[VIDEO] 3 Ways The Devil Tempts Men

Hello,

I told you I would give you a video this week and I have. The video below is me talking about 3 Ways The Devil Tempts Men.

I covered this in a previous blog post:

Follow the link for more info

3 Ways The Devil Tempts #Men | #mensministry #Jesus #theology

Hey everybody, You can watch the summary here: https://youtu.be/QEBQtZmLGB4 Today I am going to talk about something that Jesus showed me when I was reading Luke the other day, how the devil tempts men in particular. Let’s look at the passage I was reading, Jesus’ words are highlighted in red, the devil in bold: (Luke… Continue reading 3 Ways The Devil Tempts #Men | #mensministry #Jesus #theology

This is also a good time to tell you I’ve split my work YouTube channel and my personal YouTube channel into 2 different channels. My Hope Like Rivers YouTube channel will service my blog www.hoperivers.com and my Ride The Fader Productions YouTube channel will service my business www.ridethefaderproductions.com.

xxx

#Sexy #Sex and #Christian #Worship

Posted this on Wednesday by mistake instead of Thursday but it’s all good 😄

Hellooooooooooo!

Now you know me and my juxtaposition of sexual activity and expressive worship. Well in my travels in academia doing my PhD in Womanist Theomusicology I came across something quite insightful that has really changed the way I worship. The idea came from a response to an interview question found in an ethnographic study by Travis Cooper (2011) Masters Thesis from Missouri State University: “Ecstasy and the Kinesthetic Body: An Ethnograhpic Study of Contemporary Pentecostal Worship”.

When analysing the responses Cooper received from the qualitative questionnaires regarding the worship techniques and ideas of Pentecostal Christians, Cooper found that one Pastor said something that really struck me. He related worshipping Jesus to a husband and wife having sex. Now, stay with me….!

The Pastor warned that when worshipping Jesus we should not perusing a good knees up with some songs that make us feel good. Instead, the pastor said we should be pursuing a relationship with Jesus. The same way a husband should not be having sex with his wife just for his own sexual gratification he should be having sex with his wife because he loves her.

The pastor said the following:

“…the ultimate goal for sexual relations between a husband and wife is not simply pleasure or childbearing, but facilitation of love between the two agents in the physical act of intercourse, so it is with worship.” (Cooper 2011, pp.182)

I learnt soo much about worship and love in that one profound sentence. There’s just so much I could say but I really think that sentence says it all. We should be thinking about Jesus when we are worshipping not looking to pleasure ourselves with little ditty’s that make us feel good.

So here’s how my worship practice has changed: Instead of sitting there singing/playing songs that make me feel good I think of Jesus more of a lover that I am pursuing. So I think well this should be about Jesus, what does Jesus want? How can I make Jesus happy? What can I do to make us closer?

Sometimes I just play the guitar to Jesus now because I think well, maybe Jesus just wants to listen to some music same as we humans do! Also, I try to improve my professional practice because I feel like Jesus wants me to improve.

When we worship and love our spouses it should be about the other person and getting to know them better not about ourselves.

Remember, pleasure should be a consequence of the pursuit not the other way around!

Biblical & Practical Reasons For Chucking People Out Of Your Church

Hey!

I know I have been busy but I decided to take some time out this week just for Moi! It’s not healthy to work alllllllllllllllllllll the time. So I decided to share my thoughts on chucking people out of churches.

Here we go!

The following is an essay discussing a few of my opinions on the Biblical and practical justification for Pastors/Leaders to remove individuals from their membership/assembly/smallgroup which I shall just call “church” from now on. I begin with some practical reasons why I think it is necessary to remove people who are not compliant from your church, following that I discuss the biblical justification as well. Finally, I discuss the hypocritical nature of keeping non-compliant individuals and end with my own thoughts on the matter.

Pastors chucking people out of their churches has become an unpopular act partly because in some circles it has been abused and misapplied and partly because it’s not a pleasant or easy thing to do. However, the church has both a right and an obligation to publicly disassociate themselves from anyone who claims to be a Christian but persists in unrepentant sin (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). This is because people who are non-compliant with the expected standards of behaviour putrefy the spiritual atmosphere of a church, as their behaviour inevitably spreads to the whole church and no one can remain unaffected by it (Spreading The Fragrance 2019). Meaning that it really is not practical to keep them, knowing that a sinful influence that is tolerated will pull others down, affecting the outward testimony of a church and compromising their mission which is saving souls (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). Let’s dig into exactly how the mismanagement of unaligned/non-compliant people in your church is not constructive in a, pragmatic, common sense way first and deal with the Biblical reasons second.

The Impracticalities Of Not Kicking People Out Of A Church When You Should

Unaligned people always cost you something (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave) and with all the costs that one already incurs with running an organisation it’s not financially viable to keep them. One must remember, we have to pay to physically keep the doors of a church open and the organisation running, it’s not free. A website is not free, corporate email is not free, utilities are not free, insurance is not free, maintenance is not free and the kind of administration that a public body has to do is not free either. Churches cannot – on top of that – have people that are costing them time and energy, they infect others with their apathy causing a lack of momentum (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave) which compromises the mission of the church and diminishes its viability as a good investment, whether that be financially, socially or emotionally – which, at the end of the day – affects the bottom line.

This is why having the right people is better than simply having people. Before a church can have more people the church need the right people. The right people are: people capable of taking on leadership; are aligned around a common mission, vision, strategy and values and have the character to withstand the tests of leadership (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave).

As an organisation a church does not need disengaged people, disengaged people can go and be disengaged elsewhere and to be perfectly honest, church leaders need to just accept that not everyone is even ready to engage. As far as I am concerned, disengaged people cannot serve, do not give and do not invite their friends to church. They just take up space. Whereas a few aligned people can change the world. Jesus did it with just 12! (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave).

Some people will find a better-fit elsewhere and church leaders need to be insightful and forward thinking enough to let them go. Church leaders will be serving certain people better by letting them find like-minded people at another church, giving them more space to find like-minded people who will help them accomplish their mission more effectively. Honestly, some people will thrive in a different environment, sometimes you need to let them go (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave).

Trying to people please and lead in a way that avoids people leaving is a terrible strategy. Yes, it’s uncomfortable when people leave and only sociopaths don’t care when people leave but I assure you, it’s irrational and unhealthy to keep some individuals. The moment a church leader focuses on who they want to keep, as opposed to who they want to reach, they will compromise the entire mission of the church (Nieuwhof 2020, When to panic).

Additionally, church leaders need to also be mature enough to understand that the church as a universal body is for everyone but their particular church that exists in their particular microcosm isn’t. Let me explain, we as Christians are part of a much bigger body, one church alone will not reach an entire city, it takes all the different varieties of churches and leadership that exist within a city to reach the people (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). People need to be in a church appropriate for them. Not every church is blessed to do everything. God gives out blessings appropriate for people the same way Jacob blessed his sons before he died in Genesis 49:28 [NIV] where it says:

“[28] All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.”

