Roberta, Tina…what ya saying?


Roberta Flack – Where is the love? (I don’t know)

Tina Turner – What’s love got to do with it? (EVERYTHING!!!)

There is one, true nature of God clearly represented in and of the Word, and that is LOVE!

1 John 4:16 says,

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

In other word, God does not love, love is the nature of God, yeah God is love, inseparable! Jesus gave us the greatest representation of the true nature of God. Love, unbiased and free flowing. God’s love for us is the most important thing we can receive. First Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (God’s kind of love). After all, think about it, faith will be gone one day, because we will be with the one we fully trusted in. Hope will be gone, because we will see the Lord and being with Him will fulfill all expectations and aspirations, but love will never end. Love will exist forever and ever, because God is love eternal.

Believers should have more than just a superficial knowledge of God’s love. In Ephesians, chapter 3, Paul prayed that the Ephesians would get a greater revelation of God’s love for them. He said, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:14-19).

Notice in verse 18 that God’s love isn’t just one-dimensional. There is height, depth, length, and breadth to it. Many Christians only see God’s love as one-dimensional. They’ve never seen the multi-dimensional reality of God’s love. It includes all space and time. It also encompasses all people. John 3:16 “For so loved the World…“ not just Christians, not just people of a specific culture, not just an explicit nation, race or creed. His love encases the world, His whole creation. Let me say this, anytime we see a preference of who is loved based on religious beliefs, color of skin or any other external factor, as believers you do not represent Him.

In verse 19, Paul said as we experience God’s love, which is superior to mere knowledge of God’s love, then we would be filled with all the fullness of God. Experiencing God’s love equals fullness.

We think we have to do something to earn God’s love and we tether it, like a work contract to our human performance. I need to pray more, read His Word more, do Christian acts more. We have to merit God’s love. That is not what the Bible teaches. We are not employees of God. Our reward is not based on our job performance. God’s love for us is unconditional. Understand, God doesn’t love us because of some virtue we possess. God loves us because He is, not because we are.

Religion is one of the biggest broadcasters of the conditional love of God propaganda. Many “Christian churches” teach that God’s love for us is conditional, based on performance. If we pray, go to church, pay our tithes, etc., then the Lord loves us and answers our prayers; but if we fail, then the Lord won’t answer our prayers. There is no Biblical truth to that theory pertaining to the New Testament church. Remember we are no longer under law but Grace.

People who love one minute and then act the opposite way the next minute simply don’t operate in God’s love. God’s Word tells us to even love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). It is a command. He didn’t say to do it if you feel like it. A command given by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords does not generate an optional, what do you think, response.

Galatians 5:22 says that love is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. This is specifically speaking of the Holy Spirit; and our new man was born of the Spirit, so it has to be true that God’s love has been shed abroad in our spirits too. We have the capability to love as He loves. God’s kind of love is a choice that you make on the basis of what God said, and then you act on it through faith until it becomes a reality in your whole being.

Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth ( committed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love wasn’t based upon what we had done for Him or what we deserved but upon His choice, His free choosing to love us. We didn’t do anything to merit God’s love. He just chose to give it. We can receive His kind of love and then give it to others in the same way. The Word (John 13:35) says “By this shall ALL men know that ye are my disciples, my students, my apprentices, my representatives that you have love one to another”. What is the “this”? That we love one another, even as He has loved us. (verse 34)

His love was extended toward Hitler just as much as it was toward Billy Graham. The difference is our acceptance or rejection of it, not His offer of it. God’s love is unconditional. What about your love for the “world”? Can you walk in lock step with God “so loved the world”, recognizing that He is in you and you in Him which would indicate that you too should unconditionally love the world…and ALL of its inhabitants or are you caught up in this spirit of tribalism introduced by the demonic great opposer, Lucifer? I leave with this… 1 John 4:20-21, “If a man says, I love God and hateth (disregards and show little empathy) his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath seen? And this commandment (not suggestion) have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother (another creation of God) also.

Don’t Forget To Remember…


One of the situations we have today, not only affecting and infecting the United States but also across the world is the remembrance of history. The remembrance of how we got to the point of where we are. We have lost sight of connection and human brotherhood. Yes, our past has many injustices and atrocities that cannot be ignored, but when we choose to learn from them, we can garner added benefits.

