Monthly Archives: October 2014

Revelation of Knowledge

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

Knowing Jesus and knowing the Bible are two different things.  There is carnal knowledge and supernatural knowledge.  The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues and interpretation.  “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:4.  Today I want to talk about the gift of knowledge.

“for one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:8

Without Jesus the Word of God is carnal knowledge.  The Holy Spirit is He who reveals the knowledge of the Word of God.  This cannot be understood with eyes that are veiled.  One must ask Jesus into their heart, accept the Lord as their Saviour and He unveils their eyes.   We can’t unveil anyone’s eyes, we can’t give anyone supernatural knowledge, we can only tell them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and allow Him to do His work in them.  The revelation of God’s Word to each one of us is what builds our faith – not other’s knowledge.  When the Gospel of Jesus Christ is sugar coated by knowledge and not revelation it becomes irrelevant.  Satan has the knowledge of Jesus, he even quoted the Word of God back to Jesus in Matthew 4:6 on the pinnacle of the temple.

Our faith is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Our victory is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is only through the Holy Spirit that we receive His gifts.  Only through the Holy Spirit is the Word of God revealed.   God’s Word is more special than silver and gold when revealed through the Lord Himself. 

When judgment day comes and we’re looking into the eyes of our loved ones, did we tell them about Jesus or did we tell them about His grace only?  Did we tell them about Jesus and allow the Lord to reveal His Word in them or did we try to do His work for them?  Yes, the Lord has sent us preachers and teachers.  Yes, we love to learn all things of the Lord.  We, as Christians, know Jesus.  Our faith is made stronger through the revelation of God through His Word, not the knowledge.  The Lord responds to our faith, not our knowledge.  We must put pride to the side and humble ourselves before the Lord and seek Him, not knowledge of Him.

We can’t dilute the Gospel of Jesus.  We can’t advance in our Christian growth without first starting at the foot of the Cross of Jesus.  To see someone humble before the Lord, with childlike faith, glorifies God and  is a testimony of His grace.  Jesus was not ashamed of us when He was on the Cross, He was faithful then and is faithful today.  Throw away pride, forget knowledge and seek Jesus first.  Don’t be that person on judgment day that was too proud to talk to your children, your family and your friends about Jesus.  – Donna Warren

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Nicest Man in Hell

Many years ago while on a bus in Tijuana my husband had a conversation with a stranger.  The stranger talked about Jesus and my husband listened.  Finally, as the conversation ended and the stranger was exiting the bus he turned around to Jim and said “it was so nice talking with you Jim, I’m sure you will be one of the nicest people in hell.”  That statement made quite an impact.  Many of us consider ourselves a good person but there are no loop holes for “good people” in Heaven.  Just because our good outweighs our bad doesn’t mean we’re on Calvary Road.  “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” Matthew 7:13.  This does not mean we, as Christians, are perfect by no means for we all fall short of the glory of God.   It is our faith in Jesus as our Saviour, not our works.  To merely acknowledge God puts us on the same level as satan.  However, to believe in the finished work of  the Gospel of Jesus Christ and receive His salvation is what separates us.   The enemy has read the back of the Bible also.  He knows he loses in the end.  In the meantime, he is going to try and take everyone else with him.  It is our job to know the Truth, the Word of God and not be deceived.  Our salvation is up to us to receive.

There is a difference in motivation and conviction.   To motivate someone is to give them a reason to do something.  Conviction is being sure what you believe is true.  The Holy Spirit convicts us to know the Truth.  The truth of the Gospel only comes through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  It is up to us to respond to the conviction.  The Cross of Christ is an offense to the kingdom of darkness.  The Gospel of Jesus has teeth that bite, It is a sword.  Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ will convict us.  Only the conviction of the Holy Spirit leads to repentance.  Motivation can lead to failure and condemnation; it can cause us to be blind to the true Gospel.  The enemy doesn’t mind us being motivated but it sends him running when we receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The tugging and longing for that “something” you can’t put your finger on is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  It is a truth that is there but you don’t know what it is until you seek Him; until you seek God.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit tears down self righteousness, religion and anything that exalts itself above the Lord.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. ‘ ” John 14:6.   There are no loopholes in the Gospel for “good people” who have not received Jesus Christ as their Saviour.  If your motivation is failing, respond to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.  Respond and become a light to your family and friends.  Be the one God uses to point others to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  – Donna Warren

