Faith Conquers All

Ok, I want a show of hands. All those that live in doubt, fear or confusion, raise your hand. If you want to walk with Jesus and follow the ways of the saints of old, you will need to practice walking in and living by FAITH.

Did you know that we human beings cannot be in fear and faith at the same time? It is impossible. For whatever reason, we choose the one and reject the other. Our choices, many times, are based upon our faith to believe God or our lack of faith to believe what God has said.

Fear is a terrible thing. It can cripple the emotions and even bring sickness to the body. As Christians, we are called to a walk of Faith, not fear…but it is so very hard for some of us because we are not totally in the realm of Faith. We tend to worry about everything.

Fear Factors

There are wars and rumors of wars…threats of economic collapse, Political unrest, racial disturbances, and a lot of other fear- filled possibilities. They are all a matter of great concern but are not objects of fear or worry. Why, because the Angel of the Lord encamps round about those that fear (Reverence) Him, to deliver them….so says the psalmist of old.

Protection

It is easy to forget that God has given his Angels charge over us, or should I say those that are in right standing with him? If you qualify, by honoring your relationship with God and doing what is right, there is no reason to fear or fall apart. That doesn’t take away the threat of this or that. The terrorists will still plot, the evil doer will still conduct evil in the night but there is an Angel that is sent from God that has set up his camp all around you and is on call to deliver you at a moment’s notice. How great is that?

So why do you fear? Fear is the opposite of Faith. It is Faith inverted or distorted and corrupt. To fear is to put your trust in the possibility of that thing that you fear actually happening…just like faith is to put your trust in the promise of God, only it is the negative instead of the positive.

When you say, “I fear its reality” It is the same as saying, “I believe it will happen”. However, when I believe in what God has said, I am hoping or trusting in its reality. There is no real difference except that the channel is from God or Satan and the flesh. We chose to doubt (Fear) or to believe (Have faith).

The essence of faith.

Let’s be real…Blind faith is a recipe for disaster. We do not blindly believe. We instead, seek, knowing we will find. We knock, knowing that the door will be opened. We ask, knowing that he will answer and send us the wisdom to solve or at least get through the situation. Trusting in the Lord is to trust in what he has spoken into our spirits. A good example of this is Abraham. God said to him, “You will be the father of many nations and Sarah, at 99, will have the promised child” Abraham did not wish or hope just because it seemed like the right thing to do. He responded to God’s will and direction for his life by putting his trust in the promise and not wavering or doubting its reality. Faith is always a response to God’s calling and revelation. This is the essence of faith.

It’s high time that we get back to faith in God and his will for our lives. There is no reason, whatsoever, to fear. There is every reason to trust God and his Word.

Who or what is more powerful, God or fear-filled possibilities? God or the threat of life’s evildoers?

I, for one, believe that God works EVERYTHING together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28) My rest and my peace come from knowing that his Angel is there, his Spirit is there, and his Love is there, that I may be delivered from whatever befalls me. How about you?

Faith Conquers All

Faith will conquer all
As life’s trials appear.
We who struggle so
Will soon dry every tear.

No reason to fear
The terror by night.
It is only the lost
Living out their plight.

God is, and that says a lot
Now I can surely rest in peace,
For He alone keeps us going
Until the storms have ceased.

Be of good cheer
In all that you do.
It’s time to stand
And let faith sustain you

Written by John Marinelli

Until next time,
Rev. John Marinelli

www.marinellichristianbooks.com

And The Truth Shall Set You Free

John 8:32

And the battle goes on for your soul. Who will win? …You, if you’ve given your life to Jesus. I heard a preacher teaching on who you and I really are. We are made up of a body, soul and spirit.

What spirit dwells in you? If the Holy Spirit, then you have the ability to discern other spirits that are good or evil. But, don’t be deceived because some spirits can be in your mother, brother, friends, business associates etc.

Jesus said, “Who is my mother and brethren but those that hear God’s Word and does it.” In other words, if someone… anyone… does not line up with the word of God, cast him or her away from your world. That does not mean you never speak to them again, but it does mean… you are to keep them from controlling your life and making you think you need to be someone else or somewhere else other than serving God and being led by his spirit.

This is the time to know the truth … and the truth shall set you free. This does not mean that you know the truth and automatically you are free, though in some cases, all you need is to know the truth to go on standing. But, if you have not been standing in the truth and God gives you his revelation of the truth or truths that you need to become free, then you must apply, apply, and apply the truth to your situation(s). If you do, you will find yourself walking in the light and great strength. Joy and peace will once again, flood your soul.

By the way… your soul is made up of your Mind, Will and Emotions… So if you find yourself confused, tossed to and from and your emotions are out of whack, you know that you are not applying God’s truth to your situation and you are not standing on his revelation.

Example: If you have been praying and praying that a situation would turn around and God shows you plainly in his Word, (the bible), giving you a scripture to stand on and a truth for your situation, then you have to do something. You don’t just keep praying and praying and saying, ”o.k. I read the truth but I am not free.” Of course not, you have to apply the truth to your situation in order to be free. Here is one we received. Flee the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans represented family ties and flee means to run. Don’t look back and try to figure everything out… just get out of their presence and go on with your life. Don’t let them have authority over you. So we did and the truth of God’s Word to us set us free.

Oh, I can’t do that, you may be saying… but let me ask you a question. Do you want to stay stuck where you are, being slowly destroyed? In God’s Word it says, “My people perish because of a lack of knowledge” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” So stop the depression, the anger, the sadness and indecisions. Make a decision to stand on the Word of truth from your Heavenly Father and the truth shall set you free.

Until next time,

Rev. Marilyn Marinelli

 

May 2022 Newsletter

“May-Days”

We’re into the “May-Days” already. How about that? We were just enjoying New Year’s Day with all the fixins. Back then, Russa was not a threat. Gas prices were decent. There were no food shortages. The economy was not great but bearable.

Life goes on but not for all. Did you know that there are more than 180 deaths in the US every minute? That’s 10,800 every hour and almost 260,000 every day.

