victory

Mortality and Time

As a child it seemed the days passed so slowly, especially during school. The days of summer would come and erase the memories of tests, studying, and what appeared to be endless assignments. Those warm nights, though, would again give way to cooler weather and a return to school. Upon finishing formal education, those days gave way to employment. Time passes, swiftly. The older I become, the quicker the days seem to pass.

Looking back, the days spent in school don’t seem so far away. As a child it appeared that time was an abundant, inexhaustible source. Now, time is priceless and something that must be managed wisely. Seeing the sands slipping through the hourglass of life you begin to realize that no one knows how much sand their hourglass starts with nor how much remains. With age comes the realization and reality of our mortality.

This life, no matter how long we have, is short. Whether forty years, sixty years, eighty years or more, it passes quickly. Life consists of doing, working, going, and countless other things. We get busy, we become occupied, and time passes. Much of it passes and we are blissfully unaware.

Job:14:1: Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

In the process of living it is normal to ponder life, God, religion, eternity. I suspect that many, if not all, have pursued the answer to these subjects. I spend every day offering my life, my being, as a witness for Jesus and the Bible. Some days I succeed, other days are not quite as successful. With the time I have been given, I made a decision to accept Jesus as my Savior. Far too many days slipped by, too many times I said “maybe tomorrow”.

James:4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

There is no guarantee of tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation. Once you die, your works here are finished. There is no second chance to come back and make anything right. This life is all we are given, whether your days are few or many, our days are numbered. A decision must be made with the time you are given. No excuse will be accepted. Lies will be transparent. There will be no reason “good enough” for refusing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah:55:6: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

This day is an opportunity, a moment in time where you too can accept the gift of eternal life. It is a gift. It cannot be bought, it cannot be traded for, it cannot be sold. The giver of eternal life is God, and it is given to all who will confess their sin to God and accept His Son, Jesus as their Savior. If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, let me encourage you to accept Him today, for your tomorrow may not come. Accepting salvation is a simple act, simply pray the following prayer (or something close to it), believe in your heart, and accept the grace of God through Jesus Christ:

Heavenly Father, I have sinned, I have lived a life of sin, I have done wrong and confess my sin to You. God, my sin is against you and I am sorry. Please forgive me. Jesus I ask you now to come into my heart, cleanse me and make me worthy of You. I accept You, Jesus, as my Savior and I thank You for the salvation You have given me now and the gift of eternal life.

If you prayed that prayer I would love to hear from you. I thank God for you, and all that read and share these messages. I continue to pray for you all and simply ask that you do the same for me. May God continue to bless you and all that you do!

You can contact me here:
prophetic.steps@yahoo.com
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Failing

Prior to salvation through Jesus Christ, we fail. We fail Him, we fail to see, we fail to hear, we fail to understand, we fail to seek His word. Instead, we seek the advice of friends, we look for a better relationship from the world, our time is spent on self. God is neglected.

Romans:3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Failing God is not just for those who have not yet accepted Jesus as Savior. Failure is only permanent for those who die in their sin, those who do not confess and turn from their sin, those who do not accept a relationship with Christ. Those who proclaim Jesus, confess Jesus is Lord, have faithful church attendance, do good for others, they fail too. The difference is, there is grace for the believer. For the unbeliever there is forgiveness. Thank God that we all have a way, through Jesus and His work to be cleansed.

1st John:1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1st John:1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1st John:1:10: If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

While this could be a broad generalization suited for many, I am directing this article at myself. Often, Christians are called hypocrites, holier than thou, and two-faced. Let me confess to all who take the time to read this, I fail. Everyday it seems I find a new way to fail. There are times I fall flat on my face, inconvenient times when I have to “practice what I preach”. Still, I fail.

