Ever blooming….

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering THYSELF, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. If a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto (share with) him that teacheth in all good things.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption; and he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:1-9

I love these verses but to start us off thinking about the beginning… if we see our brother or sister struggling, hurting, and sinking in the waters of their battle IT IS OUR JOB to help them up. IT IS OUR JOB to do whatever we can to help with those burdens, that behavior, or whatever trail or temptation they have come under.

And this verse is not to the world.. this verse is to THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL, He is telling us that THIS is our job, not just pray for them but to actually HELP them. 

Our next instruction in this is, for US to go to them in the SPIRIT of meekness, meaning gently and humbly and in no way pulling a “holier than thou” or “stronger than thou” attitude on them because we are to CONSIDER OURSELVES, our own well-being because even if we aren’t in a battle at the time, how we treat others during their battles can ACTUALLY BRING ABOUT A HORRIFIC BATTLE IN OUR OWN LIFE.

Bearing each others burdens instead of turning a blind eye and questioning their salvation and Christianity, their relationship to God, such as Jobs “friends” reacted the attack the devil waged against him. They BLAMED Job, belittling, accusing, and chastising him unmercifully, while arrogantly proclaiming their own self-righteousness.

Which completely explains the next verse, FALSELY believing that we have it all together and pride fully accusing others that their struggles are solely caused by their SHORTCOMINGS in spiritual things.

We must prove our own work, again knowing that God knows our hearts and our intentions whether others wish to misconstrue those intentions or not. It should be none of our concern because people are going to think what is in THEIR hearts to think anyway, and they are going to make those judgments against us based on again, what looks right and sounds right to THEM, not always what is the truth.

We just have to learn to let that go because we can’t change people only God has that power and they have to want that change. That is why we are also told in scripture: 

He that reproveth (tries to convince of truth) a scorner (SCOFFER) getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh (admonish, scold) a wicked man getteth himself a blot (ONLY HARMS HIMSELF). Reprove NOT a scorner, LEST HE HATH THEE: rebuke a wise man and he will LOVE thee.” Proverbs 9:7,8

Pretty self-explanatory, when we try to talk to them about something for the good, they will only get mad and hate us and we in turn can become angry at them, thereby only hurting ourselves!  We are only to try reason with a WISE man because he will accept that reason and appreciate us for it.

I recently found myself in a situation because I had decided to not attend a funeral for a person who had really come against my family concerning our faith (or rather their perceived lack thereof ) during the terminal illness of my late brother. I could feel the vibes of hurt and “How can you be so cold” coming straight my way from someone after the fact.

And I truly thought about giving my reasoning but it was pointless to do so. The person who died had apologized, apologies had been accepted and even with that, for me to have went would have been tasteless and I think even more nerve wrecking for the loved ones and for me because the enemy would be very convincing to all that my intentions of being there were not for condolence purposes, because he died from the same disease that killed my brother. What could I have said if I had went? What could I have possibly done, when in my self I knew going to it would have only brought back the same old pain of holding my brother’s dead body asking myself questions that had been put in my head by the enemy. I had prayed and prayed and prayed and had faith and I know he died because it was his time, but it is hard to remember all that once something gets in your head deep enough. I also know that we can pray and pray and have faith and yet it does not always go the way we would want but it does not mean that God does not love us or that we have “caused” their death rather than their healing, because we are “faithless”. Bringing all that back up would help no one and even dealing with the thought only causes grief.

I have no joy in his death, my heart breaks for his family for what they have endured and the mourning that follows and I just thought the best thing to do was to do nothing, not even acknowledge it and not give any one a reason for my absence, and pray and hope that it was the right decision. Sometimes things are just better left alone.

And as much as I don’t want people hurt and mad at me, I am planting my own garden.. every day with what I say, what I do.. and how I treat others. We all are and we have to really think about what we would want to grow.

The garden of life holds many varieties of beautiful plants, our hopes, dreams, and goals that grow and take root. The beautiful flowers that are our family, friends, loved ones and pets, all different, all bringing different experiences, memories, and treasures to our life. The spices of joy, peace, happiness, even when mingled with the bitter still create our existence that will always be unique to us and our life. 

But of all that we plant and the one thing that should be ever blooming in the garden of our life is kindness. Kindness is free, it costs us nothing to share a smile and share a hug and in showing kindness we can bear one another’s burdens.

Kindness can break through even the most concrete walls that surround the most wounded soul, and kindness is the sunshine that melts away the frost covering even the most frozen heart.

And when we sow in kindness and understanding to another, even when we ourselves can become stretched thin, we are sowing  into a garden that we will reap bountifully from, because when we need it the most, it will bloom, it will prosper, and we will reap abundantly of those good things, but only, only IF we have planted them into another’s life.

Romans 12:10: ” Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” as the saying goes, we never know what another is going through and we can use that opportunity to judge and harm or we can use that opportunity to encourage and lift up.

