In peace I will both lay myself down and sleep, for You, the LORD alone, make me live in safety. ~ Psalm 4:8
This skinny moose calf found its way into our yard during a blizzard last week. After shooing it out a couple times we got more and more snowfall, so I let it stay. It appears to be starving and just needs a few meals of yard shrubs and trees to make it through a couple more weeks of winter. A couple of days ago it quit bedding down here for the night, but according to the footprints left in the morning snow, is making nightly visits for snacks on Mountain Ash berries and munches of Catone-Astor berries.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:8
Over the decades I have fenced out the moose from the yard, but occasionally they manage to break in. You win this round, Baby Moose. May you grow stronger and survive to make more mooselings next year …
God bless you all! May Springtime arrive on time, and
Fear seems to be ruling many hearts these days. People are afraid of viral infection and the possibilities of grave illness or death; loss of jobs, savings, homes, or other possessions. Fear of going out; fear of staying in; fear of government over-reach, and the list goes on. One person told me that she lies awake at night worrying about losing family members to the coronavirus. What does God’s Word say to this? Continue reading →
Our Christmas lights are up, but they just don’t seem to be shining as brightly as before. It’s me – I know. I rose early thinking if I caught the sunrise it would perk me up as it usually does, but … Continue reading →
Tired of living a powerless life? Is being part of the “I’m OK-You’re OK-Anything Goes-Kumbaya” church getting you down? Well, God wants us to be living victoriously. How?
The Apostle Paul writes a letter to the church at Ephesus about Christian living and then expands his directives beyond the believers at Ephesus to include the whole world! (US!) How amazing is that?
Paul says the only way we can be confused, powerless, or snared by temptation is when we do not connect with God through His Word. During his imprisonment at Rome (AD. 60-62) he wrote:
¹ºFinally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. ¹¹Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. ¹²For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ¹³Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.~ Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
What “evil day” is Paul is talking about?
At least, every day has the potential. Spiritual warfare exists today just as it did in Paul’s time. Unless a believer makes a deathbed confession, repents, and accepts Jesus as Savior, it is highly unlikely that any living believer escapes daily spiritual attack or testing. Don’t try to face evil alone! Get prepped up! Verses 14 through 20 give more detail about God’s armor:
Wrap Truth about our waist
Righteousness is our breastplate
Wear shoes of the gospel of peace
Faith is our shield to douse the flaming arrows of Satan (ABOVE ALL in importance)
Salvation is our helmet
God’s Word is our sword of The Spirit
Pray in the Spirit to persevere and be watchful toward all the brethren
See, if we don’t read our Bibles, we won’t recognize evil when it comes sneaking into our lives, our church, and our nation. We will not watch and pray for Jesus to return soon for His church. We will follow the world and fall into sin. We will not recognize Truth; our shoes will carry us away from situations of sharing our faith and toward sharing gossip or other sin. We will forget to pray; therefore, we will be weak and unfit for duty as God’s ambassador. We may lose our ability to speak boldly against satanic alignments. The list goes on …
Sometimes we can feel defeated or powerless. That means we are human. That is why our Father God has given us all we need for defense. Prepare according to His Word and then take the matter to Him!
“Heavenly Father, all praise, Praise, PRAISE TO YOU TODAY!!! Even though nothing is working for me, I have girded myself with Your whole armor as best as I know how. I read Your Word, and pray for understanding. The enemy seems to follow my trail and won’t be shaken. I turn around now and just face the evil day in Your strength. Help me to stand. Thank you in the Name of Jesus (Yeshua), Amen!”
²²But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, ²³GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Against such there is no law. . . 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.~Galatians 5:22,23,25 NKJV
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap . . . 8bbut he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. . . . 16And as many as walk according to this rule, PEACE and MERCY be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.~Galatians 6:7,8b,9,16 NKJV (emphasis added)
Brethren, keep God’s law – love one another. Share each others’ burdens. Keep sowing to the Spirit and reap everlasting life. Don’t lose heart!
I just wanted more time together. Just another hug . . . one more chance to hold his hand . . . tell him how much I love him again . . . I would have given . . . anything.
My stepdad battled Alzheimer’s for over ten years. Our last days with him have been crying days – mostly for him.
One family member said, “I hate what Alzheimer’s does to people.”
I agree. As my stepdad slowly broke down under the insidious disease process, we crumpled emotionally beside him. There were times as we held hands at the dining table that he would look away with a hurtful expression on his face and mutter to the wall, “Oh well . . . It is what it is.”
In my heart I waged war; won his battle by finding a miraculous cure; traded places; did more; did anything to prevent what we all knew was happening. But in reality, I had no such ability or power.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 2 Tim. 4:18 NIV
My stepdad was a Christ believer. His heart was huge for everyone he knew; and he was so loved in return. Then our prayers for a miracle were painfully answered as our family expected – but dreaded. My stepdad was released from Alzheimer’s torment a few days ago. Even though I am mourning the loss, I am thankful to God for mercifully calling him Home. He will no longer suffer. He is leaping for joy in Heaven with Jesus, friends, and family in Glory.
My friend, John, called yesterday to pay his respects to Mom. He told me to “just look at it as if he has graduated.” Thank you, John. That simple encouragement has comforted me more than anything else. Graduation means a reward at the end of the struggle; the victory over life’s hurts. His diploma is now a page in The Lamb’s Book of Life with his name written there for all to see. It means honorably finishing the course and moving on to a new beginning. Thanks to Jesus, It is finished! Jesus paid the price for our sins and didn’t leave anything undone. He has done everything that no one else is able to do. Thank you, Jesus. I know that I will see my stepdad again when it’s my turn to graduate.
