How is God eternal?

The word “eternal” means without beginning or end. In reference to God, therefore, to be eternal is to exist as the one Being without beginning or end, uncreated and never able to die. As such, He serves as the power behind all created things (Genesis 1:1).

Many passages of Scripture affirm this biblical concept of God as eternal. For example, Psalm 90:2 notes, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.Deuteronomy 33:27 refers to the Lord as the “eternal God.Romans 1:20 speaks of God’s “eternal power.” Ephesians 3:11 speaks of God’s “eternal purpose.” First Timothy 6:16 notes God’s “power everlasting” or rule. Isaiah 9:6 refers to God as an “Everlasting Father.” Isaiah 26:4 calls Him an “everlasting strength

As part of the Triune God, Jesus Christ is also revealed as eternal in nature. He existed in the beginning with God (John 1:1). Jesus taught that He was the “I AM,” a reference to the Lord in Exodus 3:14 (John 8:58). Colossians 1:16 teaches, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

The Holy Spirit is also noted as eternal in Scripture. God’s Spirit was involved in the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:3). Hebrews 9:14 refers to the Holy Spirit as God’s “eternal Spirit.”

Scripture also speaks frequently about both eternal life (John 3:16) and eternal destruction (Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9). There is an eternal dwelling for God’s people with the Lord, revealing the Bible’s clear teaching regarding eternity future (Luke 16:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1).

In Genesis 21:33, we are also told that one of God’s names is the Everlasting God: “And Abraham planted a grove in Beer–sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.” Psalm 145:13 affirms that God’s kingdom is likewise everlasting: “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.”

It is clear that the One who created all things existed before all space, time, matter, and energy. Scripture also notes God has everlasting love for His people, has an eternal purpose, and an eternal destination that includes eternity in His presence for those who believe in Him.

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What is the whole armour of God?

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The armour of God is described in Ephesians 6:10-18. In this passage we are told that our primary battles are of a spiritual nature and that we need spiritual armour to be able to stand firm in the midst of these battles. The armour includes the following pieces:

Loins girt about with truth: Truth is as a belt and the first item in our arsenal. A belt holds the other pieces of clothing and armour together. It secures the outfit and allows a soldier to move freely. Truth both secures us and gives us freedom (John 8:32). One of satan’s greatest offensive tactics is to deceive us; he is the “father of lies(John 8:44). With the belt of truth around our waists, we are prepared to defend against this. This truth also applies to the way we live our lives. When we live with honesty and integrity, the other pieces of our armour – what could be considered our spiritual selves – stay intact. A life of integrity is not easily torn asunder.

Breastplate of righteousness: The breastplate of righteousness covers our hearts and other vital organs. In a sense, the breastplate covers the most vulnerable areas of a warrior. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The righteousness that guards a believer’s heart is the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Feet ready with the preparation of the gospel: Our feet are to be “…shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” (Ephesians 6:15). Because we know the good news of Christ and by that knowledge experience peace in Him (John 14:27), our feet are willing to move. In obedience to Christ, we will flee temptations (1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22) and walk into whatever He has called us to (Psalm 86:11; Isaiah 30:21; John 15:10).

Shield of faith: The shield of faith is used to “… be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16). When satan attacks us, our faith in Christ lessens the blow. We are able to withstand the attack because we know whom we have believed (2 Timothy 1:12).

Helmet of salvation: A helmet protects the brain, basically our minds. It is because of salvation that our minds can be sound. We are assured of our eternities, and made righteous recipients of peace, practitioners of faith, and knowers of truth. Our minds are protected because of Jesus’ work on the cross; we have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:12-16). A helmet can also serve as a signifier. When the enemy looks at us, he sees that we belong to Christ. We carry with us the seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Sword of the Spirit: Which is the Word of God. This includes God’s written Word (the KJV Bible), God’s incarnate Word (Jesus as Logos), and God’s spoken Word (Holy Spirit within us). The sword is the one offensive weapon in the list. We are told, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks of Scripture as being “…given by inspiration of God.” When God spoke, creation came into existence. As He breathed life into Man so He also breathed into His Word. There is power in the Word of God; this is why it is our best offense.

Praying: Prayer is an often forgotten part of the armour of God, but is essential to using the armour of God well. Prayer is the way we draw strength from God and rely on Him. In essence, it is what “activates” the armour. Apart from God, and reliance on Him through prayer, our efforts in spiritual battle are ultimately futile. 2 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.

The full armour of God is a way to describe some of the blessings of God in the life of a Christian and the tools with which He has equipped us to stand firm against the evil one and have spiritual victory over the enemy.

WHO is (the) Holy Spirit?

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Many people misunderstand the identity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is commonly thought of as an impersonal force. Some people think of it as a healing or protective power to which God gives a believer access. But what does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit? Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is not just an impersonal power or a force, but a person – the third person of the Trinity, in fact. The Holy Spirit is God Himself.

(The) Holy Spirit appears synonymously with God in many places in the Bible, both in the New and Old Testaments. In Acts 5:3-4, Peter asks Ananias why he has lied to the Holy Spirit, and it is clear that lying to the Holy Spirit is the same as lying to God. He shares the characteristics of God, such as omniscience and omnipresence, as seen in Psalm 139:7-8, which says “Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Again in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, God’s attribute of omniscience is also present in (the) Holy Spirit: “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit is a divine person, and He is intimately involved in our salvation, along with the Father and the Son, as shown in Romans 8:11 which says, “11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The Holy Spirit has thoughts and knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:10), and He can feel sorrow and grief (Ephesians 4:30). (The) Holy Spirit can make intercession for believers (Romans 8:26-27). He also has a will and makes decisions (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

In Summary, Holy Spirit is God. He is the third person of the Trinity. Only as that divine person can Holy Spirit be to believers a Comforter and a Counselor, according to the promise of Jesus (John 14:16, 26; 15:26).

Perseverance

According to dictionary.com perseverance means continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Don’t quit! Keep going! We need to learn to persevere, because God wants us to. As we persevere we become closer to God.  We persevere for a better life. The grace of God is a treasure. God is the treasure and all who ever need. Don’t leave it here. Spread God’s Word. The Grace of God is all we need.

TESTING OF FAITH (BEING TEMPTED) LEADS TO PERSEVERANCE
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:2-4)

By being tested we gain perseverance. Perseverance gains maturity and completeness.

SUFFERING LEADS TO PERSEVERANCE
“[3]And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
[4]And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
[5]And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

Even suffering can lead to perseverance. Perseverance turns to character which turns to hope.

MORE VERSES ON PERSEVERANCE
“[11]Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11)

“[4]So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
[5]Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
[6]Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;” (2 Thessalonians 1:4-6)

“[5]And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
[6]And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
[7]And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
(2 Peter 1:5-7)

“[2]I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
[3]And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” (Revelation 2:2-3)

“[9]I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Revelation 2:9)

PARABLES TO READ
Matthew 13:1-23 (The Parable of the Sower)
Matthew 13:24-30 (The Parable of Weeds)
Matthew 13:31-35 (The Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast)
Matthew 13:36-43 (The Parable of the Weeds Explained)
Matthew 13:44-46 (The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl)
Matthew 13:47-52 (The Parable of the Net)
Matthew 13:53-58 (A Prophet Without Honour)

HOW TO PERSEVERE
Maintain contact with Christ (Christ alone is our security)
Maintain contact with other Christians
When we maintain contact with Christ we study the Word of God (KJV), We go to Him in prayer. We have a personal relationship with Christ. A lifelong commitment. We give our personal time all to Him.

When we maintain contact with other Christians we give each other encouragement. We share the Word with each other. We help each other live a Christlike life. We fellowship together.