God’s Sufficient Grace

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’…”. 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Isn’t it a lot easier to believe that scripture for yourself than it is for others?  Especially if you have that minion on your shoulder trying to get you to “control” everything.  That minion has a name, it’s the spirit of Jezebel.  As a child of God, we have dominion over that spirit but we have to know what it is and take authority over it through the name given above all names, Jesus Christ.  “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,” Philippians 2:9-10.

Often times we worry more about our loved ones than we do ourselves.  I use to worry about my husband.  Worry about his health, worry about the future…just worry.  I see others worrying about their families, their friends and anything else that may be worrisome.  I would pray for my husband then worry.  Sounds silly coming from a “Christian”, huh?

Then I realized what I was doing.  I trusted God for His continued grace in my life but did I trust Him enough for His continued grace in my husband’s life?  Of course, at the time I didn’t realize that was happening.  If you would have asked me I would have (honestly) said I trust the Lord in all things but my fruit didn’t show it because of my worry.  Finally one day God revealed to me my lack of trust in Him.  My husband is one of God’s children also.  The Lord’s grace is sufficient for him as well.  Finally, just like parents dedicating their child to the Lord, I had to literally dedicate my husband to the Lord.  I had to turn him over to the Lord and trust God for His continued grace.

There is a peace that comes in trusting God with the ones you love. ” We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ” Romans 8:28.  Worry is just another distraction to keep us from believing in our prayers.  When we see our brothers and sisters in Christ suffering, we don’t worry, we pray and trust God that His grace is sufficient for them also.  When we see others, who don’t know the Lord, we still don’t worry.  We pray for them as well.  We pray for the Lord’s continued grace in their lives.  We stand in the gap for them.  We pray for God to unveil their eyes.  We pray for God to send out His worker’s to cross their path.

Just the other day I was talking to someone on the phone and they were wound up, stressed out and ready to blow their top.  I know this person and they have a relationship with the Lord.  I started praying.  Praying for God to give them peace and strength.  Several hours later I talked to them again and they were talking about how the rest of their day went so smooth.  My point is not that “I” prayed but that the Lord listens to our prayers.  Our faith is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Through Jesus’ work on the Cross we can “…come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

We have been given liberty in prayer through the Blood of Jesus.  The Lord’s grace is sufficient for all, not just you or me.  Trust in the Lord and pray for His continued grace and mercy.  Meditate on God’s grace today instead of worrying about if it will be enough for tomorrow.  Find peace and know that the anchor will hold.  – Donna Warren

 

 

 

 

Compromise

Compromise – an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.  The word compromise is not found in the Bible.  Jesus did not compromise with satan; therefore, WE do not compromise with satan.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24

How many times have we heard it said the enemy will announce your breakthrough?  When you’re not running with the devil, you will run head on into him.  That’s how you know you’re running in the right direction.  How many of us have been on the verge of the breakthrough we have been praying for and when the devil shows up we compromise?

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14.  We are all called to salvation but few will finally be saved.  We compromise our salvation by compromising with the enemy.   I have always been a black and white kind of person.  There was no gray area.  It was either my way or the highway.  Well, I’m happy to say I’m still a black and white kind of person.  However, now it’s either God’s way or the highway.  Please don’t misunderstand that statement.  I often fail but even when I fail there is no condemnation, only God’s grace – God’s way.  The Lord meets me at the Cross daily.

Worry is a compromise.  Worry is meditating on fear.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.  So where does fear come from?  What are we meditating on when we worry?  Black and white.  Fear is so often at the root of our problems.  Fear of being rejected so we are offended.  Fear of losing so we are prideful.  Fear is compromising our faith.

