Alienated from Man and God

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God did not create us to live in a bubble or vacuum, he created us to be part of the body of Christ and have fellowship with one another. He created us to interact with other human beings. He created Adam and realized that one being was not sufficient for growth, hence the creation of Eve. He created an immaculate relationship between himself and man. Their sin of not listening to God (conversations about the Does and Don’ts) led to the fall and their estrangement from the Garden of Eden. This is the moment man became alienated from God.

“I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s brothers.”
Psalm 69:8

In swept the 21st century and the advent of social media as a norm. Not all norms support personal or spiritual growth. As we become more addicted to life online, we begin to (only) find satisfaction in cursory relationships, human interaction becomes secondary. Verbal communication becomes infrequent unless we are in forced social settings such as school or work where interaction, teamwork, and meetings require you to hold a conversation. We are quickly becoming estranged from other people and going down the wormhole of alienation from everything, other people, family, and Christ. Once you are locked into your addiction, nothing else matters.

Verbal communication creates a dynamic environment where people practice the characteristics of Christ; kindness, honesty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, compassion, forgiveness, commitment, patience, gentleness, self-control, humility, loving and prayerful. Verbal communications create a form of harmony between neighbors. True reconciliation can only be accomplished when we acknowledge our sin and repent asking God’s forgiveness.

“ Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

When we move away from real human interaction and into the world of a limited number of characters and meme’s, we find that we create versions of ourselves that are often ruthless, arrogant, diabolical, self-obsessed, and dangerous. We create alternate self-images. Bullying becomes comfortable, there is no guilt in this setting, life, and death are reset and/or erased. At some point, we lose the ability to comfortably interact with people on a daily basis and begin to ease into an estranged and self-imposed isolation and alienation from others.

We find that the people on the other end of the smart chat, the game, and the community groups are pretending to be someone they aren’t. Their world becomes a fake world, much like fake news. It is created in Petri dishes, which leads to depression and often suicidal tendencies.

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The most deadly trait we lose is that of being prayerful. We neglect our relationship with our Lord and soon become estranged. Not because he does not want to communicate with us, but because we shut him out. We reject our relationship with him, it is not the reverse. We begin to live in a world of isolation.

Alienation is the mother that gives birth to other alienation’s: the alienation between God and man, man and God. (Ferguson)

Isolation opens us up to spiritual attack. Sin, depression, selfishness, anger, and hate become comforting.

“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
Romans 7:21

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Christians should never isolate themselves from other believers. The church is built on community. Through community, we establish corporate prayer. Through corporate prayer, we establish a relationship with other members of the community and God. Our world becomes more welcoming when we support one another and establish a norm we lost when society changed from small-town life to city life. We lost a sense of connectedness that some think is reignited in online social and gaming communities. The truth remains that they are alienated from the World, isolated from their family members and estranged from God.

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Thessalonians 5:14

Let us encourage the disheartened and lost to re-enter life and reconcile with our Lord, the guardian of our souls. ‘Alienation from God is not only real but dangerous-and the depth of the alienation is evidenced by the fact that we think we are in no danger at all.’ (Ferguson, Ligonier Ministries)

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Images from Google Images

The Power of Thanksgiving and Prayer

The last post focused on Prayer, Praise, and Worship. We learned that giving thanks is part of prayer. This Post is an elaboration on the Power of Prayer and Thanksgiving.

Paul wrote Philippians 4:6 to let us know that our requests are made known to God. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Paul also shared

If praying was easy, everyone would be doing it. It is important to understand that the war between God and the evil one often takes place in our minds. When I was younger, I thought the battle was in the physical realm, and often it is, but the center of anything that happens in this world originates in the mind of world leaders, governmental officials, family members, friends, associates, bosses, villains, and you. We find ourselves at war in our minds. As believer’s we initially stand fast in pray, unwavering in the Word when our lives are going well, and at odds with ourselves when the prayer is not answered as quickly as we wanted. We begin to question God, we entered the war where the voice of doubt speaks out. This doubt, this darkness, is the stronghold of the evil one. His weapons are the attitudes of wrong thinking, of pride, and carnal thinking in general. They are designed to strip us of our blessings and throw us into sin.

So, what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Everything! When we pray in faith, we stay in faith. God sends down blessings when we pray. If we pray and doubt, they cancel each other out.  Have you ever prayed and believed, and saw your blessing only to see it deferred? Think back, when did you begin doubting that God has control and started questioning yourself saying (self-talk) maybe God is not going to answer, maybe He did not give me direction, maybe it was just me. It was not you, it was the evil one that is speaking doubt to rob you of your blessings. The key is distinguishing between the Lord’s voice and that of the evil one. One of my favorite scriptures reads –

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27. We must learn His voice, and His voice is the Word which is the sword of the Spirit and part of the Armor of God to protect us against the evil one.

