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Judgment Day: The Cure For Fear, Proverbs 24:19-20

Buddy with his cracker at his condo doorway.

Buddy and I moved to an older building without an elevator. Most often he hop skips down the steps on his own; if he is going too quickly, I let go of the leash as he doesn’t run off but scouts out the nearest bush. But he stands at the bottom of the staircase when he wants to return to our condo and waits for me to pick him up. Because he’s a middle-aged dog, I thought it was too hard for him to climb up that high; turns out, he runs up when he really wants to. He’s tricked me into carrying him up the staircase by feigning helplessness.

Unlike Buddy, who apparently is just spoiled, the truth is that we are all helpless to climb the staircase to Heaven on our own. We need someone to carry us up the stairs, Jesus Christ.

Now how does this relate to overcoming fear?

It seems like the demons of Hell are working against our Western culture and American society. Evil seems to prevail and it’s easy to lose heart. However, God doesn’t want us to be cowards but to stand up against evil (see blog post dated June 26, 2020, Proverbs 25:26).

God wants us to trust that He’s in control, even when the world around us seems to be spinning out of control.

“Do not fret because of evildoers…; for there will be no future for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” Proverbs 24:19-20, King Solomon of Israel/Judah

Those who reject the sacrifice of God’s son for their sins DO have to worry about Judgment Day.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him Who sat upon it,…And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds…And if anyone’s name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15

Like Buddy who trusts in me, his master, to carry him safely up the staircase and into his home, so we can trust that our living God will get us safely up the staircase to heaven and into our eternal home.

When a believer trusts in Jesus Christ alone for his/her salvation, they are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8). God has forgiven a believer’s sins and sees them as perfect in His sight, a child of God, accepted and loved. 

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy.” Jude 1:24

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (King David of Israel/Judah)

“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach…” Colossians 1:21-22, Apostle Paul

Christian leaders who teach that Christians need to fear death because God will present a slideshow of all their sins are clearly contradicting the teachings of the Biblical Scripture. I believe they do this (consciously or not), because they do not trust the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide a believer (Ephesians 3:20), so they use fear to keep the flock under control. Their motive is good, trying to help believers be an example to a dying world and not conform to this world’s ungodly philosophies and teachings.

“Therefore there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1, Apostle Paul, emphasis mine

Fear is not a lasting motivator. A real life example was when two journalists were captured by Isis; they were forced to convert to Islam as a condition of their release. Apparently they were convincing actors because they pretended to believe, but quickly recanted the moment they returned to safety. True believers don’t need a pastor to scare them into behaving because their hearts have been transformed by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19-20). Anyone who is born again is being led by the Spirit; if a believer is recalcitrant and stubbornly insists on disobeying God, God will discipline that Christian to help them return to “the path of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

So the question is: Should you fear standing up against evil?

The wicked person is going to perish in the lake of fire. Unless you help them to recognize that they are evil and need repentance.

Or will you stand with God, Who will welcome you into a future too wonderful to even conceive?

Will you choose fear and cowardice–or fear of God and love for the unbeliever who needs to hear the gospel?

“But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and and which have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9, Apostle Paul

If you live in America, have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday.

Love from God and Buddy

***

If you’ve read the blog post above and realized that you are bound by fear because you haven’t come to faith in Christ, please know that Jesus can help relieve your fears. Now, everyone has a different experience when they become born again: some people are immediately delivered from bondage to whatever is enslaving them and some, like me, have to go through a gradual learning process to get free. So I cannot promise immediate relief from fear, if your life is presently characterized by it. But faith in Christ can remove the fear of death, for Jesus conquered death when He rose from the grave and promises eternal life to His disciples.

If you’d like to begin a journey into freedom, please pray the below.

Dear Lord God, I have offended you by sinning, by deciding right and wrong for myself. It has only given me a life of fear and inner emptiness. I want you to be my Lord and be my Great Shepherd. I want to follow you. Please forgive my sin. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, God in the Flesh (Matthew 1:23) and rose bodily from the grave. I invite the Holy Spirit into my life to give me a new heart that follows You. Thank you for hearing my prayer. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Please find a Bible-based church or Bible Study. Or if you’re confined at home right now, start reading the Bible. It’s best to begin with the first book of the New Testament, Matthew, because it’s easy to understand. There are also many godly ministries on the radio, TV and internet. I highly recommend Dr Charles Stanley’s ministry at http://www.Intouch.org, Dr Michael Youssef at http://www.ltw.org and Pastor Bob Christopher at http://www.BasicGospel.net.

