A Time for Praise

Someone confesses and repents of deep, dark, heavy sin before God and before men and declares the Blood of Christ and I’m ready to jump up and shout praises like someone just got baptized! 
I have to hold in my hearts desire to jump up,  run to them, hug them and thank them for bringing into the light what was once hidden — because many would believe that in acting in such a peculiar way that I am justifying sin,  which I in fact hate. 
But I see the death of that sin in its being brought into the light from a humble and contrite heart! I see the enemy falling broken again under the heal of the Children of God! I see chains falling off and burdens being lifted! I see Christ victorious even in what the enemy meant for evil. 
Hidden sin is what makes my heart mourn. Empty religion and hypocrisy is what makes me want to turn over tables. Accepting and approving of sin, quenching the conviction of the Holy Spirit against sin, these are the things that are a stench in my nostrils. 
But confession – a man turning from his sin to righteousness because he had realized the error of his ways and turned back to God – what a blessing! What it uncovers in our own hearts when the enemy is put on display in the light by another! What an opportunity it is to restore a brother in gentleness and love and see the healing, the deliverance, the freedom of Christ overcome the slavery of sin. 
Thank you, LORD!

I was in the grocery store last night before men’s prayer group at the church and thought about picking up a six pack or a bottle of wine to take in my backpack and open it up in the church sanctuary when everyone started opening their drinks.
I was going to wait for the inevitable reaction and then ask, “But why are you surprised? Don’t some of you have this in your own house? What is different about this building as opposed to our own houses? Aren’t WE the temple of God?”
And when the inevitable,  “But it could stumble someone if I did it here” came as the response,  I would ask,  “But what is more dangerous,  them taking a drink because they saw one of us doing it outwardly – or their learning inward hypocrisy because we live one way when we are around ‘respectable religious people’ but live another way when behind closed doors?”
We are find powerless far too often because “the experience”, “the feeling”, “the moment in the presence of God” doesn’t go forth with us because we aren’t going where we’ve been sent – because we leave the “Christ in me” as a promise hanging on the wall of the church, or as a fire insurance contract we hang onto for the future.  
Too many of us don’t mind hearing the Word of God, but falling head over heals, crazy in love with God to the point that we don’t want anything else in this temple but Him? The world says, “Why,  that just sounds foolish! Why, giving up my sin, that just sounds like a lot of work! Why, giving up something that I don’t even feel bad about in my conscience ‘any more’ but that I know isn’t profitable, that just sounds like slavery to me!” 
But that’s because the world serves a different master — their hearts confess their true love –even as their religion teaches them to hide it by shining the outside of their cup — and their love is for the desires of the flesh, the desires of their eyes, and the pride of life. It doesn’t matter how respectable they pretend to be if they do not in fact live the LORD, right? 
And are we pointing that finger foolishly at someone else? Wise teacher, are you so blind that you cannot teach yourself?
You see, we must ask ourselves, do I even remember the love, the mercy, the furrowed that I have received in return for my own wretchedness? Have I so quickly forgotten the only thing that is valuable and precious and is worth laying down everything else for? 
Do these “on fire,  born again, radical heathens” who are upturned by their overflowing of love for God sicken us,  shame us,  leave us confused,  or leave us Don’t down our religious noses at “their foolishness”? Yes, the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing, so you should examine yourself to see that you are indeed in Christ!
You say to me,  “But you are planting the seed of doubt! You are tearing down what the LORD has built up.” And I ask you, “Can a mere man shake a foundation of solid rock, or bring down a house that is built upon it in truth and in love, or does the Word of God tell us that house will stand the test? And what is better, that a worthless house that is bound to fall do so while there time for it to be rebuilt, or for the wise to wait and see the foolish and his whole family die within it when it comes tumbling down?”
No, I am sowing the Truth in Love. Not kisses from an enemy who would say,  “Sin is okay, it won’t kill you.” I’m not giving approval to those things that the Word of God says, “those who practice such things deserve to die” — nor am I saying “you are under the obligation of the law of Moses”. No, I am asking you a greater question,  in fact,  the most important question – Do you love God?
Do you?
Then let your praises ring forth! 
But if I ask this question and you find no well to draw from,  where are your flowing waters? If they are not there, are you too proud to repent, to call upon the name of the LORD and ask for the life you need breathed into you? Will you not call out to Him even now, at this very moment,  to give you oil for your lamp? Or will you sleep and tarry until poverty has proven is reward. 
I am not asking you to go out if you aren’t sent. But I’m telling you that if you are indeed His you ARE SENT, and if you aren’t His, there is still time to repent and believe! 
I am telling you that this faith is not a thing of our minds, but of our very hearts! 
I am telling you that you must be born again. I am telling you that the old must pass away and the new must come. 
So submit yourselves to God. Do not claim a Savior that you do not want as LORD, because He has told us that the most important commandment is to love God with your everything – not just your 10 percent,  not just with your Sunday, not just with your morning, not just with your firsts. And if this seems burdensome to you, do you even know of Him, much less know Him? He is for you, not against you!  Have you not heard,  “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you”? Do we foolishly lay our hope in this verse being about earthly gain and misunderstand what the true prize and portion is for the Children of God?
If we indeed love Him, can’t we trust Him?
Isn’t His way best? 
Isn’t He worthy of our praise, of our worship,  of that reasonable sacrifice of laying down our lives, turning away from sin and submitting fully to Him?
There is time to build,  if we will build upon the solid rock in Truth and Love. But if we are intent to build from something else, or upon the sinking sand – there will never be enough time for all of the constant repairs trying to “make it look right”.
Go to the carpenter’s son. Be introduced to your betrothed. Fall in love with Him deeply, because He is faithful and true. See Him build your house even as He lives with you. And now you will have a life that is filled with praise and awe and wonder – not one of religious hypocrisy.
He loved you first.

