Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The fining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD trieth the hearts. Proverbs 17:3

So ignite for me seems to have ignited the furnace im in cuz it feels like I've been in a furnace and it does not feel great and I'm bummed for you guys cuz I don't want to be a downer and I want to make you all happy and encouraged and loved but I'm in a furnace so it's hard but later I'll be gold so that's exciting actually when I look at it like that. Also 1 Peter 4:12-13 says "beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice inasmuch ye are partakers of Christs sufferings that when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." which is also exciting and gives me a better perspective and is comforting

Endure through faith and patience

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ibs phillipians 3:8

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ."

I'm not sure but I think Paul is saying here that everything is dung compared to Christ, this is true. A study was done back in the day, ppl gave kids a marshmallow and told them if they could go a certain amount of time without eating the marshmallow they would get more marshmallows at the end of the time, the study followed the kids through their lives and concluded that the ones who waited were more successful in life. What I'm trying to say here is that it's just a better idea to wait and get the extra marshmallows later; suffer the loss of immediate gratification, that you may win the delayed gratification of more marshmallows later. To be more clear, lose the things that keep you from deeper fellowship with Christ.

There's a marshmallow on the table of my heart, but through prayer, wise counsel, and discipline, I will not eat it, I will wait for God's marshmallows, God's blessings of knowing Him more and anything else He has for me
IBS Luke 2:46 "and it came to pass, that after 3 days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions."

"Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war." Proverbs 20:18, "for by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety" proverbs 24:6, "be quick to hear and slow to speak" it says somewhere else. These are just a few of the many many verses that say we should ask questions and listen, but besides all of those, If Jesus, God with us, asked questions and listened to people, we should ask questions and listen to people. It is not humble to assume you are right about something, so practically that looks like asking other people questions and listening to them and considering what they say. I don't understand how the whole 100% man 100% God thing works out, but I know it is true, and I know that God in human flesh asked human beings questions and listened to them, how much more should I, Anthony, 1 semester community college drop out, don't know how to do anything, speck of dust in the universe, ask people questions and listen to them? Oh another thing I think we can take out of this is we should preoccupy ourselves with seeking truth and the things of God, as Jesus did. If we love the truth we will ask questions and seek the truth, not just assume we know the truth or not care about the truth. Jesus was a student, God studied, so should we.

I'm going to ask Jordan questions tonight about spiritual stuff, maybe field time idk, also ask my teammates what I should ask him
IBS "give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." Proverbs 9:9

True. I don't even know what to write, last week of training, God has given me a lot of instruction during this time. In the proverbs their are two kinds of people the foolish and the wise, the wicked and the righteous, so like as christians we're always trying to be humble and all that so we will say things like we are fools and wicked rather than saying we are wise and righteous, but that is not entirely true, our old man, our flesh, is foolish and wicked, but the new man is wise and righteous. So often I have this fake humility where I just put myself down, calling myself foolish and wicked, my flesh is that, but I am a new creation, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God, we were once darkness but now are we light in the Lord, this is a bit unorganized but I'm just trying to get something out so I'm writing everything that comes to mind. With all that said, I can confidently say this applies to me, not that I always walk in wisdom, I mostly don't, but in the end, in the big picture I am wise and righteous because of what Christ has done for me, I am his workmanship,  my Father ain't raise no fool. So yeah I will increase in those things cuz Jesus. Praise the Lord
IBS mark 4:10-11 "and when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables"

"Ask and you shall receive seek and you shall find", unto these it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, ask about the things of God, seek Him with your whole heart and you will find him. Austin has often told me about how the disciples were those who after the initial message or teaching would come to Jesus and ask about it. I make everything so difficult, looking everywhere for answers except to the one who actually has the answers, I don't know why, it's like a disease or something, it's like spiritual retardation. The crowds would come to Jesus for food or healing but ultimately for joy, which is all anyone ever seeks, and when they did not immediately receive what they wanted in the form they thought they wanted it they left and returned to their everyday lives of seeking whatever in all the wrong places. I do the same thing so often, the correct way is to come to Him, ask, wait, receive, give thanks and praise. It really is as simple as it seems
IBS 2 Samuel 11:11-13
"And Uriah said unto David, the ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. And David said to Uriah, tarry here today also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abide in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house."

If someone in authority told me I could go home for a week or so to relax and leave my team here in Guatemala to continue studying and going on outreaches, I would not, I wouldn't even consider it. We are, like Uriah, soldiers, and we are at war, as christians and also as ignite class 12. That example is not likely to happen, however many Christians today in the United States live a soft cushy seemingly comfortable life of leisure, spending their lives playing games and buying toys, supposing grace allows for this, it does not. I'm not saying we should all go out and street preach or go to Somalia and become martyrs, but we should be where Christ is, seeking to save the lost and obeying the will of the father, whether that is in Somalia or in New York simply running your corner bodega in as godly a manner as you can. Christ will return at any time, if you have set your hand to the plow do not look back. Also if you find yourself sinning do not use that as an excuse to go farther into sin, but do what is right, as Uriah did.

If Austin says I can go home for a week while my team is still on the field or in training I will not. But also I will watch and pray that I do not fall into lazy physical comfort seeking so called Christianity
 "for bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

So one day our bodies are going to be decomposing in the ground so all the effort we put into building up our bodies is not going to last, but our Spirit will live for ever so we ought to build that up instead. Not that we shouldn't exercise our bodies, but it only profits a little. Actually Now that I'm thinking about it and am looking at the context I don't think Paul is writing about working out, and that that assumption might just be me presupposing my own experiences and culture into the text, but I think he's talking about outward actions in general, particularly ones having to do with spiritual progress. In verse 3 he writes about those that will depart from the faith in the future, who will tell others not to marry and to obstain from certain foods, which are outward practices, bodily exercises that profit only a little

I think it was Augustine who once said  "what good is it to abstain from wine when one is intoxicated with anger" abstaining from wine is a bodily exercise and is profitable for sure, but anger has to do with the inner man, with our Spirit, it is much more profitable to abstain from anger than from wine. Drinking wine becomes unprofitable when it affects our inner man, when it causes us to lust or be angry. So sure abstain from wine or relationships or foods or whatever, it will help some, but most importantly exercise yourself to be godly, which consists at first in the invisible world of thoughts and feelings. The Pharisees were all bodily exercise and no godliness. Jesus said not only to not commit adultery physically but equally as important to not commit adultery in your heart. Godliness has to do I think  with character. So yeah I think he's just tryna say we ought to "look not at the things that are seen but at the things that are not seen, for the things that are seen are temporary but the things that are not seen are eternal"

I'm not going to look at outward obedience or bodily exercise as success, simply not acting on my wrong desires, but I will seek godliness by having the correct heart, by not giving in to wrong things in my heart, I will do this by prayer and depending on God, coming to Him empty handed and unable
IBS Philippians 3:12-13
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended for Christ Jesus. Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before"

This reminds me of my track days, when you are racing, you're focus is completely on what is ahead, I don't know how to properly paint this picture for you, like you are really really really focused on what is ahead, you are literally trying to get to a place in front of you and leave the space behind you as fast as physically possible, I mean it hurts, hurts bad, your sweating, your muscle fibers are breaking apart so that you can reach your goal more quickly. Running is like literally forgetting the things that are behind, man, like even right now I'm being haunted by things behind me, but I just gotta keep pressing on, take steps forward, aka forgetting what is behind, take steps forward also aka reaching forth to the things which are before. So I take this to in part mean be faithful in what is before me, do what I gotta do, what God has put before me today, doing menial tasks, not giving my heart over to other things, loving others, walking in the light, all that stuff, etc.
IBS Philippians 3:11
"If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."

I really don't know what to write about this one, but that's ok, I prayed about this, God lives inside me, I'm not feeling particularly motivated or intelligent or whatever, but I've got some barley loaves and some dry minows metaphorically speaking. If I had to pick a life verse right now it would be " God uses the foolish things if the world" not sure what to write still but here I go, I just have to put a mustard seed of effort which I am and still nothing is coming to me but none of these things move me know what I'm saying, I will press on. Anyway Paul says "that I might attain unto the resurrection" which sounds like works based salvation to me at first but I know this is not the case when put in context with everything else, so what is he talking about? I haven't done my IBS for yesterday which is the verse right before this verse so maybe I should go do that first, hold on a sec, ok I think I get it, not gonna try to explain my thought process here but basically attain unto the resurrection by faith, what is this "any means"? It is faith in Christ. Malcolm x once said something like "by any means necessary" I'm assuming this quote was pertaining to the liberation of black Americans from the oppression of whitey. His "any means" was not faith in Christ, and he did not liberate any of His people from anything. Kanye west once said, playing off of Malcolm's words "buy any jeans 👖 necessary" buy as in purchase, he too as much as I like him, has saved no one from anything except boredom or lack of amusement, and he spends so much of his life and energy trying to help the world but it is all in vain, he has yet to accomplish anything that will truly help, because his trust right now is not in God. So...by faith in Christ attain true liberation, which is resurrection and being with God

Pray with my teammates for more faith in God and no faith in anything else, today during IBS
IBS Philippians 3:10
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made comfortable unto His death."

Through faith in Christ you will know 3 things 1) Him 2) and the power of His resurrection 3) and the fellowship of His sufferings. Faith in Christ makes us part of His body, what happened to Christ's body? It was resurrected, and before that it suffered and died, the same things WILL happen to us if we truly have faith in Him. Not necessarily physical death but absolutely death to self, to the will of our old man, but when the old man dies we will not be left alone, we will have a spiritual resurrection, we will have a new man, the Spirit of God in us, we will also have a physical resurrection. I was writing in the future tense a little but obviously for us who believe we have the Spirit of God right now. Know Jesus, through faith, and you will know the power of His resurrection, but you will also suffer while on earth

IBS Philippians 3:9
"And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith"

God is trying to tell me something, my soul is cast down today for some reason I'm not entirely sure why, no outward circumstances have changed, I was fine yesterday. I hate talking about my feelings, but I have to write an IBS, all I have is my own experiences and observations to draw from. Just before lunch I spoke to Juan Carlos about what he was doing, he was working on his homework, summarizing Galatians chapter 3, which I will further summarize by quoting the 6th verse "even as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness" that also is exactly what today's verse is saying. Earlier today I read psalm 42, which was prescribed to me from dr Austin for times when I'm down, which says "why art thou cast down oh my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me: hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance" I'm not sure where I was going with this I'm out of time but everybody else is still working on there's so I think the problem is I'm just not serving others as much as I should or something I think it's just pride idk

Ask everybody what they need prayer for
IBS Matthew 18:15
"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother."

This is extremely hard for me, I usually just hold things inside, initially I think the problem is mine and that I need to be more patient or loving or something but now that I think about it that might just be an excuse for me not to confront that person, because I'm afraid of confrontation, because I'm afraid of people disliking me, I have an avoidant personality.

So hey this is like a few weeks after the above unfinished IBS, instead of finishing it I, by the Spirit of God, manned up and confronted the issue that at the time was afflicting me. God blessed it so much, it was super great, a high point during training. Praise God
IBS Amos 3:3
"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
In like 11th grade, I was hanging out with my best friend Sam at his house, it was maybe 2 in the morning, we were both super hungry, we already ate all his good food, and neither of us had drivers licenses, so I said "hey, let's walk to mcdonalds" which was like 5 miles away, he agreed, so together we walked to mcdonalds. If we didn't agree it was worth the walk we wouldn't have gone, I know if it had been my sister we would not have agreed and would not have gone to McDonald's, but I was with my best friend, we had the same mind, he was down. It is the same with following Jesus, agree with Him, then walk with Him. It is also the same with our bros and sisters in Christ, be of the same mind, find agreement, then walk together
IBS romans 12:16
"Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits."

God likes humility, He wants us to be humble, He knows it is good for us to be humble. If we hang out with the high and so called successful and impressive people of the world, we might become proud, thinking we are something special because of our or their worldly accomplishments. Usually famous people are prideful, they receive all this attention and flattery that they begin to think they deserve it, and then they hang out with other people who feel the same. We can see this in high school and college too, the people with natural social skills, rich families, and elevated status are often very prideful, they also only hang out with each other. One last example, Kanye west, he is extremely talented, in my opinion the most talented hip hop musician alive, but he thinks too highly of himself, not realizing his talents are from God and for God, not from himself, I also doubt he spends much time with janitors or McDonald's employees or generally awkward and unimpressive people, but instead hangs out with other prideful people, and he is very very prideful. When you don't have an education or any known skills and haven't been influenced by prideful people and have to become a janitor, you are more likely to think correctly about yourself, that your are needy and not capable of much, this is good in Gods sight, this is soft rich soil ready to be used by the Gardener, the proud person is hard dry and useless. I thank God that He keeps me from popularity, that he humbles me with my failures and lack of conventional skills, that he has given me a heart for the outcasted and unliked people, which have all helped keep me from Kanye levels of pride, I hope they have anyway.
IBS 1john 1:5-7
"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"

In chapter 2 verse 10 it says "he that Loveth his brother abideth in the light" so if we plug that in to these verses it becomes more clear, if we love each other as Christ loves us we have fellowship with each other.  Colossians 3:14 in the esv says "put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony" in the kjv Ephesians 4:2-3 says "forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." love causes peace and unity. Love is what compelled God to become a man and unite us to him and make peace between us. Michael Jordan loves basketball, he devoted his entire life to it, everything he did was for basketball, he was united to it, he played baseball for a little bit but he didn't love it, so eventually it just went away, it was no longer a part of his life. Two people who love each other constantly want to be near each other, constantly think about each other, live for each other. So yeah if we love each other we will have unity and we will be in the light, if we don't love each other we won't have unity and we won't be walking with God

I have a list of all the commandments in the New Testament concerning how we should interact with others so I will read and pray over that every morning
IBS Luke 12:37-40
 "blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."

I remember when I was younger, and my parents weren't home I would do things I wasn't supposed to do, and every ten minutes I would run to the window to see if my parents were home, so I could quickly get rid of any evidence. That's what we shouldn't do. I also remember a couple times where I actually did something good like clean the garage or something and my parents came home and were like happy. That's what we should do. The times where I was doing things I shouldn't have and didn't do things around the house that I should have, my parents came and I'd get in trouble just from not being productive, let alone doing the things I shouldn't have been. When my parents came home and I spent that time being productive and serving them, they were happy and we had peace. When I was doing the things I shouldn't have I was afraid they would find out. When I was doing the things I was supposed to I was excited for my parents to come home and see what I had done. Jesus is coming back at a time we do not know, so we should be ready by preoccupying ourselves with his work, not doing things we shouldn't be doing in hopes that we can change right before he comes back. You know how like someone asks you what you're thinking and sometimes what you're thinking is not something you want to share because you shouldn't be thinking it, well we could avoid that by just thinking good thoughts, in anticipation of being asked what we're thinking. So we should do the same thing with every aspect of our lives, serve Jesus in anticipation of His return

Right now there is some conflict in my interior life, instead of indulging in those unhelpful and potentially seriously harmful thoughts 💭 I will burst those thought bubbles as soon as they are blown into my mind, realizing that Jesus could come back at any moment.

IBS John 15:15
"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

So we know we are supposed to serve each other, but here Jesus says we are not his servants but friends. A servant serves others because it is his job, a friend serves out of love, he serves because he enjoys it. This is eye opening for me, when I do serve it's often out of a sense of duty, because I know it's what I should do, but God wants to change us, our hearts, not just our actions, he wants to clean the inside of the cup as well as the outside. I just re read this as I was uploading this IBS and I just noticed how Jesus said He has made known to us all the things He has heard from the Father, that's super cool, I'm reminded of the verse that says something like we have been given all things that pertain to godliness, what else do we need? Jesus made us know everything He has heard from the FATHER, we are set, He has given us all we need. Oh and what He has heard from the father is found in the Holy Bible.
IBS "but which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."

I ♥️ this verse, Jesus just keeps it so real, this is not something a human being would say with out the Holy Ghost I think. This verse and the application of it has really helped me in life, especially in the secular work place. This mindset of expecting nothing for doing everything required of me simply made me better at work than my coworkers with a different mindset. Most do less than is required of them and expect more than what is promised to them. Any mindset contrary to the one in this verse is wrong. We don't get excited about a light bulb turning on when we flip a switch, it's SUPPOSED to do that, so are we SUPPOSED to obey God always without expectation of a reward.

If I do something for someone and get nothing out of it or if I obey God and get no immediate gratification from it I will resolve to not be discouraged, a more specific example, if in my devotions or prayers I do not get emotional satisfaction I will not slack in my readings or prayer

IBS Matthew 20:26-28

"But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

 A seed cannot become a plant and bear fruit unless it first humbles itself, muscles cannot grow unless they are first broken, you can't do well in school unless you study, whosoever will be great, let him be your minister, this pattern is just a universal fact, humble yourself and you will be exalted. Jesus lowered himself more than anyone else ever has and ever will, and he has been exalted more than any ever has or will. I've experienced this a little bit in my life, especially in work, when I was willing to do the small tedious or undesirable jobs and when I would ask the boss what needed to be done, I would be rewarded, given more opportunities, and gain the respect of my bosses. It is also simply the right thing to do, God set the example when He became a man and served us, and even now when He provides all our needs and let's the sun shine and the rain fall on us, He also tells us to serve one another. so He tells us to do it and He Himself has done it, so simplywe should too. Oh also just a thought that came up, it could be easy to fall into selfish ambition even when serving others if our concern is our own gain, so we should pray for right intentions and to desire to glorify God and not to desire the praise of men, and to always just keep in mind our motives for things.

I'm really bad with coming up with specifics, generally I take a concept and apply it in my life as specific circumstances come up, but for IBS I have to come up with something specific right now, so here I go....ugh idk I just thought for like 10 minutes and could think of nothing, so I will keep this mindset and as situations come up I will seek to serve and minister
IBS john 12:26

"If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour"

in verses 24 and 25 Jesus uses the illustration of how a seed must fall into the ground and break in order to grow and bear fruit to explain how we must lose our lives in this world to gain true life. Jesus, like the seed that fell into the ground and broke and bore fruit, came to earth from heaven, died, came back to life, and ascended to the right hand of God, all things being put under his feet. If we follow Jesus we will also find ourselves in this pattern, die to self by denying the flesh and obeying the Father, and then receiving honor from the Father. It's simple following Christ is like down, down, and then way up if that makes sense, humility, death, and then honour. I will experience this most completely when this life is over and I'm in heaven, but this applies to now as well.
IBS "obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" Hebrews 13:17

Man, I'm not sure what to write, I find myself wanting to just write the verse again but in my own words, but that's not how I'm supposed to do this. I'm just trying to get myself going here, this usually works, just typing what I'm thinking, anyway obey them that have the rule over you, the booklet we were given before ignite with all the rules and stuff said that we are not supposed to listen to any secular music while we are here, on my iPod 📱I only have 6 songs, and 3 of them are secular and they are by far the bast songs, but I haven't listened to them and yeah I apologize for how poorly written this is but I'm just trying to obey them that have the rule over me by writing my IBS no matter how bad it is

Do not listen to secular music during ignite, write something for IBS no matter how bad it is
IBS "children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Ephesians 6:1

"Children obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." Colossians 3:20

I'm thankful these verses are in the Bible, growing up, even after I had become a Christian, I struggled to obey my parents, but after coming across these verses I could find no way around the fact that I must obey my parents.
IBS Hebrews 5:8
"Though He were a son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered"

The previous verse says "who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" which I think is referring to the garden of gethsemane, where Jesus obeyed the will of the Father despite the suffering Jesus was enduring at the time and would endure in the future. According to these verses and my own experience, I think learning obedience is only or at least mostly possible in circumstances where we suffer. We live in a fallen world, and we our selves are fallen, we are prone to sin, therefore obeying God, not sinning, will cause suffering.

Christ had the choice of going on with the crucifiction or not, according to Christs prayers in that moment, he did not feel like being crucified but it was his will for the Fathers will to be done, and so he obeyed. We also have the ability to choose, but we are inclined to choose sin, so learning obedience to God will cause suffering, because it is against our fallen nature.
Psalm 17:15 "as for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

Being without God is the only problem in the universe, godlessness is the cause of all evil, all suffering. God is himself all goodness, the source of all joy. We are without God because we turn away from him, we sin. Because of this, sin is the greatest frustration in my life, it keeps me from God, my only joy. I have a desire for good qualities courage, love, humility, etc. but it is not the presence of these things alone nor the absence of the opposite of these things that will satisfy me, it is His presence that will satisfy me. I can only be in His presence if I am righteous, if I am like him. Us without God is the problem, Emmanuel, God with us is the solution. I will be satisfied when I awake in His likeness, because I will behold His face, and I will be in the presence of Him whose presence I was made to be in, God with us
Phillipians 4:11
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content"

Paul in Romans wrote "all things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose" I recite this verse to myself more than any other verse, not some things, but all things, all of my failures, all of my evil, every problem ever, in some way I don't understand, is working for good. Every awkward and failed attempt at socializing, every mundane seemingly insignificant moment, all of my horrible blunders, God does not waste anything, every single part of my life is used for the compost of God's garden. Understanding this, any reaction other than contentment to anything is irrational. If I get cancer, if I become paralyzed, if I never have a family, if I end up in prison, if everyone hates me, if I lose everything, I ought to be content, because all things work together for good to them that love God who are the called according to His purpose
Hebrews 13:5

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

St Augustine wrote "we will never find rest until we find rest in thee", psalm 16 says "I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth" and "in your presence is fullness of joy." The more we find our joy and contentment in God the less our outward circumstances will matter to us, the more aware we are of Gods presence with us the less covetous we will be and the more content we will be with what we have.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Luke 3:14

"And the soldiers likewise demanded of Him, saying, and what shall we do? And He said unto them, do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."

Do violence to no man is a funny thing to say to a soldier, whose job it is to do violence to men, but I don't think John literally meant for the soldiers to stop doing there job, I've heard that the soldiers during this time were corrupt and would be violent when there was no need for it, so I think he was just saying don't hurt people when you don't have to. So apart from not physically hurting people How can I apply this to myself? As a Christian my job is to follow Christ, I often become too focused on our enemy and our problems, those are things I should be aware of but it's not right to give more attention to them than is required, like the soldier using more violence than is required. There is a certain amount of attention I should give those things, but I should not exceed that amount, it is not my job to be overly concerned with those things, it is my job to keep my focus on and follow our Lord Jesus.

John also says neither accuse any falsely, so the soldiers being corrupt also lied a lot. I can think of no deep meaning to this, just don't lie, ever, like at all, so called little white lies are just as bad as any other size or color lies, cocaine comes in little white lines, anthrax comes in little white letters, little white lice create a lot of problems. Satan is the father of all lies, so if you lie you're basically being impregnated by lucifer and giving birth to his baby lie, and babies grow and create more babies, little white lies have serious consequences

Finally he says be content with your wages, we ought to be content with no wages, since we should be in hell anyway. also our ability to earn any wages or do anything at all is completely dependent on God. the laws of nature, our solar system, our planet, our governments, our bodies, our sub conscious minds, are all held together and controlled by God, we are dependent on all these, so be happy with a penny or with nothing, in all things give thanks, cuz we should've gone to hell

1 Timothy 6:6-8

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

"How do you go camping? You bring what you need and it's all about the adventure and then you sleep really well when you get home"- Austin Hiatt. As followers of Christ we should live as if we are camping, the Bible calls our bodies tents, it says that we are pilgrims and strangers on the earth, that we are in the world but not of it, so we should pack lightly and not let our hearts get attached to what is temporary and ultimately unfulfilling. Imagine how extremely ridiculous it would be to start building a house on your weekend camping trip. That is what we do when we are not content, we store up things and set our hearts on things that end up making us ineffective at what we are supposed to be doing. One of the Psalms says "he who trusts in his riches will fall", in the parable of the soils, Jesus says the riches of this world choke the word. over abundance of things, if we set our hearts on them, which we are likely to do, prevent us from bearing fruit, distract us from our mission and make us ineffective campers. All the things we seek in material things are found in God, life, joy, security, love, pleasure, comfort, meaning. God is the land we should swim out to, but instead, when we seek after material things, we swim to floating garbage from sunken ships where eventually we'll be attacked and eaten by sharks 🦈 . But we should not only not desire material riches, we should be thankful for whatever we do have. Somewhere it says "what do you have that you have not been given?" And it is true, one day we were just born, we received a body, a mind, a life sustaining planet, and everything those contain, literally everything we ever get or make is a gift from God. Before we existed we did nothing to earn or pay for all these priceless things, God has freely given them to us. Also we should always remember that we were once dead in our sins and without hope and the only thing we deserved was hell, if we lived life in this earth starving and naked it would be better than we deserve. so let us be thankful with food and clothes, with any food and clothes, because it's better than we deserve and it is a great gift from God.

When we have salad for lunch or dinner I will not complain I will praise and thank God for it because I should be eating dust with the serpent, and if my luggage is ever lost or if I am in a situation where I have no clothes I will praise and thank God because I even have a body that can be clothed and even more so for clothing me with Christ
Ephesians 5:15-17

"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."

Walk with wisdom, by understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 1:9-10 says "having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ", 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 says "see that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Based on these verses, the will of God is to gather together all things in Christ, and for us to not return evil for evil, always follow what is good, rejoice, pray always, and to give thanks for everything. Now understanding what the will of the Lord is I can be wise if I live accordingly, so I will pray for to have the same will and for help obeying His will
IBS James 1:5

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him"

If you sincerely ask God for wisdom He will give it to you "if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" Matthew 7:11, "If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Luke 11:13, "but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God" 1 Corinthians 1:24. I can't say it better than Jesus, if human fathers know how to give good gifts to their kids how much more will God who is perfect give good things to His kids. I have asked God for wisdom and He has given it to me in its truest form, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which gives me the knowledge of the Gospel and the power and desire to live accordingly.
Tuesday IBS psalm 111:10

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: his praise endureth for ever"

In my teens my friends and I were focused on fulfilling the desires of the flesh, we would chase girls, drink, do drugs, party, etc. But one of my friends in particular would do things the rest of us wouldn't, he was also the most antagonistic towards God. This friend did every drug under the sun, from computer cleaner to heroine, he would take huge risks buying drugs in bulk from extra shady dudes to save money, he would get trashed in school, he went farther than the rest of us. He was extremely intelligent and talented, took I.b. classes, got good grades, came from a wealthy family, and I love him, but he did not fear the Lord and was not wise, and now he's dealing with the consequences of that. My dad taught me about God and the Gospel in my early teens, he taught me the fear of the Lord. It shows how amazingly foolish I was that I would live that sinful and deadly life knowing the truth about God, that He is holy, righteous, just, and a punisher of evil. But there was a seed of wisdom in me, a beginning of wisdom. While I was doing those things I was very afraid of dying, I knew I would have to face God and give account for my life, instead of turning away from that life and following Christ I just tried not to die, this fear kept me from selling drugs and doing harder drugs, so this was still very foolish, but it was a beginning of wisdom. Because I was being a spoiled and stubborn child, God had to break out the rod if you know what I mean, but it was because He loves me and would not let me continue in that path. Now, because of God's unmerited grace towards me, that mustard seed of wisdom has grown and continues to grow in me. I'm still a fool, but now I know I'm a fool, if you know you are lost then you can ask for directions, but if you think you know where you are going you will only get more lost "if you were blind you would have no sin, but you say that you can see, therefore your sin remains."

Monday, January 30, 2017

 Monday IBS James 3:13-17

Wisdom is not a witty combination of words or a thought that most haven't had, wisdom is the application of correct thoughts. Godly wisdom, true wisdom, can be recognized by these characteristics, purity, peacefulness, gentleness, reasonableness, mercy, impartiality, and sincerity. If I am acting out of selfish ambition or jealousy I am not being wise, no matter how intelligent or profound the things I say or do are. These past two weeks I have not walked in wisdom, I have given into a subtle and deceptive form of selfish ambition. Being more aware of my faults, I became more concerned about my own spiritual progress and well being than that of my brothers and sisters, which I should have preferred had I been loving, humble, and wise. The world constantly promotes self improvement and self help, this is fleshly and diabolical wisdom. God says to consider others more important than yourself, and to improve and help others at your own expense. Because my thoughts were wrong my actions became wrong and I became a fool