Photo by Michele Bergami (unsplash)
Written by Charles Head
As representatives and ambassadors of God’s Kingdom we are held accountable for our actions, and we must beware lest we portray a negative message to those who look to us as “the light of the world.”
In the Word of God, we have instructions for anything that pertains to human life and we must choose to search the scriptures, pray, and ask the Lord to give us revelation in understanding how to apply them to our daily life.
The Lord Jesus gave us a parable which is found in Luke 18:9-14, which reads: “two men went up into the temple to pray; the one Pharisee and the other a Publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterous, or even as this Publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” What did this parable mean? Jesus used this parable to make a point to us about being self-righteous and full of pride compared to being humble and recognizing that it’s God’s mercy that has brought us from where we came from to where we are today.
Therefore, we are not justified to look down on others, thinking that we are more spiritual because, in our opinion we are “righteous in our own eyes.” A “Publican” in these verses refers to a Jewish tax collector for the Roman government, who were hated by their own people the Jews, because many of them were greedy by collecting excess taxes to seal their own pockets. This story is a setting of Jesus teaching His disciples about being self-righteous (Luke 18 verse 9). The Pharisee, in verses 11 and 12, represents the self-righteous and the Publican in verse 13 and 14 represents the true righteous who are justified before God because of their humility and having a pure heart.
On our part, the question is which one of the characters and we? The point is this that it is very easy and settled that we drift into a mode of want to be self-righteous, which from the outside turns unbelievers away from wanting to hear from us. The solution for this, if we have examined ourselves and found that we have sunk this low, is to repent and ask the Lord to forgive us and to move forward by obeying God’s word with a broken and humble spirit. When this is done we will become fruitful God’s way.
Photo by Pexel
Written by Georgetta Head
This past month has been very concerning with the scare of COVID-19. I was out today for the first time, in the past 8 days. As I shopped at a couple stores, it was somewhat alarming to see empty shelves and signs posted limiting shoppers with specific quantities to purchase. People were filling their grocery carts as if we were headed for a famine. It was very interesting listening to people’s conversations. People were conversing that this is the end of the world and how scared they were! A man was standing at our local bank declaring doomsday. While two other people were declaring how United States will never rebound from this crisis. These different scenarios brought to mind several Bible verses that have answers of hope as we place our faith in God during this serious situation we are currently faced with. First, I would like to say, I don’t believe Father God is the cause of this worldwide virus (COVID-19) as some think. I believe we, the world, have cursed ourselves. Let’s read Daniel 9:5 and Daniel 9:10
Daniel 9:5 reads “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy (God) precepts and from thy (God) judgments:” And, Daniel 9:10 reads “Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.”
Hope: Daniel is interceding in prayer on the behalf of his beloved nation Israel. The people had turned their backs on God and wanted to live life doing things their way. They didn’t want God in their nation! Their Temple! Their homes! They had chosen the path of darkness, which is the world’s ways of living. They had cursed themselves as a nation!
Our hope for healing is found in humbling ourselves before God in pray. We need to confess our sins and repent of them. We have sinned as a nation, choosing to allow evil to be called good and good to be evil (Isaiah 5:20), and God says “woe” to the man that does this. The Word says, it is righteousness that exalts a nation: and it is sin that brings a reproach to the people. (Proverbs 14:34 KJV)
Faith: We are encouraged in Matthew 6:25 and Matthew 6:33 to put all of our faith in Father God. He instructs us not to worry about our basis needs. To Him our life is very valuable! We are to seek the Kingdom of God by giving God first place in our hearts, and He will meet our every need. It doesn’t matter to God how bad the situation is, because He promises to take care of His children’s basis needs of food, water, clothing, a roof over our head, etc. So, instead of worrying, we need to seek God in prayer confessing, repenting, and interceding for self, our nation and the world.
We need to rebuke the spirit of fear from our lives, because Believers should not live in fear. Fear is not from Father God! Believers should, however, be a light for Jesus encouraging each other and nonbelievers with the hope found in God’s Word. The world is not going to end today or tomorrow, we are however living in a difficult time, but nothing is impossible with God. Our hope is in God alone, so let’s encourage everyone to place their faith in God for divine healing and intervention.
