DOUBLE-EDGED PART 1 / LOVE, OR THE LACK THEREOF

MATTHEW 24:12: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax (grow) cold.”
Love has surely grown cold in our world, family values and neighborly love and just the basic natural response to protect those who are unable to protect themselves are all but forgotten by the
majority of the world.

Fulfilling Romans 1:31: “Without understanding, covenant breakers, WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION, (common decency and care for others) implacable (UNFORGIVING,UNMERCIFUL).”

We really don’t need to point this out but for sake of doing it right or for those who hadn’t thought about it, I will.
Domestic abuse has always been a blight upon earth, the number killer of women is men (more women are murdered than die through accident or disease) animal abuse is just as appalling to God as any other kind of abuse.
Divorce rates are through the roof  with the next generation growing in one parent homes often with Mom’s who must work to support them and the family lives of all involved falls through the cracks of the need to survive.

Father figures now lacking, no one to show the way often leads to following the wrong examples and walking the same wrong paths.
But now we also slaughter and sadistically slaughter unwanted babies to profit from their body parts.  

Human sexual trafficking brings in billions and billions of dollars annually.
And you really have to ask yourself, who are these people? The numbers of people networking this is just mind-boggling and it truly defies logic, that these acts which are so heinous and disturbing have become livelihoods for what has to be thousands and thousands of people.
It is enough to make the most gentle, love filled merciful heart be mighty tempted to turn to that same hate and as much as I hate to admit it (God knows it, he knows my heart better than I do) I wrestle with these issues and in some cases I truly have absolutely no sympathy for some of these monsters.

I do not believe they are human.

Humans sin,they make mistakes, but even the roughest person has some glimmer of hope, some shred of decency, or at the very least they are capable of loving their Mother or Grandma.
But THESE are THOSE already slated to slaughter by the double-edged sword of the absolute King of everything.
The  hardest aspect of the end time is trying to understand and get into our spirits WHO JESUS IS and to get it that love and I do mean get in to it,and understand HIS LOVE and also understand how that it is HIS LOVE that is bringing down the destruction of the entire world.

The greatest argument that fights the true Gospel is that God is love, and how could he level the people of earth and call forth the birds to take care of the dead bodies.

I hope this series will answer some of those questions.
We will review revelations from at the feet of the King.
We will really, really look at WHO HE REALLY IS, and biblically prove his character and the attributes of His Holiness.

We will look at others in scripture who got this and understood it and attempt to understand what true submission under the wings of God really is, sometimes we like to argue that we really are submitted to His will, but we often need to do a check baby on that.

Just how much of you are you willing to give him control over, how much of your body will you give as a vessel for His power and His glory to work through, just how willing are you to give yourself and all that you are, right down to the absolute baring of your soul in worship to him, regardless of who sees it or what they may think and whether or not they understand, ridicule or make you their poster child for all things they believe doesn’t exist.

The children of God are often Biblically referred to as “trees” and to get the idea on this, if you tap a tree what is inside is going to come out and  to SURVIVE these last days and to fulfill the mighty works of the Lord that are coming down, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS LOVE, or rather IT must have you, it is the merging.
It is the understanding and acceptance and being ONE WITH HIM.
I hope to hit a few different ways to break it down, but please continue with me, these will post over a period of three days and I truly hope when we are finished His love, His fire will be so consuming
and your desire to be consumed by Him will be so great and your understanding opened to the reasoning of the judgments, that you will never ever again question him as to why these things must come to pass.
As the “love of many grows cold” we lose sight of that love that never grows cold, never dies, and always prevails, which leads us to this condition that we MUST get a grip on and fast or we will lose the prize.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee BECAUSE THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE” Revelation 2:4

Meaning that there is something that hinders the relationship between us and Jesus, and that is that we have “left” him, left him in letting our love an zeal for him grow cold an indifferent.

The evilness and the state of the world and all the wickedness we are exposed to is the cause of leaving that love, so next time we’ll look at stoking that fire and rekindling that flame and lying back down at the feet of our king.

Φλογίζω/ NBJ/ 2015/ All rights reserved/ REVISTED 01/31/2021

To shun the Son….

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that HAVE NOT SEEN, AND YET HAVE BELIEVED.” JOHN 20:29 

Faith, Faith is a funny thing and sometimes we can have faith to move a mountain and then sometimes our faith errs more on the side of the mountain moving us. But we do have it, whether we always use it or not it is very much there. God told us that to all believers we are given the measure of faith and to some, even the gift of faith.

Even in our lost pre Christ days, we still have faith in things working at certain way, and cause and effect of all situations , things that are without question as, just being and working as they should and no one has to tell us otherwise. But when it comes to the Kingdom and believing for the afterlife, it gets tangled, many have no problem with the reality that as magnificent as it is, they were formed inside the womb, they grew, and bodies and minds faced amazing changes, and all taken for granted as a bald, toothless, helpless person soon started to walk, talk and explore the world and they believe this happens because it has been proven over and over as each child is born.

They could easily believe in Jesus because they had seen Him, they walked with Him, ate with Him, learned from Him and now were witness to absolute living proof that He had indeed raised from the dead. I truly believe that we are born with a knowledge deep inside of us that there is so much more than this life and even those who don’t want to seek the Lord still end up spending their lives seeking something, anything to fill that void. they seek false religions, seek paganism, humanism, and the never-ending search for alien life forms:

2TIMOTHY 3:7 “ EVER LEARNING, and NEVER able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH.”

As those who profess to be wise, boy, we could list some doozies right there, reputable for their “brilliant” minds and lead countless people straight to hell because they detest God and want everyone else too also and have done a great job convincing the secular world that not only does he not exist, but that those who believe are of a Neanderthal  intelligence.

And yet, Jesus said that we are BLESSED. Starting with those who are crushed, afflicted, and wounded in their souls:

BLESSED are the poor in spirit; for their’s IS the kingdom of heaven.

BLESSED are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

BLESSED are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

BLESSED are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

BLESSED are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

BLESSED are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

BLESSED are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

BLESSED are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.

BLESSED are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. REJOICE, and be exceedingly glad: for GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”                                                                                             MATTHEW 5:3-12

Notice our rewards ARE in heaven, in the afterlife in which we must believe and as my last post, I know that there are those who do believe and yet refuse to accept Christ. Whatever reason, if it is just peer pressure from friends or spouses, that the world will just not think your cool anymore, you’ll be laughed at or mocked.

Well , He said when you “lose your life” for His sake, you WILL find it. When you are ready to give up the fake friends and false bravado and humble yourself into the hand of a mighty God, then, and only THEN you WILL begin to live as you were created to, and that life WILL be eternal and all the Blessing of God WILL come upon you and your life.

What most people fail to realize is this, we ALL influence someone, there is always someone who watches how you live your life and the decisions you make WILL affect them. If you choose Life eternal, how many more could you bring unto that life? If they saw the change in you and your acknowledgment of God, how can that affect THEIR eternity?

And if you refuse eternal life, you are exchanging that blessed state for an eternal cursing and again all who follow you and your ways will be more inclined to that path of destruction also.

And being a “Closet Believer” is the equivalent to being an unbeliever, Jesus said you are not condemned because you do believe but yet in not acknowledging Him to those in your life, then it like being married to a person and hiding them from your family and friends as if you are ashamed of your association with them. Being ashamed of a person means that you acknowledge them as that person you just don’t want anyone else to know that you know them.

Which is what makes it clear that in this verse, Jesus was SPEAKING to those who DO BELIEVE in HIM: 

LUKE 9:25,26: ” For what is a man advantaged (benefitted) if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (be destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For WHOSOEVER SHALL BE ASHAMED OF ME AND OF MY WORDS, OF HIM SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE ASHAMED OF, WHEN HE SHALL COME INTO HIS OWN GLORY, AND IN HIS FATHER’S, AND OF THE HOLY ANGELS.”

So if we deny Him here on this earth, if we are too proud, too stubborn to admit we need Him, even though we believe in him, it will be counted as nothing.

Because we have chosen to deny Him in front of our peers, He will then deny us in the presence of the host of heaven itself and as He said, what will it profit then? What will anyone give in exchange for their own soul? At that time there will be no more opportunities to make it right.

So you see, BELIEVING is not quite enough, even the “devils” believe in one God and tremble”. They BELEIVE because they know He exists but they are still going to hell because they knew the judgment of God and chose to rebel against Him. It is like “having a form of godliness and DENYING the power thereof.”

 Like all who are saved from the least to the greatest among disciples and all the saints, NO ONE is of a higher standing than another in the eyes of God, and just as Nicodemus came to Him by night, so many in our world today want to do the same, come to Him under the cover of the night, come to Him in secret with the plea, “I believe, but I can’t let others know” a sad cop-out.

Well, there is only one way: ROMANS 10:9-11:

” That if THOU SHALT CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH THE LORD JESUS, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED. FOR WITH THE HEART MAN(HUMANS) BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION. For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.”

Pretty point on there, we must first believe in our hearts through faith that HE IS and we must then confess that belief openly and willingly, and then at His coming we will not be ashamed.

So we all have a choice, surrender while there is time, call on Him while He is nigh, answer the door as He knocks on our hearts,

(and for the record, if you are straddling this fence and putting off until tomorrow the decision for Christ, when you are not guaranteed a tomorrow to make that decision, I want you to know, if He has allowed this to come to you, you have consented by reading it, you are bound by it, you will never be able to stand before the Lord and plead blissful ignorance to these things, “to know to do good, and do it not, is a sin unto you”, heed this carefully)

You have been presented with YOUR choices, accept Him, and His Word, His Blessing, or reject Him and His blessings and keep the world, shun the Son, but know that one day, it will be you that He will shun.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016  Original post 10/15/2015 REVISTED 01/27/2021

“Stoned…so you’ll be sure to miss it…”

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR:

Whom RESIST steadfast in the faith. KNOWING that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that ARE in the world.

BUT the God of all grace, WHO HATH CALLED YOU UNTO HIS ETERNAL GLORY BY JESUS CHRIST, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect (blameless before God) , stablish (establish), strengthen, settle you.

To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever . Amen” 1 Peter 5:6-10

Familiar verse there again, but the word is the word and sometimes we NEED to hear it more than once. I want to expound on this passage just a little bit. Peter was giving his fellow companions instructions on how to survive in their terrible time, a time when the church was being persecuted and believers rejected, hated, and martyred.

He encouraged them to look past the sufferings and injustices of this world and place their trust in Jesus knowing and resting in the assurance that he would, when the time was perfectly right, according to His perfect will uphold them and present them above their enemies,a s He will prepare that feasting table for you in their very presence. He warned them also, as that same warning has been for every single believers since Peter penned it, even to us NOW that we are to be SOBER, serious minded CONCERNING our salvation, our walk with the Lord, and SERIOUS in KNOWING and respecting the fraility of our own human condition, that we can if not constantly monitoring our own hearts and intentions, can be destroyed by the enemy while our attentions that should be focused on God and things concerning the kingdom, are instead focused on things of this world.

And we are told to RESIST the devil by standing in the faith of God and have comfort in the fact that none of us are ever alone, and if you must fight against a temptation, or a mindset, that you should know and have assurance in the knowledge that you are not alone and that your brothers and sisters in Christ have many fought that same battle that you fight. And we are given the promise that holding onto to that faith and that reassurance that God himself, who has CALLED us to himself, to be his children, his heirs, and citizens of his holy kingdom, will indeed help us by settling all the turmoil, internal and eternal, strengthen us through the building of that faith in him, and he will give you peace in all things.

So by this point, you may be asking yourself, Well, there now woman, what’s up with that title?

So glad that you asked!

