An Ultimate Cause of Spirtual Heart Attacks in the “Last Days”

My last few blogs have dealt with the cause and effects of “SpiritualHeart Disease; “Lasciviousness” or lack of selfcontrol“. I called this,  LDL (bad)Cholesterol causing lipoprotein or hardening of the spiritual arteries. God’s prescription for preventing plaque building in your spiritual circulatory system was the intake of the “fruit of the Holy Spirit“;  “TEMPERANCE” or “selfcontrol”  (Galatians 5:16-26).

Issues of the Heart Condition in the Last Days

II Timothy 3:1  “BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble…” 

Stress is not exclusive to Christian believers. But in this verse it refers to “times of great stress“.   Between the years of 1989 thru 1996 I worked for a plumbing repair service company in Seattle. My position was,  “everything the owner didn’t want to deal with” or General Manager.  Stress affected me in such a way that on the Sabbath-rest, I would begin to stress at 2 PM, about the next day outside pressures. I gained over twenty-five pounds from eating constantly and didn’t want to be bothered about making mondane decisions at home; especially spiritual decisions.  According to WebMD“Medical researchers aren’t sure exactly how STRESS increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.  STRESS itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of STRESS, make other risk factors.  For example, if you are under STRESS, your blood pressure goes up, you may over eat, exercise less or you may be more likely to smoke.”  Is that what II Timothy 3:1 is really talking about? I personally think so and deaths resulting from heart disease out-paces cancer by over 2 to one!

What does it mean by “in the last days“?  “To God a Day is like a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8; Psalm 90:4). 

In the Book of Hebrews, we are told that the seventh day, God’s Sabbath-rest, has yet to be fulfilled (Hebrews 4:4-9).  The Book of Revelation confirms that the seventh day is a thousand years (Rev. 20:4). No one knows the exact day of Jesus’s return to earth, but the signs are happening in the world and in the church right now.

Adam to Abraham = almost 2000 years.

Abraham to Christ Jesus = 2000 years.

JESUS to this present age = almost 2000 years.

Therefore, according to Scripture, the world is approaching the end of 6 Days or about 6,000 years.  The last day of God’s plan will be Day 7, God’s Sabbath-rest and the Day of the Lord.

How does The WORD Detective know that we are “in the last days“? By seeking the Word of God every day. Lets continue in seeking out what God sees.

II Timothy 3:2-5 tells us,  “For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth,  PROUD and ARROGANT and CONTEMPTUOUS BOASTERS…”  The list goes on and on. They are all contributors to an eventual spiritual heart attack.

“Abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.  They will be without NATURAL [human] affection, relentless, slanderers, intemperate and loose morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good…” it goes on and says,  “[They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.” (The “three entry gates”; eye gate, ear gate and mouth gate of Scripture)

The Ultimate Cause:  “the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimates others”.

The 7-things God hates are found in Proverbs 6:17-19:

#1.  PRIDE or a proud look.

#2.  A LYING TONGUE.

#3.  HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD.

#4.  HEART PROBLEMS:  “A HEART THAT MANUFACTURES WICKED THOUGHTS and PLANS.”

#5.  FEET THAT RUN TOWARDS EVIL.

#6.  A FALSE WITNESS WHO LIES UNDER OATH.

#7.  PLANTS DISCORD IN THE CHURCH; “among his brethren”.

Number one on the list of seven things that God hates is, PRIDE; An Ultimate Cause of Spiritual Heart Attacks.

Pride can be defined as “trusting in your own ways instead of trusting in God’s ways for your life. PRIDE wants to do it “My Way” as Frank Sinatra used to sing.  God’s Way is doing things according to His plan, not your own.  QUESTION:  “But I am tired of waiting on God’s plan for my life. It’s stressing me out!” If you are thinking these words to yourself, while you are waiting, God has given you a “new song” to sing.  Psalm 40:1-4 is about a guy who is patient within God’s way and not his own.

Psalm 40:1  says,  “I WAITED patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.”

“BUT…you don’t know the STRESS that I am going through right now.”  I might not know, but your Father knows!