We are all in this battle together so, I encourage everyone to put their faith in God and stop letting the news media make you fretful and nervous with their hyped up news reports. Using common sense, do what is required of you hygiene wise. Stay in the house enjoying your family, using this “in-shelter” as a time to reconnect with loved ones and especially with Father God. Call those who live alone via Facetime (Iphone) or Duo (Android) to give them a sense of connection by seeing a face and not just a voice. Let’s all do our part supporting one another. That’s what God’s Kingdom is about loving one another and looking out for each other.
Photo by Pexel
Written by Charles S. Head
How do you handle adversity? Are you giving in to it, or are you getting victory over it in your life? Adversity is defined as “a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune.”
We will always face adversity in our lives, how we handle it depends on our choice in the matter. We live in a troubled world and it’s impossible to avoid the many negative setbacks as a part of life. Looking back, I noticed that during adversities in my own life there was a difference when I tried to handle much of my adversity myself rather than allow the Lord to be my strength and guidance. When I used my own method, many times I ended up complaining about the situation which became a negative affect on my part. On the other hand, when I trusted my Heavenly Father through prayer, he became my Rock and my stepping stone of victory. The results of victory when I trusted the Lord and seeking Him were a stronger relationship afterwards in my favor. When we are faced with adversity, it does not seem fair at times, and we may have problems trying to understand and figure out things in our mind. This is where we need the comfort, assurance, encouragement and strength to carry us to victory.
King David wrote a good example on how to go through adversity and seeking the Lord all the way to victory. In Psalms 24:7-10 it reads: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.”
How should we handle our adversity, it is all in the arms of our Heavenly Father. He knows just what it takes to make each of us completely whole and restored with His joy, a joy that’s not comparable to any other, because he is the manufacturer of us, He knows what parts that have been broken and He can put all our pieces back together again.
Photo by Nicolas Hoizey (unsplash)
Written by Georgetta Head
I really watching cooking shows on television, I especially like watching the competition airings. My favorite programs are the baking or cooking competitions with the kids. It amazes me how these children can bake or cook. They can come up with ideas and concoctions I would have never imagined in a million years, these children are very talented to be so young. When I was their age the only cooking I mastered was cooking fresh French fries. For these children to be able to bake or cook food products that are worthy of a reward, reminds me of what an amazing God we serve. He gifted these young minds with talent that is far above their age group.
For nine weeks or more these young minds, ages 9 to 13, compete each week knowing one will be eliminated. These children are so adorable and talented, so it breaks my heart when one is eliminated. Although a child gets eliminated and it bothers me, I continue watching the show teary eyed knowing only one child can win the grand prize. Just one little flaw or mistake with their finished master piece gets him or her eliminated. The judges are not without compassion, when a child is eliminated, they gently say "it's a contest, one has to go, it's so unfortunate they made a mistake in preparation, or they simply just missed the mark" - consequences elimination. As I sat watching this Winter's "Kids Bakeoff Contest" with the final two contestants competing, I thought, wow, one mistake little one and you are done, you will be eliminated, be careful!
This cooking contest brought to mind the Kingdom of God and His children. I began to thank Father God because He doesn't eliminate us because of a flaw or mistake. God doesn't get rid of us, instead He tells us in His Word to: humble ourselves before Him. When we make mistakes through sin, we are to repent of our sins and He will forgive us of all unrighteousness. We read in Numbers 14:18 (KJV) that "The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." The Lord demonstrates great mercy and long-suffering toward us that have a genuine heart and confession of repentance for our wrong doings; otherwise, we would all be dead in our sins and trespasses.
What's so amazing about the Kingdom of God is that we are all also in a race, a spiritual race! "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible" (1 Corinthians 9:24-25 KJV). In this race, we can all win! How? As Christian Believers we are to live a life of self-control (temperance) in every area of our lives. We accomplish this by knowing God's will and commandments for running this race. We are not to live life the way the world does, instead, we live a life that exemplifies one of obedience to our Heavenly Father. No competition, we run our race one-by-one knowing we will, if faithful, receive an "incorruptible crown" for eternity. God eliminates no one, but we can eliminate ourselves!
Friends, follow the directions in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 and run this race with a pure heart toward God, for all that run with a pure heart can win this race. Remember, we run this race one-by-one for an in-corruptible crown in the Kingdom of God. No elimination!
It is Written
Photo by Aaron Burden
Written by Charles S. Head
While teaching a Bible study not too long ago, a question was asked "what do we say to a person who keeps tempting you to do something you know is morally wrong." How do you answer them without offending or accusing them of sinful behavior? My immediate thoughts went to Jesus when He was tempted by the devil while in the wilderness. Three times He refused the temptation with the Word of God.
