“You Don’t Know What I’ve Done – I’m Evil”
If I had a cup of coffee for every time I’ve heard that line, I’d be on a permanent caffeine buzz! Let me give you:
Shock # 1: God already knows everything you’ve thought, said and done, and He’s not surprised.
Shock # 2: If (not that they did) Hitler, Stalin, Osama Bin Laden and all others like them accepted Jesus as their Savior before dying, they’ll be in Heaven. If you don’t accept Jesus, you won’t!
Shock # 3: If you really believe God will not forgive your sins – please post a note to this blog. I want to know who the FIRST PERSON in ALL HISTORY that God will not forgive. The only unforgivable sin is to not accept Jesus and the sacrifice He gave for all of us.
Acts 2:21 / Romans 10:13: All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 5:8: God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
Romans 3:23: For ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.
Is this only for the “Big” sins? No – God hates all sins; great or small. Now for one of the most famous Bible verses:
John 3:16,18: For God so loved the world He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
1 John 1:8-10: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins (to Him), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleans us from ALL unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (emphasis mine)
What it comes down to is what do you want? If you’re happy with this world and all it has to offer, this is all you will ever get. If you care about your “eternal future”, you MUST consider God’s offer to you.
1 John 5:12: Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
What to do… Pray directly to the Father; confess your sins TO HIM; ask His forgiveness and ask that Jesus be your Savior. If you mean it, not just saying the words, the Holy Spirit will come to live with in you.
Does this mean you will never sin again – NO. Remember, ALL have sinned, however after accepting Jesus, you can ask forgiveness whenever you do slip and sin.
To help you better understand this, I recommend you read Romans in either the New American Standard or English Standard Version Bible. It will help you in your new journey with the Father. It is not easy, however the eternal reward is absolutely worth it.
God will never force you to accept Him or Jesus. You have the free will to reject Him. However, if you do accept His free gift, He will accept you no matter what you have done. Once you are His child, your sins will never be remembered by Him again. Also when you do sin, Re-read 1 John 1:8-10. That’s your lifetime warranty in writing.
We are not guaranteed one more day here. Consider now as the time to act. Bless you!
“You Don’t Know What I’ve Done – I’m Evil”
Jesus, somewhere is someone who is very close to accepting God’s salvation through You, and that someone does not know how to believe it. This is what I sense from You this morning.
“Knowledge without belief is not salvation. Belief must come from the heart.”
I did not know how to go from knowledge to belief, even after years of going to church.
“You could not do it for yourself. My Father called you to Him. You needed only to desire to know Me, and not just know about Me. He touched your heart at the moment you were willing. Tell them what I did for you.”
But how can I explain it, Jesus? I am a small person with small words.
“I will help you. I will cause you to remember.”
I remember what it was like when I was not sure that God would forgive me and accept me into His Kingdom. I had never known love so great as Your love. I could not even imagine it. I thought of conviction at that time as a bad thing, and as something to avoid. I did not know that conviction is more than feeling guilty; it is truly the beckoning of God, through the Holy Spirit, to the heart.
One Sunday morning, I was at church, listening to the sermon, and I was trying to convince myself that I was good. God made it clear to me that I was not good. He caused the Holy Spirit to pass through my skin and touch my heart. At that second, I realized that You know every thought, act, word, and deed, and yet I felt so loved. I knew with certainty that every word in the Bible is the Truth. I do not know why I had not understood salvation earlier.
“You were not looking for Me.”
Not until that morning. As the pastor spoke God’s message, my heart ached for something I had never known and could not understand. I only knew that it had something to do with heaven and love. I was thinking within the limits of my own mind, and Satan was working against me. He tried to get me to condemn myself, so I would believe him and not believe the Truth. There was a very rapid sequence of memories and mental images of my sins against You. The evil one tried to convince me that God would not forgive me through You, but even so, I could feel You holding my heart in your hands.
I thought all of the people around me were good. I was afraid they would reject me if I admitted that I was a sinner. I was afraid You would tell me that I was too bad to be forgiven. That was the work of the evil one also. But You did not give up. You flooded me with Your love. My heart felt warm and large. I felt cherished as never before. I knew that You had chosen me and I was sure that His miraculous way of penetrating my heart was real and true. It was as if time stopped and it was just You and me, heart to heart, on that pew. Your love for me was so pure that I was ashamed, but Your love was bigger than my shame. I wondered how You could love me so much that You would die so I could live in heaven, forever. Jesus, I wanted desperately to be sure I would go to heaven when I died. I thought of how much I must have hurt You. How long I had ignored You. How much I did not deserve God’s mercy. How I had made life all about me.