The Bible says that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27

This scripture exposes reincarnation as a false teaching and tells us that death is an appointment. We all have an appointment with death. One day, it will be our turn to die and we will become part of the statistics shown above.

Which one do you fear the most, Death? Or Judgement? We will face both. I do not fear either. Here’s why:

1. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:25-27

We have victory in Jesus who overcame death and the grave. That is what we celebrate during the Easter holiday. Paul, the apostle said, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” II Corinthians5:8

If you are a Christian, by that I mean a follower of Jesus, death is only a means of transferring from this realm to be with Jesus in the heavens. Death has no sting and the grave cannot hold you. The day will come when we will all die but not all of us will live again.

Living again, after we die, is possible but only for those who…well read what Jesus said as recorded by John, the apostle, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

The qualifier is “Whosoever” that believes. You must believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, sent by God the Father so we can live again. It is our faith in believing and our commitment to his teaching that prove our belief. We then become the, “Whosoever” folk that will not perish but have eternal life.

Eternal life is a free gift but those that it is offered to must accept it. It’s not ours until we embrace it with all our hearts. It is offered to “Whosoever.” That means anyone and everyone that accepts it and to accept it is to believe on Jesus as the only begotten Son of God.

The fear of death is no longer holding me captive. If you apply these Bible promises, you will be free from the fear of death too.

The other thing I do not fear is eternal judgement Want to know why? Because I will not be judged. Yes, I know that we will all appear before God at the Great White Throne Judgement as it says in the book of Revelation. Here’s the scripture.

2. “ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:11-15

Notice the last sentence. It says, in so many words, that there are those whose names were not found in the, “Book of Life” and those whose names were in the, “Book of Life.” So, how do we get our names in this book?

Remember, the scriptures say that the book is a book of life, not death. It is a record of all those that have believed on the only begotten Son of God as Jesus said. They will not perish but have everlasting life. My name is recorded in the “Book of Life.”

Here are a few other scriptures that support my view.

God’s Wrath… – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Romans 1:18 God’s children are not subject to his wrath. They are under God’s Grace.

No Condemnation… “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

Righteousness of God… “For he hath made him, (Jesus), to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 11 Corinthians 5:21 Think about it. If we have been made the righteousness of God in Jesus, why would God pour out his wrath upon us? It doesn’t make sense.

New Creature… “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthian 5:17 The new creature is created after God and is not subject to his wrath.

The Rapture of The Church…“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

The man of sin is the Anti-Christ. He cannot come onto the global scene until he that “letteth” (Restrains) is taken out of the way. The “He” that restrains is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said he would not leave his disciples comfortless but would send them his Holy Spirit. Christians are actually sealed with the Spirit of God until the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

If the Holy Spirit is taken, we would be left alone, abandoned by God and that will never happen. He goes, we go with him. This is commonly known as the rapture or catching away of God’s people unto himself. The judgement of God cannot happen until this event takes place. That means we will not be on the earth when God pours out his wrath.

So, I don’t fear death or judgment. My sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. I am forgiven and now walk in the grace of God, sealed until he comes for me or I go to be with him.

Let me encourage all of you to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. No matter what you have done in the past, it’s not too late. There is still room at the cross for you. If you have questions or need someone to talk to, drop me a line… johnmarinelli@embarqmail.com.
Until next time

Rev. John Marinelli
wwww.marineellichristianbooks.com

May 2022 Blog

The Trap of An Erroneous Conclusion

The devil will always seek to lead us into confusion where he suggests a course of action that is not correct. The trap of an erroneous conclusion is his first weapon of choice. Here’s an example of an erroneous conclusion with a rebuttal.

Erroneous Conclusion: God cannot be trusted. He wasn’t there when I needed Him. He is all-powerful, all-knowing and yet he did nothing. Trusting Him now seems pointless.

Rebuttal: Blaming God when things go wrong is a clear indication that you never really put your trust in Him to start with. God is in full control of His creation. Part of that control is to allow man to have a free will to also be in full control.

When you gather thousands or even a few folks together that are all exercising their free will, things can get ugly. Some will get drunk; others will kill or steal and yet others will exercise good judgment in life. All this interaction of free wills brings on different opinions, different lifestyles and different attitudes.

If God intervenes to stop the flow of our free will decisions, He tampers with the future and denies man his right to be a free moral agent. His actions would contradict His own will and plan for mankind. Man must be free to choose his own way in order to escape a robotic existence that is not what God or man wants.

The blame really lies with the free will decisions of mankind. That’s why we have so many laws. We try to govern man’s free will to diminish bad decisions that cause pain and suffering among the populace.

When you put your trust in God, you surrender your free will. He now is sovereign over your life. This is a huge commitment because you now desire to do the will of God and are willing to fore-go any and all self-rule. We call this, “Making Jesus Lord” over your life.

Allowing God to be sovereign over you does not stop the evil reign of Satan or eliminate bad things from popping up in your daily routine. It does, however, give you access to divine wisdom needed to handle a situation, power to withstand the temptations of the devil, weapons to wage war against the enemies of God and an assurance of ultimate victory.

You become a partner with your sovereign in the battle of the ages. Your faith in Him is essential. Without it, you cannot please him. Hebrews 11:6 The apostle Paul said this, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Cor. 13:12

To make judgments and assign blame when you do not see clearly is wrong.
Sometimes it takes more faith to believe that God knows best than to draw an erroneous conclusion that blames God for the outcome of a life situation.

Just for the record, here’s what the dictionary says about the word, “Erroneous” wrong; incorrect: “employers sometimes make erroneous assumptions” synonyms: wrong · incorrect · mistaken · in error · inaccurate ·untrue · false · fallacious · unsound · specious · faulty · flawed · way out · full of holes.

Suggestion…Look deeply into every life situation to be sure your conclusions are not erroneous/false.

Until Next Time
John Marinelli
Author & Poet

April 2022 Newsletter

New Children’s Book
(An Elephant Named Clyde)

I just finished a new book. It is my first illustrated Children’s book. Actually, it was Helen Quinlan, professional artist that made it all happen. She too a story poem from my Original Story Poem collection and made it come alive…over 20 pages of top-quality graphics, most of which were her own original drawings.

