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Engage, Enlighten, and Encourage

Sunday’s Monday

We often fail in this subject because we don’t practice what we preach whether spiritual or not. Even non-believers have a record of advising others as to how they should live and what they should do in many different situations, you know the old verse I can easily solve your problems but have no clue of what to do with mine. Many people (both Christian and not) consider this to be hypocrisy or “double-mindedness.” Truth is we all (at times) speak from our mouth that which is not in our heart and sadly think nothing of it. We completely miss the wisdom of James 1:22-25 (NLT), 22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

If human history hasn’t done anything else, it should have taught us the true meaning of insanity! But because it’s personal we’ll accept our wants as fact, we become insane. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results each time. Anything that brings undesired results the first time should be a clue that something needs changing! As my pastor used to say, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is nothing will change until you do, and the good news is YOU CAN CHANGE with God’s help!” No matter what your sinful nature is telling you, the bottom line is your sinful nature will take you into the darkest, most lonely, and most fearful places you will ever see. But through God’s amazing grace, we’re instructed in Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT), 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

I don’t know exactly how to write this without sounding braggadocio, but I’m bragging on God’s love. All I did was surrender my life to His will and He has taken me from a jail cell in 1993 to Forman of the Grand Jury in 2020, from a hopeless drunk of 31 years to a board member at Christian Community Outreach Ministry, and Western North Carolina Overcomers, from homeless in 1993 to accepting the United Way Giving From The Heart Volunteer Award for delivering Meals on Wheels to seniors in 2018 and this is just a snippet of how following Jesus has changed my world through changing my thinking. When I couldn’t go another day in the mess and was faced with the reality of the change-or-die decision. God was there with arms open wide. I am living proof of what is written in Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT), 18 “But forget all that it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. 19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. God became my oasis for abundant life!

The Godly wisdom within the writings contained in Colossians 2:6-7, 6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Our problems in this life will never go away but the way we deal with them will forever change as we gain the wisdom of God and take heart as Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT) tells us, Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

My prayer for all is found in 1 Peter 1:21-23 (NLT), 21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. 22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. May this become our new anthem of service? Amen




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