Anyone who was not raised on church music or has any lyrical association with all thing nineteen seventies would recognize that as a play on an old standard, absolutely no copyright infringement intended, well now that I have written my dutiful disclaimer, I shall tell you.

Most know that I am located in the states and live in the South, not terribly South but south enough to be “accented” with the Bell lingo, quite a conversation point at time, and while I do try to hit across the globe when I write, painfully aware of what my international brothers and sisters suffer, this post is aimed at my own countrymen.

While watching the news I had to sit back in wonder as it was reported the new “changes” that would be taking place in my state, just as all the “changes” that will be taking place in the nation as a whole, as while the details of new way to fight Corona, and all about how people who were “hurting” from the economy and all the woes Corona has brought would not be forgotten, along with mentions of other most mediocre legislations that would come,of course, for the betterment of us all and one point just astounded me, the legalization of marijuana for “RECREATIONAL” use.

Yeah those are six words that should NEVER be linked together in a single sentence.

Especially considering that the area I live in is one of the highest in opioid addiction,overdoses not only through opioid but other substances, not to mention alcohol abuse, meth, and the poverty, and absolute destruction of families and lives that go along with those trappings.

So when I heard those words delivered with what appeared sheer glee, as the state will reap the rewards of that “harvest with a niffy tax, I could not help but wonder what are our lives even worth to our “leaders’, I can answer that for you also, NOT MUCH.

Just enough to endanger those who are not on guard against the dangers of ANY drug use or those who are already battling hell against addiction because that is a battle, and a hard fought battle that never really ends, those who have recovered from alcohol or drug addiction must ALWAYS fight against that lure to try to pull them back into that pit of destruction and despair.

So for the powers that be to decide that during the pandemic, while people ARE feeling isolated and alone, which by the way, isolation is one of the biggest threats to a recovering person, that the time has come to make it pot perfectly legal, and not just legal for medical use, but adding the word “recreational”.

Think about the very meaning of”Recreational” : “relating to or denoting activity done for enjoyment when one is not working.” and think about “Recreational drug use” :”relating to or denoting drugs taken on an occasional basis for enjoyment.”

KNOWING full well that it does induce effects, why else do we call it “Being fried”, pot is not just some sort of “Herbal supplement”. it has very real effects and those effects are addictive.

So in my thinking, I’m like, okay, we have people who are hurting and we are in a pandemic and economy crash, we already have people dying everyday from overdoses, so sure, why NOT give the one more obstacle to overcome and why NOT make it so easy to obtain and so PERFECTLY legal, so that they will have no problem whatsoever obtaining it or run the risk of getting caught with and being charged with possession.

Why NOT even let be said that it is solely for the purpose of their enjoyment, to use ta their discretion.

It is simply this, they do NOT care if you become addicted, they DO NOT CARE if it ruins you, your family, your life.

They only care that it will further their agendas of popularity and revenue increase and people this is just the iceberg tipping, and Satan has always used entrapment as one of the biggest tricks in his bag of many.

The enemy has always played the game of making it easy, putting all those temptations laid out nicely before you to choose as you will but never telling you the price you will pay in the long run, when your life, your health, and nine times out of ten, your family is destroyed and then, the damage is so great that God and God alone is the only one capable of cleaning up the mess that addictions leave of a life.

So on we go on with these new changes, and believe me there will be many more coming, please, for the love of God, do not make the mistake of truly believing that because it IS legal, and because everyone else is doing it, that you should also.

We are responsible for our own lives and the choices we ourselves make and we are warned against “Spiritual wickedness in high places” and a true leader will do what is in the best interest for the health and safety of those they are alleged to be in service to, not to legastite laws that will in fact become a burden to be born on the backs of those who partake of those new “freedoms”.

People often refuse to follow Christ and detest the Gospel based on their beliefs that they are “hindered”, prevented from doing things that they desire to do, but in reality, God gives us his words and his commandment to PROTECT us from those things that while they may be pleasurable, for  a season, they will lead to our destruction.

Remember these words? Hebrews 11: 24,25: “By faith, Moses, when he was come to years (reached adulthood), refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (short time);

We often forget when we think of those from Bible times, they WERE human, with the same feelings, emotions, and temptations of us all, and Moses could have been the ruler of ALL of Egypt and at that time Egypt was one of the greatest powers on earth, if not the greatest.

Moses had it all laid at his feet, to do with whatsoever he chose, but what he chose was to WALK AWAY from that sinful nation that had in fact ENSLAVED his people and went on to hear the voice of the Lord CALLING him to lead those same people out of that terrible bondage with the mighty hand of God.

We make those choices and so many today are in bonadage an with new snares and trap set daily to ensnare them even farther, and why? What could be a possible motive?

Dependance, my dear friends, dependance, just as the story when Moses was leading the Hebrews, and they begin to complain that he was leading the out to die in the desert and then they actually complained,complained about the food that GOD HIMSELF WAS FEEDING THEM and complained of missing the foods that they had when they were enslaved?

Numbers 11:4-8:” And the mixt multitude that was AMONG them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel ALSO wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this MANNA, before our eyes. 

And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.”

Had they so easily forgotten being worked mercilessly, dawn to night, had they forgotten being beaten, had they forgotten the sight of the backs and bodies of their loved ones marred by striped raw flesh from those beatings?

Had they forgotten the heartache and helplessness of being able to come to the defense of others as they witness those atrocities?

Had they forgotten that they were under the absolute control of Egyptians to do with what they would, including, thinking back to the degree to slaughter all the Hebrew baby boys, a decree that without the intervention of God would have annihilated Moses at birth.

How they had forgotten all these things at the simple thought of cucumbers, fish, and melons that had been eaten, without a doubt, in haste and fear, as they would need to hurry to continue their toil, an absurd thought, a ludicrous trade,a whispering of Satan, convincing them just how “good” they had it in Egypt!

Notice how this complaint actually got started with the “mixt multitude” those who had came out of Egypt with the Hebrews, not necessarily Hebrews, think of the weeds that the enemy plants along side the “wheat” that has been planted by the Lord. Basically these people start to murmur and complain, soon God’s children hear and then they start to cry and complain ALSO.