There is power in God's word, that's why it is known as omnipotent, which means having unlimited power, the ability to do anything. The Body of Christ need to be convinced that they have the faith and must put it into action. Jesus put God's word into full action at a time when needed. The devil was no match for him and Jesus always came out victorious over him.
The terminology used by Jesus when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness was "it is written." Why did Jesus use this terminology on three occasions in the book of Matthew chapter 4:1-11? It is because the devil’s entire nature is to steal, kill, and to destroy (John 10:10) and it did not matter to the devil that it was Jesus; he was on the same mission when he tempted Adam and Eve. The devil is always full of deception and he uses words to make them sound good for our human ear and mind. The devil’s motive is to trap us, and if he succeeds, we are thrown off course of our purpose that God has for us. Let's look at the three angles in which the devil targeted to tempt Jesus.
1) Matthew 4:2-4: The devil tried to use Jesus' hunger against him. Verses 3-4 says "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Had Jesus used His power as satan suggested, it would have been the wrong motive. It would have been for His own benefits, not to glorify His Heavenly Father.
2) The devil tried to use the physical tactic to get Jesus to yield to him. Matthew 4:5-7 "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." To tempt God is to question His Word, which puts doubt on His ability to do what He has promised us.
3) At last, the devil tried to get Jesus to worship him. Matthew 4:8-11 "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." Satan was trying to get Jesus to worship him, but the only one we should worship is God only, otherwise, we are placing others before Him.
These verses were written for our example, and Jesus is the greatest example of all. When the devil tries to tempt us to do anything against God's word, we are to quote to him the same words as Jesus, “It is written” followed by God’s command.
The devil will use family or friends to tempt us to sin. So, there is one thing that's very important in our process and experience of temptation, we must read and study the Word and it will become a part of our spiritual digestive system, otherwise when the devil comes our way, using those close to us, and others we will become easy prey.
Photo by Anne Nyle
Written by Georgetta Head
As far back as I can remember, as a little girl, I was petrified of thunderstorms (this was a fear I caught from my Grandmother). I was so frightened that I would hide under a table, or if in bed I would hide under the blankets. This fear traveled with me to adulthood! It was so bad that when I had children and a storm would hit doing the night, I would gather my children up and put them in bed with me, fearing the storm would hurt them. This went on for several years, and I hate to admit this, but I was saved while this fear was tormenting me. I knew the Lord as my Savior for eternity but didn't know about trusting Him from the storms of nature.
One day I was home alone during a summer afternoon, and you guessed it, a thunderstorm with lightning hit. I can remember it as if it were yesterday! I was sitting in the livingroom, petrified. Too scared to move and with tears streaming down my face, I suddenly heard a still small voice say, "where is your faith!" Parts of a scripture came to my mind, the one of the 12 Disciples in a boat with Jesus sleeping when a storm came. At that very moment I cried out to Jesus for help. "Jesus, please don't let me die in this storm, I cried out!" Immediately, an unexplainable peace came upon me. The fear I had been feeling disappeared and the heaviness of God's presence flooded my livingroom. For the first time in my life I didn't feel the fear of a thunderstorm, and being in Father's presence was even more than I could every ask for!
The scripture I vaguely remembered was Luke 8:22-24. "Now it came to pass on a certain day, that He went into a ship with His disciples: and He said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed He fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And He said unto them, Where is your faith? "
God delivering me from fear, that was paralyzing, taught me a great lesson about faith and God's character of faithfulness.
1. It didn't take "big" faith for God to help me! It was my faith of belief in His Word. With God's statement to me "where is your faith?" I responded by calling out to Father from a heart of trust.
2. God responded to my act of faith by being faithful to His Word "call unto me and I will answer.." (Jeremiah 33:3), and "if you ask anything in my name I will do it" (John 14:14).
This experiential deliverance from fear also taught me a big lesson for handling future storms, such as the storms of everyday struggles in my life. Since this incident I have learned to trust God with all my problems. He has been faithful all these years, and presently, in guiding me with answers or help I need when faced with life's storms.
What storms are you struggling with today? Put your faith in God for the answers and solutions for these storms. God responds to "faith" by calling "peace to be still" in our lifes! So, 1 Peter 5:6-7 encourages us to "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
Things I Learned From My Father
Photo by Jesse Orrico
Written by Charles S. Head
There are things in life, that as we get older and look back, they are precious and have been valuable to us throughout the years. Recently my memories were the years I spent around my father. As a young child I would follow him around and watch how he did things. My father was very handy at fixing things, such as repairs around the house, carpentry, repairs on cars, etc. Plus, this also included watching my father plant a garden with vegetables each year.
One of my greatest experiences learned from my father was that he was a hardworking man. I never saw him wasting his time or being lazy for one moment. What I did notice, is that my father worked a full-time job and when he would come home, he continued to do activities long afterwards. This inspiration from my father was so beneficial to me as a young boy, that at 11 years old I bought a lawnmower and started a community lawn cutting service, which brought in a nice income. Then, in the fall of the year I would rake leaves and do whatever small chores for others to earn my own money.
This experience carried over into my adulthood, and I found myself passing it on to my children the same as my father had taught me. I taught them that hard work will bring out their potential, but laziness and idle time can cause them much harm in their life.
My father is a World War II Veteran, and this year 2020, he will be 94 years old. Because he was such a hardworking man, he continued to running his business until he was about 90 years old and only quit when he had to turn his license in to the state.
The Bible teaches us that laziness is not good for us. Proverbs 26:13-15 gives us a great example of a lazy person. It reads "the slothful man saith, there is a lion in they way, a lion is in the streets. As a door turneth upon his hinges, so do the slothful man upon his bed. The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieves him to bring it again to his mouth." What does all this mean?
1. A slothful man means a lazy man.
2. Verse 13 means "a lazy man" will use any excuse to keep him from having to work. Even the story of a lion in the streets will stop him
3. Verse 14 means a door always turns in the same place, and a lazy person moves about but never advances; he suggested any excuse for inactivity.
4. Verse 15 means, the lazy man hides his hand in his bosom and is too lazy to take it out, dip it into the dish, and put food into his mouth.
I've learned that I function better and I'm able to think clearer when I work hard. Working also helps us to sleep better because we were all created by God to work, and this is part of His purpose for our life. Today I'm troubled by so many young people who feel they are entitled to many things, and for them not having any plans to even try working for a living. But me, I'm thankful to God that he has allowed me the strength to work many years and now I'm blessed to say I have reached my retirement and am still able to work.
Photo by Brett Jordan
Written by Charles S. Head
What separates someone from God’s love? This is a question we all need to ask ourselves. When we are really honest with ourselves with a self-examination of this question, we will probably find an example where we have directly or indirectly allowed our circumstances to bring a wedge between us and God. It may not have caused you to go all the way back to the world in which you were delivered from, but there was still a simple, perhaps temporary separation. God’s love is genuine and reaches all the way where we are in an unconditional state. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he is willing to wait for our return.
Jesus gave us an example of God’s unconditional love in John 15:11-24 by using the Prodigal son who left home and wasted all his inheritance. But, upon his return with a broken spirit, and full of shame and guilt, he was welcomed with open arms by his father. What did this young son do to cause him to separate from his father’s love? In John 15:12-13 he wasted his inheritance on partying and a fast life; and John 15:11-13 reads that a certain man had two sons: “and the younger of them said to his father, father, give me my portion of goods that falleth unto me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” After this young son had wasted all his inheritance on a fast life, he was in trouble and finally learned a valuable lesson. The following three things happened in the process of this time:
1. In verses 17-20, he came to himself and realized how foolish he had been.
2. He made a determination in his mind to go home to his father and asked for forgiveness.
3. He took the action by going home to his father.
John 15:20-24 gives us the story of a great welcome and celebration, with this younger son’s father showing his unconditional love for a son who had lost his way. We may not have to go as far as this Prodigal son, but we must be careful not to allow anything to separate us from God’s love, but if we do, all we have to do is acknowledge our sin with repentance and come home to our Heavenly Father’s unconditional love. He’s waiting!
Photo by Romina Farias (unsplash)
Written by Georgetta Head
While talking with a friend the other day, she confided to me that she was in need of a change of lifestyle. She stated she wanted to change her "old lifestyle" into a "new lifestyle." This "new transformation" she said would include a new wardrobe, a new hair style, a first-time pedicure, a new facial makeover, with the final touch of getting her nails done and a body massage. She continued by saying that she was going to start traveling, allowing her adventurous spirit to take her to places she dreamed about but was afraid to venture out and explore. My friend was tired of her "current lifestyle," and thought her proposed solutions would bring her happiness and fill the emptiness in her heart she longed for!
