Never give up as that’s when you’re ready to be used by God.

Imagine returning to your homeland in order to share Jesus only to be thrown into jail for 14 years! Gregory of Armenia had just that happen when King Tiridates III threw him into a pit used as a jail.

If we are honest, we probably would have given up sometime during those 14 years. Yet, God brought the king’s sister to keep Gregory alive.

Throughout that time, Tiridates battled with bouts of insanity. History records that he was controlled by a demon. Whenever he was lucid, though, he would ask to be healed. No one could.

Until one day, the King’s sister was allowed to bring Gregory from the pit. He was and did cast out the demon. Tiridates’ sanity was immediately restored.

This lead to the entire country of Armenia hearing about Jesus through the King and Gregory.

Fourteen years of waiting for God to intervene. Fourteen years of surviving on bread and goat’s milk alone. Fourteen years of hanging out in a gross pit.

Yet after those fourteen years, Armenia became one of the largest Christian nations on earth.

The Father’s plans are bigger than yours and will always come about…in His timing. You are His servant, not the other way around. So, in between your time and His, let the Spirit grow your faith and prepare you and others for His will to be done.

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The meaning of life is raised only through loving Jesus and His words of truth.

Jesus told His disciples that He instructed them while He was still on earth so they would not fall flat on their faces when He left it.

Instructed them with what? Words. Words that held specific truths that would keep them from hurtful falls.

Yet, we find ourselves in a world where the definition of basic words is constantly changing. For example, someone once said they couldn’t define the word “woman.”

Since when did the definition of woman change? Jesus’ definition of the truth based word woman has never changed. Yet, every time that word is used now, the listener can be left wondering who or what the speaker is talking about.

If a listener is hearing definition A for the word woman while the speaker is using definition B for that same word woman, and, the listener makes a decision based on the speaker’s definition thinking it’s the same as their own, they have just been deceived.

This is the basis for Jesus’ warning. He was telling them then and us today that only His truths will set us free from all the negative consequences of sin caused by acting upon lies/deception.

It behooves the child of God, then, to grow in their love for Jesus and constantly get better at listening to and following His life changing words of truth. As we do, the possibility of deception is greatly reduced.

Our love, which means trust, for Him must grow ever stronger in the days ahead. Words have meaning. Will it be His meaning or others? That question can only be answered by you, the listener.

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Good Company

“You can’t change or control the world around you. You can change and control the world within you.” Warren Wiersbe

Jesus was at home when all of a sudden there was a huge crowd outside. He did the right thing for the right reason. He told them about the Father.

Then dust stared falling on his head. Someone was on the roof trying to get inside the house through the ceiling!

He again did the right thing for the right reason. He not only forgave the guy’s sin, He healed the person’s paralytic body as well.

What did He get for doing the right thing for the right reason? Huge backlash.

Some were praising God for what just happened, while others were ticked and questioned His motives and actions.

Sometimes people are happy with us for doing for doing what Jesus tells us to do. While at other times, people will not. You can only control you choices, not what others might think of or do to you.

Be encouraged my friend. You’re in good company. If they did that to Jesus, it shouldn’t shock you when it happens to you.

Keep doing the right thing for the right reason. It’s building Christ-like character within you. This will last forever while people’s reactions to it will not.

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Against the Current

Living fish can swim upstream. Dead fish can only float downstream.

I recently heard a heartbreaking story about an artist who is a Jesus believer in a ground breaking and very successful band.

As their faith grew, though, all members of the band realized that this person’s lyrics no longer fit the band’s image.

This person decided to leave the band, but at great cost. They have been vilified on many fronts for attempting to live out the truth Jesus is and gives them.

This is the world in which Jesus believers find themselves in today. Even though it changes your life for the better today and into the future, if you decide to live by and in the truth, expect others to try and silence you.

In Paul’s Jesus story (2 Corinthians 11-12), he asked that the Father to take away his hardship and the vilification he was facing.

God told him no. Instead He said, “My grace is enough. I will get you through it when you ask for My power.”

Paul died to his way of thinking and personally lived in the power of God. This could only come from a starting position of weakness, which is why he could write that he would rather be weak so he could experience the strength of God.

If you want to feel alive, then live the truth Jesus gives you in His Word by asking for God’s power to replace your weakness. As you do, you will become more like Jesus!

This process, however, comes with a price. Most people will not want to hear your Jesus story, even if it is set to ground breaking music.

But some will. Isn’t the some worth it?

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“This life was not intended to be our place of perfection, but the preparation for it.” William Baxter

Last Sunday, many in Christendom celebrated Palm Sunday.  It is one of the few stories recorded in all four gospels.

Luke records Jesus making a tremendously important statement. My paraphrase, “Guys, you should have known what today was all about. You should have known why I came riding on a donkey. You should have been prepared. And because you weren’t, some horrific events will occur in your lifetime.” (Lk. 19:41-44)

John reiterates this when he records that the disciples had no clue what was happening until after Jesus rose from the grave (Jn. 12:16).

Much of Scripture is prophetic in nature. God does this to prove He wrote and you can trust His Scriptures; and, to make sure you are living each day with Him. If you do both, you will always be ready for whatever this world throws at you.

Don’t blow off what you are seeing today around the globe! God’s words are coming true before your very eyes. Is Jesus coming back this year? I don’t know.

Don’t be like the majority of Israelites, however, who were caught off guard when Jesus came riding down the Mount of Olives riding on that donkey.

Be prepared! Today, not some day in the future, live and put into flesh the truths the Spirit has given you.

Would you rather be prepared and live in victory or be caught off guard and experience defeat?

Jesus has already given you victory. It’s up to you to walk in it by faith in and power from Him. The answer is up to you.

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