle danger here too.  So often they do not really expose all the truth, but only part of it. They expose only the negative and they fill us with fear. They have proof and they have daily videos and caustic diatribes that get us worked up and agitated.  They make a living peddling fear and leading us to trust in them and their foresight. They exalt in guns and off-grid living (which are not inherently evil but offer no real refuge).

What they fail to show us is the armies of God in the heavens poised and ready to fight for God’s people. They don’t show this because they do not see it. They only see “the enemy” (whichever one they are currently focused on), and think the cure is a fight in the flesh to save our flesh, or a valiant stand on a man-made constitution. They have only half the story and pitiful cures. They will teach you to save bottled water and freeze-dried food, but they seldom teach you about the Word of God that keeps alive the man who trusts in it. They can serve to awaken us to danger but they can’t provide any real help. They are often angry and bitter, and disobedient to God’s commands to trust in Him and pray for our leaders. The powerful gospel which alone changes men is shelved and forgotten, while vitriolic remarks against “the enemy” are taken up.

They–and those who trust in them–think they are saving us all by pointing out the “real terrorists,” whether these real terrorists be Muslims, government officials, Jews, Illuminati, bankers, the catholic church, or the KKK.   And while people expend great efforts to expose “the truth,” the whole truth is that EVERY PERSON AT WAR WITH GOD IS A TERRORIST. Some are fighting for Allah, some are fighting for a false Jesus, some are fighting for physical freedom and the pride of a nation, some are fighting for racial elevation, some are fighting for global power or financial gains. But all are deceived and fighting God and trampling His people. All are headed for destruction no matter how heavily armed or well-fed they may be.

In the meantime, the one who has found refuge in the mercy of Jesus knows that a thousand may fall at our side and ten thousand may fall at our right hand, but it shall not come near us. What shall not come near us? Shall our bodies be kept from the perils of this perishing world? Not necessarily. Paul was shipwrecked, suffered hunger, and was beaten and stoned. He was chained in prison, and his mortal life was cut short by violent men. But–if we look through spiritual eyes–he fought the good fight and won, he finished his course triumphantly, he kept the faith, and he won the imperishable crown of righteousness. To live was Christ and to die was gain. He knew that whether he lived or died, he was the Lord’s. His eye was single and he recognized that his battle was not against flesh and blood, and his weapons were spiritual weapons.

Disciple of Jesus, even the sparrows do not fall to the ground unnoticed. You are worth more than many sparrows. Do you believe this?

Be not afraid of them that kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. (Jesus in Luke 12:4-9)

The greatest danger may not be what we think it is. The greatest danger is denying our Lord Jesus by refusing to live a life focused on confessing Him before men, come what may.

We are not constitutionalists, but soldiers of Jesus, ambassadors of His Kingdom, and carriers of His precious Word. We are not saviors of the physical body, but bearers of good news that saves every soul that believes. We are not proud Americans (or some other nationality) who need to rise up & preach the glories of our nation; we are bold witnesses who will suffer all things gladly for His sake.  We are not saved to preserve whatever culture we were born in; we are  saved to advance an eternal righteous kingdom that is not of this world. We do not teach the fear of men, but the fear of God who is coming to judge the world!

 
Our homes may burn, our jobs may be lost, our health may deteriorate, and our bodies may be locked in a steel and concrete cell away from the light and fresh air. If our faith is real, we will not wilt under these conditions! Because of the Word of our God, we will live and flourish and have light in the darkness. We will be like trees planted by the rivers of water that continue to bring forth fruit in season, and all the devils in hell will not prevent our fruit-bearing. The Word of God cannot be chained, WILL NOT be chained, and WILL NOT return void.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, who raises up all those who are bowed down. His meek shall inherit the earth. They SHALL inherit the earth.  No weapon formed against Him or His sheep shall prosper. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the church. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. We do not judge by sight alone. We do not judge by our feelings or by circumstances and current events. We judge by the mind of Jesus Christ, who has already overcome the world.

We do not turn aside from our great commission to lesser goals.

And though we are a “little flock” sent out into the very midst of wolves, we will obey the command of Jesus to FEAR NOT.

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Proudly Armed Christians or Humble, Cross-Carrying Disciples

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 16, 2013

***The following is a note I published on Facebook, after being grieved by the warmongering, gun-praising,  civil-war promoting, and president & party-bashing that is happening among professing Christians.***

I recognize that guns are not responsible for the murders we are seeing, and confiscation of guns cannot prevent them.

I recognize that our constitution has made provision for self-defense and the rights of human beings (except unborn children, of course, who continue to die while we post on Facebook and YouTube about our rights.)

