“Do not put your brothers and sisters on a pedastal, as they require the same mercy and grace from God as you.”~TB
Even the wisest most disciplined follower of Christ does not compare to the perfection that is God. As such, do not place them in the same category. Each person who has been chosen to share the Lord’s wisdom is still a mere mortal. They bleed, feel, fail, achieve, in the same manner as anyone else. When they fail, as they will, you must give them the same space and grace as God gives to you.
If you view those in power as better than yourself, you run the risk of judging them harshly when they misstep. Yes, those who are placed in positions of leadership, teaching, and the like, must be held to a higher standard. However, this does not mean perfection. Human nature dictates that no one will live a perfect life. The judgment of their shortcomings is not for you or me. God is the ultimate judge and will always rule in a perfect manner.
One of the reasons why people are so willing to idolize those they consider to be wise is because it’s a great excuse to not do the work. Friends, the wise are not a substitute for our Father in Heaven. They are mouthpieces at best and examples of what not to do at worst. When you rely on someone else’s relationship/connection to Christ, it’s easy to fall into complacency, thinking that listening to them abdicates the need for you to go to God. Don’t lean on them as they are human. Instead, tap into the direct connection with God so that you know where to place your faith.
Are you avoiding Christ by putting humans on an unrealistic pedestal?
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1My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
6For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say:
8Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!
9If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.
12You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”
15Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
16Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?
17You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.
18Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
20Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?
21For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.
22An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
“Remember who made you so in all things you refer back to the source material.”~TB
God is here, available to direct and guide you to the best results and answers. He is gentle, never pushy, and you have to come to Him. We often fail to seek Him first, turning to external sources for subpar advice.
When you rely on the limited expertise of your peers, you will find that man-made solutions will only offer a temporary fix. Like placing a bandaid on a an infected wound, it will cover the issue, but the problem will only grow worse.
When you get tired of having to constantly use temporary fixes, turn to God for help. Come before Him for all things and He will share His infinite wisdom, helping you to maintain and care for your wounds. Let go of your history, your pride, and your pain to connect to the source material.
Are you relying on the source material or are you addicted to temporary fixes?
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1Praise the LORD ! Sing to the LORD a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.
2O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.
3Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp.
4For the LORD delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
5Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.
6Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands—
7to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains,
9to execute the judgment written against them. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones. Praise the LORD !
“Wherever God sends you, whatever job He gives you, be sure to follow through.”~TB
In the eyes of man, God’s ways and plans for your future may appear to be foolish to your peers. If He’s given you a purpose or a plan, follow through. Because we are unable to understand the infinite perspective of God, we can talk ourselves out of amazing opportunities. Of course, with these opportunities comes the potential for great setbacks.
The devil will always try and find a way to disrupt the joy and peace in your life. This is especially true when you are operating in an assignment from the Lord. My point in saying this is that obstacles will always happen. It’s why we must arm ourselves with the Word so that when opposition comes, we know to avert our gaze and focus on the task at hand. Friends, life is easy for no one, persevere anyway.
So, no matter how obscure or miraculous your work for God is, follow through and finish well. Avoid the pitfalls and traps laid out by the evil one. The truth is, his distractions cannot harm you, there merely exist to get you to fumble your task. Learn to ignore the noise. When you walk and talk with God regularly, you build up the discernment to finish the job. Develop your relationship with Christ to follow through with the call He’s placed on your life.
Are you following through or full of excuses?
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1O LORD, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent,
2those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long.
3Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude
4O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked. Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me.
5The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude
6I said to the LORD, “You are my God!” Listen, O LORD, to my cries for mercy!
7O Sovereign LORD, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle.
8LORD, do not let evil people have their way. Do not let their evil schemes succeed, or they will become proud. Interlude
9Let my enemies be destroyed by the very evil they have planned for me.
10Let burning coals fall down on their heads. Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.
11Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.
12But I know the LORD will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor.
13Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in your presence.
“When you dwell on all that God has done for you, staying in a gracious mindset becomes easier.”~TB
In Spite Of
In spite of our flaws, misdeeds, doubt, doublemindedness, and the like, God still loves every single one of us. Think about that for a second. No matter what we do, how good or bad, we will always have a connection to Christ. That type of love is unquantifiable! Friends, be grateful that He is so loving, especially to a population that will never have the greatest track record.
Pass it On
As you know the Truth, live in peace, and practice gratitude amongst one another. Let the offenses pass you by, forgive quickly and freely, and meditate on God’s goodness daily. It is by practicing the grace and mercy of the Lord that changes the hearts and minds of others. There’s no need to be mean or defend yourself. God sees all. So let him see you practice His teachings, sharing the Good News.
Are you being grateful or are you looking for the next best thing?
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1O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD .
5You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
8If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
11I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
18I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
19O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers!
20They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.
21O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
“Keep tabs on your ego and pride because an overabundance of both can cause you to lose your blessings.”~TB
When you’ve walked with God long enough to see the many spectacular things He’s done in you and around you, if you’re not careful, you can begin to think too highly of yourself. Pride blinds us from connecting to our brothers and sisters in Christ. An unchecked ego foolishly hones in on the sins of others, without recognizing or dealing with our own. When you’re really out of sorts, you can become your own deity, thinking you know all. Friends, check your pride and make sure you’re not on team arrogance.
It takes honest humility and repentance to get off or your high horse. Fortunately for us, when we find ourselves on the wrong team, God will gently laugh and will lovingly take us back. In those moments, reflect on His mercy and His immediate acceptance of you. God doesn’t scoff, He doesn’t even say ‘I told you so’. Like a parent missing a child who has been gone for a long time, He welcomes you with open arms. Friends, mirror His ways! Don’t think too highly of yourselves and give your peers the mercy and grace that God gives us each and every day. When you keep your feelings in check and love like God loves us, everyone wins.
Are you practicing His ways or is your pride driving your behavior?
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1I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods.
2I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
3As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.
4Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words.
5Yes, they will sing about the LORD ’s ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great.
6Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
7Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.
8The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
“Give people the space and grace to grow and develop in Christ”~TB
Don’t compare the development of your relationship with Christ to the relationship He has with others. Everyone grows and develops at their own pace. For this reason, you must give yourself and your brothers and sisters in Christ space and time to till their soil. People are not meant to be ingratiated 24/7 as you need quiet to hear what God has to say. If you’re too busy listening and following others, you’re ignoring the voice of your Heavenly Father. Give yourself space to hear, heal, and grow with God.
Because sin will always be a part of the human experience, grace has to be freely and quickly extended. As we still continually struggle with this concept, believe that God has your back as you walk in that grace by faith. We will undoubtedly cause offense and quarrels amongst one another. It’s ok, we’re human and Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is why walking with God is so important every second of every day. Grace cannot be earned, so forgive as God forgives us.
Are you using and walking in your space and Grace on a daily basis?
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1Praise the LORD ! Praise the name of the LORD ! Praise him, you who serve the LORD,
2you who serve in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
3Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; celebrate his lovely name with music.
4For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own special treasure.
5I know the greatness of the LORD — that our Lord is greater than any other god.
6The LORD does whatever pleases him throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths.
7He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.
8He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home, both people and animals.
9He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his people.
10He struck down great nations and slaughtered mighty kings—
11Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan.
12He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to his people Israel.
13Your name, O LORD, endures forever; your fame, O LORD, is known to every generation.
14For the LORD will give justice to his people and have compassion on his servants.
15The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.
16They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see.
17They have ears but cannot hear, and mouths but cannot breathe.
18And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
19O Israel, praise the LORD ! O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the LORD !
20O Levites, praise the LORD ! All you who fear the LORD, praise the LORD !
21The LORD be praised from Zion, for he lives here in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD !
“Sometimes God reopens old wounds because they didn’t heal properly.”~TB
If past events and hurts still haunt you, it’s a sign that you have not healed properly. Instead of moving forward, you are stuck in neutral, spinning around aimlessly. Like an old wound that has not healed properly, the overgrowth of the scar tissue of your past still plagues your present, causing you pain. When this happens God will make you revisit old tests. It’s not because He’s punishing you, but rather, He’s reopening the wound, removing the excess scar tissue so that you can properly heal. Friends, deal with your tests, temptations, and demons accordingly. Otherwise, you will be stuck having to reopen poorly healed wounds for the rest of your life.
Traumatic situations aren’t fun and when you endure a painful season, it’s human nature to want to numb the pain and avoid it. Problem is when that avoidance blocks your growth in Christ, those old wounds become a hotbed for disaster. Only true repentance and forgiveness heals these afflictions. Reflect on the Word and study the Truth. Once those old wounds resurface, use the Holy lens of Christ to see things clearly. Every obstacle and tribulation is packed with valuable lessons. Learn from them. Allow these moments to refine your character and your walk with God. When you begin to understand that your pain is subjective and you can control your reaction as you cast your burdens down, then you can live freely in Christ. Let God help you remove the scar tissue of your old wounds so that you may live in peace.
Are old wounds hurting your present and future?
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1LORD, remember David and all that he suffered.
2He made a solemn promise to the LORD . He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,
3“I will not go home; I will not let myself rest.
4I will not let my eyes sleep nor close my eyelids in slumber
5until I find a place to build a house for the LORD, a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”
6We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah; then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
7Let us go to the sanctuary of the LORD ; let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
8Arise, O LORD, and enter your resting place, along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
9May your priests be clothed in godliness; may your loyal servants sing for joy.
10For the sake of your servant David, do not reject the king you have anointed.
11The LORD swore an oath to David with a promise he will never take back: “I will place one of your descendants on your throne.
12If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant and the laws that I teach them, then your royal line will continue forever and ever.”
13For the LORD has chosen Jerusalem ; he has desired it for his home.
14“This is my resting place forever,” he said. “I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
15I will bless this city and make it prosperous; I will satisfy its poor with food.
16I will clothe its priests with godliness; its faithful servants will sing for joy.
17Here I will increase the power of David; my anointed one will be a light for my people.
18I will clothe his enemies with shame, but he will be a glorious king.”
“When we practice God’s teachings, we are teeing up the ball for others to participate.”~TB
Like a caddie to a golfer, we are to be like cheerful helpers to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Setting up the put, we have to step back and let others hit the ball so they too can experience a relationship with God. The role is to assist, not force. By exuding the love of Christ, our actions are to be synonymous with His, so that the example set forth points to our Maker and not to man. While the actions displayed seldom get external credit, trust that God sees all and our faithful actions are on His record.
When you let pride and ego drive the cart, issues like judgment, religious behavior, and acting come into play, misguiding the direction of the put. Friends, we cannot hit the ball for believers. Do not proselytize or beat the Gospel on people’s heads. God does not need a defender, or do you not remember how you came to Christ? Surely no one held you to the fire, so avoid doing that to your peers. Allow the Lord to work in the hearts of others by exemplifying the grace, joy, and mercy He shares with us.
Are you like a faithful caddie pointing to God or are you forcing the ball into a Hellish sandtrap?
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1Praise the LORD ! Yes, give praise, O servants of the LORD . Praise the name of the LORD !
2Blessed be the name of the LORD now and forever.
3Everywhere—from east to west— praise the name of the LORD .
4For the LORD is high above the nations; his glory is higher than the heavens.
5Who can be compared with the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high?
6He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth.
7He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.
8He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people!
9He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the LORD !
“Every person has the opportunity to receive Christ, so stop acting like a gatekeeper with your religious fanfare and man-made judgments on who is or isn’t worthy.”~TB
The truth is, none of us are worthy of the gift of salvation. Our deeds, our lives, our thoughts– none of it comes close to righteousness. This is precisely the reason why we need God. He doesn’t need us. Sure, He’ll use us to help one another, but trust me when I say, we are inconsequential when it comes to the mightiness and methods of God. When you walk in this truth, mercy, grace, and kindness are easily given as you know that these are gifts that God Himself gives to us freely and infinitely. Practice the love that God gives us to one another.
Just because you’ve accepted Christ does not mean you now have the authority to judge who can or cannot be a child of God. Or do you not know the stories of the Sadducees and Pharisees? God’s kids– just like your kids– come in different sizes and shapes. Our personalities were never meant to be “duplicated”. So stop perpetuating this “Stock Christian Mentality”. There is no certain physical look of a Christian, which is why we must look at deeds and rely on the Holy Spirit for discernment. Even still, that is for God to decide. Mind your own relationship with Christ and allow others to develop theirs.
Out of Bounds
If you look at people with an air of superiority or judgment in their walk, you’re out of bounds and are heaping judgment on yourself. Were you not a babe in Christ? Did you not have to crawl before you learned to walk? Did God not feed you milk before meat? If God is merciful to you and your foolishness, why can’t you do the same for others? Grace is an action that must be practiced because we all are dumb flesh bags destined to fall. It is only because of God’s Grace and His personal sacrifice that we are able to be reborn. Don’t get too high and mighty in your walk, unless you truly want to know what judgment is.
Are you a light pointing to God or are you a gatekeeper with an impending judgment?
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1The LORD is king! Let the nations tremble! He sits on his throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake!
2The LORD sits in majesty in Jerusalem, exalted above all the nations.
3Let them praise your great and awesome name. Your name is holy!
4Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established fairness. You have acted with justice and righteousness throughout Israel.
5Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!
6Moses and Aaron were among his priests; Samuel also called on his name. They cried to the LORD for help, and he answered them.
7He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud, and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
8O LORD our God, you answered them. You were a forgiving God to them, but you punished them when they went wrong.
9Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem, for the LORD our God is holy!
“The sacrifice of a broken spirit that repents to God in spirit and in truth will find Jesus as Lord and Savior of all, who will help grow your faith and works in the kingdom.”~Jon Barnes”
It is the guilt of a person who looks for true answers and fair justice from God when they repent and turn from their evil ways. It is the pure love of God who finds the way to help His Children, who are interested in being helped.
The rebellious jealous children are on their own, headed for doom and destruction to be shamed in their own self-righteous stupidity of lust, greed, pride, ignorance, and lawlessness. The challenge of giving up your free will to make ignorant choices is not shameful at all. The wisdom of obeying God is Supernatural and eternally satisfying.
Put your brokenness into the Hands of God so that you may have a fighting chance against your own evil thinking and ways. Select the allow button on the computer screen of your heart to let God access all of your hate, stupidity, corruption, bad experiences, and foolishness so that the hard drive in your entire body can be cleaned, restored, and made whole.
Are you still a rebellious, broken soul doomed for hell, or will you let Jesus cover you with His Blood of Redemption, Repentance, Salvation, and New Walk with Him, as a disciple?
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1Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. 2Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. 3But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. 4Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the LORD — rejoice in his presence! 5Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. 6God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. 7O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude 8the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. 10There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people. 11The Lord gives the word, and a great army brings the good news. 12Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. 13Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold. 14The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon. 15The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky. 16Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live, where the LORD himself will live forever? 17Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots, the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary. 18When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the LORD God will live among us there. 19Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude 20Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death. 21But God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways. 22The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan; I will bring them up from the depths of the sea. 23You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood, and even your dogs will get their share!” 24Your procession has come into view, O God— the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary. 25Singers are in front, musicians behind; between them are young women playing tambourines.26Praise God, all you people of Israel; praise the LORD, the source of Israel’s life. 27Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali. 28Summon your might, O God. Display your power, O God, as you have in the past. 29The kings of the earth are bringing tribute to your Temple in Jerusalem. 30Rebuke these enemy nations— these wild animals lurking in the reeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves. Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war. 31Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals ; let Ethiopia bring tribute to God. 32Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude 33Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. 34Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. 35God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!