Tag Archives: devil

When Evil is Praised, God is not Mocked… Enjoy Your Orchard! 

Does it burn you up to see people getting praise who don’t deserve it? The devil blinds people to the truth. His job is to accuse genuine Christian believers, and to convince the weak to help him do his dirty work. The devil is the Deceiver, Father of lies, and the Accuser. He works hard to convince people to hate real Christians who love Jesus. The ONE and ONLY way to know the truth, is the PURSUE JESUS. 

People who ignore Jesus, choosing not to not talk or walk with him at all; might as well walk around covering their eyes and ears. There is NO way to be aware of the truth if you choose not to be its friend… for Jesus IS Truth! Only those of us who listen to God’s instruction can know the truth. We want nothing to do with the false praises of wicked people, and instead run to the arms of our Savior:  “Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them” (Prov. 28:48 New International Version).

People who falsely praise wicked people, usually do so out of fear. They want to stay in the “good graces” of someone they deem as “powerful,” or someone who can give them false security or what they consider to be favors. They choose to live a lie, instead of seeking the truth, when we should instead be desiring to stay within the good grace of God. God is the Only One Who can provide everything we need, and give us true security and joy. To not acknowledge Him, or lead others to Him, is to walk away from the truth. 

If we really want to know fact from fiction about a person, place, or situation; we need to ask Jesus about it. When we go our own way, we leave ourselves open to all the tricks of the enemy; and the enemy is very good at pretending! “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Cor. 11:14-15). This means there are people out there pretending to be Christians! These wolves are even fooling Christians who have abandoned the path of truth and righteousness! Jesus will be more than happy to talk and walk with those who find their way back to his path. We have nothing to lose if we follow Jesus… but everything to lose if we don’t!

Jesus says we can differentiate genuine believers from non-believers by inspecting their fruit. There are good trees, bad trees, and their fruit.  What kind of trees are in your orchard? Are they dead, or are they producing delicious fruit? Everything you need to know about real Christians and those who pretend to be Christians; is written in the Bible. We can find out about truth ahead of time, instead of waiting until we find ourselves in a desperate situation! 

When we see evil bring praised by men, the silver lining is God knows about it. His Word tells us not to worry about it, because He knows the truth about what is really going on. Even though it’s hard to watch when people praise men and women who are wicked,  God will not be mocked. He tells us that people who choose to participate in evil, will get what they deserve. He even reminds us in this Psalm “Of David. Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away” (Psalm 37:1-2). We can go about enjoying our lives, because God will provide justice in His good and perfect timing!

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8).


Pursue Jesus, and enter an orchard where good trees bear good fruit! 

Join us at The Silver Lining, as we explore the topic of truth. Explore other related topics, as well. Find daily encouragement on The Silver Lining Facebook ministry page. There will be godly posts and scriptures shared by myself and other Christian writers who love Jesus! 

Pretty Ponies? A Mother’s “Short Tale”

Yesterday, my daughter asked if she could give one of her ponies a hair cut. We had given a trim to one of her My Little Pony pets before, so I agreed. I reminded her that the pony’s hair couldn’t grow back, and gave her a small pair of scissors, and a piece of cardstick to set underneath.

My daughter returned to ask if she could give another pony a hair cut. “I guess so,” I agreed, while casually mentioning that if she later decided to sell some of her ponies at a yard sale, the other little girls might be looking for long manes and tails. She nodded her head, and then we both shrugged. Who cared about a yard sale? They were her ponies now, and she had a bunch of them. She skipped off to take them to the pony salon; and snip, clip, and shampoo their colorful locks into new hairdos.

After about a half an hour, my normally cheery, confident little girl came into my room, downcast. “What’s wrong, little one?” I asked.

She lowered her head, and her voice slightly trembled, “I don’t think I want to give my ponies a hair cut anymore.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because…”

“How many ponies got hair cuts?”

“About eight…”

“Ohhhh!” I laughed; “Well that’s a lot of ponies. But that’s okay, because you have a lot of ponies. But that’s probably enough ponies getting haircuts.”

