Is This It?

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The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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

 

Evicting Spiders

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWarm sunny morning.  As I opened the curtains I see the shadow of a large spider projected onto my roller shade.  I slowly raised the shade to revel an ugly spider.  I hate spiders, so when it comes to sharing earth with them I have one rule: “I get the inside of the house and they can have the entire outside”.  I think it’s a fair deal.

I had never seen a spider like this one before, so as creeped out as I was I wanted to get a closer look.  I leaned in toward the window, extending my index finger and wondered what he would do if I tapped on the glass.  As my finger was about to reach the glass I had the horrifying realization He’s on the inside!  Now I wish I had grabbed my phone and taken a picture, but I went for the kill.  I didn’t want him packing up and leaving Dodge alive.

Sin is like spiders; creepy, stealth like, and can be very harmful.  As is with spiders, some sin seems harmless, while other sins can lead to death, but sin, like spiders on the inside of the house, must be evicted.  There is no place for sin.  Mankind rates sin, but God doesn’t.  He knows that sin is sin, and all of it is harmful and can even kill you.  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)  Evict sin.  Don’t allow any wrong doing in your life.  Always do the right thing at any cost.  Doing so might just save your life.

Note:  I was working on a project titled “What was God Thinking…” and one chapter was “When He Created Spiders?”  In my research I learned spiders are necessary.  They control the population of other insects.  So we need them, but God, really, did you have to make them so creepy?  Oh, and one last thing, only one was spider was actually harmed in the making of this post!

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

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

What more do you want?

Earth

Bible

Mary 2

Cross

Heaven

I created a beautiful place for you to live.
I wrote instructions, on how to live.
I gave you my Son who lived perfectly,
I allowed him to die, as a sacrifice, for your wrong doing.
I prepared a place for you……..to live eternally.

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

Starved for God

Starving man“I’m looking for the next party!”  One recently shared with me.  The next day I read the following scriptures from the Old Testament book of Hosea 9: 1-6 (MSG).

Don’t waste your life in wild orgies, Israel. Don’t party away your life with the heathen. You walk away from your God at the drop of a hat and like a whore sell yourself promiscuously at every sex-and-religion party on the street. All that party food won’t fill you up. You’ll end up hungrier than ever. At this rate you’ll not last long in GOD’s land: Some of you are going to end up bankrupt in Egypt. Some of you will be disillusioned in Assyria. As refugees in Egypt and Assyria, you won’t have much chance to worship GOD– Sentenced to rations of bread and water, and your souls polluted by the spirit-dirty air. You’ll be starved for GOD, exiled from GOD’s own country. Will you be homesick for the old Holy Days? Will you miss festival worship of GOD? Be warned! When you escape from the frying pan of disaster, you’ll fall into the fire of Egypt. Egypt will give you a fine funeral! What use will all your god-inspired silver be then as you eke out a living in a field of weeds?

I feel sorry for the one who spoke those words to me.  Their soul will always be starving for God.  They will continue striving to feed their soul with the things of this world.  I did my best to share this with them, but they didn’t want to hear the message, the Truth, and we know the Truth will set them free, and satisfy their soul.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Why?

Cross nailedHe laid as still as he could.  Any movement reminded him of the flogging his back took.  The soldier placed the nail with the tip pressing his palm.  He saw the other soldier rear back with the hammer.  He turned his head.  Bam!  The nail drove through his flesh pinning him to the cross.  That nail represented the times I took something that wasn’t mine.

The same thing took place on the other side.  Bam!  That nail represented the sinful times I touched something I had no business touching.  Bam!  The nail in his feet represented the times I have gone somewhere I had no business being.  The thorny crown shoved down into his head represented the evil thoughts I failed to bring into captivity.  The beatings he suffered should have been mine.  The spit that landed on him, represented the disgrace that was meant for me.

Everything Jesus went through, the trial, lies, pain, agony, and torture was for me.  The 39 lashes that shredded his back open and bled was so I could be healed.  He chose to go through that for me.  He chose to go through all that for you.  Why?  Because He knew, He was the only who could.  Because He knows pure love, and how to show it.

He also knew how to defeat death, and on the third day, He proved it.

THANK YOU, JESUS.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved