Today I will focus on the topic of anxiety;
and compare what Jesus and the world says.
But first let me provide a definition of it.
Anxiety is often characterized
by overthinking and excessive worry;
and there’s usually an inner turmoil
related to holding on instead of letting go.
Anxiety is typically accompanied by
nervous behaviors and somatic complaints -
like overreacting to a situation
that is subjectively seen,
as being in distress,
causing muscle tension
and tightness in chest -
which can lead to panic attacks
and loss of breath.
The physical response
one gets to anxious thoughts,
is often attached
to the feeling of dread;
a great fear or apprehension
that something bad is going to happen -
related to a perceived or a real threat.
Anxiety is truly the epitome
of being controlled by the flesh;
driven by the negative thoughts and feelings
that are pumped through the head.
Anxiety can feel like
trying to chase after
a thousand pieces of paper
in the wind;
try to grab swirling thoughts
that never seem to end.
may become a natural reaction
for those who find the world
to be unpredictable and all-consuming;
so they try to control the external world
instead of having it control them.
The anxious often try to influence
the behaviors of another person;
and they do this by making it “all about them.”
The fear of being at the mercy
of another person
leads to feelings of vulnerability
which can result in
wanting to be more in control.
Believe it or not,
over-anxious people can inflict
tremendous psychological distress -
because they believe they are
victimized by an unfair world.
In conclusion, anxiety is typically tied
to distorted thoughts and feelings
focused on the preservation of self.
Anxiety is a natural reaction of a person
who is experiencing much fear and much doubt.
So if this is true,
and anxiety is a natural response
to walking through the wilderness,
the Valley of the Shadow of the Death,
then why does scripture say,
“Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.”
What is the anxious person
supposed to do with this?
Well, I believe the apostle Paul,
who was driven by the Holy Spirit,
had the best plan of attack!
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue
and if there is anything praiseworthy -
meditate on these things.
The things which you learned
and received and heard and saw in me,
and the God of peace will be with you.”
You see, as children of God,
our thoughts should not be our own.
We are to be transformed
by the renewing of our minds,
which happens when we die to self
and give our thoughts over to God.
Scripture says that we are justified
by Christ's blood,
and it's only our faith in Christ
that makes us righteous in God's eyes.
So we can let go of perfection,
and works of the flesh -
because none of that matters
to obtain the Kingdom of God.
“Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy
and my burden is light.”
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Today, we get to learn about “success” from the mind of Jesus.
But first let’s look at what the world says success is.
Worldly success is defined as the building up of earthly things -
where assets and money, and popularity and fame
are attached to the outcome of a person’s undertaking.
According to the world,
a person’s value is based on what they can attain
through hard work, determination and selfish ambition;
and their net worth is based on what they have accumulated.
Which explains why they hold on tight
to the things they have accomplished -
often characterized in the heart of the proud.
Their worth is built on being a public favorite;
They often see themselves as “blessed and highly favored.”
The more they are admired and “sought after,”
the more elevated the thoughts and feelings
are attached to their self-image.
The proud like to extend their arms to possess what they can.
They quickly move from small busy-ness
to overburdened by a conglomeration.
And contentment is replaced by the need to have more.
You will know when persons are driven by worldly success
when you see them spouting words like, “We are the best.”
Self-satisfied talk about their own achievements,
are typically void of giving praise to God.
They will often boast about the results of their hard work,
through material things like houses, trucks, cars and boats;
land possession and luxurious vacations.
But the Lord says,
“Do not store up treasures on earth,
where moth and rust will destroy all of it,
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys,
nor do thieves break in or steal."
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Is our worth in ourselves or in the blood of Jesus?
This is a question that should be on all of our hearts,
for the Lord gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud.
So do not worry about building up all that will be lost.
And for God’s sake – stop losing sleep over it!
It’s not that money is totally bad,
in fact it can be very useful for helping the poor;
but if money has more worth than trusting God,
then you just may be out of balance.
If you are fortunate to be considered, "the lost one,"
God will leave the rest to chase you down for your own good.
