Posts Tagged ‘Righteousness’

“The end of the world is coming soon.  Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”  (1 Peter 4:7-9)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to him forever! Amen.” (1 Peter 5:7-11)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.  All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!” (Psalm 111:10)

“Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” (Proverbs 19:23)

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)

Alex Jones is the head of an independent news and media outlet in America called Info Wars” at http://www.infowars.com.  He is committed to reporting stories that the mainstream media does not report on and, as such, he has uncovered the truth about many events over the years.  His focus is largely on the shadow agenda of the one-world government elitists and because of this he often gets mocked.  Even the American President has taken his mocking stabs at Alex Jones, attempting to attack his credibility.

In the video, Alex Jones shares with his viewers that he senses that something horrible is happening or has already happened and it’s just a matter of short time before the world is impacted.  He senses ominous tension in the air and has asked many if they feel or sense something similar.  They all have.  No one can quite identify what is wrong, but it is enough to cause them anxiety and worry about the unknown that they are not usually susceptible to.  Understanding that we are spirits living in physical bodies, of course we would discern that something is amiss, especially if we are Christians and in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit Who know all.  However, the Holy Spirit does not give us a spirit of fear, anxiety or worry, as these are not godly attributes.  But if we are spiritually alert and watchful, we all sense that the end is near and the world is speeding towards it.

Scriptures tell us that a world government will happen and that events in the last days will usher it in.  There are so many events happening at this time that we do not really know which events are occurring naturally and which ones are orchestrated to push the world along, but the details do not matter.  Everything is leading us to the return of Christ Jesus and Christians should be alert, watching the times, staying faithful in everything we do and praying at all times about everything.

Instead of worrying and living in fear, like the rest of the world is doing, we should be quietly making sure our lamps are full of oil; we should be prudent in every way, confidently taking care of our business and trusting that the Lord God Almighty is with us.  We should be ever conscientious of how fragile we are, how temporary life is, how temporary our belongings are, how limited our time is and how naked we truly are.  Having our minds right about our place in life puts everything that is happening on Earth into the proper perspective.  It helps us not to cherish the things and our lives in this world.  Jesus told us not to love our lives here; to not try to hang on to our lives, but rather to hate our lives in this world.   He did not use the word “hate” in the sense that we usually understand it; he was not taking the view of those who are depressed, hopeless or hateful.  He was highlighting that anything done apart from him is futile and will not withstand the refining fires of God’s judgment anyway.  We are to live in Him.  We are to bear fruit in Him.  We are to follow Him.  Our lives revolve around Him.  And if we are focused on Him as we should be, our attitude towards the things of this world is that none of it matters much.  We are pilgrims passing through, stewards of the Kingdom of God, voices in the wilderness. We have been given one job: to love others and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ with whatever time we are given on Earth.

Let the foolish try to harness control and power.  Let them waste their lives on Earth trying to enslave, manipulate and maneuver for domination.  Let them build monuments to themselves and steal from those who are weaker than they are.  Let them hoard all the riches they can.  They are wicked.  Their story has been told thousands of times through history.  An eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth awaits them.  Their lives will come to nothing.  They will be forgotten and no one will think of them anymore.  All their scheming and effort and sleepless nights will amount to nothing but eternal misery.  Pray for them, that they are able to escape their own wickedness by turning to God and repenting before they are out of time.  

Indeed, we know that evil is real on Earth.  The devil is just like the foolish people of Earth and we already know how his story ends. As we watch, we watch with the understanding that we live in the last days.  Be surprised at nothing. Let no evil overwhelm you. Hearts will wax cold and that coldness will even turn children against their parents, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and this will be world-wide.  But, let no evil event send you into hiding.  Christians are called to light our lamps and place them where they can be seen at all times, by everyone.  We are to be the ones that love when no one else will love.  Yes, something wicked this way comes.  But we are not to fear it.  We fear only The Lord God Almighty who has already conquered death through His Son Jesus Christ.

