The Rules of the Game

Starting with the Banker, each player in turn throws the dice. The player with the highest total starts the play. Place your token on the corner marked “GO”, then throw the dice and move your token (in the direction of the arrow) the number of spaces indicated by the dice…..

You buy a new game and you can’t wait to play it, but in reality, you don’t know how, because you don’t know the rules.  Reading the rules takes time and can be kind-of, should we say, boring?  We just want to start playing.  And have you noticed?  There always seems to be that one person who volunteers to read the rules and then proceeds to tell the others their interpretation of what they know?

Rules are very specific, or should be.  They are important.  They can help protect you, if you and everyone else will follow them.  Like when driving.  When it comes to God, mankind, has come up with his own set of rules.  I mentioned a few weeks ago there are over 4000 religions.  That’s a lot!  Which one is right?  Could they “all” be wrong?  Probably.

God wrote his own, not “rules” to live by, but the kind of relationship you should desire to have with him.  In his Word, He makes it very clear, that the only way to him is by accepting that Jesus is his son and died on the cross to forgive you of your sins, wrong doings, and we have all done something wrong.

You see, God is Holy and cannot be in the presence of sin.  That is why he gave his own son to die for us, which makes us clean again.  Then He can be with us and we can be with him.  No “rules” just relationship.  It’s so simple, but mankind has a hard time with that.  He thinks it sounds too good to be true, but when it comes to God, it is true, and it sets us free.  Mankind complicates it.  It is so simple I understood it at the age of 7.

Satan knows how God designed things, and he knows he’s not going to win, but he still tries so hard to get mankind to loose with him.  He either gets them to write their own rules by telling them God didn’t mean what He said, or he accuses others of cheating and tries to make them feel bad about themselves.

Read God’s Word.  Learn about the relationship that God has wanted from the very beginning with mankind.  Doing so will give you the authority to tell the devil to, “shut up!”  Playing, or living I should say, this way will cause you to win in the end, because life is no game.

Copyright © 2021 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

“God is Good”

Every time a friend of mine hears that statement he responds, “All the time!”  And you know what?  He’s right.  “Good” is part of God’s nature.  He can’t help himself but be good.  When I was in Africa I learned, they also respond in the same way.

Why is it important to remember this part of God’s nature?  Because we live in a world that tries to tell us who and what God is, yet they don’t even know him.  Some have never even made his acquaintance.

“Pinpointing precisely how many religions there are in the world today is next to impossible, although some estimate the number exceeds four thousand. The vast majority of those faiths are contained within a handful of major religious groups.” (By Mary Fairchild, updated 03/22/21)

It’s this kind of “I know how to get to God” that has caused mankind to create over four thousand “religions”.  What is a religion?  In a nut shell, its man’s way to God, but technically;

“Religion can briefly be defined as a specific belief system about God or gods expressed through a code of conduct, ethics, forms of worship, and rituals. Religion includes social, ethical, and ceremonial elements combined with the belief in an unseen world and often a deity.”

Mary Fairchild

This is why it is important to know and accept “God’s way to man”, which is through “relationship”.  It is through his son, Jesus.  By accepting that He is God’s son and asking him to forgive you of your sins, wrong doing, and then inviting him to live and dwell in your heart.  All that means is live like Jesus did.

To love on people like Jesus did.  To value, and spend time with people like Jesus did.  To walk with them in life and show them there is a better way to live.  That, it is possible to have life, now on earth and to have it abundantly!

God is good, and in recent days He has shown himself extra good to my wife and me.  He has lead us to a ministry that we are excited about, and we are getting in on the ground floor.  But even in the valleys, and the days seem so dark, and so long, God is still good.  It’s in those days we have to lean in a little closer to him, and ask him for help.  To get to your destination you have to travel.  Some journeys take you through some pretty rough neighborhoods, over rough terrain, or stormy seas, but none of that diminishes God’s goodness.

Copyright © 2021 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.

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.