But I knew. I could feel the guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnation clinging to her; because it was all too familiar. I was immediately brought back to my childhood; where everything I did was wrong, every mistake was shameful, and no bad choices were forgiven.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

“Wait!” I grabbed her skinny little self and folded her into a hug. “Look at me,” I coaxed. She looked up with sad eyes. Her huge, teary eyes displayed a rainbow of colors; just like her little ponies. “Did you have fun?” I asked. Her head nodded up and down. “Do you like their haircuts?” She nodded yes, again. “Then that’s all that matters, Honey!”

I pulled her close into me, and said “Let’s pray…” But she was already bowing her little head, because she knows Jesus brings comfort when Mommy prays. My hands started at the top of her own long, curly, tangled mane. As I prayed over her soft, sweet head; I combed my fingers all the way down to the bottom of her hair, which ended at her waist.

I renounced guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnations for my daughter, in Jesus’ name. I told the devil to go “sit on a tack” in the name of Jesus, and that he was not allowed to steal her joy. I thanked God for my beautiful daughter and her endlessly creative imagination, along with the ability to try new, exciting things. I asked God to fill my daughter with His Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. I asked God to replace her sadness with  joy and peace.  I thanked God for my little girl and her love for animals, including ponies. I asked God to bless her future and all that it entails! 

After praying, I gave her a kiss, and she ran off to play. It was GONE! The sadness, the worry, the doubt… it was all GONE! That’s because I have the power and authority in Jesus Christ, to intervene on behalf of my daughter, and tell the devil to get lost. I can only do this because of who I am in Christ, and my daughter knows she has this same power and authority within her too.

The situation had not changed. The hair did not miraculously grow back.  But what did change, was the lies. The lies weren’t there anymore. They had been prayed away in the name of Jesus. The devil had lied to my daughter, and tried to ruin her day, by deceiving her, and stealing her joy. I was not fooled by his tactics. We had been here before when the devil had lied to her about her artwork mistakes.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

When our children are struggling with a  spiritual attack, the silver lining is that we parents who battle for our children, are already promised a victory! We don’t have to play or put up with the devil’s games; but we must pray, and fight back in the name of Jesus! There’s a battle for our children’s spiritual well being; so saddle up, and giddy up! The Bible says we win the race!

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us”  (Phil. 3:14 New Living Translation).

Make your decisions, and ride your race without fear! 

Fools and the Foolish… Is it ALL just “Fun and Games?”

It’s April Fool’s Day! It’s a silly day for playing some good ol’ funny jokes and having a bit of fun! At the same time, there’s a fine line when it comes to making sure we don’t sin in our silliness; by telling lies to our loved ones and friends, using their phobias to frighten them, and forgetting that a joke is supposed to make people laugh, instead of causing others to be distressed. Foolish people always seem to cross over the line, all in the name of “fun and games.”

Those who cross boundaries, by hurting other people in order to get a laugh, are desperately in denial when they claim, ” It was just a joke.”  Jokes are supposed to make everyone break out in a chorus of laughter. If you’re among several people telling “jokes,” and someone else is not smiling, or is even on the verge of tears; there’s surely a fool in the group; one whom has left their good sense and compassion behind. 

Hanging around with fools interferes with healing; so if you’re trying to heal, you better learn how to tell a foolish man from a wise man; and take the high road. The Bible gives us all kinds of warnings about fools: how to identify who they are, red flag warnings about what they do, commands to stay away from them, and instructions on how to handle them. We need to keep our eyes and ears focused on Jesus, so we won’t pay heed to fools when they come around, and…fools… will… always… come…back…around.   

Do not let a fool lie to you, and tell you that you’re the problem, when it’s the fool living an unrepentant, ungodly life. A fool will accuse you, spouting off lies, such as: “You have no sense of humor… You can’t take a joke… You’re no fun!” All the more reason to avoid fools; being that their lies get into our heads. These ugly lies take a toll on our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical  health; blocking the way to the healing God wants to provide for us. We must pray against these lies, and renounce each one in the name of Jesus; for as long as it takes for them to disappear completely. 

God also promises He will deal harshly with fools who try to intervene in our lives by: spreading their foolishness around, attempting to destroy us, our reputations, and our ministries; and doing it all through the spreading of gossip, lies, and slander. Protect yourself from fools by using biblical boundaries. Know that when you finally decide  to let your heart heal, and put the necessary boundaries in place, so you can live a productive life which is pleasing to God; fools…will …always… come… back… around. “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Prov. 13:20 NIV).

When you refuse to engage with unrepentant hearts, cruel jealousy, and the raging anger of fools; these very fools will rush in and attempt to get you to believe even more ugly lies about yourself. You will hear things such as: “You are a coward… You are unforgiving… It’s all your all fault… You’re unreasonable… You’re so difficult… You’re delusional… You need psychological help.” These kinds of hateful lies can get in your head if you are not keeping Jesus in the center of your life. You must renounce these negative lies in the name of Jesus. Ask God to remove the lies from your mind, and fill you with His Holy Spirit. Ask Him to replace the lies with His beautiful truth, and His promises to restore you; and bring health to your body, mind, spirit, and soul. Always, Let God be your affirmation… not fools. “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are” (Prov. 26:4 NIV).

God tells us to stay away from fools for a good reason. He doesn’t want us to become distracted by people who are more interested in generating a laugh, getting attention for a juicy bit of news, and making someone the “butt of a joke, at the expense of making themselves look “good;” instead of living a life which brings true joy by choosing to grow wise; and bring honor and glory to God. If we blindly walk around ignorant of the senseless, sinful folly of simple fools; we will be more susceptible to being fooled by the more manipulative wolves and pretenders. This, in turn, leaves us vulnerably open to something even more evil, insidious, and dangerous; the devil himself. For the devil is a great deceiver, and he looks to fool you each and every day, and he knows how to make it look like it’s all “fun and games.” “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Pet. 5:8-9 New International Version).

But the silver lining lies ahead for those of us who trust Jesus, and look to God as our shelter in the storm! We have supernatural protection from all fools and pretenders, and we have power and authority in Jesus Christ, to also stand against the schemes of the devil! Only children of God have this promise of God’s Almighty Protection! “When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Cor. 2:10-11 New Living Translation).


So go ahead: wave a colored rubber snake and run around the house, put blue food coloring in the milk of your kid’s cereal, tell a friend his shoe is untied or your mom that her shirt is inside-out, and scream as you throw a rubber chicken in the kitchen while you’re preparing dinner! Giggle at all the reactions; laugh, and give hugs! Celebrating with a little bit of silly foolishness on April Fool’s Day, is a good reminder of just how important it is to be alert and diligent, so we don’t get fooled by the real foolish antics of others. Gain wisdom to avoid being fooled. All we have to do, is ask God, and He will freely give it! “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (Jas. 1:5 NIV).


Have more fun by avoiding the company of fools; get more joy by gaining wisdom!

The Family that Prays Together…

Yesterday marked one week into my recovery from back surgery. God announced His goodness by giving me a beautiful, sunny spring day to enjoy! I was so happy and excited! My twin young men cleaned off the umbrella table, and untied the chairs which had been stored for the winter, hoisting them effortlessly onto the back deck, so I could sit and breathe in the fresh, clean air. My daughter was suddenly more interested in her school books, which were filled with clocks, verbs, and Venn diagrams. She cheerfully grabbed her pencil, because we were going to have school outside for the day. I gazed at the breathtaking view of our backyard, thanking God as I soaked in the blooms on the pear and cherry trees. My favorite was the brilliant cobalt of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which will be barely visible when the trees become dressed in their shiny, green summer leaves. 

What a lovely day for my daughter to play on her swing set, and jump on the trampoline. It was ideal for my husband and me, as we walked down the driveway, for my first outdoor excursion since the surgery. Perfection! NOT! … Because Christian families who pretend that everything is perfect and merry all the time are… well, quite frankly… lying. For suddenly there was strife and squabbling, unexpectedly, out of the beautiful deep blue. There was anger, pride, rudeness, and a black cloud where the sun had been shining only moments before. And then from Mom (yeah, that would be me) there were some not-very-nice-words,  and no… not the tears! There can not be tears from Mom; she never cries in front of anybody! She learned it years ago… people don’t care about you… so do not let them see your tears! For if you do, ferocious wolves will rip you to pieces! But suddenly I didn’t care that they saw the tears. I knew I was hurting inside and out; and I needed to cry, even though the tears made me vulnerable to… (oh no!)… REJECTION!  Brave, courageous, strong Mom, had succumbed to a sobbing, inconsolable mess of… tears

But this time, I recognized the attack for what it was… a spirit of strife. I also recognized the lies: The day was NOT ruined, my family was NOT going to let me deal with this alone, this was NOT my family from childhood; so my precious family here at home was NOT going to make fun of me or be mean to me for crying, and the devil was NOT going to ruin this day for my family or me! I pondered the truths: This is my family who supports, encourages, prays for; and loves me unconditionally. This is my family who helps me run my blog: proofs and edits my drafts, rescues my computer crashes, updates my computer, gives me ideas, creates special images, poses for my photos, and patiently gives me tons of time… while I write my blog! This is my family, and they support my ministry, as I do what I love! They are on board with me, and I am on board with them! We are in it together

We gathered for an amazing dinner; one of my all-time favorites; chicken tacos and chocolate chip cookies, which had thoughtfully been prepared for us by my sweet friend, Rita. We told the devil to “Get out of our home, and off of our property, in the name of Jesus.” You see,  even my little girl has the power and authority to tell the devil to get lost. Why? Because we are God’s children and we have… privileges

Because we recognized the evil spirits, which had come to do battle on the land God gave us, we were prepared to fight. We repented of our sinful nature, asked God and family members to forgive us, and repaired some issues which needed to be dealt with, so that our bond will remain unbroken, and more closely knit than ever. We are a family unit, which God has put together for a reason, a purpose, and His calling. We cannot afford to ignore the fact that there is a spiritual battle each and every day, with the intention of destroying each one of us, and ripping our precious family apart. That old saying; “The family that prays together, stays together,” is true! It’s our family… and it can be your family too! We are a force to be reckoned with, a bond which is to remain unbroken, because God is our Father, and we are His children. 

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9 New International Version). This verse applies to marriage, but it applies to our children too. Because, when it comes time for them to leave us and create their own families, we will also be grateful for the ones God has chosen to be a part of our lives, and we will fight for them too. Hence, our strength in numbers will be even greater, and there will be even more love to go around! 

Pretending everything is perfect isn’t doing anybody any favors. But knowing who is at the center of your family, and keeping Him there… IS! The rest of the day was filled with the sweetness of apologies, forgiveness, relief, comfort, laughter, laughs, cuddles, and hugs! We also repaired something that had broken down in our family… a way of communication which was, in actuality, hurting everyone. But it wasn’t something that could just simply repair itself. It is something that requires the never-ending mercy, grace, forgiveness; and unconditional love of Jesus Christ; who is alway invited to our table, and welcome in our home. For we are children of God! 

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).


#knowyourrights  #eliminatestrife #childrenofGod #Jesusbemycenter

Blog posts directly related to this series on surgery and healing:

When You’re Sick, God Shows Up… Because He’s Already There!

The Unexpected Joy of Rest

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The True Sacrifice of Lent and how you can take part

Little hearts during Lent 

When I was growing up, there were only two main religions on the Air Force Base. You were either Protestant or Catholic; there was nothing in between. I wished to be Catholic, because I liked that the children took communion wafers. No one realized that I already knew and loved Jesus, and had it been explained, I would have rejoiced in the partaking of communion. I also liked the way the Catholics made the sign of the cross across the front of their bodies after saying a prayer. I thought it to be beautiful. What I did not envy, was the time of Lent. Here’s where the Catholic children dramatically sighed and rolled their eyes, complaining that they would be deprived of candy or soda, or both… for 40 days up until Easter! We Protestant kids would shake our heads in sympathy, as sticky popsicle juice melted down our chins and arms, on a warm spring day.

Neither we Protestant, nor the Catholic children had really figured out that Lent is the 40 day period of time before Easter, when God’s children take time to repent and pray, and reflect upon the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ; God’s Son who willingly took our place on the cross, dying for our sins. The whole point of God sending a sacrifice was missed in childish translation, covered up by the tradition of giving up favorite sweets in order to prove loyalty and love to The Savior. Children want to be good, please Jesus, and show him that they love him. Children first need to know Jesus loves them, just as they are!

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ “Matt. 19:14 New International Version).

Lent and the Temptation of Christ

Traditions vary, according to region and religion, but traditionally Lent is a 40 day time period of reflection, repentance, prayer, and sacrifice; which begins on Ash Wednesday, and ends the Saturday before Easter, often with a special Easter Sunday feast to celebrate the risen Savior. Participating in Lent is a way for Christians around the world to recognize and remember that Jesus spent 40 days alone in the wilderness of the Scorching Judaean Desert, completely fasting from food. Yes. After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus truly went hungry for 40 days and nights to spend time solely with God, his Father, and focus God’s will for his life. This time of deep dependence on his Father would prepare him for his ultimate sacrifice, giving up his very own life to save the world from its sins.

When Jesus was at his most vulnerable, the devil came to try to tempt him. He offered up something pretty amazing; a huge glittering kingdom on a mountaintop… plus the food Jesus so desperately craved, needed, and desired. But the devil is a liar and can’t be trusted. And even if Satan would have handed it over, there was no way Jesus was accepting. His mission would be demolished and destroyed; the very mission meant to save us Christians from the burning fires of hell.

“‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”‘ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matt. 4:9-11).

Lent as a desire to draw closer to Christ 

If Jesus sacrificed so much for us, Lent is nothing in comparison, but it can give people a sense of walking with Christ, and experiencing (albeit on a much smaller scale) a minuscule taste of what Christ experienced those 40 grueling days. Though it was difficult, exhausting, draining, and seems utterly impossible; Jesus made it through. And in doing so, he was humbled, blessed, anointed, and brought even closer to God, his Heavenly Father.

Whatever Christians may choose to give up for Lent, be it diet soda, coffee, smoking, alcohol, carbs, chocolate, TV, social media, or other; let it be known that all God really wants is the sacrifice of our own lives; repentance of our sins and the laying down of our own desires, wicked ways and selfish gains. God wants us to let go of all the sin, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus! Otherwise, all our sacrifices are in vain. If one is going to participate in Lent, might I suggest sacrificing our time? Because, time given up and given to God, is time given up to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. If we spend more time focusing on Jesus, and less time focusing on ourselves; our little sacrifice will end up doing what pleases God the most: drawing us closer in our relationship with Jesus Christ! What sacrifice could bring The Holy Spirit more joy?

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).

THE Sacrifice

If you do not participate in Lent, or if you do participate, and cave due to temptation, look for the silver lining: Jesus IS the sacrifice. He already paid the debt for our sins. You don’t have to be perfect, or strive for it. When you receive Christ, your sins are washed away, and you remain white as snow. You are washed free of the guilt, fear, anxiety, self-condemnation, and lies that get in the way of your hope leading to healing, joy, freedom, and peace in Jesus Christ! Jesus paid it already for you at the cross! Rejoice! Worship him! Give him praise!

” ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isa. 1:18).

An invitation to take part in The Silver Lining Sacrificial Lent Blessing…

In 2017, Lent Season is from Ash Wednesday, March 1 to Saturday, April 15. Choose to complete some days during the Lent Season, or all 40 days. Choose from any of the sacrifices of time from below. You might want to do one of the choices for many days, or several of the choices for just a few days each. It doesn’t matter how you choose to offer God your sacrifice of time. The key is to do as The Lord God leads. You will be blessed!

Seven ways to take part:

~ Read a Proverb a day. There are 31 Proverbs in the Bible. When completed, read over your favorites for the remaining days, or choose another chapter of the Bible which you feel led to read. 

~ Journal out seven praises of thankfulness each day. At the end of Lent, you will look back on 280 blessings God has given to you! When you’re having a hard day, pull out your praise journal to remind you how much God loves and cherishes you! You may want to continue your journal after Lent. It’s a refreshing revelation to see the gifts God has given to you, penned out on paper!

– Journal out seven prayer requests each day, for yourself, and others. At the end of Lent, look back and see how many prayer requests God has answered! You will be amazed at God’s responses! Continue checking back to watch how God answers your prayers in His own perfect timing… for a reason!

– Journal out seven sins you struggle with, where you need God’s forgiveness. Each day, ask God to forgive you if you have committed any of these particular sins, again. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and ask Him to break down the strongholds of these sins in Jesus’ name. At the end of Lent, look back at the growth God has completed in you, and thank Him for His grace and mercy and forgiveness!

– Pray first. Ask God to lay seven people on your heart for whom to pray. Lift these people up to Jesus each day. If possible, ask them how you can pray for them, and let them know you are praying for them. At the end of Lent, ask God to show you the many ways these people’s prayers have been answered! 

– Pray first. Choose seven small acts of service to do for God during Lent. Though these acts of service may bring joy to people, they should be first and foremost, acts of service to please Jesus. There may be a couple you don’t want to do, but you will be blessed! 

~ Pray first. Choose seven people to bless in small ways. Ask God to lay people on your heart who need it most. You will be surprised at some of the people who come to mind whom you didn’t expect! 

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God bless you, in Jesus’ name. He has risen!

Visit on Facebook to get involved, be encouraged, and share your experiences with The Silver Lining Sacrificial Lent Blessing.

Avoid Being Deceived in End Times

We are living in end times, a time of high deception. Though we do not know the day Jesus will return, God reveals many signs in the bible, and tells us to watch for them, so we will be prepared for our Messiah’s second coming. Elevated deceit is a big red flag for end times. But, because deceit comes cleverly disguised, it’s difficult to know when it’s present. We must constantly and consistently pray against it. 

Christians are not immune to being deceived by others, so we especially need to be praying, and actively reading God’s Word. The bible contains instructions on how to both identify and avoid deceit. We also need to ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit, and to point us towards the truth. 

Matthew 24 should be read by every Christian. It discusses the incredible deceit that will overwhelm the world during end times. It gives explicit instructions on how to identify the antichrist, who will set himself up in God’s holy temple, blaspheme the name of God and demand to be worshiped. As if that weren’t horrific enough, people will witness the greatest deception of all, “The ‘abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel ” (in Matt. 24: 15) which will signal the end of the world as we know it: the antichrist will claim to BE GOD! 

People will fear the antichrist and follow him to avoid being killed. But they will also be fooled by the miracles of the antichrist, and blindly choose to follow him, based on having fallen for his lies, because they have refused to accept God’s truth! This is spoken of in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. The people’s reverence for the antichrist will come from the greatest deception ever known. They will think he has come to save the very people he cannot wait to destroy!  “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess. 2:4).

The silver lining is that the “abomination of desolation” will not be overlooked, and it will not go unpunished by God. In fact, it will signal the arrival of the second coming of Jesus! Jesus will come to save us, and he will destroy the antichrist! “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven,with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt. 24: 30-31 New International Version). This is also spoken of in the 12th book of Daniel. We don’t have to fall for deception. For Christians, there should be no confusion about where Jesus is or who he is. God clearly says not to listen to anyone at all who claims to know where Jesus is. God says Jesus will find us, and come get us! 