Recently, I realized a new way I have failed. I have failed to reach those close to me, my friends. I have not taken opportunities to present the gospel, instead, I have made the assumption they know my life, what I believe, and considered it enough. There are friends I have not spoken to in a very long time, friends I have lost touch with, people I may not have another chance to present the gospel to. Failure to take every chance to present the gospel can have eternal consequences, especially for those who do not have a relationship with Jesus and never knowing if we have a tomorrow.

As much as this article is for me, it is just as much for my friends, family, and anyone else who cares to read this. We all fail, in different ways. We all fail to different degrees. One thing that does not fail is the salvation offered by God through Jesus Christ. Today, I will try harder, and even harder the following days. Even on the days I do not feel as though I have failed, I will bow before the Lord in prayer, confess my sin, ask forgiveness and the strength to do better with every day I am given. Time is short, with no guarantee. I am sorry for the times I have failed, so now I will do better to rectify the situation.

I have set up an email account for this blog. If I can be of help to you, if you need prayer, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me: prophetic.steps@yahoo.com or you can comment or send a message to the facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/propheticsteps

We have all failed, we have all fallen short of God’s glory. We must cast those things aside and carry on that His strength be seen, that He be given the glory, for when we are weak, then He is strong.

Handwriting on the Wall

Have you noticed we live in a world where slogans are everywhere and used to remind us of something? For instance, slogans are one of the most used, most efficient, most reliable ways of advertising. Some examples would be “Just Do It” (Nike), “Made from the best stuff on Earth” (Snapple), “They’re Grrrrrreeaattt” (Frosted Flakes), and “Have it your way” (Burger King). Some of these are a bit old, and probably outdated by now, but you get the idea.

Phrases have a way expressing a big idea using few words. We often hear familiar phrases used in a variety of contexts. Lately, I have heard a phrase used several times, meaning that a person “should have seen it coming”, but the phrase used is: “They should have seen the handwriting on the wall”.

For me this always brings to my mind the fifth chapter of Daniel. This is quite possibly one of my favorite events to read, re-read, and study. It is also a realization, shouldn’t we “see it coming”, should we not be able to discern some of those things which are about to happen? Of course I’m not referring to fortune-telling, nor am I specifically referring to the gift of prophecy. When we are given numerous examples throughout the Bible, when we are given specific actions and reactions, shouldn’t we be able to know what is going to happen? Sure, the consequences of repeated actions may not be immediate, but they are imminent.

In the fifth chapter of Daniel we find that Belshazzar was giving a great feast, a party, and gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels, which had been used in the Jewish Temple. Once those vessels were brought out and used, something happened:

Daniel:5:5: In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Daniel:5:6: Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

The hand and writing caused the king such horror that his bowels were loosed and his knees buckled and began to shake. I suppose the phrase “caught red-handed” could apply here. There is a very important lesson to be learned, you should not mis-use nor tarnish the instruments set apart for the service of God!

1st Chronicles:16:21: He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
1st Chronicles:16:22: Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

Those instruments were created, finely crafted, and sanctified for use in serving God. The equivalent today are those who are saved and serving Jesus. We have been cleansed by His blood, we are set apart from this world, and serving our Lord. We are those instruments, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, serving a risen, living Savior, seeking to accomplish His will in our lives, giving our testimony, letting our lives be a witness, moving in faith, praying always, loving in truth and in deed, all that the glory be His. We offer our bodies a living sacrifice.

Just as Belshazzar was living it up in the world (eating, drinking, and being merry), he misused the instruments dedicated to God. Today, this world is misusing and mistreating the instruments dedicated to God. Belshazzar did not see the writing on the wall and his reign ended that very night. There is coming a point in time where someone in this world will say “we should have seen the handwriting on the wall”, and just as it was then, it will be too late. Be of good cheer, we will suffer things in this world, we will be hated in this world, but I have good news, Jesus overcame this world and by Him, we shall too! To Jesus be the glory forever, amen.

Sanctification

We often seek a “right now” word, from God. Whether through preaching, teaching, reading, praying, or listening, a current and meaningful message is being sought. Many times, those messages are not really new at all, just more relevant than the last time we heard them.

As a child I remember many preachers, evangelists, and pastors preaching and teaching on the subject of sanctification or being sanctified. The vague memories I have (consider most of these memories are 20 years or more in the past) seemed to have more to do with holiness and salvation than actual sanctification. While I do see and understand the similarities and the direction the message was going, I can not say I remember any of those messages really “hitting the nail on the head”.

It is not my intent to undo any message, critique another’s sermon, nor undermine anything written, said, or heard. Instead, I hope to add to and hopefully broaden, if just a bit, the message of being sanctified. One of the difficulties when approaching this subject, is defining the subject. The word “sanctification” has several meanings which are similar, but distinct. Sanctification means to “set apart”, “make holy”, “make sacred”, “set free from sin”, and “make conductive to spiritual blessing”.

John:17:19: And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Ephesians:5:26: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

1st Peter:3:15: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

In those phrases and verses you can see a very general picture with very separate details. For the purpose of this writing I will focus on being “set apart”. Once you have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ the process of being sanctified begins. It is the process of being separated from the world (worldly ways) and dedicating yourself to His purpose for you. You can see how easily a message or teaching could go from sanctification to a message of holiness. Sanctification is an ongoing process, for we fight the flesh by the Spirit and this battle is fought until His appearing or our death.

Being sanctified, or set apart, is not a painless process. When we begin our separation from worldly ways and worldly lusts, it is not easy. The best analogy that comes to mind is “old habits die hard”. We are creatures of habit, and often lazy in spiritual matters, I speak from experience. We lose old friends, we refrain from going to old places (bars, casino’s, parties where drugs and alcohol are prominent), we truly begin a new life and that isn’t easy.

Today, I believe, the true church is being further set apart from the world. The refusal to call out sin or call a sin “sin” has become normal to many churches, while the true church confronts sin and shines the light into dark places. Homosexuality has been allowed to creep into the church as “acceptable” and even deemed worthy to become leaders within the church. Yet the true church proclaims the Word of God, stands firm, and declares sinners must repent. Many churches teach worldly prosperity, money, and worldly riches. The true church continues to teach “seek ye first the kingdom of God”, charity, and denial of self.

As these things continue to come against the church, and you as part of the church, it may get painful. The more you stand for what God has to say, the more you will be criticized, labeled as ignorant, or as an extremist. The more the world changes, the further the church will be separated from it. Keep this in mind:

Luke:12:51: Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
Luke:12:52: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
Luke:12:53: The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Luke:12:54: And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.
Luke:12:55: And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.
Luke:12:56: Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?
Luke:12:57: Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

Sanctification is ongoing for the church. I will close with this: There is coming a “setting apart” where we will leave this world, be it by the grave or that trumpet sound. Once we are truly set apart from this world and from this flesh we will be with our Lord Jesus and serve Him eternally. Seek Him, seek His will, and be ready, for we could be “set apart” in a moment, in the twinkling of the eye!

Love without rejection

If you have spent any amount of time reading and understanding the Bible, is there any doubt the most important theme is love? Not our love, but His love. Too often we think carnally, we think worldly, we think about ourselves first. We consider our love.

Our love is secondary. His love is first, His love is greatest. It is His love that surpasses our understanding, exceeds our expectations, and gives more abundantly than we can reason. His love stretches the span of time, generation after generation, reaching from the beginning of time throughout eternity.

The love we have to offer is measured by our time, which is not infinite. Our love reaches, but within bounds. When we offer love, it is sometimes with measure or restriction. Often, we love with condition. Unfortunately, we also fail to offer love out of fear or rejection. It is here where the love of God shines brightest. His love knows no fear. His love was given, poured out from the cross at Calvary.

Today His love is still calling out to “whosoever will”, any who will accept it. His love still beckons to show its strength, breaking the strongholds of sin, mending the broken-hearted, cleansing away all unrighteousness. There is no love like God’s love. No other love can do, and no other love will do, what God’s love can.

Why do I love God? I love Him because He first loved me.

1st John:4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.

He loved me when I was not worthy of His love. He loved me when there was no reason to love me. He loved me despite who I was, and all that I had done. Here is a small nugget of truth: Because He loved me first, there was no fear of being rejected by Him, because He died for me there was no doubt of how much He loves me. He has shown His love for me through Jesus, because He loved me first, all that was needed on my part was to accept His love.

It is because of His love that I submit myself to Him, His Word, and His Spirit. All that I am or will be, all that I do or will accomplish is only because of His love.

He has not only done this for me, He has done this for all who came before me and after me. The best news is this: He has also done this for you! If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, His love is there and all it takes is your acceptance. The greater your sin, the greater His grace, and the greater His love is. It is my sincere hope and prayer, if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, that you will not let this day pass without considering and accepting His love for you. Today is the day of salvation, there is no promise of tomorrow. Let the love of God give you life, eternally. He is calling, will you answer?

All Have Sinned

We are born into this world. Moreover, we are all born into sin. This is an ugly truth which we must, at some point, accept.

Sin and guilt go hand in hand. Who likes to be guilty? Who likes to be labeled a sinner? Some people claim they are proud of their sin, but there is no real pride in sin.

In the Declaration of Independence there is a quote that contains the words “all men are created equal”; this is true, but often not understood. We are born into this world, naked. We are born with a sinful nature. From there the disparities begin to emerge, but the core of the statement is true. The real and most meaningful truth is we are born with a sinful nature.

Romans:3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

From the greatest preacher to the least of those we see as good or moral, we share one common bond: Sin. We all have a common starting point and that is the realization of sin. No matter where you are or who you are today, take strength in knowing that, just like you, we have all sinned. Don’t be intimidated by it, nor those who have been elevated beyond their sin by that precious blood of Jesus. The work which He accomplished at the cross, He did as much for you as any you consider above you.

Romans:5:12: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans:5:17: For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Romans:5:18: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Romans:5:19: For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Romans:5:20: Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Romans:5:21: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is calling through the Holy Spirit to all who will hear. Do not let others sway you. Do not let anyone make you feel unworthy, we were all once unworthy. Take heed to His Word, His voice, His Spirit. All that Jesus did, He did for you as much as anyone else. Today is the day of salvation, we have no promise of tomorrow. Today, you too can be a sinner, saved by grace!

Victory

1st Corinthians:15:57: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we also accept His victory as our own. Do we consider the price? Do we reason that we are worthy? Do we include the things we have done to be part of that victory? When we accept Jesus and His victory, it is just that, His victory. He allows us His glory, His life, His Spirit, His strength, His peace, His word, and His blood.

We should humble ourselves knowing that we deserve none of it. We have been made part of the family of God due to His grace and His love. No part of that is of man, it is all of God. Everyday we have the chance to share that love, that victory, to as many as will listen.

We must not cheapen that victory. The victory which we have in Jesus came at a steep price. There is no other blood which could cleanse from all sin. There is no other blood which is pure, for no other could be called the Son of God.

What is the price of victory? Whips laced with stone and bone fragments tore the flesh from Christ. A crown of thorns pierced His precious head. His beard was plucked from His face. He was spit on. He was beaten. He was nailed to a cross and mocked. While on that cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sin of the world, then died.

When we trivialize the cross, the crucifixion, and Jesus Christ, we cheapen His victory. When we sin willingly, when we sin openly, when we sin knowingly we take away from that victory. We must submit ourselves to His Word, His will, His purpose and be up and about His business. He gave Himself wholly and endured the shame of the cross for our sake, we should be willing to always submit ourselves the same for Him. We do have victory and we also have an obligation not to cheapen any part of it, our victory did not come easy, but is freely given. Today, let us praise Jesus in spirit and in truth, for He is truly worthy!