Exodus chapter 1 gives us an example of how this ignorance of history can lead to the downfall of a nation. Exodus 1:6-8 speaks of the death of Joseph, of his brother and their generation. It speaks of the fruitfulness of the children of Israel and the prosperity of the Egyptian nation but there is a problem. The passage states that a “new king” arose which knew not Joseph. Joseph’s name means “Jehovah was added”. In other words increase, exceeding and continued abundance was added just because of the presence of Joseph. The reason that the nations of Egypt prospered was because of the children of Israel who lived and operated under the covering of Joseph. Yet all the “new king” of Egypt could see was a growing immigrant culture of people who were infiltrating his land while completely ignoring the benefits and fruitfulness that they were producing not only for themselves but the nation of Egypt as a whole. The unlearned “new king” instilled into the nation of Egypt a mindset of being overran by the “immigrant” enemy. The “new king” knew not Joseph. He did not know that Jehovah adds. Don’t forget to remember where all your blessings come from. How is it that the “new king” knew not Joseph? How do you not know your history. When the “new king” issued edicts to undercut and enslave the very people that contributed to the success of the nation, things began to falter. Where were the “new king’s” advisors? Were they also ignorant of Joseph? We sometimes tend to believe that new is better so we ignore the wisdom, the taste, the aroma of that which has been aged by time. When you as “new king”, fail to see the hand of God on your nation and how He through His own sovereignty is blessing you, you then begin to negate and forget Joseph. Soon you drift into a state of tribalism. It becomes an us against them, even within the same community. We forget it was the “us” along with “them which was added” that made the nation great, prosperous and fruitful.

Understand, in the seven Jehovah titles there is not one that illustrates that He brings division. It is the nature of Satan to bring the opposite of what the Father desires. Always with the addition of Jehovah connotation there is peace. The Father delights in adding, that it might be even more fruitful. Herbs, spices and salts adds to the flavor of the original food . How is it that we miss that concept in community, governance and yes even ministry? Wake up world. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Across the globe division seems to be the preeminent call for today. The word diversity does not mean division, it means variety, assortment, mixture, range and multiplicity. The nation  is strengthen when we remember Joseph, Jehovah was added. Jesus prays to the Father in John 17 His desire for us to be a s one even as He and the Father are one. If the message is division and “us against them” then we have failed to remember Joseph.  Don’t forget to remember…

 

 

No..He is NOT in Control


If He Is In Control, It’s Out of Control.

One of the things that we hear especially when things go chaotic in life is that God is in control. To our human intellect this would ring true. After all He is God and we are mere mortals. But to have that thought introduces several questions that we cannot answer especially from the unbeliever. Why does He allow bad things to happen to good people? Why did He not intervene in the Sandy Hook situation or the Las Vegas situation or the church shootings? Where was He when slavery and racism took the lives of millions of people? How could He allow His own to die under the hand of the Nazis? He is in control and He is our Father but millions have died via illness, disease and starvation? Children, babies are innocent victims yet bare the ultimate penalty? Where is your God? Where is this Heavenly father? Why, does He let the wicked prosper and allow others suffer? These are valid questions that we sometimes must field from the unbeliever and if you are honest with yourself, ones you have asked yourself. To be honest these questions creates a wrestling in your soul that struggles to produce an answer that is Biblically supported, an answer that makes sense. If that is how He looks after His children, His creation then something is wrong.

But and because He is a good good Father how do we reconcile? I would submit for your consideration that God is not in control. Before you hang me from the highest tree let’s consider if the Word supports this conclusion. Logically, a good place to start is in the beginning. In Genesis 1:26-28 through we read “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He Him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. So what I am hearing that He gave man the authority the edict to run things and rule over His creation. While He is in charge, all powerful, and sovereign that does not mean He is in control of the earth.