When she finished speaking her heart, I said "I know actually how you feel! I too, years ago, needed a change. When I had my change in lifestyle, it didn't cost me a cent! I exchanged my "old self for this new self" and I now have joy unspeakable!" My friend asked, "how did you do all that without costing you a cent?" Glad you asked I said. This was my opportunity to share the wealth of the Good News to my friend.
I began by sharing my testimony of how God wooed me into His Kingdom. I started by telling her, my old lifestyle had been similar to hers, with no purpose and fillings of emptiness in my heart. I kept feeling this tug at my heart longing for something more out of life, but I didn't know what! Father God used my sister and a neighbor, who is now a very dear friend, to point me to Him. Father God's tugging at my heart went on for several months until He finally showed me the best way I would understand Him, and that was through His Word. He showed me my empty heart needed Him to bring me fulfillment and purpose. The day I said "yes" to Jesus was my total makeover. A transformation took place in my life, I was changed from the inside, which reflected on the outside. I told my friend, "you see, I immediately experienced a changed lifestyle!" Ephesians 4:22-24 is what happened to me and it didn't cost me a cent, however, my Lord Jesus paid the price. It reads as follows: "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." The day I said "yes" the old man of deception was replaced with the new man after God, which is His righteousness and holiness. You too, I told her, can exchange your "old lifestyle" for a "new lifestyle" in Jesus Christ - for Christianity is a "Lifestyle!" A lifestyle that teaches one how to produce good fruit for the Kingdom of God, instead of evil fruit for the Kingdom of satan. A lifestyle that teaches you a new way of thinking, by allowing the spirit of your mind to be renewed.
When we say "yes" to Jesus we are no longer clothed in our old self-righteous, we become clothed in the righteous of God in Christ Jesus, which is more valuable than any garment in this world.
This Christian lifestyle comes with promises that we don't have to work for to receive, but rather we work to serve others because the Christian lifestyle is that of love.
My friend was astonished at my response. She said she already knew I served God, but she didn't realize that by asking Jesus into one's heart could bring about such a transformation. I would love to say she said "yes," but she didn't. My friend wanted more time to think and digest my testimony. I am still praying for her, and haven't given up on her because I know God is tugging at her heart, but He will not force anyone. Her hesitations are old traditions and beliefs! But, Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Is Jesus knocking at the door heart of your heart? Will you say "yes" for a Christian Lifestyle? It won't cost you a cent, the price has already been paid for your redemption and transformation.
Photo By unsplash
Article by: Charles S. Head
As I sat quietly early one morning, my mind drifted back to my childhood memories. Some of them were more precious than others. As children we have a tendency to imitate our parents and other adults, and in the process some of them become our heroes, while others affect us by influencing us with their character. Whatever the case may have been, I found myself trying to act like them.
As a young boy I often went to church with my Mother, along with my four siblings. During Church service there were many songs that I remember, but there was one particular song that stayed in my memory more than others that were sung during the service. After one particular service, on a nice summer day, if I remember correctly, myself and two of my siblings arrived home, went out to our back yard under a tree and decided to have our "song service." We began to sing a song that wouldn't leave my mind, a song known as "Come By Here My Lord, Come By Here." As I sang that song, even as a young boy, I felt God's presence come over me and tears began to flow down my cheek. This experience became an eye opener in my life for two reasons: 1) that day I learned the Lord is real, and 2) that the Lord had His hand on my life. All through my young life I had many of these experiences, even when I drifted away from the Lord, I knew He had His hand on me, waiting for me to say "yes" to His love.
My rich heritage from the Lord came from my Mother, who was my godly hero. Although she spent many of her years in a wheelchair, I would hear her pray and praise the Lord more than being a complainer. I knew she had pain all through her body every day, but that didn't stop her, she had enough of Jesus in her to tell me the truth about eternity with Jesus; and I must add, she kept more smiles than frowns. It was through my Mother's prayers and life of love for Jesus, along with precious memories that brought me to salvation.
I have no regrets today! Before God took my Mother to Heaven, she was crippled and in a wheelchair, but I know when I am reunited with her in Heaven someday, she will be completely whole and healthy. Thank God for my childhood memories and that I am saved today because of those experiences.