Why? Because it is so easy to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing  and the enemy knows that and that’s what he is banking on, that we will rather run with the crowd that risk rejection by that crowd.

So they forgot all about the food God was giving them, the sheer MIRACLE of eating food from heaven itself, food that actually tasted of FRESH OIL,fresh oil symbolically fresh oil, that they needed to become new, in their new freedom.

But they chose to listen to the crowd and forgot God’s goodness and they forgot the terrors of Egypt, and if we forget where we have been, and if we forget just how awful and bad that place was, and if we forget how we had prayed to NEVER have to be in that place again, we will

Another secret here:

Psalm 9:17: ” The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

Comparing apples and oranges, you can see how easily Satan tried to twist the minds of the freed Hebrews, to turn them against God’s call and against Moses, trying to lure them back into captivity with the mere promises of leeks and garlic, HOW MUCH MORE CAN HE LEAD PEOPLE BACK INTO BONGAGE OR WORSE BONDAGE WITH THE PROMISE OF DRUGS?

Do you see what the design is now? If every desire is attainable, if every ounce of the flesh is catered to, Where is your eternal salvation in this? Where is your quality of life?

That life will lead you into bondage and into dependance on the very powers that offer you that “luxury of living” and that is the ultimate goal.

Realize today that if you are in Christ, or even if you are not in Christ, but realize that you do not want enslaved to a substance that WILL control and DESTROY you, don’t fall for it, you are not being offered freedom you are being offered bonaged in a pretty package and if we play with fire we will be burned.

The enemy wants you to be “stoned” so that you will completely “miss it”, that you will miss the gentle sound of conviction God speaks to your heart, that you will completely miss the call he has on your life, and that you will miss the hope, peace, and joy that you could have as you trade it for his broken promises  and in effect trade your promises of eternal life for eternal destruction if you do not escape his clutches in time.

Love and peace to you till next time, keep on praying and keep on believing that your tomorrow can be so much better than your today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

EAGLE

There once was a beautiful, beautiful eagle. He was a very, very old eagle and came from a long line that had watched the birth of a nation and the determination of people to break free from tyranny.

Eagle knew the story of how a people left homes, riches, and all they have ever known to take a journey completely by faith.

Faith that would lead them to a plentiful land free from the persecution they suffered and  for freedom, freedom to worship the one true, creator God .

Many died on this journey and many more after their arrival, but God had given them land that a plague had left empty. And as time went he blessed them in all they did and they kept his commandments and worshipped him openly. Over time the apron strings of the mother country would prove that a battle would indeed need fought before true, true freedom would be won.

Eagle watched our forefathers as they tried at first to keep peace with their overlords and he watched as one by one stood up and proclaimed this land would be for liberty and it should be for all.

His favorite of these men would be Patrick Henry, a voice among the great voices who shaped our land. He heard him say words such as  “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take but as for me give me liberty or give me death.”

He watched as tea poured into the harbor  and cries of  “The British are coming!” bellowed through the land. He watched as bloody soldiers fought to the death and gunpowder flooded the air and the sound of cannons echoed. And he watched as they pressed on, pressed on in their battle, because they would be free or they would die but they would never surrender.

He watched as this great battle came to a close and America proclaimed her freedom, freedom from her overlords and she would now shine as beacon to the whole world.

Eagle was honored as he was chosen to be her great symbol, brave, strong, powerful, and above all free.

He would be given olive branches, that he would always extend peace and he would reserve his great force as a last resort.

He would be given arrows, that he would use that force if necessary to defend his liberty and his people.

He would be given his shield to protect him and all he stood for and his main stand was “Death to tyranny”.

Eagle watched as the constitution was written and signed and he thought upon the words of his friend Patrick Henry, ” The constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

And Eagle soared, high in the sky, the sun warming him and flying higher and higher playfully trying to catch the ever elusive rainbow that the Creator had placed in the sky, a symbol of his glory and promise and Eagle knew that near the rainbow he would always be safe.

And he watched on, as struggles, trails, and heartaches came to the great land brought through evil men who had crept in there.

His feathers tattered a few times as freedom for those enslaved had to be won, pitting brother against brother and splitting the country in half.

He was ruffled as leader after leader rose and new troubles were unveiled, but storms would always pass and he would again gain his ground, liberty, bravery, and justice were on his wings.

Then suddenly it started growing dark, darker and darker as the new generations forgot their heritage and lost the wisdom held by the fathers, Eagle was reminded again of these words, “It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains” that were long ago spoken by Patrick Henry.

He listened as laws were changed, comprises made, and the peace that had been so hard-fought for was pandered away by making truces with those who hate us.

He listened as prayer to the creator was taken away, he heard as they mocked and profaned the Son of God’s holy name.

He looked on with horror as the holy laws, the ten commandments of God were ridiculed and taken away.

He looked on as a people who once had been free now were told what they may and may not do.

He looked down and saw streets lined with half naked  people, and parades, and mocking’s of the crucifixion of Jesus, the Son of God, reminding him again the warning of his friend, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason people of other faiths have been offered asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

Horror for his people took hold as the sky darkened and grew black and a strong wind violently blew and whipped around him, in the darkness his path was unclear and the battering winds against his wings knocked him off-balance, as he tried to regain flight something caught his eye, it was a rainbow!

 If he could just get to the protection of the rainbow he would be safe and regain his strength. 

But as he flew closer to hide under the protection of safety of the Creator, he realized this was  not the real rainbow, but a piece of fabric blowing in the great wind, and as it caught him, he became tangled, his olive branches and shield crashed to the ground, his arrows broke in the struggle to regain flight and Eagle fought with all he had but to no avail, He crashed helplessly to the ground.

As his heart beat faded, and drawing his last breath, as his eyes grew dim, he caught sight of shimmering in the field, it was the soft, amber glow of a fire burning and as Eagle’s life continued to slowly fade, he felt comfort, because he was sure that in that fire, he heard in the distance, that old funeral song, that old faithful hymn, that he remembered from the battlefields and the old camp meetings…

” Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, 

  He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,

  He hath loosed the lightning of his terrible swift sword,

  His truth is marching on… 

  Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,

  Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,  

  Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,

  His truth is marching on…”

* Authors note: This post is from 07/04/2015, but amidst all that is going on in our country and in the face of the “cancel culture” movement and cries to destroy history from our records, one thing remains true, as has been said many times by many others, we learn by our mistakes and we are warned by memories of the past reminding us of the error of our ways that society viewed as perfectly acceptable during those times as acceptable.

But without Jesus Christ, and the blessing of Almighty God on us and on our land we are and will be absolutely nothing and we  welcome that blessing by and through our obedience to the Word of God and regardless of what society DICTATES or demands that we believe, we must stay true to what GOD through his Word has commanded us, and that is to worship him and love him and to be the representative bearing his Holy name as his child and follow the teaching of Philippians 2:15: “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

Revisited 07/03/2021 And may God Bless all those who have fought to keep our country FREE and especially those who served in Vietnam, with the average age being nineteen years old, they served, giving everything they had, their bodies, minds, and pieces of their very souls as they watched their friends die and then upon returning home, which should have been to a hero’s welcome they were met  with sheer hatred and thankless protests by those who had never fought for anything in their lives.

God Bless those who still fight today for those who can’t fight for themselves, God Bless you with a wonderful Independence Day.

N. BrownJohnson 2015/ All rights reserved.

Original post date: July 4, 2015 Revisited July 3, 2019 / And again, 01/20/2021 & 07/03/2021

 

“And Yet… ” PART 1, Playing with paganism

“And the rest of the men (generic term for ALL humans) which were not killed by these plagues YET THEY REPENTED NOT  of the works of their hands, that they SHOULD NOT worship devils (demons), and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see nor hear, nor walk;

NEITHER REPENTED THEY of their MURDERS, nor of their SORCERIES, nor of their FORNICATION, NOR of their THEFTS.” REVELATION 9:20,21

To me that IS the most horrifying verse in the entire Bible. This IS stated AFTER the Lord starts pouring down vials of wrath on earth.

They KNOW that Jesus IS REAL, they ARE falling dead under His wrath and yet they still refuse to repent and turn away from the forces of darkness. There is quite a list there and I want to tackle first things first. works of their hands, worshiping devils, pagan deities that people believe to be gods, when they are made of wood, and some crafted from silver, pottery, and covered in gold.

It is still an idol, made with human hands or more so machinery in modern times, nevertheless, WORTHLESS creations thought from human minds inspired by demonic beings and they fall down and WORSHIP these idols.

THERE IS NO GOD except JEHOVAH GOD, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB, THE I AM THAT I AM, THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, AND THE ONLY SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. Period, everything else is a cheap demonic attempt to sway unstable minds who WANT a god that can be “served” amidst their own desires.

ISAIAH 40:18-25: ” To whom then will you liken God? (who can be compared to Him) or what likeness will you compare unto him? The workman melteth (moulds) an IMAGE, and the goldsmith spreadeth over it gold, and casteth silver chains ( silversmith casts it). He that is so impoverished (SO POOR) that he hath no oblation (can not afford to purchase idol) chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh a cunning workman (skilled craftsman) TO PREPARE A GRAVEN IMAGE, that shall not be moved (totter). 

Have ye NOT known? have ye NOT heard? hath it not been TOLD you from the beginning? have ye NOT understood FROM THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH?  It IS HE that sitteth upon (above) the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth the out as a tent to dwell in:

That bringeth (reduces) the princes to nothing: he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity (useless). Yea, they shall not (scarcely) be planted; yea, they shall not (scarcely) be sown: yea, their stock shall not (scarcely) take root in the earth: and he SHALL BLOW UPON THEM, and they SHALL WITHER, and THE WHIRLWIND SHALL TAKE THEM AWAY AS STUBBLE.

TO WHOM THEN WILL YE LIKEN ME, OR SHALL I BE EQUAL? SAITH THE HOLY ONE.”

I love how He dead nails how they create those things that they will worship, many old timers believed this was against the tradition of having a Christmas tree, but it is clearly  against their hewing idols out of every imaginable material.

I also love the fact that he starts with WHO? Who may anyone DARE to compare with Him?

And the added THEN, THEN after all these things come to pass, WHO will they dare compare to be His equal in might, strength, or power?

Certainly not dead tree trunks that have been dressed in even the finest of gold and silver. They will still be exactly as they are.. DEAD.

Having not eyes, ears, or speech. They cannot see man, They can not hear cries, and certainly they shall never speak even an utterance of deliverance.

The Lord who SAW what He had SPOKEN into creation as good.

He came down and SPOKE and WALKED with Adam and Eve in the garden, He SAW that they were naked.

He SPOKE with ABRAHAM, He and His angels met with him there because the Lord HEARD the cries of Sodom.

The Lord who SAW Hagar crying in the wilderness, and she named that place Lahairoi, The well of “HE WHO LIVES, sees and hears ME.”

He SAW what Moses held in his hand upon his commission, He HEARD the cries of the Hebrews against their oppression. He heard all the cries of Israel during their many times of obedience mingled with disobedience and each time they were about to be swallowed up by their enemies, he HEARD those cries. He heard the futile arguments of every prophet He sent forth and SPOKE encouragement to them.

He SAW the abominations the wicked priests committed in HIS temple and he SPOKE forth the orders of their executions. He Spoke to the disciples and all the crowds that followed as he WALKED upon earth, and upon sea.

He SPOKE to the demons that they would flee. He SPOKE to disease that it should be no more. He HEARD as the crowds screamed for His death and He SPOKE of forgiveness.

 The entire Bible is comprised about a LIVING,SEEING, HEARING, SPEAKING GOD!

 He STILL sees all earth, including you and me. He STILL speaks to those who will listen. He STILL WALKS upon the circle of the earth and in heaven and one day soon, upon His earthly return will stand upon Mount Olives and will Walk His city of New Jerusalem.

So,WHO will you compare Him to?

His IS the only true, LIVING GOD, and as HE said “there IS no other”.

Idols cannot save, pagan beliefs will never deliver.

And all the devil wants is to take you to hell with him because he KNOWS he is already condemned for all of eternity to burn there and he will be suffering eternally with all he deceived, he will be NO king in hell, and as scripture states, those he has deceived will ask him if he has become as weak as they.

It is no fairy tale and all of earth declares His glory, but HE WILL NOT give that glory to another.

It is not about tolerance or keeping peace, it is about souls and eternity and you HAVE a choice NOW, a choice you will not have when all these things come to pass.

Today IS the day of salvation, CHOOSE whom you will serve and choose wisely.

COMMANDMENT #1 “THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.”  Jesus NEVER changes, His word does NOT change, COMMANDMENTS DO NOT CHANGE.

No matter what you have been taught or thought NOTHING will change the events in the book of Revelation, not believing WILL NOT change it because God DOES NOT NEED US TO BELIEVE IN HIM TO EXIST.

If you have been lured into these pagans thoughts and pagan religions, don’t buy the tolerance line as a reason for not speaking against false beliefs either, just remember that Eve thought that eating the fruit would make her wise! The enemy lures us with the promise of knowledge when it is reality deception and we become wise only in our own eyes!

The pagan idols is but a drop in the bucket to the real idolatry that this verse speaks of. Especially in our modern culture, I always loved the term “teen idol” the name alone should strike a nerve of what this star worship really implies. Our world has idols of money,houses, vehicles or social status and prestige. Idols of sex,  did all the crazed men really worship Monroe or Betty Page because they thought they would make fine mothers for future children? How about women flocking to see male “exotic” dancers? Is the attraction there because those huge muscles  would come in handy doing yard work at their future love nest?

Even denominations,and “spiritual” movements can become idols, Anyone wanna question whether Jim Jones “congregation” was following him and WORSHIPING HIM or were they really following the true God? When the denomination is worshipped rather than the creator, and the cult mentality and pounding music of a certain new “spiritual” movement taking over people’s mind and completely brainwashing them to the truth and it never speaks a word of wisdom only the lull of “listen to the music and fall into worship”. SCARY, SCARY business right there, and what scares me the most is seeing it go on right under  Pastor’s noses and they never even notice that something is not quite right.

We can WORSHIP anything and ANYTHING that has a higher ranking than God does in our lives IS an IDOL, and it is not always sex, drugs, alcohol,and gambling and with most idolatry, we seem to think God would approve because it makes us happy and makes us feel good!

And yet.. another thing in the list of many that just does not quite get it with God.

Maybe you have even never heard the true word of God, whatever the case may be. If you serve and worship ANY other than Jesus Christ, I am pleading with you to please, please take time to rethink your position, ask why you believe what you believe and the what is the evidence for that belief and THEN discover the TRUTH for yourself before it is too late.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016   REVISITED 01/16/2021

As I felt impressed to reshare, “revisit” this post, I am also reminded of a scripture, used in a newer one, please consider this today, “For the time WILL come when they will not ENDURE sound doctrine”, that day was to come, and that day has been coming as the lines of what is and is not acceptable according to the true Word of God have become more and more blurred as so many have chosen to believe doctrines and teachings that are in complete contrast to true Biblical teaching, and that day has come.

If you know Jesus Christ hold on to your faith and never let anyway persuade you that there is any other way to Heaven, there isn’t, that is why Jesus said No man cometh to the Father except by Him. And if you have never made that decision, I please with you today, if you feel that conviction, that tugging on your hear to accept Jesus, accept him before it’s too late, we are never promised another day.

Please join me next time for part 2

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

And Yet… #2                         And Yet… Part 3

Just kinda like… MESSED UP…

I love funky terms, always endearing, always fun and one of my favorites is “messed up”, I love the fact that the slang phrase can mean virtually ANYTHING. 

According to dictionary.com it is adjective slang and “messed up” CAN literally mean ANY or ALL of the following: 

“Beaten up, looking disarrayed”

“Confused and unhappy”

“Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs”

We can be emotionally messed up, life can be messed up, or circumstances can just be messed up making you want to say, “Man, that is just messed up!”

And people often get “messed up” through the third meaning in hope of dulling the feeling of the first two.

And sometimes those who are seeking Jesus and a change in their life can be very easily swayed back out into sin and fall so easily into the trap of self-condemnation of feeling that they have “messed up”.

And you know, it is not even just falling into sin, it can be sometimes that we have turned left when we should have turned right, missed a truly golden opportunity by too hastily reaching out for plated brass that we mistook for twenty-four carat.

So many things in life can lead most of us to question, just how bad did we mess up.

But got some good news on that front, IF you are willing to ACCEPT it, BELIEVE it, and pick up your cross and try it again.

God IS faithful. God IS merciful. God wants nothing more than to dust us off when we have stumbled, give us a hug and tell us to try it again! 

Classic scripture here that everyone probably knows by heart but it is good to be reminded every now and again.

Jesus speaking, Luke 18:10-14: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am NOT as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, OR EVEN AS THIS PUBLICAN 

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican standing afar off,  would NOT lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST (beat on his chest)  SAYING, GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. 

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified  rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; AND HIM THAT HUMBLETH HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED.”  

Ponder that, the Pharisee, in ear shot of the tax collector is telling God what all he has done and even taking pot shots at the moral character of the other man, in his “gratitude” speech, “thanking” God that he was so much BETTER than all those he named and EVEN better than the one who could not even look toward heaven because he was repentant.

He just asked for mercy and referred to himself as a sinner.He didn’t give a list of what GOD ALREADY KNEW, he just asked for mercy instead of judgment.

