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.

The Yolk, The White, The Shell

A lot of people recognize God.  Some will acknowledge Jesus as God’s son.  Few though, it seems, mention the third member of the trinity, the Holy Spirit.  I am so thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.  For it was He who drew me to God in the first place.  It was He who convicted me of sin.  Though I was only 7 years old, I knew right from wrong, and my pastor preached with God’s authority, that being wrong was sin, and that sin lead to eternal death in hell.

I am thankful, for now I will not be lost forever in the pitch darkness of eternal damnation, alone, and with the feeling of falling forever.  For the pit of hell is bottomless.  Mankind needs two things to feel human, time, and gravity.  Time provides a schedule, a rhythm to life, and gravity helps us feel grounded.  In hell neither exist.

Many years ago, I spent a few hours in jail.  Shocked? Yeah, well, whatever. It happened. Anyway, I noticed there were no clocks, and I didn’t like not knowing what time it was.  The only way to know was by what food items they served us.  Pancakes; must be morning.  Bologna sandwich and chips; has to be afternoon.  Chicken; it’s got to be evening now.

The Holy Spirit also provides great comfort in the times when I don’t understand what is going on with life, or when my heart is breaking for one reason or another. He may not calm the storm, but He calms me down, and helps me know I will get through it.

More than leading me to Jesus, which accepting his work on the cross grants me access to the throne room of God, the Holy Spirit gives me power.  Like Jesus promised us in Acts 1:8. The power I need to speak, and minister to someone in need.  Honestly, many times I wouldn’t have a clue what to say, but I rely on the Holy Spirit.  I open my heart to be willing, and then I open my mouth and God’s words come out.  I know it is God, through the Holy Spirit, because I am usually just as amazed as the one I am speaking to at the wisdom, or love of the words spoken.

But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power. And you will be my messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces—even to the remotest places on earth!”  Acts 1:8 (TPT)

Every person who believes in God should ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  It is a separate event from salvation and water baptism.  For the scriptures say that when Jesus came up out of the water, meaning after his baptism, then the Holy Spirit lit upon him.  It was the work of the Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus to endure the cross.  In his own human strength it was more than He could bear.

Just like there are three parts to an egg, the yolk, the white, and the shell, it is still only one egg.  So there is Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God, but there is still only one God.  The three are one, and I will be forever grateful for all three, and the work they have done in my one life. If you choose not to believe in the trinity of God, you may find yourself someday with egg on your face.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

I Had To

This week I choose to do something I didn’t want to do.  My heart was restless as the date approached.  I discussed the situation with a friend, and also with my wife.  Then two days before the event my wife, my helpmate, said one word.  As soon as I heard it, I knew.  I knew what I had to do.  I was thankful for her hearing God where I struggled.

You see, there are times when someone hurts you, and the pain goes deep into your heart.  You tell them what they did, but they don’t care at all, and their pride keeps them from admitting wrong and apologizing.  When this happens, you find yourself wanting to avoid them to protect your heart from future pain.  As well, you don’t want to do anything for them, as you feel they do not deserve it.  I had forgiven them, but I didn’t want to see them.  I don’t mean to be so secret about the details, but I don’t want to give any clues that might identify the perp.

God’s word tells how to handle hurt:

Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love. Ephesians 4:31-32 TPT

Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. Luke 6:28 NLT

I did do the right thing, but I had to pray, a lot, and ask God for help.  I also asked him to protect me, and help me not bring up the past while I was there.  They did do one thing that bothered me while I was in their presence, but I left before the pain erupted.  God is good at helping us in our time of need. His specialty is loving those who don’t deserve it.

If you are facing a similar situation, pray, and ask God to help you do the right thing that will glorify Him.  You never know, but your loving kindness might just be the catalyst to change things around.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved. 

Can You Stand Naked before God?

Garden 21

Photo by Michael Wall of Wall2WallFoto

Feeling uncomfortable right now?  I know I did, at first, when I asked myself that question.  Ironically, I was about to step into the shower when the thought came to me, but then my thoughts soon turned to my current reading in the book of Genesis.

God walked through the garden.  He was looking for Adam and Eve.  He called out for them.  They hid after doing their best to cover up their nakedness.  It wasn’t their bodies they were ashamed of.  It was their sin.  Adam and Eve had disobeyed God.  You see, when the presence of God shows up the Holy Spirit convicts.  What matters is how we react to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

People still sin today.  They still disobey God.  They still try to cover up their sinfulness. They try to hide.  But I tell you the truth, God searches diligently for you.  He calls out your name.  To point His finger at you and condemn you?  No!  To love you.  To forgive you.  To cleanse you, if you will let Him.  You see, for Adam and Eve, God spilled the blood of an innocent animal to cover their nakedness.  For you, He allowed His innocent Son’s blood to be spilled to cover you.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.  (Rom 5:8 AMP)

When you accept God’s forgiveness, there is no problem standing before Him naked, for you no longer have anything to hide.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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