Ecclesiastes 7:8 gives you “stress reliever” medication in saying,  “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it, and the PATIENT in spirit is better than the PROUD in spirit.”

God’s Word pertaining to the prognosis of your STRESS:  “Your end is going to be better than your beginning.”

THE WAY OF THE WORLD IS AROUND YOU!

Exodus 5:2  “But Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.”

People that don’t know God have their own standard in handling the issues of the heart instead of god’s standards. Your PRIDE will bring you down. And oh, the things that are said in PRIDE! It happened to the “light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! The words that came out of his mouth in Isaiah 14:13-14,  “And you said in your HEART, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”  The mighty angel of God and his PRIDE became the “ultimate cause” of his fate…and Satan fell in verse 15.  It was ‘I will’ instead of “Thy will be done”‘.

PRIDE that comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unhealthy’ or unclean.

 

 

Unblocking the LDL-Cholesterol in the “Spiritual” Circulatory System

I have been a Diabetic for 53 years. I was told by my doctor that too many “sugars” in my blood system will nick or scrape the inside walls of the arteries. When this occurs,  God has designed the body to repair those “nicks” with a patch or “plaque” repair.  Too many scrapes from high blood sugar results in too much “plaque”; hardening of the arteries or “atherosclerosis“.  Hello Heart Disease and bad Cholesterol-LDL’sHow does the nicks and plaque work in our spiritual bodies?

Here are the LDL’s; bad “Cholesterol” building agents found in Galatians 5:19-21:

1.  IMMORALITY     4.  IDOLATRY    7.  STRIFE               10.  SELFISHNESS                                    13.  ENVY

2.  IMPURITY             5.  SORCERY        8.  JEALOUSY       11.  DIVISIONS (DISSENTIONS)    14.  DRUNKENESS

3.  INDECENCY\        6.  ENMITY          9.  ANGER               12.  PARTY SPIRIT                                  15.  CAROUSING

Here are the HDL’s; good  “Cholesterol” agents, the Spiritual FRUIT found in Galatians 5:22-23:

1.  LOVE—ALL other “statins” MUST BE COMBINED WITH LOVE before using.

2.  JOY

3.  PEACE

4.  PATIENCE

5.  KINDNESS

6.  GOODNESS

7.  FAITHFULNESS

8.  GENTLENESS

9.  SELF-CONTROL or TEMPERANCE

TEMPERANCE, SELF-CONTROL; the RECIPROCAL of LASCIVIOUSNESS or LACK OF RESTRAINTS in ALL AREAS.

I am only dealing with one of the “statins” listed in Galatians 5:22-23  in this blog.  TEMPERANCE will improve your blood circulation by removing the plaque build-up, the LDL bad Cholesterol. 

“If you can’t overcome a hamburger, you won’t be able to overcome the devil in the wilderness”.

We’re giving our body what our body (flesh) demands. We give into what our flesh demands of us; we become a slave to our flesh; no restraint. We need to practice or exercise restraints. You might not want me to say what I am about to say but here I go,  “Maybe cigarettes or pornography isn’t a big deal with you right now, but it is an open door or “gates”  to our “spiritual” hearts”; Heart Disease.

The TEMPERANCESTATIN PRESCRIPTION endorsed by the Holy Spirit

Temperance or self-control can’t be prayed over. It takes cultivating restraints; it has to be Spirit controlled. If it is NOT…you will receive a “reprobate mind”; you will justify what you are or about to do (Galatians 5:26).

I have discussed in my last few blogs, the benefits and the possible side-effects pertaining to a “Spiritual” Heart Transplant (Ezekiel 11:19 and Galatians 5). I’ve talked to you about how to remove the LDL-Cholesterol and plaque buildup in your spiritual circulatory system, thus preventing “Spiritual Heart Disease”. Now it’s up to you to do your part and God will do His part. If you make the decision to follow you Family Physician’s advice, then you should have little difficulty in following and obeying your Doctor’s advice.  Your choice! Start your exercising today by walking and living in the Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25).

