Irreconcilable Differences

Being in a relationship can be challenging at times for a variety of reasons. When married couples find that changing, or compromising is harder than they think it is worth it they many times end up in divorce court claiming, “Irreconcilable Differences”.

I had to look up what those two words mean.

Definition of Irreconcilable Differences

Noun

  1. Differences of opinion or will that cannot be brought into harmony, or cannot be brought into an agreement through compromise.
  2. A relationship that has become relentlessly hostile.

One could make the case that God and Satan declared, “Irreconcilable Differences”! That God and Satan have a relationship that has become relentlessly hostile! Although there is one definite distinction; God had the final say-so when it came to the final judgment of their case. When Satan insisted on being a “god”, in his own eyes, and having the angels worship him God said, “No way! There is only one true God and it is me, and He was not about to compromise.

To this day Satan is working day and night trying hard to appeal God’s final judgment. He is even trying to use people to win his case. He tells them lies, half-truths that convince them of things like there is no God, there is no punishment for sin, or that there is no eternity. In other words, as he told Eve in the Garden of Eden, “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4) People believe him when he tells them, “There is more to life than what you currently have now, and you deserve more. You’ve earned it.”

It’s sad when they buy into his deception. If they are not set free with the Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ then they will stand before God when they die and He will declare with them as well, “Irreconcilable Differences” and they will be forever divorced, separated from the presence of God, and that is called, “hell”!

Please, accept Jesus Christ into your life before it is too late. Ask for forgiveness of your sins, and wrongdoing. Read God’s word, “The Bible”. Learn about the love of God and come into harmony with Him. When all truth is revealed, and it will be, you will be glad you did.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

What Happened?

Have you ever wondered, where did it all go wrong? Or, how did they end up like this? I have. You look at someone’s life and you can’t quite figure out how they got where they are today.

I heard it said the other day, “I made a wrong turn on the way to church!” That kind of says it all. Somehow the individual took their eyes off of Jesus and looked instead at what was around them. Kind of like Peter when he was walking on the water. He let his circumstances disrupt his fixed gaze on the Master, on Jesus.

“Church” doesn’t save you, or even just “going to church” doesn’t either! I know a couple of women who “go to church” every time the doors are open, but there is no love of God in their hearts! As a result, people get hurt.

Back to the people who have strayed from the truth; they started looking at what Satan was offering them “now” that would fulfill that longing desire in their heart instead of waiting on God to provide something or someone pure, holy, and a part of Him.

The wonderful truth is this; it’s never too late to backtrack and take the right street to the church. In other words, it’s never too late to return to God. Most likely there is someone who is praying you would and God is sitting on the front porch staring down the road as far as He can hoping to see you come over the horizon toward him! He is waiting with open arms.

Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living
    and reorder our lives under God. Lam. 3:40 (MSG)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

I Was Found Guilty!

“Mark, you have the right to remain silent. In fact, just don’t say anything at all unless I ask you to. Anything you do say will definitely be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, and at the age of seven I doubt you can, one will be appointed for you, but you won’t find any available.”

I appealed to have my hearing moved to the neighbor’s house, hoping that would allow for a fair trial, or at least a lighter sentence. The judge denied my request. As we begin, I looked around and failed to see a jury of my six, seven, and eight-year-old peers.

“Mark, where were you on the morning of July 7th?” asked my mother.

“I was in my bedroom, building a new train station,” I replied.

“Did you or did you not take cookies from the cookie jar after being told not to?” she persisted while raising her voice hoping I would crack.

Sweat began to bubble up on my back. “No. It wasn’t me.”

“You sure?”

“Yes!”

“That’s odd because I have an eyewitness that says you did.”

Gees! My accuser struck again. Seems like my older sister always caught me doing what I wasn’t supposed to be doing, and then she would run and tell my mother. In this case I was found guilty as charged. I would forever be known as a convicted cookie thief.

We all will stand before God one day. And the accuser of the brethren will be there telling on us. Informing God what we did wrong, our sins while we were on earth. We will be found guilty. But then, Jesus Christ will step forward and say to his Heavenly Father, “No punishment will be necessary. I have already paid the wages of their sin. We will escape eternal damnation, and not spend eternity in hell.

Jesus Christ did that for every one of us, out of love. Out of obedience to his Heavenly Father, God. It’s there for the asking, and it’s free. His forgiveness of our wrongdoing means we can no longer be known as a cookie thief or be forced to wear any other degrading title. We will be known as children of God and invited to enter heaven, and live happily ever after.

Salvation and power are established!
    Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
    who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
    and the bold word of their witness. Rev. 12:10-11 (MSG)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Fun for all ages

Have you ever met someone for the very first time, and you immediately like them? They are usually smiling, relaxed, mild mannered, and you just begin to match their level of gel.  You find yourself feeling like they value you, and they aren’t in a hurry to get away from you. As if in that very moment, you are the only thing and one that matters.

I believe Jesus was just that kind of person. I think this is why he appealed to men, women, some high ranking officials, sinners and children. Honestly, the only ones that he didn’t appeal to were the ones who felt as if his way of living threatened their livelihood, or power.

It was this kind of appeal that gave him the ability to talk about “love”, “forgiveness”, and “the Kingdom of God”. Because of how he made them feel they listened! And many times they responded positively. Would we get the same results if we drew people toward us as he did?  That should be the goal anyway.

It was Paul who said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Cor.11:1) Paul obviously recognized this about Jesus and strived to imitate him. Three practical steps to living this kind of life:

  1. See the people.  Be observant to the people around you while being attentive to the Holy Spirit who may prompt you to speak to them.
  2. .See the need in their life.  You do this step by listening to them. Not just talking about yourself. It’s not always about you!
  3. .See the path they should take to find God. Whether they need forgiveness, healing, or some other type of ministry, we should then lead them along that path.

Ask God to help you declutter your own life so you will have the time to spend with people. One thing I learned from my father is this; spending time with people is a gift. We should be generous.”

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Look in the Mirror

What makes people decide to accept God?

  1. The airplane is about to crash!
  2. They’re afraid of hell.
  3. A life changing moment.
  4. They are so moved by the love of God.

For me, it was the second one.  I was only 7 and we attended a church that was pastored by a “hell fire and brimstone” preacher.  Meaning, he held nothing back when it came to sharing what sin, wrong doing in your life, truly cost. At that age, I was a convicted cookie thief!  I disobeyed my mother and then would lie about it.  I was afraid if I died without God’s forgiveness I would go to hell. As I got older I learned being saved from your sins was actually about having a relationship with a loving God through Jesus.

But for others what is it? What has to happen in their life to get them to realize how loving God is? Do they need to be face to face with death before they will finally make a decision? What if they don’t have a conscience mind when they are crossing the threshold between life and death? By not making a decision is making a decision.

58 Then they pounced on him and threw him outside the city walls to stone him. His accusers, one by one, placed their outer garments at the feet of a young man named Saul of Tarsus. 59 As they hurled stone after stone at him, Stephen prayed, “Our Lord Jesus, accept my spirit into your presence.” 60 He crumpled to his knees and shouted in a loud voice, “Our Lord, don’t hold this sin against them.” And then he died.
Acts 7:58-60 (TPT)

I am convinced this really messed with Saul.  So because the Holy Spirit had been drawing him to God, when he saw Jesus appear he was ready to believe. You see, God had been pursuing Saul.

So he obtained the authorization and left for Damascus. Just outside the city, a brilliant light flashing from heaven suddenly exploded all around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a booming voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5–7 The men accompanying Saul were stunned and speechless, for they heard a heavenly voice but could see no one. Saul replied, “Who are you, Lord?” “I am Jesus, the Victorious, the one you are persecuting Acts 9:3-7 (TPT)

Talk about a life changing moment! Wow.

God is pursuing you too! If you pay attention to moments in life you will see God. You bump into him more than you realize. It’s like the car mirror, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. God is closer than you think.

“The only way people come to me is by the Father who sent me—he pulls on their hearts to embrace me. And those who are drawn to me, I will certainly raise them up in the last day.” John6:44 (TPT)

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Flakes of God

As this past Christmas was April’s first in America, she was just as excited when she heard we could have snow. Growing up in the Philippines it would be her first time to see it, feel it, and see its beauty as it covers the ground. As I witnessed her enthusiasm I thought of people who have heard about God, but have never seen him, or felt his presence.

I have known some people that seem to stay on the fringes of God. They might even hear that God is at a certain location doing marvelous signs and wonders, but despite their own need for him, they won’t go.  They might need a healing, a place to live, or a job, but it’s as if they would rather continue to struggle and hurt on their own then accept Him, and truly know what real living is all about.  They settle for only “flakes of God”. They have never sensed his presence or have experienced the peace of his Spirit, and they have no idea how beautiful it is when their sins have been covered as white as snow.

Come now and let’s deliberate over the next steps to take together.
Yahweh promises you over and over:
“Though your sins stain you like scarlet,
I will whiten them like bright, new-fallen snow!
Even though they are deep red like crimson,
they will be made white like wool!” Isaiah 1:18 (TPT)

I heard this morning there is a chance of snow later this week. Hopefully this next front coming through will generate some accumulation instead of only flakes, or flurries, and perhaps provide enough snow so April can learn how to make a snowman, or a snow angel. I’m forecasting there is a move of God coming soon. I sense He wants to make himself known.  He wants to heal, He wants to rule and reign in the life of those who love him. I pray for those who have not ever experienced God in a personal way will seek him, and know for themselves what it is like to have their sins forgiven, and be white as snow.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Joy to the World

I notice things.  Annoying to April, but I think it helps me as a writer. Regardless, this holiday season I have noticed the word, “joy” everywhere.  On buttons worn by Walmart employees, in TV commercials, in print, and placed on products.  It almost seems as if after the last two years we have had experienced people are desperate for some “joy” in their lives!

They want it bad, so they declare it, they proclaim it, and they even wear it.  People want “joy”, they need “joy”.  But saying it, wishing for it, doesn’t make “joy” appear.  Not real joy anyway.  Real, lasting “joy” can only be found in Jesus Christ.  By giving your life to him and recognizing that He gave his life to you.  To die for you, as a sacrifice for every little thing you have ever done wrong in your life, otherwise known as “sin”.  Real joy is:

J = Jesus
O = others
Y = you

You accept Jesus, make him the most important person in your life, read the book his father wrote, and learn to take on his nature, then “joy” begins.  The next step in finding real “joy” is putting others before yourself.

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.
Mat. 22:37-39 (MSG)

This is the formula for finding “joy”, not just at Christmas time, but all year round.  Serving others brings “joy” as well.  Another way to find “joy” is to marry it.  You see I was divorced for 24 years.  I was content with that, well most of the time, but I longed for joy.  My first marriage had its good moments, but I always felt in my heart that it could be better.  And now I know I was right.  You see my second wife’s name is, “April Joy”.  I have said it before, but when I am doing my part, to love her as Christ loves the church, then she fills my life with so much “joy” words cannot describe.  She knows the formula for “joy”, and she is so full of the love of God in her life.  That love oozes out and covers others.

Yes, it’s Christmas, and certainly “Joy to the World” indeed, but if you want real “joy” that can last a lifetime then pursue Jesus, love others, and love yourself.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

A Foreign Language

Her parents just immigrated to America from India.  She was three years old, and didn’t know any English.  Now, a few months later, and being enrolled in a preschool she is learning a few words at a time.  But when one of her co-students said to her, “I don’t like you and I don’t want to play with you” the toddler simply smiled and used body language to invite her to swing with her on the tire.

When I heard this true story I realized the beauty of not being able to speak or understand the language of hate, or of racism.  To have the capacity to smile in the face of evil is a special gift.  I could learn from the little precious girl from India.

I think, no, I know Jesus had this special gift.  For when He was falsely accused, hated, spit upon, and betrayed He still managed to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

A worthy goal that will take lots of practice to perfect, but think of the message it sends to the one spouting toxic words.  A message of love. In any language!

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Aren’t You Glad She Ain’t God?

I was sharing with my friend that I had been talking to a woman last week, who questioned how in the world could King David be considered such a man of God?  “After all,” she said, “he had an affair with Bathsheba, and after learning she was pregnant he had her husband killed.”  Yes, King David sinned, had a moral failure, but after being confronted by the prophet Nathan, repented and begged God not to remove his Holy Spirit from him.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

The entire chapter of Psalms 51 is a prayer of repentance.  King David was confident that God could, and would forgive him.  He also knew the feeling of awesomeness of being in the very presence of God, and he knew of the power of the Holy Spirit, because he had experienced it firsthand.

God did forgive him.  If God would forgive him, then why wouldn’t the woman I was talking to forgive him?  Mankind is the one who rates sin.  Has the woman never sinned herself?  True forgiveness forgives and then moves on.  Even God separates our sins as far as the East is from the West. (Ps. 103:12)  Another important issue is this; if the woman hasn’t truly forgiven King David, can God forgive her of her sins?

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mat. 6:14-15 (NKJV)

This makes me wonder, who else has she not forgiven?  Perhaps even her own family members?  If that is the case then how sad for her.  Those not forgiven by her will go on with their lives regardless, so the result only hurts her.  At the end of my sharing with my friend he said to me, “Aren’t you glad she ain’t God?”

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Unexpected Sermon

“It’s okay.  It’s all in the past,” said my great niece as she waved her hands back and forth down low by her side.  She had gotten caught doing something that turned out okay, but would not had been sanctioned by either of her parents.

We laughed as my mother shared the story of the incident with my wife and me, but later in the week my wife quoted my great niece after doing something I did not appreciate.  Yes it’s true, I’m a recovering control freak, and I always argue that I like things done a certain way, because to me it seems like the fastest and easiest way to accomplish that task.  I know, there are many ways to doing some things, and there are times when someone would rather do it their way.

It may seem silly, but my four year old great niece preached with conviction a sermon I needed to hear, but more than that, live out!  I have spent the last several days practicing to let things go and not to mention that my wife may have done or said something that turned out okay, but not something I would have done.  And you know what?  Our marriage is better for it!

In those times when we mess up, do things that God would rather we hadn’t, and we go to him and ask for forgiveness, he always says, “Its okay.  You’re forgiven.  It’s now in the past.”

God makes everything come out right;
    he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
    opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
    not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
    nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
    nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
    so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
    he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
    God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
    keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
    like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
    leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
    eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
    as they follow his Covenant ways
    and remember to do whatever he said. (Psalms 103:6-18 MSG)

Forgiveness is not a license to go sin more, or even again, but it lifts the burden of guilt off of us, and allows us to go on, living life in peace.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.