Saturday, October 12, 2013
Love is kind. The second character of love. As we have mentioned before love is an action; so this character of love is also an action. There are some words that we can associate with what it means to be kind. The first would be gentleness, I am using this one first for it seems that if one is practicing being patient, then kindness would start manifesting itself, hopefully. So gentleness is more than refraining... It is that of be understanding and caring. Now here is an example, some people have that gentleness, calmness when dealing with animals, but remember it is a lot more than that. The next word would be compassion, to sympathize with someone. Now it is not only feeling bad about what has happened to someone but to be active in helping... Here is what I think about when I think about, kindness, when you hear someone say, " you were so kind to do that..." It's an action being done, even just being prayer. Another words that is associated with kindness would be mercy. This I am going to link to situations that arise from some ones wrong choices... Even though it is not limited to that... but sometimes one needs to be shown mercy for something they have done. That kindness needs to be there. Now this is when we need to work on kindness. You see it might not be affecting you... but you know about the "wrong" if you will and the feeling of resentment... comes. So put on kindness, fight all the other feelings and action. For our God is merciful to us, look what is said in Lam. 3:22 "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning great is your faithfulness." This is a great verse about love and what we are looking at; just like God we need to be full of mercy, full of kindness. One more verse to demonstrate this, Matt. 9:36 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
We have been looking at the verse John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." There is a very important word for why God would send His Son to pay the price for our short comings...sin. That word would be love. Now when we think of love, if you are like me, some things come into mind. Love for my wife, children, extended family and even some friends. We will think of romance, sex, love of certain foods, possessions and the love of certain activities. For us that use the English language the word love is used in a very broad way as mentioned above. But is that the way that the word love is used in our verse or better yet; how is it used in our verse and what does it mean? So first let me put out three Greek word used for love, The first would be, agape(agapan), the second philo(philien) and the third eros. Now the third eros, sexual love we will not deal with. The second philo means, brotherly love, freindship. Now agape, let's call this God's love, it is unselfish love, a love that is dedicated to something no matter what. So what is love is still the question; love is an action it is more than just words. So what actions show love? Remember we are not including eros. Now before we get to those actions that show love let us not confuse love with lust, a strong desire. The best place that describes love is found in 1Corinthians 13:4-7 let's include part of verse 8. Verse 4 "Love is patient" would be the first character, or part that makes up what love is. Patient is an interesting word, it involves a few meanings like not acting hastily, bearing pains and trails calmly, steadfast despite opposition, manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain. So here are the first actions that demonstrate love. Not acting hastily, some of us are in a hurry most of the time, go, go , go. And when something comes up or when someone (usually someone close) doesn't perform or do... what we think needs to be done.. or doesn't do it "right" ; you know what happens. For some it happens in a big way for others their inpatient is shown in a little way (their good at hiding it). Now those instances of not performing are part of everyday life of doing things, but sometimes things are done a miss, on purpose if you will or even unawares that test our patience. So patient is what we all need to do to demonstrate love. Instead of getting wound up stop and think... come along side help if needed and forgive if needed. Now do not think that this is something that is easy... that we don't react fast, we wait a few minutes... some time you might need to be patient for a long time,hours, days, weeks, or even years. Think how patiently God waited for you just for salvation to be accepted, never mind how patient He is for us now as we try to follow His ways. This first character of love is not easy to do but let us all make a big effort to be more patient.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