A Little Fun…

The lunar New Year started on the 25th. Completed this update a few days late due to lugging boxes out of storage wore me out each day.

Have a great year!

Love, Dawn and Buddy

PS. Have a Gouda year!

It’s Hard Not To Fret! Hebrews 1:11

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I am progressively moving boxes out of my storage unit into my condo. I am not a strong person so I don’t want to transport and carry the boxes up the stairwell into my home in one day, so am doing it a few at a time till my intended move-out date.

Buddy insists on coming with me in the car and particularly enjoys visiting my storage unit. I have no idea why he enjoys it but he seems to like to observe what I am doing.

I don’t want Buddy to get knocked on the head, so I usually rope him to the adjacent unit, leaving my keys nearby for him to guard. This time, I also left my cellphone next to him. Usually I don’t bring my phone with me and but usually leave it in the car, but I thought, “What if I get locked in down there (my unit is in the basement) and need to call for help?” So I took it along.

After removing several boxes and setting them onto my cart, I locked the unit and then untied Buddy. I was preoccupied with Buddy and forgot my phone on the cement floor.

Later that night, I wanted to make a phone call and realized that I did not have my phone. I looked everywhere. By then it was dark and I had to use a flashlight to investigate the ground around my condo; I looked several times everywhere that I had walked Buddy with no luck. It was nowhere in my car nor my condo.

After searching for a few hours, I got confused and couldn’t recall where I’d last held or seen the phone. I kept praying and asking God about it.

This verse came to mind while praying: “Do not be anxious about anything,…”. Apostle Paul admonished the Philippians in his letter, verse 4:6, not to worry but to trust God.

I asked the Lord to give me a new idea of where to look as I’d run out of ideas and He knew where it was. The image of my cell phone on the floor by my storage unit came to mind. I’d thought I’d picked it up but as I’d said above, confusion had already set in, particularly as I was tired from being anxious.

I pictured Jesus in the boat, sleeping peacefully and trusting God even though the boat was being swamped with water because of an unusually severe storm on the lake. That is how I should have slept, nice and peaceful trusting that the situation was in God’s hands.

But I didn’t sleep peacefully, trusting in God.

You see, I was worrying about all the photos of my adorable Buddy on my phone that I had not yet downloaded and may never see again. And the cost of purchasing a new phone when I wanted to wait for Apple to upgrade their current phone to the G5 network.

I was worrying, even though I knew I shouldn’t.

Hebrews 11:1 defines what faith is:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

One of my favorite verses in Psalms is 57:2:

“I will cry to God Most High, to God Who accomplishes all things for me.”

As I was praying, God had already reassured me not to worry and had given me an image of where the phone was. But because I could NOT SEE the phone in my hot little hand, I lacked faith that all was well. Unlike Jesus, I fretted and didn’t sleep well. As a result, I woke up the next day exhausted and not able to accomplish the task I’d set myself for the day before attending an evening class.

Thank goodness that God is forgiving when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). I confessed my lack of faith, knowing that Jesus had already taken the punishment for my sin on the cross. God was not going to punish me for my lack of faith.

I had punished myself by fretting.

And, yes, the next morning, after the storage unit had reopened for the day, I found my cell phone exactly where the Holy Spirit had already revealed it was to me during prayer. No one had picked it up and made off with it.

You can bet that I started downloading my Buddy photos that same night.

Please remember that God accomplishes all things for those who love Him. He loves His children and helps them in times of trouble. He never promised a problem free life but to assist us when trouble comes.

God bless you this year in 2020.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

God loves and helps His children. But the Apostle John makes it clear in the gospel of John, verses 1:12-13:

“But as many as received Him (Christ Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born…of God.”

Every human being is a creation of God, but not a child of God. Therefore, if you are not born again (John 3:1-3), ie. do not believe in Christ, you cannot claim God’s promises in the Bible. Because God is loving, He does a lot of good for people who do not know or love Him, but God’s revealed promises in the Bible cannot be claimed.

