Where Are You Going?

20170819_205542“Recalculating.”  Seems to be her favorite word.  I get frustrated with her at times.  Ladies, please don’t get mad, but a man doesn’t like to be told what to do by a woman.  It’s not our fault, it’s just the way we are wired.  So I recently put my GPS in the back seat, and it felt natural.  At times, I still try to get where I think I am supposed to be going, on my own.

That happened this year.  My plans were taking me in a completely different direction.  If I had not felt in my spirit “Recalculating”, I would not currently be going where God needs me to be.  Yes, God uses GPS.  “God’s Positioning System”

It’s important to seek God’s will for your life.  You were created for a reason and a purpose.  If you submit to God’s GPS you will be happy and not frustrated when you arrive at your final destination.  I hope and pray your final destination, is heaven.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Are You Nothing?

My co-worker was questioning how someone could not give a particular race respect. Even think they are stupid animals.  As the conversation continued we came to one conclusion.  This attitude toward others can only be a result of “hate”.  Unfortunately, “hate” doesn’t just stop with people groups, but can actually be focused on coworkers, friends, and oh my goodness, family.  Wait, did I just say family?  Yes.  I did.  And what will surprise you the most is, this “hate” can even come from those who consider themselves Christian.  Guess what, going to church does not make one a Christian.  And we wonder why some people don’t like Christians.

1 Corinthians chapter 13:4-8 tells us what pure love is, but I have realized it also shows us what pure hate looks like:

Hate gives up.
Hate cares more for self than others.
Hate wants what it doesn’t have.
Hate struts, has a swelled head,
Forces itself on others.
Is always “me first.”
Flies off the handle.
Keeps score of the sins of others,
Revels when others grovel.
Takes pleasure in spreading lies,
Doesn’t put up with anything.
Never trusts God.
Never looks for the best.
Always looks back.
Hate always kills.

1Co 13:1-3   If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m not lovenothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.  If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (MSG)

The bottom line is this:  If you “hate” anyone for any reason you are nothing!  Choose to love, and they might just choose to love you back.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Would You?

Dying for someone elseHow far would you go for someone else?  Would you take a bullet for someone, like the secret service men who protect our president?  Would you volunteer to be put to death so someone else could live?  The answer to these questions probably matter on who the one escaping death is, and how much they mean to you.

What if the one going to die was your spouse, parent, or your child?  Would you die for them?  What if it was more than just dying?  What if you were asked to die and then to spend eternity in hell on behalf of the one you choose to take their place of?  Would you do that?  Knowing hell is a place of utter darkness where individuals are tormented constantly.  That makes the decision a lot harder.

I had a situation this past week come up where some people close to me hurt me very bad.  First I had to use a lot of “Satan Spray” (see last week’s post) and then I started earnestly praying for those individuals.  I prayed they would come back to living a life pleasing to God and not the devil.  Then I had the thought, if they don’t change their lifestyles they could very well wind up in hell!  I wasn’t judging them, I was only comparing their lives to the word of God.  I began to pray for them even harder, and a new thought hit me.  I said, “God, I don’t want to see them die and go to hell.  I love them so much.  Could I take their place?”  Now tears flowing.  I know I can’t take their place, because everyone will be judged on their own.

Then I was reminded, this is exactly what Jesus did.  He loves us so much he told his Father he would die for us and go to hell on our behalf.  So that those who choose to believe in him and ask him to be their Lord would be saved from eternal death.  The difference is Jesus had the power to break through the utter darkness.  His light overcame Satan, and now there was a way for those who believe and accept him to live.  WOW!  What love!

Joh 3:16  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. (MSG)

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Satan Spray

satan sprayThe other day someone said something that irked me to no end!  Even several hours later I was still upset.  Then I realized, Satan was using what was said to hurt me.  I decided to get out my “Satan Spray”.  I started singing songs of praise and worship.  Next thing I knew, he was gone.  I guess he doesn’t like hearing songs that lift up the name of Jesus.  Either that, or he doesn’t know the words.

Jam 4:7   So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. (AMP)

Keep in mind Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy.  YOU!  He will use anyone, at any time, to bring harm to you, God’s own creation.  The contents of your “Satan Spray” could include quoting scriptures, prayer, listening to a sermon, etc.  The key to “Satan Spray” is this:  Use often, and don’t use it sparingly, because Jesus purchased enough through His death and resurrection to last for eternity.

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Does God Blink?

eyesWhen there are people in your life who seem to enjoy making you hurt, miserable, or angry you begin to wonder if God indeed has His eye on you or, if He blinked for a moment?  You think to yourself how could He let this happen to me over and over again?  Where is His revenge on these people?  I gave it to Him as he instructs us to.

The truth is, He never takes His eyes off of us.  Not even for a split second to blink.  Pro 2:8  He keeps his eye on all who live honestly, and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.

