Count the Cost

Jesus knew how to disperse a crowd.

He had over 500 disciples sitting, listening to his teaching. Thousands followed him to see healing and miracles. Many in the Synagogues recognized him as having authority unlike anything they had seen or heard and yet when he dispersed truth, he dispersed the crowd.

Jesus words were truly anointed by God and his words were pure wisdom. But when he told them he was eternal life, and that you must drink his blood and partake of his body, many disciples left him. Thousands unfollowed him. The authorities began to plot against him.

Actual verse in John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day.

He explained in this teaching that he was the bread of life. He spoke of the manna that came from heaven in the wilderness as not being the true bread as they still died.

He explained He is the living bread which anyone may eat and not die. This bread is my flesh, he told them, which I will give for the life of the world.

On hearing this truth, many of his disciples said, this is a hard teaching, who can accept it?

From that time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Jesus asked the twelve, his inner circle, you do not want to leave too, do you?

The passage doesn’t end there, because Jesus is only getting started in teaching his disciples that they needed to accept his teaching that HE is the Bread of Life. HE has the words of eternal life. He is the Word of God. Anyone believing in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

He chose the twelve disciples and yet one of them was the devil. One was preparing to betray him.

Jesus never hid truth. There is a cost to remaining with him, following him.

He never backed up on teaching the cost of eternal life. He paid it for anyone who chose him, but he still allowed the choice to unfollow him.

Christ’s disciples must make their relationship with God the focus of their life or unfollow him.

It is such a paradox really. Believing he the bread of life is easy, but living it out….. fully trusting … going to take all you got. Because trials and tribulations and loss will rip through your life like a bad storm. Things will break your heart, but cannot break your trust when your heart is devoted to Him.

Today 2000 years and more later, I hear the question, do you want to stop following?

Jesus asked his disciples the question and Peter answered and acknowledged him as eternal life. He said we know and believe your words.

But the cross was coming. One of them was preparing to betray Christ and his brethren. Loss was coming, the greatest pain imaginable was being planned. And Peter never planned to but he would unfollow Christ.

It broke Peter’s heart, but it didn’t break Jesus heart. He already knew. He knew Peter would be hurt but he also knew it wouldn’t break Peter.

Fast forward: Two thousand and twenty. The year 2020.

Jesus is eternal life, We love his word. We believe we are true disciples. Yet deception, betrayal, grief and loss is coming.

We (the church) , had no idea then what was in the hearts of man or what God fully had planned.

Separation happened. The wheat and the tares illustration became real life. The distinction was made, between wickedness and righteousness. We observed the breaking of hearts in many, many ways.

My word of encouragement is to Praise God! Keep following. Be grateful.

Expect a rebound. Revival is coming. Feel the Resurrection power pulsing on the inside. It’s almost time, we are in the waiting room.

He is alive and well, he’s preparing a place for us. For now, devote your heart anew to Christ. It will be enough to keep your feet on the ground, your journey cautiously carefree.

The Bible foretells more is coming. Don’t put your trust in men, you have a foretaste of what they are capable of. Count the cost and be prepared to allow his life to show through you. Don’t worry about the crowd that left your life. Put your trust in God. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Harvest Time

Psalms 103:11
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him

We only have to look up to know that Gods ways are higher than our ways.

John 4:35 -38

35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

2021 Step into the Big

Psalms 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children

Fear means fear. Reverence the Lord above all things.

I had this thought: the word fear defined could mean awe. It could mean revere, look up in awe at our great God. Worship Him.

When was the last time any of Gods creation actually experienced awe? Do we really worship God?

The scripture written by David in Psalms inspires us to develop fear of the Lord. Be inspired and be in awe of him! Bless Him! Worship Him! Go all out!

For as heaven is high above the earth so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. verse 11

I’m going to limit the word awesome this year to describe Gods faithfulness! God is Awe and then some! I truly want to go all out! I plan to be afraid, be reverent as one should when encountering the great big God. My God, who has great big mercy toward those who fear him

Join me this year as I step into the Big!

Happy New Year 2021

We look forward to the New Year because we want a fresh new start. We look forwarding to the end of some things and hope for the beginning of other.

In reality we can begin fresh and new every single day! I love The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Imagine having 365 days every year with this verse as your wake up verse.

Then at the end of the year you wouldn’t stay up to usher the old year out! You would rest assured that his love is steadfast! His mercy never comes to a end! Great is his faithfulness!

No matter what 2020 brought, no matter what happens in 2021, we can rest assured!

Happy New Year!

Whose Driving?

Most leaders have learned to be efficient and organized. It’s a discipline that keeps accuracy. But it does not necessarily provide passion.

Passion is what drives the vision. If you feel like you are spinning your wheels, it may be the time to evaluate whose driving.

Whose driving?

Many may say God is my co-pilot. Jesus, take the wheel. Ultimately, he should be first and foremost if you are living a Christian life.

How to be debt free
Guilt and bitterness is two things that we need to be free from today.
The answer is forgiveness.
The Lords Prayer
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
The only thing that pays the debt off is forgiveness.
How to be Debt Free / James Merritt
1. Get rid of all bitterness, rage anger, brawling stander with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31-32 Remove yourself from it.
(The real war for some people today are som are asked to take guilt, from other people’s unresolved anger. CS)
Don’t take the guilt.
Don’t take the bitter pill either
Drop it! Get rid of it! Don’t carry it!
Release it to God.
2. Render Forgiveness Your handcuffed until you forgive / be kind and compassionate/ a tender heart is a warm heart. /Cold hearts cannot be tender heart or kind. / You may have a right to be bitter but you still have to forgive / bitterness wants to get even. /Do you really want to be even? You don’t want to go that low./ Forgiveness sets not just one free. Both parties can be Debt free when you render forgiveness.
3. What’s the Motivation? “just as God has forgiven you.”
4. Stop focusing on what others has done to you. Focus on what God has done for you.
5. I’m forgiven. So I forgive others. God is our model.
6. What does Gods forgiveness look like? It’s free What did God charge you? Who did he charge? Jesus /We only want to forgive when we see an exchange
7. Jesus forgive freely and fully, and finally /the wrong is gone / you may not forget but you put behind you, and bury it.
8. Get forgiveness. Release forgiveness / where do we do this? At the foot of the cross
9. Though Jesus you go free/ he cancels your debt/ get debt free / stay debt free /

That’s Bizarre

Background Check on David

How can leaders adapt without compromise? The Bible answers this question time after time. The God of Heaven will help us.