Now I know you are probably saying to yourself wait a minute, the Bible says that “the Earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwells therein.” (Psalm 24:1) True…but there is a notable difference between ownership and sovereignty and being in control. As I was thinking on this point, the Father showed me an example. He said you have a car that you own. It is yours, however if you give the keys to someone whom you allow to drive it, say to run an errand, who is in control of that car? What if an accident takes place? Who is in control, the one who owns it or the one who possesses the keys and is behind the steering wheel? A king can be sovereign over a nation having not to answer to anyone yet still not be in control of the activities of his subjects. Consider Psalm 115:16. “The heaven, even the heavens, arethe LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” Yes, the Father created it for man’s use supplying everything needed for man to live and thrive, howbeit retaining ownership. Understand, He has given control of the earth to men and we will have to give an account how we maintained it. I am afraid, however, that we have advocated our responsibility of being a mindful tenant. Being a renter of my place of residence does not mean that my landlord is in absolute control of the residence. It is given to me.

There is a point in the New Testament that many miss that illustrates this point. When Jesus is tempted in the wilderness by Satan in Luke 4:6-7 Satan declares that he would give Jesus the kingdoms of the world along with their authority and splendor, because it was given to him…through the fall, but with the resurrection of Christ ALL power was given to Him. His desire is that God’s will be done on EARTH as it is being done in Heaven. This would point to a probable fact that His will is not always being done on earth. We have advocated our responsibility in parenting, in governance, in the earth maintenance, and nature itself. Sadly we have not demonstrated loving our fellow man. Even to those proclaiming the banner of Christendom have advocated our call, our duty to love our fellowman with the unshakable, the unbiased love of Christ. As a renter it is MY duty to maintain the property as I am answerable to the owner. We Are answerable to the Owner and will one day give an account for that which He left in our hands. God’s sovereignty and ultimate ownership does not abate or eliminate man’s accountability.

 

 

It’s Midnight, What You Want To Do?


“But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)

Attacked, stripped, beaten and thrown in the INNER prison; in stocks; bruised and bleeding; in pain and extreme discomfort, surrounded by the very worst criminals, in the worst of places. What does one do? Pray and sing praises to God, of course!

Well, ok, perhaps not for most of us, but these two men had a different mindset. They were more interested in pleasing God than men, more interested in Kingdom principles then social edicts and perils. God had given them great boldness and confidence even in that horrendous, I do not want to be here, God how could you allow this to happen to me, place.

I have not written to my blog in a couple of months. I have just been sitting, listening and thinking on the events that are taking place in our world today. From the circus act we now call politics, police actions, humankind on humankind criminality and greed, acts of terrorisms, we as a people across the globe are in a time of midnight. In the natural, midnight is the starkest period of gloom and darkness and it is made to appear that the sun has gone away. However, the real truth is the earth has turn away from the sun. Whether you realize it or not, darkness, extreme intense gloom is covering our world today and it is made to appear that the Son has gone away. However, the real truth is the world has turn away from the Son. Not only are we in a dark time but also we have been thrown into a dark place, prison. Not just prison but an inner prison. What is an inner prison?

Inner prisons in the days of Paul were not pleasant or healthy. In the mind of the people, prison was equal to death, despair, sickness of mind and body, and humiliation. They did not have TVs and cable. They did not have commissaries and work out areas. They did not even have windows. It was devoid of light. There was no natural light at all. Sometimes we find our lives can be that way. Naturally we cannot see a light at the end of our proverbial prison tunnel. We struggle to bring a light of solution to our place of darkness and entrapment. Prisons, in the time of Paul had no air conditioners or heaters. The minimal comfort needed for sleep, were nonexistent. The floor was their mattress.

But far worse was the psychological and spiritual impact of total darkness on the prisoners. Some prisoners chose to commit suicide. They purposely decided to QUIT where they were. They purposely sabotaged their own life… BUT it still did not get them out of their situation. You know what I am talking about. God did not come through like YOU wanted Him to so now you do not believe in Him. Now you quit serving Him and going and BEING the church. You refuse to pray and bow the knees of your heart to Him because He failed you in your darkness. Spiritual suicide but you are still in locked up in your situation, dead. In Paul’s time dead bodies could lay in the inner prison for weeks at a time.

The bleeding, suffering apostles uttering their prayers and singing the praises of God must have amazed the other prisoners.

They sung hymns to God at midnight. In there location they could not be aware of time so the fact of it being midnight to them did not matter. They chose to BLESS the Lord at ALL times, in ALL times, through ALL times so the time of the times did not matter. It was not just midnight for Paul and Silas. It was midnight for everyone. It was midnight, not merely in that inner prison, but throughout the Roman Empire outside of prison, also. It was a midnight of morals, humanity, justice, forgiveness, kindness and TRUE love as well.

We are living in a time of midnight and the whole world knows. What song are you singing? And how are you singing it? How convinced of you of your own song? You can sing the right words but not be convinced of those same words! You sing “I Trust in God”, but do you? You sing “Great Are You Lord”, but are you convinced? You sing “You’re a Good Good Father”, but do that come with favorable conditions?  You sing about loving Christ and Him loving you and wanting more of Him, but are you loving others with the same passion He possessed and displayed. Yeah you know, I am talking about that, “Father forgive them cause they know not what they do”, type of love.

Imagine the impact of the things heard in prayer and hymns on the jailer and the other prisoners. It was a far cry from the wails, threats and curses usually heard in such places. The message, the song, had its effect on the listeners, it always does. The kind of effect depends on each individual heart, but there will be an effect. What is the “world” hearing from you?

What is your song? “Nobody knows the trouble I see?” “Take this job and shove it?” “We can’t go on?” “Crash and Burn?” “Let’s Build a Wall, ten feet tall?

We understand the main objective of chains is to restrict mobility and prevent escape. Chains were made of rough iron that would eventually rust with the perspiration of the prisoners, causing infectious pain, saying nothing of the weight of the chains. Finally, chains were noisy, and that clanking noise of chains prevented even less sleep for the prisoners. Paul and Silas’s chains become apart of their song and provide accompaniment like a rhythm section, tambourines.

Every link became a part of their praise. The link of failure, PRAISE, link of pain, PRAISE, the link of plenty and the link of lack PRAISE. The Link of bad choices PRAISE, the link of right choices, PRAISE. Everything that is weighing heavily on my mind and causing me to lose rest and peace and feel fearful and powerless will be an accessory to my song.

I am certain that Paul and Silas didn’t feel in their natural man like praying and singing praises unto God. They were going directly against all their natural feelings and deliberately exercising their will to enter into praise.

Notice this final point, the prisoners heard Paul and Silas praying and singing praises unto God. This explains why none of the prisoners escaped when the earthquake came and their prison cells were opened. They had apparently been so moved by Paul and Silas’ demonstration of faith in God to such a degree that they recognized the earthquake as an intervention of God and followed Paul and Silas’ leading in not fleeing the prison. What a song, what a message they must have delivered in that “midnight” hour.

Paul and Silas had the audacity to forgive, before they were asked, to trust where they could not see and sing a song that shook the world.

It’s midnight… what are you doing? What song are you singing?

Yeah I Am Doing It On Purpose…AND?


“PURPOSE”

Purpose—The object for which something exists or is done, with a specific end in view, not accidentally; by design.

What I have noted through reading His Word is that God is a purposeful God. Nothing is done by happenstance. His timing is impeccable. He even allows things to die that in the time of resurrection His Glory will be revealed. Recall the story of Lazarus.

Rom. 8:28—And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Rom. 9:11—(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls).

Eph. 1:11—In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.

You were not created by accident. You are not a mistake. Your presence on this earth at this time in history was preordained. The way you look, the talents and gifts you possess, and the personality you have been given is all part of God’s plan. He made you the way you are for a very specific purpose, and no one can ever replace you. But, if you are ever going to fulfill that purpose—your destiny—it begins with believing that you have one and that you must cooperate with God to bring it to pass.

Jeremiah 1:5 reads,

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

And in Galatians 1:15, the Apostle Paul writes,

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.”

He has a very specific plan for your life that no one else can fulfill. He has a destiny designed just for you. Your destiny is preordained, but it is not inevitable. We need to live with a sense of destiny. It’s important not to go through life doing your own thing and then asking God to bless it. It’s the reason so many of us are experiencing a lack of success, of fulfillment and satisfaction. There is a power and an anointing that only comes when you are fulfilling God’s plan for your life.Every person has a preordained plan for their life, but God is not going to make it come to pass. God will speak to you, and He will woo you. He wants to reveal His plan for you more than you want to know it, but it’s rest upon you to find out what it is. It becomes futile for you to ask God to reveal His purpose for your life while you are on your way to doing something else. However, it doesn’t happen without your pursuit.

