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, & 08/12/2022

“Simply Blessed”

“BLESS the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, Bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satiisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment (justice) for those who are oppressed.

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; neither rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as heaven is high above earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame (human condition);he remebereth that we are dust.

As for man, his days are as grass: as the flower of the field, so se flourisheth.

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know (remember) it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness upon children’s children.

To such as keep his covenant, and those that remember his commandments to do them.” Psalm 103:1-19

We often think of blessing as asking the Lord to bless us, or bless those we care for, or have a need, and he does truly bless us and those we seek him on behalf of.

But what about when we bless him? When we give praise and honor to him and his Holy Name.

When we worship in his presence in that secret place of our prayer closet bringing all of our gratitude, not only for what he has done but for who he is.

When we begin to bless him, we then are blessed in him and in his presence, his mercy and grace, forgiveness, and healing, even renewing us, repairing the damages caused by the years of toil and strife of years of life lived without him.

He will repair all that has been broken, he will restore the years the cankerworm has eaten away, he will give the oil of joy for mourning, and he will renew not only your strength as the eagle’s but renew your youth.

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

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; they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

As you bless him you will be the one who is truly blessed!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“Give it a Run for The Money and Keep on Truckin”

Guess I gotta give the low down ’bout that title, I am seriously missing my Sissy today, I actually miss her everyday but today has been exceptionally hard.

Probably because it’ my niece’s birthday, which was such a wonderful event for us all, she is an awesome person and like my own kid to me and her mother adored her, she adored both of her daughters, and the last words she spoke on this earth was for her to take care of her sister and that she loved her.

She was the voice of prayer and encouragement to accept my calling despite the odds against me, and it seems fitting to give nods to those who help us find our way, giving of themselves beyond any reasonable expectation, and she did, from praying for me constantly, to listening to my sermons, encouraging me not to be nervous and being the first reader of every post.

She would have dug this title.

We had our own language, she was a flower child, and she was star of my childhood, and my closet confidant for the remainder of her life.

But she was especially magical to me as a child, she was always so beautiful and so hip, in her jeans with peace sign patches and her super cool music that we would sing together and of course I was fascinated with her love life and spied out the window whenever she came home from a date,

Which usually followed with an “Ewww, you kissed him!”  when she came in, but she was wonderful and put up with me and loved me and grew up to be one of the greatest women of God anyone could have ever known, her last years marred by circumstance beyond her control, but she finished strong.

And even while she was dying, she was laughing and joking, much of it filmed by my daughter, which I don’t think I could ever bear to watch, but it was joy during heartache and for brief moments made us forget that these were our last moments.

We were using our age-old funk jive language that we spoke often, much to the disdain of others at times, who hadn’t a clue what on earth we were saying, but our whole family was like that, including my late brother, but when your family comes from mixed heritages with so many old sayings, and siblings whose formative years span multiple decades, you are bound to end up with some bodacious lingo.

“Run for the Money” means to give your actions everything you have to give and put and fight with everything you have inside of you against whatever stands in your way, basically “Don’t lay down and die”, another oldie but goodie, Keep on Truckin” means to just go on and keep going on and never stop.

So now that intro is out of the way and you can dig my groove with it, we’ll get deadly serious and flip this baby into Old English and go forth!

Galatians 6:9: ” And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if faint not.”

Our key words in that verse being if we faint not. Letting us know beyond a shadow of doubt that there are times that we feel so tired either physically or mentally or are so truly exhausted that we feel that we cannot go on and it is in those times that others will need you the most.

When you are tired and worn that is when someone else will need your strength to stand with them.

When you are grieving that is when someone else will need your comfort to bear their own storm.

When you feel your loneliest that is when someone else will need a friend.

When you are your sickest that is the moment someone else will need the prayer of faith for a miraculous healing.

We could go on and on with afflictions, but you can surmise it like this, whatever you’re struggling with, someone else needs the positive to your negative.

That is why it is written as “Let us not be weary”, when we feel like giving up the most is when we need to fight the hardest and then we reap what we have sown at a later time, when we need it the most.

Think of it as showing love, patience, and mercy to someone who never seems to show the same to you, if you continue to sow goodness, even when you feel least capable of it, you will then reap all of that beauty back to yourself, God’s goodness and mercy coming back home to you in the moment you need it most.

I have used this story in post past, but I am going to again, as we go through these thirty teachings to remember to help ward off the apostasy we hear today.

The Bible is full of wonderful accounts of this concept in action, but in my opinion, it is the greatest story of this teaching.

Acts 16: 16-34:“And it came to pass, as We went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met with us, which brought her masters much gain (lots of money) by soothsaying (fortune telling).

The same (she) followed Paul and Silas, and cried, saying, These men are servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 

And this did she many days but Paul being grieved (greatly annoyed), turned and said to the spirit, I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

And when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone (they could no longer make money from her), they caught (seized) Paul and Silas, and drew (dragged) them into the marketplace unto the rulers.

And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city. 

And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

And the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates rent (tore) off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging(ordering) the jailor to keep them safety(securely).

Who, having received such a charge (order), thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast (fastened their feet) in stocks.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them.

And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed (chains feel off).

And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had fled. 

But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas.

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (family also)

And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripesand was baptized, he and all of his straightway.

And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat (food) before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with his whole house (family).”

So much there, I am so glad we got that story into one of our thirty.

This is a great lesson on dealing with people who want to argue you with you about psychics, and all that jazz, this clearly states that she could foretell things because she was possessed by a demonic spirit that was responsible for that.

But the true beauty of the story is that Paul and Silas, after being beaten, literally striped for doing something good, praying to the Lord to release this girl from the demonic grip and being chained down with their feet even in stocks. I can’t imagine what pain they endured. When we think how painful a cut or scratch can be as they burn if anything touches and you can imagine how dark, damp, and nasty the prison would have been and confined, unable to move in that pain.

But they prayed and the praised and God, who inhabits the praises of his people, sent an earthquake in response, that not only were they heard, but everyone also who heard them, would be freed.

There is so much symbolism in that, as to the light we can shine to others, they were all prisoners there, but Paul and Silas were spiritually free and that freedom brought the light of God to them all.

Paul’s compassion from the Lord being so great in him, that he did not wish to see the jailor commit suicide, and this love is not human, this love was not because Paul was a great guy, or the master of forgiveness, No, this love came because Jesus lived in Paul.

And with that love and compassion shown through their own pain, the jailor was saved and all of his family, in one moment, in one fateful night.

So how important is it to keep on doing what we are supposed to do, to keep on loving in the face of hate, to keep on forbearing in faith? I think the answer is already there.

We will never know how a single word, or a single action can affect eternity, but we know that it does, even the actions that may seem the smallest can have the most influential eternal impact and give the fight all you have to give and once you have given that, look inside and give a little more!

God will give us everything we need to accomplish everything he has purposed to be achieved in our lives and when you feel like you got it the least is when you have it the most.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

            Ruby Faye Brown

“Enough for Today”

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (Do not worry) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothing)?

Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are you not much better than they? 

Which of you, by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought (worry about) for raiment?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed) as one of these.

Wherefore if God so clothed the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought (do not worry) , saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.” Matthew 6:25-34

I love birds, all birds, it fascinates me to no end how God used the dove to bring back the olive branch to Noah to let him know it was now safe to resume life on earth, and that he used the ravens to feed Elijah during the famine. and the Holy Spirit in the bodily form as a dove resting on Jesus, and now forever the world’s symbol of peace, and even the super scary bird supper that takes place as the book of Revelation is fulfilled.

They are simply beautiful and to just listen to their songs in the morning and some even sing at night. 

Today I looked outside and noticed on my steps a darling little brown bird, I have no idea what kind, maybe a sparrow, I know some of them super well but others, not so much 🙂 and this little bird had hanging dried weeds out on both side of its beak, just bouncing on the step, looking around, making sure no predators were watching, quite obviously in the process of making a nest, planning for its future family.

I on the other hand, like most of us, had been pondering the craziness of our government (as I do often) and after reading that it had been recommended to start stockpiling food, I started seriously questioning whether or not people should start buying in bulk and stockpiling food and other items for their families and to have it to share if the worst case scenario should occur.

And then I thought about the literal starvation the world over much thanks to Putin who is determined to go down in history, but he is sure not going to go as he thinks, h evil be remember not, as the Great Czar he so wished to be but as a diabolic monster that destroyed millions, maybe billions of lives by the time all is said and done.

The constant threat of nuclear weapons over our heads, food will be a moot point.

How can we worry about all these things? Jesus said it best, as Gentiles, this is our logic.

We all are worried and concerned, gas prices, food prices, sickness, babies not even having formula in what is supposed as the richest country on earth, and looming threats of biological, chemical, and possible nuclear assaults is trying enough to make the most optimistic person think twice.

