Let’s see bravery is to stand up and stand tall, confront the villain and win. Don’t ever back down. But the most magnificent Man to ever walk this earth, Jesus Christ gave us a different take. What is courage? Could it be the ability to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile without retaliation? Could it be the ability to stand up for the downtrodden people in this world? Could it be the ability to love and forgive those who spitefully misuse you? Yeah, for some that’s a hard pill to swallow. It contradicts all that we are taught. Yet it takes a courageous person to go against the grain and follow these precepts. That’s what Jesus taught us. As we learn more about Him, we learn to be more like Him. Look to Jesus and the Cross to learn how to walk with Him and for Him in His courage.
If you’ve ever been in the season of life called the “wilderness” you know what I’m talking about. Perhaps everything is going wrong and no matter what you do, its does not get better, things just get worst. It seems you will never find a way out of this circumstance. You grab hold of hope , but your time in this trial seems as if it is unending. If this is your reality, you’re in the “wilderness”. It often a season of despair sometimes brought on to strengthen our faith in the Lord. Sometimes the “enemy”, will try to tear you down to tempt you to reach for straws or do something that will alienate you from the Lord.
When you’re in this season, always look to the cross and look to the Lord Jesus. There are always lessons to be learned and God wants us to learn them to strengthen our faith and our resolve. Hunker down and stay in the word, there lies the answer. The word builds us up and makes us whole and we can withstand attempts from satan to turn us around. Because Jesus was tempted in the wilderness a long time ago He knows your need. Stay in the word, found in the Holy bible. Jesus will see you through the storm. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
The evil side. Perhaps you know of what I speak. Somehow that untouched corner of your world can harbor thoughts and feeling that can be hurtful to others. Usually it is rooted in jealousy are some other un- Godly emotion. It is simply something that the enemy uses to set you off. You see the enemy has no power. All he can do is throw stuff out there and hope you react. Yeah, he’s annoying to say the least. Now he has the gall to reach into his bag of tricks to cause you to go off on someone in a way that you will regret.
Remember this, you have the power, through God’s glory and the work of Jesus on the Cross at Calvary. When Jesus died on the cross He defeated satan once and for all. Call up and use your power. Speak over yourself and call victory over satan’s evilness through Christ Jesus. Jesus already paid the price for you on the cross and He has given you the victory. Claim it today and declare victory through Christ.
Here’s the concept. The Deal if you will. We read about the fruit. I’m not talking about an apple, a pear or even a grape. I’m talking about the dynamics of the fruit. We know the apple, the pear, or even other fruit takes time to grow to nurture and to be what God wants it to be. You prune the tree in your back yard. Apply the mulch each spring to nourish it. Before you know it we have an abundant harvest. it might take 1 year, 2 years are even ten, or a lifetime but that tree keeps producing until finally it bears fruit, a harvest.
That’s what God does in our Life. It takes time, but we must spend quality time with the Lord. Not just a little time, quality time. As a matter of fact God wants your time. When you give it to Him wonderful things have a chance to happen. You receive the fruit. It might be 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or a lifetime of devoting quality time. Confess your sins to the Lord Jesus, God’s Son, and you will have the gift of eternal life. No one comes to the Father, unless they confess to His Son Jesus Christ.
But one of the gifts that God gives is fruit. It is the Fruit of the spirit that God gives us when He’s ready. Nurture your garden and wait on the Lord. He will deliver an abundant harvest. The Fruit of the Spirit will be yours. What the gift is only God knows. He may not get there when you want Him to, but God is always right on time!
From Atlantic Magazine- written by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
The Texas governor is running an openly religious campaign, but does he overlook the parts of the Bible that do not support his political beliefs?
America is a religious nation. Polls may differ, but most find that over 80 percent of Americans say they believe in God. Fifty percent also say they go to church on Sunday, while only half of those actually do. I guess this shows that we want to look better than we actually are, at least to the public — if not to God, who presumably knows what we’re really up to.
Most political candidates also profess their belief in God. At the same time, they rarely make a big deal of their devotion. They’ve probably read Matthew 6:1, which warns, “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who just announced he’s running for president, has taken a different tack. A week before announcing his candidacy, he led a prayer meeting for evangelical Christians in Houston. The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit trying to stop him from participating in this rally, arguing that he was violating the First Amendment by using his position, stationery, and website to promote the event. The court dismissed the complaint, saying that the plaintiff didn’t show sufficient harm to merit the injunction.
I disagree with the court’s ruling. I think the governor misused his office to promote a particular religion. That might have been clearer to the judge if Perry had organized a rally in support of Islam rather than Christianity. There’s no difference as far as the First Amendment is concerned.
In any case, Gov. Perry’s decision to make his Christian faith a central part of his political identity opens him up to questions not usually asked of presidential candidates.
The press has traditionally been unwilling to question politicians about their religion. But in Perry’s case, Christianity is front and center on his platform. I hope David Gregory will ask him some of the following questions when he next appears on Meet the Press, and that other members of the media won’t shy away from them either.
First, are Rick Perry’s political positions in line with Christ’s teachings?
I see a fundamental inconsistency between Perry’s concerted opposition to government social programs and his promotion of himself as a Christian politician. When asked about the impact of Texas’s low-tax, low-service policies on the poor, he suggested that people who wanted more government services could find them in New York or California.
Christ teaches us to feed the hungry and care for the sick, not to abandon them. Perhaps Gov. Perry hasn’t read that part of the Bible where Christ admonishes us to care for “the least among us.”
It’s more likely that he knows that passage but reads it in a particular light. When I wrote Failing America’s Faithful, I interviewed Rick Warren, the evangelical Christian minister and author, about his bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life. Rick very kindly welcomed me to Saddleback, the church he had founded more than 30 years before. He and his wife were gracious to me. I was impressed by the thoughtfulness with which he reached out to his congregation, and his sensitivity to their needs and wants.
I had read his book, and coming from a different Christian tradition, I was struck by how much it focused on getting you to feel good about yourself rather than caring about your neighbor, which Christ had said was the greatest commandment.
Warren, who now runs many charitable programs and supports government efforts to help the poor and the sick, was forthright in explaining that his views had changed since writing the book. The evangelical church he had grown up in, he told me, had focused on the believer’s personal relationship to Jesus and pretty much ignored the social side of the gospel. He finally realized that he had “missed the 2,500 passages” in the Bible that called on him to care about other people, including those outside his church.
Does Rick Perry acknowledge those 2,500 passages? That’s the second question I’d like the press to ask him. Maybe he believes, like some socially conservative evangelicals, that these passages refer only to personal charity, not government programs. But I don’t see any place in the Bible that says we shouldn’t use all the tools we have at hand to help the poor, the sick, and the hungry.
The same conservative Christians claim that the Bible teaches them that the government should outlaw gay marriage and stem cell research. But why should the government carry out some Biblical injunctions and not others?
The Bible is certainly open to interpretation. For example, most churches in America today don’t require us to gouge out our eyes if we look lustfully at someone, or to cut off our hand if we use it a sinful way. And yet, right there in Matthew 5:27-30 are clear instructions.
How does Gov. Perry interpret the Bible? Even more to the point, I’d like to hear him explain how he arrived at his interpretations. If you’re running for president in a democratic country, it’s not enough to proclaim that the Bible says something is right or wrong. You must have reasoned positions. Catholics have been taught to inquire into God’s will by using our reason, examining nature, and listening to Church teaching — as well as by interpreting the Bible.
A last question for the governor: does he believe that God agrees with his reading of the Bible? I’m not saying he does believe this; I’m just wondering.
An alternative to assuming our views are aligned with God’s is to humbly acknowledge that God works in mysterious ways, and that our human nature may blind us to His will. In that case, our belief in God could lead us to question the infallibility of our own interpretations rather than making us proud. Pride, at least in the Catholic catechism, is one of the seven deadly sins.
No one has a monopoly on faith. In a democratic nation, simply saying you believe in Christ doesn’t mean you get a free pass and don’t have to explain your positions. The story of the Good Samaritan reminds us that it is our actions, not our public displays of piety, that make us good neighbors.