Another truth is you don’t know what is going on in that person’s life that you don’t see.  God has never liked it when someone willfully hurts one of His own.  To the ones who do He has some very harsh words:

Mic 2:1-3  Doom to those who plot evil, who go to bed dreaming up crimes! As soon as it’s morning, they’re off, full of energy, doing what they’ve planned.  They covet fields and grab them, find homes and take them. They bully the neighbor and his family, see people only for what they can get out of them.  GOD has had enough. He says, “I have some plans of my own: Disaster because of this interbreeding evil! Your necks are on the line. You’re not walking away from this. It’s doomsday for you.

If you feel you are being treated unfairly, take heart.  God sees, and knows, and He will deal justly with those who are not just.  If you are one of those hurting others, beware!  God sees you too, and He will avenge the innocent.  If you are the innocent, pray God’s judgement will turn the heart of the guilty to God.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Sight Unseen

052012_47JBWould you buy a house sight unseen?  Probably not.  On the other hand, have things or people always been as they appear?  Most likely no.  So why is seeing so important?  Why is one state, I traveled through today, called the “Show me state”?  We put so much infaces on seeing before believing, that when it comes to God we want the same thing.

I asked a coworker some years ago this question, “What would it take for you to believe God was real?”  He thought long and hard and finally could not give me an answer.  Possibly in his mind anything God would do for him, would still trigger doubt, and disbelief.  Knowing how He made us, I think that is why God asks us to accept Him by “faith”.  Faith, is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

It can be difficult, somethimes, to believe in God.  Especially when life is tough, but given the chance, and time God has proven Himself to me over and over.  He also promises to prepare a home for me in heaven.  I’ll accept that home, “sight unseen”!

Boxed In?

20170708_220718One thing that makes moving successful is having enough, and right size boxes for your stuff.  Moving works best when you have the time to put the right things in the right size boxes and number them, and then keep a running list of what is in each one.

When it comes to moving spiritually, what size box do you try to put God in?  Do you cram Him in a small one, because He is only a “small” part of your life?  Or does the God you serve fit in a refrigerator box?  How do you list the contents of the box you put God in?  That probably depends on what you think of God and His power.  Maybe it is limited by your experience with Him so far.

We’re human.  Our mind has limits, but when it comes to God we shouldn’t limit Him at all.  We should never put Him, and His abilities in a box.  Instead of saying, “Why can’t God…?” we should say, “My God can…”  When you start living with this kind of thinking about God you will begin to find your life outside the box.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Thorns and Thistles

080512 169Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is life so hard?”  You strive to do good, get ahead, but at times it seems the more you press forward the further behind you get.  In your finances, at work, or in relationships.  The truth is, it’s not your fault.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden part of the punishment was life would be harder.  They received their sentence before they were evicted from the home God wanted for them.  See the scripture below:

Gen 3:18   The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, (MSG)

All the more reason we need God to lift us out of the weeds and thorns of life that desire to choke, and overcome us.  If you’re tired of weed whacking then stop, and ask God for help.  He will, and He can.  Consider the fact His way was for us to live in a garden.  My neighbor once saw me planting flowers several years ago.  She said, “You don’t know what you are doing!”  My reply, “I know, but I’m having a great time.”  God, the master gardener, knows what He is doing.  Turn your life over to Him then trust and obey.  That’s the only way to live life in the garden.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Good Words

Max LucadoI recently read this devotion by Max Lucado, and was moved by the truth and power of the words.  I decided the best thing to do was to share it with others.

Quarry the Deep Qualities of God

Don’t equate the presence of God with a good mood or a pleasant temperament. God is near whether you’re happy or not. But do quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God, and press them to your heart. My list reads like this:

  • ·  He is still sovereign.
  • ·  He still knows my name.
  • ·  Angels still respond to His call.
  • ·  God is still faithful.
  • ·  He is not caught off guard.
  • ·  He uses everything for His glory and my ultimate good.

Lay hold of the unchanging character of God. Pray your pain out. Pound the table. Even Jesus offered up prayers with what Hebrews 5:7 describes as “loud cries and tears.” Your family may be gone. Your supporters may have left. But God has not budged! His promise still stands, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

To read more from Max, or to sign up for his devotions click on the link below:

Max Lucado

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

How Satan Gets In

SieveJesus warned Peter (Simon) Satan wanted to get inside him and tempt him.  Satan wanted to see if Peter’s life was rattled, shaken would his belief in God remain.

Luke 22:31 “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.” (MSG)

So how does Satan get inside our hearts in the first place?

Perhaps when a family member hurts us. – Resentment
Maybe when a neighbor gets a new car. – Jealousy
Could be when difficult financial times fall upon us. – Fear
When your boss rides you, even though you work very hard. – Hatred
It could be after the loss of a loved one. – Grief, or sorrow
Through a battle with a serious illness. – Desperation
If a child goes astray with their life, or departs from God – Hopelessness
You feel there is no one out there who really loves you, understands you. – Loneliness
A situation or person ticks you off – Anger

These are only a few examples of how our lives can be shaken, sifted.  If this is happening to you will God remain?  I hope so.  One way to make sure is to do an evaluation of what is in your heart.  Clean it out and then keep the door to your heart and soul SHUT!  And it wouldn’t hurt to lock it either.

Recognize quickly when Satan tries to sneak into your heart, because he will, even if the door is barely cracked.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved