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Friday, August 18, 2017

“What Is Your Appetite Costing You?” Watch Out For The Esau-Syndrome: Trading Away God’s Lifelong Gift In Order To Satisfy a Short-Term Appetite.


Esau had the right to inherit everything of his father’s, but he traded his prosperity for a plate of food! And before you get on Esau to railroad him, let’s self-exam first, shall we? What have you forfeited of your Father’s blessings and inheritance, because you traded it for a plate of food? Did you allow one more drink, one more smoke, one more hit, one more affair, one more night, one more slip, one more lie? What did you trade in the moment, assuming you would have another moment? I don’t care what the offer is, if it causes you to miss out on what God has purposely laid up for you, then the only thing that should come out of your mouth is, “No Deal!” You have too much to lose on a bad trade! I don’t know about you, but there is nothing the devil or this world has to offer that would be deemed a fair or even trade of the Family of God’s Blessings and Inheritance! So the next time temptation rears its ugly head like it did with Eve and the Serpent, don’t hold a long conversation, just simply say, “No Deal! I can’t afford to trade my Father’s Inheritance to me!”

Don’t think it can't happen to you? Just listen to another person, who stepped out of line and lost it all in just one brief moment. “That was stupid!” Samuel said. “You didn’t obey the Lord your God. If you had obeyed Him, someone from your family would always have been king of Israel. But no, you disobeyed, and so the Lord won’t choose anyone else from your family to be king. In fact, He has already chosen the one He wants to be the next leader of His people.” (1 Samuel 13:13-14 CEV). Can you imagine, once again, having it all, then giving it all away with just one foolish act? And sadly, in Saul’s case, his foolish act didn’t just affect him, but no one else from his entire lineage would be able to be king. Even if they did absolutely nothing wrong, the family as a whole suffered from Saul’s moment of impulsiveness and disobedience. Let that also be a lesson for you, you have wives, sons and daughters, and the last thing you want to do is put your whole family in a position of loss, because you couldn’t find a way to say “No Deal!” Don’t give away your Father’s blessings and inheritance!

Don’t Let This Happen to You! Yes, repentance gives you the opportunity to turn, but sometimes, you miss your turn! So whatever you’re in today, if it would cause you to lose what you’ve found in God, turn now, while you still have time left! You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing – but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.” (MSG) The word “impulsive” is defined as “doing things or tending to do things suddenly and without careful thought; done suddenly and without planning; to be rash, quick or hasty.” Sounds just like Esau! “…and Esau said to Jacob, “Please, let me have a QUICK swallow of that red stuff there, because I am exhausted and famished.”  What’s important to know is this, Esau was not in the dark about his birthright and inheritance. He knew at a young age, because they are informed of it at a young age. And yet, even knowing what he would be trading (and ultimately losing), he did it anyway. Likewise, you already know the blessings God desires to give you, you know that because reading your bible tells you that. So you are in no position to say “Oops, I didn’t know.” Yes, you did, and you went on and did that anyway.

Be careful about picking up the “…Esau-Syndrome, of trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite…” You already know what you’ve gained, and therefore, what you stand to lose, so when the opportunity of trade comes up, turn it down fast! Don’t allow your impulsive flesh to cause you to miss out on your inheritance. That's the ugly secret about sin. It looks like it will get us through something. It will benefit us in some way, and like Esau, maybe our bad choices do give us some short-term benefit. That deceit, that giving in to the pressure, that compromise of your integrity, that drink, that sexual sin, or cutting corners to get ahead or get accepted. Something appears in front of you that looks like it might meet a need, it might relieve the pain or help you get ahead. And you only mean for it to be just a little while, maybe just this once.  

Blessings

J.P. Olson

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Someone Has Said, When We Get To Heaven We’ll Find A Lot Of Unopened Packages With Our Name On Them Because We Did Not Claim Them Through Prayer.

Hearing and knowing God's Word and then going and doing according to His Word will result in many answers to our prayers.""I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them. Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!"" Psalm 116:1

Praying an Effective Prayer.
All we have to do, as God’s people, called by His name, is to obey the Set Requirements:
1. Humble Ourselves;
2. Pray;
3. Seek His Face; and
4. Turn From Our Wicked Ways
...
THEN...AFTER THAT...God Promises to Hear From Heaven; Forgive Sin and Heal the Land! God knows our tendency to forget His blessings and go our own way. And often times we get so caught up in what God did that we act as though He can’t and won’t do anything else. But God has so much more in store. But in order for Him to release it, there are some conditions that have to be met. And these conditions still remain today. God said:

1. “If MY PEOPLE, who are called by MY NAME. We must turn from self promotion to God promotion. God makes it clear from the start, you are “.MY PEOPLE...” and you are called by ...MY NAME.” Somehow we’ve managed to high jack God’s Church from Him! We’ve made all the programs, protocols, banquets, anniversaries, services, and the like about US...NOT HIM! But the 2 very important requirements for us to always remember is that “IT’S NOT ABOUT US OR OUR NAME! The first thing we need to get back to is FOCUS! And not on US, but on HIM!

2. “Will HUMBLE THEMSELVES and pray. We must turn from self reliance to God reliance. I love the fact that Humility comes BEFORE Prayer! In fact, I believe we would pray much differently and effectively if we entered prayer in Humility first!

3. “And Seek MY FACE. We must turn from self direction to God direction. But when did we get so caught up in His Hand that we forgot about His Face? Before we enter prayer with our long to do list for God, all of the blessings we need bestowed, the miracles we need performed, the debts we need cancelled, the sickness we need healed, how about we try instead to enter in prayer with Worship?! NOT entering in hoping that God makes it Worth our While! The word “Worship” is defined as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity; great admiration or devotion. Listen, while so many are waiting for the Lord to hand them Prosperity from His Hand, Prosperity comes from His Face!

4. Remember: Seek HIS FACE “And TURN from their wicked ways.” We must turn from self indulgence to self-examination. I love the word “Turn” because it’s defined as “to move into a different position, especially so as to face or move in the opposite direction.”Today is your day to make a Turn for the better! And after all of that what happens next? Well, the Bible says: “THEN”! ...THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land! ” I love the word "Then” because it's defined as "After This or After That "! So after WE, THE CHURCH, fulfill the preconditions of God......THEN Happens! The turnaround this country needs is dependent on if and when we make the decision to turn back to God! The change doesn’t happen when unbelievers turn to God, but GOD said, “IF MY PEOPLE...CALLED BY MY NAME.” Birthing a significant, effective, change for the better has always begun with GOD’S PEOPLE. 

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. THEN there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4 NKJV) And things were NEVER the same. If there is going to be a National turn around, it has to begin with “MY PEOPLE...CALLED BY MY NAME.” And when you look at the 3-fold blessing that God will bestow it makes you wonder what are we waiting for?

Spending time developing our own personal relationship with the Lord is a valuable investment of our time. God has made it possible for us to communicate with Him through our prayers. He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. Therefore, the more we pray and read His Word, the deeper our relationship with Him will be.

A simple guide to help us be more effective in our communication with God can be remembered by the acronym ACTS.
·
Adoration.
This means we worship God for Who He is rather than just for what He does. In adoration we verbalize our worship, praise, honor, and exaltation of God. Many of the Psalms help us focus on the attributes of God, such as His loving kindness, His mercy, His majesty, and many other attributes. Adoration is expressing our love for Him through our words.
·
Confession.
As we begin our prayer with worshipful adoration of God, the Holy Spirit will often reveal any sin in our life that needs to be confessed. To confess means "to agree with."In other words, I agree with God concerning my sin that it is sin. I also agree with God that the blood of Jesus Christ has paid for that sin. This leads me to thank Him for His forgiveness.
·
Thanksgiving.
Giving thanks expresses faith, and faith pleases God. In giving thanks we are verbally expressing our gratefulness and appreciation for what God does. Thanksgiving is a way of telling God," I trust You."It is the opposite of whining and becoming bitter.
·
Supplication. Supplication is telling God our requests. We can pray for everything that concerns our lives, as well as for the needs of others. ACTS helps our prayers stay focused on God's priorities for us."Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Philippians 4:6. "When I make a request to God, how can I pray with confidence?"

Four key words answer this question.
1. Abiding is the key to successful praying. In John 15:7 Jesus states, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you."Colossians 3:16 says "Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you."

2. Ask. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7, 8,"Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened." Someone has said, when we get to heaven we’ll find a lot of unopened packages with our name on them because we did not claim them through prayer.

3. Believe. In Matthew 21:22 we read, "Everything you ask in prayer, believing you shall receive."Faith, which is an attitude of believing, pleases God.

4. Receive. If you are abiding in Christ, and if you have asked, believing, get ready to receive the answer. In other words, when you pray for rain, carry an umbrella. John 16:24 says, "Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full."

All we have to do, as God’s people, called by His name, is to obey the Set Requirements:
1. Humble Ourselves;
2. Pray;
3. Seek His Face; and
4. Turn From Our Wicked Ways
...
THEN...AFTER THAT...God Promises to Hear From Heaven; Forgive Sin and Heal the Land! I reiterate, CHURCH, what are we waiting for?


Blessings

J.P. Olson

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Decree Today That I Will No Longer Stumble Over My Struggles, Cry Over My Crisis, Or Have A Tantrum Over My Trials.When My Faith Comes Out Of The Furnace It Will Be On Fire Instead Of In Ashes!

FAITH DECREE: I Decree Today That I Will No Longer Stumble Over My Struggles, Cry Over My Crisis, Or Have A Tantrum Over My Trials. There is no test given to me that my God hasn’t already provided the answers to pass.  This Time, When My Faith Comes Out Of The Furnace It Will Be On Fire Instead Of In Ashes! In Jesus Name I Decree it to be so. Amen. So It Is and So Shall It Be!               

Remember: Trials Turn What You’ve Learned, Into What You Live!

Sometimes Trials are God’s way of taking our hands off of things that aren’t secure and putting them on the only thing that is…HIMSELF

 “God speaks through Trials…Listen.” (Elissa Gabrielle)

“There are some of your graces which would never be discovered if it were not for your Trials.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Today I will share not only my thoughts on this question of “why so many struggle with lack of faith” but with some notable women and men of God and their beliefs. So why do many people struggle with a lack of faith?
The main reason why so many Christians struggle with a lack of faith is that we follow our perceptions of what is true rather than what we know to be true by faith.

“Christianity is a faith-based religion. It is based on faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. God has provided us with His Word, the Holy Bible, as a testimony of His faithfulness to His people all throughout history. In its bare essentials, Christianity is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ claimed to be the promised Messiah and the Son of God. His life was one of perfect righteousness according to the revealed Law of God, His death was an atoning sacrifice for the sins of His people, and He was raised to life three days after His death. When we place our faith and trust in Christ alone for our salvation, God takes our sin and places it on the cross of Christ and awards us, by grace, with the perfect righteousness of Christ. That, in a nutshell, is the Christian message. As Christians, we are called to believe this message and live in light of it.”

“There are many reasons for this phenomenon among Christians. The main reason we struggle with faith is that we don’t truly know the God in whom we profess to have faith. In our daily lives, we don’t trust complete strangers. The more intimately we know someone and the more time we have had to see him “in action,” the more likely we are to believe what he says. But, if God is essentially a stranger to us, we are less likely to believe what He has said in His Word. The only cure for this is to spend more time in God’s Word getting to know Him”

“The world, the flesh, and the devil often distract us. By “the world” is meant the accepted “wisdom” of the unbelieving world and the culture in which we find ourselves. For those of us living in Europe and North America, that dominant worldview is naturalism, materialism, skepticism, and atheism. “The flesh,” refers to our sinful nature that still clings to Christians and with which we struggle on a daily basis. “The devil” refers to Satan and his horde of evil spirits who excite and entice us through the world and our senses. These things all afflict us and cause us to struggle with faith.”  Sylvia King

That is why Christians need to be constantly reminded of what Christ has done for us and what our response should be. The apostle Paul says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (
Romans 10:17). Our faith is built up as we have the gospel continually preached to us. Our churches need to be built on the solid preaching of the Word and the regular observance of the ordinances. Instead, too many churches spend their time, energy, and resources on the creation of “programs” that neither feed the sheep nor draw a clear distinction between godliness and ungodliness.

Consider the example of the Israelites in the Old Testament. God had performed great miracles in rescuing His chosen people from slavery in Egypt—the Ten Plagues, the pillar of smoke and fire, and the crossing of the Red Sea. God brings His people to the foot of Mount Sinai; gives them the Law and makes a covenant with them. No sooner does He do this than the people begin to grumble and lose faith. With Moses gone up on the mountain, the people convince Aaron, Moses’ brother, to construct an idol (against God’s clear prohibition) for them to worship (
Exodus 32:1–6). They were no longer walking by faith, but by sight. Despite all the clear miracles God did in their redemption, they lost faith and began to go on their perception.

In conclusion, we need to heed the example of the disciple Thomas. When Thomas heard the stories of the resurrection, he wouldn’t believe them until he saw Jesus with his own two eyes. Jesus accommodated Thomas’ lack of faith by making an appearance to him and allowing him to see and touch Him. Thomas responds in worship, and Jesus says to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Many skeptics today echo Thomas’ sentiment: “Unless I see Jesus face to face, I will not believe!” We must not behave as the unbelievers do. We need to continually keep in mind Paul’s exhortation to walk by faith rather than sight. We learn in the book of Hebrews that without faith it is impossible to please God (
Hebrews 11:6) because faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it; not responding to our perceptions.  

“To be steadfast and unmovable is to be spiritually grounded. A steadfast person knows what he believes and cannot be “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching” (Ephesians 4:14). An unmovable person can hear false teaching, engage doubters, and defend truth without it shaking his own faith. In his other epistle to Corinth, Paul expresses his concern for this church: “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Even believers who had been personally taught by the apostle Paul were victims of deception. How much more vulnerable are we?”

Blessings

J.P. Olson

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Listen, Jesus Left Heaven To Get To Us, Satan Left Hell To Get To Us, And Yet We Won’t Even Leave The Church To Get To Them

Matthew 5:13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” (MSG)

In the past week God has placed on my heart the urgency of the hour. My readings may reflect that. As children of God we have to get serious, we have to surrender all to Him. We have to get about our Father’s business because we are living in the End Times and it is urgent that we try to reach the unreached for many are lost. The whole reason we’re here is to be 'salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth'. But if the salt never touches anything, how does it change anything? This makes me think of the evangelism that has so greatly halted in our churches. Oh, we go to church week-after-week, Sunday School; Sunday worship; prayer; bible study; meetings; rehearsals; revivals; special services and the like, and we’re quite comfortable sitting in our sanctuaries (a.k.a. “salt shakers”), well contained! Problem? Salt is touching salt, but touching nothing else.

In order for you to taste salt, it has to touch something. In order for salt to change something, it has to touch something. In order for us salty Christians to change something, or someone, we’ve got to touch it and them! We can’t remain in the salt-shaker, where we’re useless because we’re touch-less and tasteless.

Therefore, we can’t sit in our churches and complain about the world and the way it is, while we sit in the salt-shaker sanctuary touching nothing and nobody. But just imagine if we actually left the salt-shaker sanctuary and went to shake some salt in the nursing homes, in the hospitals, at chemotherapy, at dialysis, in the prisons, in the homeless shelters, at the soup kitchens, in the cancer centers. What change might we bring about if only we’d leave the salt-shaker sanctuary? What if we shook some salt while standing in the grocery aisle, in the barbershop, or at the nail and hair salon? What if we shook some salt at our jobs, in our families and in our communities? What if we shook some salt in that drug-infested park, or gang-infested territory? What if we shook some salt as we walk the streets from day-to-day, passing countless ‘tasteless’ individuals on the way? I mean after all, the Bible says that’s what we’re here for, right? Isn’t that our purpose? Isn’t that our charge? Isn’t that our call; to be the salt of the earth?

Is it possible that people haven’t tasted God, because we haven’t touched them with Him? With His unconditional love, His sufficient grace and new mercies. With His forgiveness, kindness, compassion and encouragement. With His protection, provision, and presence. With His unspeakable joy and reassuring peace.

I reiterate, is it possible that people haven’t tasted God, because we haven’t touched them with Him?

Psalm 34:8, “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him.” (MSG)
But, how can people “taste” how good God is, if we’re His salt, but we never leave the salt-shaker?

I'm sure God would love to hear the sounds of His salt getting out of the shaker more often! After all, the work salt is supposed to do is not inside the salt shaker, all clustered together with the other salt. It's supposed to get out and change the flavor of something!

Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually – regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (AMP)

Now, how are we to make disciples 'OF ALL NATIONS', if we never leave the pulpit or the pew?

How is it God said 'GO', but we’ve YIELDED to the point that we’ve actually STOPPED?

How can we 'MAKE' something without ever touching it?

How are people to 'LEARN' of our God if we’re the TEACHERS who are never in CLASS with our STUDENTS?

How can they 'BELIEVE' Him if we don’t tell them ABOUT Him?

How can they be expected to 'OBEY HIS WORD', when they haven’t HEARD HIS WORD?

Romans 10:14, “But how will people call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher (messenger)?” (AMP)

Furthermore, how are they to be 'BAPTIZED', without us touching them?
According to Jesus, "You are the salt of the earth…not of the sanctuary! But of the entire Earth! This means we have to leave from within the church walls.

We have to operate outside of our comfort zones, our pulpits and pews. We have to leave the meeting and the auxiliaries. We have to leave the Fellowship to go Fellowship, before they all Drown!

Can you imagine the horror on the face of an individual who’s fighting with all their might, absolutely terrified that they may die any minute while trying to stay afloat in the troubling waters of life…and yet, we, the church, Jesus’ Life-Guards, are standing on the shore, watching…equipped to help…but just watching…knowing how to save…but choosing to just watch…having the Word that will deliver from destruction…and yet we remain on the shore, still watching. People are struggling at sea, because the saints are only concerned with their safety on shore. This should not be!

Listen, Jesus Left Heaven To Get To Us, Satan Left Hell To Get To Us, And Yet We Won’t Even Leave The Church To Get To Them?

As Christians we were never meant to be all clustered together in a spiritual salt shaker, just salting each other and soaking up more blessings, miracles and the like for ourselves. The salt's got to be in direct contact with the meat or the vegetables that need it.

Acts 17:6, “But when they did not find them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the Lord’s followers. They took them to the city authorities and shouted, “PAUL AND SILAS HAVE BEEN UPSETTING THINGS EVERYWHERE. NOW THEY HAVE COME HERE.” (CEV). They took the gospel message “EVERYWHERE”! And we can’t get folks
“…PAUL AND SILAS HAVE TURNED THE REST OF THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN, AND NOW THEY ARE HERE DISTURBING OUR CITY,” THEY SHOUTED.” (TLB) –

Now, when is the last time you touched the world, and unbelievers, in such a way that you disturbed them? Disturbed their sin, their wickedness, their unbelief, their habits and addictions. When is the last time you disturbed the devil? When is the last time you turned the city upside down? When is the last time you gave someone a taste of God by giving them a touch from God?

When is the last time we’ve made an impact like this on the world, as the church?! When is the last time we went door-to-door letting them know Jesus is King? When is the last time we’ve attacked sin, the very thing the unbeliever holds dear? When is the last time we touched the world in such a manner that they couldn’t deny the taste of God?!

People of God, we have to do more than rub shoulders with each other in the salt shaker sanctuary! Think about it, salt on top of salt is dangerous and deadly to our physical health…could it be just as dangerous and deadly to our spiritual health as well?  If the last days are really upon us, what are we doing sitting in salt shakers?

This is what we should be doing in these last and evil days. Preaching the gospel truth message to the masses as God’s servants! Not to each other! But to others! If we don’t touch, they don’t taste, they’ll just settle for tickling! And do you really want to be held responsible for that?

Like it or not, but if your time is pretty much spent with Christians alone, well you're missing your mission! We'll do that in heaven! We'll hang out together all the time, for all eternity! But right now we've got to be involved with some people who aren't going to heaven yet! It's time for you to take all that you've been storing up spiritually and start taking it to places and people where it's really needed.

It's time to look around your community for a place to volunteer so you can be in contact with some un-reached people with some really deep needs. You need a community connection, not just a church connection; something that will put the salt of your life in contact with some of the lives that really need the flavor of Jesus! Remember: “…if you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?” They can’t taste godliness without first touching your saltiness. So, are you within reach? Are you still salty? Are you in use? Are you available? Are you touchable?

Let today be the day that you challenge yourself, your family and friends, your community and certainly your church to come out the salt shaker and touch the world with a taste of God! 'Many' are waiting, but will you be counted in the number with the 'few', who are in fact available to proclaim the message of salvation to the masses?  Remember: Salt With No Touch, Has No Taste! Reach Them Today!

Blessings

J.P. Olson

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Anger Never Stays The Same Size. Bitterness Never Stays The Same Size. It Always Grows. What's Not Resolved Will Reoccur!