Then the scripture hit, “consider the ravens” which is how it is written in Luke 12:24, we worry and we worry, and often as my Mom always said, over things that never even happen.

As Jesus said, tomorrow will take care of itself.

We often buy trouble worrying about tomorrow and worrying about tomorrow causes us to lose the joy, and peace of mind that we could have today.

We can do very little in the natural world to change these things, we can give, and we can try to be an encouragement.

But ultimately, we have to pray and trust God, just like Jesus told us too and remember what he has already done  and be like that little bird and get on with life and get on with making future plans and setting goals and having hope. 

And even though the world may be saying that it would be wise, the moment we start to give in to those voices, and stockpile unnecessary food and supplies, gas, we are setting ourselves up for the worst form of worry and anxiety,

Will it be enough? How much would ever be enough?

What happens will it is all used up? It would eventually be all used up. 

Doesn’t take long to realize why Jesus told us not to fall into this trap. Even if we worried ourselves into having it all, we would then be worried about keeping it!

Because He knows what we all have need of and He will take care of every need, but He commanded us also to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” and that is exactly what he meant!

And of course, I am not talking about if God is leading you to do it, or you are buying up for food banks or anything like that or buying a few extras at a good price and I am talking about the anxiety that tries to sneak into all our minds from time to time.

One of my favorite old sayings is this. “If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.”

We will all know when it breaks and believe me, God will take care of it all then.

ENJOY your day! 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

Love Is……

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the GIFT of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have ALL faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing.

And though I bestow ALL my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me NOTHING.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Love, love, sweet glorious love! We say it, we think it but just how often are we really showing it?

Think of it though He SPOKE with the heavenly languages, given through the gift of tongues, so that all could hear the word of God for themselves and though He even SPOKE the language of the heavenly host, the language of the angels, as marvelous and wonder striking as that, still without love, his voice would be nothing other than the sound of a common instrument.

Though he had the very gift of God MANIFESTED in his life, through prophecies could understand and relate even the darkest of parables, though he had faith to even pray the most insurmountable mountain down to the ground and call it dust, without love it is nothing.

And giving all he had and even his life, if it was without love, it would hold no value eternally and there would be no reward for any of those acts.

He was giving us a very valuable lesson here, we CAN be saved, we CAN be working in the kingdom, we CAN have the manifestation of the gift of the Spirit, and yet we can be so one minded, so religious, and so hard-hearted that it will not be effective and none of it will last eternally.

Doesn’t mean a person is not saved, just means they are not producing the most precious of fruit and without producing love, nothing else is going to grow. 

Love IS….  “Charity (love) suffereth long, and IS kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (love) vaunteth not itself (does not brag on itself), it not puffed up (arrogant),

Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own (is not self-seeking), is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (love) NEVER fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1) 

So LOVE IS… forbearing, willing to tolerate a lot before blowing its top. LOVE IS kind, gentle, merciful, looking over things and looking through others to see the best and see the causes before passing judgment, giving of itself rather than to be given to, thinking of others before itself. 

LOVE IS not boastful, or proud,  it never reminds you of what all it has done for you, never thinks you owe it anything, never expects anything in return, love is never arrogant in thinking that it is number one, but always allowing the favored position to other, love gives a hand up not a knock down.

LOVE IS never rude, cocky, or bossy, or better than anyone or anything, never self-seeking and self-fulfilling, never self-willed.

LOVE IS not easily angered, chooses to see the good, even when it is aware of the bad.

LOVE IS never pleased with lies, and hypocrisy but is overjoyed with the truth.

Love walks along the paths of this life with us, walks through all the sorrow, all the sadness, and all the grief with us, and when we become to weary to walk, love will carry us to the end of that journey.

Love holds on,  ever clinging to the side of a mountain as everything around it starts to quake and tumble down, never giving up and never letting go. Love never fades, never dies, never gives itself credit, it always protects, always perseveres and NEVER, EVER FAILS. 

We gotta put this baby in reverse, to fully understand just why we need to know what love really is: 1 John 4:19: “ We love him because HE FIRST LOVED US.” 

We are not even capable of love in our own selves, we only love at all because HE LOVED US FIRST, and even then we are still not capable of the level of love that He has.

“Beloved, let us love another: for LOVE IS of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth NOT knoweth NOT God; for GOD IS LOVE.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be propitiation for our sins. Beloved, IF GOD SO LOVED US WE OUGHT ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” 1 John 4:7-11 

So is it love? Is it real, real love? Titus 3:1-4 “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers (authority), to obey magistrates (obey laws of the land) to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not contentious) but gentle, shewing meekness unto all men.