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“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.  Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.  Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.  For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different form anyone else?  Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

A very popular “Christian” website publishes pictures and stories of the current Islamic “Crusades” happening in the Middle East and Africa.  The author is supposedly a convert to Christianity from Islam, having weighed the ways of Islam against his own moral compass and deciding that Christianity is superior.

As such, he calls his readers to take up arms to wage “Militant Christianity” and cites history’s many examples of Christians taking up physical arms, swords, and such to physically fight against zealous and extremist Muslims and purge them from the earth, since they are wicked and spiritually inferior to Christianity.

He writes about the “Us Versus Them” stance that Christians must take and he says the root of the spread of Islam throughout the world is the Church’s lukewarmness.  Essentially, he says, if the Church was strong, Islam would be a non-issue. But where Islam is strong, it is evidence that the Church is weak.  He says, if the Church is strong, then Islam will be weak.  But what kind of “strength” is he referring to?  He equates spiritual lukewarmness to physical battle-ready weakness and spiritual zealousness with a Christian’s willingness to physically battle flesh and blood wickedness.

A quick read of his standpoint and theory makes sense to the emotionally charged mind.  It’s a very human stance; one that every religion and nation has taken at some point.  He says his call for Christians to take up their “sword” is backed even by New Testament Scripture and he says that Jesus calls on Christians to do this. Whatever he found in Christianity that he considers “Superior” to Islam, he has yet held fast to the extreme Islam principle of killing the “enemy”.  Sadly, a skimming of the hundreds of comments on his website from fellow “Christians” shows that even those who wish to be zealous for God are lost and worldly in their reasoning, as they unfortunately agree with him.

But this is the age-old trick that makes Satan so powerful.  Present 90% truth, mixed with 10% falsehood, and those without the power of discernment in their spirit will believe that all of it is 100% truth.  The best liars that have ever existed have followed the evil one’s lead on this and it is most common in religion and politics, where the average person is fed just enough truth to believe everything that is being said.  CHRISTIANS, BEWARE OF THIS AND PRAY TO GOD ALMIGHTY THAT HE WILL GIVE YOU A DISCERNING SPIRIT THAT CORRECTLY DIVIDES TRUTH FROM LIE.

The old saying, ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” has never been so real as it is in matters of spiritual warfare.

What did Jesus Christ tell us to do about our enemies?  He told us to love them.  Indeed, He commands us to LOVE our enemies and to pray for them.  The “sword” our Lord speaks of is the Sword of the Spirit of God (The Word Of God), which we wield in prayer and obedience.  We protect ourselves by putting on the Armor of God, spiritual armor.

It is true that the mainstream Church, especially in the West, is lukewarm and dull; being subjugated more and more each day to liberal agendas and philosophies that are popular in culture but completely contradictory to Scripture.  The Word of God has instructed us that this is a sign that the end is near.  

The answer is not to take up arms and take part in the new Crusades of violence and hatred that is spreading across the globe, but to live righteously and to pray.

The battle is the Lord’s. We are called to pray. The Lord will purge evil and wickedness according to His perfect will on Earth, as it is not His will for evil to be in the Earth.  But, we are called to pray for it!  Prayer is the vessel that carries the will of God.  The lukewarm, dull Church is failing in this regard because they are not praying for God’s Will or His intervention in the Earth as they should.

The Lord raises up kings and authorities and armies as we see time and again throughout Scripture.  He uses people according to His good pleasure to accomplish His Holy Will. But Christians, who have been handed the keys to the Kingdom in Christ Jesus, must exercise our authority by praying and living righteous lives; demonstrating that we are citizens not of this world, but of the Kingdom of God.

Our lives should be living testimonies of the glory of God and his Supreme Authority over all creation.  Our lives should be conducted in a way that cannot be criticized: “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.  Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” (Philippians 2:14-15)

“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” (Philippians 1:27a)

We harvest what we plant.

