The Heart Of The Matter

I didn’t begin writing this blog to do yet another “salvation message” per se.  However, It is safe to say that our world is currently covered in evil and darkness and seemingly in desperate need of hearing the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Darkness cannot be put out, but rather it is displaced by something greater: Light.  Not just any light.  There is only ONE  LIGHT, the Light of Jesus, that will displace the darkness that covers the Earth this day and age.  “Before anything else existed,  there was Christ,* with God. He has always been alive and is himself, God.  He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make.  Eternal life is in him, and this life gives LIGHT to all mankind. HIS LIFE IS THE LIGHT THAT SHINES THROUGH THE DARKNESS —and the darkness can never extinguish it.”   John 1: 1-5  (TLB)

It is the Light of Jesus Christ dwelling in and shining out of the hearts of mankind that will distinguish the darkness in the hearts of evil man.  Without God, the heart of man is at enmity with God and so evil will try to have its place among us.

You are like an unfaithful wife who loves her husband’s enemies. Don’t you realize that making friends with God’s enemies—the evil pleasures of this world—makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy the evil pleasure of the unsaved world, you cannot also be a friend of God.”   (James 4:4)

How do we put out the darkness that consumes the world today?  We cannot apart from God. “For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made us understand that it is the brightness of his glory that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.  (That is how….) We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. 10 THESE BODIES OF OURS ARE CONSTANTLY FACING DEATH just as Jesus did; so it is clear to all that IT IS ONLY THE LIVING CHRIST WITHIN WHO KEEPS US SAFE!” II Corinthians 4:6-10

It is time to heed the words of the Prophet Isaiah:
Arise [from spiritual depression to a new life], shine [be radiant with the glory and brilliance of the Lord]; for your Light has come,  and the glory and brilliance of the Lord have risen upon you. For, in fact, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness will cover the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you [Jerusalem – those who call Me Lord] And His glory and brilliance will be seen on you.  Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.”  (Isaiah 60:1-3 Amp)

That was a prophecy through Isaiah about the Day of the Lord.  Our Light has come…His Name is Jesus.   It is time to stop hiding that Light for fear of offending people and let it shine for the sake of the world!  Jesus declared to His followers,   “You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.”  (Matthew  5:14-16)

The Earth – God’s Creation – knows the world is in need of the power and authority we possess in the Earth and that it is time to release it in order to subdue the Earth and take dominion of the land God has given us!”  (Genesis 1:26)

There are many who think that “Mother Earth” or “The Universe” is ticked off, but The Apostle Paul clearly tells us what is going on. “Everything that God made is waiting with excitement for the time when he will show the world who his children are. The whole world wants very much for that to happen.”    Romans 8:19 (ERV)   The King James Version says “the whole Earth is GROANING…”.  How is She groaning? Through numerous back-to-back hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, mass shootings, and these horrific stories like the ones I’ve included from today’s news in this blog.

Who are the Sons of God? Those who have a living, breathing relationship with Jesus….who’ve invited Him in to be Lord of their lives…who call themselves “Christian”. Those “who’ve received the abundance of Grace and the Gift of His Righteousness and reign with Him in this life.” (Romans 5:17)

These are they who have been commissioned by Jesus to do this:  “  So he (Jesus) came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of time.”  Matthew 28:18-20

He sent us as Apostles (“sent ones”) and promised to be with us as we carry out this mandate! We don’t go alone because He never leaves or forsakes us!  But Jesus’s command to preach the gospel to all the world is the answer to the horrible things happening in the world today!   There are probably many who are saying right now, “I’m not a preacher.”  You may not have been called to “pastor” a church, or be an “evangelist”, but you have been sent to preach the gospel….the good news of Jesus’s saving grace to a lost and dying world.  St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words!”

It is important to note here, however, that THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS!” It is not condemnation or screaming hell, fire, and damnation to crowds of people on a street corner.  It is not shaming people into receiving Christ’s Free Gift of Salvation.  It is not a list of “performance-based rules” in order to be accepted by God.  Those are no longer needed!  Jesus came to fulfill the law by repositioning the external law by removing our stony hearts, replacing them with hearts of flesh, and writing His Laws upon our hearts. Then He placed the only One capable of keeping those laws for us within us: His Name is Holy Spirit, and He leads us into all Truth about Jesus!

THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS THAT GOD LOVED(S) us so much and had such compassion on us to see us set free from the Law of sin and death that “He sent His Son, Jesus, Who came into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world THROUGH HIM might be saved!”  John 3:17

THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL is that God isn’t mad at you!!!  He is the Way, the Truth, and The Life Who came to make you free from the bondage of the law of sin and death.  He loves you as you are and wants you to partner with Him so He may transform you into who He created you to be IN HIM!

The heart of man was trained in rebellion from the beginning.  “…because the old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will. ” ROMANS 8:7 

Everytime another law is added a desire is stirred within the heart of man (without God) to disobey it, break it,  at least see how far he can go to avoid it. In fact, “Death’s power to hurt comes through sin, and the power of sin is the law.”  I Corinthians 15:56 

“But when you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group—and there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing.”  Galatians 5:19-21

Jesus said He did nothing apart from what the Father told him to do and say.  Why do we think we are capable of anything beyond that?  He said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing!”

We are totally incapable of doing good or keeping the Law without Him at work within us!

“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control; there is no law against these! Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there! If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:22-25

Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God.  Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death because the old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will.  That’s why those who are still under the control of their old sinful selves, bent on following their old evil desires, can never please God.”
Romans 8:5-8

The point of the Scriptures from Galatians 5 and Romans 8 is to enforce what I’m saying about man apart from God.  There is no life and peace without Him, and man will perpetrate evil upon his neighbors because his old sinful nature is against that life and peace found in God!  

SO THEN, in order for anyone to obey the law, we must have Jesus working within us!
 For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.” Philippians 2:13 (TLB)

A simple example of the law strengthening sin: “Don’t look out your window.”   You weren’t even thinking about doing so until I set a law and your heart immediately wanted to do it!  Don’t lie…you did!

The lawlessness of man and his desire to rule over and destroy his fellow-man can be cured only one way:  When mankind learns to surrender to the only One Who overcame sin and put an end to its power at work in us: Jesus!

Galatians 2 tells us the Law was our Schoolmaster pointing us to the One Who would come and deliver us from rule-keeping so we could surrender to His saving Grace!

The Law is holy, just, and good.  (Romans 7:12) It just doesn’t have the power to make us holy, just and good!   Only Jesus has the power and ability to do so through the “finished work of the Cross” on our behalf.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”  Ephesians 2:8

I strongly suggest you read ALL of Romans 7 through the eyes of Grace. 
It is important to note that Paul is speaking of the futility of living as a man bound by the Law and the freedom that comes from yielding to the Lover of his Soul…Jesus Christ.  He ends that chapter by asking:

Who, then, will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]?     I give thanks to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! “ Romans 7:24 

 “…. but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57 

Therefore, I ask again…..what laws would have or should have prevented the shooter from killing the masses in Vegas, a man driving drunk with no forethought, care or concern for the young mother he was about to hit head-on leaving her husband without a wife and her 6 children motherless (the youngest of those children being her 8-week old premature twin daughters whom she was on her way home from visiting in NICU), or a man who decided to punish his innocent, helpless 3-year-old daughter for not drinking her milk by putting her outside their backyard gate by a tree close to the alley with coyotes howling nearby at 3 a.m.??!  Now that little child is missing and they are now trying to find out whether she was abducted by yet another evil person, or eaten by the coyotes!  Appallingly, it took the “dad” 5 hours to notify police that she was missing after his tirade!

 ALL OF THESE HORRENDOUS EVENTS CAN BE TRACED BACK TO THE COMMON DENOMINATOR  OF A HEART ISSUE PEOPLE!  Evil in the heart of man without God is the common denominator in all of these horrific crimes happening among us!  Establishing more laws is not the answer!!!!  I will repeat what I said above:  In order for anyone to obey the law, we must have Jesus working within us!  The Lord promised us that “ … God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.” Philippians 2:13 (TLB)

Q: What kind of person gambles all night, sleeps all day, gets himself in debt and then decides to arm himself heavily with guns in order to massacre a large mass of innocent people?

A:  Someone devoid of the moral inner compass of Jesus dwelling within!


