Thirsty?

clean-clear-cold-416528In the field of business marketing there is a term that helps companies position a product, to know who and what a product is for. To be sure the product will be something people want and also beat the competition. The term is “value proposition”. It could be a paragraph or few sentences that make a statement for what a product will do and why it will be desirable to someone. The shortest value proposition I ever saw, was when I was sitting in the waiting area of a car repair shop. There, in the corner, was a soda drink machine. On the front was a single word. This word was the value proposition for the product being sold. That value proposition read – “Thirsty?”. The market segment for that product would be anyone that was thirsty, and the promise would be that it would quench your thirst. You could imply that this particular drink, above all other options, would satisfy your thirst.

Just before His ascension, Jesus Christ gave a last charge to his apostles “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (See Mark chapter 16) The gospel, or good news of Christ was astounding! Christ had been risen from the tomb and had saved the world from death and hell. This would be the most important message anyone could hear. The apostles would be direct witnesses to proclaim they had see the Messiah, Immanuel, the Savior of the world. Here we are, many years later, with that same gospel to proclaim. There are still people today that have not heard the gospel message. How many will accept it and believe? How many are thirsty and will drink it in?

In Isaiah, we read the following:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.” Isaiah 51 NIV

To all that will listen, this gospel message will figuratively fulfill a spiritual thirst. If you drink of the gospel message, you will find fulfillment and purpose in life that will be deeper and more fulfilling that you could possibly imagine. Are you one of the sheep that Christ figuratively spoke about when he said “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me”? I hope that is the case.

Do not be discouraged when others scoff and ridicule you because you identify yourself as a Christian. They really do not know what they are talking about. They are drinking another drink that is poisonous to their souls.

The gospel message seems to stick with some people and not others.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength…The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 NIV

So are you thirsty? Have you tasted of the “living waters”? Get to know who Christ was and what he did. Know the truth and be free from sin. This is a drink that keeps on giving. You can drink it over and over and enjoy an outpouring of the Spirit each and every day and never thirst again.

“…he would have given you living water…Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4 NIV

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– You are what you eat

foodIn the 1940’s a book was published that had as its title “You Are What You Eat: how to win and keep health with diet”. Your body reacts to the food you consume to absorb it. You obviously need liquid to keep alive and you also need foods that contain various nutrients to function. As food is digested, the chemical reactions that take place break down food into simpler molecules that are used in your body. Some molecules such as glucose end up in your blood stream and are carried throughout your body to be used as fuel for your cells.

It is obvious that what we eat affects our bodies and our quality of life. Unfortunately, our society has created foods that are classified as “fast-food” and “junk-food”. These can be enticing to our taste buds and very enjoyable at the moment. They were obviously designed that and marketed to trap us. Place a bowl of kale, garden carrots and broccoli next to a bag of potato chips, ice-cream, doughnuts and a coke and you know what most people will chose. The consequences of our eating habits build up and our bodies get use to those and crave those same foods that are actually killing us. Here are a few of the leading causes of death in the US – Heart disease, Stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes, Kidney disease. All of these are directly affected by the foods you take into your body. You can lower your chances of dying from these by altering your diet.

The phrase “You are what you eat” applies even more importantly to what you consume as media and entertainment in your life. You have a spiritual side to your being. You are actually a manifestation of the spirit that inhabits your body of flesh, blood and bone. Your spirit is affected by what you feed it as a diet. Feed it junk and you will see the consequences of that. You could become addicted and enslaved by evil because of what you consume. You will be surrounded by good of evil depending on what you are exposing yourself to. Look carefully at your consumption of music, TV, internet, movies, gaming and social media. Work can even be something you are consumed with, and for the wrong reasons.

The food and the media that we consume can be used for good and evil. Just as improper food choices can damage us, there are eternal consequences to having a poor diet of rotting “foods” that can damage our spirits. Not only can it be a waste of your time here on earth, but it can pollute you in ways you cannot see, but are just as real. Flee evil, and turn your heart and devotion to God to worship Him. Spend time in wholesome entertainment. If you make yourself sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you will know what will drive it away and what will keep it with you. That is your meter to gauge what you should be consuming.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:17

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matt 6:22

– The power of positive thinking

good1Faith and belief overcome fear and doubt. That is a statement that is easier said than done. The problem is that life is sometimes not what we had planned and we have challenges to overcome. Nevertheless, in the long run, faith and belief will win out and good will come to those that obey God’s word and trust in Him.