We are never given a list of his failures, mistakes, or how much he “messed up” but we are given all we need to hear in his own words the Pharisee spoke of  just how “messed up” the Pharisee was through pride and self-seeking, and self-righteousness expressed in his OWN words.

So there is a background to set up my main scriptures I really want to concentrate this post on.

Psalm 86:1-17: “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul (life); for I am holy: O thou my God, SAVE thy servant that trusteth in thee.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For I cry unto thee DAILY (all day long). 

Rejoice (make glad) the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 

For thou, Lord, art (are) good, AND READY TO FORGIVE; AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY TO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON THEE.

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 

IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I WILL CALL UPON THEE: FOR THOU WILT (will) ANSWER ME.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O lord, neither are there any works like unto thy works. 

All the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord, and SHALL glorify thy name. 

For thou art great, and doest (you do) wondrous things: thou art God alone.  

Teach me thy way, O Lord,: I will walk in thy truth: UNITE  my heart (give me singleness of heart) to fear (have a reverence and awe for) thy name. 

I will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 

FOR GREAT IS THY MERCY TOWARD ME: AND THOU HAST DELIVERED MY SOUL FROM THE LOWEST HELL.

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 

BUT THOU, O LORD, ART (are)  A GOD FULL OF COMPASSION, AND GRACIOUS, LONGSUFFERING, AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY AND TRUTH. 

O TURN UNTO ME, AND HAVE MERCY UPON ME, give strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

Shew (show) me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it. and be ashamed; BECAUSE THOU, LORD, HAST HOLPEN  (has helped) ME,AND COMFORTED ME.”

That was a prayer written by David, and you can really “hear” his desperation in that twice he asks the Lord, to HEAR, the first verse, “BOW down thine ear”, showing his humility by asking the Lord to come down to hear him.

The poor and needy reference spiritual state, David FELT pretty messed up, hurt and unhappy, fighting against his enemies, the word “assemblies” in verse fourteen, referencing those who hated him, literally meaning MOBS, mobs of angry, violent men who DID not know God and wanted David dead.

I love David and love reading about his life because he was so passionate. Everything he did he did wide open, all or nothing. When he soared, he soared and when he “messed up” it was crashing rock bottom.

And of course, the ONE thing he never swayed for one moment about was his absolute passion in his pursuit of the Lord.

He never once doubted the mercy and kindness of the Lord EVEN when he was painfully aware through his OWN  failings, his own shortcomings, and life altering lusts that HE WAS NEVER WORTHY OF THAT MERCY. Nor would he ever be. Neither are we, nor we will be.

So that’s the deal, we ARE messed up, life is messed up, and no matter how bad you may have messed up or how confused, unhappy, beaten down life has TEMPORARILY left you, keep holding on… knowing that no matter how messed up you may feel there is NO ONE so messed up that the mercy of God that cannot heal.

1 John 1:9: “If we confess (admit to God) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

Find your peace in that. 

Have a beautiful week! Wishing you love & peace until next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018   /   Original post 06/30/2018 Revisited 01/08/2021 I do pray this will be an encouragement to you today!

If you’d like a little more food for thought on overcoming our flesh, check out “Trip Junkie”   and “Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off”

LOVE this song!

Original post 06/30/2018 Revisited 01/08/2021 I do pray this will be an encouragement to you today!

“Playing the hand that is dealt…”

Blessed New Year to you! I do hope that it has started off to a happier, healthier start and that dreams are being born again into hearts and while I do agree that this title is a bit different I do hope it will encourage someone somewhere today to have that hope and that faith that through Jesus even the toughest hands sometimes dealt in the game of life can be traded out one card at a time for a hand that is so much greater and can very well be the hand that wins it all.

And of course I do have to do my “preacherly” duty here and note that I am not advocating gambling by any means and when you think about this you can relate to playing the game “war”, or “Old Maid” as a child or even friendly for fun games such as “Spades” or “Rummy” and in my humble belief, if it’s not betting for money, it is just a game.

But of course we all must be led by our convictions as how the Lord has dealt with us, so please know I mean no offence whatsoever, but this is how I was led to address this thought today and maybe, just maybe, this  thought is sent forth to “hit the hand” of someone who does love a gamble here and there and today is the day that all that could change.

So on with it shall we go? As we said good-bye to 2020, a year, time, and season certainly destined to go down in the history books as a lyric from the song itself. “should old acquaintance be forgot”, a year everyone will want to forget as if an acquaintance that we wished we had not met due to the pain it brought many but even with the pain it brought it still brought families closer together and hearts bursting with compassion for the hurting, and a well deserved and long overdue admiration and respect for those who literally risk their lives to care for those who can’t care for themselves and often being the last hand to hold the hands of those who were going to their eternal home.

And will it be better and will it cease, not a one except the one who watches over us all knows the answer to that question and the only answer I have is the Gospel, He will NEVER leave you and he WILL never forsake you and He truly holds this world and all that are in it in the palm of his hand. And the hardest question ever to be answered and yet so often asked is why?

The answer to that is we are in this world, and this world was NEVER meant to be our final destination. I have wrote many a post on that subject, but it is well worth repeating, life trips us, the pain we endure on this earth is our stumbling block and the means that we often turn to deal with that pain can be our destruction, if we do not choose to opt for a new card from that deck that life deals from.

That’s what I would like to rely today, life is not always fair, actually the longer you live the more you realize, it is NEVER fair, and that is in our thinking because we can always find someone else whose problems and sufferings are so much greater than our own, and my late sister, my absolutely precious Ruby always said that, that we would never suffer what Jesus did, Jesus was sinless, spotless, and never ever hurt anyone or anything and only did good, always, even blessing those that cursed him and he was beaten absolutely unrecognizable and nailed to a cross.