When we maintain contact with both Christ and other Christians we build a Spiritual hunger. A hunger to want to know more and seek more.

Snails Kill Thousands

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

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When we consider deadly animals, we normally think about venomous snakes, ferocious sharks, crocodiles, or bears. You might be surprised to learn that the animals or organisms most deadly to humans don’t match our mental picture of dangerous creatures. The creature that kills the most humans per year (between 750,000-1,000,000) is the lowly mosquito. Because of the various diseases it spreads, such as malaria, mosquitoes are the animal kingdom’s leading human killers. Another creature that has proven to be extremely deadly is the harmless looking freshwater snail. Freshwater snails are host to dangerous parasites known as cercariae that cause an infection in humans known as schistosomiasis. Millions of people each year ingest this parasite through contaminated water,1 and about 10,000 die every year.2 While contamination from water is the most common cause of the infection, another way the parasite can spread is when a person consumes raw or undercooked snail meat.
The fact that many snails carry parasites that are harmful to humans turns out to be another piece of evidence that shows the King James Bible is the inspired Word of God in English. When we look at the food regulations written by Moses in approximately 1450 B.C., we find that the Israelites had specific laws about what they could and could not eat. One of those regulations dealt with animals found in water. The Law permitted the Israelites to eat any animal that had both fins and scales, but any creature without both fins and scales was “an abomination” to the Israelites. They were told not to eat them or touch their dead bodies (Leviticus 11:9-12). Land-living snails were also prohibited (Leviticus 11:41-42). Some people contend that the food laws had nothing to do with health regulations and were merely ceremonial, religious rituals. We have documented at length that such is not the case and that the food regulations were specifically designed to help the Israelites avoid many of the diseases that plagued the nations around them.3
When Moses led the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, there were approximately 603,000 males ages 20 years old and above (Numbers 1:46). By adding to that the number of women of the same ages, along with those who were younger, we arrive at an estimated two million Israelites exiting Egypt. Due to their disobedience, they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years. Many of the laws found in Exodus-Deuteronomy were sanitation, quarantine, hygiene, and disease regulation designed to keep the Israelites healthy and safe during their wilderness wandering and their future lives in Canaan. These regulations exhibited a scientific knowledge that was far beyond any nation’s ability at the time to have acquired through the natural course of human understanding. This characteristic is referred to as scientific foreknowledge and is an attribute of divine inspiration. In short, there is no possible way Moses could have known the science that lies behind the food, hygiene, and sanitation regulations in the books he penned.
Snails provide an excellent example of scientific foreknowledge. Both water-living snails and land-living snails are highly susceptible hosts to numerous parasites. In an article titled “Some Health Risks With Eating Giant African Land Snail”, entomologist Paul Skelley stated, “Most of the infections and deaths from snail-transmitted diseases apparently come from eating raw or undercooked snails or ingesting slime residue left on fresh fruits and vegetables.”4 Skelley went on to say, “In my opinion, eating wild snails should only be done in an ‘eat-snail-or-die’ survival situation” due to the high probability that most snails host dangerous parasites. The CDC put out a blog about snails and slugs carrying a parasite called the rat lungworm that can cause meningitis, blindness, and death in humans. The author said, “Humans become infected by ingesting raw or undercooked mollusks.”5
With two million Israelites moving around in the wilderness, it would have been extremely difficult to properly cook all the food they consumed. There were no meat thermometers that could be used to guarantee that snails, pork, or oysters were cooked to the necessary temperature to kill parasites. Since God provided manna every day for the Israelites to eat, they were not in any type of “eat-snail-or-die” situation. The consumption of meat and animals would have been for the purpose of providing variety to their diets and not at all necessary for survival. Therefore, the best approach to what should or should not be eaten would be to prohibit the consumption of any creatures that had a high probability of carrying parasites or diseases.
Moses could not have taken a microscope to meat samples to identify which animals carry tiny parasites or which animals (such as bats, see Leviticus 11:19)6 are remarkably prone to diseases such as rabies. We might expect that Moses could have guessed a few such instances correctly. But to have accurately listed numerous regulations that contain in them safety measures that were not understood by any nation until literally thousands of years after the books were written? That is superhuman. That is Divine! It is not surprising that Moses told the Israelites, “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).

