Who Encourages The Encourager?

“The farmer plants the word. Some people are like seeds that were planted along the road. Whenever they hear the word, Satan comes at once and takes away the word that was planted in them. Other people are like seeds that were planted on rocky ground. Whenever they hear the word, they accept it at once with joy. But they don’t develop any roots. They last for a short time. When suffering or persecution comes along because of the word, they immediately fall ⌊from faith⌋. Other people are like seeds planted among thornbushes. They hear the word, but the worries of life, the deceitful pleasures of riches, and the desires for other things take over. They choke the word so that it can’t produce anything. Others are like seeds planted on good ground. They hear the word, accept it, and produce crops—thirty, sixty, or one hundred times as much as was planted.”

Mark 4:14‭-‬20 GW

I took a few weeks break from writing because there was too much revelation.

I couldn’t keep up.

It was a paradigm shift.

The ceiling is now the floor.

Meaning, what stopped us before is the stepping stone for a brighter tomorrow.

My job is to love people.

That’s what I’m good at.

I’m not interested in judging or condemning others, that’s not my job.

I can look back now and see how all the suffering I’ve experienced has equipped me with a compassionate heart.

I know what it’s like to suffer.

I know what it’s like to be rejected and abandoned.

I know what it’s like to live in poverty.

I know what it’s like to struggle with alcohol and drugs.

I don’t know what’s next, but I’m hopeful.

It’s a miracle that I have any faith at all.

I was raised by heathens who taught me to be a self centered jerk.

I was good at it, but it wasn’t fulfilling.

After I had my fill of carnal living, disobedience and rebellion, guess what happened?

God stepped in.

I can’t do life without Jesus Christ living inside of me.

I’ve tried everything else.

God’s way works.

Man’s ways are doomed to destruction.

You see this world we’re living in?

It’s only temporary.

When you die, someone else takes your stuff.

Stuff can’t save you.

Only Jesus saves.

I think the generations that are alive today have seen the effects of a greed based economy on our society.

And it’s not good.

We’re polluting and destroying our planet at an accelerated and unsustainable rate.

The system will fail.

There’s going to be some epic natural disasters unlike we’ve ever seen.

God uses disasters to remind us of what’s truly important.

Loving God and loving people.

How did you show God’s love today?

I like to encourage everyone I meet, but sometimes even I get discouraged.

But I never give up, I won’t abandon the faith.

I may struggle from time to time with this and that, but that doesn’t negate God’s redeeming love.

He knew perfectly well what He was doing when He created me as a sinner.

He knew after searching for truth everywhere else, I’d find the only love that satisfies my soul.

I walk around and hear people sharing Biblical truth on the streets.

We need to be planting seeds.

God will make them grow and we’re in for a bumper crop this year.

Get out there and love on some people.

You don’t even need to know who they are.

Sometimes it’s easier speaking the truth to strangers because you don’t have to worry about rejection.

If our churches were safe places for the saved to meet, imagine what would happen?

Christians are supposed to be safe people.

Do we claim God’s kindness for ourselves and exclude it for others?

God forbid.

But be forewarned, there are sharks, snakes and hustlers hiding in the sheep pen pretending to be sheep.

You will know them by their fruit.

Leave your judgement, pride and condemnation at the door.

God is love.

We’re recognized by our love.

You were created to love and be loved.

The Bible gives some very clear and concrete examples of what that looks like.

I forgot how to be selfish.

While that’s not good for my worldly stats it’s what lights a fire in me.

Everyone tells me the world needs more people like me.

I don’t care who you are, God loves you and so will I.

We need to be tapping the wells in people by spreading the Gospel.

We need to prime the pump with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

And then stand back and watch them flow.

I’ve got some great brothers in the Lord who are sold out for Jesus.

Once you’ve experienced God, nothing else will satisfy.

May His peace keep you still during the storm.

He said He would never leave us nor forsake us.

And my God is not a liar.

Blessings to the brethren scattered throughout the Earth.

In Christ.

Amen.

Be the church you want to identify with.

Love or Selfishness

Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers.

Rather, he delights in the teachings of the Lord and reflects on his teachings day and night.

Psalms 1:1‭-‬2 GW

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 1:7 GW

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you.

John 14:15‭-‬17 GW

I had a thought the other day.

God is all-powerful.

Therefore, only an insane person would rebel against the Lord.

Sin is disobedience.

Why do we sin?

Because of our selfish desires.

Some say that the only possible motives for any action are love or fear.

I disagree.

I say the only possible motives are love or selfishness.

Either you love God and His commandments or you love idolatry.

What is idolatry?

Worshipping something other than God.

It’s worshipping something that is created rather than the Creator.

Ultimately, life is worship.

You choose what you worship.

What do you spend all your time thinking about?

That’s what you worship in your thought life.

We have free will.

Make good decisions.

God loves us.

He doesn’t give us commandments to be a celestial killjoy.

On the contrary, His teachings give us life.

Sinners know that God hates sin, that’s why they resist and run from God.

That’s why we pray for them and share the Gospel.

Jesus died to set the sinners free.

Like you and me.

I was once lost and bound in my sin.

I was a slave to sin.

It was like some otherworldly power had control over me and I couldn’t help myself.

Then, at my lowest point, God stepped in.

Faith is a gift from God.

It’s obviously not a reward based on my works.

No, it seems that God likes to manifest His grace and mercy when we least deserve it just to prove how awesome and powerful His love is.

We serve an awesome God.

His love endures forever.

He commands us to love one another the way that He loved us.

Self-sacrificing love.

That’s the opposite of selfishness.

What are my motives?

We often are unaware of our own motivations because they act on a subconscious level.

What are my thoughts?

We can control our thoughts and emotions.

We must take every thought captive to the knowledge of Christ.

The Truth changes everything.

That’s why we’re commanded to first seek the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness.

Everything else will work out if we do that.

To be successful in this life, you need to have your priorities in order.

Success isn’t about material gain.

It’s about peace, love, joy and everything else that God’s Spirit freely gives us.

Success is free.

You simply have to choose it.

God already loves you.

You get to choose to love Him and everyone else.

If you love, you are successful.

If you are selfish, you are a failure.

A failure to obey the Word of the Lord.

May God in His infinite grace birth in you a new fire to love Him and His people and the lost.

And may love motivate everything that you do.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

The Right Tool For The Job

Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ. This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.

Ephesians 4:12‭-‬13 GW

I became like a person who does not have Moses’ Teachings for those who don’t have those teachings. I did this to win them even though I have God’s teachings. I’m really subject to Christ’s teachings.

I became like a person weak in faith to win those who are weak in faith. I have become everything to everyone in order to save at least some of them.

I do all this for the sake of the Good News in order to share what it offers.

1 Corinthians 9:21‭-‬23 GW

Until I get there, concentrate on reading ⌊Scripture⌋ in worship, giving encouraging messages, and teaching people.

1 Timothy 4:13 GW

When you abandon your dreams and pick up the cross of Christ as your salvation, a funny thing happens.

God uses you to further His Kingdom.

It’s all for His glory.

I’m starting something that the Lord has put on my heart to do and confirmed through the prophetic words of others.

I’m starting a men’s discipleship group.

It will be 4 or 5 guys meeting together weekly to read the New Testament together and to pray for each other and our world.

Why read the Bible together?

Accountability.

Encouragement.

Equipping.

Knowing the Word of God equips us for every good work.

I want all of us to be on the same page.

Using the Bible as our guide for code of conduct prevents personality from dictating our values.

There’s no one size fits all approach to discipleship.

You have to tailor it to the individual needs of the members of your group.

That’s why smaller is better.

You can go deeper faster.

And the bonds you build will last a lifetime, and longer.

I see four main areas of focus for this endeavor.

Similar to the four, outer walls of a house.

Of course, the foundation is Jesus.

And the roof is God’s Holy Spirit which covers us.

Our focus is lateral interaction.

Deliverance.

Discipleship.

Encouraging.

Equipping.

That’s the purpose of our time together.

Using the Bible, and specifically the New Testament, as our only written source, we will mine the depths of Scripture for wisdom and knowledge on how to live a life of faith.

The teachings of Jesus and his disciples will be our bread and butter.

I imagine that once through, then we’ll all be equipped to repeat the process with others ourselves.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Only God knows the outcome.

Our job is to faithfully pursue Him.

Brothers are born for adversity.

And there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

To God be the glory forever and ever.

Amen.