Who are you going to trust? What are you going to believe? Who are you going to listen to? People or this World? Are you conforming to this World?
Do you believe the Bible? What were you taught? What are you going to choose? What type of person are you? What type of people do you hang around with?
These are some thought-provoking questions. Your beliefs. Your thoughts. Your Faith. Your past. Your family, tradition. How you spend your time. They make up who you are. Down to which people you believe. Who you choose to listen to. What you’ve learned. These things make up the core of what you believe and how you view things. How you perceive what is happening around you.
Whether you believe in God, Satan, or you don’t believe in either. Let’s talk about that.
The Bible teaches us that the evil one is hard at work in this world. There is a lot of evil and sin in this world. Evil and sin come from Satan (the Devil). Yes, Satan wants you to believe in anything but God. He doesn’t care what you believe in as long as it’s not God. You could believe in other people. That is fine with him. He wants to cause you to lose focus. Stumbling blocks to throw you off course. Anything he can do to keep you from following the will of God. Keep you from going down the path of God. To keep you from finding God. He wants you to be full of doubt. Even to keep you searching for things you don’t need to be searching for. Anyway, he can cause separation from God. He will do all in his power to do so, even with this virus. He wants you to sin and keep going your own way. Keep trying to do it by yourself. To make you feel like a lost sheep who has gone astray. He loves to create fear. He is the master of disguise. The master of lies. He wants to sway your belief. Make you feel like you are in the dark and will never be able to make it. You won’t see the light of day. He causes distractions of all kinds. They could be but are not limited to the virus, money, our jobs, people, etc. Satan will do everything possible to keep you from a godly life.
God offers peace and rest. Everything good comes from God which is evident in the Bible. Read your Bible! You read your history books to learn about the past. Consider the Bible the greatest history book ever made. One about your salvation. We will take a look at this after we take a look at people.
So, let’s talk about people in general. Human beings…
We are all human. We are all broken. There are different types of people. They can be seen by the fruit of what they produce. Their fruit shows us who they are. Are they Satan’s? Are they God’s? Or are they lost and stuck in between?
We are all covered in sin. None of us are perfect. We have all made mistakes. In the beginning, we are lost in darkness and cannot see. Our eyes need to be opened. Some of us are at a point that we are humble and can see our sins. Feeling ashamed for what we’ve done, quilty. Lost and unsure of how to correct it. Stuck in between and beating ourselves up. Probably hurting and in pain. Our hurt and pain pour out of our hearts onto others. Hurt people sometimes hurt others because they are in pain. Not thinking rationally. In need of help. It is their way of reaching out for help and trying to be healed. This is one kind of person.
It’s the other people I worry about. Those who don’t care. Who says sorry but doesn’t mean it. They say what you want to hear. Those who have hardened hearts.
What does it mean to have a bad heart or hardened hearts? What’s the difference with a good person versus a bad? Some wear sheep’s clothing but inside are ravenous wolves. You can’t see their true colors. You have to watch what they produce. Bad people produce bad fruit. Those who are willing to hurt you and make you do it their way. They take away your safety or protection. They may violate your boundaries to accomplish their purpose. Willing to do anything to get what they want. To be in control. Maybe they want to control your mind and the way you act, installing fear. Sometimes by punishment or abuse. They push it off as if it’s nothing. They did nothing wrong or deny that it even happened. They say it was your fault. You caused it. You made them behave this way. They turn the blame on you.
Perhaps they force you into some kind of sexual acts that violate your personal space and rights. You feel uncomfortable and begin to question yourself. They bring about their pleasure over your expense. It’s a type of manipulation to get what they want. Like an adult using their strength and power over a child in a sexual nature, rape. Any rape is not right. The Bible talks against these things. It clearly states what is right and what is wrong. You don’t deserve to be abused. No matter their excuse.
Some people are sick from alcohol and drugs. Their minds are corrupt and unhealthy. Unable to make the right decisions. If they are abusing you, out of their pain, you deserve better. You don’t have to put up with their abuse at your expense. Let them get the help they need. You don’t need to stick around. Let them prove they are changing. Otherwise, if you stay they will not change.
Some feel it is right and don’t want to change. Be careful to know the difference. They will keep doing it over and over. You can’t let them get away with it. You have to have boundaries. They will keep overstepping those boundaries if you let them. I can tell you, God says you are worthy of respect and love. Abuse is not love. It’s not acceptable. Let them prove it by changing and seeking help. Let them heal before they bleed on you. If they prove it, then go back.
When you keep running back or stay, it’s like asking for punishment. This time they bruised you. Next time they break a bone. They say, “I didn’t mean it. I can’t control myself. You made me do this.” They have to take control of themselves. Then you wake up in the hospital, beaten up. Then what? The next time you could be dead. You might not wake up. These types don’t care about stopping. We all have our demons that we need to address. Make sure you are safe. Protect yourself. Take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?
If children are involved, “What about your child? What would they do without you? Who would take care of them?” If you don’t care about yourself, then at least think of them! Make this person get the help they need. They need to change, not you. They have a problem. It’s not your problem. It’s theirs! It is their responsibility to address it, not yours. You can’t change them. They have to want it.
Here’s the other thing about people. We all fall short and sin. In the Bible, it says sin comes from the evil one, the devil. Falling into temptations, like adultery. That’s just one example of temptation but there are many. Going our own way. Doing whatever we want to. Not caring about God. Our hearts are deceitful until we get to know God. Realizing we are wrong and admitting it. Taking the responsibility and getting to know Him and His ways. Having a more personal relationship with our Father, our creator. Repenting of our sins and asking for forgiveness. Understanding our Lord by getting to know His Son, Jesus. These are choices we all have to make. Before you make the choice, take a look at your choices, what you’re taught and what you believe. Where is it coming from? Why do you believe what you do?
We only become different when the Spirit of God is upon us. When we chose to let Him in. When we chose to become a child of God. When we want to be different. A person who follows Satan will produce bad fruit. They will cause harm, even murder. Some are not willing to change. When they are a child of God, they will produce good fruit. Good fruit is love, not fear. It is shown by showing kindness, compassion, forgiveness. Children of God do not want to harm others. They want to help you and encourage you. Their hearts are being transformed by the Spirit of God. They want to change into something better. They strive to be better than they are today. They try to act like Jesus. The Spirit gives self-control. They control how they behave. God brings us knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Love for one another. Children of God submit themselves unto God. They are humble.
People like to believe they have power and authority. If we did, we would be able to control everything that is happening around us. There is one supreme being who controls it all, our God. You can’t control the wind or the rain. You can’t tell the sun. You can’t control the virus. You are not God.
People’s hearts are not in the right place until they encounter God for themselves. Until they stop justifying their actions of why they did what they did. Accepting they are wrong. No matter what, sin causes stumbling blocks. It can cause a stumbling block for the person committing it or to the person it happens to. If they are doing it on purpose, they know better, but continue to do it then they could have an evil heart. They produce bad fruit which can cause us to believe what isn’t true. It can cause us to fall when we are not careful about what we believe. This pain or doubt can cause us to lose our belief in God. Do not believe everything you hear but instead turn to the Word of God which is the truth. God gave us a manual. Which teaches us right from wrong. It teaches us how to live and love one another. It doesn’t teach harm. The Bible is a love story of Jesus. It’s a manual of how to live a good and prosperous life. This is why I turn to the Bible. It gives hope and a future so why wouldn’t you want to believe it? What’s stopping you?
Matthew 18:6 says, “If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
God protects His Children. He loves His Children. When you hurt His Children, you hurt God. It will not go without punishment. If you escape being caught, you will not escape His judgment in the end. His judgment calls for all of us. He is God. I would rather turn to God and go with Him then stand against Him on judgment day. We cannot escape judgment because He is in control. I would rather be Right with God than follow the ways of this World.
These stumbling blocks come in different forms. They come in forms of abuse. They come in forms of control. They could come from a bad heart. They can come from someone who doesn’t know any better. Someone who doesn’t know God. This is where discernment comes in on your part. You can’t believe everything someone tells you. Instead, verify everything with scripture from the Bible. It tells you what is pure and Holy. It tells you what is evil. It shows you who is hurting. If the Bible doesn’t back up what they are saying, “Don’t believe it.” The Bible only speaks the truth. It’s God’s Word. Listen to the voice of truth. What comes from the Sword of the Spirit. Because God is greater. He is Spiritual and Holy. He is higher and greater than anyone or anything in this world including the evil one. We have to choose to let God’s Word and Spirit rule over our lives. Let His ways and goodness play out and direct our paths and beliefs. Verify what we believe in His Word. Let it challenge us to be better and change our hearts. Let it transform us. Challenge what we believe and think to be true. Do it God’s way and not our own. His will and purpose be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Giving up our control to Him because we weren’t in control, to begin with. Submitting ourselves to Him. Becoming one with God’s own heart, like His Son Jesus. Giving us eyes to see His will and His perspective of what is right and what is wrong, discernment. God’s Word is full of wisdom and knowledge that is good.
These people who lie to get what they want, to control their subjects, are ungodly. They are not doing what is pleasing to God. It contradicts God’s Word and what He teaches us. Who are you going to choose to believe? This person or God? What is this person telling you? Are they saying, “You are not worthy. You aren’t good enough. You don’t deserve love.” What does the Bible say about you? Do you know? You are worthy. You are chosen. You are God’s child. You are His family. Don’t believe the lies of someone else. Believe God’s Word which is perfect and true. Perfect love casts out all fears. It brings peace, comfort, and rest. It gives hope. These are the promises of God. I encourage you to get to know Him if you don’t. These are perfect reasons to believe in God. Don’t you want to believe you are loved? You are cared for? Do you belong? I do. I chose to believe what is right and true, not what the person in front me is saying. They could be lying to you. If they are not quoting what the Bible says, what are you going to choose to believe? It’s all up to you. Verify what the Bible says before you believe what they say.
God made it possible for you to get to know Him. He sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross for you. Jesus made it possible for you to receive the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the living God. He died for you while you were still a sinner. That is how much He loves you! He wants to save you from your sin and give you everlasting life with Him. A promise of hope and a future. A promise of a lifetime with Him. Can you think of anything better? A place called Heaven which is more than you can ever imagine. Jesus shed His blood to pay for your sin to save you from judgment. The price of our sin is eternal damnation with Satan. God gives us a choice to follow Him and accept Jesus as our Savior. He redeems us and saves us from this Fate. His grace, mercy, and forgiveness saves us from this judgment. Grace that we don’t get what we deserve because of His love. Let’s not take that grace for granted. For this, we owe our lives to God. This Easter, let’s choose to be grateful and turn to Him in thanks and praise.
Who are you going to choose to submit to? Who do you believe? I chose to believe in my God and submit myself to Him. He holds my life and future in His hands. I trust in Him alone. We all get to choose what we believe or who we believe in. As for me and my family, we chose to dwell in the House of the Lord. I will serve Him with all my heart, my mind, and with all my strength. I want my soul to go on into eternity with Him. I’m ready. If I die tomorrow, I know where I am going. I’m not afraid because my trust is in Him. My heart and my faith are right with God. He is my source of strength. My armor and my shield. Tomorrow is never promised but God’s Word is. It goes on forever. It is the same as it was yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God never changes. You can rest on the rock of His Salvation and love. It’s a firm foundation. He promises peace and rest to the weary. What is your foundation based on? What is your belief based on?
God has all the power and authority. He is my refuge. No one can remove me from His hands. I am His child. I am chosen. He wants me. I want Him. He cares for me and provides for me. My protector and redeemer. He knows my name. Why would I choose anyone or anything else? I serve the Lord. He is my help and rescue. In Him, I am found.
Jesus has overcome this world. He has overcome the darkness, the evil one. Because of Him, so will I. My source of strength. My hope for tomorrow. No power of darkness can stand against me. No evil can overcome me. My soul belongs to Him. I belong to Him. He is a lamp unto my feet. My Shepherd in the valley of the shadow of death. Whom then shall I fear? I will fear no evil. My God is with me and if my God is with me, then who can stand against? My peace and comfort in the chaos. The reason I keep going on. No one can stop my God. He never fails.
I hope you found some hope and encouragement in this message. What you believe. Wherever you may be. Easter is upon us. Jesus has ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He has overcome! So will you. Let’s remember the reason to celebrate this season. Our promise that someday we will be with Him, forever. Where we are meant to be. The perfect life in Heaven. No more crime, no more sin, no more pain or suffering. No more disease or dying. The perfect life with the perfect Lamb of God. Living in His presence. Can I get a Hallelujah? An Amen?!