Mocking God


~Galatians 6:7-8 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 the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

The longer I live, the more I see this verse fulfilled. I see such an indifferent attitude in teens toward anything holy. I see much more hatred of the things of God. I see much more hatred toward God, period. I don’t have to go far to read comments about beliefs, or lack of beliefs. The Internet is filled with these comments – and these are the ones that are spoken! There are countless others who do not make a verbal statement but simply think it in their hearts! Are you one of these people, teen girl?

The bottom line is that God sees everything. God will judge all things. He will not be made a fool because He knows every detail of every life, even those details that are done in secret. He will not be mocked. So, just who will be included?

~Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

According to these verses, all men are described! It is not a funny matter. It is not something to joke about. You may think you can joke around with your friends about this.  It is not going to be a party where all your friends will join you. In fact, the Scriptures describe the end result for these people as one of torture. The most horrendous torture done to any martyr will be a cake walk compared to the torture for all eternity that awaits to the one who rejects Jesus Christ.

~Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

~Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

~Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

~Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The words “lake of fire” are descriptive enough – picture yourself swimming endlessly with no shoreline as your flesh burns. Anyone who has burned himself on an iron or stove can get a small idea of what awaits the one who rejects God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Even more, Christ spoke more on this subject than any other. He does not desire anyone to go to this lake of fire – it is your choice.

~Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

~Matthew 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

~Matthew 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

~Matthew 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

~Matthew 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

~Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

~Luke 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

How, then, can one prevent going to this horrifying place?

Acts 8:30-37  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. No one can enter Heaven any other way but than to believe this, as the eunuch did.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

His good news is simple. He left Heaven. He came to earth – born of a virgin. He died for our sins because there’s no way we could live a good enough life – even one sin keeps us out of Heaven. He rose from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and He will come again to judge all.

No Christ, no peace. Know Christ, know peace!  Do you know him, teen girl?

You’re Kidding, Right?


James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.

Trials and tribulations are not considered a positive experience in life. In fact, we dread ever having to go through them. Leave it to the Lord to teach us that we should not look at our trials through negative eyes but to count it all joy! Really?  You’re kidding, right? There should be no joy in sinning for the Christian teen girl. Therefore, the word temptation in this verse does not mean temptation to sin but a “trying” – a trial – adversity.

peirasmos
pi-ras-mos’
From Strong’s G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation, X try.

Why should we count it joy, though? James answers this question a few verses later saying that these same trials will give us patience. If we are patient and we do not give up, our trials will turn into blessings. God will teach us something with every trial. Whether the trial was for our own personal benefit or for the benefit of another, there is a blessing to be had!  Are you one of those teen girls who only has one parent at home?  Do you live with parents who are alcoholics or drug addicts?  This topic is for you – it’s here to help you!

James teaches us to look at our trials at the git go as an opportunity to witness an upcoming blessing. Rather than be fearful of the trial and its outcome, be thankful – be at peace – be joyful in your heart knowing that the King of Kings has your back. Your Shepherd is on the job, keeping you. Once your thoughts are off the circumstances about you, you can now share that peace and that joy with those who are watching you as you go through your trial. People are watching, you know. Your children are watching – your relatives are watching – your friends are watching – your co-workers are watching! You may not realize it but the way you conduct yourself, spiritually, will clearly define your faith in your God.

This is important for two reasons. The unsaved do not want to believe in a God that cannot prove Himself in someone’s life. In other words, how can your God help me if you are falling apart at the seams during your financial crisis? The second reason is that our trials help other believers to grow – we are a living testament of God’s abilities. If a young believer is watching you as you go through a severe trial and he sees you falling apart, he is not learning to run to God in all things. Instead, the babe in Christ is learning to run to his friends and family before running to God. He does not have the opportunity to witness God’s mighty hand in your life.

What a testimony it can be to all those teenagers  around you when you radiate peace and joy in your heart! This same peace and joy brings with it gracious words, praises to the Almighty and the believer glorifies God in her actions!

What kind of living testament are you of the Living God to those around you?

Are You Hiding Sin?


~Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

Sin brings pleasure. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be so quick to fall into its trap. In fact, the deeper we fall into sin’s trap, the less of a bad conscience (conviction) we have. We stop listening to the Holy Spirit as He tries to guide us. It even gets to a point where we laugh at sin and make fun of it. It no longer burns in our hearts but stirs up the desire to sin even more.

~Proverbs 14:9  Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

With that moment’s pleasure comes assurance of judgment from a Righteous and Holy God!

~Galatians 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Are you struggling with God’s punishments today, teen girl? God does and will punish you for your sins.  The child who is spanked by God is a child who is loved. I cherish these verses in Scriptures because the Lord shows me that He loves me:

~Hebrews 12:6-10 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Yes we are under His Grace but that does not give us a license to sin and get away with it. Do your parents allow their children to get away with disobeying them? Of course not! Neither does the Perfect Parent, our Heavenly Father. We are His children – we deserve His punishment when we disobey. It does not remove us from His family – it does not take away our position as His child. Just as you are not less of your parent’s child when they discipline you, neither are we less a child of God when we sin. This is the difference between religion and true Christianity. Religion adds to salvation and, therefore, removes grace from God’s gift. True Christianity reveals God’s grace and shows true change from the heart. The true child of God will be a work in action – moving forward and growing like a plant. If the child is not growing and changing, something is wrong. Question yourself – seek answers in God’s Word!

Life’s Battles


~Galatians 5:16-17 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

~Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

As I read today’s verses, I saw the remedy for nurturing and growing my spiritual fruit. As we practice these verses, we are training ourselves to walk in the Spirit of God. These are His qualities and characteristics. As we learn to be like Him, we work toward producing good fruit, not spotted with the world’s rottenness.