For WE OURSELVES WERE ALSO SOMETIMES foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures (running wild doing whatever they pleased), living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. BUT AFTER THAT THE KINDNESS AND LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR TOWARD MAN APPEARED.”

There you have it, Paul stating what we all have been but AFTER all that the love and kindness of Jesus showed us all EXACTLY what LOVE IS!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016 /RP/02/13/2017  ****01/14/2022 REVISITED*** Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2022

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

Relinquishing Regret

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake O Lord. Good and upright IS the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way. The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment(justice): and the meek he will teach his way.

ALL the paths of the Lord are MERCY and TRUTH unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O, Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25: 7-11

Nothing can eat away our life, our health, and our soul quite like guilt. The most self destructive of all human emotions and the biggest of all burdens that are to be brought and LEFT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. 

It is often the binding tie that satan uses to hold his prisoners captive, convincing them in themselves that they DO NOT deserve to be free from the chains of actions taken yesterday whose consequences are forever now written.

He uses it on Christians, who even though they have come to the cross, they have failed to lay down that burden and continue to beat and badger themselves over and over again, not accepting the truth of forgiveness and allowing that guilt and regret to taint and rob the joy and peace that Jesus provided at the cross.

When we are constantly emotionally punishing ourselves over and over, the enemy has little to fear because we are doing his job for him. Why does he need to accuse the brethren when the brethren accuse themselves?

Regret WIIL make you sick, it WILL make you miserable, and it can very well lead you to hell, IF you allow guilt and regret to prevent you from accepting God’s salvation.

We can think we are not worth but Jesus thought we were VERY MUCH WORTH IT and He gave His life for ALL our sins. ALL of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures and to hold the guilt rather than accepting forgiveness is making our guilt our god.

Regret is just guilt’s enabler, a life spent pondering things we could have and should have done is again a life, precious, given of God, completed wasted in endless analytical thoughts of how things could have been different.

Guilt and regret have no place in your life, they are past tense only and to bring them with you in the present is only sabotaging your future and the well-being and futures of all you interact with and have influence with.

As we know I am BIG on preaching influence because WE all have influence, even if you live alone, you have the POWER to impact others, someway, somehow, or maybe due to your availability, there is a ministry of service and outreach with “your name written all over it”, just waiting in the background, until you are ready to shed guilt and regret, send them packing, and spread your spiritual wings and let God lead you where HE ALREADY PREDESTINED FOR YOU TO GO!

But if your holding guilt and regret, He is NOT going to just reach down and jerk them out of your hands, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO LET THEM GO! Then He can give you all the good things of His mercy and His Truth that HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU.

The verses above, for me is the absolute guide to repentance, quoted them many, many times myself and when I was first saved it was reading these verses over and over through floods and rivers of tears.

We have ALL messed up, we have ALL sinned, we have ALL been best friends with guilt and regret, but Jesus is faithful and HE wants us to let them go and TRUST in Him and forget all those things and press on, IN HIM.

And the ONLY way to true freedom IS found in Him and His blood and the washing by that blood, we can’t drink them away, can’t snort them away, and your sure not going to wish them away, all the methods people use in attempt to dull their inner pain always ends the same, once your down and the crash comes your only more messed up and deeper and deeper in that sinking pit and NOTHING is going away, more regret is just being added.

Continuing in Psalm 25:12-22: ” What man (human) is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. HIS SOUL SHALL DWELL AT EASE (in goodness) and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew (cause them to know) his covenant. Mine (my) eyes are ever toward the Lord; FOR HE SHALL PLUCK MY FEET OUT OF THE NET. Turn thee unto me, (please come to me) have mercy upon me; for I am desolate (lonely) and afflicted.

THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED (burdened with worry, guilt, regret) ;O BRING THOU ME OUT OF MY DISTRESSES. LOOK UPON MINE AFFLICATION AND MY PAIN; AND FORGIVE MY SINS. Consider mine enemies (negative emotions and even ourselves ARE enemies); for they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and DELIVER ME: let me not be ashamed; for I put my TRUST IN THEE. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT ON THEE (wait IN FAITH on thee). Redeem Israel, O, God, out of ALL his troubles.”

Jesus is more than willing to heal us in these places, if we only ask. So many are trapped in prisons of heartache, regret, and remorse but PLEASE, PLEASE, as a minister of HIS GRACE, I am pleading with you, DON’T STAY THERE.