And He may ask you to leave all that you hold,
because He knows what is best
and does not want you to be controlled.
If God is not the center of all that you do,
then there may something else that is holding onto you.
The Lord knows our heart better than we do!
For the heart is deceitful and can lead us to greed,
even when we don't want it to.
Be careful not to put too much value in what is on loan to you.
The Lord says we must choose what Master we want to serve,
will it be worldly success or will it be Him?
Though we walk through
this Valley of the Shadow of Death,
where evil forces do exist;
We shall not fear;
for the Lord our God comforts us.
Amazing people of faith have gone before us,
and they serve as great examples for us.
By faith Abel gave to God
a better offering than Cain did.
By faith he was considered as righteous,
when God spoke well of his sacrifice.
And did you know
by faith Abel still speaks to God,
even though he is physically dead.
This can be found in Hebrews 11:4
When reading Matthew Chapter One,
the Spirit of God revealed to me His faith pattern.
The ancestry of Jesus seems to have
a spiritual DNA,
that it is coded with the gene of faith.
And as some may know,
a gene will lie dormant unless it is expressed.
The gene of faith is expressed
when we hear and respond to the Spirit of God.
And when we respond and believe in what He says,
we are walking in right relationship with Him,
and become Jars of Clay who operate in faith.
science is simply the unfolding
of our understanding
of what God has created.
The DNA sequence of a gene
is always copied into mirrored RNA.
And the Children of God are expressions of Him.
Our God is faithful even when we are not.
The Seed of the woman HAS crushed
the head of the serpent.
And anyone who has wisdom
has understanding it this.
Brethren, let me exhort you -
The Day of the Lord is coming soon.
So don’t be a fool.
Decide for yourself who will serve.
The Lord says,
"Come and find Me while you still can.
There’s not much time.
I am unfolding My plan."
What do you see?
Less of Me -
and more hearts of humanity."
"The world is growing,
under the influence of worldly kings."
"You must remember
to put on your Armor!
The roaring lion is seeking to devour."
"There are evil forces
in the heavenly realms;
who roam the earth,
on the four winds.'
"Their sole desire
is to tempt the flesh of men
to become less of Me
and more like them."
Do you not see?
"The acts of the flesh are so obvious:
idolatry and witchcraft;
fits of rage, strife, envy and hatred."
"Rebellion and delusion
are running rampant across the land;
Can you feel the the division
that is being fanned?"
"Selfish ambition and lustfulness;
debauchery and drunkenness.
Have you not felt the rising up of social unrest?"
We must ready ourselves,
for the Day of the Lord is coming soon.
Take heed - those who live like this
will not inherit the kingdom of God.
And although tragedy is all around,
people continue to render their garments
instead of their hearts -
because the hearts of humans
are extremely proud.
The Lord says,
"As the anti-Christ spirit continues to rise,
the minds of men are squeezing Me out."
But that’s okay,
because I am wringing My remnant out,
for One drop of My blood
covers a multitude of sin."
We must remember -
It’s the blood that pulses
through the spiritual heart
that God hears when it cries out!
The Lord responds
to those who are humble in spirit
and pure in heart.
Do you remember what the people did
when Jesus rode on the back of a donkey,
across the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem?
They spread clothes on the road
in front of him.
And people shouted,
"Hosanna in the Highest.
Blessed is the king who comes
in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory to God.”
Yet, within days,
the loyalty of the people changed!
The same people
who were laying down their garments
and giving Him praise
yelled "Crucify" and He was betrayed!
Oh, how his heart must have broken!
His own people disowned Him.
We are called to love the Lord our God
with all our heart, soul and mind;
We are encouraged to endure all things,
and give thanksgiving and praise.
Did you know
that 700 years before the birth of Jesus,
the Prophet Isaiah foretold the Suffering Servant?
Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord
revealed his powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence
like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful
or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected -
a man of sorrows,
acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him
and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care."
Yet, it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows
that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles
were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
The Lord is asking,
“Do you trust? Do you believe?”
“Do you accept the free gift I sent to thee?”
“Is the blood of the Lamb of God
flowing through your veins?
