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

Hereeeeee’s God

JohnnyYa know, sometimes God words things just right.  Good enough to convey His point clearly, so I give you God.  He will be quoting His original writing from Amos chapter 5, verses 7 – 14.

7) Woe to you who turn justice to vinegar and stomp righteousness into the mud.

8) Do you realize where you are? You’re in a cosmos star-flung with constellations by God, A world God wakes up each morning and puts to bed each night. God dips water from the ocean and gives the land a drink. GOD, God-revealed, does all this.

9) And he can destroy it as easily as make it. He can turn this vast wonder into total waste

10) People hate this kind of talk. Raw truth is never popular.

11) But here it is, bluntly spoken: Because you run roughshod over the poor and take the bread right out of their mouths, You’re never going to move into the luxury homes you have built. You’re never going to drink wine from the expensive vineyards you’ve planted.

12) I know precisely the extent of your violations, the enormity of your sins. Appalling! You bully right-living people, taking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they’re down.

13) Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic. Decent people throw up their hands. Protest and rebuke are useless, a waste of breath.

14) Seek good and not evil– and live! You talk about GOD, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, being your best friend. Well, live like it, and maybe it will happen.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

That’s All I Wanted

Holding His people

I just wanted people to love me first.  To make that choice, and live by it.  I gave them free will, and I always hoped they would use theirs to put nothing else as a god before me.  Was that asking too much?  In turn, I would be their God.  I would lead, guide, protect, and bless them if they served me, and kept my commandments.

You know, I came up with those 10 things, believe it or not, to make life easier, not harder.  But that free will thing gets in the way and it sometimes gets people hurt.  It’s the only way this whole God and the people I made relationship would really work, and have true meaning to it.

I made these people, and then gave them free will.  Well, as you know, it didn’t take long for them to screw it up, so I taught them how to offer up a sacrifice for their sins, and it needed perfecting.  Yes, that is when I gave my people my Son.  Perfection.  His death bought back the people that belonged to me in the first place, because I made them.  It was out of pure love I gave them their free will again.  All I wanted was their perfect love given back to me freely of their own will.

 

What do you do with your free will?

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Are You Wrong?

wrongEverybody has an opinion on what happens after they die.  Some of those opinions are: nothing happens, reincarnation, you go to heaven, and various other beliefs.  I personally believe that if one has accepted Jesus Christ as God’s Son, and have asked him to forgive their sins then they go to heaven.  If they haven’t then they go to hell.  Either way, it’s for eternity!

I was talking about this subject with a coworker several years ago, and he believed then in reincarnation.  Our conversation ended by me saying, “John (not his name), if your belief is right then neither one of us have anything to worry about, BUT, if I am right then you may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation while you are standing before God giving an account as to how you lived.”  He walked away concerned.

Also, keep in mind, just because one claims to know Jesus, doesn’t mean they have accepted him, or obeyed his commandments.  Consider these verses from the Bible:

Mat 7:21 – 23  Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?  And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly. (AMP)

So the question then is this:  “Are you okay being wrong?”

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Pick up Lines from the Bible

songofsolomonpagehead

I tried to use the following line on a woman the other day.  “You’re so beautiful, my darling, so beautiful, and your dove eyes are veiled by your hair as it flows and shimmers, like a flock of goats in the distance streaming down a hillside in the sunshine.”

It didn’t work.  I got it from the book; Song of Solomon, chapter 4:1.

But there is one, in the Bible, who tries to pick us up.  He uses lines like, “Come.” “Come along with me.”  “Come, who are tired, and I will give you rest.”  Some do.  They accept the invitation.

Then they begin a journey into the greatest love of all time.  They accept His commandments that actually changes how they live their life.  This love changes how they act toward others, and even family members.  It changes how they speak, and later they will become the bride of Christ, and truly live happily ever after.

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Time for God?

clockYou sleep, you wake, usually before you are ready.
You don’t want to be late, for this job is steady.
Your spouse deals with the kids, their lunches and more.
The kids go to school, do homework and then their chores.

The goal is to all meet back home and try together to eat,
but there are athletic games, practices, and people to meet.
There’s the business of living, and paying the bills,
of finding repairmen to fix the houses’ ills.

And on that rare evening when home you are found,
there are shows to catch up on with, or without others around.
Then weekends arrive, and you work around the house during the day,
so you can make it to the party invitations that come your way.

Sunday morning is here, to church do you go?
You’re so tired from your week, it’s too easy to rollover and say, “No.”
Shouldn’t God get your tithe, your worship and time?  Your call.
But without Him there’s no life worth living, at all!

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Are You Afraid of Sin?

DSC_6087When the serpent was talking to Eve, why didn’t she run?  Today if a serpent was around, most of us would run.  Before Eve’s eyes were opened she didn’t know any fear.  She didn’t need to, with the exception of fearing God, meaning respect Him, and His words.  Here in front of her was sin, evil, the downfall of mankind and the world, yet she wasn’t afraid.

Are you afraid of sin?  Are you afraid of your sin?  A lot people must not be because there is a lot of it going on.  Sinning that is.  Why?  1)  Some people don’t feel what they are doing is wrong.  They justify it in a number of ways.  Real deception is when they think the wrong they are doing is actually right.  2)  The other reason they aren’t afraid of their sin is they don’t know what it cost.  Ultimately it will cost them their life.  Before that it may cost them a good job, a loving family, friends.

All sin must be paid for.  There are only two ways to do this.  1)  Either you pay for your own sin, which means dying eternally in hell, a lake of fire, and utter darkness.  2)  You accept the fact the Son of God, Jesus Christ died on a cross to pay for your sins, which means you will live in eternity in heaven.

Live in heaven forever, or die in hell forever?  Are you afraid of sin now?  You should be.

Rom 3:23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (KJV)
Rom 6:23   Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (MSG)

“Because I Can”

What makes you do the things you do?  Especially when you know ahead of time it is wrong?  It is one little letter.  The letter “I”.  You see because God gave us “free will” we get to choose which direction to go when we are faced with doing right or doing wrong.  It’s kind of sad, but just one little letter can make the difference between a life you “run” to a life that you “ruin”.

When “I” do what “I” want to do it can often lead to wrong.  This happens because we are basically selfish, and want to satisfy ourselves rather than God. “I” can hurt people. “I” can destroy relationships. “I” can take from others. “I” can put anything in place of God. “I” can verbally tell someone just what “I” think.  “I” can lust after what my neighbor has. “I” can even kill.

The truth is God gave us a better way to live, not to enslave us, but to set us free.  Jesus said that He came to give us life and to give it to us more abundantly. (John 10:10b) Abundant life?  You mean it can be better than this? “Yes!”  You accept Christ and live the way He instructs and your life will be different.  Even a life that is in “ruin” because of “I” getting everything it wanted.  Accepting Christ is not winning the lottery, but you will face life with richness.  When you live in God’s peace you begin to learn contentment.  Peace and contentment combined puts “I” in its place. When “i” yields to God it becomes little.  When “i” becomes little and yields to what is right one is more likely to do the right thing.  Doing the right thing always makes for a better life.