We have been looking at John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life..." We looked at grace and mercy but today I want to look at why we all need to believe in Jesus the Son of God. Now this might seem a little different if you will but keep on reading and hopefully it will make sense. As believers we look at this verse and come to the conclusion that this the only way to get into heaven. But many think there is another. That other is what most are trying to do! That would be to live a life without sinning too badly if you will. Now with that comes the idea that if we are a so called "good" person you can get to heaven... And also comes the idea if you do more "good" than bad you can get into heaven. There is a lot of rationalizing, bending of what is good, bending of what is good works and the rationalizing away what is bad. This is where a lot of people are, not many want to think of themselves as bad, no good... or needing a savior. If only the world will come to the conclusion that they need a savior, that savior being God's Son, Jesus. You see we all have the same thing in common. that we all have sinned and that we all were born with sin as part of us. Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Now this is simple, all of us have sinned; why is it so hart to admit that? Even as Christians it is hard to admit that, that we still sin. That we still need to go to Jesus for forgiveness. One last thing when we look at what is sin... we need to look at what God has said is sin, not what we think is sin; nor should we rationalize that there is no God so this issue does not matter. In the end it does! When we enter heaven and ask how did you get here? The answer will all have the same tune, "Jesus
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Grace and mercy; are key to our Christian walk. It is also key to winning one to Christ if you will. You tell people of the grace of God and the mercy of God; which is seen and implied in John 3:16-18. Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now there are many ways of sharing, Christmas story, Easter story, Romans road... but there are not many listening... and the ones who are, are on the defensive. The other day another brother and I had the opportunity to talk to two people about Jesus, both were not followers. It was interesting for both had different back grounds, one didn't believe in God... and had had bad experiences when confronted about Jesus. The other had had some "religion" in her life but it never drew her to God... to believe. You see belief is the key factor for one to be saved; for one to be a Christian, for one to keep on walk through life as a Christian. One needs to believe in the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ and all that is said about them and all that They told us They will do... This is all found in the Bible! It is not my words or words of men that we need to believe; it is the words of God that needs to be believed. The bible is so key to our faith... it is what makes our belief sure. God's word says that the creation point to him or declares that God is... It gives us a starting point if you will to seek the one true God. The word of God is what gives us the direction/instruction... for us to have a relationship... with Him That why John 3:16 is so important, that is what gives us our firm conviction, that we all need Jesus. "Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so... " this simple children's song is so true. So one needs to believe in the word of God as true and all that it says... Oh, if the masses would stop believing in the lies of men.. and come to believe the truth of the bible and to believe in the True God and His Son Jesus. 2Timothy3:16-17 "All scripture is inspired by God..." One more note one needs not only believe the bible as true but more important is that they believe in Jesus the Son of God...
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Last time we talked about grace, as something that Christians do. That we are to give grace as you give a gift. If we are really honest with ourselves, sometimes we only give gifts because we have to... or we give at a special time... Now with grace it needs to be given at times that are not conveniant. How is it that we give grace? Is there a right way to give grace? Now let me say that one should be giving grace no matter what. That sometimes we give grace even when we do not want to. Sometimes giving grace is a matter of obedience to our Lord. Which is ok. to begin with. But there is a better way. That would be that "love" is behind the giving. Now before we get to what love is let's talk about another important thing that Christians do; that would be mercy. Now mercy also has 2 components; one who asks for mercy and the one who grants mercy. Mercy has a few definitions, but overall it involves compassion to person(s). For example, beg for mercy or a merciful deed of kindness(helping...) We will focus on the first, for in the first; one who begs for mercy wants something... That one needs the mercy of a judge; so that the penalty will be lessen... What I would like to do is to walk through how this applies to us as Christians. We talked about grace last time, using John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." That the gift of grace was God's son Jesus. So what do we do with this gift, the gift that we believe in? Well first we need to believe, yes too really believe... not to be well maybe... but to believe that Jesus is the son of God... Now we are opening the gift that God has given to us (you, me) with that belief and right away we are able to put it to use! For we see that we are sinners... and the penalty for sin is death. So we cry out for mercy, and we claim the gift of Jesus to the Judge( God), for the price of sin is death and Jesus paid that price for me, for you! So the Judge pardons... us, you , me not for what we have done but on what Jesus has done on the cross. If you read on further in the Gospel of John it says, " that he who believes in Him is not judged" You don't even have to go through the whole trial... Because you have Jesus, He takes care of it all! He sees your name on the docket and says this has been taken care of by Me. This is how salvation works but Jesus does a lot more for us, even now for He is a living God working... So grace is a free gift and mercy is granted because of what is in the gift, Jesus. Grace we receive and mercy is asked for and granted because of grace.