Satan was counting on my fear of rejection to keep me from asking You to forgive me. He then switched tactics and aimed at the pride within me. He wanted me to think I was good enough without Your salvation. But that opened up another realization—that not only is heaven real, but so is hell. I knew without a doubt that if I did not accept God’s forgiveness, I would go to hell, forever. Then suddenly I realized that it did not matter what others thought of me. I understood how great God is and how small I was. I understood how far below His standards are the standards of man and that even if I could live perfectly according to the highest of human standards, I could never get to heaven by being good in the sight of man. I could sense the pressure of evil pushing against me, all around me. You kept Your touch of love evident within me. I knew the spiritual realm was real. I knew I had to choose. I knew You were my only protection from the evil one.
At the very second I told You in my thoughts, with a broken heart, that I was sorry for my sins and accepted God’s forgiveness through Your sacrifice for me, the Holy Spirit expanded within me to every cell of my body.
“You were cleansed with forgiveness, because you believed and desired to know Me.”
Yes! I felt completely clean. I felt no fear. I felt no guilt. I felt no shame. You took it all away instantly. I felt NEW. I was so filled with joy that I could hardly talk when I prayed with the pastor and confessed You as my Lord and Savior at the front of that little church. Believing You and knowing You changed my life, and my eternal destination.
“What I did for you I will do for anyone who calls upon My name. Tell them: Believe Me. Trust Me. I am the only way.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NLT)
You prefer strangers to your own husband!
Today, I went before the King and cried out that I needed Him desperately because I CAN’T write without Him. I was not born with the talent of the written word but of storytelling and I can’t do that very well anymore. My mission took me across the river that flows from the throne room of God to knee before my Father King in humble reverence to the Lord who draws my breathe. As I kneel there before Him, He extended His scepter and place it on my head. As I stood He place a Kiss on each of my cheeks.
I thought as I walk from that room I didn’t deserve His love because I had gone my own way. My thirst for money became so strong that I couldn’t hear Him anymore and I didn’t even notice until two weeks ago when the Lord gave me the scriptures Ezekiel 16:32-63. The scripture 32 says “You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!” I read that and I couldn’t write; on and on this went on until I knew I was in sin. Suddenly, I notice that when my ministry day came on Tuesday and I went to the churches to pray; my prayer was a little too repetitive and I was struggling. The scriptures in Psalm 115 came to me “but their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see; they have ears but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. (Psalm 115:4-8) Now I understand what that truly means that I truly could not hear and I couldn’t see the wrong I was in. If someone would have said something to me I wouldn’t of understood them because I became my idol; money.
Worship of Money
Worship of money and beauty was Israel problem. That is why God said “You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!” The King was seeking counsel with other nations that didn’t know God. The Israelites were intermarrying with these nations that worshipped idols and for that they became to worship them too. They began breaking the commandments that Moses set before then one after another. “Do not have strange gods before me…You shall not make yourself an idol…Do not covet thy neighbor’s wife…Do commit adultery… (Exodus 20:1-17) The prophet Ezekiel was sent to proclaim judgments to Jerusalem and Judah. But, because of their love of silver and gold the Israelites have ears, but they could not hear, eyes, but they could not see.
The Ezekiel 16 portrays Israel as the wife and God as the husband and God chose Israel among the other nations as His remnant. But, Israelites had nothing that was desirable that God wanted: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. ⁴On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. ⁵No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.
⁶ “ ‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!” ⁷I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew and developed and entered puberty. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, yet you were stark naked.
⁸“ ‘Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
⁹ “ ‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. ᶦ⁰I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. ᶦᶦI adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, ᶦ²and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. ᶦ³So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. ᶦ⁴And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord.
You trusted in your beauty
ᶦ⁵ “ ‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his. ᶦ⁶You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution. (Ezekiel 16:1-16)
Jerusalem had no natural endowments no rights to any titles or any right to an inheritance from God. But, God chose them to be a people set apart for a purpose to show the neighboring nations their obedience to God. Jerusalem flourish under God’s care and became a beautiful city but she was thankless to God her husband. Jerusalem became to seek other nations into a partnership of fellowship and adopted their customs, idols, and married their children to foreigners. Israel committed spiritual adultery with other nations.