 

What is stand in the way of you living a full and happy life. Just as there is truth in the saying – “you are what you eat”, the saying “you are what you think” is also true. Do you ever find yourself saying the following? “I knew that would not work.” You will be living a self-fulfilling prophesy one way or the other.

Positive thinking attracts goodness to your life and brings a power to bring positive events into your life. A study once showed that basketball players could actually achieve higher shooting percentages by thinking positively and envisioning themselves making baskets than by actual physical practice. It is scientifically proven that stress kills you in a variety of ways and that positive thinking people are healthier.

There is more going on around you than you realize. When you act in a positive way to accomplish good in this world, there is real power that will accompany you. This is not just some superstitious new age metaphysical thinking either. There are good and evil powers being manifested in this world.

Universal rules of outcome:

“As a person thinks so are they” – Proverbs 23:7

“O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” – Psalm 30

“…whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7

“…If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” – Matthew 21:21,22

Self-affirmations to repeat to yourself each day:

Pick one or all of the following to repeat to yourself:

  1. I believe in myself and my abilities.
  2. Good things happen to me.
  3. I have a bright future that I am excited about.
  4. I have talents and skills that are recognized as I use them.
  5. Today is a great day to live, I am going to make the most of it to find and spread love, joy, peace, success and prosperity in abundance.
  6. I acknowledge God as the source of all good in my life.

Your attitude and thoughts emanate as positive or negative energy and affect what happens to you throughout the day. Positive reinforcement has the affect of bring in more light which is contagious to those around you.

If you desire others around you to be friendly, then you must project that in your attitude towards others in all sincerity. Your thoughts and feelings are more forceful than you realize. Be the master of your thoughts and establish healthy patterns and you will see positive outcomes all around you.

  1. What can you internalize a positive attitude about?
  2. Be 100% positive for a complete week and write down what happened.
  3. What will you visualize yourself doing?
  4. For every difficulty you encounter, try and see it as a positive event and how good can come of it.
  5. Stay away from alcohol and drugs that are depressants and affect your thinking.
  6. Live a life of purpose and deep meaning as a faithful Christian.

 

– How to be happy inside no matter what is happening on the outside

Is there some event you are facing right now that is a struggle? Circumstances in your life can certainly get overwhelming. Perhaps something you had wanted to have occurred in life has not come about. Between the disappointments and the trials you face, it is a wonder that you could ever go around with a smile on the outside, or even better yet, a smile on the inside.

Be assured that there is hope and happiness to be found in this life. Even great joy can be yours. The solution is to find a deeper happiness inside of you that is on a foundation so secure, that you can weather any storm in life. This way, your happiness is not connected with the current troubles you might be facing.

You know the answer already, you might just not have taken the next step of really making it real in your life. The answer is given to you in the Bible in several places. Let me take you back to the time of Jesus and we will revisit this time and find the key to the happiness that might have eluded you.

It was dry and hot afternoon and Jesus had been about with his disciples preaching and ministering to the people. The disciples had gone off to find food. Jesus happened to be right in the location of the famous landmark that was a well of water belonging to the ancient patriarch Jacob. Jesus approached a woman that had come to fetched water from the well. Jesus requested of her – “Give me to drink.” (John 4:7). As they conversed, Jesus told her of water that he had that she should be asking for. This was a symbolic lesson that Jesus gave her where he was likening water that would refresh the body to that which the spirit could do to refresh us. The water he spoke of would be a source of fulfillment in a similar way to how water would refresh her and yet this time keep her replenished forever so she would never thirst again. In other words an internal spring of water that was continually gushing forth.

As you symbolically walk through the desert of life, facing obstacles in your path, you are made alive inside and feel such joy inside that the sadness is replaced. Christ then is the source of true lasting happiness that refreshes you daily.

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” – Isaiah 55:1-3

Many in life are racing to find happiness in temporary worldly pursuits. They may even have thought they could give money away and serve others. This is certainly a good thing, but in the end would still leave a person empty. The true way to happiness is to partake of that which was offered to us by Christ.