The “Spiritual Medications” for Spiritual “Heart Disease”

In my last blog I discussed two of three topics mentioned regarding Spiritual Heart Disease and “cardiac rehabilitation”; becoming one new man (person), through a “SpiritualHeart Transplant in Christ Jesus. The two devices I mentioned in monitoring the recovery process were: Diet and Exercise. I want to look into the third device in the helping of your Spiritual “Heart Disease”.

Medications

An often used medication prescribed by physicians, in connection with heart disease is a “Statin”.  Statins are drugs used to lower “bad”cholesterol (HDL). Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries, narrowing or even blocking the blood flow. That often leads to heart disease, heart attacks and even death [MedlinePlus].  Plaque in your body is:  “Typically made up of cholesterol and other fats, calcium deposits, cells, and cell debris.”

Now that we know the physical problems leading to HEART PROBLEMS and the medications used to control them, open your Bibles to look at the causes and medications used for monitoring “spiritual” heart disease.

“Lasciviousness” [plaque]  V.S.  “TEMPERANCE”  [statin]

Neglect of the Heart can cause disease of the flesh.  Neglect of the “Spiritual” Heart [the ‘hidden man’; I Peter 3:4] can cause disease of the flesh; same effect. The disease can make it difficult for you even to breathe.

LASCIVIOUSNESS is the reciprocal of TEMPERANCE

Hebrews 2:1-4  “…pay much closer attention than ever to the truth [the evidence] that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past and slip away.  For if the message given through angels [the Law spoken by them to Moses] was authentic and proved sure, and every violation and disobedience received in appropriate (just and adequate) penalty.  How shall we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it was confirmed to us and proved real and genuine by those who personally heard [Him speak].   [Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, Who showed His approval of its signs and wonders and various manifestations of [His] power and imparting gifts of the Holy Spirit [to the believers] according to His own will.”

Walking [or exercising] in “neglect” produces negligence of restraints.

Hebrews 12:1-3  gives us the antidote to negligence.  “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus”   ‘Consider Jesus’ so you won’t faint in your mind.  Learn how Satan operates in preventing “lasciviousness”.  The most powerful weapons of the devil are:

1.   SUGGESTION

2.  DECEPTION is not all lies. It has some truths that have been “twisted”.

3.   WICKERED TRUTH—“Wickered furniture can be distinguished from other furniture made; “it’s always twisted”.

We all have to learn to “walk in the Spirit” after receiving a “Spiritual” Heart Transplant” [we are now in Christ Jesus],  and NOT the soulish, emotional mind of the flesh (our body, soul and spirit) we had before.  “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”  II Corinthians 5:17  You have a NEW HEART!

The Law of “Seed, Time and Harvest” Genesis 8:22.  ALL of life operates in the Genesis Law.

The devil’s strategy is to plant “contaminated seed”, and FEAR – SEED is simply “contaminated faith”.  “Plant the seed and it will grow”, the “Law of Genesis 8:22 didn’t say to you what kind of seed. And if it’s a LAW, anybody can get involved.  If a Christian is in the Law of Faith v.s. ‘demon people’ in the Law of Sin, Christians will win every time.

I once heard a television Pastor say, that ” it cost 5 million dollars per month for the ministry to go forth into the world”. He also said that the television ministry was “planting seed“; We walk by faith and not by sight”.  God’s seed is greater than Satan’s seed.

Taking away Satan’s ability to sow seed [‘bad cholesterol’] into your life.

BAD CHOLESTEROL:

1.  Most Television programs.

2.  Most Movies.

3.  Certain Music.

I know what you might be thinking after mentioning the bad seed planting.  “It’s NOT all bad seed, is it?” Remember that your heart is the ground that word-seed is planted.  The point of entry for sowing the seed into your heart  is through your eye-gates, your ear-gates and your mouth gates.  Proverbs 4:23-24 says,  “Keep and guard your HEART with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flows the springs of life.  Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk far from you.”  If your cardiologist would tell you something similar about the care and health of your physical heart, would you not pay attention to his wisdom? Your “Spiritual Heart Surgeon” is giving you some preventative directions. You alone will have to make the choice to follow His wisdom.