ENDNOTES
1 Christopher Stephens, “10 Creepy Snails that Will Ruin Your Day,” Listverse, http://listverse.com/2015/01/30/10-exceptional-creepy-or-dangerous-snails/.
2 “What Kind of Health Risks Do Snails Pose?” https://www.curejoy.com/content/diseases-caused-by-snails/.
3 Kyle Butt (2007), Behold! The Word of God, Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/Behold%20the%20Word%20of%20God.pdf,  pp. 103-130.
4 Trina Sargalski (2013), “Health Risks With Eating Giant African Snails,” http://wlrn.org/post/some-health-risks-eating-giant-african-land-snail.
5 Alex de Silva (2009), “Snails, Slugs, and Semi-Slugs: A Parasitic Disease in Paradise,” Center for Disease Control, https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2009/04/snails-slugs-and-semi-slugs-a-parasitic-disease-in-paradise/.
6  Butt, p. 124.

How to Grow Strong in Your Faith

In Romans 4, Paul tells us Abraham grew strong in faith and urges us to walk in Abraham’s footsteps. To believe like he believed. How do we do this?

In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told.  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:18–21)

Look to God’s promise not your circumstances.

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations;” (18)

Abraham’s situation looked bleak. God promised him multitudes of descendants, but the only problem was he was well past child producing. “he considered not his own body now dead,…” He also considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. Not only was Abraham almost 100 years old, but Sarah his wife was very old, and she had never been able to have children her whole life. How are they going to have children? If Abraham had based his hope on his circumstances he would have given up. But In hope he believed against hope—God’s promise gave him hope in his hopeless situation. He put his hope in God’s promise, not his circumstances.

We may feel hopelessly unrighteous. We may feel like God could never forgive us for the sins we have committed, that he would never accept us. But we must not look at ourselves, just like Abraham didn’t look at himself, but like Abraham, we must believe God’s promise of grace. He counts me righteous in Christ!

Our teenager may seem hopelessly lost. Our finances may be out of control. We may lack direction for our lives. Our marriage might be frustrating or our church might be a mess. Look to Jesus Christ! Don’t look to yourself. Look to the promise of the gospel—everyone who believes in him shall be saved. Look to his promises to draw near to those who draw near to him. Promises to hear and answer our prayers.

Give glory to God

he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” (20–21)

Abraham strengthened his faith. Here’s how: “but was strong in faith, giving glory to God” Begin to give glory to God—start thanking and praising him for his every promise. Thank him for saving you and declaring you righteous in him. He has promised to be with us when we pass through the waters and walk through fire. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He has promised that nothing will be able to separate us from his love. He has promised to give us everything we truly need to glorify him. He has promised that we can do all things he requires through Christ who loves us. Praise him for these things!

We can look to our circumstances—it may not LOOK like God is being faithful. It may not FEEL like God is with us in these waters. It may FEEL like he has abandoned or forsaken us. We may not SENSE his love. But WE MUST NOT WAVER CONCERNING THE PROMISE OF GOD! Rather, we grow strong in our faith as we GIVE GLORY TO GOD, as we are fully convinced that God is able to do what he had promised.

In Psalm 43:5 the Psalmist says “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?
hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Keep thanking God, keep praising him in faith in the midst of your hard times. Say, “Jesus thank you that you are with me. Thank you have promised that your steadfast love never ceases. Praise you that your mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”

Growing stronger in our faith is not complicated. Look to God’s promise and glorify him. So, what are you going to believe today—God’s word or your circumstances? God’s promises or your feelings? God’s bedrock pledge of faithfulness or your wavering emotions? Walk in the footsteps of Abraham and strengthen your faith.