The title of our new children’s book is, “An Elephant Named Clyde.” I penned the story poem over 50 years ago when my two children were small. Back them I was a bit crazy. I’d write a poem and read it to the family to see if they liked it. If the enjoyed it, I kept it. About 10 or 12 years ago, Marilyn, my lovely wife suggested I publish them in a book, so I did. The book began as, “Rhyme Time” and in a second edition became, “Original Story Poems For Children of All Ages.” There are over 80 story poems.

“An Elephant Maned Clyde” is an 11.5 X 8.5 horizontal presentation in full color with a glossy paperback cover. It retails for $12.95 plus s/h, however bulk orders of five or more come with a 20% discount off the full order.

This book is perfect for reading to small children in a group setting or just a bedtime story to your little ones or grandkids. It would also make a great addition to church nurseries, Daycares, and other places where kids gather.

Helen and I are offering “An Elephant Named Clyde” in an eBook format, free of charge to everyone that buys a printed version of the book.

If you are interested, call me right away at 352-687-1776 while I still have some on hand. Shipping is approx. $4.25 per single copy and a little more for bulk orders. (US delivery only)

Barnes & Noble

If you haven’t heard, Marilyn and I are featured along with other local authors in Barnes & Noble, in the Villages. We have one book each on display.

Join me now in praying for peace, prosperity and good health. This is our heritage in the Lord.

Until Next Time

John Marinelli
Christian Author & Poet
www.marinellicchristianbooks.com

February 2022 — Dealing With Adversity

Will the person that has no enemies please stand up? Ok, instead, raise your hand if you are free of adversaries. I didn’t see even one hand go up. No one stood up. Oh, I forgot, I meant to focus on just Christian folk.

If you are a Christian and are walking in accordance to God’s will, you will never be free of enemies. They will attack you and plot to defeat you at every turn. How do I know, because the apostle Paul said so in his second letter to Timothy back in the 1st century? He said, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12

Word Origin and History of Persecution

“Oppression for the holding of a belief or opinion,” from Old French persecucion “persecution, damage, affliction, suffering.” Directly from Latin persecutionem (nominative persecutio), noun of action from past participle stem of persequi “follow, pursue, hunt down; proceed against, prosecute, start a legal action,” from per- “through” (see per ) + sequi “follow” (see sequel ). Psychological persecution complex is recorded from 1961; earlier persecution mania (1892). (British Dictionary)
(Easton’s Dictionary 1897)

The first great persecution for religious opinion of which we have any record was that which broke out against the worshippers of God among the Jews in the days of Ahab, when that king, at the instigation of his wife Jezebel, “a woman in whom, with the reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic race”, sought in the most relentless manner to extirpate the worship of Jehovah and substitute in its place the worship of Ashtoreth and Baal.

Manasseh followed Ahab’s example. He “shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another”. (2 Kings 21:16; comp. 24:4)

In all ages, in one form or another, the people of God have suffered persecution. In its earliest history the Christian church passed through many bloody persecutions. Of subsequent centuries in our own and in other lands the same sad record may be made. Christians are forbidden to seek the propagation of the gospel by force (Matt. 7:1; Luke 9:54-56; Rom. 14:4; James 4:11, 12).

Psalm. 7:13 says, “He ordains his arrows against the persecutors,” ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, “He maketh his arrows fiery [shafts].”

Persecution, according to www.dictionery.com… is, “a program or campaign to exterminate, drive away, or subjugate people based on their membership in a religious, ethnic, social, or racial group.”

So, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. I guess that means “All ” Not just a few. If you are not under the critical eye of an advarsary, you probably are not living godly in Christ Jesus. If you are living a godly lifestyle, you are sure to be at war with someone over your faith.

Who Is Your Adversary?

Your adversary is anyone that engages in persecuting you. It all has to do with making you feel worthless, defeated, helpless and afraid. Their goal is to hurt you physically and emotionally. The Bible tells us who the chief advertorial agent is. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” I Peter 5:8-9

The devil is the one behind all forms of persecution. He is the architect of evil and oppression and he can use you or anyone else that he desires if you are not aware of his tricks. When you gossip, criticize, mock, degrade or speak against another, you are being influenced by the devil. He’ll put a thought or insert a question in your head and off you go saying what he wants you to say. The speech patterns are always destructive in nature…again, here the word of the Lord.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

The goal of your adversary is to Steal, Kill and Destroy. He is bent on our extermination. However, Jesus said He came that we might have live, abundant or overflowing life. As Peter said, resist the devil steadfastly in the Faith and he will flee. (Run away in fear of you)

Types of Persecution

Here’s a short list of types of persecution.
Lies, Gossip, Backbiting, Criticism and Rejection. I am sure you will find more as you think about it.

All are meant to hurt you in some way and keep you in a low self-esteem. We certainly need to stay away from people that do these kinds of things.

Agents of Terror

We have already learned that the devil is the source of evil and terror focused at us. His demons are hard at work to kill, steal and destroy. What may not be apparent is whom these evil forces work through. Here’s another short list, this time of the “Agents of Terror.”

Consider these folks; Mom, Dad, Siblings, Teachers, Co-Workers, Other Christians, Religious Leaders and so on. Anyone that allows access to evil thoughts can become an agent of terror and oppression.

The apostle Paul wrote this to the 1st century church, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Yes, almost anyone can be use by evil forces to oppose us but our battle is not with them. They are only pawns in the hands of the devil. They might even think they are doing a good think. It will be obvious to us that they have no Spiritual insight.

So what do we do with the flesh and bones that come against us? How do we handle attacks that are initiated by the devil and driven through the mouths and actions of human beings? The 35th psalm of David gives us a really good plan of action.

The 1st Thing To Do Turn The Problem Over To God

Listen to what king David said more than 3,000 years ago when he confronted his adversaries.

“Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” Psalm 35:1-3

Even the king knew that he alone was not strong enough to overcome his adversaries. He cried out to the Lord for help and did not try to muster up enough strength to fight on his own. He called upon the Lord to fight for him. It is important to allow the Lord His rightful place as your Lord and to let Him do His work in your life. He will work everything together for good as indicated in Romans 8:28.

The 2nd Thing To Do Be Specific In Your Request

“Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. Psalm 35:4-6 & 8

It’s like praying for a bike but not asking God for a girls or boys bike or specifying the color or size. If you do not be specific, you might get a tricycle instead of a 26” bike. Be specific on how you want God’s help. Don’t be afraid to talk to God and share your true feelings. David did just that. He must have known that his adversaries were not thinking of his best interest. He just wanted God to end their reign of terror over him.

The 3rd Thing To Do Is: Keep A Clear Perspective

“For without cause have they hid from me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.” 35:7 “False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.” 35:11-12 “But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, they gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.” 35:15-16 “For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.” 35:20

Look deeply into the situation and determine if you are right or wrong. If you are not right, get right with God and clear up the matter. However, if you are right, then be right and keep that perspective before you at all times. There will be those that will say to you, “Oh forget about it” “It’s not worth it” or “Forgive and forget” but that does not shut the mouths of the mockers or take away the oppression from their persistent efforts to hurt you. That is just another trap to snare you and keep you in fear or some other type of bondage. Do what Jesus did. He said, “Get thee behind me, Satan”

You must keep it clear in your own mind. Make a list and read it often if you have to. Be like the elephant that never forgets. Remember, you are not dealing with folks that ask for forgiveness but rather folks that are opposed to your lifestyle and faith in Christ. It’s ok to remember and keep a clear perspective on why all of this is happening to you.

The 4th Thing To Do Is: Be Joyful In The Lord

“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which delivers the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoils him?” 35:9-10

In the midst of the turmoil, we are to rejoice and be happy in the Lord. It’s like that part of the 23rd psalm that says, “Thou prepareth a table before me in the presence of my enemies”. We are invited to a feast as our enemies look on. We can do this because God is with us, not against us and He is greater than all our adversaries combined.

I refer a lot to Psalm 118:24. It says, “This is the day the LORD has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.” When we are joyful, we rejoice. Knowing that the Lord has made the day just for us and it is full of His blessings makes us glad.

The 5th Thing To Do Is: Be Patient & Wait Upon The Lord

“Lord, how long wilt thou look on? Rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.” Psalm 35:17
How long? As long as it takes. It is in God’s timing, not ours. It is His will that will be accomplished on our behalf.
Let’s look at what it means to be patient. Dictionary.com can help with this. It says the following:
1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.

3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

We need to keep our cool and strive to stay focused. Doing otherwise makes us look foolish and destroys our plan of action. The Bible tells us many times to “Wait Upon The Lord”.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 See also, (Psalm 37:9; 123:2; Isaiah 8:17; 40:31)

Got\Question.com offers some good insight into what it means to wait upon the Lord.

The command to wait on the Lord is found extensively throughout the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, it is more about waiting for the Lord’s providential care, but most New Testament references relate to Christ’s second coming. In all cases, it is about waiting expectantly and with hope. Fundamental to being able to wait is trusting God’s character and goodness.

Waiting on the Lord is something the godly do. It’s about holding on tight, hoping with expectation and trust, knowing that our Lord is not making us wait just to see how long we can, “take it.” There are times when God will delay His answer, and we will at times wonder why He seems so reluctant to intervene in our affairs: “I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God” (Psalm 69:3). But, knowing the Lord, we trust that He will come at the perfect moment, not a second too soon or too late.

Waiting on the Lord necessitates two key elements:

1. A complete dependence on God … and
2. A willingness to allow Him to decide the terms, including the timing of His plan.

Trusting God with the timing of events is one of the hardest things to do. The half-joking prayer, “Lord, I need patience, and I need it RIGHT NOW,” is not far removed from the truth of how we often approach matters of spiritual growth and the Lord’s will. To wait on the Lord produces character in the life of the Christian in that it involves patience (see James 1:4). Waiting involves the passage of time, which is itself a gift of God.

The word wait in the Bible carries the idea of confident expectation and hope. “For God alone my soul waits in silence . . . my hope is from him” (Psalm 62:1, 5, ESV). To wait upon the Lord is to expect something from Him in godly hope, “and hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5).

We wait on the Lord in a way similar to how we wait on the arrival of out-of-town relatives, with loving anticipation of seeing them again. All creation eagerly awaits God’s restoration: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (Romans 8:19). Those who wait for God to keep His promises will not be disappointed.

Waiting on the Lord involves being at rest in the Lord. Psalm 23 provides a lesson concerning being still. Sheep will not be at peace near rushing water, but they will lie contentedly by “still” water, and that’s where the Good Shepherd leads us (Psalm 23:2). The words “He makes me lie down” can be translated “He causes me to rest.” When we, like sheep, are still, we are resting in the Lord and trusting our Shepherd.

Being still means we have ceased from following our own agenda or ingenuity; we have stopped trusting in our own strength and will power. We are waiting upon the Lord to exchange our weakness for His strength (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).

The apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh,” and, as he gains spiritual insight, he understands that the affliction is a protective suffering meant by God to keep him from sin. As a result, the apostle is content to rest in God’s grace. God does not remove the thorn; He gives Paul a place to be still in the bearing of it. Paul learned to be still and wait on the Lord.

To wait on the Lord is to rest in the confident assurance that, regardless of the details or difficulties we face in this life, God never leaves us without a sure defense. As Moses told the panicky Israelites trapped at the Red Sea by Pharaoh’s army, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).

The heavenly perspective comes as we focus not on the trouble but on the Lord and His Word. When it seems God has painted us into a corner, we have an opportunity to set aside our human viewpoint and wait upon the Lord to show us His power, His purpose, and His salvation.

When we don’t choose to wait on the Lord, we solicit trouble for ourselves. Remember how Abraham and Sarah did not wait on the Lord for their child of promise; rather, Sarah offered her maid, Hagar, to Abraham in order to have a child through her.

The account in Genesis 16 and 18 shows that their impatience led to no end of trouble. Any time we fail to wait on the Lord and take matters into our own hands—even when we’re trying to bring about something God wants—it leads to problems. When we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, ESV), we can allow God to work out the rest of the details.

This doesn’t mean we sit idly by as we wait on the Lord to act on our behalf. We should not spend our time doing nothing; rather, we should continue to do the work He has given us to do. Psalm 123:2 says, “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.”

That is, we should look to God with the constant anticipation and willingness to serve that a servant shows to his master. The idea of waiting on the Lord is not like waiting for the dentist in the waiting room (thank goodness!). Rather, the sense of waiting on the Lord is somewhat akin to what a waiter or waitress does in a restaurant.

Our attitude and actions should be as those of a waiter anticipating and meeting the requests of the one he’s waiting on. Our waiting on the Lord is not biding our time until we finally get the service we’ve been waiting for; it’s filling our time with service to the Master, always on our feet, ready to minister.

The command to wait on the Lord means that we are to be near Him and attentive so that we may catch the slightest intimation of what He wants for us. We naturally think of ourselves as self-sufficient. We turn here and there and expect help from our own ability, from friends, or from circumstances. But in the spiritual life we are taught to distrust self and depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

Waiting on the Lord involves the confident expectation of a positive result in which we place a great hope—a hope that can only be realized by the actions of God. This expectation must be based on knowledge and trust, or we simply won’t wait. Those who do not know the Lord will not wait on Him; neither will those who fail to trust Him.

We must be confident of who God is and what He is capable of doing. Those who wait on the Lord do not lose heart in their prayers: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Waiting on the Lord renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31). Prayer and Bible study and meditating upon God’s Word are essential. To wait on the Lord we need a heart responsive to the Word of God, a focus on the things of heaven, and patience rooted in faith.

We should not despair when God tarries long in His response, but continue to patiently wait on Him to work on our behalf. The reason God sometimes waits a long time to deliver is to extend the goodness of the final outcome. “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18, ESV).

The 6th Thing To Do Is: Give Thanks & Focus

“I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.” 35:18

When your eyes are upon the Lord, it is easy to give thanks. If you have difficulty, just look at all the many benefits and blessings that came your way over the years. These things are the reason why we give thanks. You also begin to see Jesus and if you stay in tune with Him, you will no doubt fall in love with Him. He is not only the Son of God but is also our redeemer. That, in itself, is reason to praise, worship and thank Him.

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant and my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long” 35:27-28

We also need to focus. Most of the time we get scared because of the nature of the adversary’s attack. Then we fall into confusion or fear. Staying focused is vital to overcoming. The way to do that is to give thanks to God for whom He is and all the times He has been there for you. This will keep you in times of trouble.
It Is Good To Give Thanks

The 7th Thing To Do Is: Keep Praying Until You Win

Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord. Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me. 35:21-24

It is important to keep praying about your situation. King David did not through up a prayer and rest easy. He went back to God more than once to keep his request in front of the thrown of God.

Is God Hard of Hearing?

Now this can be a stumbling block if you do not understand what is going on. God is not hard of hearing. He knows our thoughts and hears the cry of our hearts before we even utter a sound.

I believe the issue is really, “How much do you really want what you ask God for? God will sometimes delay His actions until you get your act together. When we continually seek the Lord through prayer, we strengthen our relationship and solidify His Lordship over our lives. We end up in an utter abandonment of our wills and a serious trust in the Lord. One flippant prayer will not accomplish this.

Some Final Thoughts

There are many ways of dealing with adversity. You can put your head in the sand and not acknowledge it. You can reclassify it so it is not a threat. (Good luck with that) You can descend into denial and say that it doesn’t exist. You can agree with your adversary and fall under his oppression and torment. Finally, you can fight the good fight of faith and resist your adversary at every turn. Listen again to what the apostle Peter said.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” I Peter 5:8

King David’s 35th psalm gives us a plan of action that will keep us and defeat our adversaries. It’s only seven little or big steps, depending on how you perceive it.

1. Turn The Problem Over To God.
2. Be Specific In Your Request.
3. Keep A Clear Perspective.
4. Be Joyful In The Lord.
5. Be Patient & Wait Upon The Lord.
6. Give Thanks & Stay Focused.
7. Keep Praying Until You win.

God wants to partner with you. Yes, He can do it all and doesn’t need you. However, His original plan was to create man and give him authority to rule on the earth in His image and likeness.

God loves to work with and through man. We are His crowning achievement and His beloved creation. When we see this truth, it makes reality a lot better and brings life into perspective. We begin to see ourselves as God sees us. Our faults no longer matter. We are blessed of God. We join the Lord in doing His will. It’s a great time to be alive.

Isn’t it time to stand up and be counted? Join the adventure and become an Overcomer.

Believe It or Not

Believe it or not, God is good. He loves us and has a destiny for each of us. I call it, “Divine Will”. His destiny is far better than one that we manufacture. The reason it is better is because he fills it with blessings and happiness.
I know that our society blames God for all the wrong that happens. They say that he could have stopped it from happening. However, God gave us a free will to do whatever we so desire. He also holds us accountable for our actions. You can’t blame God for the drunk driver that smashes into your house or runs over your dog. You can blame the drunk for getting drunk and driving.

So, we can live above our trials and circumstances. It takes only a free will choice to dawn a mindset that puts God first in your life and a desire to take the journey with him into his reality.

With Eagles’ Wings

I mounted up with Eagles’ Wings
to soar above the clouds.
I viewed life above its trials,
separate from the crowds.

Just God and me, together in the day,
His love to behold.
With Eagles’ Wings, He led the way,
my future to unfold.

Forgiveness and peace in a distance,
suddenly I could see.
Joy and happiness trailed behind
then overshadowed me.

With Eagles’ Wings,
I soar above life’s every trial.
Now I walk by word of faith,
rejoicing with every mile.

Poem by John Marinelli

Until next time
John Marinelli, Author & Poet
Marinellichristianbooks.com
Marinellij329@gmail.com

November 2021 — The Significance of Being Thankful

By Rev. John Marinelli

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Introduction…This month, in the USA, we celebrate a national holiday called, ‘Thanksgiving”. As you can imagine, it’s a day filled with overeating, lots of family and friends, some we would rather not be around, and football or some other televised sport. Does this sound like what you might experience in your day off from work?

Like most holidays, Thanksgiving has lost its true meaning, being hijacked by commercialism and the almighty dollar. Most of us are all caught up in the things of this world and do not realize the significance of being thankful.

I know you will say, “Speak for yourself, John”, and so I will. I look around me and see no real difference between Christians and non-Christians. The divorce rates are the same. The governing laws of our society protect gays, abortion and immorality. Society is being lulled into a state of death where faith is inappropriate and prayer is deemed foolish.

If you think I am wrong, and in some cases I just might be, but there is a way to find out. Try taking your own unscientific poll among your family, friends and coworkers. Survey your church members to see. Ask them one of these simple questions; “Is there anything to be thankful for in this world?” or “What are you thankful for this holiday season?”

Most answers will fall into a “Worldly” category. That is to say, the origin of one’s being thankful comes from something or someone other than God. The giving of thanks centers around the cares of this life and the focus of any thanks centers on family, friends, or things that make us happy. Here are some examples:
· I am thankful to be off of work.
· I am thankful for my family, supporting me.
· I am thankful for my good health.
· I am thankful for my job.
· And so on…

Most people do not honor or even acknowledge God as the source of blessing for which we are thankful. They instead, shower their thankfulness on people, places and things that they feel are important to daily living.

We are admonished by the scriptures to, “Be Thankful Unto Him”, meaning Jesus. However, that cannot happen unless we really understand what He has done for us, that we should be so thankful.

If you do not know the character of God, how then can you appreciate or even recognize the move of His Spirit. The pay raise or promotion you got at work will be seen as a result of your efforts alone and not from the hand of God. So will most other things in life. You will miss seeing the hand of God in your life and end up having no reason to be thankful.
The Blame Game

Some Christians even blame God for things that happen. Have you ever heard someone say, “Why did God allow this or that to happen? I have actually said it myself. If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t He do something?

I got over my “Stinking Thinking” years ago when I realized that God is all-powerful and does intervene into the affairs of man but He gave us the right and privilege to think, make intelligent choices and generally have “Free Will” to govern our own affairs. We are held to our decisions. It’s not God’s fault if we get drunk and run over a kid, playing in the street. It is our “Free Will” to do foolish things and we will one day stand alone before the judicial system of man and/or the judgment seat of God to give an account.

In order to be thankful, we must know Him. Who? Jesus. What’s He like? Why does He do what He does? Who is He anyway? How can we be thankful to someone we do not know? Most Christians that I have met express a shallow thanksgiving that stops at salvation and some even tack on to that their own works. Their hearts are not full of grace but rather fear of life and continual confusion because they have only believed to gain fire insurance.
Let’s take a look at who we are thankful to and for what.

· His mercy endures forever.

He is merciful, slow to anger. He has not dealt with us according to our sins. His loving kindness is better than life. His mercy is new every morning. Who is He? He is merciful, knowing that we were formed from the dust of the earth.

His character is that of mercy. If you feel inadequate, sinful, or downtrodden, knowing that God is merciful or full of mercy draws you closer to Him and builds a trust and appreciation for who He is in relationship to you. Will He be merciful to you? You Bet He Will.

· I will never leave you or forsake you. I will be with you always.

What does that say about Jesus? Is He the type that will stand and fight for you in a clinch? Or run away at the first sign of trouble? If we believe that He is there and never leaves, then why are you so fearful and afraid of every little trial and circumstance that pops up in life? Shouldn’t we be praising His name and thanking Him for taking the time out of all eternity to stay right by our side during good and bad times? True faith comes from the belief that He is in fact by your side and ready to act on your behalf. The problem with most of us is that we forget to call upon Him as our counselor. Instead, we make foolish decisions and end up in a mess.

· While we were lost and dead in our sins, Christ died for us.

What manner of man is this that would be a sacrifice for my sins? Who asked Him to do that? He alone opened the door for me to approach God and to be accepted. He alone shed His own blood that I might live and have that life more abundantly on this earth and in heaven. What manner of man is this? He is my Savior, my friend and the one in whom I trust. He is the one to whom I am eternally thankful.

· God is Love

Can a God that is described, as being “LOVE”, be responsible for all the sorrow, hate and sin in this world? What is Love anyway? Now the fruit (or character) of the Spirit is LOVE, PEACE, JOY, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE, against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22).

Love and hate do not exist in the same place. Joy and sorrow do not either. The same can be said of longsuffering and short temperedness and gentleness opposed to anger, peace opposed to confusion, and so on.

Get the point. God has a definite character that distinguishes Him from all others and what makes Him who He is. Knowing Him fuels our appreciation and desire to be like Him. It also keeps us from false doctrines, misunderstandings and the snares of the devil. If God is for us, who or what can defeat us? He is greater than man, evil spirits, sickness, disease, unemployment, or anything else. Yes, we are more than conquerors through Christ, Jesus, our lord.

Thank you Jesus for who you are. Knowing you helps me to be able to face tomorrow with all its trials and difficulties as well as even having the courage to stand up against the enemies of my soul who so desperately seek my demise.

Let us be thankful unto Him, Jesus, our Lord and Savior and let us praise His name for being who He is.

Until Next Time
Rev. John Marinelli
johnmarinelli@embarqmail.com

Animals In The Resurrection?

Introduction

How many of us have lost a companion animal? We grieve for them as they were human and we even write poetry about them as a continual remembrance of their companionship. Marilyn and I have lost several companion animals over the years. If you are an animal lover, you will understand and appreciate this article. It answers the question that torments most of us that can only watch as our companion animals die.

Do They Go To Heaven?

