Well, 2021 is here! HAPPY NEW YEAR! REALLY? After all, nothinghas changed. When a nation’s foundations begin crumbling from within, as are the foundations of the USA, and which I have been writing about since 2015 – 2018 to the present,) and God gives us the hope of how to live breakthrough lives, when everything is breaking apart, it is clearly time to listen! Please take time to pay attention to the short videos I will be posting here on this site.
This is A Good Time to Have Your Break Through, Even In The Midst of Turmoil!
In other words, this is really good time to get your copy of Rock Solid Living In A Quicksand World-Rewind! You can actually order your copy on this site. Just go to the drop down menu “Order Rock Solid Books,” and order your copy. You can get a hard copy, a paperback copy of you can get a digital copy, which is the best buy. I recommend you order the book from Barnes and Noble because Amazon may try to sell you the earlier book. Then again, Amazon Prime may save you some shipping costs.
If you have read this book, what has happened in 2020 should motivate you to re-read it in order to be the fourth kind of hearer Jesus want you to be. (See page 15 of the book.) If you are leaving it on the shelf, you are one of those first kind of hearers, (See page 13 of the book,) and this is something you really do NOT wish to do: But if you really want to walk on stepping stones of “Victorious Stepping Stones For Christ Centered Living,” you will get a copy, read it, study it and sincerely meditate on it by prayerfully considering the “Pebbles of Wisdom” at the end of each chapter. Better still, start a study group. Living an overcoming life can happen with you, if you let it, and it can more than likely happen if you journey through this book with others.
Let 2021 really become a truly “Happy New Year!” No matter what happens this you, you can Start walking on those victorious stepping stones Jesus wants you to walk on!
Our Father who resides in Heaven, please cause each one , for whom I pray, to turn from each one’s sins to Jesus, as Savior, in order for them to really know You. And cause, we who know You, to be more intimate with You.
By Your grace, cause each one to hallow Your name: Cause each to have a holy reverence for Your name. May we be in awe of You.
May Your Kingdom Come: Be in the midst of each one’s life. Abide in us, and reign over every aspect of each one’s life. Whatever part of Your Kingdom has not yet come, may it come at the right moment in keeping with the plan that is Yours, O God.
May Your will be done on Earth like it is done in Heaven: Fulfill Your will, and Your way in all of our hearts and lives. May we know Your will and have the power to carry it out.
Give us, today, our daily bread: Give us what we need spiritually, emotionally, relationally, financially and physically in order that we may know You better and represent You better.
Forgive us our sins, and cause us to forgive the way Jesus forgives.
Lead us not into temptation: Give us grace to overcome every temptation, trauma, trial and test.
Deliver us from all evil.
We thank You for hearing this prayer because what matters is Your Kingdom, Your Power, and that all is done for Your glory 🙏
Today, as we reflect on the powerful impact of Christ coming to the world, we light what is called the “C.H.R.I.S.T” Candle. This is the big one! It is the big ole white candle usually placed in the center of the Advent wreath. It’s white color represents the purity of Christ, and it also represents how He purifies our lives, and how He completely erases all the sin virus from the hard drive of our spirits and souls. Just as computers are dead, and they are completely non functional when a virus infects them, even so we die, are disrupted and are in bondage to the disruption of sin in our lives. C.H.R.I.S.T. cleans us up and He cleans us out to make us fully alive in Him. Because this is true, we experience the benefits of being Heirs of God!
(3.)Praise Be to the God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly dimensions, with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. (4) For He chose us, in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love (5) He predestined us to adopted as His sons and daughters, through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will — to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the one He loves. (7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. (8)that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (9) And He made know to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ (10) to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
(11) In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, (12) In order that we who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory. (13) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of His glory!
I hope you took time and read this passage: If you did, you will learn, according to verse 14, God makes us His Heirs! Now there are many wealthy people on our planet, but what they offer to their heirs is fleeting at best, and it only last a life time on earth. Not so with this grand, glorious and eternal inheritance given to we who are God’s adopted children. Let’s examine briefly this inheritance using another acrostic: C.H.R.I.S.T: I will keep it simple, but I do hope you will review each letter of this acrostic, and you will see just how important it is how God identifies you in this way, and how it will impact your life, as you follow Christ Jesus.
C: = Chosen
Yes, if you look at verses 3-6 you will see God has picked you! It is real easy, during these days of struggle and conflict to feel like an outsider looking in. But you are not because God chose you to be Holy and blameless in His sight. AND because He loves you, it is His will, and it brings Him great pleasure to adopt you as His child.
H: = Holy Spirit is given you!
He also, as a part of the wealth of your inheritance, He let’s you experience some of it right now: Verse 13 tells us He gives us the Holy Spirit! This is important because, the Holy Spirit gives us power (Acts 1:8.) This is a power to be God’s witness. But there is more! The Holy Spirit produces “fruit.” It produces, if we allow Him to work in us and through us, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, (the ability to be unshaken or not easily rattled), gentle, good, kind, and a person of integrity who has self control. (Galatians 5:22-23.) The Holy Spirit also loads us up with gifts, and these are gifts enormously incomparable to those gifts under the Christmas tree, which He wants to use for the good of the Church, as well as the whole world. (1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14)
R: = Redemption (All Sins Are Forgiven!)
In verse seven, Paul celebrates the blood of Jesus which was shed for you, me and for the whole world. Because of this, no matter how bad is our sin and brokenness, God, through Jesus shed blood, removes every single sin, and he forgives you and me completely.
I: = Included
We hear a lot about inclusiveness these days. Sadly, what is meant here has little to do with how God defines it. Everyone who will come and make Jesus Lord of their lives has the golden opportunity to be included. Verse 7 tells us we are included when we heard “the word of truth” the gospel of our salvation. So, when we turn from our sin to believe in Him, we experience the grand and glorious news of salvation in Christ and He in us. Praise God! The almighty gives this to us! But let me be clear, this is given to those who truly repent, turn from their sins, to Christ to be forgiven, and who are also transformed to live true life!
S: = Security
Once we believe in Jesus, as the Savior and Son of God, verse 13 & 14 tells us the Holy Spirit seals us, and He serves as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance! God wants us to not only feel secure, which most of us want dearly, He guarantees it!
T: = Total Preparation
Check out verse 1: 9-11: Read these verses carefully. God reveals a mystery to His people. He makes known to us the mystery of His will. Doing so gives God pleasure. It is also something God has done, and does, on purpose. The fulfillment — of this revealed mystery — will happen at the right moment, and it will happen at the right time. It is something for which He totally prepares his heirs. The day is coming when God will bring ALL things together under one head, even Christ! Indeed, there is coming a day when every knee will bow, above the earth, below the earth and on the earth. And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father! (Philippians 2:9-11.) As a part of our inheritance, God reveals to us, and He prepares us for it. In other words, God totally prepares us for the fulfillment of the mystery of the final reign of Christ, which brings glory to God the Father.
There are a lot of things to celebrate brothers and sisters, but this is one thing I hope you will grasp because God provides this for you! He makes you, and He makes, me heirs of God. It is no wonder Paul praises God by saying “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us, from the heavenly dimensions, with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus! Why? I will tell you why. We are …
Chosen to be holy and blameless in God’s sight, and He adopts us as His children! Hallelujah! H: Holy Spirit is given to us and all that goes with the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah! R: Redemption! God gives us Redemptions. He forgives our sins completely! Hallelujah! I: Includes us IN Christ and Christ IN you and Me! Hallelujah! S: Security IN Christ is guaranteed via the seal of The Holy Spirit! Hallelujah! T: Total preparation for the fulfillment of the mystery of the final reign of Christ is ours!
Anyone, who is an observer of human relationships, doesn’t have to look very far to discover that we live in a society that is starving for authentic love. And even though the ancient wisdom of the Holy Bible is clear on what love does, and does not do, (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,) there is nothing in the Bible about what love IS. Let me correct this a bit: The Bible does say that “God IS Love;” however, does this mean we tell people, “Hey, I God you today?” I don’t think so. My point is that we would be wise to be able to grasp how to actually spell love practically, understand each letter, and then we would do well to assimilate love, while we discover that love can only come from God. In the process, we would actually grasp loves meaning. Then, we will have the ability to intentionally make it part of our lives, experience it, live it, and then give it away.
On this fourth Sunday of Advent, the people of God, light the candle of Love. As we set fire to candle, I am going to challenge you to spell love. I have done this since 1979, and I will tell you this has been my own personal guiding principle. Please know we will not be spelling love “L.O.V.E.” We will be spelling it C.A.R.E.
C: A Choice of Commitment
When God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to us to save us from bondage to sin and death, He made a choice to be committed to us. He didn’t fall in love with us, as if He didn’t have any control in the matter. Authentic love has nothing to do with falling into love. Why? This is so because, if you can fall in love, then you can fall out of love when the going get’s tough. Sadly, too many today live by this kind of principle, and so relationships do not hold up when life gets stormy. God chose to be committed to us. He Chose, even though many would reject Him. He chose to be committed, even though it meant He would be wounded, bruised, whipped, crucified, dead and buried. God exemplified love. There is not greater love than to lay down your life for those your love! God is love, and as love, God demonstrated this important truth: Love IS a choice, and it is a choice to be committed. If we love someone, and I mean we really love someone, It begins with us making a choice.
A PRINCIPLE POINT
Here is a salient point: If you want to love someone, and if you want to make this choice to be committed to that special person, it is vital you have a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. 1 John 4:7-8 makes is clear that love comes to us, and through us, singularly, from God. The Word of God explains this well: You receive the supernatural power to love solitarily by making Jesus the Lord of your life. That is, you can give away authentic agape, or heavenly love, by receiving it from God. Your first choice, therefore, is to commit your life to the true and living God, through faith in Jesus Christ, who has already chosen to be committed to you. Then, when you do so, the power to love will begin flowing through you, and you will be given the power to give that committed love away, by your own choice.
What About 50/50?
I have heard people say, “Love is a 50/50 proposition.” REALLY? Think about this: If you are going to take an exam, but you only get a 50, what do you have? You have failure! Therefore, if two people are in relationship, and they only have, as a target, 50% effort, the relationship breaks down. What if each is having a bad day? It’s clear there is zero connection; however, if each sets as a target to offer 100%, with God’s help, and by His grace, the outcome will be far better. If one has a 65% partially good day, and the other is having a 35% good day, then the miracle of God given love flows through the relationship.
I personally pray for my wife, and for myself, daily, to receive from God the ability to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength, and that we will love each other the way we love ourselves. I also pray we give this same love away to our children, grandchildren and neighbors. This has worked for a very long time, even if we are having a difficult time. I do this because I know that love is a choice of commitment, and the ability to truly love only comes from God and God alone. This is the 100% truth!
The Ancient Wisdom of the Bible teaches that acceptance is vital for demonstrated love: Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His love for us in that, even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God takes us as we are. God accepts us! He takes us flaws and all. He doesn’t do, like a young lady I once heard say, and perhaps many have said. “When we get married, I will change them.” This is called, by some, the “Pygmalion project.” This is where one persons form of “love” is demonstrated by making their other important person into the image they want them to be. This stinking thinking is doomed to failure. If the two are not seemingly injured, extended family is injured. Ask anyone, whose child has abandoned them because of the influence of their adult child’s spouse, and they can tell you this is true. We call this “Grandparent Alienation Syndrome.” It is also called elder abuse.
Folks, we are all flawed, and the longer we are in relationship, the more we will see the other person differently. It is true. People don’t stay the same. Ten year old people, don’t think like twenty year old people. Thirty year old people don’t think like forty year old people. If you actually do marry someone, you will be right, when you say, “they are not the same person I married!” If we choose to follow the God example, we will take each other, flaws and all, and we will work together, with God’s love, mercy and grace flowing through our lives. We will become one with the Lord, and we will become one with each other. No, we do not accept abuse of any kind! Hopefully this includes the abuse of extended family. But we do accept one another, as we grow older together, and experience life together. Then we can truly be on track to love each other, and others as well.
Jesus once, while with His disciples, did an uncanny thing: He took off His Rabbinical Robe, and He put on a slaves garment. He stooped down, and even though He is the Son of God, and He is one with God the Father, He washed His disciples stinking and dirty feet. Folks this is respect., and it involves demonstrating a servants heart, from God. It is also an example of how God demonstrates His love, and He expects us to love others similarly. Showing the world you respect your beloved is a precious thing. Showing them that you are there for them, when they are hurting and need you, is vital. Being there for them respects them.
Sadly, and all to often, we see so called lovers, putting their mates down, even in public. Look a little deeper, and you see that it’s difficult so see the supposed special other being “there” for the other, when the going gets tough. Aretha Franklin was correct, as she sang about the perfect, God demonstrated philosophy. Are you old enough to remember “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. You don’t know how much that means to me … Give me a little respect when you come home.” Without this important part of God’s love flowing through us, there is little love at all.
Jesus, who came, also wants to come to us today, and He is available as the ONE the Bible calls “The Wonderful Counselor.” In Hebrews 4:15-16, we hear how this Wonderful Counselor makes Himself available to us empathically, and helps up to live a better quality of life. Check this out:
“We have a High Priest that empathizes with our feelings and infirmities, and He can do so because He was tempted like we have been tempted; yet, He never sinned. Therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy, and that you may find grace to help you in your time of need.”
This is a classic description of showing love via Empathy: The ONE who loves us hears us, actually listens, understands how we feel, and He does so because He walked among us as, “God with us.” He comes along side of us. He can do so because He went through everything we go through in the human body, and He overcame in all things; therefore He, with experience and the wisdom of Almighty God, knows how to help us overcome. He helps us live a full life.
When we demonstrate love we demonstrate God’s grace to Empathize. I can tell you doing so definitely takes having a relationship with God. Then, we listen. We seek to understand. When we get to a place of understanding, as we journey along side of the one we love, we help the person come to a place of making decisions for a better quality of life. It’s like the song which says, “Walk a mile in my shoes.” All to often we want to fix a persons problem, and we want have a quick answer, but the loving experience is truly felt and experienced when the ones in love seek first empathy with one another.
Those Warm Fuzzy Feelings
There is one important issue that we have to examine. Most people think of love as those warm fuzzy feelings you get when you “fall in love.” Feelings come and go through life. Some days we feel really blessed, sensual, beloved, loved, happy, calm, and just really good, when we are around the one who “makes” us feel so good; however, life can happen in ways where there is pain, sorrow, anger, fear and feelings of being overwhelmed. Sometimes anger will take over. Guess whom we displace those painful feelings on when we are having a horrible, terrible, very bad and no good day. It’s usually the one we are suppose be loving.
Listen, if your definition of love is based on how you think the other person is going to make you feel, or vice versa, then you are setting yourself, and the other one, up with the potential for a lot of pain. Contrary to what a lot of modernist thinking says, love IS NOT an emotion. Love may involve emotions, but love cannot be only based on you just feelings.
How God Spells Love: C.A.R.E
When a person perceives that a person has, with God’s help, Chosen to demonstrate God given commitment to them, accepts them, respects them and empathizes with them, then those warm fuzzy feelings we associate with love will likely well up within their being. To the degree that both parties do the same for each other, it is amazing how the storms of life don’t tear them apart, but make them stronger together, as they become one.
How do you spell love? You spell it Commitment, Acceptance, Respect and Empathy. This is how God spells His love for us, and He really can give us grace to demonstrate is similarly. Therefore, love is NOT merely something based on feeling. Love is not just and emotional trip, but it can involve feelings. Authentic love actually produces loving feelings. However, never forget. Love IS A Choice.