Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

2 John 8-10 (NIV):

8 Watch out that you do not lose what we[a] have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.”

During my quiet time God showed me how in “today’s church” that we compromise and conform to this world far to often to keep “peace” (it’s a false peace because Jesus is the only true peace), to keep our governmental tax exempt status, to keep from being litigated against, to keep from being accused of bigotry, or to not offend people.

The truth is that we are an imperfect people that God chooses to use to spread the message of salvation of our perfect Jesus and lately many “churches” are preaching “a different Jesus” that is found within the Holy Bible.

This false jesus (false so no BIG J!) that is being taught…often in churches that many of us attend is “okay” with or gives sin a pass, approves of current feministic or chauvinistic teachings being taught the church that are NOT found in God’s Word, approves of the murder of His created handi-work via abortion, approves of disrespect towards our national leaders depending on which party they are affiliated with or which “color” they are, that it is okay to “accuse” someone today of things that their ancestors did, that it is okay to align against His chosen people Israel with nations/peoples who do not serve our God, and among other things allow other “teachings” (people from other faiths or within our midst) to stand in our pulpits and preach a foreign message than the one that we are taught is the truth.

This should not be dear brothers and sisters so let’s be encouraged today to repent of this sin of allowing sin and untruthful messages to be given access to the world through our pulpits and/or out of our mouths.

Let’s ask forgiveness today of the Lord for walking in agreement with the world on issues to simply “keep the peace” when Jesus (in love but most certainly ferociously) confronted these issues (and whether you like it or not) so that sinners, the church that they make up, and the world has a chance to walk eternally in TRUE PEACE with Him.

He loves you today and so do I!!

Be blessed, have a Jesus-filled day, and If I don’t speak to you again this year via the blog have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

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‘God loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’ These were the words of the late Alex Buchanan, described as a pastor to the pastors.

He was partially blind and suffered a stroke that affected one side of his face. I remember hearing him speak about God’s love and he kept repeating the words, ‘God loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’

When he finished his talk he came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe that God approves of you?’ I said, ‘Actually, I really struggle with that because I know things about myself that mean I find it difficult to believe that God approves of me.’ He replied, ‘We all struggle with that. But God wants you to know that he approves of you. He wants you to know he loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’

If I were asked to summarise what I thought the Bible was all about in one word – apart from the word ‘Jesus’ – I would choose the word ‘love’. Twice in today’s New Testament passage John writes, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8,16). The word ‘love’ is used widely in our society. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘Love is God’. In other words, it is God who defines what love is rather than the other way around. God is love.

This is the message you need to understand yourself, meditate on constantly and speak about to the world: ‘God is love’.

Here is the answer to the greatest longing of the world today. People are looking for love. Their hearts are searching. When you really know God’s love for you, your life is transformed. As we will see in the New Testament passage for today, God’s love is at the heart of each of the four keys to overcoming unhealthy fear in your life: ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear’ (v.18).

Psalm 138:1–8

1. Thank God for his love

‘Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!”’, writes the psalmist, ‘Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness’ (vv.1–2, MSG).

God is loving and faithful in answering our prayers: ‘When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout-hearted’ (v.3).

In this life we face many ‘troubles’ (v.7b) – sickness, opposition, temptation, exhaustion, trials and attacks. God, in his love and faithfulness, preserves us. ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life’ (v.7a).

I think verse 8 is one of the most encouraging verses in the entire Bible: ‘The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me’ (v.8a). God, in his love and faithfulness, has a purpose for your life and he will fulfil that purpose.

Human love can be fleeting, but ‘your love, O Lord, endures forever’ (v.8b).

As God’s love and faithfulness go hand in hand, so should our love for one another – in marriage, and in all our other relationships.

Lord, thank you so much for your amazing love and faithfulness towards me. Thank you that you promise to fulfil your purpose for me. Help me to live a life of love and faithfulness.