We will escape having to experience unimaginable peril and distress, such as the world has never known. We will also escape Hell, as we go to live eternally with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven. As we wait for Jesus to return, our job is to share the gospel with those who are dying in deception. It will become more and more difficult, for people to see and hear the truth: All people can have life through salvation in Jesus Christ. 

“Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many’ “
(Matt. 24: 4-5).

“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time”  (Matt 24: 23-25).

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life”
(Galatians 6:7-8).

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:1-2).

Tell the world about Jesus, while there’s still time. Even if the world does not end today, many people’s lives do. Jesus is the one and only way to the everlasting! Share his love with everyone you know! “If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faithand of the good teaching that you have followed” (1 Tim. 4:6).

  

12 Steps to Forgiveness with Boundaries

Have you forgiven someone, only to be accused of harboring unforgiveness, because you’ve had to establish necessary boundaries for healing and protection? If you’re feeling guilty about having less contact because of an unhealthy or abusive relationship, the guilt is not from God. God does not want His children to be doormats. How can we forgive others, while keeping boundaries in place? How can we do both, while continuing to please God, as we daily walk with Christ?

We can recognize that God set boundaries and expected them to remain in place: “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors” (Prov. 22:28 New International Version). We can take comfort in knowing that Jesus, himself, set boundaries: “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matt. 13:58). We can take godly steps towards forgiving others, by seeking Jesus, as we put boundaries in place:

1. Set aside time to step away from your offender. Even Jesus retreated, and stepped away from the crowds of people in order to spend time with God, and pray. If the offender lives with you, step outside to clear your head, or go visit a friend. Walk away, and give yourself some space. If you need a quiet spot to talk to God, and can’t get away, find ten minutes to pray in the bathroom or your closet. Sit in your car, and read a Psalm. Retreat. Jesus is an example.

2. Pray this simple prayer: “I forgive (name of offender) in the name of Jesus.” We can’t do it alone. That’s why Jesus died for us. He died to forgive us of our sins, and to forgive others. Through Jesus, we can forgive others, grow our relationship with him, and show others the way to salvation. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt. 6:14). Jesus is forgiveness.

3. Ask God to remove your pain, and fill you with His Holy Spirit. It hurts when people sin against us, whether directly, or indirectly. Ask God to remove your pain. Then ask Him to go to the empty spot where pain once resided, and fill it with His love for you, until it’s overflowing! Jesus is a healer.

4. Ask God for wisdom in establishing healthy boundaries. God gives wisdom freely to those who ask. Wisdom will help you to discern what kind of boundary you will need to allow for healing: some contact, little contact, or no contact. You can do any of these, while still continuing to walk with Christ. Jesus is a teacher.

5. Ask God to give you strength and courage to keep the boundary. The devil will do everything possible in order to try and make you remove the boundary. He will find people to spread lies, gossip, strife, fear, and chaos. His intent is to plague you with anxiety, so that you will not change. He wants you to settle for staying in your old, familiar rut. If he can keep you ignorant of truth, you won’t go forward and learn about how Jesus can heal you and change your life. Jesus is strength.

6. Ask God to provide you with support. The devil has the goal of isolating you. He will use rejection, depression, doubt, and any other fiery darts he can throw at you, to try and convince you to remove your boundary. He knows the boundary is there for your protection, healing, and growth. He hates that God is going to heal, change, and use you to win others to Christ. God will put people in your life to replace those you’ve lost when you established the boundary. Your support will be comprised of Christians who know your heart, pray for you, and encourage you in your walk with God. They will fill in the missing gaps. Jesus is a friend.

7. Ask God to reveal truth in the hearts of those who come against you. The devil will deceive well-meaning people into believing that they are helping, when they come to you, trying to convince you to break down your boundary. They may not have knowledge about the whole truth of your situation, so they don’t understand. They may accuse you of being unforgiving, cruel, fake, or even anti-Christian. God knows your heart, and that is all that matters. However, God knows our need for love and fellowship, and He will provide everything we need. Don’t be afraid! God knows what He is doing! Jesus is truth.