Church leaders need to make an effort to really understand their appropriate blessing and know who their particular church is designed to reach and focus on that (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop). The music of one church is going to attract some people and bother others. The teaching style and content of another church is going to connect better with some and irritate others. The leadership style of a further church will be compelling to some and not so attractive to others. Even the location and the architectural style of the building in which a church group gathers, whether it’s a school, theatre, gothic cathedral, contemporary suburban mega-church, A-frame 50’s landmark or even a living room home church style get-up will make some feel at home, while pushing others away (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop).

Because of this and because of the diverse and subjective tastes of human beings churches that try to attempt the impossible by being all things to all people often end up being nothing to no one and lose their effectiveness in the process (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop). So, are you going to reach everybody? The answer is a resounding no (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop).

Furthermore, in order to accomplish the general mission of all churches, which is to reach the un-churched, one cannot spend time trying to retain people who call themselves Christians and are not engaged and causing trouble, especially because they want a church for the already convinced. Church leaders cannot be worried about reaching Christians who have no passion or respect for friends, family, fellow congregants and people who are not in a relationship with Christ. Church leaders need to focus on the few things and people that will help them accomplish their mission and they need to feel free to design a Sunday service that will create an experience that UN-churched people will want to come back to.

That requires being as culturally diverse as the community around them, so they don’t function as a club as opposed to a church; it is also a requirement that they make sure that they have a mixture of psycho-social realities, meaning that the church needs to have a mixture of rich people and poor people, churches with only rich people bothers me; church leaders also need to spend time attracting individuals who will not make the future impossible (Nieuwhof 2020, Why You Need To Stop).

Yes, it’s human nature to want to cling to people, especially in small churches where every number seems to count but some people hold a ministry back and yes I would much rather have people move beyond their own personal preferences and show grace but for some people, regrettably, that kind of humility is not possible and church leaders need to give them permission to go (Flowers 2020).

Know when to accommodate and when not to. Often a first or second offence is a time for accommodation but one must use ones discretion to evaluate when to hold attendees accountable. When accommodating becomes commonplace because of a continual breach of expectations, we need to hold those people accountable and ask them to leave (Pelletier 2020).

Yes, churches need good pastoral care initiatives because they cannot try and wrestle with principalities and powers of this world with nice HR practices. However, they must balance the need for pastoral ministry, with strong leadership that will not let Satan send our churches away from the mission they are intended to fulfil and a leader must avoid being satisfied in dysfunction and keep their church on course and sometimes this means making a tough call (Brookshaw 2020).

The church is God’s and must not be held to ransom by any leader, member or attendee. All are welcome, unless they are causing harm to the body of Christ and I personally do not think that there is any reason why leaders should allow divergent visions for a church among members and or attendees (Excellerate 2020).

Biblical Justification For Kicking People Out Of A Church

So, what kinds of things qualify a person to be kicked out of a church? 1 Corinthians 5:11 [NLT] has the answer:

“[11] I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.”

  • Immoral people: (gr. “pornos”) The literal meaning of the word is a male prostitute, but in the Bible it is used of all kinds of sexual immorality.
  • Covetous people: People eager to have more, especially what belongs to others. Covetousness is really a form of the next sin, which is Idolatry (Eph 5:5, Col 3:5)
  • Idolaters: Idolatry is when God is not of primary importance to you. You don’t determine this by your ability to manipulate yourself into a certain state of emotion but rather by what you tends to fill up your mind, what your actions are aiming toward and what gives you comfort, security and pleasure.
  • Revilers: A reviler is one who assaults and abuses with words. He or she will make harsh insults and accusations, intended to humiliate someone or damage their reputation.
  • Drunkards: No further explanation is needed, except perhaps to point out that any compulsive or addictive behaviour, that inhibits your sound judgement, could be a form of this sin.
  • Swindlers: (gr. “harpax”) It can mean a swindler, robber or extortioner. Basically anyone who by violence, threats or deceit takes something that rightfully belongs to another.

These six examplars are the types of sins that qualify for church discipline i.e kicking someone out (there are more but this list is a just one example in the Bible) (Spread The Fragrance 2020). Appearing to be a believer and not following what the Bible says as grounds for being kicked out is reiterated in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15:

“[13]…dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. [14] Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed.”

Also, in 1 Timothy1:20 where Paul talks about people who were supposed to be believers that he himself threw out of his community for purposely going against the Word of God:

“[19] Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. [20] Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.”

Finally, Titus 3:10 warns that divisiveness is cause for kicking someone out of a church where it says:

“[10] If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. [11] For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.”

We can’t really apply a one strike and you’re out policy because that’s not what God does. He gives grace and second chances to those who are repentant (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). So how does a church go about getting rid of someone? Church discipline and the steps to remove a trouble maker from a community is clearly spelled out in a 3-Step plan in Matthew 18:15-17 where it says:

“[15] “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. [16] But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. [17] If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.”

So, you talk to the person privately, if they don’t listen you take other people with you to talk to them, if they still don’t listen you tell the church, if they still don’t listen to the church you have done your job, get rid of them to demonstrate holiness to your congregation.

Lack Of Church Discipline Is Hypocrisy

Given what the Word says it would be outright hypocrisy to retain people who cause trouble in our churches after the biblically mandated steps have been taken. God hates hypocrisy, it misuses religious man-made ideas for self-advancement, the self advancement in the case of not getting rid of a trouble maker would be any advantages a leadership might feel that it would gain by people pleasing, instead of doing the holy thing to do. God’s laws are the only laws that Christians should be preaching, when we twist these around to meet our own desires it angers God.

It has been communicated to me on more than one occasion that no-one has the right to remove an individual from a church as it’s neither Godly or holy. Matthew 7:1 has become one of the most quoted verses in the entire Bible. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged”. It is commonly used as justification for not expelling people from a congregation. However, if someone ever throws this verse at you, ask them if they think it’s wrong for you to judge others. When they say yes, then ask them to kindly listen to their own advice and stop judging you. If you feel up for it, try to explain to them the difference between judging someone and telling them what the laws are (Spreading The Fragrance 2020).

Disgustingly, I have found in my own experience that more often than not, people who quote such things at me have removed people from their own houses and or refused to host or even eat with other people because they believed they were quote “too much trouble and wouldn’t tow the line”. Such hypocrisy repulses me, isn’t one of the main accusations that are levelled against the church that there are so many hypocrites in it? How many people have been turned off from the Gospel because the church has not done it’s job and cleansed out those who only claim to be Christians, but really aren’t? (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). Think about it, how many peoples lives have been destroyed because churches wouldn’t kick out a peodo priests? Sometimes the churches knew about it and did nothing. I do not understand why those people were not only kept in the church but allowed to be in charge of small children.

The kind of judgement Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7 was a kind of is a self-righteous hypocrisy that set up a higher standard for others than for the self. Jesus never said we should stop differentiating between right and wrong. Not only do we as Christians have to differentiate but when someone claims to be a Christian and consistently acts in a way that brings reproach to the name of Christ, then the church is not only authorized but commanded to judge them, what happens on the outside of the church God will judge but what happens on the inside of the church, we are supposed to be judging according to 1 Corinthians 12-13 [NLT]:

“[12] It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. [13] God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”” (Spreading The Fragrance 2020).