1 John 4:7–21

2. Live in the love of God

‘God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us’ (v.17, MSG).

The words ‘love’, ‘loves’ and ‘loved’ appear twenty-seven times in this short passage. Here is the heart of the New Testament. Here is the heart of the Bible. Here is God’s heart.

Love is the antidote to fear: ‘Perfect love drives out fear’ (v.18). Or, ‘perfect love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror’ (v.18, AMP).

Love is the opposite of fear. They are like oil and water. Love is something everyone wants. Fear is something everybody wants to get rid of. We see in this passage four keys to overcome unhealthy fear in your life.

• Understand God’s Love

• ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment… there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love’ (vv.10,17–18).

• Unhealthy fear entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. They hid from God. When God asked, ‘Where are you?’ Adam replied, ‘I was afraid… so I hid’ (Genesis 3:10). Adam was afraid that God would punish him.

• The deepest root of fear is condemnation – the feeling that God is cross with you. But God ‘sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’ (1 John 4:10). Jesus took your condemnation. God wants you to have confidence before him.

• Experience God’s Love

• ‘We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit… we know and rely on the love God has for us’ (vv.13,16).

• You truly start living when you know you are unconditionally loved by God. The Holy Spirit gives us the experience of God’s love for us. When Pippa was a little girl, whenever she was frightened, her father would pick her up in his arms and sing, ‘Daddy’s got you now’. This is the work of the Holy Spirit – God picks us up in his arms and reassures us of his love for us.

• Believe God’s Love

• ‘We know and rely on the love God has for us’ (v.16). The Greek word used for ‘rely’ is the same word as for believe. Even when we know and have experienced God’s love, we need to keep on believing.

• Object permanence is an expression used by psychologists of a child’s ability to understand that objects still exist even if they are no longer visible.

• Up to about four months old, babies don’t have the capacity to believe something exists if they can’t see it. If you hide a toy it no longer exists as far as they are concerned. They reach a stage where if you hide a toy, they will keep on looking for it. They realise that objects exist even when you don’t see them.

• This is a sign of Christian maturity: when we continue to believe in God’s love even when we don’t see it or feel it. We remember and recall. As we believe in the sun even when it is not shining, we continue to believe in God’s love even in times of darkness when we don’t feel his love.

• Perfect God’s Love

• ‘No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us’ (v.12). ‘Perfect love drives out all fear’ (v.18).

• The more you love him and demonstrate that reality by loving one another – the less you are prey to fear. Develop a culture of love – giving and receiving love. This is the opposite of competition and gossip. The more love you give to others – the more fear disappears.

Lord, thank you that you love me unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually. Thank you that perfect love casts out all fear.

Daniel 11:2–35

3. Stand firm in the love of God

People who know their God (v.32) are people of love. Love is not weak. The people who really know God resist evil leaders. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man who knew God and firmly resisted Adolf Hitler whilst praying, ‘Give me such love for God and men, as will blot out all hatred and bitterness.’ Over the centuries many people who have known their God have stood firm and resisted evil.

Once again this prophecy has different levels of fulfilment. The immediate historical fulfilment concerns the various kings and rulers who reigned between 530–150 bc, many of whom were evil and ungodly in their actions.

However, there is also a long-term fulfilment. As we saw yesterday, Jesus referred to the abomination that causes destruction (9:27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15). He was probably referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70, which was a foreshadowing of the end times.

In the midst of all this evil ‘the people who know their God will firmly resist [the evil one]’ (Daniel 11:32b). As the RSV puts it, they will ‘stand firm and take action’. Or as The Message puts it, ‘those who stay courageously loyal to their God will take a strong stand’ (v.32b). It goes on, ‘those who keep their heads on straight will teach the crowds right from wrong by their example… The testing will refine, cleanse, and purify those who keep their heads on straight and stay true’ (vv.33,35, MSG).

Today, thank God for his love, live in the love of God, overcome your fears, stand firm and resist evil.

Lord, help us to be a people of love who know their God and stand firm, overcome our fears, resist evil and take action.

Pippa Adds

1 John 4:18

‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…’

I have found comfort in this verse thousands of times.

Youth leaders often stand in the gap for youth who have parents who are too busy for them.  

They stand in the gap for parents who simply don’t care for or who abandon their children.

They also stand in the gap for parents who are not too busy and love their children as a “help” or assist to their children in their spiritual development or simply to walk beside both the parent and the youth as they navigate through this thing called life.

All of these roles and many more define the youth leader of today yet know and understand that we do not simply stand in the gap for our youth.

Our real mission is to first lead them into a life filled with Christ and then as Paul did for Timothy mentor them to become leaders themselves to replace us so that they can in turn mentor the next generation of our youth to do the same.

This is mine and any Jesus-fearing youth leaders passion and is what drives us to spend our time, prayers, and quite often resources on this segment of society that is often ignored because they are quite often “hard to deal with”.

So I want to encourage all youth leaders and those who have mentored, helped, or supported them (we ALL have a hand in their development BTW) to continue to “dig in” and invest in our youth in the Name of Jesus Christ.

The weariness that you often feel and the pain that you feel when a youth in your care is harmed, dies (for whatever reason), abused, and the list goes on of the terrible things that we walk through them and their families with is worth it and is recognized by Jesus!

So strengthen yourself in the Lord Jesus today ESPECIALLY that youth leader that He had me pen this for this morning who is contemplating quitting because it has become “too hard” to continue.

God is about to refresh you with some of the youth that you have mentored as you see how you have impacted their lives so stop focusing on the “lost ones” and focus on Jesus and the ones that you’ve mentored to good growth in Jesus!

He loves you and last but not least I want to thank all of the parents out there for allowing us to mentor your children and I apologize for those who evily abuse your trust by abusing the privilege of mentor ship of your children by committing unspeakable acts or who only do what they do for selfish reasons.

We who take this deal seriously and simply love your children wanting to see them flourish and allowing the Holy Spirit to use us to do so thank you for this privilege and we vow to not let this honor given to us by you go to waste.

Love and blessings on this awesome day!

Ron “Big Black” and always a youth leader at heart “Garrett

Pray AS you read His Word

Posted: October 24, 2017 in Articles, Religion
Tags: , , , ,

Most people seem to want to pray more.
Over the years I’be found that one way to actually do this is to while reading my daily word that I pray about the things that God through His word as I read it come to my mind.
For instance today as I was reading Jeremiah as he spoke on false prophets God gave me a mental picture of those prophets and it made me wonder in my heart how many times that I may have falsely prophesied in pride or simply because I wanted to look more “Holy” to people.  
Now I know that I’m not the only one guilty of this (😂) but the point is it is no condemnation here but God uses these convictions as we read His word like fertilizer for our growing spirits to help us grow into maturity IF we shun our pride and allow Him to do so.
So as I read His word and issues that I’m convicted of running afoul of His heart on come up I simply pause for a second and say a simple prayer.
For example…on the issue of falsely prophesying I simply say “Lord, forgive me for if and when I have falsely spoke words claiming that they are yours. Help me to lose pride and say ONLY what you would have me to say and I thank you for this correction. In Jesus Name Amen!”
I try to do the same as I read His word and anything on any issue comes up AND also as people or myself come to mind as I read the texts and things come to mind about I.e, health, worries, fear, anxiety, grieving over death, etc., because in that moment I have a scriptural prayer point right in front of me to that God for AS I pray to Him about the exposed issue that came to light while reading His Word.
Of course this will expand your reading time a little but the benefit is that your prayer time will also increase and you don’t have to be religious about it either as some days nothing comes up for me.
Simply put this came to mind as I read today so I wanted to share as it may be helpful to someone’s growth as it has mine.
Be blessed and I love You with the art of Jesus that bears within me.
Oh yeah, this only works IF you actually take the time to read His Word. So make time since nothing else fosters that exponential growth in spirit that so many claim to want than reading and praying God’s Word over ours and those whom we pray for/about lives.
Ron “Big Black” Garrett

Romans‬ ‭3:23-24‬ ‭(NIV‬):  ‬ “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”‭‭‬

As I read this scripture God firmly placed in my heart that we (Christian’s) need to remember this verse when ministering to others since far too often we go about it from a position or feeling that somehow we are better than those we are ministering to when this verse points out that we are not.

We are no better than the drunk, “druggie”, the criminal, the “other” religion people, etc., because the ONLY thing that makes us “better” if you will is that we chose to heed Jesus’s call.

Without Him no matter our station in life or how well we’ve “got it” we’d be in the same boat headed traveling on hell river headed towards eternal damnation ocean and it would be wise that we remember that when ministering as not to “puff up” lest pride enter our preaching as it is a major reason that many refuse to “be like” us.

I’ve found that the most effective form of ministry that is non-threatening is to simply be loving to people as Christ has loved me and to preach the gospel less with my mouth and more with my life.

As I do this those around me become intrigued so I get to actually preach Jesus’s message of salvation and transformation of “our” (theirs and mine) and if they are already in the faith but growing I do my best to humbly show how I grew and am growing so that they can seek God for the best way for them to grow.

Let’s ensure today in our attempts to reach “the lost” or to help our hurting brothers and sisters who may be younger in faith that we do so with the humility that comes from the knowledge that we are all “sinners saved by grace”.

I love you and speak blessings and he Peace of Jesus over all that you do today and I pray that you pray the same for this sinner saved by grace surely needs it.

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

My Advantage 

Posted: September 25, 2017 in Articles, Religion
Tags: , , , , ,

The seeming advantage that I have when it comes to faith in Jesus is that I remain fully aware of how lost I am without Him, what my lot was when I sought and found Him, and that I am keenly aware that I’m a complete sinner that is only saved by grace.

Remaining aware but not living in this awareness allows me to run headlong into my day serving Jesus with fervor, passion, and with relentlessness all the while doing so with an ever growing level of grace as taught to me by His Holy Spirit.

So I ask you dear brothers and sisters to take a second and recall what He as done for you, where He has brought you from, what He has saved you from/for, and thank Him/praise Him/Worship Him for it.

Have a Jesus/filled day!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

https://www.facebook.com/powerofpositivity/videos/10154500437397371/
Just as it was with Thomas Edison in the linked video my life was filled with negative words that were spoken over me yet when positive ones were spoken they one out because the positive will always defeat the negative.
I was told over and over again that I was “dumb” and “wasn’t going to amount to nothing” by many of the generation of my family that came before me and since they were my elders I believed them.

When I joined the Army I had men and women in my leadership chain that told me how smart that I was and since they were my leaders I believed them.

One of these stories in my life was positive and one was negative yet the positive one once spoken exponentially outran the negative and I have since no matter if it is a job, college, or whatever have always been viewed by peers, leaders, and subordinates alike as a man of intelligence.

Now, know that while that story ended up well it pales in comparison what happened in my life when I heard what God said about me and BELIEVED it!!!

Choose this day to refute the negative that anyone is speaking over your life and instead go to God’s Word to see what HE has to say about who and what you are to HIM.

You are the “apple of His eye” and “chosen” by Him purposely to do great things in His Name.

You are a prince or princess and co-heir to the throne with Jesus Christ so stop believing the world’ foolish obsession with finding ones self-worth and seek Jesus today and you will find your “God-worth” which is eternally more valuable than anything that the world has to offer.

Everything that I have is granted to me by God and the simple knowledge that He loves me means more to me that every book of “knowledge” that this world has to offer.

Besides, once I chose Him He opened up His storehouse of wisdom and made it available to me and that is when the “true intelligence” in my being began.

Ron “Big Black” Garrett