As It Is In Heaven

Charlie 232

(representation of an evil spirit only)

This one was bad.  You don’t want the little ones, but you definitely don’t want one of these.  It probably registered an 8.7 on the wrecking scale.  What God had spent 25 years in the making was about to end in 25 minutes.

Loud, explosive words of hurt and hate spewing from the mouths of Mr. Proud, and Mrs. Stubborn!  Satan, no doubt, was in the shadows of darkness cheering with every foul, and fateful word spewed.  He probably was ringing his hands, anticipating, the final blow that would end it all.  He must have been pleased with his demolition plans, for he loves to kill, steal, and destroy.

Fast forward to today.  The couple is still together, and in fact, their love is stronger than ever.  How did they do it?  They didn’t, Love did.  God, knowing their darkest hour had arrived, hearing their invitation for his help, must have dispatched an army of angels to defeat his enemy, and theirs.  The couple didn’t know how to stop the eruption of anger and fear, but they knew how to pray, or in this case, scream, out of desperation.  What they may not have known, is they were fighting forces unseen.

“In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil.” (Eph. 6:10-12 PHILLIPS)

Everywhere people live, there are ruling spirits doing the work of the devil.  One such spirit, here in the Philippines, is the spirit of control.  It seems to be more prevalent in women, but it is certainly seen in men as well.  The way to defeat this spirit is with God’s help, but also by repenting of this spirit in your own life.  I have to on a regular basis.  One should stop fighting people, especially those they love, and ask God what evil, ruling, spirits are over their land?  Once you know, claim your authority, you have in Jesus, and speak to the ruling spirits and tell them, in the name of Jesus Christ, to flee.  Then watch how the people around you will change, and live in peace.  “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

God is Not Religious

Charlie 230Satan is religious.  He loves churches that try to get you to follow a list of dos and don’ts knowing when you fail, you will probably hate yourself and possibly hate God.  Satan religiously tries to get you to believe the lie that you have to follow a list of rules.  The problem is simple:  you are trusting man to tell you what God desires from you instead of finding out for yourself.

If God wanted us to be religious, he would have not sent his Son, Jesus to be a perfect sacrifice for our sins, but instead would have stayed in the temple, behind a curtain.  When Jesus died that curtain ripped from top to bottom.  God doesn’t want religion from us, but a relationship with us.

When you get to know God for yourself, you’ll fall in love with him, and because you don’t want to hurt the One you love, you change your behavior.  Even if you slip up, out of love He forgives, comforts, encourages, and helps you.  This paradigm is a much better way to live.

A friend once said he didn’t have a relationship with God.  I said, “Sure you do!  It’s just not a good one.”  Everyone has a relationship with God.  He loves you, and if you haven’t talked to him in a while, then I’m sure he misses you!  God knows where you are, what you are going through, and he still knows your name.  Can you hear him whispering it?

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Spontaneous Love

By Oswald Chambers

Love suffers long and is kind… —1 Corinthians 13:4

LOVE 105Love is not premeditated– it is spontaneous; that is, it bursts forth in extraordinary ways. There is nothing of precise certainty in Paul’s description of love. We cannot predetermine our thoughts and actions by saying, “Now I will never think any evil thoughts, and I will believe everything that Jesus would have me to believe.” No, the characteristic of love is spontaneity. We don’t deliberately set the statements of Jesus before us as our standard, but when His Spirit is having His way with us, we live according to His standard without even realizing it. And when we look back, we are amazed at how unconcerned we have been over our emotions, which is the very evidence that real spontaneous love was there. The nature of everything involved in the life of God in us is only discerned when we have been through it and it is in our past.

The fountains from which love flows are in God, not in us. It is absurd to think that the love of God is naturally in our hearts, as a result of our own nature. His love is there only because it “has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 5:5).

If we try to prove to God how much we love Him, it is a sure sign that we really don’t love Him. The evidence of our love for Him is the absolute spontaneity of our love, which flows naturally from His nature within us. And when we look back, we will not be able to determine why we did certain things, but we can know that we did them according to the spontaneous nature of His love in us. The life of God exhibits itself in this spontaneous way because the fountains of His love are in the Holy Spirit.

© 2019 My Utmost For His Highest

WARNING!

Charlie 106Here in the Philippines, they print pictures on the packages of cigarettes, that show what could happen if you smoke.  Is it effective?  I don’t know, but I don’t see a lot of smoking going on.  Of course that could be due to the cost of cigarettes.

God told us, in his word, what would happen if you sin – death!  Is it effective?  I don’t know, because I see a lot of people sinning, including me from time to time.  God also showed us what our sin cost – the death of his only Son, Jesus.  You can pay for your sins, or accept Jesus’ payment.  It’s up to you.

”For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23 AMP)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

There’s No Formula!

Charlie 110Because it worked for an individual, a certain way, in a certain amount of time, doesn’t mean it will for you.  I’ve noticed over the years, people will flock to hear a person tell how God moved in their life to reach others.  Or to hear what they did before God healed them.  There is nothing wrong with listening to someone give their testimony, but people think if they duplicate what the person did, it will happen for them, so they take notes, and list each step as if it’s a formula or a recipe.  They think, “Well, if I pray as much as they did, or quit my job to fully devote my time to God.”  The danger is this; if the individual does all the same steps, but doesn’t get the same result then they can get discouraged, dissatisfied, disgruntled and disappointed with themselves or even with God.

Have you noticed in the Bible there is only one Noah, one Samson, one King David, and only one Paul?  God is creative, and he loves to do a fresh thing in the life of a hungry believer.  There may never be another mega church builder like Joel Osteen, evangelist like Billy Graham, or philanthropist like Warren Buffet!

When I started writing, I was imitating one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado.  One day God whispered to me, “Mark, what are doing?”  I replied, “I’m writing God.”  “But why are you trying to write like Max Lucado?” Asked God.  “Because, he’s successful.”  Then he said, “Mark, I already have a Max Lucado writing for me.  I want you to write like you.  The way I made you.”

So what does one do when they desire to be used of God, healed, married, or anything else?  Simply focus on being the bride of Christ.  Become intimate with him.  You know how it is said a married couple starts to look alike?  Well, start looking like Jesus.  Act like him, love like he does.  Abide in Christ.  Stay connected to the vine, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)  Also, Matthew 6:7-13 (MSG) “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.”

God made you specific, and unique.  Do what he wants you to do, the way he wants to do it through you, and it will be great, because it will be for his Glory!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What If?

Charlie 106I almost blew it!  What if I hadn’t of done what I had committed to God to do?  I had told him a few years ago I would do my best to never miss a deadline to writing a blog.  If I had what would have happened?  I know one thing, the end result wouldn’t have been the same.

So why didn’t I want to write the blog?  I enjoy writing the blogs twice a week, even though I don’t always know the results of the words I type.  We had been swimming all day in the hot sun and I was tired.  The blog was already three hours late in posting.  I thought, it will be okay to miss just one blog post.  While I was making ice, we found the recipe again, I sensed the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart to write something.

I asked God, “Do you want to love on your people, or encourage them?”  I sat at my desk, and the blog seemed to have written itself.  Those usually turn out to be the best ones, but don’t tell anybody.

About forty minutes after I had posted the blog I received a phone call.  It was then I knew why the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to write and what to write.  A person was discouraged, but God used the blog to encourage.  It’s not me, or about me.  I’m not special, just obedient, most of the time.  I have learned, God can do everything himself, but He delights in using his people to accomplish his will.  Is, or has the Holy Spirit been whispering to you to do something?

“Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God…” (Psa. 143:10 NASB)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

When Quitting Isn’t an Option

Charlie 99Have you ever said, “This is too hard.  I can’t do this anymore!”?  Or something similar indicating you were giving up?    I have.  But what happens when you quit something God has chosen you to do?

I read that when Billy Graham started preaching there were two other young men who had been called about the same time.  One of those men was an excellent preacher.  I read he could preach up a storm.  So what were their names?  I don’t remember either.  You think Satan didn’t attack Rev. Graham, and do you think he never got discouraged, or thought for a minute, “Why am I doing this?”   He kept at it because God called him to do a task, and Rev. Billy Graham was not going to stop until his body did, and he knew what would happen if he did, Satan would win.

