Bad times for a friend.

badtime

Today I heard from a friend that, despite what I had heard they were saying, I knew things were not as fantastic as they would lead people to believe, and my friend is facing a very difficult personal time. What they thought was to be a good time, with things going according to some plan, suddenly turned bad. I have had significant concerns for their wellness (physical, emotional, spiritual) and while I wish they weren’t facing such trying times, it appears my worries were obviously valid considering what I learned from them today. In some prior posts, I had mentioned about feeling a sense of concern or dread and had been praying for them.  I am hopeful that the Lord is gracious and merciful and answers the prayers and delivers them from the situation. Of course any deliverance requires effort and sacrifice on their part and I hope pride doesn’t keep them from doing what they must do and result in further problems.

Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished. Proverbs 16:5

Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6

I worry further that they have hardened their hearts and will continue down the path they are on and ignore the message He is trying to send.

13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.
14 Happy [is] the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
Proverbs 28:13-14

Another question that occurs is if this is God’s way of punishing people? Is He not only allowing, but sending to them, the hardships they now encounter? If they had done right all along would the situation be occurring? If they sorely His forgiveness will He stop the hard times they are facing? Even if they do ask forgiveness but don’t walk away from a sinful situation will He still allow them to suffer until they do turn away from those things? I don’t speak about my friend or anyone in particular but rather any and all of us who have sinned. We all have sinned and we personally and Christ know how we did so. Is asking forgiveness enough to stop the consequences of ones sins? Or, is there still a price to pay until we truly and completely repent and turn our backs on all things associated with our sins?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Yes, He will forgive our sins, He promises that in many places and God is faithful and keeps His promises to us. But, we have an obligation to not only confess our sins, but to repent as well. Forgiveness is for past sins, but failing to repent keeps us from God. Asking for forgiveness, then returning to the same sins, or to other sins intentionally is blasphemous to God.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:26-27

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.  John 5:14

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.  John 8:11

In order to serve Christ and have salvation, we must confess our sins and repent, turn our back on sin and not sin further. Not doing all three will not give us true salvation. Thinking we can sin, then confess, then go sin again, confess again, again and again, is not what He teaches us. He teaches us to turn away from sin as part of repentance.

I still don’t know if hard times that come upon people are punishment from God for those who call themselves Christians, but continue to sin. But, I think that is the case, but more than punishment, I think it is God trying to teach us and get us to do as He wishes.

 

Lord, I praise You for the forgiveness, grace and mercy You give and for the salvation from those blessings. In Jesus name I pray for my friend, that You give them the wisdom to know what to do, give them comfort and peace during trying times. Give them the strength: Physical, emotional and spiritual, to face the challenges ahead. If these times are being used by You to teach them and draw them to You and show them they must turn their back on sin I pray that they see and know and that their heart isn’t hardened. I pray that whatever hardships are encountered are not as difficult as they could be and that Your will be done in their life.

I ask that You work in my heart to keep me in the path that You plan for me and give me the strength and wisdom as You walk with me through life.

Amen

I appreciate those who stop by and hope all have a blessed day and while doing so, somehow are blessings to someone else.

 

 

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Someone is always watching. GOD is ALWAYS watching.

people looking

The other day my grandson had to go to ball practice. I was off and his folks were both at work, so guess who was voluntold to take him….YUP, you got it, me! No problems, I kinda like the kid, so I was glad to do it. Well, they live a couple miles from us out in the country, so I was driving him down and when we got to town the light was red so I pulled into the left turn lane to wait for the light to change. We had the windows down as it was a really nice day. A car pulled into the right hand turn lane and then another pulled up into the straight lane. The guy in the lane next to us just started screaming and cussing at the guy in the other turn lane. This was language as bad or worse than anything I ever heard in the military. My grandson turned to look and see what was going on, and then he turned towards me with a funny expression on his face. About then the light changed so we turned and headed to the ball field. As we drove he told me the man next to us was a deacon in his church and proceeded to say that was almost like the pastor, and how come he was cussing so much because preachers shouldn’t do that. I explained that we didn’t know what had happened before then to make him mad, but he still should not have behaved like that. I also explained that Christians aren’t perfect, but we can be forgiven. We just have to repent, confess to Christ and ask for forgiveness. I also told him that we shouldn’t judge, any judgement will come from God.

But, it also got me to thinking that while we can be forgiven, Christians have a responsibility to Christ to do our best to control our anger and our actions, including our words as people are always watching, nonChristians will judge us and Christ because of Christians behavior.

 

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20

 

[He that is] slow to wrath [is] of great understanding: but [he that is] hasty of spirit exalteth folly.  Proverbs 14:29

 

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain. James 1:26

 

The scripture is pretty straight forward on controlling emotions, especially anger, and the actions or words associated with failing to do so. There are many other verses that eal with this issue as well.

 

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Colossians 3:8

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

 

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. James 3:10

 

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.  Matthew 15:11

 

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27

 

The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 8:13

 

It is pretty obvious that foul language is not pleasing to the Lord. He expects our actions and our words, to reflect a positive image of Christians, and therefore of Christ through our actions. Foul language discredits they who use it, and Christ.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

 

And, no matter who else may, or may not, see us as we go about our days, when we do well and when we sin, God always sees us.

The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

I have had more than my share of failures in keeping my anger in check and holding my tongue. I am much better than I was before, my language is much better, my ability to avoid getting angry is better as well. Not thanks to me, but to God for the improvements.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the blessings You give me and the lessons I learn while I study Your word. And, the opportunities You give me to try to help my grandson (and me) understand Your wishes for us. I pray in Jesus name that You help me remember that I am always an ambassador for Christ and that I need to, even if no one else sees, remember to always be the person I should be and not succumb to anger, that I make sure to use the right words and not speak out of anger. I ask that You help me continue to learn the heart and mind of Christ and that You continue helping me be the person You want. Draw my love ones to Jesus that they may know You as well. Teach us all Your true will and way for us.

Amen

 

Thanks for your time. Have a most blessed day. And, of course, try to be a blessing to others as well.