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Now as summer comes to an end, that is summer marked by going back to school..., let's make more of an effort to go to Church. This summer we have been taking a look at noticing the battle. For the most part we view the battle as over there, if you will... But what we have been looking at is when the battle is upon us. That would be when we are not doing "Christian" things... That when we neglect such activities we give the enemy an opening. Or sometimes we get caught up in/with the worldly things. Giving the enemy an opening. So this last devotional on noticing the battle will be on grace. What is grace? Unmerited favor, undeserved favor, act of kindness... or one is graceful(the way one moves). So how does grace work for us as believers? What we do is look at some of the workings of grace. The first would be it is extended. Eph.2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God." Grace is a gift! That when one extends grace, it is a gift that is being given. It is not earned... or something we can purchase. So then as with all gifts... there is a cost that is paid by the one giving the gift. So when grace is given there is a cost. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16. Now here we have God extending grace. That grace being the giving of His son Jesus so that we can have eternal life. Here is the deal grace is given to ones who have not been deserving... or to ones who have been acting badly... God extends His grace to the world. One big thing is that grace involves love. For if there is no love then grace would not be "pure" if you will. It would be tainted. Maybe not real. One more thing is that grace has to be received/accepted. That one must accept the gift! One must open the gift to receive the blessing that is inside. For us with God we need to believe in His Son Jesus; that is how we open/accept the gift, and is the beginning of the blessings that are found in Jesus. So many take the gift and never open it... not receiving what is inside. So just as God has given us bestowed on us grace, undeserved favor, we also are to give grace to others. Now the gift will be different but the act of giving it, grace, is something we need to be doing. And guess what, it may not be accepted/received every time. But just like God, we need to keep on giving grace. This is another thing that we as Christians should be doing to help them stay strong.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Are you working on forgiveness? If you are not the battle is upon you! When one becomes "saved" things start to happen in one's life. One of those things is that one starts to go to "church"; which is a good thing. One also find that they are going to more "church" activities... But as time goes on something happens. It seems that it starts to get easier not to go to "Church". That something... be it about us or about the Church we attend... That the joy of going to "church" has ended. Sleeping in, doing yard work... almost anything seems to get in the way of going to church. Now there can be many things that can take us away from going to church. Yes many things. Now in this devotional we cannot address the many problems one has about going to Church, nor can we address the many problems that maybe in the individual Churches. What we will address is that one needs to go to Church. Heb. 10: 23-25 "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and to good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Now I know it doesn't say/imply going to Church but going to Church is very important and yes it is where we should be getting encouraged... and loved... and yes it is much more to Church than that; not forgetung worship. So going to Church is a good thing and assembling with Christians in other ways... is also a good thing. We all need to be loved upon and we all need encouragement. We all need to learn how to love more and more; we all need to learn how to encourage more and more. You see we can be blessed by other believers... and we can also be a blessing to other believers. Now if one does not go to "Church" , who knows what one might be missing? Think about it!
Monday, August 12, 2013
We have come a long way in our summer study. Noticing the battle. We did not say that when this happens... that that is where the battle is. But we took the approach of when these things are not being done, that there is where the battle is for us. Alright we started about seeing the battle around us, then we moved to telling the Gospel, praying when the Gospel is shared, sharing of the works of God, rejoicing when Jesus is proclaimed, to are you hiding from God... for Husband and wives doing more together... So now let's talk about the next thing that Christians do. That would be forgiveness. Forgiveness is right at the center of who we are in Christ Jesus. Just like sharing about Jesus; forgiveness is what we do. Let me say that again forgiveness is what we do! Matt. 6:14-15 "For if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." Also see Col. 3:13. Now forgiveness has 2 basic components (not to say that there are only two... because forgiveness has many components and does many wonderful things...). The first of these components would be that of one asking forgiveness. One has done a deed/action... that was wrong. So what I would like to do is to go back to the basics of knowing what is wrong; that would be the ten commandments. Now the first half, if you will, deals with our relationship with God while the second half deals with our relationship with each other. When one sins, one needs forgiveness. When one sins one needs forgiveness, period. There is no way around it. So when one breaks one of the first half of the commandments one goes to God and asks for forgiveness...