We ALL have those spans of time we dearly wish would could go back and change.. but we can’t. What we CAN change is how those times can be used to propel you into your destiny and in to the kingdom where you can maybe one day use those lessons learned to help another NOT make the same choices.

As my very wise sister always says, it really is like burying something dead and going back and digging up rotten old bones.Take them to the cross and leave them there and never think about them again.

God gives us beauty for ashes, to produce ashes something has had to burn. Don’t wait another moment, You can talk to God anywhere,  you don’t have to be in a church house, HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE.

STOP being your own enemy and unwittingly sabotaging your own life, lay guilt and regret, and all that hurts you today, on HIS altar and let it all be burned away. Let a NEW day unfold because you will never EVER know freedom until you are FREE in Him. Blessing and Peace to you in Jesus’ name.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017     Original Post 02/27/2017 Revisited 02/14/2021 Praying this will be a blessing to someone today! Also my beautiful sister who is referenced above as since went home to be with Jesus, two years now on the 16th, but her love,words, and wisdom live on, so today, please don’t let anything, anything keep you away from funding peace in Jesus, He is there, and He is only a heartbeat away.

 

 

Love Is……

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the GIFT of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have ALL faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing.

And though I bestow ALL my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me NOTHING.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Love, love, sweet glorious love! We say it, we think it but just how often are we really showing it?

Think of it though He SPOKE with the heavenly languages, given through the gift of tongues, so that all could hear the word of God for themselves and though He even SPOKE the language of the heavenly host, the language of the angels, as marvelous and wonder striking as that, still without love, his voice would be nothing other than the sound of a common instrument.

Though he had the very gift of God MANIFESTED in his life, through prophecies could understand and relate even the darkest of parables, though he had faith to even pray the most insurmountable mountain down to the ground and call it dust, without love it is nothing.

And giving all he had and even his life, if it was without love, it would hold no value eternally and there would be no reward for any of those acts.

He was giving us a very valuable lesson here, we CAN be saved, we CAN be working in the kingdom, we CAN have the manifestation of the gift of the Spirit, and yet we can be so one minded, so religious, and so hard-hearted that it will not be effective and none of it will last eternally.

Doesn’t mean a person is not saved, just means they are not producing the most precious of fruit and without producing love, nothing else is going to grow. 

Love IS….  “Charity (love) suffereth long, and IS kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (love) vaunteth not itself (does not brag on itself), it not puffed up (arrogant),

Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own (is not self-seeking), is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (love) NEVER fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1) 

So LOVE IS… forbearing, willing to tolerate a lot before blowing its top. LOVE IS kind, gentle, merciful, looking over things and looking through others to see the best and see the causes before passing judgment, giving of itself rather than to be given to, thinking of others before itself. 

LOVE IS not boastful, or proud,  it never reminds you of what all it has done for you, never thinks you owe it anything, never expects anything in return, love is never arrogant in thinking that it is number one, but always allowing the favored position to other, love gives a hand up not a knock down.

LOVE IS never rude, cocky, or bossy, or better than anyone or anything, never self-seeking and self-fulfilling, never self-willed.

LOVE IS not easily angered, chooses to see the good, even when it is aware of the bad.

LOVE IS never pleased with lies, and hypocrisy but is overjoyed with the truth.

Love walks along the paths of this life with us, walks through all the sorrow, all the sadness, and all the grief with us, and when we become to weary to walk, love will carry us to the end of that journey.

Love holds on,  ever clinging to the side of a mountain as everything around it starts to quake and tumble down, never giving up and never letting go. Love never fades, never dies, never gives itself credit, it always protects, always perseveres and NEVER, EVER FAILS. 

We gotta put this baby in reverse, to fully understand just why we need to know what love really is: 1 John 4:19: “ We love him because HE FIRST LOVED US.” 

We are not even capable of love in our own selves, we only love at all because HE LOVED US FIRST, and even then we are still not capable of the level of love that He has.

“Beloved, let us love another: for LOVE IS of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth NOT knoweth NOT God; for GOD IS LOVE.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be propitiation for our sins. Beloved, IF GOD SO LOVED US WE OUGHT ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” 1 John 4:7-11 

So is it love? Is it real, real love? Titus 3:1-4 “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers (authority), to obey magistrates (obey laws of the land) to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not contentious) but gentle, shewing meekness unto all men.

For WE OURSELVES WERE ALSO SOMETIMES foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures (running wild doing whatever they pleased), living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. BUT AFTER THAT THE KINDNESS AND LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR TOWARD MAN APPEARED.”