Are you made ready to withstand
the angel of death?”
And there, on Judgment Day,
in the heavenly courtroom will stand
Satan, the Accuser of the brethren.
He will point his finger
at every single man,
who has not been born again
and He will say to the Father,
“This human is not your legitimate son.
He does not have Your royal Blood.”
And God will look and say,
“because you took the mark of the beast,
by loving the world instead of loving Me,
we will be permanently separated,
and you will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.”
In the Throne Room,
sitting at the right hand of God
our Wonderful Counselor
and Prince of Peace.
And those, who are made in the image of God,
those who have been resurrected,
through the blood of Christ and God's Holy Spirit,
Jesus will say, to the Father,
“Look, salvation has come!”
“I testify to the authenticity of Our blood.”
“This person is Your son.”
"A legitimate heir to the Kingdom of God."
So faithful believers everywhere,
let me exhort you to great endurance!
Those who children of God,
stand corrected and are faithful in spirit.
You are citizens of Heaven.
The Lord says,
"Now pay attention!
I am raising up my remnant."
"Open your spiritual ears, attune to Me."
"Open your eyes and come and see."
“Come and find Me.”
“Seek My face, and be redeemed.”
“Repent for your sin,
and return to Me.”
I am compelled by the Spirit
to give you this message.
Keep your eyes focused on Jerusalem.
For the Day of the Lord is coming soon.
Open real wide!
It’s time to swallow
some of that American pride.
is being offered up
as a dish
to throw some of our
can only last
as long as the vessel
is willing to expand.
We must remember,
the constant giving in
to pleasurable food
can make you fat
and unable to move.
Flesh desires that are continually fed,
often lead to a life
that goes against God.
Desires of the flesh
are in direct opposition
Spirit of God.
or self-absorbed pride
opposes humility and lowliness of mind.
was an example to us;
although He was God,
he did not puff himself up.
He emptied himself
to take on man's toll.
He was absolutely divine,
He became a servant
to save humankind.
when experiencing Lazarus’s death.
and he performed many miracles
like healing the sick
and resurrecting the dead.
He did this,
as an extension of his love,
and many had hope
in who said He was.
He was filled with compassion,
for the lost, lonely, and broken-hearted.
But we must remember
the real reason
why Jesus came,
and it was not to perform miracles
and show all kinds of signs;
it was to save us from ourselves.
The Son of God came to be a living sacrifice
to break the curse that God has placed on us.
You see, back in Genesis 3,
Satan was crafty, and got Eve to think.
“Did God really say,
‘You must not eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden?”
The woman replied,
“We may eat fruit from any the trees,
but God did say,
You must not eat fruit from the tree
that is in the middle of the garden,
and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Then Satan said,
“You will not certainly die,”
“For God knows that when
you eat from it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God,
knowing good and evil.”
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree
was good for food and pleasing to the eye,
and also desirable for gaining wisdom,
she took some and ate it.
She also gave some to her husband,
who was with her, and he ate it.”
Satan only had to tell a little a lie.
He made her think,
“surely you won’t die.”
"Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized they were naked.”
“When the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God
as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden."
You see, prior to eating from the tree of good and evil,
being naked was not an evil thing.
It was not nudity that made Adam and Eve bad,
it was by disobeying God that opened them to evil thoughts.
The Lord God called to the man, and said, “Where are you?”
Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden,
and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Hiding from God is a typical response when we are not keeping his Word.
God said, “Who told you that you were naked?
Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
The man said, “The woman you put here with me,
she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Assigning responsibility for a fault or wrong,
is often another sign that we are out of alignment with God.
Then the Lord God said to the woman,
“What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
So the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
What many do not realize, because they have not taken the time to digest the Word of God,
is that their is a difference between the Seed of Adam and the Seed of God.
"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."
1 Corinthians 5:22
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
Woman was made a helper, to rule and reign with man, a perfect complement to what God had planned. But with curse, came dominion from man,
"Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
But the Word of God says, "ALL who are baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife
and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you,
“You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food
until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;
for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain."