Jeremiah 29:13 says,

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

God will not force His will or His plan upon anyone. So, is He sovereign? Yes, if the correct definition for sovereign is used. Sovereign means supreme in power or rank. We all would agree with this definition, but I totally disagree with the way religion today uses “sovereign.” God does not make His will for our lives come to pass. We have to submit to God to His will.

The best example of this is in the Great Commission:

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).

It’s not God’s will for people to perish, and yet they do because His will is not automatic. Notice the phrase, He that believeth, He that believeth not. It is an individual choice.

What is even more amazing is whatever God is calling you to do, whatever your purpose, it is not based on your natural talents and abilities. God will call a person to do what they seem totally unqualified for. He will call you to do the very thing you can’t do. God has a destiny for you, and He wants to reveal it. But He is not going to run you down. He is not going to steamroll you or force it upon you. Romans 12:1, says you are to present yourself as a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice is a volunteer. If God were to use force upon you, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice; it would be slavery.

Know matter where you find yourself at this moment in time, His plan is still in play. He would not be God if He was unaware of where you are at. He is able and indeed already planned the route. It’s like a GPS navigator. When you go the wrong way, it says “Recalculating,” and in an instant, it has a new route planned to get you to your destination. Plan has always existed but was waiting on your point of location and submission to reveal the steps. (GPS – God’s Purposed System) It doesn’t matter how old you are or what has happened in your past; it’s never too late to recalculate. Just start doing what God is telling you to do.

He won’t necessarily give you the entire picture, but He will give you the next step. If He gave you the whole picture it would be overwhelming to our finite mind. However, as you take that step, you will find that the Holy Spirit that abides inside of you will help you accomplish His call on your life. He will not call you do to something and then ask you to do it in your own strength. Let’s start by doing what we were ALL called to do without exception…”love one another”.

BREAKING NEWS: This Just In, it has been discovered that…


God is not American or any other nationality. He is not a Christian and He is not conservative or liberal. He is not male or female, Jew or Gentile, neither is He white, black, brown, yellow or any other skin shade. He is not Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or any other grouping of religion. In fact He is not religious at all. He is neither right nor wrong in His decisions and or motives. To assume such would mean that there is a possibility of He making a mistake or wrong choice. He is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent or change His mind. Tears, wishes or emotions do not move him. God is not prejudice in any way. He is not selective in whom He loves or how He loves.

A very familiar Scripture verse that most of us know found in John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Notice it does not say For God so loved America, or God so loved Christians, or Hispanics, Europeans, Asians, Africans, Muslims, Middle Easterns, or any other category of people. John through the Holy Spirit says so God so loved the WORLD!!! Implication being and ALL that dwell therein. That is why I personally have a problem with people from politics or the pulpit always saying “And God Bless the United States of America… what about God Bless the world. “ What makes America so entitled to His Blessings when we have proactively moved to make sure that He is not a part of our government, culture and yes even churches. I have a problem with Christians who illustrate racism, sexism, classism and all the other “isms” over they being the image of Christ to the world. Christians especially here in America so caught up in the poisonous web of politics and unknowingly being manipulated by the mindset of the world making the name and image of His Son a mockery. Yet, God is not a God concerned about His name, but He is a God that values His Word above His name. Psalms 138:2 “…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

God is not an insecure bully that needs you to force, intimidate, and threaten other people to believe as you believe. He is not a God that needs you to kill another of His children because that makes you a murderer, which He is obviously against. After all He is the breath in our lungs and He is quite able to call life to an end on His own as He calls life to begin through His own omnipotent power. Oh and understand there are NO special rewards for your acts of intimidations and so called victorious conquests. No seventy virgins, no pot of gold, no special crown or reward, only judgment.

He is not impressed with our robes, cathedrals, traditions, or religious performances. Bow and genuflect all you want but if your heart, will and spirit do not bow in obedience to His, He is not impressed. How do we know? It is shown by how you treat others, ALL of the others. It is again shown by how your life lines up to His Word more than how it lines up to the word coming from TV commentators who are getting filthy rich off of our being gullible and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

But God is Sovereign. We should all come to a place in our life when we realize that God is God and we are not. He is not dependent and limited by us. He is the one in control of everything.