Free Pest Control

If I have a dead and rotting animal somewhere in my house, and an exterminator offers to remove it for free – am I foolish enough to think that it “cost me” the dead animal and filthy stench of its death filling my house?
What if I were to go back and say, “No! You can’t have that dead animal, give it back to me! It is valuable and you can’t have it!” And refused to let him remove it from my house,  and I instead tried to hide it in a closet deep within the house and pretend that I couldn’t smell the stench of death? 

Could I say that he had not offered and rendered his services free of charge? No. He did his part and it was free of charge as advertised. It would be my own foolishness that made his work useless in my own house, not whether or not his work was effective

For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. – Romans 2:13 ESV



What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? – James 2:14 ESV


What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; – James 2:14‭, ‬19‭-‬22 ESV


THE FAITH THAT SAVES

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. – Romans 5:1‭-‬11 ESV



BE CAREFUL YOU ARE NOT DECEIVED

Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. – Romans 1:21‭-‬32 NLT


Heavenly Father, you are not a trickster, nor do you have any part with darkness. We have been blind. We have been rebellious. And we come to you in repentance and in surrender. Heal us from our doubt. Overcome our lack of faith. Create in us a new heart. Hear that we confess your name, and sing your praise, and cry out to you for this Hope we have found in the promises of Jesus Christ to be grown and manifest into a true faith that has substance and work and love because you have poured out your Holy Spirit on your people. And teach us not to quench your Holy Spirit, not to shrink back from the light, but to come with confidence into the throne room of grace to be sent out as your chosen people, as your ambassadors, as your children bearing your image. You are gracious, and you are righteous, and you are merciful, and you are just. Lead us in the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.

Wives and Husbands

​“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.” – Gone
Girl

“Gone Girl” What a truly scary movie. What a warning of a marriage gone so horribly wrong in the hands of two self centered people. And how easy might it be for people to live their own versions of this inside their own marriages if there is no fear of God or respect for one another — if they have no understanding of covenant, of commitment, of an abiding and enduring relationship. 

When we as spouses see each other, in all of our flaws, in all of our mess, in all of our crazy, and we remember our covenant and remember our own flaws – we can see how blessed we are to have such a fitting helpmate in life. We aren’t perfect, so how can we expect perfection from another? But have we trained our eyes to seek out their beauty, their treasure, the life in them shining forth? Or have we trained ourselves to only be critical and blind to what makes them precious and valuable in the eyes of God.

The way that married men and women get into “Gone Girl” kind of trouble is not so much rooted in the temptation that walks past their eyes when away from each other — as it is rooted in their forgetting the value of what they already have. 

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31:10‭-‬12‭, ‬28‭-‬31 ESV


And there are men and women who have had a good spouse, but who have sown the wrong things into their marriages and who have starved their spouses of the love that they needed to grow — and they have ended up with a withering, almost dead relationship that now needs lots of tender loving investment in order to bring it back to a good place. 

Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.  Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?  Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.  Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,  a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.  Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?  For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord , and he ponders all his paths.  The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.  He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. – Proverbs 5:15‭-‬23 ESV

Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.  It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.  A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. – Proverbs 25:26‭-‬28 ESV

No, don’t pollute your life with adultery, pornography, lusting after another, indulging in old memories, or fantasizing about new possibilities. Drink from your own fountain. Invest in your own marriage. Value what you have and invest in it. Long term investment, not manipulation so you’ll get something back today. Selfless love and appreciation for your partner that God has provided to you. 

