What Will You Die For?

What are you willing to die for?

 

The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were willing to die to birth a new country in freedom from tyranny. “For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

These were men of means and education with families and much to lose. Yet they valued liberty more than life itself. These were men who believed in a cause far greater than themselves. And the majority of them lost their homes, their lands, their businesses, their wealth, their peace and security without wavering in their stand, and gave to us the United States of America and the freedom in which we now stand.

 

What are you willing to die for?

 

The apostles were willing to die for the cause of Christ.

  • Matthew was martyred.
  • Mark died for the cause of Christ.
  • Luke was martyred.
  • Peter died for the cause of Christ.
  • James, Jesus’ brother, was a martyr.
  • James, John’s brother, was beheaded.
  • Bartholomew died for the cause of Christ.
  • Thomas was a martyr.
  • Jude, Jesus’ brother, was killed for the cause of Christ.
  • Matthias died for the cause of Christ.
  • Stephen was stoned to death for his testimony.
  • Barnabas was martyred.
  • Paul was beheaded in Rome.
jesus-disciples

photo credit: soulpants.wordpress.com

These were men who believed in a cause far greater than themselves. They valued spiritual liberty and freedom over sin, hell, and the grave. They were willing to give their all that they might save some. And they stood without wavering, contending for the faith in which we now stand.

 

What are you willing to die for?

 

  • Esther was willing to die for her people: “If I perish, I perish.”
  • The three Hebrews were willing to die to remain obedient to God: “Our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace – But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not worship the image you’ve set up!”
  • Paul knew from the outset of his calling that he would suffer for Jesus’ sake: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

 

 

When Jesus told His followers to take up their crosses daily and follow Him, to lose their lives that they might be saved, He knew exactly what He was requiring of them – and us. John put it this way: “He that says he abides in Him ought to walk even as He walked.”

 

Many good men have fought to the death for our civil liberty. The saints died to pass onto us the faith we live by. Jesus died and lives again that we might have spiritual liberty.

 

Paul admonishes us to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. “You’ve not yet resisted unto blood” the author of Hebrews reminds us. Have you purposed in your heart, with Daniel, not to be defiled? Will you carry your cross? Lose your life that you may find it? “For what shall be the profit if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?”

 

David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”  John stated that the saints overcame the enemy “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

 

There are things worth dying for.

 

Jamie Lucero

1Timothy 1:17

The time is ticking away

mom

I just got back from time with my Mom in Northern California.  Being she must now stay at home due to health issues, my always on the go Mom, had time to tell me some stories of her youth.  She is down to 98 pounds, and is the size of a girl.  When I asked her how she came to know GOD was real, Mom told me this story.

dust

Nana (her mother) had a lead foot.  But then Mom did too.  I guess it was passed down, for I’ve always had to watch my speed, as well.  When my mom was about five, she and her little brother, a year younger, piled into the car with Nana and went zooming down the dirt road leaving a trail of dust. They hit a bump, the passenger door jerked open, and my mom was flung out.  She landed on her back and a sharp rock cut into the base of her head on impact.  As it happened, a farmer was on his tractor working in his field nearby.  Seeing what happened, he jumped off his tractor, and rushed over.  Since mom was bleeding so heavily, the farmer cradled mom tightly against himself with one arm, while clutching the side of with car with the other, as he stood perched on the running board and Nana speed to the hospital.

The doctor did what he could, but recommended that they just let Mom die.  He predicted that if she lived, she would be a mere vegetable.  Someone had gone for her dad, and he arrived about the time of the doctor’s verdict.  Grandpa said, NO!  We are not letting go of her so fast.  We’ve only had her five short years.  Let’s give it a week.  Then, although not a Christian, he notified every church in town and the praying began.  GOD, who says, “ask and it will be given unto you” (Luke 11:9) was good to HIS word. GOD in HIS great love and mercy, reached down and healed my mom.

Mom didn’t just live, but has thrived, being a go getter all her life.  Even after retirement in her 70s, she couldn’t keep still, but volunteered.  Into her 90s, Mom heading up a food program for the needy, working four, or five hours a day, five days a week.  When GOD fixes something, HE does it right!

About a year ago, at the age of 92, Mom had to step down, and turn over the CANS (food program) to another, due to health issues.  But this past year has been anything but idle.  She says it has been an adventure, as she has spent extended time in the Word of GOD.  That was something she never had time for with all her going and doing.  So at 93, she is going strong, discovering more about our wonderful GOD and Savior every day.

Time is going fast, and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  So, don’t miss out.  Get in the Word of GOD today!

time

Tick tock goes the clock

A second, a minute, an hour, a day,                                                                                       It’s mine to use or waste as I may.                                                                                         The time is slipping away,                                                                                                 the time is slipping away,

Tick tock goes the clock                                                                                                 Where can I find time to do what I ought?                                                                      There’s never more time than now what I have got.                                                The  time is slipping away, the time is slipping away.

Tick tock goes the clock.                                                                                                     I’m rushing or waiting can’t seem to get done.                                                                 The urgent is calling, no time now must run.                                                             The time is slipping away, the time is slipping away.

Tick tock goes the clock.                                                                                               Where am I going and where am I at?                                                                                  I’m going in circles, no pan thus begat.                                                                        The time is slipping away, the time is slipping away.

Tick tock goes the clock.                                                                                              Where is the strength and direction from GOD?                                                               Too busy to seek HIM, to HIM I’ll just nod.                                                                 The time is slipping away, the time is slipping away.

Tick tock goes the clock.                                                                                             Where are my children and plans to enjoy?                                                            They’re married and gone now their own plans employ.                                        The time has slipped away, the time has slipped away.

Tick tock goes the clock.                                                                                              Where are the lost and plans to proclaim?                                                                        All preaching is over the LORD JESUS came.                                                                 The time has slipped away, all time has slipped away./ by Sharon

Don’t let it happen to you.

Looking unto JESUS the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs                                                                                                                                   Sharon

Strive To Seek Him Always

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (3)

It’s that time of the month again. The time when I head to the coffee shop, get a cup of my favorite coffee and sit down to write my monthly post for the Sister’s Blog. Normally, I’ve been mulling over a few ideas for a week or so. I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to write, and a list of verses that might match that post.

This month? I’ve got nothing. I could blame it on my month long vacation, where my daughter is staying out of state with her grandparents. Or that my husband has been applying for jobs lately, some that could cause a move across the state.

But I won’t. I’ll be honest. My life is a mess lately. My beloved planner has sat on the bookshelf, not in its proper place in my purse. My phone alarms and alerts have been turned off. I forget things more than I normally do. My weekly grocery shopping has turned into a daily trip to Walmart where I wander the aisles until something sounds good to make for dinner. I’m not where I should be. And I know exactly what it is. I’ve not been in the Word lately. I’ve not been praying like I should. I’ve been complacent.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (2)

In the lazy days of summer, I let what should be my number one priority slip. I spent my days sitting in the sun reading, listening to music. I took my daughter to the zoo, and the park. We slept in. We took naps. We spent time we should’ve been spending with our Father just being lazy. See, when I am faithful about reading God’s Word on a daily basis? When my prayer life is strong? Then I am a more organized person. Everything in my life seems to fall into place.

Sure, things come at me. 18 months ago my husband unexpectedly lost his job. But I was daily in the Word and I knew that God had us. I knew that he would provide, so I faithfully kept reading and praying and walking.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

But the past month? I’ve been lazy. I’ve read my Bible a handful of times. I’ve finished a Bible Study, out of obligation to return the book to the lender. But that’s it. I’ve just barely been keeping afloat.

And here’s the thing. I know how to fix this.

So I’m asking you, my Sisters in Christ, to help me! Join me this next month, to grab our Bibles daily. To jump into the Word and let God speak to us as he wants to. Join me in strengthening our prayer lives!

This time of year is absolutely perfect for this. As kids are heading back to school and summer vacation is winding down? Let’s pull ourselves up and head back into this school year the way that we’re supposed to! Armed with the Word of God!

So reach out, grab another Sister and help each other stay accountable! (This can be as simple as a text each day asking if you’ve been reading, praying, doing whatever it is you need to work on!) I’ll even help us all out and start an accountability post in our FWC Sister’s Community!

 

-Jacque; Hebrews 6:19

Tools of his trade vs our weapons

jesus_devil_temptation_lg_clr

There’s an old fable that says the devil once held a sale and offered all the tools of his trade, to anyone who would pay the price. They were spread out on the table and each one was labeled. Hatred, malice, envy, despair, sickness, sensuality — all the weapons that everyone knows so well. But off to one side, lay a harmless looking wood-shaped instrument which was marked “discouragement.”

The instrument marked discouragement was old and worn looking, but it was priced far above all the rest on Satan’s tools.

When asked the reason why, the devil replied, “Because I can use this one so much more easily than the others. No one knows that it belongs to me, so with it I can open doors that are tightly bolted against the others. Once I get inside, I can use any tool that suits me best.”

As that fable indicates, our enemy is sneaky.

Be serious, be alert! Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).

The enemy will whisper lies into our ears.   That first thought is not sin for it is the devil speaking. But when we rehearse that thinking, we have become our own enemy, for by rehearsing the enemy’s lies, makes us a partner with him in building up a stronghold in our lives.

hagan

Hagan got a part in the play. In order to learn his part, he had to rehearse it, time and again. By going over his part, he knew just what he was supposed to do, and when.

Now when you have a speaking part in a program, someone gives you your lines, you don’t just make them up as you go.   Then you read through your lines, and rehearse them by saying them over, and over, and over until you know them.

Well it is the devil who gives those lines of doubts and discouragement to you, by whispering them to you in a way that sounds just like you. And believe me, he is a fantastic impersonator. When we take those lines, the devil has given us, and rehearse them, by thinking about them time and time again, we are learning a part that eventually will cause us to act.

That is why it is so very important to recognize the enemy as the source of our discouragement.  Once you do that, the battle is half won. Take those thoughts of discouragement, or any of the devil’s lies to CHRIST (II Corinthians 10:5). In that way, you submit yourself to GOD. Then pick up the sword of the SPIRIT (which is the Rhema- the word of GOD that the HOLY SPIRIT hands you, by reminding you of a verse Ephesians 6:17, Philippians 2:13). Speak that word out loud, like Jesus did in the wilderness. For although the devil can put thoughts into your mind, he can NOT read your mind. By verbally, resisting the devil, he will flee (James 4:7).

sword

For no weapon formed against you shall prosper, but you shall condemn it with your own mouth, for that is your inheritance as GOD’s child (Isaiah 54:17).

 

PS-a screw placed in Little Hagan’s back during his last back surgery, has moved. So Hagan is scheduled for another back surgery August 29th.   Please join me in praying for him.   There has been a great deal of pain with each of his back surgeries, so naturally, it is scary for him..

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

hugs
Sharon

Fear not

giant fear

A week after our move to Colorado Springs, I had a baby girl-Shirley. One afternoon, the baby had just finished her bottle and was sleeping soundly, when her 12 year old sister-Kari, (a mite jealous of the new baby, she had asked for), came home from school and quickly dropped her books, grabbed an apple, and went outside to play with her new friends next door. But, my oldest daughter- Jeri hadn’t come home from school yet. I looked out the front window, from time to time, expecting to catch a glimpse of her.   Time ticked away, minutes turned into an hour, but still no sign of her. After an hour, wondering, where in the world she could be, fear began to creep in. There was nothing I could do, but at the same time, I couldn’t just sit there.   My mind kept going back to the fact Jeri was not home. The fears began to grow as I speculated on the possible causes. I had to find something else to occupy my mind. I went downstairs to the basement and started a load of laundry. As I was tossing clothes into the washer, I picked up a blouse, when I realized it was hers, tears sprung up and rolled down my face. I was scared, where could Jeri be?

Fear is one of Satan’s favorite weapons. He whispered dire scenarios, painting a picture of helplessness, and hopelessness in my ear. Fear snuck into my heart without permission, tugging at me to panic. It stole my peace, and my concentration.

Climbing back up the stairs, I decided this has gone far enough. I sat down at the kitchen table, and after a cry to GOD, I blindly opened my Bible and began to read.

“he shall not be afraid of bad news; his heart is fixed (set in cement), trusting in the LORD” (Psalm 112:7).

What caught my attention was “his heart is fixed, trusting the LORD”

I thought- fixed, like my clothes line poles are fixed in cement. The cement keeps the poles steady. As I read those words, GOD spoke to my spirit saying, “Sharon, trust ME!”