A sovereign has ALL control over all he has conquered. He has the authority to give orders. Just as a king has sovereign rites over a territory, God has sovereign rites over all His creation. That is a difficult concept for us in modern western society. In the ancient world, the leader of a group of people was often a law unto himself. His word was the final say in all things. For man to have such power often results in terror and injustice because that is the nature of man. For God to have that power is a wonderful thing, because His nature is love and justice. Do you live with understanding that God is sovereign and rules over your life?

God is not only sovereign but He is the Supreme Sovereign. Hear how E.Y. Mullins, theologian and writer described God. “The holy and loving God has a right to be sovereign.” “When we say God is supreme we mean that there is no being above or beyond Him, and that, in His nature and power, and in the qualities of His being, none other can be conceived of superior to Him.”

Our Sovereign instructs us. He has given us His word that reveals His plan for us and for all mankind. If we allow it His Spirit will teach us in the way we should go. It will warn us when man, and their ways are deceiving us. I am always amazed when I read the hateful scornful comments of those who identify themselves as Christians, yet show very little aspects of the personality of Christ. Yet they think that is what Jesus would do.

God is Sovereign over all His creation. Unlike earthly sovereigns who take something from others, God is sovereign because it all came from Him. Everything exists at His command. His intention in creating us was that we serve Him in a loving relationship.

Because God is sovereign, we should never worry. Our worry is an expression of doubt. We doubt that God is great enough to deal with our personal situation or the situations that are happening in our world today. We make decisions based on the intelligence of our own mind.

When we know God is reigning over our circumstances and is totally in control, we can walk through them with peace. That peace in the midst of the storm can be a testimony to those who are watching us and seeing and learning how wonderful our God is. Do you have that mindset? How should that affect your attitude toward your current situation? Would it change how you look at world events?

God is….

But If Not


Daniel 3:17-18

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

These three words have impacted me so much …“BUT IF NOT”! These three young men went from being praisers on that day to being TRUE worshippers! They basically said… “we know that God CAN do it, but even if he chooses not to do it we will still worship HIM! We know that God can keep us safe, but even if He doesn’t and allow calamity to come upon us, it doesn’t change the way we feel about Him!! Help us Lord to say “BUT IF NOT!”

God’s people go through some hard rough and trying times, but if they can stay true to God, and learned how to worship in the hard times, eventually God brings them through and blessed them more mightily than ever before! You might be in the furnace now, but learn how to worship! You might be stripped down to nothing now, but learn how to worship! You might have lost everything, but learn how to worship, God’s not thru yet! Unfortunately, we often seek what God can do for us, and neglect having an intimate relationship with Him. We want the blessing of God, and fail to come union with Him. We are adept in praise, but we never really worship.

Can we as the church truly worship God even when HE it appears that He is not blessing? Can we yet worship when it appears that He is taking things from us? When we are seemingly being attacked on every side, emotionally, spiritually and physically?

My heart is heavy as I think of the horrific event that took place in Charleston, South Carolina a few days ago. Yet to hear the words of forgiveness spoken by the families affected embolden me even more to operate in the love of Christ. Can you hear him from the cross saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. They have chosen not to serve the king of this world that says hate, demand and seek revenge. But instead they released their grip on anger and embraced their arms around unexplainable love.

True worshippers are shown at this time. It is much more than lip service and even church actions. Yeah I know we volunteer to clean up the church building and serve in the different ministries, but that is not worship. That is works and in the realm of His Kingdom Jesus says that worshippers are wanted and preferred not workers.

Let me end with this… the world will know us by our love, not our religious sayings, not our righteous indignation, not our Bible thumping or our condemning others. Until we can love our enemies and pray for them who despitefully knowingly use us, they will not see Christ. They will see Christians. Mahatma Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I understand and agree with what he was saying. My prayer and desire is to be a follower of Christ so that He may be seen even in the “but if not” times. If He does not heal me, if he does not let me work where I desire, make the money I should rightfully make, or if I do not get the girl or the guy or the house I desire, I choose to worship Him. If I am never known or recognize outside of my small circle I will worship Him. Understand this, He can deliver us oh king…BUT IF NOT……