Lettin’ it ride…

“Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness (godliness is a means of gain), from such withdraw thyself. 

But godliness with content  is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therefore be content.

But they that be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many hurtful lusts, which draw men into  destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.” 1 Timothy 6:5-11 

This is kinda of a hard thought to relay, but you know with everything going on right now, it is  really good time to remember what really matters and if any of us were to think back for just a moment to our pre- Christ days, I am sure we would all agree that no matter where we were, who our friends were, what job we held, the social circles we moved in that without him we were empty, lost and absolutely dead.

And not only speaking of those who have spent life searching for fortune and fame but now also those who have been content, making money and living a little at a time trying to do their best for their families and think now all have fallen victim to our new, never before dreamt of  perils, with the economy crashing and many having now lost their jobs due to the pandemic and many more in danger of it everyday because this virus just is not going away.

But we got to have hope and our hope is God and his goodness and his provision for all our lives and even if one is not having any pandemic related worries sometimes it can be the world and other people making you feel like you have to be “more”, do “more” that you are measured somehow against some invisible standard that says you must accomplish this or that by some magical date or age, or you are just not worth your salt.

Me and my best friend were discussing the “woes of this world” the other day, and we grew up in such a time that was so different, now everyone has someone that they hate and if you don’t hate that person too, than you are a hater, which is quite the oxymoron, kinda like friendly fire, no one is allowed to have their own opinion and we must walk on eggshells and chose every word very carefully because even the slightest word misspoken will put you under that fire and no one cares if it hurts you, your family, whoever, the world is so ready to put you on public display for that perceived infraction, such as the Pastor that lost his lease because someone noticed he had posted a trump meme.

Have we all forgotten where we came from? Especially those of the house of God, we were not ALL sinners washed by the perfect blood of the Lamb Lord Jesus, do we not all have the same blood, especially when that blood is as heirs of Christ?

And even worse for those who have not made that conversion to salvation because oh we know what it is like when that Holy Spirit conviction comes and we are forced to look into that spiritual mirror of how we have judged and misjudged others, God using that often as that catapult to our own repentance.

But for us,  sometimes the wisest decision  made is to just let things ride and let it all work out in it’s own time and remembering the very wise words spoken by one who knew all these varying emotions well.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins, keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22,

Paul had written this as he wrapped up his teaching on how to treat one another and expected behaviors of the church.  And I believe, that we are in danger more at this present time, than any time in history of doing just that, of becoming so focused on the moment and choosing the lesser of two evils, that we can easily fall into another sins.  God had so  much written on contentment and contentment with him and in him, this is where we rest.

And in the knowing that this world is but for a moment and you have the awesome promise of eternal reward and eternal fellowship with God, everything pales in comparison to that and if it were our last night on this earth, the only truth that would remain and only thought worth thinking would be thoughts of that glorious day. So I’d like to present you with some scriptures that I pray will keep us will help us all stay focused on what truly makes us free.

“Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of  man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have knowledge of the holy.

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name? and what is his son’s name? if thou canst tell (know it)? 

Every word of God is pure, he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Add not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Two things have I required (requested) of thee; deny me them not before I die; Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (you prescribe) for me;

Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:2-9 

He is confessing his own humanity and asking for God to take control and let his life be never rich nor poor but content by being divinely governed by the hand of God. 

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again, I say Rejoice. Let your moderation (gentleness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with  thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth  all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;  if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, now that at the last your last care of me hath flourished again; wherein you were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned with whatsoever state I am, to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly) , and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:4-13 

He is relaying to us the need to keep our minds focused on those good things and reminding us that God gives us peace that goes so far beyond human comprehension that there are no words to describe it, we are not even capable of understanding the magnitude of that peace.

he is also reiterating the fact that it was needful for him to understand both the concepts of both ends of the spectrum, because in his ability to understand this, he had that contentment through the peace of God and he could also witness that contentment to others, and think of this, he is still witnessing to us with the words about nineteen hundred and fifty some odd years later. 

And finally, Micah 6:8 ” He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”   

And he is asking this as  a rhetorical question, and we need to ask ourselves this now, what does the Lord expect from us?

The same thing he has always wanted, to repeat those words, to love him, to love justice, to do good, and do what is right, not what the world demands as their interpretation of that right, but what God’s words demand.

“Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. This is the first and great commandment. And the second like unto it. THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF.” Matthew 22:37-39

Just let it ride, as the world does its thing, just find your peace and rest in Jesus and in knowing that in all things he has you and he has your today and tomorrow in the palm of his hand and you can rest in knowing that he will never let you down.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Take a minute to remember when he set you free! And if you have not made that decision do it today! You WILL never know what you are missing UNTIL you experience the love and peace  of Jesus for yourself! 

I am of the Holiness persuasion, so I gotta love this song, I hope you enjoy it! God bless you and have a wonderful tomorrow ahead!

“Vexing Vineyard Variances”

“Now will I sing to my well beloved a song touching (concerning) his vineyard, My beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes and it brought forth wild grapes. 

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray (ask) you, betwixt (between) me and my vineyard. WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN MORE DONE TO MY VINEYARD? THAT I HAVE NOT DONE IN IT? wherefore, when I looked that is should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? ISAIAH 5:1-4

As God describes the planting of his vineyard, he chose a spot with rich, fertile soil, He cleared out all the weeds, briers, and all that could hinder and choke the new plantings.

He then removed all the rocks and debris that could hold back the tender shoots and He then planted the absolute best of vine, He himself being the tower in the midst of it. Watching and protecting the young vines, as they could grow without disturbance as beasts would try to trample and destroy them.

The winepress ready and waiting the harvest of grapes that was to come and produce magnificent. new wine, the Father’s own personal signature selection. But instead of producing the grapes needed for this particular vintage, wild, bitter, strong, unpleasant, nasty grapes grew instead. He tells us to judge this matter for ourselves…  Is the problem with the planting or is it a problem with the vineyard itself?

HE THEN ASKS THE QUESTION…that should terrify us all, What more could MORE COULD HAVE BEEN DONE THAT HE HAS NOT ALREADY DONE?

Kinda what is going on with the “falling away” we are now under, like the breaks and wounds body of Christ that are allowed to continue without remedy and without even caring to heal them, and churches of the modern-day that are seemingly unaware that when one member hurts, we ALL hurt, and continue to allow the Gospel to be falsely advertised and outright sold and not only do they not speak out against these things, they often help promote the very ones who perpetrate these “crimes” committed against the cause, verse 7:…. and he looked for judgement (justice), but beheld oppression; for righteousness but beheld a cry.”

To not speak out on behalf of the truth, makes us all guilty of these things, and too easily we forget that we,  ALL the members,ALL the churches, ARE ALL ONE BODY and “in that day His name shall be one” and we’d better start getting in that ONE mindset here or we just not make it to even be there.

What more could He do for us? And as we know, and I will not get repetitive, even though I really want to.. but we all know the major problems of today. There is often not enough love, caring, and general goodwill  between members of the vine, which cause essential growth nutrients to be siphoned away from the small grapes and over ripening the mature ones and too much money-grubbing, self promoting, ulterior motive impeding the vine’s overall general growth.

He will absolutely not lose His harvest because of a bunch of bad grapes! I really believe  major change is coming soon and the vineyard will be pruned, all the vines, as He says, that do not produce fruits will be cut away and all the bad grapes, all those who have held the positions and the ministry that have further alienated people AWAY from the Gospel through their false representations of the heart of Christ, will allowed to fall to the ground, just as when a grape withers and rots away on the vine, finally falling useless to the ground.

Whatever places they held will be given to the “new grapes” that are growing up into the vine as we speak, and that new wine will be wine for all, not just a select few and they will have a heart for God and for His people, they will see to the widows, and the fatherless, and they will care for those who are outcast, sick, and spiritually wounded.

They will be the leaders and ministers for the church and know that they ARE for the church, and not fall for the power tripping trap that the CHURCH IS FOR THEM. They will go forth in faith knowing that God will supply all their needs in unfolding ministries and that He is quite capable of furnishing the house and they will be those who “instead of thy fathers shall be thy children”… these will be the true fruits of God’s vineyard.

Time to check what’s growing and do some pruning and purging, better to tend what we can than to be cut down, cast out, and burned up, never, ever to grow again.

When we know it is ABOUT HIM and not us!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016