Why not start the New Year with a new 2020 vision of your future by praying the below prayer of faith:

Dear Father, I confess that I have sinned and fallen short of your righteous standards. I deserve Your judgment. But Jesus, God in the flesh, died on the Cross to take the punishment for my sin that I deserve. Please forgive my sin and make me a new creation in Christ by circumcising my heart by the Holy Spirit. I want to be born again.

If you are truly repentant, the Holy Spirit will abide in you and make you complete in Christ, connecting you to God. Please find a godly, Bible-based church to learn about, and grow, in Christ. I also recommend the radio and TV ministries of Charles Stanley (InTouch.org), Michael Youssef (LTW.org), and Basic Gospel (BasicGospel.net).

Have a great year as a new believer!

Why The Prosperity Gospel Prospers, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

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As Buddy was abused before I rescued him through Silky Terrier Rescue, I have usually rely upon the more modern approach of dog obedience: praise every time he does something correct. The only time I use more harsh methods is if he is in immediate danger, like trying to get under my legs when I’m driving down the freeway. He is generally a good-natured and sweet boy who, though willful like most terriers, is fairly well-behaved.

This is merely my opinion, but I believe that when the Church is in imbalance, it gives an opportunity for bad teaching to enter.

When the Church is overly focused on rebuking, rather than, praising/encouraging believers.

“…our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”–Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Under the Old Covenant, before Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins and resurrected to raise us into new life with Him, people were made right with God through following a set of rules for living, as detailed in the Old Testament Law given to the Jewish people through Moses. This is the “letter” that “kills” referred to by Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians. The Old Covenant Law was given to show humanity their complete inability to follow it perfectly, to prove their need for a New Covenant through the blood of a someone who could totally fulfill the rules 100%: Jesus Christ, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

Shortly after leaving Egypt during the Great Exodus, the Jewish people promised Moses that they would obey all that God commanded and worship Him only, but they couldn’t even keep their promise long enough to wait for Moses to return from the mountaintop before creating a golden calf to worship and dance before. They weren’t lying: they just couldn’t obey because as, unredeemed people, they didn’t have the Holy Spirit to assist them.

What I have found, after being a Christian for 30 years now, is that many pastors are very good at rebuking and exhorting the people of their congregations. But not so good at encouraging them. I think the reason is that they are eager for the people to obey God and be a positive influence in their city and culture, to stand out in a godless society to help lead others into a relationship with the Lord.

But, this is my opinion, most pastors are not trusting the Holy Spirit within each believer to lead and guide them “in the paths of righteousness”. So they tend to focus on preaching that people should obey the Law and not so much on encouragement–or how to do so.

But Apostle Paul made it clear, not only in the above verses from Corinthians, that the Law kills, but that we do not grow in sanctification, i.e. become more godly people in our walk with God–by obeying the  letter of the Law but by focusing on Christ.

One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is from Galatians, where the Apostle Paul rebukes the Galatians for trying to obey the Old Testament Law instead of following the guidance of the Holy Spirit:

“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are so you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, as you now being perfected by the flesh?”–Galatians 3:1-3

Apostle Paul was pointing out that the Christian believer came into fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the Old Testament Law. They had witnessed the Holy Christ die for their sins. They received the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit by believing in Christ’s sacrifice for their sin, not by following the Old Testament Law. Paul pointed out that they were to walk in faith, to trust in Jesus as their righteousness, and not in how well they could obey.

I hope you are still following me here. The prosperity preachers focus on God’s blessings and encouragement of believers because too many preachers are focused on exhortation, leaving many persons feeling dispirited and discouraged after a sermon. I’m not advocating that pastors should never rebuke or talk about God’s standards. But they need to balance out their rebuke and call to holy living with positive messages.

Many pastors focus on what the believer can do FOR God. They make the Gospel bad news because, after a person is convicted of their sin, convinced that they are unholy in their behavior, the new believer is exhorted that they have to try really hard to meet those impossible standards.

But the Gospel isn’t bad news: It’s good news.

It’s about what Jesus DID. The focus is on God and not on us.

God initiates a relationship with us and we receive it by His grace as a freely given gift (Ephesians 2:8-10). We cannot earn it.

Charles Spurgeon, the great Victorian preacher in London, got the balance just right, in my opinion. His focus was not on what the believer could do FOR God, but always on what we can do BECAUSE OF Jesus. We are victorious BECAUSE JESUS has already won the victory over sin, death and Satan at the Cross. We can walk in the newness of life BECAUSE JESUS took our sins upon Himself and crucified them on His Cross.

When I was a young believer, I got involved in an ungodly relationship with a nonbeliever. The Holy Spirit made me horrendously miserable in my soul till I gave up the relationship. God also sat a pastor next to me during an airplane trip who gently rebuked me. The Great Shepherd kept His promise to keep me on that path of righteousness for His namesake. The pressure of the Holy Spirit was reinforced by the pastor, but without God’s pressure In my soul–my desire to obey God because I had become a “slave of obedience” (Romans 6:16)–the rebuke wouldn’t have “stuck”.

It’s about Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. It’s not about us.

It’s about God keeping His promise, as our great Shepherd, to lead us and guide us.

Let the true Church get back into balance: rejecting the false promises of the prosperity teachers and encouraging the believer to walk by faith alone in Christ alone.

Let’s keep the focus on Jesus, the eternal God, and get it off ourselves.

“And, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”–Jesus, John 12:32

Lift up Jesus.

***

If you don’t know Jesus, why not ask Him to reveal Himself to you? If you are sincere, He will, because He loves you and wants you to be in a relationship with Him. How He does this is as individual as each of us are.

***

I’ve been absent for several months as firstly, I had foot surgery, then spent a week in Alaska with no Internet service, then packed and moved from Washington State to Arizona. It was an exhausting move for both Buddy and I to our new home, more so than I had expected. I hope to be back on track now.

I very much appreciate your reading my blog. I hope today’s blog is helpful to you. Though the language is more florid than we are accustomed to nowadays, I heartily encourage you to read some of Pastor Spurgeon’s sermons. Particularly his sermons on spiritual warfare. You’ll feel even more impassioned about what Christ has done for you.

Encouragement in Times of Trouble, Hebrews 13:5

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For some reason Buddy loves to watch me vacuum the rugs and wash the vinyl floors. He doesn’t do anything but just sit and watch (or get in my way, occasionally). I don’t understand what he finds so endlessly fascinating, but I can always count on him to be there.

One of the verses I treasure when I feel discouraged is Hebrews 13:5: “for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'” I often say it out loud when I feel downhearted and thank the Lord for being with me. (Probably quoted from Isaiah 41.)

But in writing this blog, I realize that I often don’t quote the next verse, which is also one to treasure, verse 6:

“so that we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will an do to me?'”

I don’t believe that anyone has a life without its sorrows or problems: They are just different, dependent upon your circumstances.

Jesus promises us in John 16:33 a tough time in life, but to be of good cheer:

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

I realized, after reading a short excerpt from Martin Luther about expecting trouble in life, that I DO expect life to be smooth–to never have to overcome any problems or have trials or sorrows. But that is not reality.

The dictionary defines to “forsake” as being abandoned in time of trouble. (I use the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.)

What God promises is to be with us when we have problems in life and to help us to endure with the right attitude or to overcome. Paul and Silas could sing hymns and praise God in prison because they trusted that God was with them (Act 16:25). When you are born-again, the Holy Spirit indwells you and is ALWAYS with you. You are never going through any circumstance in life alone.

God not only helps us endure but can give us the strength to overcome the circumstance:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple and my cry for help before Him came into His ears…For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall…The God who girds me with strength…”–King David, Psalm 18:6, 29,32a

Please note that Paul and Silas had their focus on the Lord and not their imprisonment by singing and praising God, despite their harsh circumstance. And David was able to overcome his enemies by praying firstly, then acting.

Praise and prayer to the God who always with you is your winning combination.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

The Lord promises to be there for the believer. But if you are not a believer, you cannot always count on God to come through for you. Because He is a loving god, He often helps those who call upon Him, even if they again turn away. I truly believe that, on Judgment Day, unbelievers are going to be told how many times God in Christ intervened in their lives to protect them and they chose to ignore Him. Please don’t ignore Him any longer. He loves you but cannot be in a relationship with you unless you admit that Jesus is the Lord God, came in the flesh, died to take the punishment for your sin and then was raised bodily from the dead to give you eternal life. Please ask Him into your life by acknowledging your sin and your need for His salvation so that you can begin to reap the benefits of a loving relationship with the Almighty Savior.

 

True Liberty, Ephesians 2:1-6, 8

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As you can see, Buddy wore this hat to please me, but he wasn’t at all pleased about having his photo taken. His ears are pulled back because he is not at all happy about having the hat on his head. But he loves me so he put up with it.

On July 4th most* Americans are celebrating the founding of the United States, the declaration of our Independence from the rule of Great Britain. We are a unique nation because our Bill of Rights and US Constitution were designed to check the power of government over the population and balance that government’s power between the states and the different branches of the Federal Government, to ensure the freedom of our citizens.

Sadly, however, most people think they are free but they live in bondage.

Unbelievers live in bondage to sin but do not realize it, having never experienced the true freedom that Jesus Christ bought for us by dying for our sins on the Cross. Jesus paid the penalty to free us from our desires–and then was resurrected to give us eternal life. This life comes via the Holy Spirit Who indwells each believer after they accept Jesus as Lord and God in the flesh and what He did to free us from spiritual bondage.

Apostle Paul summarized this dilemma for unbelievers in the epistle of Ephesians:

“And you were dead in the your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience…indulging in the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath…But God, being rich in mercy, because of HIs great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions and sins, made us alive together in Christ…” Ephesians 2:1-5

Until I became a Christian, I had no power over my sinful desires. I tried to be good but often failed. Christ’s Holy Spirit freed me from this bondage. Now I can choose right (as God defines it in the Scriptures) or wrong. Having been a nonbeliever till I was 28 years old, I have a lot of bad attitudes, wrong habits and sinful thinking to overcome, so sometimes I choose to do wrong, even if I know it’s wrong. But I now have a choice: before, I didn’t. I was in slavery to Satan. When I lose my temper, it’s not because God’s Holy Spirit doesn’t have the power to prevent me from being angry, but because I have sinful and selfish attitudes–self absorption–that is prompting me to be unkind that I have to learn to overcome with HIS help.

But believers also unknowingly, or willingly because of pride and/or arrogance, are in bondage. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the moral Laws of God, yet many believers remain in slavery because they still try to win God’s approval by being good. However, Jesus declared that only God is good (Matthew 19:17) . No human being can be good enough to earn their way into Heaven and God’s presence.

Ephesians 2:6 was not completely quoted above:

“even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…”

And Apostle Paul continues to explain in Ephesians 2:8:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Some people come to Christ and come under legalistic teachers, where they are led to believe that, if they continue to be good enough, God will be pleased with them.

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law (obeying God’s rules), then Christ died needlessly…Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”–Galatians 2:21-3:2-3

Pleasing God and obeying His rules is a good thing for our lives. We still reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7) and God disciplines us for His name’s sake and out of love for us, like a good Father does when His children go astray (Psalm 23:3, Revelation 3:19). But it does not make us right with God. Accepting the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf by faith put us into right relationship with God, and only faith in Jesus Christ keeps us in right relationship with God. (Another post for more details in the future.) Apostle Paul made it clear that the Galatians were being foolish by trying to make themselves right with God through their own efforts, rather than continuing to live by faith in Jesus Christ.

So whether you are in the bondage of unbelief in Christ or in the bondage of a legalistic relationship with God, why not celebrate true freedom and ask Jesus to set you free?

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”–Jesus, John 8:36

***

*Some mistakenly believe Socialism is a good thing. The United States was founded on the principle that the government exists to serve the people. Under Socialism, the people exist to serve and, be ruled over by, the government. Karl Marx made it very clear in his writings that Christians were fools and that Socialism was created to destroy the middle class and its bourgeois, Christian values. Check it out by reading his writings for yourself; don’t rely on what others say about what he wrote or meant, even me. I’ve read the Communist Manifesto multiple times. I know when I am being lied to because I’ve read it myself.

And please read the Bible for yourself. If with true sincerity, you ask God to guide your understanding as you read, He will. Apostle Paul applauded the Berean’s for verifying what he was teaching them by checking the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-11).

Trusting In God’s Protection, Isaiah 41:10

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There’s been several times when Buddy has fought me while I’ve been trying to hold him to ensure that he lands safely: whether placing him in this washtub in the laundry room to check that he doesn’t have an injury to his back paw and wash it clean or when I try to place him on the ground in the garage after a drive in my car. He spreadeagled himself across the laundry tub tonight and he often fights me to leap out of my arms onto the carport, instead of trusting me to hold him tightly and guarantee he has a safe landing on the concrete.

This verse is one of my favorites and has sustained me emotionally in many an unstable or frightening situation:

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”–Isaiah 41:10

And “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand. Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.'”–Isaiah 41:13

God makes these statements after reminding His people through the prophet Isaiah that He is omnipotent, omniscient and cannot be conquered.

That:

He loves us and carries us close to His heart as our great Shepherd. Isaiah 40:11

He needs no counsel. Isaiah 40:13

The nations are as nothing compared to His power. Isaiah 40:15

No judge or ruler can defeat Him. Isaiah 40:25

He is so powerful that He created the stars, sustains them and calls these many myriad celestial bodies by name. Isaiah 40:26

He has no equal. Isaiah 40:25

He never becomes tired. Isaiah 40:28

He gives strength to the weary. Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to those who lack it. Isaiah 40:29

He is impossible to understand (in other words, He cannot be tricked). Isaiah 40:28

If you are born-again, you can be assured that, regardless of whatever situation you are currently finding yourself in, God is with you and can guarantee a safe landing–if you don’t try to wrestle out of the safety of His might arms.

Please don’t reject His ways and try to solve your problem apart from His godly wisdom. It may not seem like it at first, but eventually you’ll be glad you followed Biblical wisdom and counsel, instead of doing what felt right emotionally or succumbed to what the culture said was right. I can verify this statement from personal experience–positive and negative.

Another favorite verse of mine:

“Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I keep your word.”–Psalm 119:67

A wrong reaction can make a bad situation, worse.

God bless you. From Dawn and Buddy

***

I lost five good friends and one relative during the period November 23, 2018 through April 9th, 2019. The last death was a bit of a shock and I felt rather depressed, mourning my elderly friend’s death. Several times I got to share the gospel with him before he passed on–the last time was several hours before a massive stroke incapacitated him and led to his death two days later. Between the efforts of his cousin and I, I think he made it to Heaven by God’s grace, giving him the extra months to come to salvation. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend again one day.

Do you have the hope of reuniting with your loved ones in Heaven? Please consider Jesus, Who died to pay the penalty for your sins, a penalty demanded by a Holy God, and was raised to life to give us eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit, the seal of our promise of eternity (Ephesians 4:30). Why not invite Him to reveal to you how much He loves you right now?

I hope to be more regular with my blog posting throughout the summer. Thanks for reading.

National Packrat Day, May 17th

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Revealing to my followers another side of myself: cartooning. I was thrilled last year when I discovered there was a National Packrat Day so that I finally had a use for this cartoon I drew years ago.

I learned that my identify does not rest in my talent. I am not a cartoonist. I am a Christian who does cartooning. First and foremost I am a child of God. But I’m thankful for this talent He has given me as it has provided me with endless hours of amusement and some cheer to others.

Have a ratty day!

Are You Starving Yourself? Ten Reasons Not To. (Part 2) Matthew 4:4

 

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Buddy is the only dog I’ve ever owned who loves bread. In fact, I’m not sure if he would choose a piece of steak over a piece of bread. I might test him someone soon to see which he would prefer.

God commands us to eat bread, spiritual bread that nourishes our souls:

And Jesus said to Satan, “‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”–Matthew 4:4

Last week I listed five reasons why we should read the Bible, God’s Word. To shorten the posts, I split the list into two blog postings. Below are the remaining five points:

  1. To know right from wrong, we have to study God’s Word. It’s a big book and there is a lot of wisdom in it. If we say we’re Christians but just go about living life based upon what the culture says is right and wrong, and not sifting our decisions and thoughts against what the Bible says, then we’re acting like Adam and Eve, denying what God commands and deciding for ourselves what is right and wrong. We avoid unnecessary harm by obeying God. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers (Psalm 1:1-3, King David).”
  2. The Scriptures are good for you, mentally and physically. “”Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8, King Solomon).” And, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-19, Jesus).” “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways…Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates,…all who hate me love death (Proverbs 8:36).” “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him (Psalm 2:12).” “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him (Proverbs 30:5).”
  3. So that you can pray with confidence. God promises to answer our prayers if it’s according to His will. How can you know that you’re praying in accordance with God’s will? Know the Scriptures! “Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to your word (Psalm 119:169-170).” And, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him (1 John 5:14, Apostle John).”
  4. Knowing the Bible will protect you from false prophets, false teaching and falsehood. “I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3).” “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; (1 Thessalonians 5:21).”
  5. Lastly, because it’s God speaking to us. We should listen to our Lord and Savior. “But know this first of all that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:20).” If you love someone, you want to get to know them better. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37, Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 6:4).”

I hope you are now convinced of the necessity of daily reading God’s Word. May I suggest starting with reading one book of Proverbs for each day of the month? In other words, Proverbs 1 for the first day of the month, Proverbs 2 for the second day of the month, etc. Read Proverbs 31 on a thirty day month either on day thirty with Proverbs 30 or on the first day of the month with Proverbs 1.

If you miss a day or several, just continue with the program. You will find that these proverbs will begin to sink into your heart and when you face a certain situation, the Holy Spirit will bring the proverb to your mind to guide you. He’s done that for me many times.

God bless you richly as you grow in the knowledge of Him and His Word.

Dawn and Buddy

 

Are You Starving Yourself? Ten Reasons Not to. (Part 1) Matthew 4:4

Bud@MuddBay.WP

Buddy’s most favorite place in the whole world (besides being at my side, or so I delude myself) is the local pet food store, Mud Bay in Maple Valley. He goes wild in the car when he realizes we’re near the shop. The regular employees know Buddy and give him treat samples, but his favorite is Brianna. He loves checking out the bags of dog food, bags of snacks, bins of dog bones and treats. For Buddy, it’s a doggie play palace.

I ask, “Are you starving yourself?” because many people are like Buddy: They enjoy a good, tasty meal of food but are starving themselves spiritually. Their bodies are fit but their souls are hungry.

When Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the desert wilderness after He had fasted for 40 days, Jesus counteracted every temptation with the Word Of God.

In response to the first temptation, Jesus told Satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the south of God.'”–Matthew 4:4

Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3.

The first five of ten points:

  1. Jesus emphasized that knowing God’s Word is vitally important. Just like food, we should be reading the Bible every day and praying for God to guide us. We cannot go six days ignoring the Bible and think that just a few hours on Sunday morning is good enough. You wouldn’t starve yourself all week and expect one meal on Sunday morning would get you through the week. (Above quotes.)
  2. Jesus used the Bible to counteract all three of Satan’s temptations. The more of God’s you have memorized, the longer your Sword of the Spirit will be to vanquish your spiritual enemies and temptation. The Word of God is the only offensive weapon listed by Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:17. The other pieces of armor listed are defensive.
  3. Although we live under the New Covenant (New Testament), we still need the lessons of the entire Word of God. Firstly, Jesus and the apostles quoted from the Old Testament. And, secondly, both apostles Paul and Peter instructed Christians to read the Old Testament writings. “…they were written for our instruction (1 Corinthians 10:11, Apostle Paul).” And “…you should remember the words spoken by the holy prophets… (2 Peter 3:2).” Also, “ALL SCRIPTURE (emphasis mine) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; … (2 Timothy 3:16, Apostle Paul).”
  4. God’s Word helps us to become better people, to be progressively sanctified. We are declared righteous in God’s sight by faith, but in order to be light in the World, we need God’s Word to help us become better people. “…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (1 Peter 2:2).” Babies frequently yearn for milk, they don’t have it occasionally. It’s their daily diet.
  5. To obey God, we should read God’s Word. Multiple times we’re commanded to know God’s Word and teach it to the next generation. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Joshua).”

The past six months or so God has revealed to me that I have a lot of contentious thoughts. I debate issues with imaginary people in my mind where I can always win the argument. I’m improving in cutting the thoughts off in mid-stride, but this verse came to me this past week and it’s helped a lot to meditate on it:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9, Jesus, Sermon on the Mount).”

When this verse comes to mind, it really helps me break free of my argumentative ruminations. I want to be a peacemaker. The verse speaks to one of my core desires: to encourage and uplift people. I feel happier and have more energy, because I’m not wasting my mental energy on contentious or useless thinking. I can now redirect my thoughts toward more creative and productive thoughts. However, the Holy Spirit would not be bringing this verse to my mind if I didn’t know it from reading or hearing it many times till it sank into my subconscious mind.

I had originally planned only 3 points but came up with 10. I’ll post the other 5 next week so that this post isn’t too long.

May God bless you as you read His Holy Word. Please remember that it is a supernatural book and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance before you start reading.

Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate your time. Have a great day or evening.

Love from Dawn and Buddy