Yesterday we learned that praising the Lord as a way of thanking Him for all He has and will do for us. It is how we petition in praise and acknowledge that He is our Father and will answer us. Giving praise or thanks is how we express acknowledgment and appreciation of Him, His grace, blessings and sovereign work in our lives, and the world. But it is not easy, in fact, it is a battle. 

Most of us have experienced difficulty when praying and giving thanks, especially in times of anxiety. But, as we pray through, we become less anxious because we are letting our requests be made known to God so that He is glorified when answering them.  After our blessing, we should give Him more praise and thanksgiving for answering our prayer.

Now back to our children. We often read Bible Stories with young children and share the Word with older ones, but how often do we dissect the scripture to explain how to apply it in their lives? Young people are smart. If we explain to our youth that praise and thanksgiving are a way to acknowledge our Lord, and through praise and thanksgiving a relationship and bond is established between the Lord and them, most would become avid practitioners of praise and thanksgiving. They would begin to understand the formula we have been given to pray and receive God’s blessings. 

In general, people do not understand their relationship with God in real-time. They feel that the Bible was about people during its time of writing and does not pertain to us today. How wrong can we be? Our children deserve training to become Young Christian Warriors. His Words are our sword, part of the Armor of God.  Praying back His Word to Him and thanking Him for all He has done provides a sense of calm, diminishes anxiety, and protects from the world.

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I just listened to John Hagee, Scriptures on Healing at https://youtu.be/9qxfyyYDF58.

Take a listen, he is one of the worlds most dynamic healers. John is the founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas. Website – www.jhm.org

God’s Divine Influence

Good Morning,

I’m reading a good book and want to share an excerpt. It is in line with my theme, inspiring our children to live the Word of God. It is about God’s Divine Influence.

 

Our children look to us for guidance, especially spiritual guidance. Once we delve into the Word and practice living out the Word, we can inspire them to do the same, and they will live a more fulfilled and dynamic childhood than we did. 

 

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[The Anna Anointing Devotional Plan Excerpt by Michelle McClain-Walters. You Version, Bible.com. (Book-Charisma House, 2017)].

We were made for God! God loves us and wants to spend time with us. He is a loving Father and loves to hear the human voice in worship and prayer.

God has created us all for His glory. Our hands, feet, and mouths were formed and fashioned to minister to the Lord. We were created for the pleasure of the Lord. The major reason we exist is to bless the Lord. We must endeavor to live lives that glorify Him now and forever. This is a powerful concept to grasp. God gives everyone the power to choose, but we will be held accountable for how we spend our time.

Find out what you are called to do, and do it with all your might, remembering it all starts with ministering to the Lord. He created us because He loved us. It was always God’s plan to have a royal priesthood and holy nation who would stand before Him to worship His holy name.

If you’re facing confusion regarding who you are and what you’re designed to do with your life, try ministering to the Lord. Spend time declaring His name and your love for Him. Remember you are His bride. Just as He did for Anna, He will show you the path of life. (Rev 4:11)

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As parents, it is our God-given duty (and job) to prepare our children to live a Godly life. A  life divinely influenced and inspired by the Word of God.

 

 

Personalize God’s Word, Psalm 91

In Bible Study, we are taught to pray back God’s Word to Him. He wants us to personalize His Word. He wants us to own His promises.Personalize God's Word

As parents, we are the head of our family and we have the authority to pray for our children for protection under the feathers of God’s wings. (See 2 Samuel 12:16)

When we pray, it is important to personalize God’s Word. Our Father appreciates us praying back His promises to Him. Personalizing prayer means we have faith in what He has promised. We own what He is telling us, there is no doubt in what He is saying. It is unequivocal.

Personalize God's Word

When you pray Psalm 91, personalize God’s Word. This prayer is known as the prayer of PROTECTION: THE SAFETY OF ABIDING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

As you pray this prayer, know that God is your family’s protector, and you can feel confident that your family is covered throughout their day wherever they go.

Psalm 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is OUR refuge and OUR fortress,
OUR God, in whom WE trust.”

3 Surely you will save US
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 You will cover US with your feathers,
and under your wings WE will find refuge;
your faithfulness will be OUR shield and rampart.

5 WE will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at OUR side,
ten thousand at OUR right hand,
but it will not come near US.

8 WE will only observe with OUR eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 I say, “The Lord is OUR refuge,”
and WE  make the Most High OUR dwelling,

10 no harm will overtake US,
no disaster will come near OUR tent.

11 For you will command your angels concerning US
to guard US in all OUR ways;

12 they (ANGELS) will lift US up in their hands,
so that WE will not strike OUR foot against a stone.

13 WE will tread on the lion and the cobra;
WE will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue THEM;
I will protect THEM, for he (the parent) acknowledges my name.

15 He (the parent) will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with THEM in trouble,
I will deliver THEM and honor THEM.

16 With long life, I will satisfy THEM
and show THEM my salvation.”

Psalm 91:1-19, NIV, Biblegateway.com. This prayer has been personalized.