Religion Vs Relationship With God

​In this article, I will be comparing the differences between religion vs relationship with God. As believers if we are not careful we can easily be involved in religion and be oblivious to it.

Religion can easily dominate your prayer life. Religion can easily dominate your daily walk with Christ. Religion cripples your relationship with God and it greatly hinders us.

However, believers can go overboard when we use “the religion excuse” to live in rebellion and worldliness.
We must be careful that we don’t harden our heart to rebuke and correction. There are many things that will be discussed in this article. I encourage you as you read this article to examine your life.

QUOTES
[A lot of people] think that Christianity is you doing all the righteous things you hate and avoiding all the wicked things you love in order to go to Heaven. No, that’s a lost man with religion. A Christian is a person whose heart has been changed; they have new affections.” ~ Paul Washer

Religion is the possibility of the removal of every ground of confidence except confidence in God alone.” – Karl Barth

Most men, indeed, play at religion as they play at games, religion itself being of all games the one most universally played.” – A. W. Tozer

Religion is a guy in church thinking about fishing. Relationship is a guy out fishing thinking about God.
RELIGION TEACHES YOU THAT YOU HAVE TO DO.

Christianity says that you can’t do. You have to trust in the One who has done it for you. Whether Catholicism, Islam, etc. Every other religion in the world teaches a works based salvation. Christianity is the only religion in the world where you are justified by grace through faith in Christ alone. Religion keeps you in chains, but Christ has set us free.
Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Romans 4:4-5, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
IS CHRISTIANITY A RELIGION?

Many people like saying things like “Christianity is not a religion it’s a relationship“. This is true, but it’s not the entire truth. Christianity is a religion, but as believers we treat it as a relationship. The problem that I see in many Christian circles is that many people use the grace of God to indulge in sin. They say things like “relationship over religion” or “Jesus over religion”, but they forget things such as repentance and sanctification.

I hate the aspect of religion that says you have to do something to be right with God. I hate when someone tries to put legalistic rules upon believers. However, evidence of your faith in Christ is that your life will change. Evidence of your faith in Christ is that you will have new desires for Christ and His Word. I heard someone say, “Jesus hates religion.” This is not true.

Jesus hates hypocrisy, false religion, and He hates when people try to appear religious to show off. However, in John 14:23 Jesus says, “… If a man love me, he will keep my words:

As believers, we obey not to maintain salvation. We obey out of love and gratitude. When you have true religion, you don’t try to seem religious. You don’t try to act like something you’re not. You act as you are which is a new creation. Matthew Henry Commentary for James 1:26 says, “True religion teaches us to do everything as in the presence of God.

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

James 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
 
GOD WANTS US TO PURSUE HIM RELIGION KILLS INTIMACY

It’s a relationship that God desires! He doesn’t want you trying to be religious. He wants you to seek Him. Words mean nothing if the heart is not right. Are you involved in religion or are you involved in a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ? When you pray is your heart looking for Christ? What’s a relationship without intimacy? Is your prayer life boring? If it is, then that is strong evidence that you are involved in religion.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “There is no place on God’s earth more exciting than the church of the Living God when God is brooding there. And there is no place on God’s earth more boring when He isn’t.” When God is there our heart is filled with joy and excitement. The heart knows its maker. Religion or relationship! Which one describes your prayer life? Your prayer life dies when you become satisfied with religion. Stop going through the motions. You sit there in prayer and you say repetitive words and you know the heart is not right. You cheat yourself out the presence of God.
You say, “I spent an hour in prayer today. I did my duty.” No! Prayer is not a choir. It’s a joy. It’s a privilege to be in the presence of the Almighty God! We take prayer for granted when it’s something that we do out of obligation and not love. I am convinced that over 75% of believers do not actually pray. We have become content with throwing words around.