There is a big controversy over whether or not our beloved companion animals go to heaven when they pass away. It is a tough thing to go through when your best friend dies…The one who has been there for you every day for years, waiting for you to come home, wanting to play and watching over you with a protective growl when strangers approach. Researchers say that the grieving process for a companion animal is equal to and sometimes even greater that the loss of a human family member.

We must go to the only absolute source to find the answer to the question, “Do animals Go To Heaven When They Die” Marilyn and I believe in the absolute and infallible authority of the Bible. It is here that we found peace and comfort when our first beloved companion animal died. The Holy Scriptures can also be a source of comfort to you in your sorrow.

The animals were created by God, (Gen 1:24), and they were placed under the dominion of Adam. (Gen 1:26) That means we are responsible for their well being. How is it then that 70%-80% of all animals that enter animal shelters in the US are destroyed? Here’s what the Bible says about animals and Heaven:

  • The apostle Paul writes: The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God – Romans 8:1921 NIV.

Animals, according to this scripture passage, are now subject to the vanity and Sin of man, but when the human drama is over and the children of God are revealed, all the animals that were in bondage will become partakers of that freedom.

  • And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” – Revelation 5:13 NKJ.

Our companion animals will join us in praise and worship of the Lord for His glorious salvation. How great is that?

  • The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them – Isaiah 11:6 NIV.

If the “wild” animals are going to be in heaven, then certainly our beloved pets will be there too.

You can rest assured that your beloved companion animals will go to heaven when they dies, but what about you? Where will you spend eternity?

The animals are subject to the vanity of man and are under that bondage until the children of God are revealed at the end of the human drama. We, on the other hand, are in bondage to Sin and subject to our own choices in life. Here’s what the Bible says about that:

  • “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3-10-12)
  • “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
  • “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
  • “Wherefore, as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12-14)

These simple Scripture passages tell us that we have fallen short of God’s Glory. Man’s fall from Glory came as a result of disobedience, which is considered Sin. The penalty for sin is death, which passed upon all men, because all have sinned.

No one can say they are righteous. We do not seek God. Instead, He seeks us and we respond to His love from a repentant heart. Jesus said, “No man can come to me except my Father draw him first” (John 6:44) He also said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever, believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

We have the privilege to believe in Jesus as God’s only Son, who was given as a sacrifice for sin, our sins, so we could escape the sentence of death and live forever with God, as it was originally planned.

The word “Salvation” means to be delivered. To be saved is to be delivered from the fear of death. It becomes a reality when we personally accept Jesus as our Savior, agreeing with God, that all, including us, have fallen short and are in need of His redemption.

Our companion animals will see God and dwell with Him throughout all eternity. A simple prayer of repentance and a cry to God for salvation can secure our destiny and assure us that we will see our “Best Friends” again.

Until next time
Rev. John Marinelli

Are You Really Free?

Introduction

We Americans celebrate the 4th of July, as a national holiday in honor and memory of our independence from the bondage and rule of the king of England.

We rejoice that we are free from the rule of any foreign power. History tells us that the original 13 colonies were being over taxed in an effort to steal the very heart of the land for the use and pleasure of a foreign King. It was a very clear picture of what is said in John 10:10.

“The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly”

Our ancestors rose up against the king and fought off the tyranny until they gained victory, which resulted in a life of great abundance for many…more so than the people of any other land. We, as Christians, do also realize that tyranny and bondage comes in many forms and by many kings, both in the natural and spiritual realm.

Freedom In The Natural & Spiritual Realms

In the natural realm, we fight off the oppressors to preserve our freedom, sending our next generation to die, if necessary, that we may live in peace and freedom. But what do we do in the spiritual realm to get free and stay free? What type of bondage do we face and by whom?

II Corinthians 10:4-12 tells us that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, (Earthly like tanks and war planes), but are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds.” The Biblical writer understood that God’s people were at war in a battle of wits with an unseen enemy that somehow enters the imagination, planting thoughts that call up impure desires from within that are meant to capture and hold our minds in bondage to the forces of evil. We know this enemy as Satan, the devil and his entire evil hoard.

Life In Abundance

Life in abundance is not found in the things we posses. It is, however, discovered in the truth that comes from our heavenly Father. That’s why Jesus said; “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. He, of course, is the Truth that came from the Father and who did, in fact, set us free, by way of the cross. But our liberty is not to be used as an occasion for sin, so says Paul, but rather an opportunity to serve the Lord.

Paul also said; Galatians chapter five that we should “Stand fast in the liberty where-with Christ has made us free and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage”. He knew that freedom always comes with a price tag. It cost something to keep it active. There is always a price to pay. We pay the price, in the natural, with the blood of our sons and daughters that die in foreign lands. In the spiritual, we pay with our lives, laid down unto the death. This is the ultimate sacrifice for our own freedom.

Free Will

Now I know you are going to say that I am straying off the biblical path and going against what the bible says, not really. A closer look reveals that Christ has indeed set us free…actually bought us with a price, His own blood. We are indeed free but free to do what? This is the moment of truth, where we all stand in the valley of decision, making free will choices in life that keep us free or lead us back into bondage. Without our “Free Will” choices on a consistent basis, we will fall and fall hard. That’s why we are instructed to “Put on the whole armor of God”, “Stand fast in the liberty” “Resist the devil” because our freedom can be easily taken away if we do nothing.

Let me show you where it says that we pay the ultimate sacrifice…Revelation chapter 12, “And they (that is us) overcame him (that is the devil) with the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and that they laid down their lives unto the death.” Most pastors call attention only to the 1st two parts of this scripture but it is the 3rd, the laying down of ones own life, which seals the victory. Jesus supports this “self death” notion when He tells His disciples that they must deny themselves, take up their cross, (referring to their own death) and follow Him.

Why is it so necessary for us to die in order to live an abundant life?