(the right way, true sorrow and repentance). Now to the second component of forgiveness; the one that is asked to forgive grants forgiveness. Now back to the example of one breaks one of the 10 Commandments that deals with God. The best way to put is to go to 1John 1:9"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We confess to God and He is faithful to forgive and cleanse. Now if one breaks one of the 10 Commandments dealing with people one needs to confess to God (remember He is faithful...) and confess to the one whom you have committed the offense. Now here is the tricky part people are not always faithful; they may not choose to forgive...or maybe it may take some time. What happens is that there is a wedge if you will between the two... You see without forgiveness it opens the door for all sorts of bad things... You see without forgiveness we cannot get cleansed/washed. Some versions use healed. That we cannot be cleaned/washed/healed... that the relationship cannot be cleansed/washed/healed. Restoration would be a good word also to use. Forgiveness is a powerful thing when done right but being ignored... destructive forces if you will can come into play... Let us all choose to forgive. One last note choosing to forgive cost. When God choose to forgive us it cost Him His Beloved Son! But the cost of not forgiving for us can be more than one can imagine.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Last devotional was to have a second part, but half way through I decided not to include it. For it may have been a little much or too much. Just getting a handle on going before God the right way if you will is hard... confessing our sins... You see 1John1:9 is not only for salvation but a process for the rest of our lives. So let us continue with our keeping short accounts before our God. Back to Gen.3:8-9 " What I would like to address now is that not only that we go before God alone for fellowship... That when you get married you need to go and fellowship... with God together. Remember that when you are married you become one! There is a oneness that should be about you. A sharing of life... that brings you together as one. That even before our God we bring our marriage life... and we need to do this together. We praise God together, thank God together, pray to God together and share our lives with God together. For there is a oneness that is part of us, a oneness that most of us need to understand more. An openness that is part of our marriage... Alright this is for us as men, are you hiding? Seriously are you hiding things from your wife? Be it big sin if you will or just a temptation that you struggle with but not falling into... Hiding is not good! You see you cannot hide from God. Nor should one be hiding from their wife. Now for the wife; now if your husband comes a sharing (not hiding) bringing things to the open... in the right way. Try not or do not condemn... making the matter worst... You see forgiveness also has the aspect of healing... now how it works... that is what God does. Now remember that this process/principle is also for the wife. How blessed is a marriage that is open and forgiven and healed before our God!
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
It is so easy to lose track of what or where... we should be/ doing. Now this is a hard a hard devotional for me to write. For I do ok in some ways but in others I fail. Sometimes I do well but then,____ you know what I mean. The topic will be prayer, better yet talking with God! You will understand more as this devotional goes. We sing songs about our interaction... with our God. If you are like me they touch my heart... But do I do what they are saying... "Early in the morning" yes part of a worship song. Do we start our day with God? Or do you get up and just start doing, Oh how I know too well about that. But all the while singing that hymn... hearing brothers teaching about starting your day... Or even making your day to be with God. Prayer/Praise/thanksgiving... Turn in your bible to Gen.3:8 "They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." So this happened after they have eaten the forbidden fruit. They had one commandment and bang they broke it. Just like us we cannot keep the ten commandments... So what happened God comes into the garden to fellowship with Adam and Eve; and Adam and Eve hide from God. No they were not playing hide and seek. You see sin, trespasses, iniquity in us separates us from God. For us we want to hide or keep it hidden(the sin). And 2 God cannot have sin in His presence, He needs to do something about it. So here we have it when sin is upon us... we tend to hide if you will. God wants to fellowship with us but sin needs to be dealt with for fellowship to be restored. This was done and is done at the cross of Jesus Christ. Now how does this work for us? A friend/ fellow believer in Christ told me to keep short accounts with God. That is confess your sins daily/ hourly/ minutely... For us that means not to hide them! For if you are hiding from God (like Adam and Eve in the trees) then you cannot fellowship truly with Him. But thanks be to God! 1John1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Isn't that great, God through Chris Jesus restores us back to fellowship with Him. He wants to have fellowship with each of us. Yes each of us. So are you in fellowship with God? Or are you hiding? Do you talk to him throughout the day? Or are you hiding? Or are you to busy? Fellowship with God is much more than "traditional prayers" "traditional praise" traditional thanks" it has the personalized touch to it. The praises of Tom ,Harry ,Jane... new sounds, new thanks, new prayers and most of all the individual sharing of ourselves to God. He cares about each of us.