One great hymn writer said, “I often say my prayers. But do I ever pray? And do the wishes of my heart go with the words I say? I may as well kneel down and worship gods of stone, as offer to the living God a prayer of words alone. For words without the heart the Lord will never hear, nor will He to those lips attend whose prayers are not sincere. Lord teach me what I need, and teach me how to pray; Nor let me ask thy grace, not feeling what I say.
One way to examine the current condition of your heart is to pray for more of Him and wait on Him in prayer. Are you willing to wait for more of His presence? Do you cry out all night to know Him? Your mouth can say, Lord I want to know you but if you leave after 5 minutes, does that show a heart that truly wants to know Him?
You say the right words, but is your heart right? One thing I always say in prayer is “Lord I don’t want religion I want a relationship.” Sometimes my heart is so burdened and I say, “Lord I won’t make it through the night if I don’t have You.
Deuteronomy 4:29But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
Psalm 130:6My soul waiteth for the Lordmore than they that watch for the morning:I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
RELIGION ROBS US OF THE LOVE OF GOD?

God wants you to understand His love. We often think that God wants us to do something for Him. No! He wants your relationship with Him to be characterized by love and not duty. Do you have a genuine love for the Lord? Are you missing out on God’s love? When we miss out on God’s love and substitute religion for a relationship, then we can end up being mean-spirited, grumpy, judgmental, prideful, and loveless.

I know of many Pharisees who say they know the love of God but they live as if they are in chains. Their life is filled with a false sense of condemnation and hate. Why live like that? Maybe you are a pastor and you fear the Lord, you obey Him, you do things for Him, you pray to Him, but do you genuinely love Him? We treat God like a loveless earthly father.
When your father is loveless or he never tells you about his love for you, then you feel as if you have to do more to gain his love. Does this sound like your relationship with God? Have your grown bitter over the years? The only reason we can love is because God loved us so much. Have you ever sat down and thought about that? The love that you use to love others and the love that you use to love Him is from His great love for you. We will never understand His great love for us.

I feel as if God just wants to tell us “shut up for just a moment and get to know My love for you. I love you.” It’s so hard to truly understand the love of God when we are searching for it in the wrong places. He loves you, not based on what you can do for Him, but because of who He is and what He has done for you in the finished work of Christ. Sometimes we have to just stop for a second, be still, and sit in His presence.
When you go to prayer from now on, ask the Holy Spirit to help you to understand His love. Pray for more of His presence. When we are in fellowship with God and our hearts are aligned with Him we will feel His love. Many preachers don’t know the love of God and have lost His presence because many have stopped spending time with Him. Examine yourself, renew your mind, and truly seek Christ daily.
Hosea 6:6For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Mark 12:33And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”


Romans 8:35-39Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Being Influenced Vs Being Called: Don’t Be Misled

Oftentimes we may think we know what God is calling us tjo do, whether it’s something major like starting a business or ministry, or something like writing a book or starting a YouTube channel.
We try doing these things wondering if we were purposely created to do them. But when we come up unfruitful, stagnate, and don’t even finish what we’re working on, we may ask ourselves “hmm, is this really something that God wants me to do in my life.”


The question we should really ask ourselve in this situation is “am I doing this because God called me to do it or am I doing it because I see everyone around me doing it?”. This is where being influenced by others can mislead us into doing something that God didn’t even anoint us for.

HERE’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “BEING INFLUENCED” AND “BEING CALLED
In the most general sense, being influenced means wanting to do something because you see someone else doing it and because it looks cool or trendy. People may influence us to work for a certain company or to write a book about something we want to put out to the world. But these moves may not necessarily be things that are in God’s will for us to do.
When we see so many other people of God making YouTube channels, writing books, or starting businesses, it can be easy for us to be influenced to do those same things because it seems like a trend. So many people want to follow trends and keep them consistent. But just because we’re influenced to do these kinds of things, it doesn’t mean that God wants you to do them.