Are you in a position or place and you know you were there because God put you there?  If so, please don’t stop.  Be encouraged, that you are anointed, for what you are doing, for such a time as this.  (Esther 4:14)  And yes, if you quit, people will get hurt, until God raises up someone else to do what He has already chosen you to do.  So put your big boy pants on, and just do it!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Strength Helping Weakness

Charlie 80The words break free of my mouth, before I can think them through,
before I remember, the words of God, that tells, of the damage they will do.
As the last word, in the long ranting, damaging train does its part,
the sorrow, the remorse is already being felt inside my heart.

I don’t want to hurt, and I certainly don’t want to be mean as well,
so why then do I do this over and over again?  Can you tell?
If only there was some way to stop, and think, before I spoke,
then perhaps, the other person, wouldn’t feel as if they’re being choked.

I pray, and ask God to forgive, and then to help me not to do,
I feel better as if it will never happen again, and I will never again hurt you.

I know the great apostle Paul struggled as well.  In 2 Cor. 12:7-10,
He told us that Satan did his best to get him down again.
He begged God to remove this thorn in his flesh,
but God only replied “My grace is enough.” In other words, rest.

Then, “My strength comes into its own in your weakness” so let it be,
so Paul accepted it, realizing that when he is weak, “God works in me!”

So the truth is, on my own, I will never overcome,
but when I am weak, God and I, can become one.
Then, in that moment, before I speak, God’s power will take over,
my response will be of love and peace, and His grace will bring closure.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Still Looking?

Charlie 75Do you know the first thing Jesus said, when he exited the tomb?  “Ta-Da!”  Answered a third grader in a Sunday school class one Easter.  He probably didn’t, but should have.  Perhaps he said, “I told you!”  I don’t really know, but it doesn’t matter.  What does count is what he did for you and me by dying, being the perfect sacrifice for our wrong doing, and then defeating death at its own game.

Something I had never thought of before; the word “tombstone” probably came from Jesus’ tomb stone.  Although his never got engraved with something like:

Here lies Jesus Christ
Son of God, and Mary
0 – 33

Luke 24 1-3 At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus.

4-8 They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words.

9-11 They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the Eleven and the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up.

12 But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that’s all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head. (MSG)

I love when the angel said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery?”  Are you still looking for answers to your life?  Are you looking for them in a cemetery?  Why?  Jesus, is the One you are searching for, or for more of, even if you don’t realize it.  Your spirit is crying out to be reunited with God and that is only possible through accepting Jesus.

So where is Jesus then?  He is right there with you now.  Waiting for you to turn to him either for the first time, or again.  Everything else in life, and every other place will be empty.  As empty as the tomb Jesus borrowed for three days.  Stop looking, and start accepting that Jesus Christ has risen, and is alive, and he’s been pursuing you, waiting for you to believe.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Devoted to Devotions?

Charlie 70How many times have you beat yourself up for not doing your devotions?  Me?  I used to constantly be black and blue!  I didn’t like it.  Am I not serious about serving God?  I used to ask myself.  I wanted to make God happy with me, so why did I constantly feel as though I was disappointing him?

It took a while, okay years, but one day I realized being devoted to devotions was not the same as being devoted to God.  I begin to walk in freedom, because now I was devoted to God, and I knew I could talk to him anytime I wanted to.  I could worship, read his word, and praise him throughout the entire day, and not just at a particular time of day.  There may be those that like having a set time each day, but that didn’t work for me.  Some people, I’m afraid, do their devotions, but then forget what they read or said to God as soon as they are done.  They experienced time gone by, but fail to experience God.

Just like I can’t make you mad, I can’t make God have an emotional response to me as well.  We choose our reactions to others and God chooses his reactions to us.  I’m sure it’s an easy choice for him though when we talk to him and are mindful of him all day long.  God, no doubt, wants to hang out with his children and listen to them, and have them listen to him.  God has a lot to say.

Therefore, your hearts are to be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as [you are doing] today.”  (1 Kings 8:61 AMP)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.