Israelites became rich and spoiled
Israelites became rich and spoiled and they wanted to show off their prowess to others. They forgot that God blessed them and gave them the strength to do mighty things. Some trust in chariots and some in horses and that is what Israel has done. (Psalm 20:7) They are looking to their allies to do what God did for them. They didn’t need God to protect them they have new allies. They did not need God to bless their crops they have the god of the sun to grow them. Israelites were taking their first fruits and blessing their new allies and God is forgotten. They have eyes but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear what Ezekiel is telling them; they have feet, but cannot run from the danger. Does this sound familiar? It certainly did for me.
God had every right to be angry with His wife Israel they broke His commands and yet He loved Israel. God remember His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and God and in verse 59 “ ‘this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. ⁶⁰Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. ⁶ᶦThen you will remember your ways and be ashamed… ⁶²So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. ⁶³Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ” (Ezekiel 16:59-63)
The ‘new covenant’ involves God sending His One and Only Son to sacrifice and die on a cross for the sins of the world. Jesus Christ didn’t have sin but He took on sin so that we would be pardon from eternal death in hell. So, if you have ears to hear and eyes to see come…use your knees to kneel…use your mouth to repent and use your heart to receive the forgiveness of sin…For God so loved the world that He gave His ONE and Only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Thank you, Father for second chances and a heart that cares for your sons and daughters. Thank you, Father for the word is like a sword that pierces through the darkest nights and draws out the things that do not belong. Thank you, Lord that you are growing in us and are aware of our weaknesses to eye candy.
Father, I pray that you will wake us up to the dangers around us so that we can continue in our fight for justice and freedom. I pray that you will bring your people kicking and screaming to your side and impart your Holy Spirit within them and change their heart O, God; make it ever new let us be like you. Do your will and your kingdom come in our lives so that we will shine like diamonds in the universe. Bring your people home O God. In Jesus Christ name, I pray. Amen.
Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” ²Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. ³In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. ⁴And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, ⁵but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Genesis 4:1-5
The offering of Cain and Abel were different as night and day for Cain gave out from a heart that was divided between God and the world. Abel gave from a heart devoted to God. Cain’s offering was rejected and Abel’s was received.
So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? ⁷If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:5-7
The Lord was giving Cain a way out of this angry that gripped him. Cain had evil in his heart and all his thoughts were consuming him to do the unthinkable. Cain needed to tell his flesh to back down and give his ego to God in repentance. But the pride of the first born to his brother the second born who gave the better offering enraged him until he killed his brother. Genesis 4:8
Do we carry around an angry towards a brother or sister that is eating us up inside and when we go to the Father to give an offering its rejected because our heart is all wrong. We wonder why the Lord isn’t listening to our prayers or that we continue in our sin disregarding what the word says.
Do you not realize that there are many Cain’s and Abel’s in church? Abel’s who gives from a full heart devoted to God and Cain’s who gives from and undivided heart that’s devoted to your own desires.
Churches are full of people who are sexually immoral because they have the mark of Cain because their offering has been rejected. But, you say that you are rich? Rich in money and things are also a curse from God.
Love of Money
∻But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. ᶦ⁰For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1Timothy 6:9-10)
∻No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
∻Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
The Lord says “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God also said to Cain “if you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
For many years I carry that mark of Cain and by giving it to God and allowing him to change me that sin is no longer in my life and my offering to God has become accepted.
Do not allow sexually immorality to live in your soul because it will leave behind a sin that will eat you from within. You will begin to worship that sin by doing it even though you know it’s a sin. But you say is it a sin? You will begin to make excuses for why you do it until you walk away from your brothers and sisters because you notice that you are naked. Just like Adam and Eve in the garden when they ate the forbidden fruit; they too hid themselves from God. Many of you in church are hiding yourselves by leaving church right after church because what do you really have to talk about. Our sins keep us from truly fellowshipping with others because we are busy with whatever we worship most from sexual immortality to the amassing of stuff.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Come all who are burden with the mark of Cain and repent of your sins…do you not see… sin is crouching at your door… lay your burdens on the cross of salvation so that you will not perish but have eternal life…believe on Jesus Christ who was born, died, and risen on the third day to reign at the right hand of God…surrender your will and ask Jesus Christ to come and live in your heart…become a accepted offering to the Lord…God is good and His mercies endure forever.
Thank you, Father that your mercies they come every morning; your love endures forever. Thank you, Father that you awake in us and urgency to do your will with a full heart directed at you; your love endures forever. Thank you, Lord for your direction and patience to your children who depend on your direction, goodness and mercy; your love endures forever.
Dear Lord, please help us to know when we are in sin and when we are making excuses for our failures; your love endures forever. Lord, I pray that our offering will not be rejected but accepted because our hearts are heavenward; your love endures forever. Jesus Christ make us lie down in green pastures so that He can lead us along the still waters; your love endures forever. Help us cry out to you day and night for change so that we will become an accepted offering by you my Jesus; love endures forever. If we fail in our endeavor in our offering to you I pray that you will do as you did to Cain “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? ⁷If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:5-7 Help us Lord to master our sin and overcome so that we will receive the crown of glory; love endures forever. In Jesus Christ I pray; Amen.
The mighty hand of God brought Israel out of Egypt so that they could worship God in the desert. The miraculous signs and wonders that God did in Egypt foretell what God will do in the future with His people Israel. The Lord says in His word in Exodus 13 to remember what I did for you and tell your children.
Remember your slavery….remember that you cried out to God….remember that I sent a man called Moses to help…remember the signs and wonders I did…remember the last plague of the killing of the firstborn son and animal…remember it was by the mighty hand of God that brought you out…
Now, imagine that you were this son who was given to God. What do you think your life would entail?
Maybe the firstborn son would learn the scriptures/meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2; Joshua 1:8)
∻The firstborn son would pray with others/pray without ceasing (Philemon 1:6; 1Thessalonians 5:17)
∻The firstborn son serves others (Luke 22:27; Romans 14:8; 1Peter 4:11)
∻The firstborn son sings songs and hymns to God/sing psalms (Nehemiah 12:24; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12)
∻The firstborn son writes God’s words and miracles for remembrance (Psalm 87:6; Romans 10:5; 2Peter 3:16)
∻The firstborn son reflects God’s glory (1Corinthians 11:7)
Does this firstborn son sound familiar? If you call yourself a Christian you are that firstborn son separated and set apart for God. This is your life in Christ to be that firstborn son. We are sons and daughters to the King and because of that we are heirs to the throne of God.
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when God set you free from slavery to a life of a firstborn son?
I remember the room and my single bed and that I was on my knees giving up my control. How about you do you remember what God has done for you?
God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) God did this so that we could all be firstborn Sons. We all could inherit everlasting life.
But you say how can I be a firstborn Son am a girl? Son just means children of a parent so either male or female are a Son. (In some cases Man is also refer to as human but not in all cases.)
First, realize you can’t make it on your own…your life is not your own and there is a higher power…realize you do not like the life your living …you think there is more to this life than this…you realize you have this heavy burden on your heart and you do not nowhere to turn…and then you sense something…someone calling your name…he is beckoning you to turn around…to come home…because He is missing His firstborn Son…so you turn and walk boldly into the throne room of God…and you find yourselves in the arms of Jesus Christ and you are crying how sorry you are that you ever thought you could live apart from Him…you repent and believe that Jesus Christ came to live and die for your sins and you ask Jesus Christ to come and live inside of you. You surrender your life for His life of a Firstborn Son of a King, Jesus Christ.
Remember and write it down and tell your children how Jesus Christ by His mighty hand took you out of Egypt and set you free. Now, live for Christ and be that firstborn Son so that you will reflect the glory of God. So, others will see and turn back and find Christ.
Thank you, Lord that you made me a firstborn Son for I am not worthy but you are the worthy one. Thank you, Father that you came and died so that I could have an everlasting life with you. Thank you, Lord that you are the one and only one I love and that you do not give up on us but continue to work in us to get the best out of us. Thank you.
Father, I come before you now to pray in all earnestness for your people who are called by your name that they will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways so that they will be called firstborn Son of righteousness. I pray for every family in heaven and on earth that derives its name from Jesus Christ. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:15-21) In Jesus Christ name, I pray. Amen.
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. ∽Psalm 106:1
Matt Redman sings this song “Lord, let your glory fall”. Lord, let your glory fall| as on that ancient day| Songs of enduring love| and then Your glory came| And as a sign to You| That we would love the same| Our hearts will sing that song| God, let Your glory come| Then the chorus would play: You are good, you are good| and your love endures| you are good, you are good| and your love endures| Today
Psalm 106 starts out Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Why is God good; because His love endures forever. God’s people Israel saw God’s love first hand when they left Egypt. God worked through Moses and Aaron to do multiple miracles so that Israel could go into the wilderness to worship their God, Yeshua. God’s love was shown through each plague that the Egyptians endured for holding onto the Israelites. God said ‘let my people go’ but Pharaoh continue to hold the Israelites. The Psalmist knows these miracles first hand and is giving God honor in his Praise the Lord. Let us all ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.’ We also have stories we can tell of God’s love for us. Recently, the Lord has blessed me with furniture but it was somewhere else and I needed to pick it up. So, I call my church and arranged the getting rid of one couch and picking up another couch. We have a plan and then the Lord has a plan; well, I like the Lord’s plan better. My plan wasn’t going anywhere and it was snowing each of my plan days so I gave up and God came through and I just opened doors for two guys. Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. ∽Psalm 106:1
God’s love endures forever. God’s love endures, withstands, suffers, stands, bears, perseveres, remains, carry on these are some of the adjectives for endure. God love is not short live for when I am good but forever. Israelites had a history of forgetting what God had done and did not wait for his counsel. ᶦ⁴In the desert they gave in to their cravings; in the wasteland they put God to the test. ᶦ⁵So He gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them. (Psalm 106:14-15) Sometimes the Lord’s love will give us what we most want but it will be a cost to our freedom or life. For example eating too much caffeine for some of us could cause debilitating illness now or later on in our life; giving us a man or woman that is not right for us because we want them could cause misery for years on end; the job of a lifetime that is within reach but still unavailable we want it and in the end it’s not what you thought and it destroys your family life; and finances are in the red and you don’t want to give up that house even though the Lord says too and you want it. Sometimes, we need to go through the valley so that we can have the mountain views with the Lord. We think we know better than the Lord and we fall like the Israelites because we want control at any cost; the cost of your spouse, children, finances, health, and relationship to God.
When you become blind and deaf you have made an idol for your selves like the Israelites. At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal. ²⁰They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass. We also exchange our Glory (God’s visible presence) for designer clothes, sports teams- TV programs (when we arrange our day around our TV), money, credit cards, electronics, toys, and etc…They become our gods and we exchange them for God. God says bulls eat grass. In Romans 1:22-25 says: Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools ²³and exchanged the glory of the immoral God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. ²⁴Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. ²⁵They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator ⎯ who is forever praised. Amen. God is forever praised but gods are not.
We forget God and the miracles He did at the Red Sea where He parted the water and let Israel walk on dry land. So He said He would destroy them ⎯ had not Moses, His chosen one, stood in the breach before Him to keep His wrath from destroying them. Moses stood in the breach to take the wrath on behalf of the Israelites and saved them. Who is standing in your breach before God?
But the people continue to complain and despise the pleasant land. God’s wrath burned again…²⁶He swore to them with uplifted hand that He would make them fall in the desert, ²⁷make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands. ²⁸They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; they provoked the Lord to anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. ³⁰But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked (stopped). ³ᶦThis was credited to him righteousness for endless generations to come. (Psalm 106:26-31) Who is standing in to intervene for you?
One of the commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Horeb was “You shall not have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) Israel was to serve God only and we are commanded to obey the same command. We are to worship God alone…There will be no seeking, praying, worshiping any spirits, the dead or ‘other gods’ but worshiping the true God. (Lev.17:7; Duet. 6:4; 32:17; Ps. 106:37; 1Cor. 10:19-20)
Israelites mingled with their neighbors and adopted their ways. ³⁶They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. ³⁷They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. ³⁸They shred innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. ³⁹They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves. (Psalm 106:35-39)
We also mingle with our neighbors (world) and want what they have. We buy the best homes and cars and go on better vacations. We marry our children off to pagan spouses and fellowship with pagan friends. We adapt to their pagan holidays and begin to worship their gods of fun. We forget that God is a jealous God and that He desires a relationship with you and that church is not enough to breach the gap in your relationship. Who will stand and intervene for you?
God became angry because His chosen people were out of control and He had to bring them back so He handed them over to the nations to be oppressed. Many times the Lord wanted to deliver them but they were bent on rebellion. Does that sound familiar to you? We are like the Israelites that we want our way. The Lord will hand us over to our self and we will destroy ourselves. Or like the Israelites we will call out “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 106:47-48)
Who will intervene for you? Are you calling out to God to save me?
God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Believe on Jesus Christ for He carried our sins and pay the price on the cross…Repent of your idols…surrender your control and ask Jesus Christ to come live inside you so you can reflect God’s glory.
Thank you, Jesus that you stand in the gap so that the wrath of God is extinguished. Thank you, Father that your grace is efficient for us.
Lord Jesus you who carried our infirmities and carried our sorrows to the cross let us laid our burdens down and pick them up no more. I pray that you will be our all and all that we will not have other gods before you but cling to the desires of your heart. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord. In Jesus Christ name I pray. Amen.
Are You Asking God the Right Questions?
So many times I find myself asking God questions. I ask Him if I’m important, if He has a plan for my life, if I’m living out my purpose. So many of those questions are about myself. It’s important to know that God loves each one of us and knows us better than we know ourselves, but should our focus be merely on ourselves? Is the motivation behind our seeking merely to stroke our egos?
Many times people turn to the verse Jeremiah 29:11 where God tells us that He has good plans for us. We get so encouraged that we often stop reading. We feel like we’ve found the answer to every question we have about ourselves. God says that He has a plan and we know His plans never fail, so we can just relax and keep on living our lives now. Crisis averted… But if we would keep reading, we would see in Jeremiah 29:12-13 that God wants us to seek Him. He wants us to know Him. How sad is it that even when we are seeking His plan for our lives, we stop listening when His answers no longer are about us?
I’ll give you another example. Question: How do you know that God loves you? Answer: John 3:16. But do you know that this verse also answers the question “What is God’s plan for me?” Probably not. You see, it says that God so loved the world that He
gave His only Son so that none should perish, but all should have everlasting life. Did you see that “so that” part in there? I used to rush right past it, until I started asking God the right questions.
The Bible holds so much truth and wisdom for each of our lives, but we never seem to find it. Sometimes we wonder why God is so elusive and why He won’t just tell us what to do. We don’t see that He has already told us what to do. He wants us to seek Him. When we do that we will find Him, and when we find Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. That seems impossible. How do we get the desires of our hearts if we can’t find it unless we seek God with all of our hearts? The answer is that God should be the desire of our hearts.
In the coming weeks, I will be writing on some of the biggest questions we ask God. I think it’s important to look not only at what we are asking, but how we are asking and why we are asking. Sometimes we want to blame God for things we aren’t doing ourselves. Sometimes we’re only looking for God to give us the answer we want. Hopefully this will be helpful in your search to know God more, and to see that He doesn’t always show up where we’re expecting Him. If He only did that, we’d never have to seek Him and we’d never truly know how great He is.
Key #9 to Happiness – Putting God First
We all have priorities in life. When it comes to happiness people all have different goals, needs, hopes and desires. What makes one person happy may not even come close to satisfying another. Whatever is most important to us will always come first in our lives. That which we love the most will always be our highest priority. The things and people that bring us joy and happiness will always get the most of our time and attention. So, the question is this, what matters most to you? What is the first priority of your life? Is it your family, children, career, money, material things? Is it achieving fame or status? Maybe your appearance is most important to you? First identify what you are actually putting first in your life. Discover why it so important to put God first and what happens when other things and people come before God. Lastly learn specific ways to put God first and help you begin to put God first in your life right away.
Lamentations 3:40 (New International Version)
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
Psalm 26:2 (New International Version)
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
Identifying what you really put first in your life:
Learning what your true priorities are in life is really pretty simple to do. Start by asking yourself this, “what do I spend my time, energy and effort on most?” If you have to, grab a piece of paper and pen and roughly write out a list of what you generally do each day, from start to finish, first thing in the morning to bedtime. Can you recognize any patterns or things of special interest? Whatever you devote most of your time, money, energy, and efforts to is what you are putting first in your life. God knows the truth and He knows your heart. He knows what means the most to you and where you’re true devotion lies.
Deuteronomy 6:5 (New International Version)
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Jeremiah 17:10 (New International Version)
“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”
Do not worry God is so full of love. God is faithful to forgive us.
1 John 1:9 (New International Version)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Putting God first is important for obtaining happiness:
Putting God first is extremely important for many reasons, but one of those reasons is that it does produce happiness in our lives. The reason we should put God first is because of our love for Him. We should find happiness and joy in putting God first. Happiness is not the reason or the motive it is the reward, it is the harvest, and it is the blessing. How exciting and wonderful this is. Our reward for making God our first priority is happiness and joy and blessings.