8. Know that when you’re most tempted to break down your boundary, God is about to give you a big break-through! Keep your boundary. Continue to forgive others who hurt you, disrespect you, or shun you. God has a plan. The enemy wants to destroy you, but God means to use it all for good! Live your life, honoring God, knowing that the boundary is there for good reason. If it needs to come down, GOD will show you, and He will make it obvious. Be ready when God says it’s time. You will have a heart that has already forgiven, and your past pain will be behind you. Jesus is courage.

9. Read or listen to scripture, and pray. Scriptures keep us wrapped in truth. When we are struggling, God’s word lets us know that we are doing the right thing. Knowledge of the bible keeps us ready for the battles that will come our way, when we are doing something against the grain of what everyone else thinks we should be doing. God’s word is living and healing. It helps us to see others through the eyes of God. The bible helps us to see that Jesus loves everyone, even people who hurt us. The bible changes our thoughts. We can begin to develop love and understanding for our enemies, even if we don’t approve of, or accept their behavior. Jesus is comfort.

10. Pray for salvation for those who have hurt you. God says to pray for our enemies. The goal is for others, no matter how much they’ve hurt us, to gain salvation through Jesus Christ. Our prayers, and yes, even our boundaries, can help another person to receive eternal life. Jesus died for everyone. Pray that those who have hurt you will come to know Jesus. If those people are already saved, pray for their walk with The Lord. Realize that many people who profess to be Christians, are not really saved, and do not have a relationship with Jesus. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers’ ” (Matt. 7:22-23)! Jesus is salvation.

11. Seek your own relationship with God, while the boundary is in place. During a time of separation from someone who has wronged you, allow God do His healing work in you. You will begin to see the damage in the people who hurt you, and realize they are broken just like you. This doesn’t excuse what they’ve done. It does give us insight into what Jesus did for us. Our sins put Jesus on the cross, and he died for us, even though we didn’t deserve it. It’s love beyond measure. “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:22-23). Jesus is love.

12. TRUST GOD. Understand that your boundary may allow time for the offender to draw closer to God. Recognize that the person who hurt you, is also deeply loved by God, and needs a relationship with Him. He or she may need time to dig deep down, and repent of his or her own sins. The boundary may create a void of loneliness and desperation, which only Jesus can fulfill. Your boundary may bring someone to true repentance, and draw that person towards a relationship with Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, your offender can heal, receive forgiveness for sins, and receive eternal life. This allows him or her a chance to live a godly life on earth. Only then, can true reconciliation occur. Jesus is protection.

There is a silver lining…God is in Control! Though your offender may continue to try and hurt you emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually, God is your protector. His Son, Jesus, heals our pain. Recognize that people may be struggle with jealousy, anger, or fear, when you place boundaries between them and yourself. Some people lash out in frustration, when they lose access to their ability to manipulate and control you. The devil thrives on ruined relationships, but God is All Powerful! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). God is the one who is ultimately in control. With God as our protector, strength, and shield, we have already won every battle.

Though reconciliation is the ultimate goal, it’s not always possible. You do not have to allow an abusive person back into your life, to prove your forgiveness toward that person. This could even delay all the work God is doing in your life, and in the life of the abuser. Pray against guilt in the name of Jesus. We need godly relationships in our lives. Often, we need to step out, and let God step in and do His work. Sometimes we need to let others catch up, before we can be in a relationship with them.

It’s difficult to create a boundary, and even more difficult to keep it in place. But God’s silver lining is found in the amazing things He has planned for you during the storm. God will use your experience to make you stronger, healthier, and joyful. He will use your experience to bring glory to His name! God knows your heart. Forgive, leave your boundaries in place, pray, and continue to follow God. God will let you know when, and if, the boundary should be removed. Trust Him! He knows what He is doing! Jesus is Savior!

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Ps. 16:6

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