Protection, Freedom, The Word

                              Protection

Our children need protection and freedom through the Word. 2017 is now behind us, and we are entering 2018 with plans for the year. Our children are continuing to grow, interact with others and explore the world around them. Children, tweens, and young adults are trying to figure out their lives and will do so with or without our help. Last September I began to Blog to help parents help their children through the Word of God. This year, I have reformatted the Blog to help parents become more familiar with the Word as a daily tool for living. Our children, of all ages, look to us for guidance and as role models. It is difficult for children to follow us if we are not practicing the Word. Practicing the Word and the phrase Practicing Christians can have two different meanings. We can be Practicing Christians meaning we can recite the Word, discuss the Word, and explain the Word to others. Practicing the Word means we live the Word in our daily lives. The best way to live the Word is to ask ourselves: ‘is this how Jesus would act, am I mirroring Him, am I obedient?’ If our children us practicing the Word, they will begin to follow suit. Our duty to our children is to demonstrate how to use the tools of protection,  teaching them to use the Word as their blanket of protection.

Last September I posted lessons on the Whole Armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18, and how it is important to put on the armor every day. The armor provides a layer of our children with a blanket of protection. So too does the 91st Psalms.

My current task is to write a lesson about Psalm 91 and the importance for our children and youth to become ensconced in the 91st  Psalms. The Whole Armor of God, Ephesians 6, and Psalms 91 cover our children and youth with a (spiritual) fireproof blanket.

Why is the blanket important you may ask? A blanket protects against the elements. This blanket protects against the elements of the evil one and is fire-retardant. It will keep the arrows and flames of the evil one from destroying our children and youth.

The 91st Psalms is one of my favorite books and chapters in the Bible. It has been my blanket of protection for many years and has covered me during a variety of trials and challenges. Chapter 91 was written to remind us that God is always faithful and covers us throughout our lives, regardless of circumstances, situations or conditions we may have experienced or will experience.

Psalms 91 is essential to learn because like the Whole Armor of God it protects our children from all onslaughts. If our children have a clear understanding of how God protects us and  they rely on his faithfulness, then life’s challenges are perceived differently and they will respond to life’s situations differently. Children live knowing their parents are close, will protect them, love them, teach them and correct them. It seems for many, God is much more distant than their parents. The bond between God and his children grows over time for many, and often it is not until adulthood that we enter into a close relationship with him. Just think how powerful our children will be in the Word and how intense the relationship they will have with God once they understand the scriptures and know how they apply to their daily living.  (Related Post – Children Model After Christ, October 26, 2017.)

Clip Art, Children holding hands

 

So, what should our children know about the 91st Psalm? First and foremost, the 91st Psalm is about faith and security.

For Parents: 

The 91st Psalm’s key lesson, according to Jack Hayford’s Bible Handbook, is “faith is a forward focus on God, His Word, and His promises. But faith also looks back at the blessings of God to gain strength, (Related Post – Learn To Thank God as Part of Prayer, November 13, 2017.) Faith allows us to flee confidently to God when in trouble and to abide in Him for protection.”

According to Warren Wiebsbe’s, Nelson’s Quick Reference, “God preserves those who abide in Him and love Him. These promises are not for people who run to the Lord only in times of danger but for those who dwell in His presence.” “ The abiding life produces the assuring life, the life without fear; which leads to the abounding life, the life of victory and peace. The safest place in the world is under the shadow of the Almighty.”

           Abiding Life ->Assuring Life ->Life without Fear ->     Abundant Life-> Life of Victory and Peace

For Children and Youth:            Diverse Children

  • God is our refuge and fortress, not susceptible to outside influence or disturbance
  • He is reliable and trustworthy
  • He keeps us safe
  • He protects us
  • He is faithful and loyal
  • He shields us from harm and danger

Meaning:

  • No sudden event, accident or disaster that causes damage or unfortunate consequences can destroy you.
  • His angels will safeguard you from undesirable events.
  • He will rescue you from harm’s way.
  • He keeps you from being lost or abandoned.
  • He comes when called.
  • He is steadfast and will be with you in time of need.
  • He will deliver you.
  • He offers unexpected ways of escape.
  • He rescues, saves, and sets us free.

Learning how to implement the 91st Psalms and Ephesians 6 assigns freedom to those who have the faith to believe in the Word of God.  

And we also thank god continually because, when you received the word of God, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13

FREEDOM

 

2018, Don’t Resolve, Do!

Today is the 5th day of the (2018) New Year. Some have made annual resolutions, most quickly fade away. They are promises we make to ourselves that we generally compromise because they take work and commitment.

Our children and youth cannot afford our lack of consistency. This year, let’s vow to build up our children’s lives by teaching them to understand the Word of God and apply the Word in their daily activities. Our motto this year, ‘Don’t Resolve, Do.’

I look forward to hearing from you this year. Share my posts with your friends, let’s buildup God’s army, after all – they are Young Christian Warriors.

He loves you and blesses you and the fruit of  your womb. Deuteronomy 7:13