God Knows

How many times have we found ourselves looking back and realizing, “It’s been 3 months since I’ve picked up my Bible and read it”?

How many times have we also realized, “Wow, I don’t remember the last time I prayed”?

How many times have we come to a point and thought, “I just don’t feel saved”?

How many times have we gotten to that point and thought, “Surely God doesn’t want anything to do with me now.  I haven’t read my Bible in weeks.  I haven’t prayed in a long time.  There’s no sense in doing it.  I don’t understand a lot of the Bible.  I don’t think God hears me when I pray anyway, so it’s pointless!”

Guess what?  God knows our short-comings.  God knows our imperfections.  God knows we aren’t going to get it right ALL THE TIME!  God knows we’re going to fail.  God knew all our failures, our short-comings, and our sins even before He spoke the universe into existence and yet He STILL chose to save us and call us His children.

God’s love for us never diminishes even when our love for Him seems to have grown cold.  He isn’t like an immature child who gets upset when we don’t give Him the same level of love back that He’s given to us.  He is patient.  Granted, there will come a point where He will say, “It’s time you put your focus back on Me” and He will allow circumstances to happen that will get our attention off worldly pursuits and back onto Him.

We should never use our emotions as a gauge for our salvation.  And just because He hasn’t given us understanding about something in His Word doesn’t mean He won’t ever give it to us.  As someone at my church said a couple weeks back, we are an eternal people.  We have from our first breath until forever to learn all we need to know.  If we don’t get it on this earth, we’ll get it in eternity, IF God so chooses to reveal it to us.

God KNEW we weren’t going to be perfect but He still loves us anyway.  And to think otherwise is to believe a lie.  So, why do we want to live believing the lie instead of running back to Him and live in the truth?



Philippians 4:13

Watch any sport on TV and you may see an athlete sporting this Scripture reference somewhere on their body.  Tim Tebow would write it across his eye black sometimes during a game.  People quote that Scripture when they’re faced with a monumental task and boast that they can do it but only with Christ’s strength.  But once again, people have taken that verse OUT OF CONTEXT.  Here is the verse in the proper context.  Let’s start with verse 10 and go through 13:

“10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

I’m not sure about all translations, but in the ESV, the heading at the beginning of these verses is listed as “God’s Provision”.  In these four verses, Paul is writing the church at Philippi saying how he rejoiced that they were once again concerned for his welfare.  In verses 11-12, he assured them that no matter what he was facing, whether in poverty or in plenty, he learned to be content.  In verse 13, he says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  In the KJV, “him” refers to Christ, but this is assumed anyway since he referred to “the Lord” in verse 10.  In the Strong’s Concordance, the word “do” in Greek is the word “ischuo” (pronounced is-khoo’-o).  The definition of ischuo is “to be strong, to have power, to be able”.  If we word it this way, we can see the true meaning of the verse:  “I can be strong in all things through him who gives me strength.”  So, Paul is saying in this verse, “I can be strong in poverty and in plenty because it is the Lord who gives me strength.”

This verse isn’t telling us we can perform to our optimal best in some activity with the Lord’s help.  It’s telling us that whatever circumstances we’re facing in life, no matter how low in the valley we are, or how high up on the mountaintop we are, no matter if we’re facing extreme poverty, or if we’re living in abundance, we are able to be strong in these things because it is Christ who gives us the strength and that it is His strength that gives us contentment in whatever circumstances we face.


That describes the evangelical church these days.  I listened to a sermon today by my husband’s former pastor, Jim McClarty, and in that sermon he recounted a story of a man who asked him what he thought about the state of the church these days.  Pastor Jim said, “Oh, the church is fine!”  Of course, he was referring to the TRUE church, the church that Christ himself is building.  The one he was NOT referring to is what passes as the church these days.

There is hardly any discernment anymore.  I see conferences and such geared toward high school and college age people and the folks they’re bringing into these conferences claim to be Christians, but when you listen closely to what they say, they’re using “Christian” words and phrases, but their message is not the gospel and NO ONE KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE!  The wolves know that all you have to do is slap the term “Christian” onto something and throw out the name of Jesus here and there and you can reel them in, only to feed them lies.  The vast majority of the younger generation are being fed lies and they aren’t aware of it.  Why?  Because somewhere along the way, people have been told that theology doesn’t matter.  “Oh, it’s not about doctrine.  It’s about a relationship.”  I’m sorry, but isn’t part of being in a relationship knowing about the person you’re supposed to be in a relationship with??  I mean, how would you like it if your “significant other” came home and said, “Here, sweetheart.  I brought you your favorite ice cream……Strawberry!!”  But you’re allergic to strawberries and your favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip.  I think it would make you a little upset that your husband/wife didn’t know what things you like because that shows they haven’t taken the opportunity to get to know you.  Theology matters!!  Why?  Because someone, somewhere can come along and tell you something that’s “supposedly” in the Bible and you can fall for it hook, line, and sinker without so much as checking it out.  When the Apostle Paul went to Berea to preach, the church there didn’t just take him at his word.  They went to Scripture to make sure what he was telling them was true.  I’ve heard of churches where NO ONE brings their Bibles.  None of them.  NOT ONE!  Okay, so how are you supposed to know if what the dude up front is saying is the actual truth??  People have gotten LAZY!  They sit in church, listen to some guy babble on for about 30 minutes, then leave knowing they have checked off one more thing on their “To-Do List”.  They don’t study or listen to good, sound teaching during the week.  The worship services they attend are heavy on the music that either gets you hyped up or very emotional and preaching is just a half hour of funny and/or touching anecdotes sprinkled with a few Bible verses, most likely taken out of context, but picked out because the preacher THINKS it goes along with what they’re talking about.

It’s amazing how people will call out a “fake news” source in a heartbeat, but won’t question their pastor on the things he preaches on.  I guess people don’t want to think that their own pastor would tell them anything that isn’t true.  But, just look around!!  There’s false teachers everywhere who get air time on TV with thousands of people who attend their services each week.  It’s really sad and scary to see the way people are flocking to certain “Christian” pastors/teachers and they think there’s nothing wrong with them.  There are weekly gatherings that call themselves the “church” but, unfortunately, the gospel they preach is false.  And sadly, it’s those churches that are the most full.

“For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, but those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:14


Speaking Life?

These days Christianity has become bogged down with cliché’s.  For example:

“Let go and let God”…..Sorry, but there are times when there are things God requires us to do in certain situations instead of sitting back and waiting for Him to act.  God parted the Red Sea but He commanded Moses to raise his staff up into the air first.  It was God who brought down the city of Jericho, but He commanded the Hebrews to march around the city for 7 days and blow the rams’ horns first.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle”…..Yes, He will!!  If you never got any more than YOU could handle, you wouldn’t need God.  Trials come to make us stop relying on ourselves and depend upon God.

“Everything happens for a reason”……While that statement is true, there are times when speaking those words bring no comfort whatsoever to the person it’s spoken to.  Try using that statement to a young grieving couple whose 5 year-old daughter was struck and killed by a drunk driver as she played in the front yard.  Yes, she was killed because that driver made the decision to drive after he downed 5 beers.

“Speaking life into someone”…..this one bothers me and is the reason for writing this post.

Charismatics are notorious for teaching that our words have power and that we can speak things into existence.  The most famous example of this is false teacher, Marilyn Hickey, who told her viewers that if they need a financial blessing, just speak to their wallet and money would supernaturally appear (yeah, right!!).  While our words can (and do) hurt or build up, nowhere does Scripture teach us that our words have the power to bring anything into existence.  You can go to a person who’s dealing with depression and contemplating suicide and say you want to “speak life” into them, but what if that person ends up committing suicide anyway?  You can’t say you spoke life into them at all.  You brought them words of encouragement, but in no way were your words powerful enough to change their emotional state.  Only God can do that.  “Speaking life” is just a nice sounding cliché that people use that makes them appear “spiritual”.

In fact, ALL Christian cliché’s are incorporated in a person’s speech for the purpose of making them sound “spiritual”.  The person who is not Christian, hasn’t stepped foot into a church ever (or at least in a few years) would probably look at you strangely if you walked up to them and said “I want to speak life into you.”  They’d probably say, “Um, I’m breathing.  I’m walking around so I think I am already living.”

This is in no way a criticism but just something to make us stop and think about our words and what they mean.  To the person who isn’t saved and is unfamiliar with “Christianese”, our cliché’s mean absolutely nothing to them.  If a person is going through a time of trial/adversity and nothing seems to be going right in their life, just speak words of encouragement without all the Christianese mumbo jumbo.  If we feel led to go to someone for the purpose of being an encouragement to them, great!  Do it!!  But, don’t be surprised if they don’t respond to our efforts right away.  We can’t boastfully say we “spoke life” into someone if we don’t see a change in their emotional state right away.  Just as with Moses who was commanded to raise his staff, God may want us to go to them and love them and be an encouragement, but the outcome isn’t dependent so much upon our words, but upon God who has the power to change the person and their circumstances.