There you have it, Paul stating what we all have been but AFTER all that the love and kindness of Jesus showed us all EXACTLY what LOVE IS!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016  ****01/14/2022 REVISITED*** Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2022

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

AMONG THE THORNS

“As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters” Song of Solomon 2:2
The beautiful spiritual garden of the Lord, filled with every plant and flower to be imagined and the plot he has chosen for you to grow in.

You have been created in the image of God, the enemy knows this and he knows the value of the true beauty which you possess. He despises it, so he plants his briers in your life to rip and shred that image until there is nothing left but bloody, twisted, painful wounds.

Thorns, the gnarled twisted vines that entangle us and who we believe ourselves to be.

Their razor-sharp points piercing our souls, preventing our movement in either direction for fear of their sharp sting. If left to grow they will completely take over our souls.

Proverbs 12:18(a): “There is that (one who) speaketh like the piercings of a sword.” 

We go through some pretty rough stuff in this life but often the real damage to us is not caused by physical sufferings but rather through words.

Words are so powerful, that is why Jesus is referred to as “THE WORD”, He spoke everything into existence and the enemy loves nothing more than to battle you with his own perverted, twisted, destructive words.

As the Bible states, those words stab our hearts, souls and spirit to a greater degree than any dagger ever might, because these cuts go straight to the heart.

“Four Eyes”,

“Dumb”,

“Stupid”,

“Wimp”,

“Fat”,

“Bone rack”,

“Flat chest”,

” Slut”,

“Idiot”,

“Cry Baby”,

“Should have never been born”,

“Never will amount to anything”.

Of course, they are always offered to us with the all too familiar, “YOUR…” which automatically red flags our minds which have been programmed to the values of this world and our social need to conform to default to self-blame.

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it?

These words are so powerful and carry so much force that even not being spewed hatefully at us, they still affect our emotions.

Words piercing our souls, and so many young men and women in our world today have listened to those words and the thorns that accompanied them are now strangling everything a Holy, loving Father has created them to be.

Society has set levels of supposed beauty and social conduct that are both impossible to achieve and disgraceful.
We have all been there at one point or another in life, maybe you are there now and the effects of these words can linger for life.

Self destruct mode takes over when those thorns have convinced us that rather than rid ourselves of them, that we must instead change ourselves to accommodate their presence.

IF we were prettier, more handsome, bigger busted, more muscular, slimmer, sexier, had better skin, whiter teeth, had more friends or could get that perfect date.
Maybe we could fit if… we drank more, tried the cool drugs, give our virtue away to everyone who asked, losing a little of our soul each time, joy, self-esteem and self-worth being strangled out, while depression, guilt and shame moves insidiously and comfortably into their spot.

Achieve one goal and a new one will be set because that score board is rigged and it forever changes to keep the players on the field right where the enemy wants them.

If it is so grand, why do so many celebrities commit suicide and die from drug overdoses?
Their souls have become so covered by thorns even all the money, fame and power can’ take the pain away, they are so miserable inside that they can no longer survive the torment of living.

These thorns manifest themselves in many, many ways the most common alcoholism, drug addictions, pornography and gambling addictions, cutting and eating disorders and host of self-destructive behaviors.

We, as Christians must get our heads out of fairy land and see what is really taking place in the lives of those Christ sent us to minister to and start acknowledging that these problems are very real and offer help to the untold number of teens and adults that suffer alone in silence, fearing that they will be farther ridiculed if their secrets are out.

We have to teach them that is okay to talk about these things and that there is help and most of all there is hope.
The realization has to come that THERE IS NO STANDARD!

We are fearfully and wonderfully  created, completely on purpose by someone who loves and does not make mistakes.

He wants us all to feel beautiful from the inside out and most of that our true value will be found in Him.

That we would understand that true beauty comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and personalities.

Just as roses, daisies and orchids are completely different and yet all equally as stunning.
His love is as the lily, the beautiful precious thing, completely surrounded by those thorns.
His love and His love alone is the only force that can cut all the thorns away and allow us to grow in that beautiful garden, being ourselves, just exactly who he intended us to be.

Hold on to God, give him all your pain and trust him because “HE IS THE ROSE OF SHARON AND THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS” and you are beautiful in Him!
Original Post Date:06/06/2014 

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

Part 1 ASHES

ASHES

Ashes, sometimes all that is all that is left of what once was your life all that was held precious and dear, all that is left of what once was and most importantly what will be never again. Maybe you feel that way today, maybe you have wounds that are so deep, wounds that are […]