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Have you been rejoicing in the Gospel? That is have you been rejoicing when you hear the Gospel? For us followers of Jesus Christ, it is what we do! You see proclaiming the Gospel is what we do. It is part of our everyday life... We should be talking about Jesus throughout the day... We should be thanking Him every day. We should be singing praises to Him every day. We should be before Him in prayer... every day. We should be learning of Him every day... We should be in His word the Bible every day. Remember what our series is about? Being aware of the work of the enemy. So many times the enemy get's in our circle of life to do his deadly work. Oh, it is deadly and oh it is more extensive that what you will hear from me. What we all need to see is that if there is a breakdown of the things described above that the enemy is doing his work. So far we have only been talking about how the enemy is destroying the work of proclaiming the Gospel being share but he/they are trying to destroy us the believer also. He wants to disrupt the communication... we have with our Lord Jesus... He wants to destroy our fellowship, friendship...we have with our Lord... Seriously he does not wanting us sharing the Gospel. He does not want us talking about Jesus at all. Nor does he want us to sing praises to Jesus... Nor does he want to see us in prayer or reading the bible. Not only is it hard to share the Gospel... but it is also hard to talk about Jesus with other believers... Why is that? Does the evil ones have such and influence... fear seems to over whelm us... what if what I am learning/sharing is "simple"... I am not as spiritual as so and so... Do not let the enemy get a victory, Let us all be talking about our Lord Jesus. Not only is he mighty to save, He is mighty to finish the work He started in each of us. Phil. 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." You see that God is the one doing the work in each of us. He is perfecting each of us and with that we are all in different places of being perfected if you will. The lessons of Christ are not like the lessons of going to school; first grade then... but they are more suited to each individually. Yes we all have a start but some skip ahead to learn such and such... then skip back to learn such and such... So with that let us continue to rejoice in the Gospel being shared and with people sharing about the works of God and sharing about the blessings of God in their lives... For with this the name of Jesus is being honored... Let us be united in this effort as believers.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Sharing about Jesus, sharing about the works God is doing in our lives... Yes this is hard, very hard, but it is an easy task! You see we are only to do the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For God is the one Who does all the work... I cannot make anyone to really hear/understand the word I say... But God can! More over my words are powerless... but God's words are powerful... God is the one who draws men... to Himself. He is the one who saves... He is the one who changes lives... He is the one who does all the work... we are to share the Gospel. So many times we forget that it is God who does all the work. We get to doing the work of God in our own strength. We are talking about Him... but we forget that it is Him that has the power... We forget to pray... It is a slow process or it can be a fast process. Phil. 1:15-18 "Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the Gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice!" In this passage it is talking about how to different ways of the Gospel is being proclaimed; truthfully and envy and strife. But the Apostle Paul rejoices with both. You see it is the name of Christ that is being proclaimed and in that name is the power... So when you or anyone is sharing about Christ, we all must not forget that is God who does the work... Even when one is sharing with mixed motives or even when one shares fumbling along... We as believers must rejoice when we hear Christ being proclaimed! For there is power in the name of Christ no matter how it is proclaimed; or even the way it is proclaimed. So let's proclaim Christ.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Sharing about Jesus. What an important task! Last week I encouraged you all to share Jesus with some one... Was it hard, did you try... or did you just forget... I am not here to chastise you... but to encourage you.... Believe me when I tell you that it is hard to do these "Christian" things. We must never forget that the battle is still raging all around us. That we need to recognize this, and to remember that just because we have made the step in faith to Jesus Christ, that the battle has stopped for us; for the battle has not stopped even for us. An important part of sharing Jesus Christ comes from experience. I am not talking about formal training, schooling... but the experience of living a life filled with God/Jesus/Holy spirit. The experience of seeing God working in your life... The experience of God