Q
: What kind of a ‘father” puts his tiny 3-year-old daughter outside in the dark in the middle of the night with all kinds of potential for harm coming to her for not drinking her milk?

A: Someone devoid of the moral inner compass of Jesus dwelling within!

 

Q: What kind of person gets drunk and then gets behind the wheel of a car with no regard for the wife and mother of 6 whose lives he is about to destroy?

ASomeone devoid of the moral inner compass of Jesus dwelling within!

 I have asked repeatedly that those calling for more “gun control laws” stop whining and blaming the politicians, lobbyists, and the NRA to please come to the table with a viable solution.  Most of the complainers are totally convinced that there is something to be done beyond what is being done, but none are able to give an answer as to what those solutions might be.  To date, no one has come forward offering a solution.


Well…I’m coming to the table with the answer to the common denominator in all these crimes against humanity:
  JESUS! HE IS THE ANSWER! Even though to date, no one has come forward offering a solution of their own, as sure as my name is Jeanie, someone is going to dismantle the Truth of my answer to the problem, even though my solution is based on Truth!God is still eternally pursuing the heart of man to set him free from the law of sin and death so we may walk free in the Light of His Love! The finished work of Jesus at the Cross is something that works for everyone, but it must be received.           HE WILL NOT FORCE US TO ACCEPT HIS FREE GIFT OF LIFE AND SALVATION!  

LOVE IS THE HIGHEST AND GREATEST LAW THERE IS! Just any love?  No!  AGAPE LOVE: GOD’S KIND OF LOVE! AND IT IS HIS LOVE AT WORK WITHIN US THAT HAS THE ABILITY TO ORDER OUR LIVES RIGHTLY…FROM THE INSIDE OUT!     It is important, then, to find out what God’s Love does and does not look like:

WHAT GOD’S LOVE IS NOT:
“If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. 
If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. 3If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.”  (I Corinthians 13:1 -3)

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S KIND OF LOVE:
Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud,  never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.  It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out.  If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”  (I CORINTHIANS 13:4-7)

 “The law was without power because it was made weak by our sinful selves. BUT GOD DID WHAT THE LAW COULD NOT DO:  He sent his own Son to earth Who possessed the same human life that everyone else uses for sin. God sent him to be an offering to pay for sin. So God used a human life to destroy Sin. He did this so that we could be right just as the law said we must be. Now we don’t live following our sinful selves. We live following the Spirit.”  Romans 8:3 & 4

Jesus was able to destroy sin and take it away because “….He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities; and was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  Hebrews 4:15

“He Who knew no sin BECAME SIN FOR US so that we MIGHT BECOME the righteousness of God IN CHRIST JESUS!”  II Corinthians 5:21

Therefore, the answer to gun control, drunk driving control, child abuse control, rape, murder, etc., IS NOT MORE LAWS ON THE BOOKS! Control through “manipulation and intimidation for the purposes of domination” without God-given power and authority is, by definition, called witchcraft. 

The answer to all the evil in the world is a heart-transplant of the spiritual kind!  Without Jesus, the heart of man is barbaric and devoid of the ability to care about others.   I know some people who may (or may not) read my blog today who would say “I’m not a Jesus freak”, but SURPRISE!  If you love and care about people at all and are compassionate and kind, you are that way because the Love of God somehow made it inside your heart….whether you know it or not!   The Apostle John said, If anyone says “I love God,” but keeps on hating his brother, he is a liar; for if he doesn’t love his brother who is right there in front of him, how can he love God whom he has never seen?”  1 John 4:20 (TLB)

Said another way, or in reverse, if you will:  if you “love others and wish to do him no harm, it is because you love God!”  You didn’t just become that way without accepting His principles of Love!  Get down with your bad self!  Without Jesus within, “…there is none that doeth good, no, not one!” Psalm 14:3, Psalm 53:1, 3 – Romans 3:12 

I will say it again: “Don’t you realize that making friends with God’s enemies—makes you an enemy of God?” James 4:4   

If your heart is as grieved over the evil in the Earth today as mine is, then we must get to the heart of the matter in order to bring an end to all the carnage!    And the heart of the matter is the heart of man devoid of God and separated from His Divine power working within to Love and Walk as God’s Righteous in the Earth!  
If we truly want to see the horrendous gun crimes and human crimes against other humans and animals in this world cease and desist, then our heart must break for what breaks His heart and we must align ourselves with His plan to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It—-no HE—-IS THE ONLY ANSWER to these matters that are plaguing and destroying mankind!”Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers.”  3 John 1:2

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  Mark 8:36

Jesus agreed to pay the requirement for our sin to redeem us back to Himself and the Father and adopt us into His forever family.  Therefore, not all roads lead to God or Heaven. There is but one way to the Father, and that is through the Finished work of Jesus at the Cross.  And before anyone says it, GOD SENDS NO ONE TO HELL!  He leveled the playing field and gave us all the opportunity to begin again at His starting line: THE CROSS!  

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance 2 Peter 3:9   Repentance is simply changing one’s mind.  In this instance, it means to change your mind about sin and to agree with God about it: That He took it away…nailed it to the Cross and has stripped it of its power to have dominion over us as spoken of in Romans 6.

We were all once sinners (Romans 3:23) separated and afar off from God,  “….but to him who receives the abundance of grace and the gift of His righteousness…we shall reign with Jesus Christ in this life and the next.”  Romans 5:17

We are no longer sinners, but saints, and have become the righteousness of God IN Christ Jesus!  II Corinthians 5:21

How do we receive it?
For salvation that comes from trusting Christ—which is what we preach—is already within easy reach of each of us; in fact, it is as near as our own hearts and mouths. For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.”   Romans 10:8-10

God is unceasingly wooing you by His great Love and bids you “come”. He is offering you a living, breathing, life-giving relationship with Him….NOT BY RELIGIOUS WORKS NOR DEMANDING PERFORMANCE IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED!

>>”For God says, “Your cry came to me at a favorable time when the doors of welcome were wide open. I helped you on a day when salvation was being offered.” Right now God is ready to welcome you. Today he is ready to save you.”  2 Corinthians 6:2

>> “Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.~~~~“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”   Matthew 11:27-30

Most of the world has forgotten that The Bridge Jesus Built Over Troubled Waters to make a way for man back to God is still there.  It has not been washed away nor destroyed!

 

 

My prayer is that those who’ve already crossed that Bridge would help others find their way to it so the madness can stop!

And then he told them, “You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. But those who refuse to believe will be condemned (have condemned themselves).” Mark 16:15,16

I call heaven and earth to witness against you that today I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life; that you and your children might live!”  Deuteronomy 30:19

Freedom isn’t freedom unless we have the right to choose and God loves us enough to give us the freedom to choose, even when he knows that some will choose death!  As we preach (live) the gospel before mankind many who may have otherwise chosen death will choose the gift of Life God offers them through Jesus Christ!

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day by a non-believer.   It said, “freedom of religion is not using the gospel or the bible to control others with our beliefs.”  I agree!  If you are using Scriptures to control, manipulate, and shame people into accepting Jesus as Savior out of fear –STOP IT!

 Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is his punishment that makes a person fear. So his love is not made perfect in the one who has fear.” I John 4:18  All punishment was poured out upon Jesus for sin at the Cross and there is no wrath left for us.  All we have to do is receive the free gift and benefits of what He did for us/as us! (Romans 6:6)

It is a blast belonging to Him and living in the freedom for which Christ has set us free! (Galatians 5:1)

Let us  BE the solution to the heart problem that is plaguing America, coming to them in the same way Paul went to the Corinthians:  “Dear brothers, even when I first came to you I didn’t use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God’s message.  For I decided that I would speak only of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.  I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my preaching was very plain, not with a lot of oratory and human wisdom, but the Holy Spirit’s power was in my words, proving to those who heard them that the message was from God.  I did this because I wanted your faith to stand firmly upon God, not on man’s great ideas.”

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence because mankind will fail us!  God never fails us, leaves us, nor forsakes us!  If we allow Him to be at work within us  He will draw all men lovingly to Himself!  We may be the only gospel some men will ever read!   (Hebrews 13:5) (Ephesians 3:20)  (John 12:32)

Grace & Peace
Jeanie

 

 

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