No Rose Garden Promised Here

During the late 1960’s until 1973 I sang in a local band.  We performed for weddings, graduations, in taverns (18-year-old beer and wine only bars), parties and just about anywhere a small band could.  I was the only female, and often just did backup vocals and harmony.  Our band –The Happy Medium– (called so because we played/sang every genre of music possible, right down to polkas), consisted of lead singer, lead guitar, bass guitar, drummer (all four were guys) and me… backup singer, tambourine player :).  I sang music by artists like Carly Simon, Carol King, Brenda Lee, Anne Murray, Lynn Anderson, Karen Carpenter and others.  I always liked singing Lynn Anderson’s “Rose Garden”!

Today’s Christianity is filled with numerous “false gospels”, many of which its leaders teach that being a Christian means you’ll have a prosperous (materially) life; or that if you have enough faith, you can have or do anything you want.  Well, I am here to tell you the two words to describe a true Christian’s life are not “Rose Garden”:

They are SURRENDER and SACRIFICE!

There is only one statement made by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is recorded in all four Gospels.  It deals with how to live the Christian life according to God’s will and not our own.

Matthew 16:24-27   Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

Mark 8: 34-38   When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Luke 14:27   “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

John 12:25-26    “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

As the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:1-5  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 

It’s not enough for a person to make a decision for Christ at an altar.  A blood bought child of God cannot walk successfully without repentance.  While repentance is not a work that earns salvation, repentance unto salvation does result in works. It is impossible to truly and fully change your mind without that causing a change in action. In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior.  The most evident change in behavior is to surrender our will daily to do the will of the Father!  That includes body, soul, mind and spirit to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ to be used as HE sees fit; for His glory and honor.  Not for our gratification; although that is a beautiful by-product of surrender— JOY!!   We need to take regular inventory of our commitment to our Father and Lord Jesus.  Honestly, I know this to be so true.  Very often I must take an inventory of relationship with my God, as I believe every blood bought adopted child of God MUST do. Even when I take spiritual check-ups and realize something is amiss in my personal relationship with Him, I never cease to be amazed at His love, grace and mercy which fills me with hope looking to my eternal destination— and the peace of knowing that no matter how bad things get (or are), He is always with me.

Paul never glamorized the gospel.  It is not success, but sacrifice! It’s not a glamorous gospel ,but a bloody gospel, a gory gospel, and a sacrificial gospel!   Five minutes inside eternity and we will wish that we had sacrificed more, wept more, bled more, grieved more, loved more, prayed more, given more!  (edited) Leonard Ravenhill
Praying for “all the saints”.  Be blessed ♥ Streim

Hated For Speaking Truth

 Recently I spent time searching an online Christian bookstore for a book I hoped was not out of publication.  The title of the book I wanted started with P.  I started my search alphabetically.  The book wasn’t there.  What I did find made me sad and angry.  Numerous books about the subject of prayer.  How to pray, when to pray, why to pray, where to pray, what kind of words to pray, praying for mothers, prayers for dads, how to teach your children to pray and more !!   I learned to pray from the example our Savior Jesus Christ gave to His disciples, the Holy Word and the Spirit of the living God who resides in each of us who claims Christ as Savior.

How many of you, without a thought, will turn on your television this evening to watch the Bible series thing?  I pray none of you!  After all, some very noted preachers and leaders have endorsed.  So, if they say it’s ok…then it is right?  NO!!!!!!!  ( I hear some mumbly, angry words).  If you chose to know more of our Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit— spend time this evening reading aloud  John 15 to the end of his Gospel; or Matthew 26 to the end.  If your heart’s desire is to know Him more, I guarantee John and Matthew’s writings will move your heart.

Hebrews 4: 12-16 

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot * sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
 I would rather place my faith and trust in the  John, Matthew and Paul ( and the other 63 books of Holy Scripture) truth about the One True God;  than in a Hollywoodized, distorted, untruthful representation of our Lord Jesus Christ. ♥ Streim

 the Truth

 

Streim’s Saturday Sharing (repost with edits) Wake Up and Realize “there is no afterlife”

Wake Up and Realize “there is no afterlife”

OK… I know before you read any further that you may be thinking, has Streim lost her faith?  Or maybe that I’m a tad off my “spiritual” balance.  Well, neither is true.  I will tell you why I make the statement ” There is no afterlife” and the purpose for writing this post.

First, here are a few verses that describe how God Almighty views our life here on earth:

1 Peter 1:24 “… because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away”

Psalm 103:14-16 ”  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more” 

Isaiah 40:6-8 ”  The voice said, “Cry out!” And he  said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the Word of our God stands forever.”

According to the United Nations data for 2010, the average life expectancy is 67.2 years.  This is an average based on all nations of the world.  I am fully aware here in the US some folks live well into their 90’s;  I have a dear friend who just celebrated her 92nd birthday.  However in third world countries, for example Zimbabwe the average is 31.8.

definition of eternity according to onlinefreedictionary.com  :

1. Time without beginning or end; infinite time… (time lasting forever)
2. The state or quality of being eternal.
3. a. The timeless state following death.

     b. The afterlife; immortality.

What does Almighty God say about eternity?

John 6:40 ” And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Romans 6:22 ” But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

 We all know that at some time in our life here in earth we will die.  Old age, accidents, disease… whatever, for the most  part (*)    everyone; man, woman or child will die.  Whether we live to be 30 years or 100 years… it’s a mere “blip” in time compared to eternity.  So, technically the years we spend here on earth is “PRE-LIFE”  and when this body dies… there’s eternity.  Eternity is “LIFE”.  The real deal.  And… what we do in this pre-life determines where we spend LIFE!!!   There’s only two places, according to the Word of God, where we will spend LIFE eternal.  1)  WITH ALMIGHTY GOD AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST  or 2)  WITHOUT GOD— in a place of outer darkness filled with pain, suffering, sadness, being alone. (2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 NASB)  Forever and ever and ever and ever…..

  “…where will you spend eternity ?”

Romans 3:18-28 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to Godbecause by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophetseven the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesuswhom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in JesusWhere then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faithFor we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. ” NASB

The Almighty LORD God created mankind out of love; wanting a personal relationship with him.  Adam (the first man) and Eve chose to disobey a simple command by the LORD. (Genesis 2-3).  Their disobedience was passed on to all, part of our DNA.  But, the LORD God provided a way to restore that loving, personal relationship through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ; the only begotten of the Father.  Jesus death paid the required price for our sin-filled heart/life to be cleansed. With that cleansing, the Heavenly Father erases our sin.  Now, one thing to note:  This atoning and cleansing IS available for “…WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”  Romans 10:13   ♥  Streim