Maybe what we really want is the feeling of accomplishment or self-importance. Or maybe you desire the popularity and financial prosperity that comes with it all.

But these are things that the flesh craves and it only craves things that displease God, ”For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16).

Being called is when God gives you a divine assignment to do His will on earth. This will include doing anything that builds His kingdom, brings others to salvation, glorifies Him, tells others about Him, and brings joy to others.

A calling will lie so heavily on your spirit that you just can’t seem to shake it. It practically scares you because you can’t stop thinking about it! (God is calling me to ministry, and it’s on my spirit every single day).

Whatever Holy Spirit is leading you to do—whether it’s music, writing, ministry, business, teaching, etc.—it will stay on your mind constantly, even if it’s something you don’t want to do! But to gain that desire to do His will, we must live our lives for Him.

Only God can give us such a desire, we can’t just find it within ourselves, ”For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

A calling may feel terrifying, yet exciting at the same time. You want so badly to flesh out this God-given vision, but it’s so big that you’re fearful of how the world will respond to it…and you.

This is how you know it’s from God. No one influenced you, no one told you to pursue it, but God gathered all the pieces together and held up the big picture right in front of your spiritual eyes. It’s like your calling is pulling you in constantly and your flesh just wants to resist it. Being influenced has a shallow affect while being called has an eternal effect.

They key to avoid earthly influence and finding your God-given calling is to stay led by Holy Spirit! Resist the flesh and live a life that is pleasing and glorifying to God every single day.

God uses those who are living a life led by Him. Why would He use you if you are a lukewarm or part time believer?

Seek God’s direction above all. Be careful not to be blindly led by others who are doing big things. Stay in your track lane and don’t look onto anyone else’s or else you’ll stumble and fall and not even win your race.

Be careful not to think, “hmm, everyone else seems to be starting a ministry or a blog. Maybe I should too?” Nooo! Don’t be led by the majority. We must do those things only if Holy Spirit leads us.

Sit at the feet of Jesus and ask Him what it is He wants you to do. Even if you’ve never seen anyone do it before! If God is leading you, you can trust that your obedience will only lead to peace and eternal rewards.

I want to leave you with this popular scripture: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

3 Ways We Grieve Holy Ghost

It is really important to better understand the person of Holy Ghost (notice I don’t say “the” Holy Ghost). Sometimes people think of the Holy Ghost as more of an “It” than a “Him”, hence me not putting “the” before Holy Ghost.
According to Scripture, the Holy Ghost is not only God, but He has a will, a personality, and can even be offended!

There is a sin that can be committed against Holy Ghost. Matthew 12:32, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.“; in other words, ascribing any miracle, spoken in the name of Jesus, to the work of satan is blasphemy and a sin against Holy Ghost.

I want to focus on acts that can be committed by believers in grieving Holy Ghost.

One of the places in Scripture where we read about grieving Holy Ghost is in Ephesians 4:29-32. The apostle Paul writes:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

To grieve means to make sad or sorrowful. It means to cause sorrow, pain, or distress.

But what makes Holy Ghost sad or sorrowful?

1. Foul and abusive language makes the Holy Spirit sad.

Verse 29 says not to use, “corrupt communication”. The word used here, σαπρός (sapros) speaks of something that has gone “rotten.” This includes obscene language, profanity, dirty stories, vulgarity, double entendres, etc.

When did it become “cool” for preachers to speak this way from a pulpit? Some people would say this is being “real” or “authentic”.

Guess what? You are not to speak this way—privately or publicly. How about being authentically godly instead?

2. Bitterness makes the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.

The definition of bitterness, πικρία (pikria) is “acridity (especially poison) literally or figuratively: – bitterness”.

Some people just like to be mad or angry. They live for conflict, arguing, and fighting. This, as with all sin, only gets worse if left unchecked and unrepented of.