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. – Ephesians 5:22‭-‬33 ESV

Just for desiring to live a Godly life…

The world hates you, true Christians. 

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” – II Timothy 3:12 NKJV

We are not friends of the world,  true Christians. We are the blessed who hunger and thirst for righteousness. 

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” – I John 2:15‭-‬17 NKJV

That unholy trinity of selfish desires that are the master of the lost man’s heart. The lost man longs for the guilty pleasures that bring comfort to his flesh while attempting to forget the burden he now carries in his soul. The lost man longs for those things that are not his, that he has neither earned nor received, and is not content with his many blessings but is only content with prideful murmuring over what he “should have”. Yes, this is the lost man. 

And when the lost man sees someone seeking to walk in integrity and yield their lives over to the will of God – the conviction over so many things that are dark and hidden in their own hearts are brought to light in their own consciousness. For those who are seeking righteousness, for the true Christ follower, having their rebellion brought to light is a blessing — because if we humble ourselves before the Lord and confess our sin,  He is faithful to forgive. But for those content in their rebellion,  they do not like having light shinged on the sin that binds them – they would rather justify to themselves and others why it is okay for it to remain in their lives. The enemy has fed them the same lie as he fed to Eve, “surely it will not kill you”.

There are even false Christians and false teachers who do not know God,  who do not hunger and thirst for righteousness, who still serve that old master, and who male excuses for why it is okay for others to remain powerless against the enemy,  and powerless in serving the Lord daily. This is because they are liars like their father the devil. 
I am not attacking anyone with these words. I am not a vicious wolf tearing at your throat. I am not a servant beating the flock. No,  I am just a messenger crying out into the darkness,  I am just a lighthouse in the middle of the storm. I am the one humbling myself in prayer that your eyes and ears and heart might be open to the truth. 

Do you desire a Godly life? 

Are you eagerly awaiting His return? 

Is sin made uncomfortable and powerless in the presence of the light of Christ that reigns supreme in your heart so that it must tuck is tail between its legs and flee from your presence because you trust in the authority of Christ who lives in you? 
Or is sin a welcome poison at your daily feasts and celebrations? 
The persecution is not me bringing to light what you have tried to keep hidden in your heart,  sinners. No, that is conviction,  that is the good work of the Holy Spirit to lead you to repentance. 

Yes,  repentance. A turning away from sin. 
You’d rather hear more about grace and skip over all of that talk about repentance, righteousness,  and sanctification? 
Yes, the lawless who claim Him by name but deny Him in their hearts and lives are quite comfortable with a twisted, powerless,  fruitless perversion of grace that leaves them bound to the wages of death because of their disbelief and their disobedience. 

But we are not those are we? 

When we examine our hearts honestly what kind of life do we desire to live – worldly or godly?

Rightly Working Together

To the Evangelist, Preacher/Teacher, Pastor, Prophet, Administrator:


The evangelist has little care for this present world and sets his eyes primarily on the after. If not careful: He sees the prophet as harsh and too focused on works and fear and wrath. He sees the preacher/teacher as mentioning the cross horribly to infrequently. He sees the administrator as a religious task master confining his free spirit with man made plans and structure. He sees the pastor as one who is testing and either tearing down or confirming the work he, himself, has already gotten these believers to accomplish through surrender. And he sees every person, no matter how reprehensible, as a possible miraculous story of life transformed for Christ. 

The preacher/teacher has his eyes set firmly upon the lesson at hand and it’s being rightly divided and shared and received by those who might have ears to hear it. If not careful: He sees the evangelist as a sower of seeds and a blind gatherer of both wheat and tares to fill seats. He sees the pastor as distracted by the necessary hand holding, and visiting, and feeding of the poor, the needy, and the afflicted. He sees the administrator as a mincer of words and as one who would restrain the oxen while he is treading out the grain. He sees the prophet as questionable at best and an enemy at worst. And He sees every person as soil to be pounced upon and tilled up by the sword that shots from his mouth. 

The pastor has his eyes firmly set upon the needs of today and the opportunities to serve and love and discipline and heal. If not careful: He sees the preacher/teacher as a hypocrite with many words but few signs of love. He sees the prophet as harsh and careless with his words and warnings towards a people already loaded down with burdens. He sees the evangelist as lacking discipline and discernment, bringing far too many pigs, goats, and dogs into the fellowship. He sees the administrator as horribly unbalanced in his distribution of the resources at hand. And he sees every man in some level of self-deceit and lack of faith and discipline, to be set back upon the path, even if it means breaking their legs and dragging them along himself. 