“Lasciviousness” is defined as “lewd, licentious, lecherous (obscenity, sexual immorality).”  In Romans 13:13 the word “wantonness” is used in place of “lasciviousnessIn the Amplified Version of the same verse, “immorality and debauchery” are used. In the New American Standard, “sexual promiscuity and sensuality” replace the word “lasciviousness“. In any case, the “seed” is there and they are the issues or “the springs of life“! 

BLOOD CLOTS ARE FORMED:  Sensuality, immorality, debauchery, sexual promiscuity and lasciviousness are all formed in the heart.

NO RESTRAINTS, NO BRAKES to guarding your heart. When that is permitted in to your thinking it can become a “stronghold” of your mind, will and emotions.  A “STRONGHOLD” can been defined as a “house of thoughts”.  A blockage to your heart’s blood flow,  and will lead to a “spiritual” heart attack or a “spiritual” stroke that affects your thinking.  The Sunday morning message today was about how much time we spend in our daily routines. We’ve become participants of “The Global Information Technology Network”. It’s a real organization that includes technical devices such as cell-phones, “I-Pads”, “Kindles”, “Blackberry”, Notepads, Lap-Top computers etc.  We have to communicate electronically it seems, to fill a void. The speaker mentioned that teenagers text over 3000 times in any given month or more.  “No restraints, no brakes”. The devices become “idols”. The idols have replaced the Word of God. Do you spend more time today’s technology than you do reading in your Bible?  I am just saying here…  

 Only a “statin”  will break-up the blocking effect of the Lasciviousness Plaque;  it’s  TEMPERANCE.  It’s doing the things that developes “temperance-statin” in your life; the fruit of love.

TEMPERANCE-statins  or “self-control” is a compound; it is connected with exercising; “walking in the fruit of the Spirit“.

What to Expect After a “Spiritual” Heart Transplant

Since I was diagnosed with “heart disease” in 1998 with a 7-Way Heart By-pass in 1999, I thought I might have some insight into the treatment of the physical disease.

United States Statistics of Heart Disease and Heart Failures (CDC).

1.  Almost six million hospitalizations each year (in the United States) are due to cardiovascular disease.

2.  Every 34 seconds a person in the United States dies of heart failure.

3.  More than 2500 Americans die from heart failure in relationship to heart disease.

4.  Every 20 seconds, a person in the United States has a heart attack.

5.  At least 250,000 people die of heart attacks each year in the United States before reaching the hospital.

I don’t think anyone today has any reservations regarding the seriousness of heart disease in this country. If you do, the statistics I referenced should make you aware of a serious physical condition; personally, in our families and friends. It has touched most people’s lives. What are the breakthroughs in medical science that can help in prevention and correcting the disease and even heart failure? There are many, including the possibility of heart transplants.  Heart transplants are done as a life-saving measure for end-stage heart failure.

Survival Rates of “Heart Transplants”.

1.  88% survive the first year.

2.  72 % survive the first five years.

3.  10 year survival is close to 50%

4.  16% survive 20 years.

What to Expect After a Physical Heart Transplant.

1.  Cardiac rehabilitation which helps improve the health and well-being of people.

2.  Heart monitoring: blood tests, lung function, EKG, echocardiogram.

3.  Heart rejection prevention medications.

Are you wondering what all these heart disease statistics have to do with,  “What to Expect After a “Spiritual” Heart Transplant”?

Lets go to the greatest Heart Surgeon there is and ever was, Who is daily practicing heart surgery and demonstrating what you can expect afterwords.

The Godly Heart Transplant

Ezekiel 11:19  “And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God].”

Ezekiel 36:26-27  “A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall heed My ordinances and do them.”

So, God the Heart Surgeon can give us all a “new heart of flesh” along with “a new spirit” and while He’s at it, God will put His own Spirit within you at the same time.  The Holy Spirit will monitor the recovery and rehabilitation of the new heart transplant. God’s Spirit will cause you to be able to get up from heart surgery and then “to walk…” !

The Heart Transplant Prognosis; begins with a “spiritual Law”

We all know that there are physical law to deal with in our lives; local traffic laws, laws of physics; natural and physical laws. There are “spiritual laws” also.  I found a good definition in my detective work of a LAWA rule or action based on an established fact.” With that definition in mind, turn to the Book of Romans to look at a “spiritual” law that explains “The Heart Plant Prognosis“.

Romans 8:2  “For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being from the heart transplant] has freed me from the law of sin and death.”

With your new heart and new spirit, you have been given the prognosis of “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus“. You are a “new creation”. That is definitely “good news” in the outcome of the heart transplant. Your spirit and soul have been given a clean bill of health.

Diagnosis first and then the prognosis after the surgery.

Everyone on earth who hasn’t received a new “heart transplant” has the same “diagnosis”.

Romans 5:12 [Diagnosis given]  “Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and DEATH as the result of sin, so DEATH spread to ALL MEN, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because ALL MEN SINNED.”

The great Physician’s [Jehovah-rapa]; God heals, provided a way to stop “spiritual death” by open heart surgery. As the terminal patient, you will have to decide to go ahead with it.  Life or Death, it’s your choice!  It’s a Spiritual Law. If you decide to go for a 100% recovery, you will probably want consultation in regard to, “What to Expect After the Spiritual Heart Transplant”.

Walking in the Fruit of the Spirit

Heart disease is primarily caused by the narrowing the arterial walls within your body by a substance called “plaque”. Eventually, the plaque builds up so much in your arteries that blood is unable to flow to the heart because of “blockages”. Thus, the possibilities of a heart attack or in my case and others, by-pass surgery is needed to “by-pass” the blockages. Your “flesh” has become a hinderance to your heart functioning properly. Can this same explanation be applied to the “spiritual” heart disease?

Galatians 5:16, 19-23: The PA (Physician’s Assistant)

“But I say, walk and live [‘after the transplant’, habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).”

The Arterial “Plaque” Blockages

Verse 19-21,  “Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, eminity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissentions), party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like, I warn you beforehand…”   THAT IS the “plaque” that can cause death!  An old saying:  “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth More Than a Pound of Cure”.

The Prevention

Verse 22 says,  “BUT the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is…”

In my first post-operative appointment with the heart surgeon after my surgery in 1999, I asked him some important questions.  “What can I do at home that will keep me in good heart health?”  He explained to me that there were three key elements in keeping heart disease at bay:

1.  Diet; being careful to what you consume that causes a “plaque build-up”.  Less sugar and fat and more vegetables and “FRUIT”.

2.  Exercise by walking.

3.  Medication; reducing the plaque build up  in the body’s arterial-vascular system.

“Spiritual” Heart Disease Prevention

1.  Diet:  the “Fruit of the Spirit”,  “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”.

Galatians 5:24 says,  “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and appetites and desires.”

2.  Exercise: by “walking” to increased the blood flow to the heart; prevents the tendencies of a hard or stoney heart.

Galatians 5:25  “If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also WALK by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our ‘heart-life’ in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit].”

As my own cardiologist and my godly Cardiologist would say, “I won’t tell you to do something you can’t do!” (Galatians 5:24)

Blood flow blockers and Spiritual Medication:

In the next blog, I want share my research of two items contained in Scripture that reflects on “preventative spiritual medication” and the causes to “spiritual plaque”; blocking the blood flow to the heart.

 

 

“The Unseen Partner” in “Discovering the Good Life”

Discussing my dreams and desires of my life is sometimes difficult for me to discuss with you all.  Several years ago, I got down on my knees in my “prayer closet” and prayed a paraphrased version of Solomon’s prayer request found in I Kings 3:9.  It went sort of like this as I remember:

“So Lord, give Your servant Mel an understanding mind and a hearing heart…that I may discern between what is good and what is bad for Your people in the Church. Thank You, in Jesus Name.”

And God answered me in a similar way He answered Solomon. 

How?  I felt the presence of His Spirit speaking to my spirit and my soul; my “unseen partner” in everything that I do.

I Kings 3:11-12  “God said to him,  Because you have asked this and have not asked for long life or for riches…but have asked for yourself understanding to recognize what is just and right,  Behold, I have done as you have asked. I have given you a wise, discerning mind…”

Am I telling you that God made me as wise as Solomon?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  What I am saying is that my understanding and discernment immediately exploded in my life’s experiences and situations. THAT’S the GOOD NEWS!  I also began to feel inside of my personality that answered prayer might also be a detriment. “A detriment?”  YEP…How and when would opportunities arise that I could demonstrate God’s Blessing?  Remember that a BLESSING is “an empowerment on and in me to succeed in everything I do”. I found the answer to my question of ‘a detriment in my doing or a Blessing’ in the Book of Jeremiah. Praise God!

Jeremiah 29:11 says,  “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you (Mel), says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope (Mel) in your final outcome.”

God knows the thoughts and plans for my life and your life too.  

He “gives us HOPE in the final outcome.”  Our final outcome isn’t here yet!  So be at peace in your understanding.    

Turn to Ephesians, the 3rd Chapter and read verses 1-9.   I want to focus for a minute on verse 3.

“[And] that the mystery (secret and plan) was made known to me and I was allowed to comprehend it by direct revelation…”

This theme of “revelation knowledge” is carried out through all nine verses in Ephesians 3God’s “revelation knowledge” always agrees with His word.  I took verse nine’s plan to heart and you should do the same. God’s “mystery” or “plan”  isn’t a “mystery” any longer!

“Also enlighten ALL MEN and make plain to them what is the plan of the mystery kept hidden through the ages and concealed until now in [the mind of] God who created ALL things by Christ Jesus.”

Does anyone else know this plan that God has revealed to those of us who are saints by His grace? 

The HOLY SPIRIT, our “Unseen Partner” in God’s plan knows!

Ephesians 2:10 says,  “For we are God’s [own] handiwork  (His workmanship)…”   The Greek word used here for “workmanship”  is “poiema” which is translated into the English word “poem” [from the Inner Linear Bible–Hebrew, Greek, English].  “…recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do these good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should WALK IN THEM [living the GOOD LIFE which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”

“DISCOVERING THE GOOD LIFE’s” the plan for our lives.

1.  The Holy Spirit knows the plan already!

2.  The path that we are to take has been prepared!

3.  The Holy Spirit; The Unseen Partner” enlightens us when we read His Word!

4.  Develope an ear to hear His voice!

SO START YOUR “WALKING” today and begin “Disovering the Good Life” God has already prearranged for you!

 

 

 

 

“Discovering the Good Life”

Is there differences of opinion in what the “good life” really is today? In my next two blogs, the WORD Detective will attempt to uncover the TRUTH and evidence of “Discovering the Good Life”.

Even when I was very small child, music has always been a part of my life. My mother told me that when I was three years of age, I use to stand facing the radio in our home, trying to direct the symphony orchestra with a spoon in my hand. I still sometimes recreate this scene, except without the spoon and not quite as demonstrative. In preparing for looking into the WORD about the good life, an old Tony Bennet song and lyric came into my thoughts. THANK YOU Jesus!

—“Oh, the Good Life”—

“Oh the good life, full of fun seems ideal.  Mm, the good life lets you hide all the sadness you feel.  You won’t really fall in love for you can’t take a chance.  So please be honest with yourself, don’t try to fake romance.”

“It’s the good life, to be free and explore the unknown.  Like the heartaches when you learn you must face them alone.”

I Love the tune but the lyrics come from the world’s opinion of what the GOOD LIFE is about; the words don’t tells us how to enjoy “the Good Life” or how do we get there.  “Full of fun that seems ideal”, or “the GOOD LIFE lets you hide your sadness” and “to be free and explore the unknown” or how about when you are in “the good life“, your “heartaches” won’t be there and it will prevent you from facing them alone.”  Now that sounds really ideal, but is it a reality in according to the world’s idea? Frankly, if someone or something tells me what  “Discovering the Good Life” is all about, without telling me how to get there, I will probably say it’s just a dream. Then what can you get the truths from?

What does God’s Word say aboutDiscovering the Good Life”?  Turn in your Bibles to the Book of Psalms, I will start there.

Psalm 16:11,  “You [the Lord] will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

Now to me personally, that verse in Psalm 16 uncovers the truth about what a GOOD Life is all about.

a).  There is a path that leads us to the good life. 

b).  You have to discover that path first before getting to your destination.

