During my bible study today, I was challenged to take a closer look at life. I came across a passage that challenged me to closely examine my choices, my agreements, and who I fellowship with and how these choices impact my daily walk with Father God. I hope it challenges you to take a closer look and brings blessings into your life too.
A word of instruction and encouragement:
2 Corinthians 6:11-17 and 7:1
“Dear friends in Corinth! We have spoken frankly to you, we have opened our hearts wide. Any constraint you feel has not been imposed by us, but by your own inner selves. So, just to be “fair” (I am using the language of children), open wide your hearts too.
Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God — as God said,
“I will house myself in them, . . .
and I will walk among you.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
Therefore Adonai says,
Go out from their midst; separate yourselves;
don’t even touch what is unclean.
Then I myself will receive you.
In fact, I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters.’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot.
Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God.”
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there.
Also I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! God’s home is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away.”
Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!”
Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’”
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the Beginning and the End.
To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life.
He who wins the victory will receive these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshipers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death.”
I am at a loss for words to describe the power and beauty of these ocean waves…
So I thought I would share a few scriptures about the Creator of the sea, our Father God.
Psalm 93:4 “The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.”
Isaiah 51:15 “But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name.”
Jeremiah 31:34-35 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name.”
Luke 21: 25-26 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
May you be blessed today with knowing our Father God who is the Creator God. He created you and me and the ocean waves.
Whether we realize it or not, we are all dangling on the cliff of eternity, our soul in this human body, but this place is not our eternal home.
For those who trust Father God, Yahuah, He is our rock, and his son Jesus Christ, Yahusha Ha Messiach, is our lifeline.
Hold tight! He has got you in his grip! Tune out the surroundings. Fix your eyes on his eyes, and see and feel his out stretched arm as it embraces you, and tune your ears to the frequency of his voice.
Do not be afraid. Though this place is not our home, He is with you and He will hold you. Like a child who trusts, trust him, he has a hold of you and will not let you fall. He will support you through the adversity. As you walk through life on this earth and the valley of the shadow of death he will hold you. He will deliver you out. He will deliver you from evil. Do not fear.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Mat 6:13
You will bring him glory because you trust him. Your testimony will shine as a beacon of light in a dark world and others will come to know him because of your faith in him to do the impossible, to do what no man or other god can do. Only He can heal you, only He can save you. When you trust Him to heal you and save you, you give him glory as the one true God.
I looked up the “verse of the day” this morning before writing you. I have spent all day asking Father God for the words to say in this moment, when you need to hear a word of encouragement from Him.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12
Then my conversation with him went something like this: Wow, Father, this is a great verse, thank you, and I can’t wait to receive the crown of life and I love you with all my heart. BUT how is “he that endureth temptation” a word of encouragement for this dear sister who is hurting and asking for prayer? How dare I tell another Christian to endure temptation and wait for their crown? Then he told me to look closer at the verse. I realized there must be a bigger meaning to the words written there because I could not understand how “enduring temptation” applied to folks going through illness or difficulties that were no fault of their own.
Stumped, I went to the dictionary to find the meanings.
Dictionary meaning of “temptation”:
1. temptation is the act of tempting; enticement or allurement.
2. tempation is something that tempts, entices, or allures.
3. temptation is the fact or state of being tempted, especially to evil.
4. temptation is like the temptation of Christ by Satan, (Matthew 4).
Ok, so this is what I understood temptation to mean. It is what I was taught. According the dictionary, it means being tempted to sin, the act of being enticed and allured to sin, and it even references when Jesus was tempted by Satan to bow down to him. However, this still did not make sense how going through an illness and a failing body organ such as a kidney, or someone loosing their job, or losing their home or their child, could be related to temptation…
Still stumped, I went to find the biblical meaning of tempation. So I went to the Greek translation and Strong’s concordance for a biblical understanding. Again, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me understanding.
My eyes were opened to the meaning of the word temptation. It has more meanings than what we are taught and different meanings than what is provided to us in our dictionaries. Yes, it can mean being tempted by sin, as mentioned in the dictionary, but this is only one of several meanings that the dictionary neglected to give. No wonder we as Christian’s miss the message so often. We do not understand what is being said.
Biblical meaning of “temptation”:
Temptation is to “try” or to “test”
1. Temptation is to try or test one’s faith,
2. Temptation is to try or test one’s virtue,
3. Temptation is to try or test one’s character,
4. Temptation is an experiment, attempt, trial, proving, trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy, a putting to proof (by experiment (of good), experience (of evil), solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication, adversity.
Now when we read this verses from James 1:12 it makes sense:
Going through a difficult experience, such as an illness, can be a temptation or test of one’s character and constancy of our trust in him during the adversity. When we love God and stay constant with our love and trust in him (to save, heal, deliver, provide) as we endure the difficulty we will receive the crown of life that he has promised.
I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide my words. I have faith that when I pray and ask, he gives the answer. In the bible, Jesus said the Holy Spirit will give us the right words to speak at the time it is needed.
Temptation is a trying of one’s faith.
Temptation is a test of one’s character.
Temptation is an experiment of good and evil.
Temptation is adversity and difficulty in our daily walk and proving of our character.
This is exactly what Job went through. The devil, the accuser, who goes around the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and brings accusation against the followers of God. He got permission from Father God to attack Job, to bring adversity, in many different ways all in an attempt to tempt, test, and “prove” Job’s trust in Father God as having all authority, and to prove Job’s character.
Who won? Who won the showdown between Father God and Satan? Father God won. Father God knew Job’s character. He even told Satan, “there is none like Job.” Job didn’t succumb to temptation during his illness and loss of family, wealth, employees, and friends. He continued to say, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away as He sees fit.” He refused to play god in his own life, or to try to change the outcome or seek out someone else to try to change the outcome, and he refused to curse Father God for the bad things he was going through.
Satan lost the battle with Job. He was only allowed to go so far to “try” to “prove” otherwise, but God knew that Job could handle this attack on his body, family, and wealth, and he knew when to end the trial and restore Job and everything Satan had tried to steal and ruin. God received the glory, because of Job’s temptation and “trying of this faith” through this adversity.
Now we can have a better understanding in our life today. Temptation is the trying of our faith, it is the testing of who we place our trust in, and our love of Father God. Temptation is our faith put on trial. Temptation is the testing of our faith in who we patiently wait on to deliver us from evil in adversity and difficulty in our daily walk and temptation is the proving of our character.
Jesus told us to pray like this:
“After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6 : 9-13
When we rely on Father God, he will provide a way through the temptation during adversity and protect us from evil.
May you be encouraged to put your complete trust in him today.
Have you heard about Creation Illustrated? They are a magazine and curriculum publisher. The photography in their publications is amazing and some of the best I have ever seen. Creation Illustrated has been called “the Christian answer to National Geographic” because of the amazing photography in their magazines, their focus on Father God our Creator, and the faith filled stories they publish. I am sure you will be encouraged and inspired when you read Creation Illustrated.
Creation Illustrated is expanding and creating a new line of digital products and we have been asked to review two of their digital Creation Unit Studies. Creation Unit Studies are fun hands on learning opportunities that expand on stories that have been published in the Creation Illustrated magazines.
Creation Unit Studies cover a variety of subjects, are filled with fascinating information that points the student a better understanding of Father God our Creator, and they are affordable. They are easy to do and will help spice up the learning in your homeschool. They are currently on sale for $6.95. They have eight unit studies listed for sale at this time, and have plans for several more. The current list includes:
Badgers – The World of Badgers
Black Bears – Bear Essentials
Dragonflies – Dragons of Paradise
Joshua Tree National Park
Snow – Intricacies of Snow
We were sent Intricacies ofSnow Unit Studyand Pine Trees Unit Study from the Creation Unit Studies collection, and they are filled with fascinating information we want to share with you.
Creation Illustrated: Intricacies of Snow Unit Study
Intricacies of Snow
Creation Unit Study
17 Full Color Illustrated Pages
Teacher’s Answer Key
Primarily for grades 5-8, but younger grades can use with assistance or modified.
Lessons and Contents:
Reading Resources (page 3)
Educational Videos (page 3)
Writing & Penmanship (page 4)
Vocabulary & Spelling (page 4-5)
Bible Study (page 6-7)
Science (page 8-9)
Math (page 10)
Geography (page 11)
Art (page 12)
Puzzle (page 13)
Teacher Answer Keys (page 14-17)
and Other Fun Facts.
Example of Student Worksheet:
Exampleof Teacher’s Answer Key:
Creation Illustrated Magazine Winter ’18 Edition:
Winter ’18 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated contains articles and beautiful photographs that correspond with the Intricacy of Snow Unit Study.
In addition to reading through the unit study and magazine articles, the unit study also contains a lot of suggested reading and research links and suggested videos to watch. When students finish this unit study about snow, they will have a better understanding and appreciation of snow and a better understanding of Father God and his creation.
Creation Illustrated: Pine Trees Unit Study
Creation Unit Study
16 Full Color Illustrated Pages
Teacher’s Answer Key
Primarily for grades 5-8, but younger grades can use with assistance or modified.
Lessons and Contents:
Reading Resources (page 3)
Educational Videos (page 3)
Vocabulary & Spelling (page 4-5)
Bible Study (page 6)
Geography (page 7)
Science (page 8-9)
Math (page 10)
Writing & Penmanship (page 11)
Art (page 12)
Puzzle (page 13)
Teacher Answer Keys (page 14-16)
and Other Fun Facts
Example of Student Worksheet:
Creation Illustrated Magazine Fall ’17 Edition:
Creation Illustrated Fall ’17 Digital Edition contains articles and beautiful photographs that correspond with the Pine Trees Unit Study.
In addition to reading through the magazine articles, and unit study worksheets, there are also suggested reading and research links, and suggested videos to watch. There is also an identification worksheet in the study that is great to use for taking a field trip, or a hike into nature to see the trees up close and identify them. When students complete the Pine Tree Unit Study, they will have a better appreciation for these trees and how they have impacted our lives, and a better understanding about Father God and his creation.
We were sent the digital Intricacies of Snow and Pine Trees unit studies and the corresponding digital magazine editions, Winter ’18 and Fall ’17, of Creation Illustrated.
We have completed the Pine Trees Unit Study, and have started the Intricacies of Snow Unit Study. We focused on the Pine Trees Unit Study for the purpose of this review.
We have experienced the end of winter and beginning of spring while doing this unit study. You can see the snow on the pine trees in the two pictures posted above. Though the winter was cold where we live, we got very little snow, and it was usually gone within a day of falling. In hindsight, I wish I would have focused on the snow study before the pine study as it would have been nice to have had snow actually on the ground that we could experience while studying it. I will post how our snow study went soon.
Here are some pictures of our nature walk we took to identify pine trees in the forest. We saw a variety of trees and lots of wildlife too.
We found pine buds full of pollen as well as fully intact pine cones on the same trees.
We harvested some of the young pine buds and pine needles for making recipes and several pine cones for crafts.
My kids enjoyed participating in this study, and the older kids did all of the worksheets, and the younger kids did a few of the worksheets.
We found an insect hiding in this pine tree. We also found bird nests, and lots of spiders (not pictured) that like living in pine trees. We saw several squirrels check for food in the pine trees and jump from tree to tree playing tag with each other and shaking their tails.
We investigated pine cones, pine buds, pine needles, and tree bark up close.
We also found some wild grape vines that had climbed some of the tall pine trees in the forest and were starting to bloom with bright yellow flowers. The winding vines and yellow blooms were beautiful and smelled amazing, and were such a contrast to the tall pine.
Here are some examples of my kids worksheets and activities from this unit study:
Further The Learning:
Though we have finished the Pine Trees Unit Study, I plan to stretch this learning out further over the next several weeks this spring and into the summer. I plan to add in a couple of building projects for the older three boys using pine lumber from the local lumberyard.
They have been learning woodworking skills using pine over the past year or so and they are getting better and better with their creations. They helped make a workbench table from pine lumber during this unit study. You can see the frame of the table in this picture. They have completed it since I took the picture and use it for a workbench for making handcrafts. They are enjoying it very much. They have been making lots of woodworking and leather projects on it.
They also helped make loft beds from pine lumber for their rooms last summer. They love their beds and they had a lot of fun learning to work with wood.
They are also learning bushcrafting skills. They are familiar with looking for dead pine trees in the forest, and they cut and chop these dead trees into smaller pieces for firewood. We plan to learn to make “fat wood” with pine for fire starting and make several primitive traps too. We have several templates and kits ready to make.
All of my kids enjoy whittling. They usually just work on a stick and whittle away at the bark and usually focus on getting one end to a point. The younger kids sit with daddy outside, and enjoy passing the time whittling. The bigger boys have developed their skills and whittle when ever they want and don’t require being supervised like the younger kids. The younger kids are only allowed to have their pocket knife while being supervised for safety.
One of my older sons has really taken a liking to whittling. He enjoys sitting outside by himself, whittleing, with the quiet sounds of nature. Sometimes he sits on the back porch and sometimes he sits on a bench he made in the forest. He cut several pine branches to size, about 24 inches, and using cordage to attach the cut pieces to a tree that has two trunks with a gap between them, he created a bench seat with a ladder back that goes up the tree. He can climb up to have a look around if he wants too. He loves to sit in nature and whittle. He has progressed into carving with pine, cedar, and birch trees. He requested some chisels and has made some lovely wooden spoons. He has made about six different spoons of different sizes and different purposes, and he has made walking sticks, and made a lovely walking cane with a handle. He has whittled, chiseled, shaped, and sanded several projects by hand with the wood he collected from the forest.
All of the kids really enjoy working with their hands, learning life skills, practicing those skills, and learning to make different projects they find interesting.
To further the learning even more, I am planning to do several additional art, cooking, and science projects with all of the kids, lap booking pages about pine trees, and a “Pp” letter of the week project for my youngest son to reinforce what he has learned about pine trees and pine cones too.
I also plan to use the knowledge we gained in this unit study about pine trees and apply it to an American History unit study we are also working on about a fronteir man named Davy Crocket. Learning about pine trees and their special place in history, and use as a food and medicine and building materials, as well as the impact on economics of the pine tree lumber industry on the people, will go well with the American History study we are doing.
My kids have enjoyed this unit study. I appreciate the biblical worldview of the curriculum and the beautiful photography and stories in the magazine.
I definitely recommend Creation Illustrated magazines and Creation Unit Studies for homeschool families. It is easy to download the digital PDF files and put them in a binder, read the magazine articles online and click through the related links and watch a few videos, grab your bible, and complete the worksheets. Older students can do these studies independently and younger students can do the studies with help from parents and older siblings.
We have had subscriptions to Creation Illustrated in the past, and had it for several years. It was a regular part of our homeschool learning. We have also reviewed their magazine for our readers several years ago, way back in 2012. I regret that I let our subscription expire when we moved a couple of years ago. I have been so inspired again by the magazine while doing this review that I plan to purchase a new subscription, and purchase more of these unit studies, and I would like to order several back copies of the magazine too. These make wonderful reading for my family, and inspire us in our faith. These make lovely gifts for extended family and friends and church libraries too. These would be wonderful to benefit communities and leave as reading material in offices around town too.
I would recommend Creation Unit Studies and the Creation Illustrated magazines to everyone!
The latest edition Creation Illustrated Spring ’18 has just been published.
Creation Character Building Lesson: Service and Ministry –by Terry & Jean McComb
New Coloring & Photo Contests for all ages
Photo and Coloring Contest winners
Study Guide, Spring Family Fun Activities
Poetry: All Creation Sings –by Bret Suarez
I found this 2015 video interview of Tom and Jennifer Ish. They are homeschool parents who began publishing Creation Illustrated in 1993. That is over 25 years! What an accomplishment for the kingdom of God! Only God knows how many people, perhaps millions, have been inspired to draw near to him because of this ministry. This interview is filled with fantastic information about the mission of Creation Illustrated and it’s worldwide outreach.
Try before you buy:
If you would like to try it out before you buy, Creation Illustrated offers a FREE digital edition of their magazine, and a FREE unit study on Fragrance which includes the corresponding digital magazine too. Be sure to check those out.
Keep in touch and up to date on all the latest news and products through the Creation Illustrated social media links.
Jesus Christ, Yahusha HaMashiach is our Passover Lamb.
He is the only begotten son of Father God, Yahuah. Our Father sent him to us because he loves us. He lived a sinless life by the power of God in him. He was born of a human mother, and he wore human flesh just as you and me. He walked on the earth as a human for 33 years, day in and day out facing the same experiences each and every person goes through. He over came temptations and lived a sinless life. He spent the last three years teaching about the kingdom of God, forgiving sins, casting out demons, raising the dead, and healing the sick. He taught us to walk with God is to love and obey God above all else, and to love our neighbor as we love our self.
Then, as the pure Passover Lamb, he gave his life for me and for you, so we could escape eternal damnation, so we can be forgiven of our sins, so we can be healed, and so we can walk in an eternal relationship with Father God. Jesus Christ is our mediator between us and God.
To accept his free Passover gift of forgiveness of sin, healing, and eternal life, we must believe he is the only begotten son of God, and that he died for us, conquered sin and death, and believe he rose again on the third day, and ask him to forgive our sins, and accept him as our Lord and Savior. We must confess our sins, and he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
My prayer for you today, is that you will love Father God and accept his free gift of the Passover, his son Jesus Christ, Yahusha HaMashiach, and that Father God will be glorified and his kingdom will increase in all the earth!
Would you like to bear fruit? Would you like your children to bear fruit?
I came across a recipe in the bible.
It is a recipe for fruitfulness in our walk with God.
On judgement day, we will be examined. Two specific things will arise and be examined. First, are we a believer in Jesus Christ the Messiah and son of Father God and therefor have our name written in the Lamb’s book of life? If our name is found in his book of life we will be sorted out from the unbelievers. Those who believe will be placed on the right side as sheep, and those who didn’t believe will be placed on the left side as goats. Next our life will be examined for fruitfulness in the Kingdom of God. When he examines our life, he will either say “well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of the Lord” or he will say “depart you wicked servant”.
According to Jesus in Matthew 24, he will examine us by our fruit. We are expected to produce good fruit for the kingdom of God. Some produce 30, some 60, and some 100 times increase from the kingdom of God seed they were entrusted with.
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
When he examines our life, and he will evaluate if we were loving and loved our neighbor. He will either say “well done” you gave me food when I was hungry, drink when I was thirsty, you cast out demons, set me free from bondage, you visited me when I was lonely, and cared for my needs”, or he will say “depart from me I never knew you”, because you did not have love, “you did not care for my needs, you did not give me food, nor drink, nor shelter, nor healing, nor compassion, etc”.
There is a process of maturing in our faith. Father God did not leave us without a method for it. He gave us the recipe for this maturing process. It is like a young tree who after receiving water, nutrients, and sunshine it matures into an productive tree and it produces blossoms and then it is pollinated and then it’s fruit develops and ripens for harvest. Our faith is also like this. Our faith needs nurtured and matured so we can produce a harvest for the kingdom of God.
Father God gave us the recipe for producing good fruit. We are to first of all love and obey Father God with all our heart. He gave us only 10 commands to live by and gave us the gift of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help us. We are to believe in Jesus his only son who gave his life as a ransom for yours. Confess your sins to Father God and ask for forgiveness. Tell him he is Father God of your life and you serve no other gods. Next, Love your neighbor as yourself.
Then we are to add one ingredient at a time, and then add the next ingredient, and the next and so on. When we have added all of the ingredients, our recipe will be complete and our life will produce good fruit for the kingdom of God.
Recipe for Kingdom Fruit
Give all diligence
Faith in Jesus Christ the Son of Father God
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:5-8
May we know him, love him, and serve him with our life, and produce good fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Is it better to be politically correct or spiritually correct?
During my bible study today, this verse stood out to me.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11
Lets start our understanding with some definitions:
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary to “reprove” means to:
to scold or correct
to express disapproval of
to express rebuke
According to online Web Results, to “express” means to:
to put (thought) into words; utter or state: to express an idea clearly.
to show, manifest, or reveal: to express one’s anger.
to set forth the opinions, feelings, etc., of (oneself), as in speaking, writing, or painting: He can express himself eloquently.
to represent by a symbol, character, figure, or formula: to express water as H 2 O; to express unknown quantities algebraically.
to send by express: to express a package or merchandise.
to press or squeeze out: to express the juice of grapes.
to exude or emit (a liquid, odor, etc.), as if under pressure: The roses expressed a sweet perfume.
Genetics. (of a gene) to be active in the production of (a protein or a phenotype).
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says that “political correctness” is “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”
Usually to be politically correct, we are expected to not express, not correct, and “overlook” darkness so we don’t offend others. People are usually forced into political correctness by those in power. Those in power usually control the financial rewards or punishment, such as controlling the money or accessibility to resources, employment, raises for job performance, etc and are able to invoke financial punishment or removal of resources on those who don’t comply.
Political correctness might be in relation to a conversation that relates to a job, gender, school curriculum, sports, community programs, sexual orientation, or topics such as abortion, sexual immorality, rituals, holidays, marital affairs, worship of other gods and goddesses, etc.
So now we see that political correctness and spiritual correctness are not the same. They are usually opposites of each other. To overlook evil for the sake of not offending someone is not what we are instructed to do in the scriptures, and for good reason. Political correctness is the opposite of love. Though it may look like a loving thing to avoid offense, it is actually the opposite of true love.
As children of Father God and followers of his Son Jesus Christ, we cannot stay quiet about works of darkness. Works of darkness are unfruitful and will lead to an eternity separated from God. Our fruit will be judged, and we are warned not to participate in darkness, but to remain children of the light.
We are told to rebuke and correct works of darkness and lovingly pull our brothers (and sisters) from the fire ahead that results from sin before it is too late to save their souls from eternal damnation. We are to lovingly and sternly warn them of what is up ahead at eternity so they can come out of darkness, repent, be saved by Jesus, and be transformed in to a new being. They can be transformed by the Spirit of God and the renewing of their mind that is no longer in darkness, but now abides in light, the light of Father God and his Son.
When you read this verse in context, it’s meaning in this passage of scripture becomes even more clear.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.
But fornication (sexual immorality), and all uncleanness, or covetousness (wanting stuff and wanting what others have), let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting (mock, idle tale, tease, or witty remark), which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger (sex outside of marriage, or one who has sex with a prostitute), nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater (one who has idols or man made gods or puts their trust in man made systems and creations), hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:1-17
It is clearly wiser to be spiritually correct.
May we understand what it means to wake up to the truth, to walk as the wise, obey the commandments of Father God, reprove unfruitful works, walk in the light, walk in true love, and understand the will of the Lord God our creator.
When I was a young girl, I learned this passage of scripture. But it wasn’t until I was older, and went through life experiences where this verse became real to me and I truly understood what it meant.
I am thankful to have learned this verse when I was young, and tucked into my heart and memory, so when I was in the midst of living life, I knew the truth.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.“
This verse is comforting. It is especially comforting when you find yourself going through a difficult time. Having this verse memorized in your heart and mind helps you let go of fear and trust that Father God has everything in control and you don’t have to worry about anything.
Truly believe as a child of God that no matter what circumstance you go through, Father God will meet all your needs. He will even meet your needs when you are in the midst of your enemies, Father God has made a way ahead of time and will take care of you even creating a banquet table prepared for you.
A few examples of when this verse became so real to me a few times in my life that I know truly who my Father God is and that he will always take care of me. These are only a few examples of the many that I could share.
During my Mother-in-laws battle with cancer and subsequent death, I saw first hand how Father God’s comfort and compassion in my life. She was my best friend since I was 19 years old. We talked daily by phone until her illness and then she moved in with me. I took care of her 24/7 for the last year of her life until she died. After a long and painful illness, she took her last breath surrounded by family in my home. This was a very difficult time for me. I was witnessing my best friend and the mother of my husband slowly slip away in this life. My own father had died suddenly, on my birthday, the year before. I was only 25 and these were the two people in my life who knew me the most, who I could call on to talk and lean on and they were my biggest supporters. Now they were dead. I could never hear their voices or call them for prayer and share something exiting that had happened.
Father God taught me to rest in him. He helped me to put my trust in Him for guidance and trust Him for reassurance. Father God taught me to be at peace and just trust him no matter what the circumstance I was going through.
Years later during pregnancy and childbirth (several times), I truly felt Father God was there leading me, and protecting me, even in moments that seemed like I was at death’s door. I knew without a doubt that God was going to bring me through it, I didn’t need to fear death, and it would turn out exactly as he allowed it to.
Another part of this verse became real to me a few years ago. At a time when things should have been great, and we had so much to look forward to, a man we thought was a friend and had gone into business with, stole nearly everything we had and stole the business and left us financially crippled. It was a very hard time for our family. It took a long time, several years, to recover from the financial loss we suffered by him, and we still have never been able to replace most of what he stole. Father God wanted us to forgive that man for the evil he had done. It was hard, but daily we prayed and asked God to help us forgive and prayed for that man to be blessed.
A few months after it happened, a local church knew we were going through a difficult time and gave our name to a local restaurant that each year gives a family a free dinner for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We accepted their offer and went and enjoyed a wonderful meal. We were blessed with so much kindness and food that it was overwhelming. This was a very nice restaurant. They had several staff wait on us, sometimes three and four staff at the same time as we have a large family. The owner checked on us several times too, and we were treated so nice. There were several courses of food, salad, bread, soups, entrees, etc. They even brought a variety of deserts at the end of the meal. The table was filled to overflowing, and we were treated as if we were some kind of royalty or something. After the meal, they offered to show our kids around the restaurant. They put aprons and hair nets on them and took them for a full tour of the kitchen where food is cooked for the guests and they were allowed to go into the refrigerated coolers where food is stored and to meet the chefs and shake their hands. They were also invited to come again anytime. About a month later that restaurant blessed our family again and gave us several gifts of new clothes and toys for the kids.
I don’t know when during the meal that I started thinking of this verse, but my heart was filled with gratitude and this verse came to me. I told my husband that even when we go through the most difficult times, our God is with us, leading us, filling our stomach, giving us drink, and protecting us. At that very moment of gratitude, I saw a look on my husband’s face as he noticed something in the distance. I turned and looked behind me over my shoulder. There at another table, several rows away, was the very man who stole from us and had made our life so difficult. I honestly nearly fainted. It was so sureal to be in the whole situation. I knew this verse had come true “He leadeth me” and “he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies” right before my eyes.
What are the odds that the very man who caused us so much harm would be at the same restaurant at the very same moment in time? Father God had prepared this a head of time. How was this even possible? Only God could do this.
I know this truth. God is with us! God will take care of us when we follow him and allow him to lead us in the way we should go. He will protect us and provide for us. He is our shepherd. This is comforting.
The choice is ours to make. How will we proceed in life? Who will we follow? Who will we place our trust in?
We can TRUST Him.
I would encourage you to memorize this passage of scripture and teach it to your children.
I came across this passage during my bible study. God is light. This is a message for everyone.
“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all”
This verse comes from 1 John 1: 1-9
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God wants us to be in fellowship with him and walk in his light. But to do so, we must believe he sent his Son to us and confess our sins to him so that we can be in the light of his presence. Forgiveness comes when we believe through faith in Father God who loved us and that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to die in our place, and we confess our sins to him and accept his forgiveness. The bible says he will forgive us when we ask and then we can walk in fellowship with the light who is God our heavenly Father.
It reminds me of another passage of scripture about the love of God and light: John 3:16-21
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”