Archive for heart

Singling Out Sin… Michael Stone

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Culture, Michael Stone with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2019 by paulthepoke

According to the Bible, the God-breathed Scriptures, practicing homosexuality is a sin. Let’s not stop there. Before we start judging others, let’s ask Holy Spirit to search our hearts. The list of sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God isn’t limited to homosexuality. Not even close. We are wrong to single out just one sin. Many of us are guilty of one or more of the following sins, and many have yet to repent (turn away) from their sin, justifying their behavior in one way or another. Before we start pointing out the specks in the eyes of others, we need to deal with the planks in our own eyes. We ALL need to repent, “since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [by perversion], nor those who participate in homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers [whose words are used as weapons to abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander], nor swindlers will inherit or have ANY share in the kingdom of God. And such were some of you [before you believed]. But you were washed [by the atoning sacrifice of Christ], you were sanctified [set apart for God, and made holy], you were justified [declared free of guilt] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God [the source of the believer’s new life and changed behavior].” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

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Dear Christian: Starting Today – Starting With Me

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Culture, Michael Stone with tags , , , on May 1, 2019 by paulthepoke

Featuring Michael Stone

The words ring in my ears sometimes. “You need to write!” I cannot even begin to count how many times I’ve heard that over the past twenty five years. I probably even heard it a lot before that, but those years are so much of a blur that I wouldn’t recall.

From time to time I’ve actually tried to write, then lost focus and just quit. I’ve done it on paper in a spiral notebook, on our laptop while on the road in Kenya, and again in Kansas City, and again in Charlotte, and again in Orlando. I even copy and pasted what I wrote while in Orlando on an online message board. Every single time that I’ve tried to start writing, I’ve also abruptly quit writing. Now I’m inspired to try it here on the God In A Nutshell Project. We’ll see if I can be disciplined enough to follow through this time and actually write whatever else Divine inspiration brings to mind.

We all desire to see positive change in the world. What do we do about it? The Holy Spirit tells me that it starts in my heart, in my mind, with me – with me allowing Him to mold me into who I was created to be. I will be changing the world – starting with me.

“If MY people who are called by MY NAME will humble themselves and pray, and seek MY Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sins, and I will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 (my paraphrase)

Notice that Scripture states clearly that GOD is calling HIS people to turn from their wicked ways, to humble themselves, and to pray. In this context HE’s not speaking to the lost, but to those of us who call ourselves by HIS NAME. “Christian” means “like Christ”. I don’t know about you, but I’m nowhere near like JESUS the CHRIST. I mean, I’m a man, I have a heart, a spirit, flesh and bones, and a desire to serve HIM but, like most of us, I believe, we sever more than we serve. We’re so spiritually dyslexic that we see the letters, transpose them, and cause more division than unity. 

Our first and most important commandment isn’t to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News…”, as much as we’d like to think that it is. Our first objective, and the only commandment that JESUS the CHRIST gave was to love HIM with all of our hearts, our souls, our minds, and our strength, then to love one another….AND to LOVE OURSELVES! 

We have this self-pleasing culture here in western civilization. I’ve even seen it in 3rd world countries, so it’s a human thing. We may see it as self-love, but it’s a poor substitute for love. It’s not love at all. It’s just selfishness. It’s pride. Pride in no way can be compared to love. The verse from 2 Chronicles that I mentioned earlier calls us to humble ourselves, not to be proud. When we are humble, we can actually receive all that the LORD has for us…INCLUDING HIS LOVE. The whole key to the world changing and turning right-side-up is for GOD’s people, people of THE WAY, “Christians”, to humble ourselves and fully receive HIS love. Only then will we truly love one another. The Bible even tells us that our love for one another is how the world will know us. Only then will we serve instead of sever.

I love how Donald Miller puts it in his book, “Blue Like Jazz”. “I AM THE PROBLEM!” We look at things in our republic, and in the world, that do not at all line up with TRUTH, and we attack those things in our self-righteous indignation. There’s no love in that. We have to deal with our own hearts first. We need to let the HOLY SPIRIT move in and clean house. We need to totally receive the LOVE that the LORD has for us. When we do that, HIS love will just naturally pour out of us, and things will change. It starts with me. The problem isn’t abortion. The problem isn’t the homosexual agenda. The problem isn’t anything but my heart. Attacking symptoms of the worldwide lack of love will not change anything. I need to start with my heart. We all do. Nothing miraculous comes from activism. Miracles come from love, and that’s an action worth taking. 

“Receive, receive, receive the love of JESUS. Wrap up in HIM. Wait on HIM. Become intimate with HIM. Get to know the true love of the FATHER. Let the HOLY SPIRIT speak to you. Be still and wait.” I just keep hearing those words in my spirit. I pray that I will finally be able to pick up that simple key of love. It’s not enough to know it in my head. I need to KNOW it in my heart…to intimately know the love of the FATHER. ABBA…Daddy GOD. I need to intimately know the fear of the LORD. YHVH is as terrible as He is loving. Like C.S. Lewis put it, He is dangerous, but He is good. In JESUS’ name, FATHER, please help me receive all that You are. I’m so empty and lost without the fullness of YOU!

You know, I could read an article by someone else, and totally want to write to that person and try to help them receive GOD’s love, the whole time not knowing it myself. That’s so sad. I honestly believe that, for the most part, the Church is in the same position. We all want to help, but we’re not fully equipped, because we rely on too many other things other than JESUS in our daily lives. Our jobs, our bank accounts, our cars, our pickup trucks, our hobbies, our “stuff”. All of that crap violates “have no other gods before ME” when we allow it to consume our time, our priorities, and our lives. Most of us would say we’d surely die for JESUS, but we fight kicking and screaming if we lose any of our “stuff”. How can we die for HIM when we are so selfish that we won’t even live for HIM unless we can have our “stuff”. What a total chaotic farce.

I want to lay it all down. Whatever HE wants to give back to me is fine, or if HE gives nothing back, I want that to be fine as well. HE knows what I need. I really only know what I want. I put GOD in a box way too much! HE’s not my little “jack-in-the-box” that I can crank up when I need HIM, then shove back down and close up when I want control. Why, oh why do IDO that??!!??

OK, this is the start of the journey. I need to be in the Light. We all do. We’ll see how this goes. I truly do purpose to intercede for the world… as well as for myself. JESUS is at the right hand of the FATHER always interceding for each of us. HE sets the example. I need to follow HIS example. I believe that we all do…starting today.

Predestined With Free Will: Pharaoh’s Choice

Posted in Egypt/Nile River, Jude with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2019 by paulthepoke

Exodus 5:3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

Look at how Pharaoh was approached by God, Moses, and Aaron. They were respectful. God introduced Himself and was formal. He used His proper name, YHWH. He is known as Yahweh or Jehovah.

Moses and Aaron used their manners and petitioned Pharaoh. They acknowledged his authority and position. The term translated is “Please”. This is the Hebrew word “na”. This is a sincere, humble request. The word “na” is defined as: we pray, we beseech. The majority of time “na” is translated as “please”.

Click on the link for audio/video.

Pharaoh, in his free will, responds to reverence and respect in the following manner. Nobody made or influenced him to act this way. He was rude and crude all by himself. Pharaoh is the one imposing his will on his servants in the Egyptian government and the Hebrew slaves. Look at Pharaoh’s actions in Exodus 5:6-17.

  1. Pharaoh indicated to taskmasters to stop providing straw to Israel for brick production.
  2. Pharaoh now required to Hebrews to go get the straw.
  3. Pharaoh required more work and expected the same production.
  4. He viewed the Hebrews as “lazy”.
  5. Pharaoh re-emphasized his will to increase the labor demands.
  6. Pharaoh considered the idea of the LORD a lie.
  7. The conditions of finding straw and brick production were restated.
  8. Pharaoh and Egyptian officials continually hounded the Hebrews about brick production.
  9. Israeli leaders were physically beaten for not meeting production quotas.
  10. Egyptians continued to harass the Israeli work force for sustained production.
  11. Pharaoh repeatedly told the Hebrews they were “slackers”.
  12. He blamed their lack of production on God.
  13. Pharaoh closed with restating his expectations and labor demands.
https://pharaohoppressionmosesisraelegyptdynasty.wordpress.com/category/mud-bricks-containing-straw/

This is how Pharaoh responded to decency and manners. Pharaoh was an unrealistic, rigid, and inflexible task master. He made things harder for the Israeli people. Pharaoh did all of this without God’s influence. This is who Pharaoh was all by himself.

At this point, the LORD God had not responded to or influenced Pharaoh. But things were about the change…

Exodus 7:3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.

God is promising to harden Pharaoh’s heart. God has yet to do anything to him. Exodus 7:3 is a prophecy of what God will do. The LORD is about to exert His will.

Exodus 7:4 When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments.

Exodus 7:4 is a prophecy of Pharaoh’s lack of response. Notice, God gives Pharaoh a chance to respond positively. He allows Pharaoh to fail before He executes judgment. But, God knows the end result before it happens.

Pharaoh is going to have many opportunities to align his heart and his will with God. The LORD did not make Pharaoh do anything. God appealed to Pharaoh’s heart. We all know how this ends for Egypt.

There are at least 14 examples of Pharaoh’s heart being hardened in the book of Exodus. Every time Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, he responded negatively with actions and attitude. God did not make him respond negatively. That was Pharaoh’s active choice. Pharaoh was the captain of his actions and decisions.

Exodus 7:13, 7:22, 8:15, 8:19, 8:32, 9:7, 9:12, 9:34, 9:35, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:8.

God closes with hardening the heart of the Egyptian army at the Red Sea in Exodus 14:17. The Egyptians were all in as they pursued Israel.

How many times have we had the opportunity to align our hearts and our wills with God? How many times have we not responded to God’s plea for good works and deeds? How many times will a person refuse God’s will before He hardens the individual’s heart?

Group Think… Featuring Guy Micholic

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , on January 17, 2019 by paulthepoke

Who’s willing to take that step, to speak up according to their convictions regardless of outcome? So many times, I see that folks are willing to speak boldly when their opinions echo the general consensus. But what happens when the consensus is wrong?

Being naturally curious about the mechanics of the “group think” mentality, I’ve searched deeply for to discover the tell-tale effects of “group think” or “mob rules” within society, both at large, as well as interconnecting microcosms of the phenomena pervading the environment in which we live. It seems that someone or something has been continuously manipulating the minds of individuals to think along certain lines, within ever narrowing parameters.

What I’ve discovered is akin to a model used in animal training techniques. In the beginning the trainer presents a set of parameters that are wide and flexible, thereby making it easy for the animal to comply. A reward system is established, teaching the animal that obedience to these loosely based guidelines produces results that are both pleasant and desirable. As the training process continues the parameters are gradually narrowed, becoming more complicated and difficult to traverse. The ultimate goal of the trainer is to manipulate the animal’s behavior to such a degree that it becomes robotic. Once this goal is accomplished the animal no longer focuses or relies upon its own senses, but rather remains solely focused upon the parameters themselves in decision making processes.

Unfortunately for the animal, the God given instincts it was born with are no longer prevalent in its daily routine of behavior. The power of decision making has now been given over to the trainer, and for what purpose? The trainer has effectively harnessed the animal in such a way that he becomes the beneficiary of its actions, rather than the animal itself. Too often the trainer is self-motivated, seeking nothing more than to enrich himself in some way, having no actual regard for the creature in which he manipulates.

In my opinion this same process has been applied to mankind. We have been given certain unnatural parameters in which we are expected to abide. Paradigms have been created with the intent of forming us into incompatible groups, thus making it easier for the trainers to maintain and control. This form of control has been honed and improved upon over several millennium, taking many different shapes, disguising itself in many forms.

But there is one factor the trainers have not included within their equations, and that is the mind and Spirit of the Creator. He is the original programmer, the designer of all we survey. He sets the parameters for which we were created to comply with. No human, no angel, no alien is able to supersede or assume authority over the mechanics of our true purpose. We were created to glorify God in all we do. This inclination, when adhered to, benefits the individual as well as all of mankind. All of the suffering and ugliness that we witness here is a direct result of rebellion against His laws, laws that were written upon our very hearts.

God’s laws should take precedent over our emotions. Our hearts, having been manipulated by various factors, such as self-will, self-gratification, have been conditioned to seek out all things that steer us away from the will of God, making us soft targets to manipulate. We should not fully trust our heart but should first make it subject to the will of God.

Our Daily Bread… Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , , , on June 24, 2018 by paulthepoke
race relations twitter
photo: twitter

When reading the Bible, I notice that the color of one’s skin isn’t mentioned. Many scholars believe that Moses’ wife, Zipporah, was black, along with the Queen of Sheba & many others. The Bible doesn’t mention their skin color because it isn’t relevant to God or Jesus. What’s important to God is someone’s heart. We have to stop seeing color & look at each other’s hearts & character. See a man or a woman, not as such & such colored man or woman. See each other as nothing different than yourselves. We are all God’s children & He doesn’t have favorites. Racism sucks!

 

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Acts 10:34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality.”

Have a color free week my friends!!!

Our Daily Bread…Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by paulthepoke

thankful heartBe thankful every day. Show your thankfulness to others with appreciation for them. Give thanks to God every day for what He provides for you. Count your blessings instead of your wants. A thankful heart is a happy heart.

I start each day by giving thanks for what I have & thanks for moments in my life. Having a thankful heart sure makes my days a lot better. Be happy & content with what you have & where you currently are in life. It could always be worse.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Colossians 4:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Philemon 1:4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.

Have a thankful week my friends!!!

A Matter of the Heart…

Posted in Culture, Our Daily Bread, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by paulthepoke

Authors: Paul Beverly, Paul Lehr

Genesis 4:8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

The first recorded death of a human being was a murder. The Bible does not state the instrument used in the murder.

Some conjecture Cain used a knife. John tells us in his epistle the death was violent. The Greek word σφάζω/sphadzo was used for “murder”. It means: slay, kill by violence, slaughter, wound mortally. -Strong’s Concordance

1 John 3:12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.

The extra Biblical text of Jubilees 4:31 indicates a rock was used. “He (Cain) killed Abel with a stone.”

Does it really matter the instrument used in the murder? God did not respond by passing a law controlling the use of rocks or knives. He spoke against murdering a fellow human being.

Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.

The violence and mass slaughter at a Florida school this past week were tragic. Seventeen people were murdered. This past week, a gun was used. What will be used in the future? A knife, poisonous gas, missiles, nuclear weapons, whatever…

Politicizing the event with the issue(s) of the day is a distraction and not productive. Until people give a rip for all humanity, this behavior is going to continue to happen.

The issue is the human heart.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” -Jesus

Fla Getty Images

There is an answer.

Love unconditionally. Love unselfishly. Love without expectation. Love without fear. Love with all your heart. Love with your thoughts. Love with your actions. Love in truth. Love is contagious. Love BIG. Love conquers all!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It (love) does not boast, it (love) is not proud. It (love) does not dishonor others, it (love) is not self-seeking, it (love) is not easily angered, it (love) keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It (love) always protects, (lovealways trusts, (love) always hopes, (love) always perseveres.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

LOVE!

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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