We are not prideful of our faith, we do not boast of our faith but we do not compromise our faith either.  Jesus said to Peter in Luke 22:32 “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren.”   Out of fear for his life, Peter’s faith failed.  Then after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to him and his faith was restored and indeed he strengthened his brethren.

Jesus is risen.  “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. ” Revelations 1:18.  Jesus did not strike a deal, He did not compromise His love for us.  We have all power and authority over the kingdom of darkness in Jesus name.  Jesus holds the key to hell, not satan.  Satan is roaming the earth trying to make us believe he still holds the keys.  Remind satan your Heavenly Father has the keys and you don’t have to compromise with him.

When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection He said to them “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Luke 24:38.  Our Lord’s suffering and death was not in vain.  His resurrection was not a compromise.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the reason for our faith.  We don’t compromise our faith.  Hallelujah! – Donna Warren

Fear of Judgment

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

This is one of my favorite Bible verses.  When fear tries to grab hold, worry and strife abound, I remember God’s mercy.  I see His mercy in other’s life, both believers and unbelievers.  Truth be known, it’s probably easier to see His mercy in the unbelievers life.   I saw a photo the other day of a beautiful cloud that looked just like an angel looking down.  There were many comments.  Christians were amazed and saw the beauty of the cloud.  Others were downright hateful and condescending.  While I’m sure others just blew right past not giving it a second thought.  When we see the Lord’s considerable longsuffering for the lost, we see His mercy.  When we see God’s grace being trampled on by wicked words and evil actions, we see His longsuffering.  It would be easy to become  self righteous when reading those comments….until I remember I used to be one of those that would breeze right by the Christian quotes also.  I also was part of the Lord’s longsuffering.  That is why it is so easy for Christian’s to see His grace.  We realize our shortcomings and rely on the Lord’s righteousness and not our own.

We have heard so much lately on prophecy being fulfilled.  Bloodmoons, harbingers, dreams and visions being reported around the world.   When I was one of the those who professed to be a Christian, yet did not know Jesus this was my go to scripture in response to prophecy: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. ” Matthew 24:36.  I would remember that scripture and move on about my business.  I did not heed the warnings.  The devil had my eyes veiled because I did not know the Lord.  I had never read His Word.  I had never read Revelations 22:18 “ For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;”.  I did not know Acts 2:19 “I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.”  My salvation was up to me. 

It is only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that our eyes are unveiled.  Once our eyes are unveiled there is an awakening in our spirit.  The Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are a child of God (Romans 8:16).  This cannot be explained and is available to anyone who chooses to receive Jesus as their Saviour; this is up to each individual. 

Knowing God’s grace and knowing He is the same God today as He was yesterday, we must also realize God’s judgment.  His warnings are in fact merciful as well.  The Lord gives sinners extraordinary time to repent.  We have all seen good people taken away  too early and wicked seem to live forever and can’t understand why.  God’s mercy.  May not seem fair unless it is your loved one who is the wicked one.  We’re all God’s loved ones.  He wants us all to return to Him.  But not all of us do/will return to Him.  When His mercy is refused, His wrath falls.  Understanding His mercy also causes us to understand His judgment by default.   The Bible is full of scripture on judgment of people and nations who have turned away from God.  We pray for God’s protection over our families and our country.  We long for God’s wrath to fall upon our enemy until we realize we as a whole have invited the enemy inside; then we pray for His continued mercy.

“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,  keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty…” Exodus 34:6-7.  How long can we as a nation expect God’s judgment not to fall upon us when we continue to reject His mercy?  The warnings sound and we do one of two things; we become paralyzed in fear, which we know God did not give us a spirit of fear, or we continue our faith in the Lord.  It is only through our faith that the Lord can respond to our prayers.  We pray in faith for the Lord to send His laborers to His harvest.  We pray in faith for our leaders to have eyes to see and ears to hear the sounding of the alarms and to turn to God instead of their own might.  We have faith, we pray and we expect to see the Hand of God in miracles, signs and wonders.  We stand firm on our faith and we do not fear.  Yes, He is the same today as yesterday.  Yes, He will bring judgment on the wicked.  But He will never forsake the righteous of God.  The shaking to come will either build our faith or cause us to lose our faith and their will be a remnant.  It all depends on where our focus remains.  The enemy tries to distract us, but we stay focused on the one true God, the sovereign God.  We keep our faith.  – Donna Warren