The Christian does not plant hatred and violence, but love and righteousness. This is what separates us from the world and makes us stand out as citizens of the Kingdom of God.  Things that concern us, make us worry, make us feel helpless and scared, make us feel unprotected and fragile, or make us feel that we’re at the mercy of evil and wickedness, are the very things we must take to the throne of God Almighty in the Name of Jesus Christ who conquered death and has promised us eternal life.

We must live zealously, yes!  Zealous living for God is one of worship, right living, obedience and prayer.  This kind of zealousness is a sacrifice that greatly pleases the Lord and demonstrates that we belong to Him and are under His supervision and provision for our lives.  When we live this way, we show that we have a King we belong to and we trust Him in every way and in every situation.  If our dying breath is at the hands of a Muslim or any other persecutor, then so be it, as this world is not our permanent residence anyway.  We are guaranteed that we will leave this place behind, whether comfortably or violently.

The goal, therefore, is not to kill whoever does not believe in our God.  The goal is to present them with the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ so that they may believe and be saved from the second death, that is the spiritual death.  Many of us may find that this is our last action on earth; and what a glorious action that would be.

If we are ever tempted in any way to react to troubles the way the rest of the world does, the devil is nearby, guaranteed. Stay alert and pray!

“This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15b)

“I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.  I will praise you with songs.  I will be careful to live a blameless life–when will you come to help me?  I will lead a life of integrity in my own homeI will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.  I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.  I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.  I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.  I will not endure conceit and pride.  I will search for faithful people to be my companions.  Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me.  I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence.  My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.” (Psalm 101)

Everyone must submit to governing authorities.  For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.  So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.  For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong.  Would you like to live without fear of the authorities?  Do what is right and they will honor you.  The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good.  But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you.  They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.  So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.  Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons.  For government workers need to be paid.  They are serving God in what they do.  Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” (Romans 13:1-7)

Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.  They asked him, ‘Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition?  For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.’ Jesus replied, ‘And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?  For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father and mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.  For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.  And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.  You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘and try to understand.  It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.’ Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees  by what you just said?’ Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them.  They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.'” (Matthew 15:1-14)

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.  Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.  I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength.  You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.” (Daniel 2:20-23)

King David spelled out what the attributes of a godly leader are:

–One who is careful to lead a blameless life.

–One who leads a life of integrity, not just in the public eye, but at home.

–One who refuses to look at anything vile and vulgar.

–One who hates crooked dealings and has nothing to do with them.

–One who rejects perverse ideas and stays away from every evil.

–One who does not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.

–One who will not endure conceit and pride.

–One who searches for faithful people to be his/her companions.

–One who places in their cabinets and entourage only those who are above reproach.

–One who will not allow deceivers to serve in his/her house, and who does not allow liars to stay in his/her presence.

–One whose daily task it is to ferret out the wicked and free the city/country from their grip.

Sound too good to be true?  In today’s world of politics, where the name of the game seems to be achieving power at any cost, finding a leader or candidate for leader with godly attributes often seems as likely as finding a unicorn.

And yet, we are to pray for exactly this so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives, marked by godliness and dignity.  God is in control of who is in authority over us.  And we know that His will is accomplished through our prayers.

So are we bringing the world’s leaders before the Holy Throne of God Almighty as party of our daily prayers, thanking Him for them, interceding on their behalf, asking God to accomplish His will in them and through them, asking God to give them wisdom and discernment in governing?  We must pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers for them.

It is not God’s will that corruption, lawlessness, greed, power-lust, deception, slander, oppression of any kind, persecution, crooked dealings such as bribery, embezzlement, fraud and blackmail would run rampant throughout the earth’s high places of authority. 

It is not God’s will that the spiritually blind would lead their people by the masses straight into a spiritual ditch, and yet, everywhere we look this is what is happening. Sound and righteous laws are being over-ridden or re-written to fit the new modern age of iniquitous immorality.  Those who attempt to stand up for righteousness are labeled as intolerant and, in many cases, ‘terrorists’.  We live in an age where good is called ‘evil’ and evil is called ‘good’.

It is the responsibility of the Christian to come before our Father in heaven and intercede for all people everywhere, especially kings and all who are in authority.  We should be praying not just for our presidents/prime ministers and their immediate teams, but also for judges, government officials, police, military authorities, teachers, corporate leaders, ministers/preachers, and those who labor in the Gospel, that they all would carry out God’s will this day.

Only the silence of God’s people, who have been entrusted with the enormous responsibility to pray His will, allows such evil and wickedness to run rampant and unchecked, for God’s will is centered on justice and righteousness in every way, from the greatest to the least among us all.

Let us live our personal lives with integrity and a clear conscience in all things, thereby shining our lives as living testimonies to Christ Jesus.  And let us retreat into our quiet rooms of prayer every day to be alone with God, praising Him, thanking Him, bringing all of our cares and concerns to Him and interceding for all people everywhere, especially our leaders, that they may govern and lead us in righteousness.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins like these.  Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:16-23)

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.  But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.  (Mark 11:24-25)

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!  When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.  Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.  My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.  Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me!  All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:1-5)

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation.  There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow.  But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

And this is the message I proclaim — that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” (Romans 2:16)

We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born.  We can’t take our riches with us.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15)

Look! I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and 0pen the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20)

Clutter tends to build up over time and can turn an otherwise nice room into a place of discomfort and embarrassment, where objects lack their proper, rightful place.  A cluttered room mixes valuable, worthy pieces with garbage and the overall theme and experience is disorder. No one likes to be in a place like this.  Those who live in places like this are generally overwhelmed and suffer from anxiety and other debilitating issues.  They want to hold on to the garbage “just in case”, but the more clutter that builds up, the more debilitated they feel.

They can barely function in the mess.  They are embarrassed by it and wouldn’t dare invite any company over to see what they are living in. In extreme cases, the place cannot even be dusted and cleaned because of the piles of clutter everywhere, so filth is added to the disorder, resulting in overall socially unacceptable living conditions.

Most people put forth the effort to keep their living space socially acceptable and even orderly and nice.  It is important to most of us to keep our things nice, organized and clean. If keeping our material belongings orderly and acceptable is important, how much more important is the condition of our spiritual life, our spiritual house?  As the days pass, our interactions with others, our thoughts, temptations and actions build up. They clutter and hamper what should always be an orderly and peaceful relationship with our Father in heaven.

Many of us would be mortified if the door to the room of our soul and thoughts was suddenly sprung upon, revealing all our secrets, all our filthy garbage to our neighbors and people whose opinion of us we deeply care about.  It should make our heart race to realize that God Almighty stands at our door right now, knocking, wishing to come in. Is our house in order? How long do we need to get it in order? How long would it take us to put things in their proper place, to scrub, to freshen up, to make our room acceptable to God so that we would not be ashamed to open our door to Him? Some examples of spiritual garbage/clutter are fear, bitterness, worry, resentment, hatred, pride, selfishness, envy, regret, grudges, covetousness, greed, laziness, hostility to others, outbursts of anger, sexual immorality, shame, and guilt.

This clutter and garbage has no rightful place in our lives, but we live with it, often collecting it, nurturing it and fostering it.  We provoke it in ourselves and in others, and of our own free will, hold tightly to it and justify it. What an embarrassing and shameful mess.

Fortunately for us, God has given us the tools we need to clean our spiritual house and keep it clean and orderly. He has given us His Word so we know with clarity what the worthy, valuable pieces are in our house, and what the garbage and clutter is.  He has taught us in His Word about the fruit of the our sinful nature so we can differentiate between what our flesh is doing and what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives.

When we see clearly where the fruit of our sinful nature is growing and ripening, He has taught us how to cut it from the corrupt vine of our sinful nature through confession and repentance.  When we confess and repent, we show that we have identified garbage in our life and that we agree with God that it’s time to throw it away and rid our house of it.