Romans Chapter five tells us that Sin entered the World (human experience) through the transgression of one man, Adam. It also tells us that by one man, Jesus Christ, all shall be made alive. Adam is the 1st man and Jesus is the 2nd man. The 1st man fell into sin and as a result death passed upon all men, for all have sinned. Romans chapter three supports this where it says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Also there is none righteous, no not one. The wages of sin is death. Death passed upon all men. Get the picture? Holiness (glory of God) was replaced in the 1st man with sin, which is, in fact, the very nature of Satan. We are bound to the devil by nature…however, the 2nd man, Jesus, did not sin, has no evil or darkness in Him and as the spotless Lamb of God paid the price of sin. He bought us back, giving us life in relationship to God. Through Him and in Him, we move and live and have our being.

Remember the baptismal picture? We are buried with Him (Jesus) and raised with Him (Jesus) to newness of life. Now we have two natures, one of sin which is that of evil and one of God which is, like in the beginning, Holy. According to the bible, these two natures war against one another inside of us, seeking to dominate our personalities.

We are asked, by the very fact of having a free will, to make our own choices, to walk in one or the other. Paul again says that if we live in the Spirit we should also walk in the Spirit. He also says that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may prove what is that perfect and acceptable will of God.

There is no Switzerland in the Spirit realm. We either walk in the flesh or in the Spirit. One must die so the other can live. We must carry our own cross; letting that nature of rebellion die so the nature of God can grow and be supreme. This is the ultimate sacrifice, to forgive instead of condemn, to love instead of hate, and so on…Galatians chapter five list the evil fleshly appetites as well as the fruit of the Spirit.

Again I ask, are you really free? Here’s how you know that you are:

  • You will have a good sense of peace in your heart.
  • You will be quick to forgive.
  • You will be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
  • You will see or be aware of the fruit of God’s Spirit in you.
  • You will see the gifts being manifested in you as you follow Him.
  • You will have hope in the future and be optimistic about life.

Notice that there are no feelings of depression, anger, hate, or malice of any kind. There is no jealousy. The deeds of the flesh are bound by death and the new creature lives in harmony with God and at peace with his neighbor. However, that same new creature is also a warrior who stands against the evil nature in himself and the evil actions of those around him. This is not a passive stand. It is an aggressive walk in the Spirit that says to self and all around. “ get out of my way for I am walking with God.” He is determined to stay free, as God originally intended.

Take a moment this 4th of July, the season of celebrating freedom, to reflect on those things that have you bound. Chances are they are things of the flesh, which tells you that you are in need of a “Death To Self” experience. There is a need to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. How do we do that? By, as Romans 12 says…present your bodies as a living sacrifice unto God. Paul also tells us in II Corinthians 10:4-7 that we are to use the knowledge of God as a weapon to cast down every imagination.

Bondage By Choice

Your bondage is by choice. God has not given you the spirit of fear that leads you back into bondage, but of Power and Love and a Sound mind. Life abundant is given only to those who pass through death first. They must, at all cost, stand up in the Power of Jesus’ name to keep it. This takes guts, prayer and a determination to follow Jesus. It is also the true meaning of Lordship, when Jesus becomes LORD over your flesh and leads you to the cross in a transforming death unto life experience. Thus is the reality, “Though you are dead, yet shall you live”

Truth & Application: The flesh is characteristic of the nature of evil. It is where Satan wants you to dwell…so you portray his image on this Earth instead of God’s. All that Satan needs to do is to plant a thought or fashion an image in your mind that calls up what is already inside of you. This is the imagination of II Corinthians 10:4-7. Act upon the thought or image, giving it place and you fall out of the Spirit into the flesh. Reject the imagination and you put to death the old man and continue to walk in the Spirit.

Being really free is a “Free Will” choice and is a conscious action of the will to keep the flesh in a state of death and the Spirit in control of your mind. We cannot blame God when we make bad choices. We can however, repent, ask for His forgiveness and begin again…this time with a new determination to walk in the Spirit.

Until next time
John Marinelli,

Count It All Joy

James 1:2-8

Introduction

There are times in our lives that we fall short of real joy. Being happy seems to elude us and we drift upon a sea of wishful thinking. Stress overshadows us, confusion follows close behind biting our heals and heartache is just around the corner with a sneering smile as if to say, “it’s my turn next”. Ever felt that way? I guess we all do now and then…or should I say, “Most of The Time” The bible says that we are to rejoice exceedingly when we fall into various trials.

Note the action word is “Fall.” Only a fool would willingly walk into a situation that hurts them or puts them at risk. It is most often that we fall into it because of a thousand reasons.

Start Counting

It’s hard to count it all joy when you are depressed, troubled, fearful, angry, upset, worried, anxious, or in any other bad situation. We are usually consumed with it and forget to count. But God says we are to start counting. We are asked to laugh and rejoice in the midst of that terrible trial. The only reason given for such joy is that the trying of our faith will bring patience.

It is important to realize that without the trial or testing of your faith, you will never know where you stand. If you fall apart under the weight of the trail, your faith is obviously weak and in need of help. It clarifies our measure of faith and level of spirituality. It is also important to realize that God does not tempt us with evil. The trial is not from Him. He only uses it to teach us and show us how much we have grown in His wisdom, love and grace.

God’s goal and purpose for using the trial is to teach us patience. We, as Christians, can never ever be a testimony to others without exhibiting patience. If we are always angry or appear constantly worried or always fearful, we do not show forth the character of God nor do we shine our light as a beacon to those around us. In other words, we will be just like them and they will not see Jesus in us. We must have the longsuffering needed to minister to those in need.

Growing Pains.

So the next time you fall, sing on the way down and rejoice as you hit bottom, knowing that God will bring forth His patience in you and you will discover that the fall was not the end of life but only a quarry in-which the imperfections are chipped away. We could call these types of experiences growing pains.

I will leave you with this poem

Growing Pains

Count it all joy, Brethren
When you fall into despair.
This is the only way to know
That God is really there.

It is one thing to say,
“I believe that God cares”
It’s yet another to see,
His mighty armies there.

So every time you fall
Into some sort of trial,
Believe in the Lord, Jesus
And begin to laugh or smile.

It’s only spiritual growing pains
As you learn patience and faith.
Better to grow now in God’s grace,
Than to hold back until it’s too late.

Poem Written By John Marinelli

Until next time
Rev. John Marinelli