I love today’s photograph.  I took this at Sweet Creek Falls in Mapleton, Oregon.  Notice how the water is capturing a small amount of the sunlight through the trees.  I felt that it depicted the spiritual struggle between the flesh and the Spirit that Paul was trying to explain.  Paul tells us that our flesh (our old sin nature) is constantly fighting against the Holy Spirit. But notice how Paul continues to tell us that The Spirit also fights against our flesh. When we are doing wrong, the Spirit lets us know it. We are not “comfortable” in our shoes.  Does your spirit tell you when you are doing wrong, teen girl?

We are constantly battling – good against evil. Paul says that these two natures are contrary to each other and that we want to do the things that we shouldn’t do (in the flesh). Do we fail at times? Absolutely! But the key is not continue to stay in this sin. If we are not bothered by the sin and continue in it, we should check ourselves – we should question why. The one who is not born again doesn’t even care that he is sinning. But to the born again believer, this is not so.  It’s important for you to look at yourself, teen girl, and ask yourself these questions.  That is the only way you’re going to grow as a Christian.

Paul exhorts the Corinthian church to examine themselves to see if they are living the sanctified life of a born-again believer.  He affirmed rather than questioned their salvation in 1 Corinthians as well ( 1 Cor. 1:2; 3:1; 6:11,19-20). In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and 6:19-20 Paul referred to their worldliness and yet called them “babes in Christ” and those whose “body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.”

He encouraged them to prove their sanctification to themselves.  Nowhere do the Scriptures call believers to look to their works to prove they’re saved.  Our salvation is through the Lord’s righteousness and His alone (Jer. 23:6b).  We are called to look to Christ and find our assurance in Him. However, the Scriptures tell us that believers are called to look to their works to find out how they are doing in their walk with Christ. Yes, as believers we are to examine ourselves regularly. The purpose is to ensure that we are doing our best in our service for Christ.   Christ provides salvation, the Holy Spirit provides sanctification – a separation between the worldly lusts and the fruit of the faith.

~2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

So, teen girl, let’s do a Godly inventory of our spiritual fruit. Are we walking in the Spirit or aren’t we?  Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us, to grow us, to sanctify us to the work of the Master?

Granted we are a work in progress and the Lord isn’t finished with us. However, we should be steadily moving forward in our walk. Paul repeated this thought process when he was writing to Timothy:

~2Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

We should not be standing still for when we stand still we give the devil an opportunity to tempt us. The longer we stay still, the more likely we will be walking after the flesh and, therefore, be walking backwards!

Forgiveness


bike

It was a year ago that Joshua got a bike for Christmas, and he rode it every day. That is, until recently, when the bike was gone from its usual place. Running to his front yard, Joshua, 9, saw a man loading it into his car. He shouted, but the man drove off.

Mrs. Saffle said Joshua has strong faith, and told his dad he forgave the thief. What’s more, he wanted the thief to know he was forgiven. So the next day, he dictated a message that his mother wrote on a large poster-board. He signed it, stapled it to a sawhorse and put it in the front yard.

”To the person who stole my bike: You really hurt my feelings when you took my bike. But I am a Christian and because Jesus forgave me, I FORGIVE YOU!!”

When Joshua’s father left for work the next day, the sign was face-down in the yard. But then, at the end of the driveway, the bike was back, and with new handlebars, grips and a new front fork assembly.

~Author Unknown

God is in Every Tomorrow


God is in every tomorrow, Therefore I live for today; Certain of finding at sunrise Guidance and strength for the day. Power for each moment of weakness, Hope for each moment of pain. Comfort for every sorrow, Sunshine and joy after rain. God is in every tomorrow, Planning for you and for me. Even in the dark I will follow, Trust where my eyes cannot see. Stilled by His promise of blessing, Soothed by the touch of His hand. Confident in His protection, Knowing my life-path is planned. ~Author Unknown

Friends


There is a difference between being an acquaintance and being a friend. An acquaintance is someone whose name you know, who you see every now and then, who you probably have something in common with and who you feel comfortable around.

It’s a person that you can invite to your home and share things with. But they are people who you don’t share your life with, whose actions sometimes you don’t understand because you don’t know enough about them.

On the other hand, a friend is someone you love. Not that you are “in love” with them, but you care about them and you think about them when they are not there. The people you are reminded of when you see something they might like, and you know this because you know them so well. They are the people whose pictures you have and whose faces are in your head regardless.

Friends are the people you feel safe around because you know they care about you. They call just to see how you are doing, because a friend doesn’t need an excuse. They tell you the truth, the first time, and you do the same. You know that if you have a problem, they are there to listen.

Friends are the people who won’t laugh at you or hurt you, and if they do hurt you they try hard to make it up to you. They are the people you love, regardless of whether you realize it.

Friends are the people you cried with when you got rejected. They are the people that when you hug them, you don’t think about how long to hug and who’s going to be the first one to let go.

Maybe they are the people that will hold the rings at your wedding, or maybe they are the people who will give you away at your wedding, or maybe they are the people you will marry. Maybe they are the people who will cry at your wedding because they are happy or because they are proud.

They are the people who stop you from making mistakes and help you when you do. They are are the people whose hand you can hold, or you can hug or give them a kiss and not have it be awkward because they understand the things you do and they love you for them.

They stick with you and stand by you. They hold your hand. They watch you live and you watch them live and you learn from them. Your life is not the same without them.

~Author Unknown

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.