Make it real in your life. Get to know who he was and what he did. Believe in him, have hope and faith in him.

-How is your “knock sensor” working?

 

car-engineOver a period of time, I found that my car was not driving with the power that it once had. I would step on the gas peddle while driving on the freeway and there just was no power. No acceleration as it once had. It was really apparent when driving up hills. I put up with it for quite a while and then finally took the car into the repair shop. They immediately diagnosed the problem as a bad knock sensor.

I had never heard of such a thing before, so I inquired as to the cost and purpose of such a gadget. It is a simple $35.00 part that listens to the knocking noises that the firing of the pistons make and acts to adjust the timing of the firing of the spark plug to maximize the power that the engine delivers.

The engine was always firing and giving off the noise to be heard, but the sensor was no longer working to be able to listen and use that information to direct its actions. How like this mechanism are our lives? How well do you listen to the quiet messages being broadcast to us from our God through the Holy Spirit?

The messages are always flowing to us. Unfortunately, we may not be listening. We might be drowning out those messages because of other noise we have let into our lives. It takes repentance and humility to get to the point to where we can escape the influences of Babylon and give our lives over to a more righteous path. A path that puts the kingdom of heaven first.

Jesus would often go off and meditate in prayer and listen, to know the will of the Father. Many times the prayer is a preparation for a later outpouring of the spirit at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. There are angels all around to minister and the Holy Spirit is there constantly to teach us and lead us in all ways that we need.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” – John 16:13

Start off this new year being rededicated to searching out the truths that can bring joy and peace into your life. Tune your life to listen in and you will be amazed what you will hear. It might be something you can actually write down and follow. It might even be something that you can’t put down into words, but is more of a message of love and assurance. Be a clean vessel and start bringing real power into your life and bless the lives of others as well.

– We need a miracle! Let’s unite to see one, like Moses and George Washington did!

george-washington-praying-olympia-washingtonWhen you consider the great miracles found in the Old Testament, one stands out above the rest. That is the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. Here you had a truly hopeless situation. There they were, Moses and the children of Israel. Pinned down. On one side of them were the armies of Pharaoh. On the other side the red sea. The only thing that could save them from certain death was a miracle.

Fast forward to the time of the American revolutionary war. George Washington commanded a much smaller, less armed and inferior army than that of the British and their contingency. Many colonists were against Washington and felt they should accept the offer given by the British to be pardoned and settle for what seemed some fairly good terms. Washington’s troop count at one point would get critically low. Then he would get pinned down and would have no escape and face certain death. The only thing that could save them from certain death was a miracle.

Fast forward to our day. We are exhausted economically and militarily. The slightest tremor to our fragile system will cause it to crumble. We have enemies within that have betrayed us. We have enemies on the outside that seek our destruction. We have social unrest, disillusionment, division and deception of the masses. We are pinned down and have no escape and face certain destruction. The only thing that can save anyone is a miracle.

How to see miracles

We have no national leader at this present hour like a George Washington or a Moses. What would that type of a leader be telling us to do in this most critical hour?  These humble leaders of the past would be telling us “we need a miracle!” But how? How are we to see a miracle in our midst? And how would we deserve such a miracle? Let’s hear it from Washington’s own lips. What did he say in his day? It is also what he would certainly say now.

“Thursday … set apart … as a day of fasting, prayer and humiliation, to implore the Lord and Giver of all victory to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness, and that it would please Him to bless the Continental Arms with His divine favor and protection–all officers and soldiers are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverence and attention on that day to the sacred duties due to the Lord of hosts for His mercies already received and for those blessings which our holiness and uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through His mercy to obtain.” – George Washington decree to his troops, March 6, 1776

“All the troops…except the guards, are to attend Divine worship tomorrow morning at the second bell; the officers commanding corps, are to take especial care, that their men appear clean, and decent, and that they are to march in proper order to the place of worship…The Honorable Congress having recommended it to the United States to set apart Thursday the 6th of May next to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, to acknowledge the gracious interpositions of Providence; to deprecate deserved punishment for our sins and ingratitude, to unitedly implore the Protection of Heaven; Success to our Arms and the Arms of our Ally: The Commander in Chief enjoins a religious observance of said day and directs the Chaplains to prepare discourses proper for the occasion; strictly forbidding all recreations and unnecessary labor.” – General Washington order at Valley Forge, On April 12, 1777

At the end of the war, George Washington declared – “The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the Armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.”