He has taught us in His Word about forgiveness, both in asking him for it and in granting it to others.  When we confess our sins and repent of them, we are invited to ask God for His forgiveness of them and we are assured that he grants the forgiveness that we’ve asked for, with one condition: we must first grant forgiveness to anyone we are holding a grudge against. If we want a clean and orderly spiritual house, then we must use the tools we’ve been given by our loving Father in Heaven, Who wants us to thrive in our lives and experience true joy and peace.

The wise confess, repent and forgive daily as part of their routine, understanding that these things are as critical to their spiritual lives as nutrition, exercise and rest is to their physical bodies.  Those who understand spiritual warfare have a very real, sober clarity on how these tools keep us safe from our enemy Satan’s attacks and in right standing with God. It is up to each of us to take an honest look at the condition of our spiritual house (our actual house/room too if needed!).  What are the conditions we are living in? Do we have years of clutter that we need to sift through and make decisions about?  We have all we need to keep our house clean and the Holy Spirit will help us.

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“A tree is identified by its fruit.  If a tree is good, its fruit will be good.  If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.  You brood of snakes!  How could evil men like you speak what is good and right?  For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” (Matthew 12:33-37)

“Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.  They asked him, ‘Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition?  For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.’  Jesus replied, ‘And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?  For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’  But you say it is alright for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.  For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’  In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.  And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.  You hypocrites!  Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’  Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear.  ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘and try to understand.  It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.‘  Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?’  Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them.  They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.’  Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.’  ‘Don’t you understand yet?’ Jesus asked.  ‘Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.  But the words you speak come from the heart — that’s what defiles you.  For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.  These are what defile you.  Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.'” (Matthew 15:1-20)

The phrase, “Follow your heart” seems like great advice, but to God, it is utter foolishness.  According to God, the human heart is the most deceitful of ALL THINGS and desperately wicked.  The heart is so bad, in fact, that no one can even measure how bad it is.

Knowing this truth, the worst thing we can do during times when moral clarity is critical to our lives is to follow our heart.

How many atrocities have been committed because certain actions seemed like the right thing to do?

The Holy Scriptures show us a few instances in the book of Judges of really bad judgment calls made by both individuals and whole communities, with a simple explanation of, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 and Judges 21:25)

History shows countless crimes against humanity due to an individual or a society or an individual leading a society to take action according to what seemed like the right thing to do.

God gave us His Living Word to clearly show us right from wrong, to separate righteousness from wickedness and draw a bold line through otherwise gray area.  He guides us by His Eternal Word, which is everlasting, while all else withers and dies.

“Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field.  The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord.  And so it is with peopleThe grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:6b-8)

In our world, now more than ever, there is a lot of talk; a lot words are being spoken and written.  From news outlets to social media, in our individual lives and in our societies, we must be able to discern between what sounds good or seems right and what really is good and right.  When our own hearts contradict the Word of God, as Christians, we are called to submit to what the Word of God says.  Likewise, we must be able to discern when our leaders speak or take action in ways that contradict the Word of God, so that we aren’t deceived into following them, doing what ‘seems right’ and being led astray from the true right path.

In hindsight, it is hard to fathom how Adolf Hitler convinced the whole nation of Germany that following him in his ideology and trusting him to lead them out of their time of desperation was somehow the ‘right thing to do’ and yet, time after time, when Germans were asked why they had supported him, “it seemed like the right to do” is all they could say. They were caught up in emotion and desperation and Hitler’s words and actions appealed to their desperate, fearful hearts. Such is the folly of following the heart or someone’s words instead of the commands of God. And we would be wise today, in the midst of great worldwide fear, to remember that horrible point in mankind’s history and the events that led otherwise decent people to follow the path to destruction.

There is only one way to gain discernment, the essential spiritual weapon in the Great Spiritual War, and that is to hear the Word of God so that it takes root in our hearts and becomes our lighthouse in a world of darkness and confusion.  As we hear God’s Holy Word, as we read it, as we spend time thinking about it and applying it in our lives, God is with us, quietly checking all of the activities of our hearts against His eternal truth and showing us the true and right way to live.

May we all cherish His Holy Living Word and rely on it in these perilous times.