The prophet has his eye firmly set upon the will of Almighty God, and has little use for the approval of men or leaders or even their own emotion or opinions, but is critically focused on what is or is not happening RIGHT NOW for the Kingdom, with little trust in crops “on the way” or promises for the future. If not careful: He sees the preacher/teacher, evangelist, and pastor as not much more than sugar coated candy dispensers to draw the hungry crowds to see the signs and wonders but to fall away quickly. He sees the administrator as seeking honor and glory and titles of men. And he sees every man (including himself) as horribly corrupted, stained by sin, and as unworthy before a holy and righteous God and needing to work out their salvation through fear and trembling.

If not careful: The administrator knows the horror of the task at hand, to get these to all fit together and work rightly towards the goals and aims of Almighty God for the glory of His name – and he hopes and wishes and prays that someone else might take on this task – and he hopes and wishes and prays that the Lord might return soon so this trial might end without him failing so many that he finds himself leading – and he wonders how in the world he ended up here.

But when operating correctly, the Lord has it all in His hand, and each knows his part, and none is higher than the other, and each honors the other as equal and as called in their purpose and gifting.

How are you to escape? 

[Wow, this one – whew… I love you. Armor up.]

You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? – Matthew 23:33 ESV

Yes, these are Jesus’s words! These are the “words in red”, but don’t mistakenly think that Jesus walked up to some scared teenage girl headed into a planned parenthood building and said this. Don’t think that Jesus walked up to a boy or girl struggling with their identity and the temptation of their flesh that has led them into shameful ground before a perfect and holy God and said this. Don’t think that Jesus walked into the meth cooker’s house, or the bar, or the jail and said this.

No, He walked into the church. He pointed that sword from His mouth in the direction of the religious and said to the hypocrites then what we should hear now –

You make it burdensome for the people to come to me. Instead of helping them carry their burdens, you lay heavy burdens on their shoulders.

You do everything to be seen and honored yourselves. You take the best seats and titles and honor from others and return it to your “same people” instead of extending it to those you don’t know, those who are poor, needy, sick, burdened, lost. You enjoy your season tickets, golf courses, country clubs, first class accommodations, while His people starve, hurt, freeze, suffer, and die alone and without love or hope in this world. You celebrate with songs and lukewarm religious practices that make me sick enough to puke you out.

You want to be seen and revered as wise teachers and leaders when you don’t even know how to serve and love. You are puffed up in knowledge and pride and you would rather be called Father yourself than admit to who your real father is. That snake, that liar, he is quite satisfied with you remaining religious and lost and serving as a hireling — crying Lord, Lord but serving only your own pride.

You won’t enter into grace and belief yourself, and you try to shut the door in the faces of those who would. You would tell them that Christ is necessary but that He is not sufficient. You would tell them that even though they have received salvation by grace through faith that they must turn back to the law — because you wish foolishly that you could pluck them from His hand so they might fall short of grace? May it never be so! Foolish children, who has bewitched you? Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Do you not know that those who rely on works of the law are under a curse? Are you cursed or blessed? Are you bearing love or condemnation? Thistles and thorns or fruit?

You make grand overtures to sign people up for your religious practices, observances of days and seasons, sacrifices of obligation, and empty works – and you prove them twice the child of hell you are yourselves. They no more know God or bear the fruit of His Holy Spirit than you do, you sons of perdition!

You guard the safe keeping of the money and “valuables” in your buildings, houses, warehouses and bank accounts, but you have no such safeguards for what is the only thing valuable that ever enters your building – my people. You wouldn’t even know if you lost a hundred of them, but you sure would know if your balance sheet was off a penny!

You spend your effort on tithes and attendance, and marketing and entertainment, and clothes and appearances — because these are the greatest desires of your own eyes and what is valuable to you — thinking foolishly that I value the same things or priorities. But I desire mercy above sacrifice, justice above bribes, and faithfulness of heart above outward compliance. With your striving to uphold the law, you strain at removing the smallest speck of dirt on your dinner plate — while you try to conceal your choking on the log wedged securely in your throat.

You are full of greed and self-indulgence — though your mind has learned the great mental gymnastics of hiding your heart from the undiscerning — though you have learned to treat the symptoms of your cancer — it is still at work killing you from the inside. So realize the heart of the issue and get that transplant, that cure, before it is too late!

Yes, you are dressed in the right outward appearance, but you are dead inside. Your fear of admitting the lies that you have spread — founding your own reputation as white washed, should be exceeded by your fear of falling into the hands of an angry God who knows your heart! The stench of your hypocrisy and your lawlessness is not just like death lingering in the air — it is the rotting death of your “legacy”.

Yes, you outwardly honor with your flattering words the very ones from the past — that you try your best to kill today with your biting and devouring. You stand on high saying, “I would not do such things” when you are quick to go to war with any wise man who offers you a rebuke. You are a fool, drinking the full measure of the foolishness of your fathers.

You serpents, you brood of vipers, HOW ARE YOU TO ESCAPE BEING SENTENCED TO HELL?

You think this should be aimed at the sinners, with your picket signs, and your political support, and your vocal self-righteousness but the Lord has set His eye on YOU. He is that bear lying in wait for you, He has walled you in so that you cannot escape, He has bent His bow and His arrows will pierce you, He will make your teeth grind on the gravel, if you do not hear my cry and repent! Do not delay!

Because the steadfast love of the Lord is everlasting, and His mercies are for the humble and the lowly. Will you rail against the Truth? Will the rock fall on you so that you are utterly destroyed, or will you fall upon the solid rock and be saved — and sing praises of His mercy, love and grace — through the testimony of your life extending these same mercies to so many more?

If you read this and said to yourself, “_______ ought to hear that.” or “That preacher over at _________ sure needs to hear that” – then you are the very person that needs to stop right here and go back and read this message that IS MEANT FOR YOU! Because if you think that you can teach _________ something, you fit the bill for this message. If that is you, go back and read it again and let the words til up the soil of your heart – you aren’t so perfectly cold and dead that the Word of God can’t touch your hardened heart at all are you?

If you have come to repentance, continue reading, otherwise, I’m sorry, but this message is not for you.

My child, your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.

Key Fundamental Verses

Revelation 12:11 ESV

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Matthew 25:31‭-‬46 ESV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,  then he will sit on his glorious throne.  Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’   “Then he will say to those on his left,  ‘Depart from me, you  cursed, into  the eternal fire prepared for  the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,  I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’  Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’  Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
1 John 3:16‭-‬18 ESV

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Verses for Home

FRONT DOOR

Luke 11:9 

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

SIDE DOOR

Malachi 3:8-10

Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

PORCH SWING

Psalm 34:17

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

BACK DOOR

John 10:1‭-‬5 ESV “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

FOYER

John 13:35 

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

BATHROOM

On the shower wall:

Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me and I will be clean; Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.”

WATER CLOSET

Matthew 6:5‭-‬15 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love  to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.  Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.   “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as  the Gentiles do, for  they think that they will be heard  for their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  Pray then like this:  “Our Father in heaven,  hallowed be  your name.    Your kingdom come,  your will be done,   on earth as it is in heaven.   Give us  this day our daily bread,    and forgive us our debts,  as we also have forgiven our debtors.   And  lead us not into temptation,  but  deliver us from  evil.    For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

MASTER BEDROOM

Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”

Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Ruth 1:16-17: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”

ABOVE FIREPLACE

Joshua 24:15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord , choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”

DEN /FAMILY ROOM

Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

ABOVE PIANO

Psalms 150:1‭-‬6 Praise the Lord ! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!  Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!  Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!  Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!  Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord !

KITCHEN

Matthew 4:2‭-‬4 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,  “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,  but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

OFFICE

Romans 13:8: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Proverbs 3:3-4: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Hebrews 6:1‭-‬20 ESV Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.  Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.  For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

MAN CAVE:

James 4:4‭, ‬7‭-‬12 ESV You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.  Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?


Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

 

 

Psalms 133:1‭-‬3 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it  is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It  is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It  is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.”

 

MIA BEDROOM

Jeremiah 1:4‭-‬8 NKJV

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” 

Then said I: “Ah, Lord God ! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” 

But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord .

John 3:3‭, ‬16‭-‬21 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”   “For  God so loved  the world,  that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not  perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

A church, a person, a pastor, is not at fault for our being lost or for our salvation. There is only one true God that can save and your salvation is between you and Him, not you and man. So do not say to yourself, “But that church/pastor/Christian should save me if he loves me.” Because who is one man that he would have authority over another man’s heart and will? Or who is a man that can make straight what Almighty God has made crooked? Surrender,belief, faith alone is able to receive the grace that comes by way of the washing by the Blood of the Lamb.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:5‭-‬8 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. – 1 John 5:18 ESV
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. – Galatians 5:24‭-‬26 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. – Romans 12:1‭-‬3 ESV
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.  Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:3‭-‬10 ESV