Such hypocrisy must end look at Matthew 23:27 [NLT]:

“[27] “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”

Hypocrites are self-deluded fools who need to read their Bibles more carefully. They are deceiving themselves into thinking that their hypocritical deeds of obscuring a leaderships decision to remove a person, despite what the Bible says, is somehow evidence of “true godliness” or even worse they dare to think that they will have the ability to merit God’s favour. This is a terrible misconception and ultimately hurts the persons in question as well as the church community and you lose favour with God not gain it when you don’t adhere to biblical principles correctly and obscure others from doing so.

Hypocrisy is also offensive to God and man. No one finds hypocrisy to be an attractive quality. Not God, not the world. You don’t want to become everyone’s enemy. Unbelievers hate the hypocrite because they make themselves appear godly; God hates them because they merely look godly.

Hypocrisy also brings no comfort in death. You labour hard in life to do the wrong thing, arrogantly pretending to be godly, painting over your depravity with a thin veneer of counterfeit holiness, with standards of other people that are unreasonable that you don’t even attempt to live up to yourself and regrettably, at the end of the day, as you are doing the wrong thing and are trying to make others, who are trying to do the right thing do the wrong thing, you will eventually end up in hell as Galatians 5:19-21 says that sinners will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Crosswalk 2020).

If you want to go to hell with your false Christianity, please go to hell by yourself and leave your ministry and it’s leaders alone because unaligned people cost them and their congregants something, they make organisations unproductive, which damages their viability as a good investment in the eyes of others (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). It’s not common sense to keep them.

Conclusion

Everyday all of us are just trying to run the race of life just trying to get ahead ourselves as individuals, as it says in Philippians 3:14 [NLT]:

“[14] I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”. We have all got things on our plate and we don’t need any more drama.

Church leaders need to think about where they are now and where they are supposed to be. They are losing so much precious time pandering to people and things that will not satisfy the church or Jesus in the end. Whereas everyone else and every other church who is behaving in a functional and biblical way, churches who get rid of people and things that are unhealthy, they are out there getting on but others who don’t are standing still, trying to retain people, things and practices they should not because they are rationalizing with their human senses. Especially in small churches where leaders see they are only small and keep on comparing themselves to other big churches when they don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes with the big churches. All we see is that they have more people, so they keep burning so much energy just to retain, when their focus should be somewhere else and I for one do not think that any church leader should be willing to let those things and people that are unhelpful keep distracting them and their minitry (Anthem Lights 2020).

Having the right people is better than simply having people. (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). Some people will find a better-fit elsewhere and church leaders need to let them go (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). Its unhealthy and unholy to keep some people, especially those whose conduct compromises the holiness of the church and thus it’s entire mission (Nieuwhof 2020, When to panic). Yes, it’s human nature to want to cling to people and old ways, especially when a church is small (Flowers 2020) but church leaders need to know when to accommodate and when to not (Pelletier 2020). It is usually not perceived as a good thing to get rid of people but church leaders, for the sake of holiness, cannot afford not to do it. The truth is that some people are of Christ and some are of the devil. If church leaders allow the latter to infiltrate the church and muddle the line between the two categories, that is a wicked thing to do (Spread The Fragrance 2020).

Let us as Christian focus on what our appropriate blessing is, which is what your church is designed to do and who your church is put here on earth to reach and what you are here to do (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop). Not every church is going to please every person and churches should not be changing their God mandated focus for people who should be elsewhere.

I for one don’t want spend my life trying to fight for what’s not mine or lose myself in someone else’s dream instead of God’s. I know those who are truly meant to be in a particular church are made with a purpose to reach past the surface and live life fearlessly for God in their area and I want nothing less for my church at least, than to be who we are meant to be (Anthem Lights 2020).

xxx

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Bibliography

Anthem Lights. 2020. ‘Who I’m Meant To Be Lyrics’ A-Z Lyrics Web site, at: <https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/anthemlights/whoimmeanttobe.html&gt; 16 January 2020

Brookshaw, P. 2020. ‘Q&A – When Do You Ask Someone To Leave The Church?’ Pete Brookshaw Web site: <http://www.petebrookshaw.com/2013/09/q-when-do-you-ask-someone-to-leave.html?m=1&gt; 7 January 2020

Crosswalk, 2020. ‘5 Warnings for Hypocrites in the Church’ Crosswalk Web site, at: <https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/christian-trends/5-warnings-for-hypocrites-in-the-church.html&gt; 7 January 2020

Excellerate. 2020. ‘How to Handle Rebellion in Church’ Excellerate Web site, at: <https://www.excellerate.com/articles/how-to-handle-rebellion-in-church/&gt; 7 January 2020

Flowers, A. 2020. ‘The Six People You Should Ask To Leave Your Church’ Western Seminary Web site, at: <https://transformedblog.westernseminary.edu/2014/03/04/the-six-people-you-should-ask-to-leave-your-church/&gt; 7 January 2020

Nieuwhof, C. 2020. ‘7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave Your Church Even Though It Scares You’ Carey Nieuwhof Web site, at: <https://careynieuwhof.com/leave/&gt; 7 January 2020

Nieuwhof, C. 2020. ‘When To Panic And When Not To Panic When People Leave Your Church’ Carey Nieuwhof Web site, at: <https://careynieuwhof.com/when-to-panic-and-when-not-to-panic-when-people-leave-your-church/&gt; 7 January 2020

Nieuwhof, C. 2020. ‘Why You Need To Stop Thinking Your Church Is For Everyone’ Web site, at: <https://careynieuwhof.com/why-you-need-to-stop-thinking-your-church-is-for-everyone/&gt; 7 January 2020

Pelletier, K. P. 2020. ‘Can I Ask Someone To Leave My Small Group’ Christianity Today International Web site, at: <https://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2016/can-i-ask-someone-to-leave-my-small-group.html&gt; 7 January 2020

Spreading The Fragrance. 2020. ‘An introduction to kicking people out of Church (1. Cor 5:1-8)’ Spreading The Fragrance Web site, at: <https://2cor214.blogspot.com/2011/06/introduction-to-kicking-people-out-of.html&gt; 16 January 2020

Totally Neat #YouTube Video I Found About #Solomon’s #Temple #biblestudy #Christian

Hey!

I’ve been having really nice personal Bible study time lately. I’ve been getting up around 3am-5am and just taking my time with Jesus.

You know Bible study can involve not just reading the Bible but other things to supplement understanding as well.

I’ve read the whole Bible several times now and I am at 1 Kings at the moment. This time around I wanted to fully immerse myself in the text and I tried to find pictures of what the things I was reading about might have looked like.

In my search Jesus led me to this really neat video on YouTube that really explains what King Solomon’s temple would have looked like and gives some other background information that is totally helpful.

Enjoy, P.S. that description of the Temple is in 1 Kings chapter 6 to 7. Happy reading! ✝☺ 📖 ⛪😇

Xxx

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SPECIAL EDITION: I Had A Vision Of #Heaven!!!!!!!!!! | #Jesus #Christian

I HAD A VISION YESTERDAY!

