A Better Way to Live

sin

NOUN

  1. an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law:
    “a sin in the eyes of God” ·

synonyms: immoral act · wrong · wrongdoing · act of evil/wickedness · transgression · crime · offense · misdeed · misdemeanor
· trespass · wickedness · wrongdoing · wrong · evil · evildoing · sinfulness
· immorality · iniquity · vice · crime

In a time where one’s, thought to be hidden sins, are being exposed like an uncontrollable leak in a dam.  In a time where an accusation brings quick judgement and sentencing handed down before all the facts are known.  You would think realizing that everything done in darkness will be exposed, would spur one to find a better way to live.

The truth though is we are sold a big fat lie by the devil.  That lie is: You won’t be the one that will get caught.  Guess what?  The devil is probably the one that will tell on you.  Why?  Because he wants to hurt you beyond belief.  I write about it often:  John 10:10 – Satan comes to kill steal and destroy!  Satan HATES you!  He can’t stand you, because YOU are made in the image of God, and he hates God.

A better way to live?  Sure.  Don’t sin.  It’s that simple.  Okay, it’s not, but you can actually learn, or train yourself to sin less.

  1. Capture every thought and bring it into captivity.  In other words, if a thought is about doing something wrong (sin) then realize it, and choose not to.  Love instead.  Do the right thing.  Say the right thing.
  2. Put on God’s bullet proof vest. (Ephesians 6:11-18)  Imagine a policeman these days not wearing his bullet proof vest.

Eph 6:11  So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.
Eph 6:12  This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Eph 6:13  Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
Eph 6:14  Truth, righteousness,
Eph 6:15  peace,
Eph 6:16  faith,
Eph 6:17  and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.
Eph 6:18  In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (MSG)

These are just a couple of purposeful things to do to live a better life.  Here are a few more:  Turn away wrath with love.  When one speaks out against you, smile and love them anyway.  When someone proclaims they are living a life you know is not pleasing to God, please don’t judge and sentence them, but accept them, and love them.  That is not the same as accepting their wrong doing.  Calling out sin on Facebook isn’t going to show anyone there is a better way to live either.  The world needs to see Love.  Jesus is Love.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Stay With It to the End

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“Behold!  The coming of Jesus is so soon, it’s as if He is standing up now getting ready to go gather his church home!”  I was about 8 years old, when that word of prophesy sure got my attention.  I thought dang!  I had better tie my shoes!  I was ready then to stand before God and to give an account for how I had lived my life.  After serious soul searching and one more prayer asking God to forgive me of all of my sins I can say right now I am ready to stand before God.

In these last days, one has to be intentional about staying focused on the prize of eternal life.  Satan is working overtime, and with the help of the Russians putting out “fake” news to keep Americans stirred up (okay, kidding), but honestly, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a straight path toward heaven.

Mar 13:4-13  “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”  Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.  Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people.  When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end.  Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.  “And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth.  The Message has to be preached all across the world.  “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart–the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.  “It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents.  There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. “Stay with it–that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved. (MSG)

All one has to do is read the above verses, and then turn on the world news.  Am I predicting a date of Jesus’ return?  NO WAY!  If you read further down chapter 13 it goes on to say that only God knows the exact day and hour.  Therefore, I beseech you, okay a little too much King James, but I urge you strongly to keep your focus on God, hold Jesus’ hand, and listen to the Holy Spirit, and you will make it home.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

One Man’s Sin

DSC_6186As we saw this past week, in a very visual way, one man’s sin, hurts another human being.  It doesn’t have to be a mass killing either.  It can be a lie, but when found out another is hurt for they got deceived.  A cheating spouse, a wayward leader.  Someone else will get hurt.

Unfortunately, as long as there is sin in this world, there will be hurt.  There is sin in the world because of evil spirits that rule over this world.  When Adam and Eve sinned (disobeyed God) it opened up the door for evil to come over us.

Eph 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

But there is hope!  For those who have accepted God’s free gift of having their sin’s forgiven, by accepting that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins.  There will come a day when God’s Spirit rules over a new earth, and that will cause peace, and no more pain, and no more tears.

My heart ache’s for those that were affected this week by one’s man sin, but I do not get discouraged, or want to give up, because I know, without a doubt, God’s word is true, and one day there will be peace.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Life’s Speed Bumps

speedbumpMy daughter once said, “Squirrels are God’s little speed bumps.”  I’m not saying I agree.  I realized something this past week as I talked to some people.  They were telling me of the trouble they are currently having in their lives.  I felt bad for them.  Then I thought it seems as if there is always so much drama in their lives that they don’t have time to focus on the important things in their life.  Maybe another way to say it is this; they are so busy putting out fires, they never spend time preventing them.

I once told a friend concerning my failed marriage, “I was so busy repairing I never got time to build.”  A good marriage is something important in life.  Teaching your children how to live life right is important as well.  But of course the most important thing in life is deciding where you want to spend eternity.  Yes, it is your decision.

So where does all this trouble come from?  Circumstances; sure.  Most likely as a result of poor decisions.  But consider another source; the devil.  In John 10:10 Jesus said, “Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy.  That means steal your time, destroy relationships, and includes killing your soul.  Then Jesus said, “But I have come so that you may have life.  Abundant life.”  He doesn’t want you to live life on earth suffering.  Jesus wants to help you with living life.  He can and will once you accept him as God’s son and invite him to be the Lord of your life.  Once you do that read about him, study him in the Bible.  He will help you get over life’s speed bumps more smoothly.

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

 

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

Is that You God?

phone handsetIf I was to call you right now, and started speaking without first telling you who I was, you wouldn’t know it was me.  I would start talking and you would say, “Who is this?” but the more often we talked, you would become familiar with the sound of my voice.  The same goes for learning what it sounds like when God speaks to you.  Joh 10:27  My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. (MSG), and we are God’s sheep.

Here is how to begin distinguishing what it sounds like when God speaks to you.  There are 3 places a thought in your head can come from.  Those are: Satan, you, and God.  When a thought comes into your mind, analyze its source.  If the thought goes against God’s word (hint: a good reason to read the Bible) then the thought probably came from Satan, or even you.  If the thought seems smarter than you then rule out yourself as the source.  So that leaves God if the thought lines up with His Word, and is full of wisdom.  Keep in mind, God will use your vocabulary.

Hearing God, takes time and practice.  Ask Him to speak to you, and also be aware that at times He will use something someone else says to speak to you.  At other times, you may be reading His word, and a scripture will resonate with you.  There will come a day, when you’ll appreciate knowing, in a moment, who it is speaking to you.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

‘IF I WERE THE DEVIL’ by Paul Harvey (52 yrs. ago)

harveyIf I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’

“To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

“And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

“If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

“If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And what do you bet? I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”

Choose to Live

20161119_112851A young man hid in the bushes.  When he judged the train was too close to stop in time he ran out and dove onto the tracks.

I was riding that train on my way to work this past week.  I have been commuting in and out of Chicago for 23 years, but this was the first time I have actually been on the train that struck a pedestrian.  They ruled it a suicide immediately.

While the investigation was proceeding I thought about this person and wondered, how bad was his life that he decided he had no more hope?  What was going on?  Satan won a victory that morning.  John 10:10 tells us, “Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.”  Anything God has created, or made, including mankind, Satan wants to get rid of it.

Pastor Robert Morris, of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas once said, “As long as you are alive, you have hope.”  If you are hurting, if the pain is more than you think you can bare, then please talk to someone.  Please, I beg you.  There are numerous organizations that are set up to help in all kinds of ways, but you must contact them.  Depression, and mental illness is not something that shows up on the outside.  Most people may not ever know, until you speak up.  And if someone speaks up to you, I pray you will love and care about them enough to listen intently, and help them.  Life, can be a beautiful thing.  Choose it.

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved