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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.

God Hates Cowardice, Proverbs 25:26

Buddy is nearly always at my heels. He doesn’t seem to fear that I’ll drop something on him or step on him. He believes that it’s to his benefit to be near me. Or else he’s just extremely curious and needs to keep an eye on what I’m up to.

Cowardice appears to be a big problem in our society. Too many Christians rationalize being passive or not taking a stand. They don’t seem to realize that cowardice is a sin.

“Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who” gives way before the wicked.” Proverbs 25:26

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

I don’t believe that Jesus, when He asked His disciples to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39), He intended men to stand by while the Communists raped their wives during the Russian Revolution. Or to remain silent when anarchist groups are declaring that white statues of Jesus should be destroyed or churches set ablaze. The two proverbs above make it clear that God intends for us to stand up against evil and not let it prevail.

If you disagree, let’s also look to the New Testament:

“But for the COWARDLY and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolators and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death,” Jesus tells the Apostle John in Revelation 21:8 (emphasis mine). Please note that not only are cowards the first on Christ’s mind on the list of persons to go into eternal punishment, but are also considered as bad as murderers, etc.

I meet too many “suitcase Christians” who are packed and waiting for Christ to return and rescue them from evil or masochistic, fatalistic Christians who presume that our culture will go from bad to worse because we’re in the End Times. So the latter create self-fulfilling prophecy, not expending their energies to impact our culture for Christ and for good because it’s all going to Hell anyway.

Christians believed that Hitler was the anti-Christ. He rose to power in the 1930s. How many lives would have been saved if the Church had stood against his anti-semitism early in his political career? Even Mussolini hated Hitler for giving Fascism a bad name with his race-based National Socialism (though later aligning with him politically).

I’m not saying that I am free from cowardice. There are several occasions when I should’ve overcome my fear of starting an argument and stood up for Christ when I was outnumbered. But I am working hard at trying to be more courageous.

The apostle Paul told Timothy that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Revelation 21:8 lists unbelief as one characteristic of those who are going into the lake of fire. The opposite of fear is faith: the more faith and trust in God a person has, the less fear and vice versa; they cannot coexist.

We live in a time in the USA (and other nations) when people are openly hostile to Christians and Christianity; Satan is the prince of this world (Ephesians 2:2) and is influencing our culture, politics and compromising church for evil. When I am trusting God has my back, I have the faith to step forward and “speak the truth in love” as Apostle Paul commands (Ephesians 4:15).

If you are born again, you have a mighty power working within you, the Holy Spirit, God Himself. God gives us the power to take back territory for His Kingdom. King David clearly had absolute faith that God had his back when he moved against his enemies (which were also God’s enemies):

“For by You (God) I can run upon a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall…He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your help makes me great.” 2 Samuel 22:30, 35-36

David recognized that, as a child of God (His salvation), he could conquer evil.

Don’t let people intimidate you into being silent. YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD, THE LORD OF HOSTS, OF ANGEL ARMIES. The Lord Who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Don’t ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit to stand for what is right. Don’t hide away from our ungodly culture, but invade and influence it for good.

You don’t know which souls you may meet in heaven one day because you took courage, trusted God and stepped out in faith when prompted by the Holy Spirit.

Remember, the criticism and opposition you encounter now will pass away; those who oppose you will have to answer to God on Judgment Day. Satan is loud and contentious and angry; he roars like a lion (1 Peter 5:8) and tries to intimidate us into being fearful.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Jesus, Matthew 10:28

It’s hard, I know. But God does have our back, for He promises victory:

“I will build My church; and the gates of Hell will not overpower it.” Jesus, Matthew 16:18

God bless you.

Love from Dawn 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.

Is The Coronovirus God’s Judgment? Romans 8:28

Buddy rests after a long day.

Sometimes I wish Buddy could tell me when he isn’t feeling good. We’re heading to the vet’s office tomorrow as I found some sort of fatty cyst under his skin near the ribcage.

Some people are declaring that COVID19 is God’s judgment on our sin. But I totally disagree. Jesus declared on the Cross that “It was finished” just before “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit” (John 19:30). Jesus had taken all the sins of humanity upon Himself and paid the punishment for our sins, reconciling us to God.

I believe that people wrongly attribute Satan’s cruelty to the Lord. Lies and concealment about the severity of the outbreak by the Communist government, a refusal to stop international air flights out of Wuhan despite domestic flights being stopped for months from the infected province within China, disappearance of its citizens who were trying to warn the world about the outbreak, refusal of assistance from the WHO and the United States in the early weeks of the outbreak to help contain the virus, and refusal to give information outside the country about the genetic code– that’s what caused the worldwide pandemic.

Not God.

Lies and pride and secrecy and selfishness caused the spread of the virus. These are characteristics of Satan and not our life-giving God.

Jesus described the strong contrast between the character of God and Satan in John 10:10, describing Satan as a thief who wants to harm people: “The thief comes ONLY to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Jesus wants to bring our souls rest, not distress. “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. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)”

The entire time Jesus walked the earth, He healed people, not harmed people.

Jesus declared that He did not come “to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17).” God, as our Good Shepherd, is seeking the lost.

The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel declared that God takes “‘no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord God, ‘Therefore repent and live.'”

God, in fact, is so eager not to punish that He allows evil to continue to give people time to repent of their behavior. The apostle Peter declares in his second letter, 3:9: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Yes, God is sovereign. But He allows people free will. He didn’t make us puppets because He wants us to freely choose to love and follow Him, or choose not to. That means the freedom to choose to do good, or freedom to do evil. Those involved with the coronavirus decided to be deceptive and, therefore, infected the entire world.

God, however, does bring good out of evil. He will use the fear people are experiencing to draw their attention toward Himself FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT.

It is the “kindness of God (that) leads you to repentance” apostle Paul stated in Romans 2:4.

“For we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,” Apostle Paul declared in Romans 8:28.

God is self-sufficient: He can exist quite fine without us. He is the source of life and love. He doesn’t need our companionship, because there is eternal fellowship and love within the all powerful Trinity of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But His nature is to love unconditionally, so He created people to shower His love upon. “God is love,” the Apostle John declares multiple times in his first letter.

So if you’re afraid right now, please know that there is a God Who loves you and is waiting for you to run into His arms to find comfort. He wants you to get to know Him as your loving Father. And reject the fear that Satan loves to torment us with.

“Shout to God with the voice of joy.” Psalm 47:1

Love from Dawn and Buddy, sole companions for weeks…

***

“By this the love of God was manifested to us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” Apostle John, 1 John 4:9

Jesus came into the world to take the punishment we deserve for our sins so that we can fellowship with a holy God. God doesn’t want us to be afraid of death but to give us eternal life with Him. This fear is what makes us slaves to the enemy of our souls:

“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” Hebrews 2:14-15

Jesus defeated death for us when He rose bodily from the grave. Which is why we commemorate Easter to celebrate this event.

Please repent of your sins and invite Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Savior. He can help bring peace into your heart, regardless of the circumstances of life.

“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.” Jesus, John 16:33

PS. Please note all words in CAPS are my emphasis. NASB Bible version is usually utilized for my blog posts.

Why Did not The Apostles Get It? Matthew 8:27

Buddy likes to lay in his bed and guard me while I do my private Bible study in my bedroom. He often watches over me (unless he’s hiding under my bed).

I placed my eyeglasses on the bed the other afternoon while studying as I don’t need them to read and, for some reason, absolutely could not find them again for three days. They were on the bed the entire time; I even slept next to them, yet could not see them.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke tell the story of how Jesus, traveling with his twelves disciples across the Sea of Galilee, was fast asleep in the stern of the boat. A “fierce gale” (Mark 4:37) arose, threatening to swamp the boat and sink it. The disciples were frightened and woke Jesus up, accusing Him of not caring whether they perished or not.

“And Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm…They (the disciples) were fearful and amazed…” Luke 8:24

“The men were amazed, and said, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'” Matthew 8:27

Why didn’t the disciples realize that Jesus was Immanuel, God in the flesh (Matthew 1:23) when the Old Testament made it clear that it is God Who calms the wind and the waves in several passages?

“You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves arise, You still them.” Psalm 89:9

“For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea…He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed.” Psalm 107:25, 29

“Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Sure you know!” Proverbs 30:4

Just like I couldn’t see my eyeglasses that were right in front of my eyes, the disciples couldn’t see the Messiah, despite the many miracles He had already performed in their presence. Apparently they didn’t know the Scriptures well enough to be aware of the passages that God was in control of the wind and the waves. So they were afraid and feared that God didn’t care and wouldn’t keep them from drowning, when God the Father would obviously not allow His Holy Son to die before it was His time to suffer on the Cross for humanity’s sin.

If you are a child of God (born-again), take heart. Jesus knows the boat you are currently traveling in on the river of life. When the time comes, He will either calm the storm or get you safely to the other shore through the storm. It helps greatly to read the Bible and get to know God better and how He loves you. His Word gives you the knowledge to rest your faith upon.

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you and you will honor me.” Psalm 50:15

God bless you. The current storm our nation is going through shall pass into the current of time.

Love from Dawn and Buddy.

***

If you’re afraid of death, why not allow Jesus to calm your fears? He died for your sin on the Cross and then was resurrected to give you eternal life through the power of the Holy Spirit. But He doesn’t force Himself into a relationship with you. You have to admit that you are a sinner and need God to lead your life, to give up your own way of doing things and follow Christ and His commands. If you invite Christ into your life, the Holy Spirit will enter into your heart and make you a new creation.

You see, it’s impossible to be good enough to meet God’s standards of holiness, because He demands perfection (Matthew 5:48). So Jesus came down, God in the flesh, to live the perfect life we could never live and then died for our sins in an agonizing death on a cross. He could die for your sin because He did not have to pay the penalty of death for His own sins, not having sinned.

But you have to invite Him into your life, by admitting you’re a sinner, need to be forgiven, accept Jesus’s payment for your sin by faith, and ask Him into your life, repenting and following Him by His freely given grace.

If you’ve done this just now with a sincere and honest, heartfelt prayer to God, congratulations. Please find a Bible-based church to learn more about living by faith, trusting in the finished work of Jesus at the Cross, and trusting that you are holy and righteous in His sight and have eternal life.

Or contact these godly ministries: InTouch.org, LeadingTheWay.org, or BasicGospel.net. They’ll have staff and resources to get and keep you on the right path.

There are too many false teachers out there, so you must get good, sold Christian teaching to start out on the right path.

God bless you.

Handling Criticism: Who’s Holding Your Hand? Jude 1:24

Buddy Looking Upward From The Other Side

Buddy is looking through the screen door at my previous home, requesting entrance. As a dog, he isn’t wondering about what the future holds: He is focused on getting into his home from the outside.

As pop culture continues to encourage people to abandon God, Christians are increasingly subjected to open mockery and legal persecution. Recent information shows that 70% of children who are raised in the Church are abandoning Jesus when they get to college. Atheism, though illogical, continues to dominate so-called critical thinking.

Please remember: When someone mocks you for your Christian beliefs, to remember that your ultimate destination is Heaven, which is so wonderful that both the apostles Paul and John were incapable of fully describing Heaven when given a glimpse.

When you leave this current life you will “stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”–Jude 1:24

It’s not easy to always remember to keep your focus on a future blessing when you’re suffering now. It’s easy to allow your self-defense mechanisms kick into autopilot, becoming silent, angry or argumentative in response. But I challenge you to condsider this:

On Judgment Day, is that person or persons who is mistreating you going be holding your hand and defending you before the Lord?

Obviously not. They’re not going to give you a single thought because all they’re going to be focused on and worrying about is the great Lord on His mighty throne, surrounded by lightning bolts and a rainbow while they tremble in fear.

The only One Who will be holding your hand, even thinking about you at all, will be the Lord Jesus, Our Advocate before the Father’s throne. (1 John 2:1)

Instead, have mercy on the one who is condemning you, because they have no clue about the terror they are going to experience on Judgment Day when God separates the sheep from the goats and casts out those who reject Him.

As Apostle Paul stated to the Philippians that we are not to be “in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you…” (Philippians 1:28)

I don’t claim to be perfect in this regard, but I’m trying with God’s help. I hope it helps you to maintain your joy as you walk through life.

Have a blessed evening.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

Jesus stated that the path to eternal punishment was broad (Matthew 7:13); it is the path most people will follow. But you don’t have to follow the culture. Join the true CounterCulture and yield your life to Jesus.

Because God is perfect and holy, He is a just God who punishes evil. However, because He loves us, He sent Jesus Christ to earth to be punished for our sins instead. All you have to do is confess that you are a sinner, deserving of judgment, and ask Jesus to enter your life and heart and be Your Lord. That means that you want to repent and start following God and His ways written down in the Bible instead of listening to what the culture says is right and wrong. Please confess and ask Him to be your Lord and God. And that you believe that Jesus was crucified to pay for your sins and was resurrected bodily to prove that He was God in the flesh, Immanuel (Matthew 1:23). If you did pray, please find a Bible-based church to learn about God and to fellowship with other believers, who can encourage you to stay the course on the “narrow path that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).

And everlasting joy!

The Roaring Lion, 1 Peter 5:8

Buddy.Roar.7.16.19

If Buddy ever roared like a lion, I’d go check my hearing, because we all know that a little, 19 pound dog is not going to roar. He’s going to bark, growl, snuffle, howl and “talk,” but not roar.

The Apostle Peter warned believers in his letter, 1 Peter 5:8, to be on the alert, not to be passive about evil.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Searching the internet, there were multiple claims that lions do not roar to frighten their prey into paralysis, as is commonly believed. I did find that the below website, http://www.Reference.com, had the most compelling reason:

“Lions use their roar as a way to remind other lions that they are in control over an area.” (https://www.reference.com/pets-animals/lions-roar-68fa05e474d85126)

As Christians I believe that we too often let down our guards and then wonder why Satan is able to “zap us” and cause us harm in life. We forget that, although Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross (Colossians 2:13-15), He has not yet returned to claim His kingdom. At this time, Satan is being permitted to rule over the entire earth.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking on it.'”–Job 1:7

My NASB version of the Bible has some apt descriptions of Satan in its Concordance:

“accuser, adversary, deceiver of the world, devil, dragon, enemy, evil one, father of lies, god of this world, liar, murderer, ruler of the demons and ruler of this world.”

We must question what we hear in the media, what thoughts come to mind and what other people around us are saying. People may not be telling us the truth: It might be deliberate or because they are just wrong, they are deceived themselves, or they are presenting opinion as fact. Before I turn on the radio, I pray some variation of: “Lord, please help me discern truth from error, and fact from fiction. Help me know when someone is trying to deceive me or just making a mistake. Help me know when someone is presenting opinion as fact. Help me now when I am being told the truth or not. And help me to tell others the truth and not mislead them.”

And even the health books I read, the authors claim to have the whole truth about the healthiest way to eat is, with the scientific facts to back their claims up, yet directly contradict one another: grains are bad, grains are good; wine is bad, wine is good; coffee is bad, coffee is good; beans are bad, beans are good, etc.

Jesus claimed to be “the way, the truth and the life.”–John 14:6

When we stay in God’s Word, we are entering into Jesus’ protection from lies. He is a good Shepherd Who sleeps in the doorway of the sheepfold to protect the sheep from the wolves who want to enter into the flock and kill the sheep (John 10: 1-18). Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthian 11:14, warned us that Satan “disguises himself as an angel of light” in order to deceive us and lead us astray. Only by knowing God’s Word can we discern when someone is twisting Scripture or lying to us, telling us something is OK to do or believe when it isn’t.

I am not blogging about Buddy and God because I think I know it all, but these are things I, myself, need to remind myself of and am mulling over in my mind.

There is so much slander and deliberate lying in the media and by government officials nowadays. One must be constantly questioning what is being said–or consider what is being concealed and not said.

I was thinking about what I’m hearing recently and feeling afraid, not at peace. I wonder if people who hate this country or Capitalism or Christianity will gain more power and destroy our economy, our livelihoods and our freedom. I am letting the roaring of Satan frighten me. Yet Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross: The devil is now a toothless lion; He cannot have my soul, but he can still be very dangerous if I let him pounce upon me or tear me with his claws, but if I can stay out of his reach, I should remain safe.

And out of Satan’s reach is by staying close to my great shepherd, Jesus.

So when I get scared, I remind myself that Jesus GIVES me peace as a gift. I don’t manufacture it myself. It’s a gift He gives when I ask for it.

“My peace I leave with you; My peace I GIVE to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”–John 14:17, emphasis mine

And also have to remind myself that God is sovereign over all history and people. There is nothing out of His control:

“Who works all things after the counsel of His will.”–Ephesians 1:11

So please ask Jesus to grant you His gift of peace if you are afraid. He loves you and will take care of you, if you are in His flock. And, also, please ask for discernment every day, because no matter how smart or sophisticated we think we are, some people are very devious–or just very wrong.

Love from Dawn and her beloved Buddy

***

If you aren’t in Jesus’s flock, why not? My main regret in life is not coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus ten years sooner. I would’ve avoided so many dark and depressing days in my 20s with His guidance and love in my life. Why not sooner, you ask? So that I would never forget that there is nothing to return to before I came to Christ. Knowing God loves you and experiencing His presence is the greatest gift anyone can have. Why not ask Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life, to be your Lord and protector today?

 

 

 

Running in Fear, Proverbs 28:1

Buddy.red.sweater.leash.WP

There were many times, when I was walking Buddy, that he’d suddenly stop, plant his feet and refuse to move forward. Sometimes I can force him to relent and keep walking, but at other times, he simply refuses to walk and we have to return home. I couldn’t figure out why.

crow.flying.WP

Then one day I realized he planted his feet when I heard a crow cawing. I hadn’t made the connection before. I don’t know why. Maybe because my mind was elsewhere or it was too noisy till that time to register that it was the crow. Well, tonight Buddy planted his feet when we heard a crow cawing. I managed to prompt him to resume walking, but it was a bit of a struggle.

The oddest thing was, the crow wasn’t nearby. And if I’d listened to Buddy and returned the way we’d come, we would’ve been getting nearer, not farther from, the crow.

There’s a proverb that took some meditation before I finally got it, Proverbs 28:1:

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (NASB)

I’ve been blessed by God with a creative and vivid imagination, which suits me well when I want to write or draw a cartoon. But it’s not so great when I start imaging things that aren’t real and, therefore, intimidate myself into not starting a project or trying something new because of fear. I’m imagining it’s going to be really difficult and that I cannot meet the challenge. I’m denying myself the ability to excel or create something new.

But it’s really bad when I am imagining conversations that may never take place or situations that have never occurred. What I’m doing is slandering someone or lying to myself because it’s false. In Psalm 51:6, King David states that God desires “truth in the innermost being.” In other words, God wants our imaginative thoughts/self talk to be truthful.

I have a tendency to fear confrontation or that I may not be able to defend a particular opinion, so I set up imaginary debates in my mind. However, that’s not good because the conversations are not real and are very unlikely to take place in the real world. I’m putting words in a person’s mouth, which is a lie and slander. Or I imagine what a situation might be and then make myself afraid by imagining something that may never take place.

Yes, we probably all do it to some extent, but I want my self talk to be truthful and not frighten myself unnecessarily.

How much evil comes to pass because a person is speculating what someone might be thinking (and likely aren’t) or an action that person might take (and likely won’t) or imagining a person has a particular attitude (and they really don’t). I recently had someone assume I had a particular opinion about a public figure that was totally off.

So when I think about this verse, Proverbs 28:1, I ponder whether I’m taking a wrong direction or making a wrong decision because my thoughts are just wrong. So where to begin?

Am I thinking something that’s true or is it speculation? Do I really have the facts?

I have a friend who believes it’s always sinful to make things up, like doing caricatures–because it’s an exaggeration of reality–or to escape reality by reading fiction. I think this is going to the other extreme. Creativity is a gift from God. We couldn’t build bridges, for instance, or wonderful new buildings, if we didn’t imagine it firstly. We couldn’t be inspired to write beautiful songs or poems, if we lacked the ability to weave it in our minds firstly.

But I really need to test my thoughts frequently: Is this true? Because God is a God of truth and not lies.

But He’s also amazingly creative.

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You really cannot live a life based upon truth without a relationship with Jesus Christ Who proclaimed: “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”–John 14:6 (emphasis mine) If you want to stop feeling afraid of the future and have confidence that a loving God has you held in His hand, please pray the following: Dear Lord, I admit that I do wrong and fall short of your perfect standards. I can do nothing to earn Your favor, but just receive it in faith as a gift from You. I believe that Jesus died for my sins–past, present and future. I ask that You forgive my sin and give me the gift of the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus was raised bodily from the dead. I ask You to teach Me and lead me into all truth. Thank you for hearing my prayer and giving me the gift of eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, congratulations. You’ve joined the family of God. Please get a copy of the Bible, if you don’t have one, and start with the book of Matthew and read through to the end of the book of John, which tell about the life and ministry of Jesus and are easier to understand and interesting. And please find a Bible-based church where you can grow as a believer and find strength in the company of like-minded people. God bless you.

Dawn and Buddy