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?  She is more precious than rubies.  Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.  She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.  She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.  She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.  Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.  She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.  She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.  She makes her own bedspreads.  She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.  Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.  She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.  She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.  When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.  She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.  Her children stand and bless her.  Her husband praises her: ‘There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised Reward her for all she has done.  Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.”  (Proverbs 31:10-31)

“And I want women to be modest in their appearance.  They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.  For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.”  (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

According to the Holy Scriptures, there is nothing more precious than a Godly Woman.  So what characterizes a Godly Woman?

She is virtuous, possessing moral excellence.

She is capable; having the ability required for a specific task or accomplishment.

She is trustworthy, reliable.

She begins each day early and with purpose, planning the day’s work.

She is a hard worker, energetic, strong, passionate about her craft and spends her days perfecting it.

She suffers nothing from laziness.

She is intelligent and business-oriented, a co-provider for her family, making sure her work is profitable.

She is attentive to the worthy things in her life, carefully watching; she is not aloof.

She does not worry about her future or the future of her family; instead, she obeys God and trusts Him to provide their every need.

She cares about the poor and needy and helps them.

Her appearance is modest yet dignified, respectable.

When she speaks, her words are wise and kind.

If she is single, you will find her working hard at whatever craft(s) she is capable of.  She has a purpose that drives her; wakes her up early and keeps her occupied even into the night.  Her judgment is trusted by her family, employer, friends and even acquaintances. She is not known by flashy possessions or a flashy appearance, still people describe her as attractive because of her virtuous character.  Her friends confide in her with no worry that she would betray their trust.  She does not gossip.  When she speaks, she speaks intelligently and with kindness.  She cares about the poor and needy, thinks about them, helps them. Her solid relationship with God is evident in everything she does.  She is known by her virtues.

If she is married, her husband trusts her completely and he enjoys the confidence and freedom that comes with having a wife of noble character.  Her judgment is sound and trustworthy, especially in the areas of business and money.  She earns her own money and contributes to the family purse by her hard work.  She is a living example to her children on the matters of hard work and moral excellence.  She has the respect and praise of her family because she earns it every day; her husband is proud of her and he is highly respected by others because of her.  She and her husband are a power-couple the likes of which the secular world can only dream, because the foundation of their relationship is God, who blesses them. She greatly enriches his life, supporting him in anything he sets out to do.  Her husband and her children adore her as God adores her, and their relationship as a family glorifies God.

This woman may seem rather intimidating.  Is all this really possible?

Lest we get lost in the details or overwhelmed by what Scripture characterizes a Godly Woman as, reading the Scripture in the context of order and balance that reflects the perfect nature of God, she is NOT a workaholic, never stopping to relax.  But she is passionate; as evidenced by her laughter, she is balanced and free.  She laughs without fear of the future; she is not a worrier, but a woman of purpose and action, with a zeal for life.  She is quite simply a force to be reckoned with.

In sharp contrast, what we often see in TV shows, Hollywood, on the internet, on the news and even in the church are as follows:  Women who dress in revealing clothing that draws attention to their sexuality; who have vulgar mouths and short tempers; who are lazy and greedy and do not want to work; who actively look for others to fund their lives and recreation; who enjoy and look forward to activities of debauchery, drunkenness, promiscuity; who gossip and even make up lies to hurt or manipulate others; who cannot be trusted to do their job or to follow through with their promises or to be faithful; who frivolously and carelessly spend every cent they have and then spend even what they don’t have by using credit; who are self-absorbed, selfish, emotionally cold, with no care for those in need; who have no worthy ambition or purpose in life.

When choosing female friends, a girlfriend, a wife, the world is pretty shallow in its choices which usually fall into the categories of physical attractiveness and popularity.  As such, a lot of trouble, strife and pain are experienced both by the women and the people in their lives.  But that is what can be expected of the world; of Satan’s kingdom.

In the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the woman is the companion of the man and together God has given them dominion of the whole world.  She is more precious than anything and she is a compliment to the lives of everyone she meets.  May God’s Kingdom come!