The sad thing is that bitter people rarely want to keep it to themselves. Instead, they spread it around. The KJV Bible speaks of “…bitterness springing up … and thereby many be defiled;” (see Hebrews 12:15).

I have a better idea: forgive!

3. Fits of rage and uncontrolled anger make the Holy Spirit sad and sorrowful.

Wrathθυμός (thumos) speaks of a person who is easily angered and who raises his voice—shouting and screaming. “evil speakingβλασφημία (blasphēmia) is slandering others behind their backs. “Maliceκακία (kahkeeah) speaks of ill will and plotting evil against someone.

Look, all of us have been hurt in life, but we have a choice as to how we react. We can be like the moneylender Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, demanding our “pound of flesh”. We can say, “They did this to me; therefore I will have my vengeance!

We can also believe God when He says “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence;…

Instead of speaking evil of someone, we are to be, “…kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,…

We who are saved didn’t deserve forgiveness; yet God forgave and still forgives us when we sin. As Paul concludes Ephesians 4:32 by saying, “…even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Forgiven people should be forgiving people. Otherwise, we are grieving Holy Ghost.

The Tower of Babel – a continuation

Height of the tower

The Book of Genesis does not mention how tall the tower was. The phrase used to describe the tower, “its top in the sky” (v.4), was an idiom for impressive height; rather than implying arrogance this was simply a cliché for height.[41] The tower’s height is discussed in various extra-canonical sources.

The Book of Jubilees mentions the tower’s height as being 5,433 cubits and 2 palms, or 2,484 m (8,150 ft), about three times the height of Burj Khalifa, or roughly 1.6 miles high. The Third Apocalypse of Baruch mentions that the ‘tower of strife’ reached a height of 463 cubits, or 211.8 m (695 ft), taller than any structure built in human history until the construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1889, which is 324 m (1,063 ft) in height.

Gregory of Tours (I, 6) writing c. 594, quotes the earlier historian Orosius (c. 417) as saying the tower was “laid out foursquare on a very level plain. Its wall, made of baked brick cemented with pitch, is fifty cubits wide, two hundred high, and four hundred and seventy stades in circumference. A stade contains five agripennes. Twenty-five gates are situated on each side, which make in all one hundred. The doors of these gates, which are of wonderful size, are cast in bronze. The same historian Orosius tells many other tales of this city, and says: ‘Although such was the glory of its building still it was conquered and destroyed.'”

A typical medieval account is given by Giovanni Villani (1300): He relates that “it measured eighty miles round, and it was already 4,000 paces high, or 5.92 km (3.68 mi) and 1,000 paces thick, and each pace is three of our feet.”[42] The 14th-century traveler John Mandeville also included an account of the tower and reported that its height had been 64 furlongs, or 13 km (8 mi), according to the local inhabitants.

The 17th-century historian Verstegan provides yet another figure – quoting Isidore, he says that the tower was 5,164 paces high, or 7.6 km (4.7 mi), and quoting Josephus that the tower was wider than it was high, more like a mountain than a tower. He also quotes unnamed authors who say that the spiral path was so wide that it contained lodgings for workers and animals, and other authors who claim that the path was wide enough to have fields for growing grain for the animals used in the construction.

In his book, Structures or why things don’t fall down (Pelican 1978–1984), Professor J.E. Gordon considers the height of the Tower of Babel. He wrote, ‘brick and stone weigh about 120 lb per cubic foot (2,000 kg per cubic metre) and the crushing strength of these materials is generally rather better than 6,000 lbf per square inch or 40 megapascals.Elementary arithmetic shows that a tower with parallel walls could have been built to a height of 2.1 km (1.3 mi) before the bricks at the bottom were crushed. However, by making the walls taper towards the top they … could well have been built to a height where the men of Shinnar would run short of oxygen and had difficulty in breathing before the brick walls crushed beneath their own dead weight.”