I was taken up to heaven and then taken into courtroom in heaven. God the Father was the judge. It was ornate like the Crown Court where the highest seat was reserved for the judge, which was God and there were places for Clerks and there were seats for the Defendant and Prosecution.

In this courtroom I had this sense that I was free but I saw where the Defendant would sit and I saw a young adult male, around my age (I’m 29 so around his early 30’s), sitting with his lawyer. He was in trouble and the court case that was happening in heaven was regarding him and he was talking with his lawyer.

The Defendant, so the person who was being accused, was wearing a dark grey almost black suit, he looked quite nice in it actually, I think he had a black skinny tie on and he was kind of tall. God also showed me that this guy told people he was a Christian. His lawyer was in a similar colour suit but was a bit shorter than the defendant and middle aged and was dressed smarter.

The lawyer was preparing all of the documents to make sure that the Defendant had every chance of a good defence, the lawyers body language suggested that this was crunch time and if this case didn’t win it was going to be hell for the young man.

I was in the audience part on the side of the Defendant, I was free to go where I wanted to but the Defendant had to stay put. Court had not started yet and everyone was not there but for some reason the Defendant had to turn up early with his lawyer. The movements of the Defendant because he was the Defendant were dictated to him because he was accused, so unlike me, he had to go where other people told him to go when they told him to go there.

As I said the court hadn’t started yet, people were moving around, the Defendant was there and only me in the audience, then for some reason the Defendant turned around looked me in the eyes and smiled. I got the feeling like he knew I was going to turn up, he knew I had his back and he knew I cared, which is why he turned around because he was expecting me.

Then something strange happened. I suddenly saw a vision within a vision. In this vision I saw the courtroom floor. Someone had dropped a USED CONDOM on the courtroom floor.

Now this signified several things:

  1. Contempt for God’s law
  2. Contempt for the institution of marriage because the person who did this NEEDED to used a condom because the person they were sleeping with they were not married to
  3. Contempt for the woman who had been slept with
  4. Contempt for sexual intimacy, this signified that sex didn’t mean much to the person who did this
  5. The person who used the condom had had sex in an inappropriate place that’s why the condom ended up somewhere it shouldn’t have.

When I was at university when you would walk to university there would be used condoms on the ground because people, who had no regard for themselves and didn’t fear God used to have sex in the alleyways then dump the used condoms. God was showing me that that’s what that situation meant.

The used condom was also evidence. IT WAS EVIDENCE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT!!!!! That was the reason why he was there. He had been sleeping with his girlfriend and God had finally had enough and the Devil was able to come before God and accuse the young man and the young man was now really in trouble. I am guessing the lawyer was either an angel or the Angel of the Lord as in Jesus.

The scary thing about this whole thing was that God revealed to me that this heavenly court case has not happened yet. I WAS ACTUALLY SEEING THE FUTURE!!!

There is somebody out there, around my age, male (obviously) sleeping with your girlfriend and God is about to run out of patience with you.

Please stop, God can see what you are doing. The Devil is laughing every time you sleep with your girlfriend because IT knows that you are digging yourself into a hole. And the Devil cannot wait to meet you in the afterlife. God sends people like me to intercede for you but I cannot pray you out of hell if you’re already there.

Stop it, stop it right now, ask forgiveness of your sins, find some bible believing guys who you can be accountable with, get prayer, discipleship, deliverance whatever you need to do to get right with God but please just stop sleeping with your girlfriend. Sex is for marriage only.

Your actions are irritating God and one day you will not be free.

Catherine

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Feeling better! 🙂

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I Saw #Jesus!

Hey everyone,

So yesterday I had some spare time and I was just (wasting it lol) spending it laying on my bed, on top of the covers, pretty much doing nothing but daydreaming, thinking about nothing important really. In fact, what I was thinking about was something rather silly, I was imagining being on one of those chat shows and thinking about what I would say and wear and so on lol.

Then I looked over to the right and I saw Jesus just casually sitting on the other side of the bed. I thought to myself wait a minute…. Jesus just stealthily came into my room, sat next to me on my bed without my knowledge and was listening to me think stupidness lol, nothing particularly holy or inspiring but Jesus just seemed to be happy to chill. At first I noticed and carried on thinking, then the Holy Spirit said to me I should thank Jesus for being there. So I did.

I thought to myself – how long has Jesus been there? Lol. Also, how often does Jesus do that? Lol. Also, I realised that Jesus must be there the whole time. We think we are alone but we’re not.

I thanked Jesus for being there because we know that Jesus “loves” us but sometimes it’s really comforting when Jesus does things to let us know that He “likes” us. You hang with people you can stand lol.

Interestingly – when I thought something that I knew was naughty, Jesus disappeared, I then asked forgiveness for that thought then Jesus reappeared!

My experience showed me that the following scriptures are true:

Psalm 34:7 NLT
For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

This is because I realised through my experience that Jesus must there all the time!

Also:

1 Thessalonians 5:2 NLT
For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

Jesus came into my room stealthily like a thief in the night, without my knowledge, it was just – boom – Jesus is here. My goodness when the rapture happens no one is even going to know what hit them, Jesus will just be not there and then be there!

N.B. I was at the sink this morning, my mind somewhere else again and I saw Jesus again! Standing in front of me, facing me, body angled slightly to the side, looking at me like he was walking past, saw something interesting and had just turned around to look to see what it was.

Fascinating!

Catherine x

SPECIAL EDITION: #GoodFriday – The Day God Died (not for good though!)

Hello everyone,

It’s Good Friday today and I thought I would give you a run down of what happened and what it tells us about true love. Most of the info here is adapted from The Virtual Preacher (see the bibliography for more information).

On Good Friday Jesus had already had the sham trial Matthew 27:11-26 then the Pharisees also encouraged the crowd to request that Barrabas be released instead of Jesus. The Soldiers had whipped Jesus to within an inch of His life sentenced to Crucifixion and was now carrying the cross on the way to the Crucifixion site. Here’s where we will begin:

True Love Is Doing As Well As Feeling

(Matthew 27:27-32 NLT) “[27] Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. [28] They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. [29] They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” [30] And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. [31] When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. [32] Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

The Bible doesn’t reveal much about the identity of Simon except he was from a city called Cyrene in North Africa, probably a an African convert who came on pilgrimage during Passover.

Why was Simon reluctant to take the cross and help Jesus?

  • It was considered an unclean task as the cross was drenched with Jesus’ blood and other body fluids.
  • It was also difficult because the beam weighed over 300 pounds.
  • It was also embarrassing because only criminals condemned to death carried a cross. It was a sign of mockery.
  • It was also inconvenient.

The short story of what Simon of Cyrene shows that cannot truly be Jesus’ disciples unless we are willing to step out of the comfort zone. Being a follower of Jesus is not about the sacraments and pilgrimages. They are nice but real love is kinaesthetic, it’s an action as much as a feeling. Jesus died for us, which is an action that is how Jesus demonstrated devotion to us. For our part in Luke Jesus said:

(Luke 9:23 NLT) “[23] Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

True Love Puts Others First

(Matthew 27:33-34 NLT) “[33] And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). [34] The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.”

Gall was a pain killer in Jesus’ day. It was mixed with the wine to make it drinkable, women often offered it to the person being executed to dull the pain. Having lost a lot of blood from the sourging and having been nailed to the cross Jesus and was thirty but refused to drink the gall mixed with wine.

Why did Jesus refuse to drink?

  • Jesus was determined to complete His mission of fulfilling the law
  • Jesus did not want to compromise the mission in any way by doing things that would have made it easier than it should have been.
  • Jesus was committed to take the full extent of our pain, sorrow and shame because He considered that more important than His!

Jesus also showed us that real love is sacrificial and not self seeking, just like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT) “[4] Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud [5] or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. [6] It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. [7] Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

True Love Stands In The Gap Between The Beloved And Trouble

(Matthew 27:35-54 NLT) “[35] After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. [36] Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. [37] A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” [38] Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. [39] The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. [40] “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!” [41] The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. [42] “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! [43] He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” [44] Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way. [45] At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. [46] At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, [“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”] which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” [47] Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. [48] One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. [49] But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” [50] Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. [51] At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, [52] and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. [53] They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. [54] The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!””

Crucifixion was invented by the Persians in 300-400 BC and was used by the Romans as a punishment for the most serious criminals. Death by crucifixion was slow and agonizing. The victims were crucified naked and in public which was humiliating, as you can see from the above people taunted Jesus.

Victims of crucifixion endured dehydration, blood loss due to flogging, shock from the pain and paroxysms (follow this link to find out what that word means), as they pulled up with their arms and pushed with their legs to keep their chest cavity open for breathing and then collapsed in exhaustion. The eventual cause of death from crucifixion was: suffocation, cardiac arrest, loss of blood or all of above.

What is the significance of crucifixion?

  • It was a symbol of God’s curse on sin.
  • The bodies of those crucified were left to the birds. They were not given a burial. This is also considered a curse from God.
  • These factors indicate that Jesus stood in the gap and took the curse of God which we rightfully deserved on himself.

Jesus Christ took our curse upon himself and paid the price for our sin. Jesus stood in the gap between us and what we had coming to us. Our atonement to and relationship with Jesus God the Son and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit is made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Isaiah put it eloquently:

(Isaiah 53:5 NLT) “[5] But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

Summary On True Love Displayed In The Good Friday Message

This Good Friday message gives us an example of the three distinct types of commitments of love displayed by Jesus:

True love is doing as well as feeling – This means a commitment for us to be willing to take a stand for Jesus not just say we are Christians, act like it.

True love puts others first – This means a commitment to be faithful: don’t compromise in times of crisis, always put Jesus first regardless.

True love stands in the gap: For me this just shows me how selfless Jesus was and what an example it is for us in our relationships with other humans, regardless of what kind of relationship it is. This shows also a commitment to be just as committed to Jesus as Jesus is to us and just to allow Jesus to love you and just enjoy being loved!

The type of commitment you need to make will vary depending on where you are in your life with Christ. Which one of these commitments do you think you need to make?

Have a happy Good Friday!

Bibliography

The Virtual Preacher. 2019. ‘Good Friday Sermon, Watching Jesus Die – Part 1’, The Virtual Preacher Website, at: <https://www.virtualpreacher.org/sermon-outlines/good-friday-sermon-2011-part-1/&gt; 19 April 2019

3 Ways The Devil Tempts #Men | #mensministry #Jesus #theology

Hey everybody,

You can watch the summary here:

Today I am going to talk about something that Jesus showed me when I was reading Luke the other day, how the devil tempts men in particular. Let’s look at the passage I was reading, Jesus’ words are highlighted in red, the devil in bold:

(Luke 4:1-13 NLT) “[1] Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, [2] where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

[3] Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” [4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”

[5] Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. [7] I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” [8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”

[9] Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! [10] For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. [11] And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” [12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.'”

[13] When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”

What Jesus revealed to me is that the way the devil tempts males is threefold, always along the lines of:

  1. Survival
  2. Power
  3. Recklessness

Let’s examine the scripture above once again to see:

1.) Temptation of Survival

This temptation is aimed at destabilizing the bottom two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Physiological and Safety needs (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:1-4 NLT) “[1] Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, [2] where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

[3] Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” [4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”

Jesus was in the wilderness. Now wilderness in the Bible does not just represent a physical wilderness, forest desert etc, in this case yes it did represent a physical wilderness but it is also a metaphor for wilderness in ones life. Jesus is here showing us a metaphor of how we are to behave when faced with our own “wilderness”. Wilderness can be financial, as in lean times financially; it can also be social, maybe you don’t have any or many friends. It is basically a metaphor for any situation you find yourself in where you are vulnerable and in a place of spiritual dryness Amos 5:25 or solitude for a time of training in life Matthew 4:1.

Notice, Jesus was also hungry, He lacked basic things, in fact, He had nothing! AND THIS IS WHEN THE DEVIL MADE A MOVE, WHEN JESUS WAS VULNERABLE. The devil did not come before, when Jesus was with His friends and had just been baptised by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove in the previous chapter. No! The devil came when Jesus was alone and in desperate need for basic things, when His will would have been compromised due to desperation. The devil then tried to manipulate Jesus into doing something that God (the Father) did not want Jesus (God the Son) to do, with the promise of providing a quick fix, that would meet Jesus’ need sooner than God had intended. This would have been a quick fix but the long term ramifications would have been huge. Essentially, had Jesus done that then He would have disobeyed God (the Spirit) who told Jesus to fast and go into the wilderness the first place. Disobeying God would have violated the law, which would have made Jesus unrighteous, which would have meant that He was not a perfect sacrifice to fully atone for our sins, which would have meant that we would still be having to sacrifice animals and live by the Levitical laws, the Holy Spirit would not live in people but descend temporarily on people like old times and humanity would never ever ever be fully atoned to God ever, meaning there would be no salvation for anyone ever.

This is how the devil operates with men. He waits till they are vulnerable, in their wilderness, looking for a way out and a way to survive and tempts them with seemingly quick fixes that are wrong but encouraging them to self-justify their actions by giving them a lie that, they need to do this thing to survive and if they don’t do this thing they will perish. Men, how many times in your life have you been in a desperate situation and tempted to do the thing that you know is wrong just because you think, “if I don’t do this wrong thing I am going to fail”? It’s an attack. Be guarded, short term quick fixes are not always from God. It’s sometimes the devil trying to trap you and destroy everyone else around you. Adam was tempted in Genesis with a quick solution that would enhance his survival and through that everyone is now oppressed see Genesis 3. Likewise, if Jesus had given in, the whole of humanity would have been even more oppressed.

As men you need to understand the consequences of your actions and how they affect the people around you, you have to understand your privileged social status and how much power you have, not just physically but socially and economically as well. Because of your enhanced psycho-social realities, culturally men have greater social power which means that you act as gateways to not only your life but the lives of others and you aren’t taking this seriously enough. You’re just doing things to “survive” and not thinking about the long term consequences of your actions. It is the short term relief that the devil is using to hoodwink you, to draw your attention away from the long term consequences of your actions and eternity, we should be eternity minded when we make our decisions and that applies to men and women.