“Path of Life”

Definition of a PATH or PATHWAY:  “A way or passage, a course laid out by another.”

You will not be able to find the pathway without being “in Your presence“.  In other words, you can’t find it without Him and when He shows you the path, you will know it! No doubts!  How will you know? Because His word says there will be a “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forever“.  Then that must mean if I am on the wrong PATH, there will be an absence: of joy and pleasure. That would be “YES”.

When you are in the WORD, you are in His presence.  Have you been missing that TRUTH?

Proverbs 14:12 says,  “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, BUT…”  Always remember when there is a “BUT” at the end of a phrase, it means you are to “zero out” what was just mentioned.

…BUT at the end of it is the way [the PATH] of death.”

There is a fork in the road; a “way” that seems right to take but which one?  The “way” that leads to a good life or one that leads you to destruction?

“Unearned favor” is God’s gift of Grace.

Turn to the New Covenant, Ephesians 2 and read verses 6-10. I’ll wait…  Every good and perfect thing comes from God.

Verse 6-7  tells us that “He raised us up together” with Jesus and “made us sit down together.” Verse 7 goes on to tell us why He did this for us who believe:

“..to clearly demonstrate through the ages to come His…” 

          a).    “Immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches…”

HOW? 

By  “His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart.”

          b).   His grace is “free”. “It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can take the glory”. Amplified

          c).   God has designed your path out for you so that you can walk in discovery (Verse 10). “…He prearranged and made ready for us to live”,  the Good Life.

Now if I am going to go down a “rabbit hole”  to find something wonderful, and being somewhat skeptical of what might be there, it would be nice to know the benefits. Who will help me in “Discovering the Good Life” while I am looking for it? The answers of course are found in Scripture.

I Corinthians 2:9-10  “BUT, on the contrary, as the Scripture says,  What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the BENEFITS He has bestowed].  Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them [His BENEFITS] by and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny].”    

The answers are all there in those two verses of I Corinthians concerning the benefits to be found. Look around you and know. It won’t be the “Mad Hatter” who will be your helper in the Good Life; in “Wonderland“.

God not only directs your path but He will also find each step that you take.

I love the next two reference verses in the Book of Psalms referring to the direction of my steps.

Psalm 37:23-24

“The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord…”

#1.  God finds your steps for He has already established them.

Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down…”

#2.  There are and will be things on your journey that will knock you off the paths.  BUT…

…for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”

#3.  When you fall down and skin your knee, get up!

You will need a clear and plain direction on which path to take.

Psalm 27:11

“Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain and even path because of my enemies.”  

Psalm 17:4

“Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent (the paths of the destroyer).”

Your mouth sets the path of your life.

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

God’s Word will help you find your path like a “flash-lite” in the dark.

Proverbs 3:6

“In ALL YOUR WAYS KNOW, recognize, and acknowledge Him and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”   Who is in control?  You or the Holy Spirit?  The Holy Spirit will reveal the deception in the thing.

“Holy Spirit: Your Unseen Partner”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Church Growth” SOME TRUSTED ANSWERS

I’ve been a Christian now for over thirty-nine years. In those 39+ years, I have attended several church growth seminars.  I always received good information BUT, did I receive the answers that I could really trust in?

Turn with me next to what the Bible has to say about “trusting answers” in II Corinthians 1:9:

“Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.”

I have over the years listened to conversations of well-meaning Christians, in trying to figure out why church attendance had dwindled or the why’s behind the lack of growth in the congregation and membership. Could it be that the “death rate” in the church is experiencing is from a lack of TRUST?  “Depending on ourselves for answers instead of God of Who can raise the dead“?  Church growth depends on God’s Word and not our own words. If you are looking for “break-through”, it only comes when God says to me…”Receive and obey!” Confidence in what God is saying comes from trusting Him and trusting Him alone for the answers. Confidence doesn’t come from yourself or others for the answers. It’s true that you have your part to do in the process of “church growth” and God has His part.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall…”  Matthew 7:24-25 NKJV

I just received a letter the other day from Creflo and Taffi Dollar that said, “You need two things to build an eternal house.”