Bizarre atmosphere’s are counteracted by integrity. Having a whole and undivided heart for God in faith is what Jesus looks for in every man or woman.

Whole hearted devotion creates righteousness and fullness. Fullness is abundant life and the result is blessing.

Division comes from a divided heart. Make no mistake, a divided heart will not and does not commit fully to God. When that happens unrighteousness is the result.

The way the world sees people is polar opposite of how God sees people.

When God rejected King Saul he sent Samuel the prophet to anoint the new king. He didn’t tell him which one in advance. He said anoint the one I indicate to you.

1Samuel 16:6-7 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord. But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not look on his appearance or his height, I have rejected him.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

The prophet Samuel needed this word from the Lord to anoint the right leader. He was looking at outward appearance. He needed to learn to look at the heart.

V10 -12 Jessie has seven sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “ the Lord has not chosen these. So he asked Jessie, are these all the sons you have?

There is still the youngest but he is attending the sheep. Samuel said, Send for him. We will not sit down until he arrives. So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, anoint him; he is the one.

We must look for integrity, wholeness of heart as it is a good way to evaluate and align with anyone in the place of leadership.

Many times I’ve seen that happen. People are chosen for leadership because of talent, looks, how much influence they seem to have, even because they are faithful to show up. None of these things, though they are noteworthy, was how God chose leaders.

When someone is chosen for anyone reason other than integrity the results are always unfavorable.

Lord help us to judge rightly.

1 Peter 4:17 It is time for the judgement to begin with the family of God., and if it begins with us, what is the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel?

Leaders and prophets in the church are especially accountable to walk with integrity of heart. They should also seek leaders and associations whom have integrity and love God.

The signs of integrity that will show on the outward appearance:

1. A Faithfulness to Gods word.

2. Perseverance in walking in the light with God, promoting righteousness.

3. A true saving faith that wholeheartedly expresses devotion to Jesus Christ.

Faith alone gets you into the Kingdom of God and following Christ proves the faith that resides in each heart after salvation.

We really need to mediate on the book of James in Bizarre Times. Too many people attempting to live by feelings rather than faith.

James 2:22 You see faith and action were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

The above scripture is referencing Abraham as a man considered righteous for his act of faith. Yet his act of faith and action worked together.

A man who claims to have faith but no deeds is foolish and useless.

The question James presents itself in James 2:14 : What good is it, my brothers if a man claims to have faith but had no deeds? Can such faith save him?

No, even demons believe there is a God—and shudder.

Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead. 2:17 James

True saving faith is vital in all times, it is especially vital in times of evaluation.

Favoritism is forbidden. Do not judge by appearance. Look at the heart and choose men and women of integrity to entrust and associate with in life, ministry, and business.

That’s Bizarre

Some really bizarre things are happening all around us!

Honestly, the Corona virus is just another reason since 2020, we keep hearing the term, “ That’s Bizarre.”

Synonyms for the word are odd ball ,off the wall, outrageous, strange and unusual. These accurately describe the times we are currently navigating.

I’m sure we all have our circumstances that fall under the description, Bizarre! It’s more or less a ‘given,’ for what we have been encountering this year.

Times are changing and we will have to adapt rapidly. The one thing that will keep us upright and standing is integrity.

Integrity is a state of being whole and undivided.

We must ask ourselves today are we in position to adapt and stay upright in times of great change and chaos?

Why don’t we run our own background check?

Background Check Questions:

1. Do I have integrity?

This is the only question I am going to elaborate with my thoughts. You do if you are a child of God operating under the New Covenant.

The Old Covenant was fulfilled in the New Covenant. It’s whole and undivided. Under Jesus who is the first born of many brethren, we are of the same womb. The Bible says it like this; “ If the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; so are the branches.” We are reconciled to God. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

When we think about the branches, the words of Jesus comes to mind in John 15: 1-8.

It is a passage that describes Jesus as the true vine, and those who have become disciples as the branches. By remaining attached to him, the Source of life, they produce fruit. God is the gardener. The gardener inspects the branches to insure they are bearing fruit.

There are 2 types of branches in this passage, fruitless and fruitful.

The fruitless are those who do not maintain union with Christ, through enduring faith and love. These branches are cut off. That means separated from the vital union needed to live.

Jesus says in verse 4, “ Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

You must be in vital union with Christ to live as his disciples.

Integrity is a fruit. It shows you are fruitful.

Being fruitful means maintaining integrity.

I hope you answer yes, I have integrity as you do a background check on your life.

Next, we can ask ourselves; “ Am I determined to choose honesty in all things?”

3. Do I put a premium on my life and the life of others?

4. Do I consistently practice kindness and reliability in my actions?

5. Do I practicing doing the next right thing daily?

These questions are a good jump start to keeping the integrity given to us upon salvation by the Grace of God.

Integrity is vital in navigating through bizarre circumstances.

I will write more soon on how we as believers must show up in times of chaos.

Integrity does not give you favor with man. Integrity gives you favor with God.