 

Knowing Who We Are in Christ

KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST. This is yet another statement I didn’t understand for a long time. I always thought to myself “Well yea, I know He loves me!” Then I would do something, write something or say something and worry….should I have really said this or done that. As it turned out I didn’t know who I was in Christ because knowing who you are in Christ breeds confidence and courage.

The confidence of knowing who we are in Christ doesn’t mean He loves us only when we are right. Our confidence is in HIM and His love, not in our actions. It doesn’t mean confidence that we’re always right. God knew what He was getting when He chose us. We don’t have to be “perfect”, just available.

So, now that I finally established “who” I was in Christ, not perfect but available knowing He would love me regardless of my failures, I was then led to this scripture 1 Cor. 8:9-13 “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

The liberty we have in knowing who we are in Christ also brings a higher responsibility. We know His love and forgiveness but we also know the sacrifice made by Jesus. We now hold the responsibility of not exploiting God’s grace. Just because we know who we are in Christ and understand we will be forgiven when we fail does not give us the right to “flaunt” His grace in the presence of others. Yes, we are given grace freely and abundantly but it is only because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Showing off God’s grace and forgiveness without showing off the sacrifice made by Jesus can lead both believers and unbelievers to only knowing who they are in grace – not in Christ. The liberty of knowing God’s grace and forgiveness can mislead others if we are not responsible with what we have been given. God holds us accountable when we mislead His children. As a child of God we walk boldly in who we are in Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled with God but we know at what price that came – Jesus and the Cross. To sin against others is a sin against Christ. Therefore, we must consider how it affects others in everything we do. We must give to them the same grace and forgiveness given to us and tell them by whom and from where it came, Jesus. Give His grace and preach your Jesus! – Donna Warren

Realization of Hell

Years ago before I was saved I’m not sure I realized the reality of hell.  It seems as though I thought more of the promises of Heaven and satan wreaking havoc in the world as I watched  the news.  I had knowledge of Jesus but did not know Jesus.  I had knowledge of hell but couldn’t imagine God sending a “good person” (please note my sarcasm here) like me to hell.  I mean, I always tried to do what was right, surely there was a loophole for all the “good people”.

Well, to all the “good people” in the world, there is only one way to Heaven and it is through Jesus Christ.  Not just acknowledging but knowing Him as your Saviour.  “ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.

Once I finally began to realize not only is Heaven for real but hell is for real as well, I began to feel the urgency.   I don’t think as a sinner I ever really believed in hell.  Furthermore, if I was to go to hell it would be “me”.  In other words, being the “good person” that I was, I understood reaping and sowing.  I reaped it and I would have to sow it; no ones problem but my own.

However, I never took into consideration what I was reaping into other people’s lives.  Realizing now that hell is for real I am burdened more for the lost.  Do they actually understand hell?  I have always been one that you could run over me but don’t even think about running over mine, my family and friends.  What kind of seed are we sowing into our children’s lives?  I realize many people raise their children to be good people but are we raising them to be Christians?  There are no loop holes for good people who do not know Jesus.   Please understand I’m not saying any of this to be judgmental.  Its harder to think about someone we love going to hell then it us going to hell.

What about those of us who do know Jesus and are saved that have lost loved ones?  What do we do?  How do we have joy and peace while looking at our lost loved ones? We first have to realize who has blinded their eyes, the devil. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,  whose minds the god of this age (satan) has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 4:4   Then we do just what the Word of God says,  “ But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?” Matthew 12:28-29.  We bind the strongman!  Even though our loved ones may invite that strongman back as soon as we’re finished, we keep on; we keep him bound. 

Finally, “ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17.  Even when our loved ones won’t listen to us pray for God to send His laborer’s into their path.  Then we must put our faith in action.  Here is a sample prayer I found for lost loved ones:

“Father, I come before You in prayer and in faith, believing. Your Word says You desire all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth, so I bring ________ before You this day.

“I break the power of Satan from his assignments and activities in ________’s life in the Name of Jesus. Now, while Satan is bound, I ask that You send forth the perfect laborers to share the good news of the gospel in such a way that ________ will listen and understand it. As the truth is ministered, I believe ________ will open his/her eyes to the gospel, come out of the snare of the devil and make Jesus Lord.

“Father, I ask that You fill ________ with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. As I intercede in his/her behalf, I believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is activated, and from this moment on, I shall praise and thank You for ________’s salvation. I am confident that You are alert and active, watching over Your Word to perform it. It will not return to You void. It will accomplish that which You please and prosper in the thing whereto it was sent.

“Therefore, my confession of faith is: ‘God has begun a good work in ________’s life and He will perform it and bring it to full completion until the day of Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ Name.’”

Hell is real.  It is eternal torture.   “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Will you join me in praying for the Lord to send out laborers into His harvest? – Donna Warren

 

Sounding of the Alarms

“And the Lord hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.” Jeremiah 25:4

The messenger of the Lord sacrifices their flesh daily in order to have more of the Lord and less of themselves.  They are our preachers, teachers and prophets who are willing vessels that the Lord chooses to proclaim His Word to His children.  These “vessels” are anointed to serve us yet so often we do not hear.  When our messengers proclaim the Word of God it doesn’t always tickle our ear; sometimes it will pierce our soul.  However, as willing vessels proclaiming God’s Word, they are held accountable for our souls.

Sometimes God’s message is a warning to us.  While warnings are meant to be a blessing not everyone will heed the warning.  We all like to get a “heads up” on a situation so we can prepare…unless of course we are the reason for the warning.  When in fact we are the reason for the warning our pride will cause us to rebel and rebellion leads to destruction, especially when we are rebelling against the Lord.

So we don’t like what we hear from God’s messengers and we don’t like what we see on the television or in the world.  God’s punishment, judgment and/or chastening is upon us because of our rebellion.  Our ancestors dedicated our country to the Lord and He richly blessed our country.  Through many generations we have plundered our nation and completely turned away from the Word of God.  Instead of idolizing the Lord we idolize money and power…we rebel.  Somewhere down the line we have forgotten that it was the Lord’s blessing that has gotten us this far; not man’s will.  When we dedicate or make a covenant with God, He will bless that covenant as long as we follow Him.

Through years of our nation turning further and further away from God, He has sent us warnings…but we did not see.  The warnings are getting louder but we still don’t hear.  Then comes a messenger proclaiming God’s peace and grace.  They proclaim a sugar coated, diluted gospel that makes it a little easier to hear but they leave out obedience, judgment and repentance.    They bring a false peace brought on by their words and not through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Instead of trusting God to bring them peace through His Word, they attempt to bring them peace by proclaiming the promises of the Lord without the fear of the Lord.  They neglect repentance and preach rebellion.

“For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up.  Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:6-7

Our God still wants to be our nation’s God.  He wants to give us a heart to know Him and we will be His people once again.  However, we must corporately repent instead of rebel against Him and His judgment on our nation.  Ruth Graham was quoted as saying “If God doesn’t judge America, He will need to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!”  Many believe in God yet live as though He does not exist.  The Lord is sending His messengers and watchmen out to sound the alarms.  Are we hearing them? – Donna Warren

The Acid Test

1 John 3:17-18 “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.” In the past four days I have attended three separate services and each one has revolved around unforgiveness and the spirit of offense. The antidote to offense and unforgiveness is love. Whether or not we are following the example of God’s love for us is the acid test of Christianity. You see, it was God’s love for us, not our love for Him that provoked Him to bear our redemption. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10. We all get upset with that person going 50 mph in the hammer lane blocking 2 miles of traffic but it’s God’s love in us that brings us back to center. It is His Holy Spirit that reminds us of the truth. The truth is Jesus died for their soul also. The truth is we are not there judge. The truth is the enemy uses people, Christian or not, to provoke us to sin; to afflict us and to cause us to choose offense. The truth is that person probably didn’t wake up that morning seeking to offend you. They may not know the love of God. They may need us to show them. Isn’t that what we are called to do? Matt. 22:39 “You should love your neighbor as yourself.” The Holy Spirit will guide us back to His love when we CHOOSE not to be offended. The “act” of being offended is the sin, not the person driving 50 mph. Don’t let the enemy deceive you into being offended. Matt. 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” This verse was mentioned in my Bible study last night regarding the spirit of offense and the unity of the church and it really drove a point home for me. I am personally familiar with many different situations, as I’m sure many of you are, when one person is offended at another in the church. Is this not the ultimate example of the enemy, the spirit of offense, in our churches today? The devil knows the power of prayer when two or more agree. When we, Christians, are offended and then divided, will we not lose our power in unity? Are we going to allow unforgiveness of our brethren and OUR choice to be offended be the falling away of the Church? There is not time for the distraction of the enemy today. When we allow the enemy to keep us bound up in unforgiveness and offense, we are neglecting the harvest…which is exactly the enemy’s intent. We must pray for those who offend us and for those whom we offend. If we are to reap the harvest, we must choose love. The harvest must know we care before they will listen. The harvest already knows offense and unforgiveness, show them God’s love. -Donna Warren

The Heavenly Hope

“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”  Hebrews 11:16

When recently presented with an opportunity to be “fleshy” I tried to do what was right.  Please don’t misunderstand, there are times when I may try and fail but this particular time I had to make a decision for this situation to be a stumbling block or a stepping stone.  While praying for strength, I knew what was right but bitterness would still seep back.  I wanted to be “obedient” to God’s Word but offense kept trying to manifest itself.  I recognized offense for what it was; the devil trying to get my focus off of Jesus and His love for all of us.  Then my revelation came, the Truth revealed and my foundation proved solid once again.

I was trying to be obedient.  I CHOSE to be obedient to the Word of God.  It wasn’t easy but I knew the choice I had to make.  Once the choice was made, the Lord’s grace was revealed.  This isn’t a story about “Donna making the right decision” but a story about how God revealed His grace to me once I made the choice.  It was an amazing revelation yet so simple.

We have all had that friend or stranger that went the extra mile for us.  I had a friend just yesterday talking about her dog being in an accident and as she rushed him into the vet, visibly upset, there was a couple who saw her pain and comforted her.  She did not know them but they made an impact on her in a time of need.  I am sure my friend would do anything possible to show her gratitude for this couple.  If someone came and spoke ugly of them, all she would be able to say is how good they were to her.

When confronted with my fleshy reaction or being obedient to the Word of God, I chose obedience.  Through obedience I gained gratitude.  I am grateful for the Lord’s grace in my life and it is His grace that I would not betray.  Now instead of “obedience” to the Word of God, I am loyal to Him.  The Lord has been too good to me for me to choose offense.  I trust in the Lord and choose not to betray His faithfulness to me.

Obedience revealed God’s grace by showing it was not just “obedience” but was also an act of not betraying the Lord .   For me, as for many I’m sure, we would NEVER betray a friends trust.  When you have been on the receiving end of that betrayal you understand the hurt.  Then the thought of me betraying the Lord’s Word for the bait of the enemy made my choice of obedience not only easy but irrevocably determined.

When I read the verse in Hebrews 11:16 this morning “God is not ashamed to be called their God…”,  I thought to myself “how could I ever betray the Lord?”.  We “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.  God is not ashamed to be called our God when we remain covered in the Blood of Jesus Christ.  How could I ever allow deceit or distraction to betray His Blood?  I can’t.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.  For this, I can testify.  God’s foundation is solid, His faithfulness is eternal and His love unconditional.  Thank you Lord for this stepping stone.  Thank you Lord for your grace revealed! – Donna Warren