The God of the universe, in the flesh, nothing but PURE LOVE and gentleness, and grace and they murdered him, they hated him for the same reason they hate you, for the same reason that “deck” of the cards of life seem and probably are stacked against you because you do belong to the Lord, whether you know it at this moment or not, even if you don’t accept it, you still belong to him and all the bad things that seem to come one after another is only the enemy trying to prevent you from ever accepting God’s love, mercy, peace, and forgiveness.

And often those who have accepted Christ feel so burdened, so discouraged, so alone and overwhelmed that the enemy can convince them that it’s just not worth it. but that is such a lie.

It is worth it and the reality is, just as God gave us his word in Eccesslaties chapter three, our human state is just that, the human state, all we all experience the same emotions and hardships, in many different ways, but we still all love, we still all struggle against hate, we all, cry and yet we all find seasons of rejoicing and others do truly experience more pain and sorrow than another but we are all subject to this life and as spring gives way to summer, we are always subject to the wind and rains that the storms of the changing seasons do bring. 

Perseverance pays off and it pays big because you will be rewarded on this earth but your greater reward is eternal and there will be NO heartache, no death, or no more pain once you are given that eternal reward. But don’t lose sight of it, don’t just accept the cards you have been “dealt”, don’t just leave them laying there, pick them up, look at each one, and play that to the best of your ability make the best of your life, don’t automatically assume that everything is over and that there is no hope for a brighter future ahead.

But you have to believe for that future. you have to believe, trust, and have faith, that if Jesus is your Savior, He will take care of you, and they he will give you victory over your enemies and he will take your brokenness and give you something so beautiful in return but you have to stay in the “game” and you have to play out that hand. He is STILL God, the ONLY God. 

He is still very much in the business of restoration.

Check out this passage of scripture, this is one of the many prophetic writings that Jesus fulfilled when He came to earth and He still offers us these wonderful promises TODAY.

Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings (good news) to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up (HEAL) the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty (FREEDOM) to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord; and the day of vengeance of our God, to COMFORT all that mourn;

To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they  might be called the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

And they shall build the old waste (ruins), they shall raise up former desolations, and they shall REPAIR the waste (ruined) cities, the DESOLATION OF MANY GENERATIONS.

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowman and vinedressers. 

But  ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: Men shall call you Ministers (Servants) of our God: and ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. 

For your shame ye shall have double (DOUBLE HONOR); and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion; therefore in their land they shall possess the double (double blessing): everlasting JOY shall be unto them. 

For I the Lord love judgement (JUSTICE), and I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

And their seed (descendants) shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of SALVATION, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments (dresses himself elegantly for a wedding), and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels. 

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before ALL nations.” 

Notice all the beautiful promises of the Lord, and the promise of double blessing to you in return for all the shame and hurt that you have been cause by those who have lied on you and mistreated you, you will have double honor, and you will have everlasting joy.

Joy that this world or any person in the world can take away, rejoicing eternally and the awesome promise that not only can this be YOURS, you can through your obedience and your life CHANGE the lives of those you love for the better and for eternity.

Don’t  give away the  inheritance Jesus died to give you.

Anyone who reads any of my posts knows by now that I love the Apostle Paul and I love Paul because he was such a rough character, he was the nightmare of the early church, he persecuted the followers of Christ and hunted them down until that fateful glorious day that he had an unrequested appointment with the King and Jesus took what was the the churches most formidable enemy and changed him into one of the main writer of the New Testament and Paul NEVER forgot where he “came from”.

He knew in himself he was nothing and could do nothing but with Christ living in him God used to change the world and even today as we read and we study, he is STILL changing the world, think about that…

He wrote all these epistles, letters to other believer to encourage them and teach, and warn them all during his sufferings and while he would have prayed it made a difference to those who received those words, do you really really believe that he could have had a inkling that those words would span two thousand years?

Did ANY of them have even a small clue of the impact THEIR lives would have not only in that generation but for all the generations to come until the end of all time?

What about YOUR life? How could possibly know what difference your choices NOW can make even after you leave this world? You can’t know and that is why no one has the option of giving up or worse leaving all those cards turned face down because you are already so sure that you have lost the game.

Nothing is over until it is over and there is always hope, as long as you have breath in your body you have the gift, the grace of God to change your life and play those cards for all they are worth until a better hand is dealt your way.

And with that I am going to leave you with words about staying in the game, written differently by a far superior writer than myself, but “listen” to his words of encouragement to his spiritual son,Timothy, and know that he lived like we do, he had been wrong, he had sinned, he had to ask forgiveness, he hurt, he bled, and he was persecuted as he had persecuted BUT he trusted God, he prevailed through God and he played every hand that life “dealt” to the best of his ability.

2 Timothy 2:1-12:”Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Thou therefore endure hardness (harshness), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No man that warreth (goes to battle) entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath CHOSEN him to be a soldier. And if any man strive for masteries (competes in athletics), yet he in not crowned except he strive lawfully (plays by the rules).

The husbandman (farmer) that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel;

Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil doer even unto chains, but the word of God is not bound.

Therefore I endure all things for the elects (chosen ones) sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

For it is a faithful saying; For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him; if we deny hi, he will also deny us.”  He was referencing there his almost constant imprisonment for preaching the Gospel and even those he could be chained the word of God could never be bound and he was exhorting Timothy to stand strong, which then translated time as God had ordained taht those words would be to ENCOURAGE US ALL.

Now we’ll finish up here, as he is leaving his last words,a s he is ready to be put to death, beheaded, martyred for the word of God.

2 Timothy 4:1-8: ‘ I charge (urge) thee therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

Preach the word, be instant (ready) in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke. exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will NOT endure sound doctrine (true gospel); but after their own lusts heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears (people will only want “preachers” that will tell them what they want to hear);

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (will believe lies and false teachings). But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

For I am now ready to be offered (killed), and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race) ,I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day and NOT to me only, but unto ALL them that love his appearing.”

Now reading that, even though you have probably read it and heard it all before, refreshing it in your heart should give you hope, hope and courage to go on, go on and stay in the game, you will win, just keep playing and don’t be afraid to change hands,

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson