Are We Bashing or Blessing?

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I have been really heart broken and almost grieving these last couple of months, but the Lord has comforted me in the way that only He can. He always does – He just surprises me every time this is needed in my own life because He is still full of surprises as to how He goes about it. God is so AMAZING!

You see… My Father allows some grief to enter in at times SO THAT I will actually go to Him in prayer over all of it. Deep prayer – not the kind you do here and there. On my knees, kind of prayer!

He allows such things to get me thinking – and seeking – to go deep with Him. He causes me to wake me up in places where I have started to doze off, and maybe didn’t even realize it. He heightens my awareness that other stuff IS GOING ON that we don’t always pay attention to, or that we push down and try our best to ignore.

Guilty as charged.

But when that nagging is there, as a follower after Christ, you know that you need to address it. It won’t stop until you do. And that is what has been happening to me.

This actually has happened before – but these last few months it has gotten really, REALLY strong. You see – most people don’t realize this, but I am a very observant human. I watch things people talk about and I actually actively pay attention to  how they are being received or how others are responding as well.

I can see all sides of things and I can see where misunderstandings occur too. It’s tempting in those situations to tell those that I love to “play it safe” and just stop sharing altogether – so as to avoid conflict and save them some pain, right? But God has us all going through our own process that He’s taking us through – sometimes we make errors, but we learn from them as we seek Him. Sometimes, others attack us too, and we want to avoid that stuff all-the-more.

Have I ever told you that I am the master of wanting to squash conflict before it even starts? Hmmmmmmmmm.

The stuff that’s been grieving me lately has to do with what I see happening among believers regarding what is going on in the world and what scripture tells us clearly about God’s plan for this earth – that the way it is now will not last forever – and He has had a plan from the very beginning for all of that – for all of us.

I’m talking about our Blessed Hope (for those of us who follow after Jesus Christ) – and, depending on where you’re at and how you view things, what is sometimes also called the “end of days” or “end times.” My own studies have caused me to look at it more as our Blessed Hope – but it took a long time to get there.

About 8 years ago, the Lord really pressed it on my heart to truly study – to go DEEP – and learn about why part of the “end of days” in reality, as a Christian, is not scary – because it contains our Blessed Hope. He had me start off with Revelation – a book I was always afraid to study – and then move on to other parts of the Word that talk about prophecy – over 1/4 of the bible is about prophecy – so it’s kinda important, yo.

In the beginning of the book of Revelation, we are told:

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1: 3

That is huge, man. I always wondered what makes up this special blessing when the book of Revelation is not about only lovely things. But once I really dug deep and looked at the other prophetic scriptures, I saw. (Hint- there’s more than one special blessing – that’s just what I think now).

One of the special blessings I received was that God took away my fear – although at times I still feel unsettled, because I literally feel like the rubber band of this world has almost stretched to capacity, and I can feel it about to snap, I don’t fear it for myself or my family. I do still grieve deeply for those who will have to go through some of the stuff that’s coming up – make no mistake about it. But the focus being on our Blessed Hope as Believers totally overrides that now. Isn’t that where the focus always was supposed to be on in relation to God’s prophecies? On His promises, and drawing closer in our walk with Him? I just never understood why it wasn’t until I went deep.

God actually placed an overriding and utterly joyous expectation into my own heart for the possibility that Christ MAY return for His church (rapture) in my lifetime. And if he doesn’t? It doesn’t matter – because I am saved and I WILL live with Him – my Savior – for all eternity. He also has caused me to want to shine His light all the brighter to those who may not yet know Him. That’s pretty important too!

But what DOES matter, is that I live my life LOOKING FOR His return and never losing hope. I also realize He is with me right here and right now, lest you were wondering.

So, why have I been grieving? Why am I so unsettled?

Well, for starters, I have seen so much dissension in the church over this matter. I’ve come to expect such things in the world, but seeing it in the body of Christ is another thing – it actually HURTS MY STINKIN’ HEART!

It’s always been there – I get that. But it seems like now, it is really bad. There are those who want to actively watch and look for Christ’s return rather than go through their days thinking “oh well, if He comes back, great, and if not, great.” They are excited – they want everyone else to actively watch as well and feel a special blessing because of that in their own lives. There are those who are called to watch and sound the alarm and “speak this prophecy aloud” and those who are called to other things in the body of Christ at this time. We are all part of the same body – we are called to different things at different times. It all matters!

But I have seen a REAL opposition lately toward those who wish to speak about prophecy aloud – in a big way. I also see us taking an either/or approach to things – and that is missing the mark, if you ask me – it is a trap laid by the devil  himself.

I get it – a lot of it is because there have been folks in the past who were “date setters” and deceiving people. But if you really study that – most of them weren’t looking to the WHOLE of scripture and reading it in FULL context to make their case. MOST of them.

And people are fallible…that’s just the crux of the matter. But to not even want to ENTERTAIN the thought of Christ’s soon return is flat-out stifling.

On the other side of the coin, there are those who use scare tactics and forget about the love and the hope part (the most important part of our Blessed Hope) when they talk about such things. I  have been guilty of that in the past, I know. I’ve also been guilty of ignoring prophecy and talking about it out loud with others because of fear that others would judge me, be scared, think this or that of me. Neither of those two things is right.

The point is – all of the Word of God matters. All of what He admonishes us to do and how to behave matters. Truth matters. Love matters. Looking for our Blessed Hope matters. STILL ministering to and loving others as we love ourselves while looking for Christ’s return matters. Not being asleep, but being awake in regard to what God says will happen matters. Actively watching matters. Realizing others may not have studied or understand matters. Understanding fellow believers may have unsaved family members in their lives and that’s why all of this makes them uncomfortable matters. Speaking up and sounding alarms matter (if truly rooted in scripture). Speaking the TRUTH IN LOVE matters.

But what matters most is our relationship with God first, and loving others as ourselves right next in line. Sometimes, love isn’t all flowers and hearts, I get it. But we MUST remember to love one another all the more as “we see the day drawing near.”

I go back to what I have always said –

It’s not Either/Or…..

It’s Both/And!!!!!!!!!

Paul speaks here to believers at the time and this applies to us now: I highly recommend reading ALL of it, not just the first verse or two.

 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.  But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.  For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5-11

If you read this as well as MANY other parts of scripture that talk about Christ’s return and His plan for us as believers, it starts to become quite clear that we don’t have to be surprised about when He will come back for us – that if we are truly studying the Word and going deep, we will know the season. But we don’t want to get so caught up in looking for the particular day or hour that we forget to love one another in the process. It’s not wrong to look and watch as Christ Himself exhorts us to! But all the others stuff as to how He would have us live while we wait is important too.

Yep. It’s Both/And.

I could go off on another tangent here about “no one knows the day or hour” and how that gets thrown around so casually but I won’t. Let me just urge you to TRULY go and study that entire section of scripture and harmonize it with all the other prophetic passages throughout the Word and see for yourself that “the day or hour” is really not speaking about the rapture, but when the heavens and earth will melt away (that’s at the end of the millenium, in case you don’t know that yet).

I’m not here to “make a case” for Christians to look at prophecy and how much or how little you want to speak about it the same way. I’m here to admonish all of us – MYSELF INCLUDED – to take these things seriously and to look at the WORD of God to interpret itself.

I’m here today to share what is grieving my heart and that I feel it is SO IMPORTANT that we pray for one another, share the love and truth of Christ with each other as well as those who do not believe, and never simply dismiss one another’s point of view – but look to the Word and to Christ.

But most importantly – we have to LOOK UP. And at the same time, we can’t forget to look side-to-side at one another. All of this – well, it should be causing us to draw even closer to our Lord and Savior and one another. If it isn’t – don’t blame prophecy, man. Look inward and ask the Lord to show you where the darkness lies in your own heart. This is what I have to do on a daily basis. My tendency is to simply cut and run and avoid the subject entirely, rather than looking at my own heart and what the Lord is trying to show me about myself and how maybe, just maybe – He wants to change me.

We are in this thing together, even though the enemy tries to tear us apart. I would never want to EVER steal someone’s zeal and desire to actively look for the Blessed Hope of Christ’s return. NEVER! It grieves me in ways I cannot express when I see others do that (even well-meaning folks).

At the same time, I don’t want to EVER forget that not everyone is in the same place with how they approach their own study of God’s Prophetic Word – and we all need to show grace, love and understanding, because EVEN WHEN we are not in the same place, we are, as believers, IN THIS TOGETHER.

So instead of continuing to grieve silently, I decided to write this today – to any of my fellow believers out there who so choose to read it. You don’t have to agree with me – and I’d appreciate all commenting to be of a nature of building one another up – if you DO wish to talk with me privately about your take on prophetic scripture, please feel free to place your email in the comments and we can do so. But if the desire to debate prophecy is the first thing you think of as you read this, then that should be a good indicator that you missed my point entirely. I’m here to discuss such things with any brother and sister who wants to – but that’s not really the point of this story today.

I am not a prophecy teacher. (Buah ha ha!) I am not an expert. (even funnier!)

But I am in love with Jesus Christ.

I look to the SCRIPTURES of God to discern what He is saying to us about all of this. I take it seriously – and it actually causes me to let loose of the few earthly ties that bind me here and look forward to my life with HIM once I am removed from this earth (another blessing?) It didn’t used to be that way before I studied what I had always feared. (ANOTHER blessing!)

Yes-  God made true (again) on His promise that it would be a blessing to my life to seek Him in this way as well. And I am POSITIVE that He will make true on EVERY LAST ONE of His other promises.

Talk about grace upon grace. Wow.

Most importantly, I am saved. That – salvation through Jesus Christ – matters more than anything else. Drawing others to thing about Him too, so He can then work within them and they can become saved too – that matters as well. And I pray every single day that I can share the light, love and truth of Jesus with everyone in my path in ways that cause others to let Him pierce their own hearts. I want EVERYONE to get to live with us for all eternity with Jesus – it grieves me that not everyone will.

Let’s share the good news of Jesus rather than fight against one another. Let us not be afraid to respectfully question other believers and seek to understand them and our Savior all the more. Let us not be intent on winning a debate, rather, stand for Him and His truth AND love one another even when we disagree. But let us also allow others who want to shout from the rooftops about our blessed  hope to do so – in a respectful manner, of course.

Let us see our Blessed Hope as a blessing, rather than Bashing it. Let us not bash one another over the head with any of this, rather edify one another. We are all mere humans who all are going through different experiences in our earthly lives – let us look up to the only One who truly understands all of it.

That’s what Jesus does. And we do well to follow after His example.

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Do You?

via Thomas Roberts creationswap.com

via Thomas Roberts creationswap.com

Do you see Him? ‘Cause He is coming….
In all His glory, power and might.
Oh, do you see Him? He’s almost ready….
To collect His bride, His loves, it’s getting bright.

Do you feel Him? His approach, I know
I hear the rumble of footsteps, oh so divine.
Do you feel Him? He’s drawing near…
He’s coming for us, all of those that He calls “mine.”

Friend, Do you hear Him? His eternal voice…
Calling out your name…. in the book of life?
Oh, do you hear Him? That sweet, sweet sound…
Just listen for His peace, His joy; absence of strife.

Do you know Him? ‘Cause He wants you to…
He longs for you to enter in love with Him.
Do you know Him? It’s not too late!!!
He already paid for it; the price for all our sin!

Oh, are you ready? To meet Him now?
Time’s almost lost, yes, He approaches fast!
Are you ready?! Please choose Him, friend.
Forget inadequacy, perfection, or your sins from the past.

Please don’t tary. ‘Cause He is not…
He’s coming friends, and very soon it shall be.
Oh, please don’t tary! Choose Him today
All knees will bow, and every eye shall see!

Oh my Jesus. Please melt our hearts.
Help us to look and listen; feel you drawing near.
We know you’re coming. And we can’t wait!
To meet you forever…where you’ll hold us, tight and dear.

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You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:40)

A Forever Thing

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My brother-in-law passed away yesterday (Thursday) morning. His name was David. I called him Dave.

I couldn’t write about it last night yet – well, no, that’s actually untrue. I was thinking of him when I wrote that last blog post. But I couldn’t write about it in quite the way I am tonight.

I won’t be writing an obituary tonight for Dave. I won’t be writing about all of his awesome character traits and funny stories, great nicknames, and accomplishments.
I will say he had one of the most tender hearts for people that I ever knew. But I can’t do him justice in that way just yet – he was just too cool – trust me.

But, the biggest reason why I can’t do that is that I experienced something with God and with Dave that transcends all of that – thus, the rest just pales in comparison right about now. That’s because Dave died in my arms yesterday morning. Yes, me…his sister-in-law.

I believe the reason for this is that as we prayed to the Lord for David to fully surrender to Jesus Christ if he hadn’t done so already, it was time for there to be no barriers in the way of that surrender. When one is crumpled on the floor taking their last breaths and facing eternity, being concerned about how a family member – a brother, a mother, a father, might feel or be traumatized can get in the way of surrender. This is just what I personally believe may have been a reason that the Lord chose me to be the one to be with Dave.

God didn’t want Dave to be alone through this, and He made it clear that He didn’t want anything to stand in the way of the chance for full surrender – not worrying about how frail or weak he might look to his loved ones, not being concerned with scarring them for life, or not being embarrassed about being in that state in front of others – just being focused upon letting all of this life go and making the choice as to where he would start his new life (the forever one).

That speaks volumes as to how merciful and compassionate our Lord is regarding one of his own who had became lost during part of his life on this earth.

In the last three years (roughly) I have been in the presence of four people as they are beginning to leave their earthly body and earth-bound life and cross over into eternity. The first was my mother. Then, three months later, my grandpa (her dad). Then, a month after that, a girl that I worked with. And yesterday, my dear Dave.

I can’t write about it all right now, but I do want to share something with you about this today. Something very strange – very aweseome – very exhausting – and most of all, VERY difficult to explain in words happens when you are in this “state” with another person who is leaving this earth. It is not made up or imagined. It is not mere adrenaline or shock coursing through your veins. It is not trauma alone that makes you feel you aren’t “all there” during, and then after for a while. All of those factors are present, for sure. But there’s something more happening than all that – and it’s impossible not to see it, feel it, KNOW it when it is there.

It truly is something not fully of this realm that you experience. And it’s also an honor and a privilege to be invited into an experience like this by God and for that person.

For me, this doesn’t just go away once the person or loved one passes away. It sticks around with you for a while after. This sticking thing varies in how long it lasts from situation to situation or person to person. With regard to my mother, my brothers and her sisters were present as well. But I don’t think it unstuck (for me) for several days. Really, it might have been weeks.

Let me try to explain this in the only way I know how…

It’s as though you are still firmly planted in this world, yet one toe of your other leg is just dipped into another realm with that person as they are passing out of this world and into the next. As soon as they leave entirely, you think you have both feet fully back, but in reality, something is still sticking with you there as you begin to walk fully in this realm again (now that they have left).

Here’s one other way to explain it…..

Have you ever been half asleep and half awake and in your half asleep part you are dreaming? But your half awake part is aware that your half asleep part is dreaming and it’s talking to your dreaming side and saying “you know this is just a dream, right?” and the dreaming side wants to continue the dream and is negotiating with the awake side so it can do so? Yah. It’s like that too.

Then there are the layers of feeling God’s presence in the “normal” way that you feel it, and sensing and experiencing His presence in this different way. You know He is there in a new or different way than you normally feel it, but He is being seen by the person passing away in ways that you cannot see Him. You just know He’s there. You can feel it with every fiber of your being.

For me, I get tingles throughout my body while it’s happening too. Not a tingle here or there, but a “filled with tingles” thing that sticks around – VERY intensely the whole time it’s happening, and then residual for a day or day and a half after.

Something different happened this time though. I was in Wal-mart on Wednesday and thinking about Dave. This was the day before he passed away, friends. I was walking into the store and said a prayer for him – “God, I am concerned about Dave as he hurt himself pretty badly last night – I am concerned he may not make it through surgery on Friday.” And as I was saying in my mind/prayer the word surgery, I got through the first syllable and the tingles came.

I have had these tingles before, especially over the last year. They happen in church a lot, and sometimes when I am praying. This is fairly new for me though. The only other times I had them before was when mom, gramps, and that young lady died. But now they happen randomly.

But I kid you not: When this happened in Walmart as I was praying for Dave, I temporarily got a bit freaked out. I really and truly did pause and wonder (after finishing that prayer) “God, is he going to pass away soon?”

My husband (his beloved brother) and the rest of Dave’s family did indeed know that he had serious health problems, and I am sure at several points in time have wondered how much longer he might have left in this world. But you still think it’s going to be longer than it really is, you know?

But at Walmart, I really was freaked out. I wondered if this was God’s way of telling me that it wasn’t just a gut feeling – that it was true Dave would not be lasting much longer in this earthly body. The tingles came, and I conversed more with God and just resolved to place it in His hands. I figured that the tingles may be the Spirit of the Lord just filling me with love for Dave and letting me know He is hearing my prayer, or it could possibly be that He was filling me with His Spirit for some other unknown reason. I didn’t know, but I knew it was God.

The next day, through a series of unplanned events, (not planned out by me) it was me who was chosen or needed to go by Dave’s apartment to get some Tylenol to him – something not ordinarily that would have been me.

I have far greater concerns and things I am focusing upon with Dave’s passing away right now than myself or my own story about how I was involved in it. There are a lot of different blog posts that I could have written tonight. But I felt that God wanted me to share this with you today for a reason. I am more concerned with Dave’s brothers and parents, his other family members, the grief they are experiencing right now than anything else. But I believe the Lord wants me to share this today with you my friends.

The pull into that realm (the one that makes up eternity – the One where God reveals Himself in a different way than what we can experience here on this earth) is POWERFUL beyond belief. There is no way whatsoever I could explain away this “pull” – this “sticky” this surreal-seeming thing by mere shock, adrenaline, or other stuff. And I tell you it’s real. I tell you God is real. And you don’t want to miss this.

Jesus Christ is waiting for every one of us to accept Him as our Savior so that we can enter into God’s presence – so He can fill us with His Holy Spirit (our helper) now, while we still reside here, but usher us into the fullness of His presence when we move into eternity.

Please, if you haven’t accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, would you do so today? It can happen in the flash of an eye, moving out of this life into eternity. Anything can happen any time. Any second.

And if you already follow after Christ with all that you are, but you know someone who hasn’t made that important heart decision – consider the fact that they will likely be grateful that you chose to share Jesus with them – if not now – when they are taking their last breath.

We need to be bold for Christ now, dear friends. We need to share His grace and mercy and love with others. Time is short. So is this life.

But eternity is a forever kind of thing. And so is our Mighty God.

1 Corinthians 2:7-9 But we  impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for  our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they  would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,”What no eye  has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared  for those who love him”

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He Says “Come All”

(c) werner22brigitte via Pixabay

(c) werner22brigitte via Pixabay

Mama’s Story.

No:  A story of mama’s cancer.

Nuh-Uh!:  A story of mama’s cancer seen through my eyes.

Nah….we’re gonna kill that lame title.

It’s a story about God. It’s about the Almighty Creator – the Father – the Redeemer- the Savior – the Comforter. The Shepherd. The Alpha and The Omega. The Great I Am.

It’s a story. Just one of His stories.

An amazing, miraculous, enlightening, saving, eye-opening, wonderful, and awesome story.

via Pixabay

via Pixabay

There’s a pond…or a lake of some kind in this story – There’s a glacier too. My mama is there and so is a little girl she called “Christy”. There is a song called Silver Wings in this story, and a lot of other saved souls who went before us to be with Jesus there.

There’s a magnificent woman of God, her three children, her sisters, brothers, parents, caretakers, pastors, friends, co-workers and all her family in this story. There are angels, doctors, visions and medications, laughter and tears, chocolate and morphine.  There are alarm clocks, funerals, phone calls, songs, decisions, notes, letters, popcorn and movies in this story. There are lots and lots of things in this story, friends.

And then……….there is Jesus…..there is God. There is the Father, the Holy Spirit in this story.

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There is God – God is in this story.

God is this story.

It’s His story, after all…just one of them.

And it’s a true story………….

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via Pixabay

via Pixabay

  • It’s a story of redemption – a story of pain…
  • A story of triumph, and a story of gain.
  • It’s a story of grief – a story of loss….
  • A story of love, regardless of cost.
  • A story of vision – seeing God through new eyes…
  • A story of heartache, saying goodbyes.
  • It’s a story of beauty, of joy and of grace.
  • A story of my mama, who saw Jesus’ face.
  • A story she told us, it wasn’t just hers –
  • Much that she shared, were not just mere words.
  • A story of death and a story of life –
  • Of true hope renewed, through turmoil and strife.
  • It’s the story of heaven, of gates open wide –
  • Of His hand reaching out, to take her inside.
  • Yes, this story she shared, bits of it we heard –
  • Now this story I share, please pray for the words.
  • Pray for the listening –
  • Pray for the heart.
  • Pray for my small, human heart to just listen.
Photo © CreationSwap/DougEFresh

Photo © CreationSwap/DougEFresh

Friends, I have a wonderful story that the Lord has impressed upon me to share with you. It is a true story – the story of my mama going home to live with her Savior forever and ever. It’s also the story of things God revealed to me in my own life as I watched it all happen, and really, ever since. I shall share with you, this story, in segments, because it is a lot to take in and I honestly believe I need to put it down it in the way that the Lord tells me to, as He tells me to do so.

You know, God is just so very amazing – I truly am awestruck by Him anew each and every day. My mama passed from this earth three years ago, and what we saw through her entire journey as she battled cancer, and especially through the “end” was truly just the beginning. This I know.

via FreeChristianImages

via FreeChristianImages

I ask for you to pray for me as I attempt to put into words what I saw – His story He told me through my mama.

Let’s name this story after Him….using the very words that He gave to her…..the ones He told her to tell  us………..

He said, “Come All” –

Jesus says, “Come All.”

Because we’re all invited.

Are you ready??????????????????

Hans via Pixabay

Hans via Pixabay

We have a glacier to climb.

werner22briggite via Pixabay

werner22briggite via Pixabay

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

* To Be Continued by the grace and leading of the Lord – in His timing – in His wisdom – in His grace. Love, Annie B.

Copyright © 2013 – AnnieB – Feel free to share this with anyone you wish! The copyright is solely on these particular writings as they may eventually be compiled into a book for publishing.

via gopraise

Are you Dangerous?

Nemo via Pixabay

Nemo via Pixabay

I’ve never been much of a risk taker. My radar has typically been on high alert when it comes to whether or not there could be danger up ahead. The fear of the unknown, the wrath that others might inflict on me if I offend them, or those things that could knock me off course? Such things were to be avoided at all costs.

Danger? Not really my thing. But I am starting to see very clearly that I am called not only to be willing to face that which might be scary or foreign to me, but also to be dangerous myself.

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You see, Jesus didn’t live a safe or comfortable life. He walked amongst those considered to be the dregs of society, shook the very foundations upon which the all-powerful leaders and lawmakers of the land stood, spoke truth that flew in the face of everything accepted as “politically correct” or culturally appropriate at the time, touched, hugged and healed lepers and others who had been shunned by everyone else, broke bread with sinners, ran off as a young child to go about His Father’s business, stayed quiet when He could have saved His own neck, spoke up when He knew it probably wouldn’t, and, all the way up to the very last breath – showed mercy and compassion  and offered salvation to the thieves, drunkards, and all the sinners of the world (uh-hem, that’s you and me) – past, present, and future.

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Danger? It is Jesus’ thing.

Not everyone is called to or equipped to go out to war-torn countries to live dangerously for the Lord. We don’t need to seek out the criminals of the world, the drug dealers, the pimps, or the people fighting brawls in every bar across the land. Danger is present all around us – we just don’t confront it enough. We hide. We stay comfortable. We play the game that the world tells us to because “safety first” and “live and let live” are the mantras of our culture, our world. It’s a world that does not embrace Jesus, that’s for sure. But we have the opportunity to proclaim his truth daily – right where we are at.

God’s truth has been viewed as dangerous for the majority of mankind’s existence. Few want to hear it, live it, or face it, much less fully embrace it. His truth entails real change if we are to walk it, talk it, and live it, and most people don’t want any part of it.  Change isn’t comfortable. Right living? Not comfortable. Living for the glory of God versus self and making the occassional sacrifice for all that is good and right in the world?

D-A-N-G-E-R!

greyerbaby via Pixabay

greyerbaby via Pixabay

I am reading a wonderful book right now written by Greg Laurie, called “Making God Known.” I absolutely love what he has to share about proclaiming the gospel. He says that we are to be “spiritually dangerous” if we desire to make an impact for the kingdom of God – and he emphasized that the Lord has asked us to be this way. And just sharing the simple, yet powerful message of the gospel with others, in whatever way that we can, makes us “spiritually dangerous” in this world in which we live. But it takes courage and a willingness to trust that the Lord will be with us every step of the way; empowering us, telling us what to say and do, carrying us through the darkness and over and through the obstacle courses that are part of the dangerous places in which we will begin to reside.

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No, we don’t have to be scared, because Jesus is at the wheel as we venture off the highway and into the sidestreets of life. He will be the light for us in the wooded, dark areas, He will give us the gas that we need to keep moving down the road, He will be our signpost when we am not sure which way to turn, and He will guide our every action, thought, and word. He doesn’t promise us that we will come out unscathed; not at all. But He does promise us that He will never leave us.

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him,
but also to suffer for him Philippians 1:29

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

MattGruber via CreationSwap

MattGruber via CreationSwap

We don’t have to worry if others feel offended, because we are looking at life in the face of eternity, not just this time we spend here on earth, and how comfortable we are while we are here.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have people feel a bit angry towards now – initially offended- uncomfortable- unsettled – than to have them cry out later “why didn’t my friend tell me about Jesus? Why didn’t she share how crucial this was and that I would spend eternity apart from Him if I didn’t make a decision to accept Him as my Savior? If she only would have told me! If she only would have cared more about my soul than her comfort!”

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Mr. Laurie shares in his book, “People don’t convert people – the Holy Spirit does.”  Allow me echo that: GOD is the one who converts people – God and God alone! But He likes to use us to reach other people – He has His divine reasons for that. To do so, we have to be willing to take what the world might call risks. To do that, we must at times, be politically incorrect. To do that, we  have to be willing to take up our own cross, just as Christ has done for us, and not only carry it, but kiss it and embrace it – even when we think we can’t carry it one more step! And it can be done with the love of Christ – it can be done by speaking that truth of His in LOVE.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me’. Matthew 16:24

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If we are going to follow Jesus, there is going to be danger involved. But He is with us.

It is then up to us to obey His command – We are to share Christ with others, in love, yet boldly too. It’s up to us to proclaim the gospel and the truth. It’s up to us to be willing to live dangersouly for Jesus, and to be committed to that and faithful to Him every step of the way. And we will have to face worldly dangers in order to be “spiritually dangerous” for the Lord – lots of them!

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If you are wanting to be more of a risk taker for Jesus, listen to that inner voice and just do it!  Jump in armed with the word of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit. Find the ways that you can use the gifts the Lord has given you to proclaim the good news of the gospel, to sing His praises, and to bring others to Him so that He can do His work within their hearts and souls.

And lest you are wondering if you have what it takes? God is who qualifies you to do this. You don’t need special skills or a degree in theology to do it. He chose fishermen and tax collectors to carry this out when He picked His own disciples over 2000 years ago.

Aaron Dailey via CreationSwap

Aaron Dailey via CreationSwap

Let me share something with you about  being dangerous for Jesus:  Is it going to be anxiety-producing at times? Yes. Are people going to reject you for it? Yes. Could you lose a job, a position, a special invite, a friend over it? For sure. Are people going to laugh at you, ridicule you, shun you, or even worse, beat you up for it in every way imaginable? Probably.

But again, you can take heart in this: You are not alone…….

Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If
they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching,
they will obey yours also. John 15:20

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And if you haven’t already accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, are YOU feeling led to do something dangerous, what might you do to join us in this adventurous life that God has in store for you? I will share that with you below, so PLEASE read on!  I must tell you, if you make the decision to follow after Christ NOW, you will enter into a dangerous earthly life, but, in reality, you will truly be safer than you have ever been before – because your life will now be spent eternally with Him, not apart from Him. And Hell is very real, my friends – really, it is. Hell is the ONE danger that I, personally, want to avoid at all cost!

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How do I obtain salvation through Jesus Christ and accept Him as my Lord and Savior? It’s not complicated at all. The Bible tells us that we “all fall short of the glory of God.” Because of that, we must………..

Acknowledge that you are a sinner and in need of forgiveness. Sin is anything that falls short of the mark of holy perfection. No one is perfect, and utterly holy but God – so we are all sinners. We need our sins to be forgiven so that we can no longer be separated from God.

God sent His only son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sin…………..

Believe in Jesus and recognize that he died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. He is alive and He paid the penalty for OUR sin.

We must turn away from that sin and turn towards Jesus and accept the fact that it is by “grace and grace alone” that we are forgiven………….

Repent from your sin – We must admit we have sinned and sincerely wish to turn away from it. We can ask Jesus to then forgive us of those sins, and He promises to do so.

We then need to invite Him into our hearts and lives and ask Him to save us and be the Lord of our lives………..

Pray to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior – you can pray something similar to this below, but realize that you can use your own words and the Lord will hear you:

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Jesus, I know that I have sinned and am in need of your gift of salvation. I realize that what I have earned of my own doing would be death and separation from You. I do believe that You died in my place instead and I ask that You forgive me for my sin.I realize that only You can save me and offer me forgiveness, I cannot do this on my own. I repent of my sin, and reject it from my life; I truly desire to turn away from it and change directions with you. Jesus, please come into my life, remove my sin, and show me how to make you the Lord of my life. I wish to live a life that is pleasing to you.

Jon Romero via CreationSwap

Jon Romero via CreationSwap

If you just prayed this with a sincere and believing heart, you are now saved by the blood of Jesus Christ! You are ready to start being spiritually dangerous. And you will spend eternity in heaven with Him!

Please go to the homepage of this blog and click on the page entitled “Salvation through Jesus Christ” for more information and suggestions on things you can do to start to grow in your personal relationship with your Savior! You need to begin to arm yourself for the wonderful adventure you are about to embark upon as you start to follow after a life with Christ!

Bruce Jennings via CreationSwap

Bruce Jennings via CreationSwap

And if you are already a Christian who loves your Savior and has made Him the Lord of your life – are you ready to start being spiritually dangerous? Take up your cross, and take the first step. There’s someone far stronger than you are that will help you to carry it if you grow weary.

Danger? Never really been my thing. Until now.

I am glad I have others to keep me company along the way.

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“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19