The choice is ours but the garden we plant is also ours and we are the ones that will be left with whatever takes root and grows there, so let’s plant with love, and mercy, understanding, and patience and only send out what we want to have returned to us.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed weekend!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

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, edureth 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

OF A DUDE, A DONKEY, AND A VERY ANGRY ANGEL

This is for all who love our furry friends, whom I would like to point out were actually created before us.
And for all who believe in mercy and the sanctity of all life that has been created by our God.
Humans often intentionally misinterpret what it actually meant when we were given dominion over the animal kingdom.
People like to have a scapegoat technicality to hide their own evil behavior behind. So let’s rip the band-aid off this thing and get it some fresh air!
Unless you live in your own world or under a rock ( which could be a refreshing change to this world) you know all to well the abuses committed under the guise of “sport’ and it seems for some reason like the savagery of our nations history, most of it for some reason takes place in the south.
Chicken fights, dog fights, pit bull breeding to produce more victims in their pursuit of the all mighty dollar, the heinous so-called training methods that involve cruelty far beyond what I believe a true human capable of.
“Violence begets violence” the Lord is merciful and desires mercy as a characteristic in his children.
If we are told by Jesus to turn the other cheek, how can we justify hitting anyone or anything? If Jesus was so on point about this that if someone walks up to us and slaps us down, we are, if at all possible, to not hit them back.
So how do we justify hitting animals and children as a method to produce a desired behavior?
If God were that unmerciful to us every time we made a mistake we would all be black and blue!
Most of us know the story of Balaam, the false prophet/sorcerer who was hired by Balak to curse the children of Israel. But God took control over the situation and overruled  the evil plans, however Balaam decided to disobey the voice of God. So God sent an angel to stand in his way, now the donkey could see the angel of God, so three times she would move to avoid him and every time Balaam hit her with his staff. God allowed her to speak and ask him why he did this to her, he was so full of blind fury that he did not even find it strange that suddenly this donkey spoke!
We’ll pick it up at Numbers 22:28-33 “And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten (hit) me these three times? ( NOW HERE HE IS, STILL SO UPSET THAT HE IS HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH A DONKEY,AND STILL NOT FINDING IT STRANGE! )and Balaam said unto the donkey, Because thou hast mocked me: I would (wish) there were a sword in mine hand, for now I would kill thee.
And the donkey said unto Balaam, Am I not thine ass upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day?
Was I ever wont (accustomed) to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay. THEN the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and HE SAW THE ANGEL OF THE LORD STANDING IN THE WAY, AND HIS SWORD DRAWN IN HIS HAND: and he bowed down his head and fell flat on his face. and the angel of the Lord said unto him, WHEREFORE (WHY) HAST THOU SMITTEN (HIT) THINE ASS THESE THREE TIMES? behold, I went out to withstand thee because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times; UNLESS SHE HAD TURNED FROM ME, SURELY NOW ALSO I HAD SLAIN (KILLED) YOU AND SAVED HER ALIVE.”
She was protecting him and all he could do was beat her and would have killed her if given the opportunity.
The angel was so enraged by his cruelty that he demanded an explanation and let Balaam know really fast who would have died that day and it would not have been the helpless donkey!
Proverbs 12:10 ” A righteous man careth for the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
So in God’s view, even the best they can do is still immense cruelty.
It is not hidden from God and it carries a hefty price. This is the lesson learned by two sons as Jacob pronounced the blessings on the sons of the tribe of Israel.
Genesis 49:5-7 “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations (cruel behavior is part of them). O my soul, come not into their secret (council); unto their assembly, mine honour be thou not united (have nothing to do with them) for in their anger they slew a man and digged down a wall (intentionally crippled an ox, by cutting its hamstring) CURSED BE THEIR ANGER FOR IT WAS FIERCE; AND THEIR WRATH FOR IT WAS CRUEL; I WILL DIVIDE THEM IN JACOB AND SCATTER THEM IN ISRAEL.”
Ecclesiastes 3:19 ” For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other: yea, they have all one breath; so a man hath no preeminence (advantage) above a beast: FOR ALL IS VANITY.”
Many, many scriptures detail their presence that will be in New Jerusalem, here is just a hint of what to expect:
Isaiah 11:6-9 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; and their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall put his hand on the hole of the asp (cobra) and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ (viper) den. THEY SHALL NOT HURT NOR DESTROY IN MY HOLY MOUNTAIN; FOR THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, AS WATERS COVER THE SEA.”
I think that gives a fair amount of insight to how he feels toward them. He loves all his creations. HE CREATED ALL BEINGS FOR HIS PLEASURE AND WE ARE ONLY SUPERIOR TO THEM IN OUR MINDS!
So as we await this day, please always remember them in your prayers, pray for rescues and deliverance to come, pray that peoples hearts will be opened and that their compassion will be stirred. Be the voice they do not have and never forget them.
That is the true dominion we have been given, their lives are in our hands and we will be held accountable for those lives.

  Original post::06/27/2014.

All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015