However, I also believe that guns will not be responsible for saving us all from the brokenness in our government and nation. Whether the current surge of murders is caused by lone lunatics strung out on psychotropic drugs,  or the government itself sacrificing people to disarm us (as some say), I do not know for sure.  The brokenness is pervasive. The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint, from the leadership to the unknowns in the streets.

What I do know is that I am a follower of Christ–not a tea-partier, gun advocate, or Republican (or Democrat). I do not follow Alex Jones;  I follow Jesus Christ.  God has not given me the spirit of fear that Alex Jones exudes, but love, power and a sound mind.  The “revelations” of Alex Jones may very well be true to some extent, but the revelations of Jesus Christ are TRUER.

Not a hair of my head will perish even if I perish. I am not to fear those who can kill the body.  I am to give my witness boldly and with confidence, and if I die doing so, my life will be bettered by far.

I do not want the raging attitude of Alex Jones;  I want the attitude of Jesus, who “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and…humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:7-8)

I am armed with only one cure for my God-hating nation–the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And my duty is to take up my cross, deny myself–and my rights–and follow Jesus.  My duty is to take this message into all the world, beginning with those close to me, and teach others to obey Jesus. I know this–those who do obey the gospel will not become mass-murderers or plot to take away the rights of others.

If this stance makes me “weak” in the eyes of some, then I will glory in my weakness, choosing it rather than to appear strong in their eyes.

Jesus is not telling me to buy more guns, post pictures of our president with horns on his head, or encourage my children to kill those people who infringe on their rights. I cannot do what He is not telling me to do, nor can I approve of those things.

Yes, satan is the god of this world, and a nation that hates God will have plenty of puppets doing his will.  This is understood, yet Scripture does not command us to rail against our governments or prepare for civil war.

What Jesus is telling me in secret, I will declare here on this “rooftop,” knowing in advance that some will not receive it, yet hoping my testimony will make a difference–Get your personal house in order, keep oil in your lamp, share the truth of true freedom from sin & death with as many as will listen, and endure to the end in faithfulness to the King.

His kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom is not America, Great Britain, your neighborhood, or your personal property fortified with stores of bullets and dehydrated food that will last a hundred years.

The Hebrews 11 saints who lived in caves were too good for this world, according to God. Some of us are too in love with this world to be any good for it.  This is a snare set for our souls.  Many saints have had their goods confiscated for Christ, or have watched their children die before their very eyes. These are blessed and their good works have followed them, and they will not lose their reward.

What has changed in the hearts of Christians over the centuries?–Whatever it is, it needs to be crucified. Crusaders in the past never advanced true Christianity, and they cannot advance it today.

Christians are called to die. We speak of the cross in such poetic terms and then we declare proudly that we will kill others to protect our homes and our stuff. Are we so easily drawn away from the One we profess to follow?  Do we really follow the Lamb wherever He goes, or have we put qualifications on our obedience?  Are we letting patriotism and self-love lead us off the true path onto a path that seems right but ends in death?–For those who live by the sword will die by the sword.

The church of Jesus Christ is not American, British, or any other nationality. It consists of remnants of many nations made into one Body, one holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people who love one another and choose to love their enemies. If you cannot love your enemies, then you are not so peculiar, for even sinners love those who love them (Luke 6:32.)

These peculiar people do not learn war anymore, but have turned their instruments of death into plowshares, and are busy trying to bring forth lasting fruit for the kingdom of God.  They are eager to turn their enemies into followers of Jesus.  They are too busy interceding for their enemies’ souls to study how to kill them.

They know that this nation cannot last, just as the beautiful stones in Herod’s temple–so admired by the misled disciples–would all be cast down.  For there is only one Kingdom that lasts forever, and it shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms (Daniel 2:44). Nations that forget God shall be turned into hell (Psalm 9:17).

The peculiar people of God know that war is inspired by lust, and self-defense is not a Kingdom-of-God principle.  They believe that in order to produce fruit that will last, a seed must enter the ground and die. They are willing to die if need be, not to protect things that moths eat and rust destroys, but to glorify the Truth in Christ that is incorruptible.

They recognize that the slave who is in Christ is the Lord’s freed man, and the Lord’s free man is also a slave.

They understand that this nation is falling–as all nations that hate God fall–but it cannot be resuscitated  by the fleshly arms of patriotism and militarism.

They see through the vanities of this life, and pursue the things that cannot be destroyed.

I know some will read this who have arguments for “just war” and self-defense. I know the arguments. All I am asking is that we examine ourselves and see if we are really walking in the Spirit of Christ in this world. It is heartbreaking to watch our nation crumble and become so literally insane. It is hard to see the just punished for what the wicked do, especially if the government itself is deceiving us (a possibility, in my opinion.)