1)  “You hear and do the Word of God”.

2)  “You build on Jesus, the rock of our salvation”.

I believe that the two things the Dollar’s listed for “building an eternal house” can also be applied as trusted answers to our growth in our current church home. We have meetings to discuss the problems, we have church boards to discuss the problems and we have gossip sessions in homes to discuss the reasons for lack within the church walls. Why are we then dealing with growth failures in our experiencing”  Turn to Philippians 2:13 for the TRUSTED ANSWER:

“[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” Amplified Version

Do you mean to tell us that this process of “Church Growthisn’t about us? Yep, that’s what God is telling you in this verse’s reference. He is telling us,  “Not only do I give Mel the desire to do it, but I AM giving Mel the ability to do it!” Why then do church people even think that it’s all about the Pastor or the city that surrounds the problems? I uncovered the possible answer to that question in the Book of Romans:

Romans 7:18  “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is in my flesh. I can will what is right [to do] but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out].”

Could we be missing the answers because of our own desires to see the results of “Church Growth”?

II Corinthians 8:11 says,  “So now finish doing it, that your [enthusiastic] readiness in desiring it may be equalled by your completion of it according to your ability and means.”

Now Paul is referring to the contributions given by the church, for the financial relief of the saints in Jerusalem. He tells them that they had started with a Spirit given plan, now finished the plan (verses 9-10).  He is also telling us that it takes more than an “enthusiastic readiness and desire”. It has to be equalled by our completion of a thing [“Church Growth”] according to the abilities that the Holy Spirit has given each one of us to see it manifested. WhenI comes to receiing answers, could we praying amiss?

“I TRUST God with unreserved confidence that He will do it; He will perform it.”

Jeremiah the Prophet tells us that the Lord is “alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.”  Jeremiah 1:12  God’s word gives us the confidence in our readiness for His answer. To get His answer to your question about “Church Growth“, there has to be the question in prayer. That is “fervent” prayer! The down on your face, slobbering on the carpet kind of prayer; “hot to the boiling point”.

“I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]!”  Psalm 57:2

God is higher than any “difficulties of church growth” in my city.  God is higher than any difficulties in my sickness.

“But how long will it be before I see the results of my “fervently” asking?”

Ezekiel 12:25  “For I am the Lord; I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall be performed (come to pass); it shall be no more delayed or prolonged,…” 

If that verse in Ezekiel 12 doesn’t give you confidence and boldness in your trusting for answers, nothing will! It is always in your giving God the glory in the delays not for the delays.

Why are there “delays”?

Trustworthiness is a two-way street. What do I mean by “two-way” street?  When you first get married, the trust that you have between each other grows with the developing relationship. It’s not an automatic response. Now if a husband or wife in the developing relationship becomes un-trustworthy, your love is still there but your trust has to be tested; to regain the growing relationship. Some relationships give-up, cave-in and quit after the first incident. God never gives-up, caves-in or quits when you become untrustworthy. Remember, LOVE looks at the best in a person (I Corinthians 13:4), and God LOVES you!  However, if He can’t trust you with ten cents on a dollar, expect Him to test you in the future. Look what James tell us in His word:

James 1:2-4,  “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations [testing].  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.  But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfected and fully developed [with no defects], lacking nothing.”

Reviewing your TRUSTING for answers.

1. A steadfast, firmly fixed heart in TRUSTING (Psalm 112:7)

2. Quit trusting man for answers (Isaiah 2:22)

3. “You determine your words from God’s Word” and  “your words will determine your thinking”  (Jeremiah 7:8)

There are many clues in Scripture that support the TRUSTING in God for your answers. I just listed three. I want to leave this blog for now with a verse in The Book of Psalms:

Psalm 28:7  “The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.”

I can praise Him in song, with a heart of rejoicing because I TRUST in, rely on and lean on Him with confidence because of who He is; My Strength and shield.

“Learning to lean, I’m learning to lean, I’m learning to lean on Jesus.  Finding more power than I’ve ever dreamed, I’m learning to lean (TRUST) on Jesus.”

LOVE THAT SONG!