answering prayers... In Deut.6:20 is a helpful passage that encourages us in our sharing about God. A few verses before it is telling us to teach our children the commandments/statutes of God... Then comes verse 20, "When your sons ask you in times to come, saying, 'What do these testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the Lord our God commanded you?' then you shall say to your son, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out with a mighty hand. Moreover..." You see when we tell about Jesus how He saves us from our sin... We need to also share the moreover He is doing... The moreover He is doing in our life.... The more over He is doing in the lives of believers... The moreover He is doing in modern times... We are asked the same types of question what does this mean, is it real... So stop and think to share what Jesus is doing in your life that will make Him to be real to someone who does not believe.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Have you been on the alert? Have you seen the enemy at work? Have seen the pulls of this world working? These things and more are working all around. The thing is that we can see some things, the obvious bad if you will, but the common things of life... we just pass by as happenings... So what we all need to recognize that when things are happening in someone's life; and yes they are working in our life too. These things are working inside the Church. Yes, these workings...are inside the Church. More on that later. Last week I asked you all to look around... to try to recognize the workings of the evil one and the pull of world. We need to stay alert! So can you see the biggest workings of the evil one? That would be to silence the work of the great commission. Seriously, sharing the name of Jesus; is so hard now-a-days. Talking about God, is also hard... Presenting the Gospel of our Lord; it is something that is not happening. Think about it even in Church services sharing the salvation message seems hard; also when it is shared some (believers or regular church goers) put up a fuss... Why is that? Another also that more and more the Gospel of our Lord is being presented in a watered down version if you will, just get them to say a simple prayer... then go your way... Another thing that is happening that we make the Gospel of our Lord to be politically correct, that it fits in with all other types of beliefs/religions. This week let us all try to recognize the workings of the evil one. That we will pray that the Gospel of our Lord will shared more... That we will have the boldness to share the Gospel of our Lord or something about Jesus this week. Yes it will be alright if you do not lead someone to salvation in Jesus, the important thing is to start sharing about Jesus... We are to proclaim(share) the Gospel. God will take care of the rest. After all He is the one that draws men, women and children to Himself. Tell someone about Jesus this week!
Thursday, May 30, 2013
As we walk on this Earth, the enemy is there. We think of the enemy as Satin but if we only think that he is the only one, alone. How misled, mistaken... we are. You see there is a whole host of angels that follow him... That together they do their deadly work... I wish it was easy to see the enemy working... that there is the sound of gun fire... if you will when he plans an attack. Or that we can see him coming from a far off, that someone will send out a warning call... But no that is not what happens, we don't usually hear the gun fire and let's face it a warning call... from other Christians, that doesn't really happen either. Even when the battle is in full force, it seems that we stand alone. Calling for help is not something that we do. And if we do, who will hear the call? Or if they hear the call for the most part there is no help... For whatever reason. Not only do we have an enemy; we live on earth! An earth is not a perfect place... nor does the world systems(government...) run perfectly or designed in a godly way. You see it is hard to live on earth, it involves hard work... and sometimes things cause us great grief... And guess what, we need to interact with others... and not all people are nice... even us as Christians are flawed. And even when we do seem to have a handle on the earthly stuff, it seems that the evil ones find ways to use these things against us... As we mentioned early do we see these troubles coming? No not really, maybe some. Or better yet when we are in the mist can we call for help? Will people get involved to help... no not really. Maybe sometimes you can get help for financial problems... but for more complex problems... Even in the church, we use the same theme, you need a specialist. A trained counselor... Well maybe but it seems we go that way, way too fast... Not to say that counseling in not important. You see there is a of things and a very powerful enemy pulling... at us. And it is not for our good. In John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." So with that we will start our next series of encouragement. So first we think of these three words: Steal- to take what does not belong to you, Kill- take life, Destroy- to ruin. For that is the goal of our enemy. We must recognize that this is what is happening all around us and even happening or trying to happen to us. O.K. Let me go a little further let us think about steal. What is the evil one trying to steal? It is people, for God does not one to perish, 2Peter3:9 "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing anyone to perish, but that all should reach repentance."