“Life will always present new opportunities and challenges, so hang tight, calm down, and remember who made you.”~TB
This sin fallen world will lull you into the fake belief that Christian life is some perfect-Instagram-able filter, where Jesus protects you from experiencing any pain or hardship. Many of you believe that if bad things happen, God must not be around. How foolish! Read your Bibles and you will see that every single person who took up their Holy employment struggled with many things. Even David, God’s favorite, endured hardship. The enemy uses this false ploy to deceive young believers. The moment you face a struggle, you abandon ship. You cower in fear and anguish over every little thing, because you haven’t done your reading. Friends, use your hardships to deepen your relationship with God. In those moments, double-down in your faith.
No one gets out of this life unbruised as we are all tested, pruned, pressed, into becoming more and more into the image of our Father in Heaven. To walk the path of Jesus means to catch a glimpse of what He endured to save us. When you understand this truth, go to the ultimate playbook, the Bible, to see how to navigate tricky situations. Troubles do not go away the closer you walk with God. However, because you’ve done your work and you know His teachings, He gives you the grace, strength, patience to endure any and every test thrown your way. So stop looking for the perfect life as a sign that God is good. God is Good because He IS. Calm down, remember the truth, and make Biblical decisions in all that you do.
How do you respond to your trials and tribulations?
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1A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
2Those who follow the right path fear the LORD ; those who take the wrong path despise him.
3A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe.
4Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.
5An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies.
6A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.
7Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.
8The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
9Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
10Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.
11The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish.
12There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
13Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
14Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.
15Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.
16The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
17Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.
18Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly.
20The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.”
21It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.
22If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.
23Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!
24Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness.
25A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor.
26Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.
27Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.
28A growing population is a king’s glory; a prince without subjects has nothing.
29People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.
30A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
31Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.
32The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die.
33Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.
34Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
35A king rejoices in wise servants but is angry with those who disgrace him.
“Copying someone else’s faith without putting in the effort to have a personal relationship with God is like plagiarizing an F paper.”~TB
No pastor, preacher, prophet, or human can build a relationship with God for you. Sure, they can lead and encourage you to the Source, but you have to put in the effort. The foundation of your faith has to be your direct connection with Him. If you don’t turn off all of the worldly distractions and spend your time with God, there is no way you can grow in faith. Be honest with yourselves to create a foundation that is rooted in the Truth. The path to God is simple. The discipline to follow the simple path, well, that depends on you.
Doubt Happens by Cheating
Following God in an ostentatiously flawed world is challenging. There are so many people who criticize, disparage and doubt God. When people behave this way, it’s because they themselves have not done the personal work to get to know Him. When you copy their fake ideas and agenda, it’s no wonder you fall prey to their doubt. You cheated and tried to gain access using the incorrect answers. If you don’t study for a test, how do you expect to know the right answers from the wrong ones? More to the point, if you don’t know God, how do you expect to understand His answers and reject the incorrect human answers? You can’t, which is why your faith sucks. There is none!
We are all idiot sinners, destined to continue being flawed, which is the exact reason you must cultivate your own connection to the Lord. Sure, we improve as we walk closer with Him, but we will never be perfect. People will always fall short, so if you copy their external faith, you only see the human side of a spiritual relationship. Because you cannot hear their conversations with God, you only see the flaws. On the outside, of course, it looks busted! Because you copied the wrong answers for a test that is uniquely yours. My test is different than your test. Your test is different than mine. But we all have the same studying tools available to learn and understand how to pass our own personal tests. Keep your eyes on your own paper.
Are you studying for your Holy exam or are you copying the answers of a failed test?
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1Praise the LORD ! I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with his godly people.
2How amazing are the deeds of the LORD ! All who delight in him should ponder them.
3Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.
4He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our LORD !
5He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant.
6He has shown his great power to his people by giving them the lands of other nations.
7All he does is just and good, and all his commandments are trustworthy.
8They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
9He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
10Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!
“Faith produces the right product at the right time for the right purpose in the right position for the right people in place where God has placed you.” ~ Jon Barnes
No doubt many of us know what it is like to throw the towel in and quit before the game has begun. We tend to give up on new things, tough choices, with slight resistance. If we have to give and invest a little time, money, and work into an idea, goal, job, or family time, the TV option of laziness normally wins.
When your faith is dead, with no work, you have no options for success with God and you will have no fruit of your labor to display, share, sell, give, or seeds to plant. Your faith will balance out your actions and you work will come from God’s master plan of excellence, wisdom, and understanding. You will teach teachers, officials, and students, because of your faith, wisdom, and knowledge.
Faith Produces great result when God is your counselor and peace keeper of your heart and mind. Troubles and challenges will come. So What. Live, learn, grow, and keep working to balance out your efforts. Review your inventory, savings, and records to make the next thing happen, that is unseen, unlikely, and otherwise, impossible for someone else to see or do. Your production is uniquely your signature, work load, and harvest if you work God’s field properly, and follow His directions.
Will you follow God or pay the price?
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Exodus 32New Living Translation (NLT)
The Gold Calf
32 When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”
2 So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron.4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
5 Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!”
6 The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.
7 The Lord told Moses, “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.8 How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”
9 Then the Lord said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are.10 Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.”
11 But Moses tried to pacify the Lord his God. “O Lord!” he said. “Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand?12 Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people!13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.[a] You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.’”
14 So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.
15 Then Moses turned and went down the mountain. He held in his hands the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.[b] They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.16 These tablets were God’s work; the words on them were written by God himself.
17 When Joshua heard the boisterous noise of the people shouting below them, he exclaimed to Moses, “It sounds like war in the camp!”
18 But Moses replied, “No, it’s not a shout of victory nor the wailing of defeat. I hear the sound of a celebration.”
19 When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain.20 He took the calf they had made and burned it. Then he ground it into powder, threw it into the water, and forced the people to drink it.
21 Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?”
22 “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are.23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”
25 Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.[c]26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the Lord’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him.
27 Moses told them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.”28 The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day.
29 Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves[d] for the service of the Lord, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.”
Moses Intercedes for Israel
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the Lord on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness[e] for your sin.”
31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves.32 But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!”
33 But the Lord replied to Moses, “No, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me.34 Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you. And when I come to call the people to account, I will certainly hold them responsible for their sins.”
35 Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.