This kind of temptation can also be related to sex, maybe you feel like you really would like to sleep with whoever and just get short term relief so you can “survive” *rolls eyes* for a bit longer but there are long term consequences to that, especially before marriage or if the woman in question IS NOT YOURS!! Maybe you believe in “medicinal masturbation”… lol. Just to “ease the pressure on your balls” to help you “survive” *rolls eyes*, till you can get married to your fiancée/girlfriend. Don’t do that. It’s the devil setting you up to fail by trying to get you into habits that you can’t shake before you’re even married. Before you know it you’re hooked and you won’t actually be able to be stimulated by a real woman or a real vagina, you can actually condition your brain to only respond to porn. This video from this ministry is a good resource for this issue (follow the link to find out more). . It’s because of how the brain works and the reward centres in the brain see my previous article for more information about the brain (follow the link to find out more). The devil is trying to destroy your long term outlook. However, Jesus wants you to have life and life more abundantly but that requires patience. I’m still trying myself in the area of patience so I’m speaking to myself as well.

2.) Temptation of Power

This temptation is aimed at destabilizing the next two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Social belonging and Esteem needs (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:5-8 NLT) “[5] Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. [7] I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” [8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”

Again, remember at this point Jesus is still in the wilderness and Jesus’ basic need of survival is appearing to not being met immediately. So Jesus is still in a position of vulnerability. In this position of vulnerability, the devil offers power, much more extreme and such a far cry away from what Jesus was going through. The only cost for this power is to worship the devil.

This is another way that the devil gets men in particular. The seductive lure of POWER! The devil flaunts all the joys that wealth can bring and all the amazing things one can do and have with it. The cost for this wealth is to worship the devil. That can come basically in the form of doing anything wrong, anything that can compromise your integrity but will gain you some kind of financial gain. Maybe, you’re encouraged to lie about something, maybe a relationship, your faith or even anything that will compromise your integrity, in order to gain quickly, financially. These get rich quick schemes are often traps from the devil designed to compromise you. Don’t envy people who are super rich, you have absolutely no idea how they got it.

Take the Western powers for example. The reason why Britain, America and Europe are so rich is because they had an enormous unpaid workforce, enslaved African peoples. The things they did to those people are unthinkable. One punishment the Caucasian male slave owners gave African slaves was when they tried to escape they would get one slave to poo into the mouth of the slave that tried to run away and he had to swallow it. The most attractive African women were pimped out to other male Caucasian slave owners in a part of the salve trade known as the Pretty Trade. The male Caucasian slave owners would also use any African slave that they found attractive as a concubine, just for sex, the African slaves were not allowed to refuse, so they raped them. The slaves made Britain, America and Europe so much money, that’s why the West is so rich today. It was not just African people who were enslaved, pick any country in the Common Wealth and those people were enslaved too. There were even indentured Irish slaves as well! The White people were more than happy to enslave their own people too…

Has anybody asked you to do something that you know isn’t right or you know will somehow compromise your integrity but offered to compensate you financially for it? Don’t do it, it’s a trap that men fall for all the time. That’s why we have dictators, wars and the global economic crisis due to bankers greed.

This is also related to sex. Dominating women sexually, being sexually aggressive towards women because you know they are not strong enough to push you away. It’s a power trip. Thinking rapey thought’s, it’s the devil trying to seduce you and tempt you along the lines of power. Even if she is your wife, if she doesn’t want to don’t force her, it’s still rape.

Whenever we try to upgrade our power or sphere of influence through means that are wrong we are worshipping the devil.

3.) Temptation of Recklessness

This temptation is aimed at destabilising the last two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Self Actualization and Self Transcendence (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:9-12 NLT) “[9] Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! [10] For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. [11] And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” [12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.'”

Again, Jesus was still in a wilderness and hungry, the devil tempted Him first by appealing to his basic needs, then he appealed to men’s desire for power, especially when they are in a state where they are in a state of reduced power or powerlessness or vulnerability of any kind, finally, the devil tried to tempt Jesus along the lines of men’s recklessness.

When we “test” God we are putting ourselves in the position of employer of God. We are saying, to God that God is accountable to us and that we are going to give God an observation (those of you reading this who work will understand what an observation is, it’s when your manager decides that they want to check that you are actually doing the job that they are paying you to do and that you are actually doing it well, so they stand there breathing down your neck watching you do it. Then you have a meeting afterwards with them/or whoever observed you, where they tell you where you could improve or what you’re doing well. It’s annoying and stressful, that’s partly why I work for myself now).

God doesn’t work for us, we work for God. God doesn’t have to prove anything to us, it’s we who have to prove ourselves to God.

This is another place where the devil attacks men. When they have that attitude that I’m going to test God’s power, it’s an insult to God. Moreover, it leads men to do stupid things, disregarding the brains that God gave humans to reason and do stupid things, where they do not take due care because they assume God is going to save them. Yes if you want to do something like jump out of a plane, make sure you pack your parachute. God is not going to save you if you jump out expecting angels to save you because it’s an appalling act of stupidity that God is not going to reward by saving you. It’s not in God’s interest because then everyone on earth would do silly things that hurt each other. That’s why God won’t save you. He won’t save you so as to teach other people not to do it. God does not want humanity to be backward.

I used to date this idiot right, when he went on holiday he wouldn’t take his phone with him. He said that I should just have faith that God would protect him and that me worrying about him was a sign of a lack of faith and that I didn’t really believe that Jesus was with him. With that attitude and all the drinking that he did when he was away, yeah, he’s right I do not believe that Jesus was with him lol. I believe that he survived his holidays on his own and that God didn’t actually have anything to do with it. It was reckless, inconsiderate of the felling of both me and his poor long-suffering mother. Disgusting jerk. That kind of thing is testing God. I didn’t want him to take his phone because I wanted to call him all the time because he used to call me all the time and I was happy for a break! I wanted him to take his phone because he was going to a place he didn’t live and it’s a sensible precaution.

Men do stupid crap all the time. Idiots. Stop it, you’re going to hurt yourselves and God is not necessarily going to save you. It’s always justified and covered by phrases like “oh well boys will be boys” etc. The devil is appealing to your idiocy, trying to make you, again, do something quick, that is going to damage you in the long run and you are thinking, don’t worry it’ll be ok God is with me but not necessarily. Certain adrenaline seeking sports, if you want to do them, wear a helmet? Or don’t do it at all. If something seems like it’s an unreasonable risk, don’t do it. If there is a likelihood that you might die doing an activity and it’s not necessary because you’re not a fireman or a policeman, think twice. Short term stupidity can lead to long term consequences and God will not facilitate, encourage or enable human stupidity, ever, especially when you are trying to use him as “staff” that will catch you, especially because letting you break your leg will mean that you have lots of time alone when you can read your bible and that scenario does suit God.

This can also be related to sex. You might think, yeah well you know, just a quickie, it might make a baby or whatever but I’m sure that God will get me out of this, let’s just test it to see what happens 😉 No!