Psalm 37:4 (New International Version)
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
If you delight in the Lord he will give you the desires of your heart. There is true happiness in delighting in the Lord.
Psalm 35:9 (New International Version)
Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation
Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You choose and cause to come near, that he may dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.
Psalm 112:1 (Amplified Bible)
PRAISE THE Lord! (Hallelujah!) Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.
Matthew 6:32-34 (Amplified Bible)
For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. But seek ([a]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([b]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [c]taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
Putting God first is more than a goal to keep in mind. Putting God first is the main ingredient to happiness. Without God being first in your life the recipe for happiness will not ever come out right. No matter how hard you try, you can not make yourself happy and other people (all in themselves) can not make you happy either. It also makes sense that no inanimate thing can bring happiness either. Only God can give us an abundant and fruitful life.
The outcome of failing to put God first in our lives:
When we fail to put God first we fail miserably. We do not reach happiness. We then turn to other things and try to replace the missing ingredient in our lives. We turn to habits, addictions, we try to fill our time and entertain our minds and we seek alternate means of pleasure. We discover that nothing else could ever be enough. It is like trying to bake a cake without flour. It is like a turkey sandwich without turkey. It could never satisfy because it is missing the main ingredient!
God wants for us to seek Him first and to delight in Him. He wants to be the one to give us happiness, joy and abounding blessings! When we try to please ourselves or seek out happiness on our own apart from God, not only do fail to find it, we also slip farther and farther away from Him and our only real hope of happiness. We end up angry, sad, depressed and feeling unloved and unaccepted.
Cain is not a favorite of most people. He is known and remembered for killing his brother Abel out of cold blood. We can actually learn a lot from the story. Take a moment and read it.
AND ADAM knew Eve as his wife, and she became pregnant and bore Cain; and she said, I have gotten and gained a man with the help of the Lord. And [next] she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering, But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.
Cain felt dejected, and when God did not respect or accept his offering it made him exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. This is the same outcome for us when we fail to put God first. We end up allowing sin to master us and we achieve the exact opposite of happiness.
Specific ways to put God first in your life:
In looking at the story of Cain again we read that God saw how Cain was behaving, and He noticed how Cain was feeling. He came to Him in love much the way any loving parent would go to their child. He asked Cain why he was feeling that way, even though He all ready knew the answer. He questioned Cain saying, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” He also explained that if he didn’t do well he was only opening himself up to trouble. Sin is there waiting at our door, it desires us but we must master it through Christ Jesus.
Here are some specific things we can do to put God first, but be creative, and find new ways to show God you love Him and you are so happy and full of joy because of Him. The basic idea is to put Gods will above your own. If you really want to you can think of endless ways to demonstrate how much God really means to you.
Keys to happiness exercise:
- Read the Word of God and desire to do well and follow God’s commands. Find happiness and joy and take delight in God.
- Begin each day in devotion to God. In prayer, study, and praise. Offer God your first time. It is a very special time of day to seek God and pray. We are rested and alert and blessed to have a new day.
- Offer thanks to God for your food and drink and give God of your first fruits. Be sure to give to God and toward the Kingdom of God. Give as Abel gave. Give God of your first and best. Give with a glad heart and offer up your praises to God too.
- Trust God to provide your heart’s desires and all of your needs. God promises that if we seek the kingdom of God first that God will make sure to provide all we need.
- Seek God first in all aspects of your life. Seek God first in regard to relationships, finances, dreams, hopes and desires, in your career and in every part of your life.
- Attend Church (if you don’t all ready)
- Begin a spiritual journal devoted to bible study and prayer.
In conclusion, God loves you and wants you to be happy. God wants to provide you with all you need and even your heart’s desire. God has proved His great love to us by giving His only Begotten Son so that our sins might be forgiven and so that we can have life everlasting in Christ Jesus. He gave His ALL for all of us. Jesus gave His all. He willingly and lovingly gave His life on the cross as a perfect, sinless sacrifice for our sins. There is no greater love than the love of God. His love, His salvation, His happiness and joy are all gifts from God to you. All you have to do is believe it, accept it, confess it and live it. Begin to put God first right now and begin to live life more abundantly!
John 3:16 (New International Version)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 6:47 (New International Version)
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
John 10:10 (New International Version)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Previous Happiness Lessons:
May you find happiness through giving of yourself! Check in next week for another key to happiness. Get notified via e-mail