Well, faith comes from hearing and hearing from a word (rhema-personally whispered word to my inner man) of GOD (Romans 10:17).   GOD had taken those words in Psalm 112:7 and translated them into my situation. Faith blossomed. I was reminded that GOD was with her, just as HE was with me.

GOD didn’t say, there will be no evil tidings, HE just said, “Sharon, trust ME”. Since GOD had seen me through struggle after struggle, I was confident that HE really did love me, HE was in control, and knew what HE was doing. Therefore, those three simple words, impressed on me, were enough to redirect my focus from my fears, and fix them back on HIS faithfulness.

faith step

So I spoke Psalm 112:7 aloud. “He shall not be afraid of bad news; his heart is fixed (set in cement), trusting in the LORD.” Then I said it again louder,  “He shall not be afraid of bad news; his heart is fixed (set in cement), trusting in the LORD.” 

It strengthened my faith, pushing away all the enemy’s dire speculations. Fear fled, and peace flooded over me. That verse proved true. By focusing on GOD, fixing my eyes on HIM and HIS faithfulness, I no longer was afraid of bad news.

Now, she didn’t come home that night or the next, yet my peace remained. When she came to mind, or the fiery darts of doubts would hit, I prayed, thanking GOD for being there with her, and asking HIM to protect her. By fixing my eyes back on GOD, peace kept my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).

Finally, we got a phone call. Jeri hadn’t wanted to move and leave her friends, so had hitch hiked back to where we had lived before. Some friends hid her, but after considering her options, Jeri was ready to come home. Her dad went and got her.

Isaiah 8:11-14 The LORD spoke to me and instructed me not to walk the way of the people… not to fear what they feared, not to be afraid. HE said I was to look to HIM, the LORD of hosts, and let HIM be my fear (desire only to please HIM). HE said if I did this, HE would be for me a sanctuary (a place of safety) and I would have nothing to fear.

JESUS made it very clear, “I have told you these things so that you may have peace (that is why we need to read the Bible). In this world you will have troubles and sorrows, but take courage, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). It’s true, no matter what has happened, the LORD has come through for me.  Whether it be personal troubles, national, or even worldwide issues, if we fix our hopes on GOD, we do not need to fear what the world fears.  For HE, the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY is in control and rewards those who diligently seek HIM (Hebrews 11:6).

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs,

Sharon

Grab the Lifeline, and Hang On

If you were drowning and someone threw you a lifeline, would you grab it and hang on for dear life? Of course you would. Faith is the believer’s spiritual lifeline. Grab hold and hang on for the eternal life of your soul. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you,” Isaiah wrote as God spoke the promise. There’s more…

“‘Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38&39). We are saved through faith, and we continue to live our daily Christian life by faith – by believing that God is Who He says He is, and that He does what He promises in His Word He will do.

 

Faith is the requisite for salvation from sin, and we walk in faith daily in order to make it into heaven for eternity: we live by faith; it’s our lifeline.

 

Atheists, according to Webster, disbelieve the existence of God; they deny the Being of God.  Now the devil believes in God, and people can believe in God without having faith in Him. And it’s Satan’s trick that we might believe in God without having faith that results in salvation and eternal life. One of the enemy’s goals is to make practical atheists out of Christians; for us to become non-believing believers.

 

Eve was a believer – she walked with God daily! Yet Satan was able to bring her to believe him over believing that God would do what He said He would do. God had warned Adam, and Adam had informed Eve: “In the day you eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall surely die.” But Satan convinced her, “You shall not surely die; you shall be as gods!” And Eve became a non-believing believer. She knew God had said it. She just didn’t believe it.

 

This is spiritual warfare – believing the truth from God instead of the lies from the devil whose basic weapon is deception. He lies about God and everything else,” Kevin De Young wrote. Resisting the devil has to do with faith – trusting truth instead of lies.

 

“Satan attempts to deceive us by twisting God’s Word and sowing seeds of doubt in our minds about God’s faithfulness and goodness to us as His children, doing everything he can to move us from faith and gratitude to unbelief and grumbling”, Robert Morris explains.

 

We read of Satan’s temping of Jesus in the wilderness: “And when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread’” (Matthew 4:1-3). Don’t count on Satan leaving you alone. He went after the Son of God! And he tried on Jesus the same deceitful tactic he used on Eve: “Did God say, when You were baptized last month, that You were His Son? Then why would He bring You out here in the wilderness and leave You to starve? Obviously you can’t trust Your Father – if indeed He is Your Father. Don’t You deserve better treatment than this? Your Father gives less that You could have; less that You should have! Listen to me – I won’t let You starve. Turn these rocks into bread and satisfy Your growly tummy.”

 

But Satan is a liar and the father of lies – there’s no truth in him. There’s no nourishment in rocks or anything else he offers us. Our hunger is satisfied with God’s righteousness, not Satan’s deceptions. Twisting, editing, and reinterpreting God’s Word so that we will play the “Blame God” game is ever Satan’s attempt on us. He played it on Eve; he attempted it with Jesus; he’ll use it on you and me.

 

“If the God you serve really loved you,” Nebuchadnezzar intimated to the three Hebrews, “you wouldn’t be in this predicament, but Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands and out of my furnace?!!”  But these men held onto their faith. They remained believers.  “Our God IS able to deliver us, but whether He chooses to or not…” They refused to become non-believing believers bowing to Nebuchadnezzar’s idols!

 

Ann Voskamp wrote, “Satan and this world don’t offer anything that can quench the faith of a heart on fire for God.”  Is your heart on fire for God?

 

Paul penned some questions and answers for us to ponder as believers. Let me print here Romans 8:31-39 so we can feed on this together.

  1. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
  2. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?
  3. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God Who justifies.
  4. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us.
  5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
  6. As it is written, For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
  7. No! In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.
  8. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
  9. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Question # 1: If God be for us, as believers, who can be against us? Lots of “whos” actually…family, friends, enemies, physical problems, economic woes, political pressures….  Any or all of these may attack us and be against us. BUT GOD is for us! And things, situations, or people cannot defeat us while we hold onto the lifeline and remain believers in Him!

 

He’s already done the “hardest” thing in giving up His Son for us all, so… Question # 2: Will He not also with Christ give us all things we need to live victoriously in Him? Yes, indeed! Without fail! Count on it! Believe! Hang on!

 

Question # 3: Who will bring charges against us as God’s believers after He has justified us in Christ?  Again, lots of “whos”.

  • Daniel’s peers in government brought charges against him.
  • Jeremiah was accused of treason by the priests and false prophets of Judah.
  • Paul had to defend himself against charges brought by the Jews.
  • Satan stands accusing believers day and night before the throne of God.

But the charges don’t stick! The accusations and writings against us have been blotted out by Jesus! Hallelujah!

Question # 4:  Who condemns us? Again, sadly, lots of “whos” try to condemn believers. Someone or something is constantly trying to take us down. It’s spiritual warfare. And we are in it! Have you heard, “You can’t be a Christian and act like that” or some similar accusation? “Christians are all hypocrites.” Do these condemnations stick to the believer? Oh, thank God He included this verse in His written Word: “There is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ!” Jesus is interceding for us, standing between us and the charges, the condemnation.

 

The only condemnation that sticks is that of unbelief. Beware becoming a non-believing believer. Don’t listen to the enemy of your soul. Never let go the lifeline of faith.

 

Question # 5: Who, or what, separates us from God’s love?

  • Shall tribulations, your troubles?
  • Shall distress or pressures?
  • Will persecution?
  • Will famine or nakedness – hard times? Really hard times?
  • Shall peril? Danger? War? The threat of force? Facing death?

 

Can these things separate us from God? NO! In all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through HIM Who loves us– through Him, the Invincible, Unconquerable One.

 

“I am persuaded,” Paul wrote. Are you? Convinced? Persuaded? Believing? Hanging onto the lifeline of faith for eternal life?

Death’s sting is gone, swallowed up in victory.

Life we now live in Christ.

Angels are God’s messengers to assist believers.

Demons can assail but not conquer us.

Neither the here and now, the future, heights, depths – nor any other one or thing can separate the believer from the Father!

 

No matter what unfolds in your life and mine, God is always good, and we are always loved. Know that when troubles strike, He carries us even then, and especially then. “Let not your heart be troubled; believe.” Grab the lifeline of faith and hang on. It’s for eternal life.

 

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35&36

 

Let’s refuse to be practical atheists – non-believing believers – but let’s live as more than conquerors by our faith in Him Who loves us!

 

Jamie Lucero

1 Timothy1:17