Commonalities with the three scenarios

Notice that the three scenarios have something in common.

  1. Temptation happens in the midst of vulnerability – the devil waits till a man is in a vulnerable position when his ability to rationalize is compromised.
  2. Quick decisions for quick fixes – the devil tries to make a person make decisions quickly without thinking it through. Which is why the devil waits till a man is vulnerable, desperation and fear make you do silly things
  3. All three ways of tempting encourage men to make poor life choices when it comes to sex.
  4. The devil temps men in order to ruin everybody – when men give in to temptation, it doesn’t just affect men it affects everybody, women, children, animals, the environment, everything because, culturally, men have more power than women.

How did Jesus deal with temptation?

Jesus used The Word!

(Luke 4:4,8,12 NLT)

“…[4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”…

[8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.‘” …

[12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.

Every time the devil tried to tempt Jesus it was to destabilise Jesus’ motivation away from being satisfied by and through God and towards being satisfied by the devil, by encouraging Jesus to selfishly satisfy His needs through Himself, when and how the devil made it seem attractive. Jesus rebuffed these temptations by responding to the devil with The Word, that is the words of the Bible. Jesus was able to do this because He knew the scriptures. That comes from READING THE BIBLE EVERY DAY. Jesus came to fulfil the Law. This was outlined in Exodus, detailed in Leviticus, Further expounded and acted upon in Numbers and repeated in Deuteronomy. One of the laws was the following:

(Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NLT) “[6] And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. [7] Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. [8] Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. [9] Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Which was reiterated to Joshua later on:

(Joshua 1:8 NLT) “[8] Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

We are supposed to read the Bible daily and read it to our children and remind ourselves of it, that way you get to know it off your head, so when temptation comes you can recollect what God says to do. So when the devil attack your mind you can respond with The Word and use The Word to inform your actions, especially when you are to emotionally compromised to think straight.

MEN, LIFE IS AN OPEN BOOK EXAM, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO IT ON YOUR OWN. YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE. When you don’t read your Bible gentlemen, it’s the equivalent of doing a calculator Maths exam without ever picking up your calculator and just leaving it on the desk…

Final Warning

(Luke 4:13 NLT) “[13] When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”

Temptation did not stop for Jesus, the temptation that we saw early on in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is just the only time that any kind of tempting of Jesus was written down. From what we can see from the above verse is that Jesus was tempted constantly like the rest of us. The only difference is that Jesus did not give in because Jesus knew and used The Word!

Where’s your Bible dude?…

I keep mine on me in the form of an app on my phone, it’s just a practical way to do things. Hope that made you think.

Catherine x

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What are you doing with your freedom? | #christianity #Jesus #internet #time #blog #endtimes

Hello everybody,

A serious one today. I have been meditating on when Jesus is going to come back and judge the world. Jesus is all around us and always has been but Jesus came once in a way that everyone could see to save us by taking the penalty of our sin, which was death, on Himself, to reconcile us to God.

The Bible also talks about Jesus returning a second time to then judge us. Basically the first trip was a mercy trip, the second trip is Jesus saying “I told you how to behave; corrected your misunderstandings; warned you and took the penalty on myself the first time; now you know better as you have had well over 2000 years to meditate on what I said, multiple independent theologians, theorists and philosophers have pawed over the Bible to help people understand; plus you have the Holy Spirit so you know much better and there is no longer any excuse for your behaviour and anyone still misbehaving is going to get punished”. This second arrival of Jesus in a way that everyone, not just followers of Jesus can see, is commonly called the Second Coming of Jesus. The Bible tells us about this time in multiple places but here is an example from Mark.

Mark 13:4-27,32-37 [NLT]
“Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?” [5] Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, [6] for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. [7] And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. [8] Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. [9] “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. [10] For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. [11] But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. [12] “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. [13] And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. [14] “The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he should not be.” (Reader, pay attention!) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. [15] A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. [16] A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. [17] How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. [18] And pray that your flight will not be in winter. [19] For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. [20] In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days. [21] “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. [22] For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. [23] Watch out! I have warned you about this ahead of time! [24] “At that time, after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, [25] the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. [26] Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. [27] And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world-from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven…[32] “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. [33] And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! [34] “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. [35] You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return-in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. [36] Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. [37] I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!”

So all we know is that it is going to happen but we don’t know when. So what will happen when Jesus comes? Well the Bible says:

Matthew 24:37-41 [NLT]
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. [38] In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. [39] People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. [40] “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. [41] Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.”

God is just going to suddenly take people to heaven, you know like the end of Avengers: Infinity War? Except people who are taken go to heaven instead of dying like in the film lol. If you’ve seen the film “the end” is going to be like that but happy lol. What will happen to all those people who God doesn’t take to heaven? They get judged for not being ready. What do I mean by not being ready? I mean people who have not given their lives to God and are not dong the right thing, whatever that is in their scenario. Maybe you’re secretly sleeping with you’re girlfriend when you know you should not be? You can’t take your eye of your colleagues wife? Or ladies you’re lusting after your gardener! lol. Stop it, deal with those things that put a distance between you and God. I’m talking to myself as well, I know there are some things I do that I should not. This is what happens to those whose lives are not right with God making them not ready:

Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 [NLT]
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. [25] But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. [26] When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. [27] “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ [28] “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. [29] “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'”…[36] Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” [37] Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. [38] The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. [39] The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. [40] “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. [41] The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. [42] And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

So if you’re not ready, meaning that you have not given your life to Christ and you’re not doing the right things then you will not being gong to heaven you will go to hell. You have to not only have given your life to Christ but you must also be doing the right thing as well.

The Bible gives us another metaphor of how we are to wait for Jesus to return: ( just to clarify we are the servants in the metaphor and Jesus is the master by the way)

Luke 12:35-40,42-48 NLT
“Be dressed for service [bloggers note: this service represents the end of the world] and keep your lamps burning, [36] as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. [37] The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! [38] He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. [39] “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. [40] You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”… [42] And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. [43] If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. [44] I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. [45] But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? [46] The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. [47] “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. [48] But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

And that last verse is where we return to the issue of the title of this post.

Luke 12:48 NLT
But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

In the West we are soo privileged, we have soo much, we have so much freedom. In the grand scheme of things we are rich compared to everybody else. We have religious freedom, women don’t have to be covered up if they don’t want to. If we want to go to church we can without fear, our internet isn’t censored like in other parts of the world. We have internet! We invented it! (well a British man did actually). We have access to books, wealth, information, teachers, etc and so on.

In the East, hey don’t have access to all of those things, however, God has made things more even when it comes to Jesus’ second coming. The East with all their disenfranchisement has something precious that the West does not have and that is…time.

When Jesus comes back, as is the case currently, whatever day it is in the West it will be one day later in the East. The East is sometimes a good 8-24hrs (double check this lol) ahead of the West. SEE THIS WORLD CLOCK FOR FURTHER DETAILS The East has one more day than the West to get their lives straight with Jesus. In the West we are so free to look for ourselves, if you haven’t heard of God and you’re part of a European /American country you have lived a very sheltered life indeed.

The reason why I say the East has more time is because if Jesus comes during their morning time it’s our night time, people could have gone to bed angry or had an argument or a rough night, they are sleeping, caught unaware with no time to ask God’s forgiveness. Whereas in the East they would have already had a rough night, woken up had time to think, meditated on their behaviour and maybe thought let me ask Jesus forgiveness. Even if Jesus comes during their nighttime they still would end up having had more daytime than us. More time to meditate.

God will ask you what you did with the prosperity you were given. We might have a couple hours less daytime in the end but the West has been given so much other things and God expects much from us in return, those of us who are more free should be more ready, more aware of God and doing good and not in need of extra time like some other places. Interestingly, the Pacific Islands are actually the most ahead in time and the America’s are the most behind, America has the least time. Mmm the most powerful country has the least time and the least power countries have the most.

My question today to those of us in the West is what are you doing with your freedom? Whilst you still have it… What are you using your internet for? What’s on your laptop? What’s on your smartphone? Hope Jesus comes when we aren’t sleeping. How are you using your prosperity? Are you using it to get to know your creator and do good to make the world a better place or are you using it to make a nuisance of yourself?

After reading this please get out your Bible and pray, if you don’t know Jesus but would like to or you feel like you need to refresh your relationship with Jesus just say:

“Jesus I’m sorry for trying to do things my way, please come into my life, make me a new person and please forgive me of my sins, Holy Spirit please fill me and help me to worship Jesus and do the right thing”

Then please find a church filled with some good Bible believing people and start your journey with God. The Alpha Course is a good place to start for new Christians! :–> https://alpha.org/

Catherine x

I had an encounter with #Jesus in my bathroom!! || #Christianity #JesusChrist #spiritual |

I had an encounter with Jesus!

This all happened in my bathroom! I was in my bathroom and I said to Jesus,

” Jesus, please make your presence known to me”

Then I just closed my eyes, put my hands outstretched in front of me like this and waited.

Then suddenly it was like something really brilliant was in front of me and I felt a strong wind, a wind that was strong enough to blow my arms backward. I started to shake a tiny bit and I felt a very powerful presence in front of me.

I knew this was Jesus, the being in front of me was so brilliant and so magnificent it could only be Jesus.

I had an overwhelming sense that Jesus was so holy, the most holy being I had or ever will meet. I was compelled to bow, in fact Jesus made me bow. My head felt heavy and I wasn’t in control of my body, it was like Jesus pushed my head down to bow because although Jesus is my friend, Jesus is so holy and magnificent and that He commands respect. I felt like I must bow because Jesus is God and I am not.

It was almost too much, as I was just processing how holy and magnificent Jesus is I started to get upset. I almost stupidly said it’s too much no more. I had such a strong sense that Jesus is so incredibly holy and compared to Jesus who I could feel was magnificent through and through and holy I felt dirty, like a scrap, like nothing.

I was suddenly aware that there seemed to be a thin layer of dust on me, I realised that that was sin. It was clear to me that Jesus is so much better than I am. I realised, sometimes we walk around and we think we are good people, then when we get into the presence of God we realise that God’s standards are so high that, without Jesus, we will never be clean. Once I asked Jesus forgiveness for my sins I didn’t feel dirty any more.

Jesus’ presence was so strong that I actually started to blow away and it was either Jesus Himself or an angel that actually grabbed me by the my arm (the bit between my shoulder and elbow) and pulled me back to standing in front of Jesus, Jesus’ presence was that strong, I was literally blown away. I was thinking to myself, wait a second, this is who I have been praying to and watching films with?!!???!!? (I like to invite Jesus to watch films and eat with me). It just shows how good Jesus is, I know now that we are just so beneath Him and that means that everything He does for us is just mercy on His part.

The thing that I also noticed was that Jesus made me wait. I wanted to do something and I said to Jesus

“ok when You’re ready please release my hands then I’ll know You’re ready for me to get on with the things that I want to do after this”

But Jesus made me wait! Not only did Jesus make me wait but Jesus made me wait

IN SILENCE…

I found that really interesting. I was just standing there, my head bowed and in silence, ready to get on with other things, then Jesus took my hands, which had stuff in them ready and poised to get on with other things, lowered them and made me stand there with my head bowed and wait, in silence….. I don’t know how long I was standing there but Jesus was determined that I get on with things in Jesus time not mine.

That got me thinking, you know sometimes at church, not just my church but church in general, we like to fill the space with noise. Sometimes maybe someone is just pinging on the guitar or you have string pads to fill the space or the preacher is just speaking and speaking and speaking and speaking…. etc. All of these things, although not inherently evil, are distractions. There is certainly something in taking time out to have a contemplative silence, remember, Elijah looked for God in the whirlwind, the earthquake and the fire but God was actually in the whisper!

1 Kings 19:11-13 [NLT] “[11] “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. [12] And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. [13] When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?””

For a long time He did not let me get on with the things that I wanted to do, in fact, at one point, I even thought that Jesus wasn’t even going to let me do them. Even though it was Jesus who I felt was the one who told me to go do this activity, I still thought, as there was so much waiting, that He was going to send me packing, say no and direct me to do something else. However, when it seemed properly like Jesus is going to tell me to go do something else, Jesus lowered my hands and I felt released to be able to do something else.

I’ve realised from my experience that we Christians say “oh yeah Jesus is holy” we have no idea. We don’t know what holiness actually is. The holiness I felt within Jesus does not come from earth. We describe holiness from human standards of goodness but the earth is so polluted, so full of wrong, that we do not have any frame of reference or word on this earth to describe the actual holiness of God because we simply don’t actually encounter it on earth. Earthly standards of good are nothing compared to God. Not one single person is good, as defined by God’s standards.

Also, it became very clear to me that we Christians think we know Jesus, we do not. We think we have an idea of what Jesus might want, we don’t, not always. I think this because the being I encountered in my bathroom was magnificent, nothing was imperfect, Jesus was magnificent to His core. We are not. Therefore, we cannot assume anything about someone like that. I could also sense intelligence, intelligence much greater than mine and I got the sense of a plan that I was not necessarily privy to. I felt in that instance that Jesus thinks that many of the liturgical traditions we have are stupid and many of the church traditions Jesus is just above it. I’m talking about things like, the solemn way communion is done (more the high church circles), the silly outfits, the ridiculous church rules like Catholic priests can’t inform on paedophiles when they have confessed in confession to a priest. I just didn’t feel like they mattered. Jesus felt sensible and I felt like He was the source of all common sense. Someone so intelligent and magnificent would think that it’s ridiculous that Catholic priests aren’t encouraged to inform on paedo’s.

Jesus has shown Himself to me before but in this instance He came as Jesus the King of Kings, helping me to understand the different aspects of who He is. I did ask Jesus a while ago to give me a revelation of Himself as King and Jesus answered. Seeing the magnificence of Jesus and observing how holy Jesus is also made me realise that Jesus deserves much more respect than I and others have been giving Him. Jesus is holy, magnificent and brilliant, I have never met anyone like Jesus. Lets all make an effort to give Jesus respect. We think we have a choice to respect Him, I realised we don’t.

Catherine x