Washington knew wherein true power resided. He knew that he had to call down that power and he knew how to do it. What did he and others call upon the people to do over and over? To fast, pray, hold devotions, repent etc.

Wake up! All is not well! On a daily basis arise each day and humble yourself before the Lord and raise your voice in mighty prayer. Worship God the Father, in the name of the Son by the power of the Holy Ghost. When you lie down to sleep at night, do so with praising and thankfulness for God in your heart. Confess your sins and then go out and be obedient to the commandments of God and let your light shine for others to see. It is going to take a miracle to save America and bring the rest of the righteous out of the world to safety.

– Satan’s war strategy

220px-ary_scheffer_-_the_temptation_of_christ_1854There is an invisible war going on that is a continuation of a war that was fought before we ever came to earth. Satan and his hosts rebelled and were cast down as spirits to this earth. Some are aware of the war they wage, but most are not. Though it is not always seen, its consequences can be clearly seen and felt physically. The result is that most of the world is in bondage as a result of this war and only the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ can make us free.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

It is very apparent that this worldly scene is coming to a conclusion. The war is increasing in intensity because we are near the end. Christ will return soon and claim the world that he died for.

Satan thus is truly raging in the hearts of men and has been perfecting his war strategy since long before you were born on earth. You had better understand your enemy as well as know your Savior.  Here are the strategies being employed by Satan today to bring destruction to as many as he can.

Strategy 1: Distraction & Deception:

If you can get your enemy distracted, you can walk right over them. It is even possible to deceive your enemy so that they don’t even know what the truth is. What has happened to our schools, our government, our society? We have become distracted. As a whole, we are addicted to our electronic devices, caught up in social media and have to be entertained every moment of the day. It was said more than 50 years ago that TV was a “vast wasteland”. We have gone so far beyond that now. The Bible calls it Idolatry when a people turn their attention from God and give it to something else that is man made. That is exactly what has happened!

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. ” – Matt 24:24

People are thus distracted and deceived by vanity, flattery, false ideas, money, debt, immoral sexual behavior and perversion. There are even false Christian teachings or counterfeits that deceive and distract. Satan is the master deceiver and behind all of it.

Christ is trying to free us from the cares of the world and turn us back to God. Your worldly troubles will still be there tomorrow. But don’t wait to leave them behind and work for a cause that will outlast them all.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…Ye cannot serve God and mammon…But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” – Matthew 6

Strategy 2: Division:

How do you bring a society down? Get people to fight amongst themselves. Get people to be in disagreement one with another. Divided people in any way possible – economically, socially, ethnically, religiously, philosophically and politically.

Never before in the history of the world has it been so easy to access information or misinformation. Never before have their been so many avenues of expressing and opinion. Look at any of the news sites on the internet where comments are posted and what do you see? Violent disagreement, where people are harassing others because of their beliefs! Disrespect, foul language and abuse are everywhere on the internet. Look at what is happening politically in America. We are so fractured as a nation that we have no chance at reaching any kind of majority consensus any more. There is no chance of banding together in bi-partisan politics.

Only God can unify us now. Christ prayed over the world and plead with the father for this exact situation. Read the whole of the 17th chapter of Matthew.

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine…And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” – John 17

Strategy 3: Discouragement:

And what is the final strategy? Satan works to make you miserable and discouraged. Be of good cheer. Christ can lighten that burden, Christ overcame the world. He won’t take us out of it just yet, but he can make the load easier to bear and give us hope.

What is the battle plan then?

Read Ephesians chapter six and do as it advises and put on the “whole armor of God”. To overcome distraction and deception – seek the truth, ask and receive and above all be obedient to God and have an eye single to His glory. Have faith, pray, repent and humble yourselves before God on a daily basis. The time is now.

To overcome division you can find loved ones and other faithful Christians to stand unified with. Gather together and talk of Christ openly and rejoice. To overcome discouragement, be open to the spirit that will feed your body and soul. The bread and water of life are a feast that can fill you with unspeakable peace and joy.