This is because man despite hard work, nothing will remain.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
And the Lord God said,
“The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.
He must not be allowed to reach out his hand
and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life;
but he who does not obey the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God abides on him.”
“So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden,
to work the ground from which he had been taken.”
“After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side
of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword,
flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
You see, it is God who put the curse on Satan, and all of mankind.
Because of their pride to want to be like Him,
because of their flesh desire to know both good and evil,
and because they chose to listen to advice of Satan rather than trusting in Him.
But God is so good, He made a plan to redeem men.
He sent his own blood to be atoning sacrifice for them.
At any time, God could have totally destroyed us,
but instead He always responded to the remnant!
The remnant of humans who choose to be in fellowship with Him,
and dwell in His presence.
Hebrews 11 attests to those who have responded
By faith they understood
that the universe was formed at God’s command.
They believe that what is seen was not made out of physical things,
but by the very Word of God.
By faith Abel still speaks, even though he is physically dead;
By faith Noah warned about the coming rain,
even though it rain from the sky had never happened.
By faith, Noah built an ark to save his family from coming judgment.
You see, the people who lived during the time of Noah
were completely wicked and full of evil;
Scripture says “the Lord was sorry he had ever made people.”
It says our Creator’s heart was broken.
But then, the Lord saw Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person
living in the world at that time.
Scripture said, “he walked in close fellowship with God.”
This is a question we should all continually ask ourselves,
"Are we walking in close fellowship with God?"
We must also remember that Job is described
in the same light that Noah is.
“There was a man whose name was Job who lived in the land Uz.
He was blameless in the sight of the Lord,
for he feared God and stayed away from evil.”
“One day the heavenly court came to present themselves
before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them."
The Lord asked where he came from.
Satan answered, “I have been patrolling the earth,
watching everything that is going on.”
The Lord asked,
“Have you noticed my servant Job?
He is the finest man in all the earth.
He is blameless. He fears God and he stays away from evil.”
Satan replied, “Yes, BUT Job has a good reason to fear God.
You have always put a wall of protection around him,
and his home and his property.
You have made him prosper in everything he does.
BUT take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you
to your face!”
At this point, the Lord allowed Satan to test him.
Satan took away all Job’s possessions.
He took his home, his income and his children.
In all of this, Job did NOT sin by blaming God!
Satan came a second time, to present his case before God.
“Skin for skin! Reach out and take away his health,
and he will surely curse you to your face!”
“All right, do with him as you please, but spare his life.”
This is the command that the Lord gave.
“So Satan left the Lord’s presence,
and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.”
Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity?
Curse God and die!”
But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman.
Should we accept only the good things from the hand of God
and never anything bad?”
So in all of this, Job said nothing wrong.
But we all know, from the Book of Job,
that he surely wanted to die.
He cursed the day of his birth, but he never cursed
the Word of the Lord!
You see, we all have a gene of faith, as part of God’s spiritual DNA.
But only a remnant will choose to express it.
By faith Abraham responded when called to go
to a place he would later receive as his inheritance;
And By faith Abraham went even though,
he did not know where he was going.
By faith Abraham made his home
in the promised land, like a stranger;
he and his family lived in tents,
as did Isaac and Jacob,
who were heirs of the same promise.
Abraham believed he would live in a city of foundations,
whose architect and builder is God, our Creator.
By faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age,
was enabled to bear children because she considered Him faithful.
And so from this one man, and he as good as dead,
came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
Proverbs 25:28 says,
“A person without self-control
is like a city with broken-down walls.”
When Jesus came from Heaven to earth,
as the Lamb of God who was worthy to open the scroll,
He could have brought the wrath of God,
but he offered himself as a living sacrifice,
to save the spiritual remnant of the faithful.
By his blood, we are justified
for the curse of eternal death to Passover us;
and instead we have access to the Tree of Life.
And through the blood of Christ,
we receive the God's Holy Spirit.
And His Spirit leads us into righteousness.
Now the works of the flesh are self-evident:
sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry,
sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries,
dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies,
and things like these.
We must endure this warning!
Those who follow the flesh, instead of the Spirit
are like those who have an anti-Christ spirit.
They follow Satan instead of keeping the Word of God;
and scripture says they will not inherit His Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says,
"Do you now know that unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not homosexuals, nor sodomites, not thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, not revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. BUT you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives,
“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their passions
and their desires of their sinful nature to the cross.
“We must not become conceited, or provoke one another,
or be jealous of another; And if another believer
is overcome by some sin, You who are spiritual,
should gently and humbly help that person back unto the right path.”
"And we must be careful not to fall into the same temptation,
share each other’s burdens, obey the law of Christ,
and do not think you are too important to help someone else,
for you will only be fooling yourself!
Pay attention to your own work,
and get satisfaction from a job well done.
That way you will not compare yourself to anyone else,
for each person is responsible for their own conduct.”
And so, to the Christians who are reading this,
It is time for us to eat some of that Humble Pie.
“Do not mock the justice of God.
You will always harvest what you plant;
Those who chose to satisfy themselves
with the lusts of the flesh,
will harvest decay and death.
But those who live to please the Spirit of God,
will harvest everlasting life.”
Remember, fake food can taste really good,
but it does not compare to the bread of life,
provided through the Word of God.
Our God is so loving and good,
that he calls the humble and opposes the proud.
It is time to put our selfishness to rest.
It is time to submit to the Lord’s request.
It is time to stop putting ourselves first.
It is time to develop a righteous hunger and thirst.
External pride often looks like we expect -
Self-confident attached to arrogant spirit
America has defined the SELF as ALL important.
Be Independent - and get what you’re can get!
Achieve success through all kinds of accomplishments.
Build a thriving business
by working your mind and bones to death,
Demand respect - and grow your sense of self-worthiness!
Climb the ladder, and you will be able to see
the worldly Kingdom that has been growing under thee.
Internalized pride is much harder to recognize,
because it doesn’t look arrogance and selfish strides.
Internalized pride looks like pride turned inside out -
often tied to shame from fear and doubts.
But don’t be fooled, it’s all about SELF.
Rejection can lead to perfectionism,
and worry can lead to withdrawing from life;
self-reliance manifests from distrust,
internal walls are built to protect oneself.
People pleasing takes precedence
over following the Word of God.
Insecurity is built on sand and your house will fall down.
Inferiority forces YOUR demands, and before you know it,
your insisting on self-righteousness.
It’s hard to love, when anger stands in the way;
It’s hard to forgive, when hurt is at bay.
When your depressed, it hard to think of someone else;
and when your anxious, it’s hard to experience God’s peaceful rest.
When you see another person who has what you want,
you grow a heart of covetousness;
Jealousy can make YOU the guard of your heart,
instead of relying on the Word of God to do it's work.
Envy creates feelings of discontentment -
and often leads roots of resentment.
Internalized pride can almost be worse,
because it keeps one hidden in the dark.
It’s very hard when the sin of another
has stuck to you like bread and butter!
Complex trauma is a great example of this.
Pervasive abuse and profound neglect
often changes a person’s temperament.
It's hard when you don't know how to be in relationship,
because love has been distorted,
and there's often fear of abandonment.
The core of a person is often distorted
when the foundation is made of fear and mistrust.
We must always look to Christ,
and believe what the Word of God says.
Internalized pride can stop us from forgiving,
because the hurt inside makes us feel justified.
But scripture says, we must learn to forgive if we want God to forgive us.
We must believe that we can love and forgive because God first loved us.
Scripture says that we must not present a sacrifice,
without first going and being reconciled to the one that has hurt us.
And I believe the only way we can do this, is by submitting to law of Christ.
Being last is not of the flesh,
and dying to self is humility at it's best.
Humble Pie is being able to take a good look inside.
For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged;
and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye,
but fail to notice the log in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
'Let me take the speck out of your eye,
while there is a still a log in your own eye?"
On May 7th, five days after being released
from the hospital for coronavirus difficulties,
I sat outside and prayed to God
for strength and release from this satanic stronghold.
Out of the corner of my eye,
I saw the wings of a hawk pass by.
They filled my sight and, instantly,
I felt strength from the Lord come upon me.
After this sighting, given by the Lord,
I began to have visions of an eagles head.
Early in the morning, and before going to bed,
the image of an eagle would enter my mind.
Then on May 14th, the Lord gave me a word,
"The Bird is in the Air" is what He said.
What He means, I do not fully understand,
but I believe it has to do with God's vision and His strength for man.
But now, as I sit and write,
I wonder if it has do with Israel's Dome of Defense?
Last week, Israel was attacked by Hamas during the end of Ramadan.
Ramadan is when Muslims fast, everyday from dawn to sunset.
It is meant for them to contemplate one's relationship with God,
through extra prayer and intense study of the Quran.
On May 10th, Hamas said they fired rockets at Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh,
in response to the Israeli police causing injuries to Arabs at the Aqsa Mosque.
"Jerusalem has been on edge over Israel's restrictions
on Palestinian access to parts of the Old City
during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,
and Israeli authorities' attempted eviction
of several Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood."
While Israel had authority from the common court,
enforcing eviction during Ramadan was probably not best choice.
But nothing happens without the Lord's acknowledgement,
and the Temple Mount is where the unrest began.
The Quran states the mosque is linked
to the story of Muhammad’s “night journey”
which happened around 622 AD, from Mecca to Jerusalem.
The Bible states the Temple Mount was first built in 957 BC,
by King Solomon, the son of King David,
the blood line of Jesus himself.
The first temple was destroyed
by the Neo-Babylonian Empire around 586 BC,
and was rebuilt under the governor of Judah,
whose name was Zerubbabel,
after spending 70 years in exile -
as told through the Word of God to the prophet, Jeremiah.
If you would like to learn a little more,
go to the Book of Ezra found in the Old Testament Bible.
In 167 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes ordered an alter to Zeus
to be erected on the Temple Mount.
Antiochus declared himself "God Manifest"
but was known by many as Antiochus Epimanes,
which means "One who is Mad."
Antiochus was a Seleucid king
who ruled and reigned the Hellenistic Syrian kingdom.
He encouraged Greek culture and institutions,
while defying the God of Israel and suppressing Judah.
He brought on the Wars of the Maccabees -
a priestly family of Jewish warriors who came together
to fight against the Seleucid ruler.
The Jews won for a while,
and re-dedicated the Temple of Jerusalem back to our God.
The Second Temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire
in April of 70 AD, about the time of Passover.
The Roman general Titus captured Jerusalem,
and allowed pilgrims to come in.
But they refused to let them go,
and massacred most of the population.
It's important to remember that the Second Temple
was built on the same location as the first Temple Mount;
and scripture points to a third and final Temple that will be built,
in Jerusalem, when Jesus comes to rule His Kingdom.
Unfortunately, the site of the Jewish and Christian Temple is now occupied,
in part, by the Islamic “Dome of the Rock” Mosque.
"The Bird is in the Air" -
these are the words the Holy Spirit gave to me
after seeing an eagle vision and real hawk wings
for close to two weeks.
After hearing the word of the Lord,
Holy Spirit took me to Matthew Chapter 11, verse 20 - 24
where Jesus speaks to the unrepentant towns
and tells them that they can count on
the judgment of God that will be coming down.
"Then Jesus began to denounce the towns
in which most of his miracles had been performed,
because they did not repent.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the miracles that were performed in you
had been performed in Tyre and Sidon,
they would have repented long ago
in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you,
it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon
on the day of judgment than for you.
And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens?
No, you will go down to Hades.
For if the miracles that were performed in you
had been performed in Sodom,
it would have remained to this day.
But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom
on the day of judgment than for you.”
He also encouraged me, in His Word, when He said,
" I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,
and revealed them to little children.
Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
All things have been committed to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
And then, the Spirit of God took me to Isaiah 40 and said,
"read and agree with the beginning to the end."
I will put the first and the last paragraph, to show you how good our God is!
"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins." Isaiah 40:1-2
"Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
You see, the Word of the Lord is right and true,
and Father God is still reigning from Heaven.
His Word is alive and active,
and cuts the spirit from the soul and the bone from the marrow.
The Spirit of God says, "The Bird is in the Air!"
Let us rejoice, for the Day of the Lord is coming soon!
I can see you Mr. Corona Virus.
There you stand,
in the corner,
dripping your sickness
and your horror;
I can feel you staring at me,
my body chills
as it tries to sleep;
Why oh why,
have you come for me?
Why oh why,
do you disturb my sleep?
There you lurk,
in the corner,
your cloak of horror;
I can feel
your spirit staring at me,
and I can smell
the gnashing of your teeth.
I can feel fear falling on me,
as I lie here, trembling;
I can feel
my bones begin to shake,
And I can see
your form pass before my face.
I can smell your foul stench,
a soaked up poison
as my body sweats;
and I can feel your icy hands,
feverishly squeeze my feeble neck.
Oh, and your offensive breath
tries to suck the air
from my lips,
I can feel your sickle
slide down my back,
ripping my soul
from my very flesh.
You are the monster
who hides beneath my bed,
and makes it seem
“as if it is all in my head.”
The hair on my body
stands up on end,
as I come to face to face
with the Spirit of Death.
It’s all such a vicious attack,
to be taken hostage
by a physical plague
and spiritual darkness.
You may be the King of Disease,
The crowned deceiver
that replicates microbiology -
but let me tell you one thing,
you will NOT squeeze
the light of Jesus
out of me!
Faith over fear
is what I need -
and both require for me to believe
in something that I can not see.
Let me tell you this, Mr. Corona Virus,
you may be an infamous worldly king,
but you do NOT have authority over me!
You will NEVER be my king!
I know that you exist;
and I know that
you are NOT just a trick;
But what you don’t know,
is that my spirit is NOT transfixed.
No. I am not bewitched!
I do not lie here motionless,
even if I completely lose my breath!
I live and breathe by the Word of God,
and Christ, my king, has defeated sin and death!
I will not cave, nor run away.
I brace myself in truth of God;
and I stand ready
to sound the Maranatha cry!
Oh, yes, Mr. Corona Virus-
I have felt your poisonous sting;
it’s a bite I will never forget.
The infection grew without remorse,
and before I knew it, I was almost yours.
But My God had another plan;
He made a way for me to come back
and breath again.
And as a Child of God,
I know how to fight against thee,
with strong hands and strengthened knees,
I bow my head
and pray for Jesus to intercede.
I have heard your death toll ring,
you have killed much of humanity.
And you have made a way to replicate fear,
your darkness spreads far and near.
Loneliness has become pandemic,
families have been divided,
and the nations have become
And humans do what we know well,
we point and blame and cast our spells.
But what many seem to easily forget,
is that Jesus came to conquer sin and death;
and His testimony is being proclaimed
in every nation across the earth!
Oh yes, death has lost its sting,
for those who know Christ their King;
they will stand face to face with God,
the Creator of Heaven and earth
and He will see the blood of Christ His Son.
So Mr. Corona Virus,
even though you are sharpening your blade,
I stand on the Word of God
and order you to put it away.
I stand firm
on the gospel of peace,
and I am fastened
to the shield of faith.
You see, Mr. Corona Virus,
even if you take my body,
you will NEVER be My God!
You can try to take my temporary life,
but you CANNOT have
my permanent birth right!
My spirit does not need oxygen.
My spirit is part of the Glory of God!
You, Mr. Corona Virus,
are a dead plague walking.
All you are is a satanic stronghold!
I have news for you,
The Day of the Lord is coming soon!
My Savior will destroy you
with His very breath,
and He will knock that crown
off your head!
So Mr. Corona Virus,
You can put your sickle away,
because I am a Child of God,
and I am here to stay!
Did you think
you could take my soul?
You must not have
fear of the Lord!
Fear of the Lord
is the beginning of wisdom -
and my relationship with Christ
is better than any religion!
So while fear may be lurking
in the corner,
but My Faith in God
is so much more!
You see, I am a first fruit -
and I will NEVER trade a lie for the truth!
The truth is
I was given a gene of faith,
and I have God’s spiritual DNA.
Only a fraction of hearts
express this gene,
only a fraction of hearts
have good soil
to grow the faith mustard seed.
Oh Father, hear my cry,
I know You, Yahweh
are the Creator of All!
I will trust and believe,
regardless of any act or miracle!
I pray this gospel message,
the Good News of Christ,
our rightful King,
so that we are rescued
from the evil one.
Matthew Chapter 5 was so full of Jesus's teaching, and now, here in Chapter 6, there is even more of it! And one can not possibly read any of this, without being totally changed from the inside out! It's as if every verse is like looking into a mirror and seeing the very worst part of yourself!
I mean, get this - right at the beginning of Matthew Chapter 6 Jesus says "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Matthew 6:1-4
Basically, Jesus is calling us out and telling us to stop acting like hypocrites! He does not even want us waving our ministry flags telling everyone how great our ministries are! He says that when we give to the needy we are NOT supposed to let everyone know what we give or how we give! In fact, the assumption is that we WILL give! That's not even the question! He doesn't say, "If you give to the poor." He says, "When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." Another words, if you are a follower of Christ, then you WILL give! And WHEN you give, do not pay attention to what you give or who you give or why you give - just give!
My God. This is such an eye opener for me! We live in a world where "social services" and "ministry resources" are marketed, volunteered and funded! In fact, I can't think of a ministry that is not broadcasted on social media, or marketed to say "Look at US and Look at what we do!" Every ministry I know does this - and the goal is always to attain more so that the ministry can do more.
And then I think of our Upper Room. I think of the women who humbly give of their time, treasure and love to care for a lady who was bed-bound for what seemed like forever. I think of my friend who makes lunches for the homeless, without asking for anything from anyone. I think of the times when someone needs a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to hold. I think of the guy who fixes a kitchen sink or mows a neighbor's lawn. I think these must be the terms of endearment that Jesus speaks of when someone just helps because - when the right hand does not know or care what the left hand is doing.
And Jesus said, "when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
My God. Continue to show me the error of my ways. Help me to stay away from "Ministry Flags" and all the evil baggage that comes with them. Humility is everything Lord. Humility is everything!
It appears the Holy Spirit has given me seven different poetic sermons to illuminate the scripture found in Matthew Chapter 5. The first was called “8 Blessings” and it was based on a sermon that Jesus gave on a Mount that spoke about the blessings of God. The second was called “Salt” and it was about Christians adding flavor to a lukewarm world. The third was called, “Awake O Sleeper” and it was based on the importance of shining God's light into a dark and dreary world. The fourth was called “Its the Law” and it highlights why Jesus came! He said, "Do not misunderstand why I have come. I have not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the Prophets. I have come to fulfill them." The fifth was called “Anger” and it spoke to how quickly anger can turn to danger and create murder, before we even know it! And the sixth was about the marriage vow, and it spoke to the importance of an oath - to a potential spouse and, more importantly, to God himself.
Now, here I am, at the end of Chapter 5; and Jesus is teaching about the problem with revenge, and why, as His disciples, we MUST show love to our enemies.
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say do not resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also; if you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat too; if a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it 2 miles; give to those who ask and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”
Truly, loving our enemies is the opposite of what our flesh really wants to do. It takes every once of self-control to push our pride down and not want to take things into our own hands. We will often come up with excuses like "righteous anger" to justify our positions. But Jesus. He says, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Do you not see why Jesus had to come?
Can you imagine forgiving a Nazi, who has killed thousands and thousands of men, women and children?
Can you imagine forgiving a rapist who has stolen the very essence of a person's being?
Can you imagine loving a person who sells little children?
Or extending grace to someone who has beaten his wife, or another person?
Can you imagine forgiving an Islamist who hates your God?
Can you imagine any of these people being considered a friend?
What exactly is Jesus trying to say?
Is he honestly telling us to love and to forgive?
Do we really have to pray for those who persecute us?
God, is this how we prove that we are your children?
Help us to learn how to love and forgive.