My stepdad was a boxer as a young man – a fighter; and he fought the ravages of time (he was 85) and of Alzheimer’s right up until the end. Even though he could no longer speak the Words, I will copy them here on his behalf; as I am confident he owned this scripture as he took his last breaths:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Tim. 4:7-8 NIV
My stepdad was also a race car driver when he was young. He always drove a pickup truck and never relinquished his set of keys after he quit driving. I’m sure he hoped he would need those keys again someday because that truck is still parked in his garage.
Gosh! I would give anything to see him driving it around in Heaven right now . . .
Today much of humanity is praying, hoping, and working for peace and unity. There are many proposed solutions to global unrest; but unity continues to remain a great mystery to most of our world’s leadership.
Unity comes in many forms and shapes. It is often tagged with titles including peace, freedom, or social reform – just words. If anyone could solve the Middle East Crisis, avoid a dreadful WWIII, or somehow conquer pestilence and famine; that person would be worshiped as a god by many. This will actually happen at the end of days during The Great Tribulation, according to Bible prophecy, but what does God’s Word say about our global divisions now?
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. ~ Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV
Yes, it is God’s miraculous gift to man who is the answer to all forms of unrest and human division – His name is Jesus Christ (Yeshua in the Hebrew), our Messiah:
For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2: 14-22 NIV
I love the fact that Paul makes it clear that we, too, are mortised right into the walls and foundations of God’s temple. We will never be separated or divided again, as long as Jesus is our Lord. That is true unity. No peace treaty; no two state solution; no “barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”. In Christ’s kingdom, we will have not only one global government but also a global economy that function perfectly in unity; because we will finally have Jesus, our King of Kings to rule with an iron hand against the current chaotic world view of divisive power and greed.
Paul goes on the say in Chapter Three:
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles … Surely you have heard … that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation …This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 3: 1-6 NIV
I can’t make this up, people. God’s Word is infallible and tells us His almighty solution to man’s sin problem without all the complexity of political deception. The answer is simply Jesus. Christ is God’s gift to redeem both the Jews and the Gentiles. What a crying shame that the world is still unbelieving and nation is still against nation when Jesus already settled this over two thousand years ago at the cross!
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. ~ Ephesians 3: 16-19 NIV
So how does being “rooted and established” in the power of God’s love for us bring about unity?
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ~ Ephesians 4:1-5
So it is the unity of the Spirit that holds us together like mortar glues together the stone walls of God’s temple building. Then why do divisions persist with the church?
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ~ Ephesians 4: 14-16 NIV
If we stop chasing after the world but speak the truth in love, we will grow spiritually and experience God’s gift of unity. God’s solution to global crisis is Jesus. The love of Jesus makes all people fit together perfectly into God’s plan for reconciliation. Through faith in Jesus, we become one family and no one is excluded if he or she simply believes that Jesus is the true Son of God who gave Himself up to be crucified for man’s sin. There is no other Name under heaven whereby we shall be redeemed or have eternal peace.
Please don’t fall for the talk-talk-talk which produces no unifying solutions to world or national problems. God has already provided the true solution in His Son, Jesus.
Do you feel lost and alone? Or perhaps confused over world events and how they relate to you? Does fear, guilt or shame rule over your life? Are you tired of “looking for love in all the wrong places”?
If so, ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your life. The Holy Spirit will enter your heart and live there forever. He will guide you in all ways of holiness and righteousness in the eyes of God, the Father. You will once and for all be reconciled to a right relationship to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
For he says, “In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV
This is why it is said: “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” ~ Ephesians 5:14
If you are a Christ believer, you can have victory over church divisions by growing in grace the way God intended. His Spirit power lives within you – just tap into it with prayer and daily study of God’s Word.
May your walk with Christ be guided by His Living Spirit and thank you for following Importantstuff.live!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~ Philippians 4:4 NIV
The Apostle Paul wrote these words in his final message to the church at Philippi from prison. I have become so negative in the past year I realize that I need to practice rejoicing. What a difference I can make in God’s kingdom if only I will remember Paul’s message to believers:
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:5-7 NIV
On Resurrection Day, the victory belongs to Jesus. He conquered the grave, and the angels proclaimed to the women who discovered the empty tomb, “Do not be afraid! ” “Do not be afraid!”.
Jesus appeared to the women near the tomb and to His disciples later with greetings of “Do not be afraid!” and “Peace be unto you!”.
Today we can rejoice in our faith that Jesus is a Living Savior. There are no decayed remains of Jesus in a tomb or grave somewhere in Jerusalem. We can rest in the knowledge that God’s Word records a world shattering event when Jesus rose from the darkness of the grave. Jesus broke the chains of the penalty for our sins, and therefore salvation is free to all who believe in Him. Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven today. PRAISE GOD FOR SO GREAT SALVATION!
Even though the church is under attack and believers suffer persecution for following Christ (over 900,000 Christians killed per year); don’t let anyone steal your joy as you observe Resurrection Day. Celebrate the fullness of life in Jesus with family and friends and remain steadfast in your faith that Jesus is Risen.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:8-9 NIV
“I will practice, Lord. I will practice rejoicing and enjoy your gift of peace.”