But what should be our response if we are to remain blameless before God?

I have said this before, but it bears repeating. Some of us are fighting the wrong enemies in the wrong war with the wrong weapons. We need to make sure that our efforts are being spent in a way that pleases God.

The Word declares that we do not fight against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers, and our weapons are not carnal–guns, bullets, raging words–but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds. Is our focus on setting flesh and blood free from lying strongholds with the powerful Word of God, or is our focus on storing up carnal weapons to fight flesh and blood for rights and belongings we think we deserve?

Are we sidetracked by the subtle enemy who says, “Do things my way and I will give you all this?”–I say that many of us are, and we need to be very careful.

What was the response of Christ to tyranny, and what was the response of His disciples to wicked governments and unjust laws? Where did they submit, and where did they refuse to surrender?  Did they defend the truth of the gospel to their own deaths, or did they defend their personal rights and their personal stuff with carnal weapons?

In our search for answers, let us not draw from the “founding fathers of America,” but let us draw from the Scriptures and the examples given us by the great cloud of witnesses. For we are not called to make Americans and patriots, but converts to the eternal Kingdom of God.

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Keeping a Sound Mind

Posted by israeliteindeed on November 28, 2009

First, there is no peace for the wicked. If you have not repented of your sins and placed a submitting faith in Jesus Christ for salvation—and if you are not daily denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Him; you will not have a sound mind! If this is you, start at the beginning. If you’ve fallen away from the LORD, go back to the beginning.

 

 


Christians:

 

Your trust must be in Jesus ALONE (not in a church, pastor, spouse, or friend). Go to Him. He is the Vine, and without Him you can do nothing!

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Psa. 27:1

 

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

 

 

He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. I John 4:4

 

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

 

 

What should we meditate on?

 

 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil 4:8

 

 

 

 

God gives a sound mind to His children:

 

 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7

 

 

 

 

We are in a spiritual battle every day. We must use our spiritual weapons (Word of God and prayer/fasting) and bring EVERY thought into obedience to Jesus:

 

 

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor. 10:3-5

 

 

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb. 4:12

 

 

 

We must use our minds to love the LORD Jesus (not self):

 

 

Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Matt. 22:37

 

 

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:17

 

 

We have the ability to “set our minds” where we want to, and we must CHOOSE to set them on things above:

 

 

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Col. 3:2-4

 

 

It is up to us to “gird up the loins of our mind” and trust Jesus. We can’t go into battle with our vulnerable parts (our minds) unprotected:

 

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Pet. 1:13

 

 

We must BELIEVE that Jesus will take care of us. It is not enough to say we believe. Our actions must prove that we trust Him:

 

 

 

I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 2 Tim. 1:12

 

 

 

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

 

 

 

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

 

 

 

Focus on Jesus, hold fast, and endure!

 

 

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. 4:14-16

 

 

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with ENDURANCE the race that is set before us, LOOKING UNTO JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For CONSIDER HIM who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. Heb. 12:1-4

 

 

Keep your spiritual armor on and HOLD YOUR GROUND. STAND. Notice at the end of this passage, you are to “be watchful with all perseverance with all supplication for all the saints.” When you are feeling sorry for yourself and not holding our ground, you are not able to strengthen your family members who need you.

 

 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—Eph. 6:10-18

 

 

We can and must have our minds RENEWED (by the Word of God):

 

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rom. 12:1-2

 

 

..Be RENEWED in the spirit of your mind…Eph. 4:23

 

 

…And have put on the new man who is RENEWED in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. Col. 3:10

 

 

For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. I Cor. 2:16

 

 

We MUST consider our lives crucified with Christ, and we must REFUSE to walk after the flesh (our own ideas, desires, impulses, emotions, etc.)

 

 

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Rom 8:6

 

 

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal. 2:20

 

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

 

 

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. Isaiah 32:17

 

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

When anxious, we must learn to wait patiently upon the LORD.

 

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isa. 40:31

 

My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. Psalm 62:5

 

 

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalm 27:14

 

 

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2

 

And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. Rom. 16:20

 

 

 

While waiting, give thanks!

 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thess. 5:16-18

 

Remember what our afflictions are doing for us spiritually!

 

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Cor. 4:8-10

 

 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18

 

 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28

 

 

Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:8-10

 

 

If you are convicted of sin, be earnest and REPENT. Stop doing it. Ask God for forgiveness. Believe His Word:

 

 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

 

 

Then move on! His mercies are new every morning, and there is no condemnation to those who are IN Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1). If you’ve repented and are currently not following your flesh, further condemnation is from the evil one. Pay no heed at all to that liar!

 

 

 

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6:24-26


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