Ephesians 4:26-27, “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the devil” (TLB)

Ephesians 4, starting with verse 26, reads, "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold." Well, there's a biblical clock here on strained relationships/friendships, just like there is on letting dirty dishes sit untouched. The longer you wait to clean it up, the harder it is to clean it up. Our conflict in relationships/friendships are like that too. That’s why it’s wise not to allow things to sit, settle and fester. Remember, according to the Bible, we have a clock on our discord, and that clock runs out at sundown every day! In other words, we really shouldn't be hanging on to our anger, after the end of the day.

Well, today, I was sent to you for the sole purpose of: Taking Your Discord Out Of Delay Mode, And Shifting It To Deal With It Mode Instead!

That reminds me a lot of those old Western movies I used to love to watch. If you’ve ever seen them, you will know the famous line all the marshal’s use, "You better be out of here by sundown!" Well, that's what we're supposed to be saying to any anger, or resentment, bitterness or conflict that comes up in our relationships/friendships. "Get out of here by sundown!" There's a good reason for this. That’s like leaving dirty dishes. If you deal with them and rinse them right away they're soft and easy to remove what’s left on the plate; just kind of scrape them a little bit and they fall right off. But you know what happens if you wait with a dirty plate? The longer it sits dirty, the harder it is clean.

Makes me wonder if that’s where we coined the term, "hard feelings"? Because our unresolved hurt is just as hard as the non-rinsed dishes! And sadly enough, that's when the Devil gets an opportunity to enter a marriage, or a parent-child relationship, or a friendship, or a church, business, school or workplace.

In conducting various marriage counseling sessions, I’ve discovered that at the core of most every marriage breakup there was an issue that once was small, but it wasn't dealt with when it was small. That’s why it’s so hard to mend marriages, because problems are never dealt with when they occur. They’re not dealt with until what was delayed has now become a damage beyond repair. Which is also why it’s so hard to keep to the current issue, because couples have left so many “small” issues ignored, that now that there’s a problem that happened in January of this year, but we can't deal with it yet, because we're still mediating the argument from January 2003! What's Not Resolved Will Reoccur!

In addition, at the core of broken parent-child relationships or a hurting friendship, or a divided church, there are also people who didn't clean up their anger when it first appeared; when it was still small, when it was still manageable, when it was relatively soft. And now it's led to a terrible hardening outcome. And the truth is, we can’t blame the devil. The Scripture tells us not to give him a “foothold”, but a foothold is just enough space for a person to put their foot in the door. However, the question that needs to be addressed is, who opened the door? The devil couldn’t get his foot in if you didn’t open the door and grant him access. And how do you grant him foothold access? By sending your anger to answer the door! “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. 

AND DO NOT GIVE THE DEVIL AN OPPORTUNITY [TO LEAD YOU INTO SIN BY HOLDING A GRUDGE, OR NURTURING ANGER, OR HARBORING RESENTMENT, OR CULTIVATING BITTERNESS].” (AMP).

This is how well you take care of your Grudge, Anger, Resentment and Bitterness. And do you know this is better care and treatment than some spouses and children receive! All of the emotions that are opening the door for the devil’s foothold into your relationships/friendships are being Held, Nurtured, Harbored and Cultivated…BY YOU! Do You Know What You’ve Deliberately Decided to Do With Your Grudge, Anger, Resentment and Bitterness? You’ve purposely grasped it, carry, supports and keep it, you have possession of it, you keep it contained and you cause it to stay by allowing it to be held onto tightly and securely. Maybe there's a strained relationship in your life right now. Could that be why God wanted us talking about this today? Well, if that should be the case, there have been far too many sunsets, too many bad feelings you let hang on! Please understand, it will never be smaller than it is today. I know that it's bigger than it used to be, but this is the smallest it's ever going to be. It will never be easier to address that conflict, that resentment, that anger than it is right now, no matter how hard that might seem. It's only going to get harder the longer you let it sit there untouched, unaddressed. It will only get more costly because you’re going to lose relationships, friendships, trust, support, and love.

I always find it amusing and sad that people will quicker redeem cans and coupons, than they will redeem people, relationships, friendships, marriages...It’s sad that we possess the Fruit of the Spirit, yet our Flesh has caused it to Rot.
Listen, I by no means am saying that those of you with “justifiable hurt; and legitimate pain” should not be angry. Even the Scripture doesn’t say that, “GO AHEAD AND BE ANGRY. YOU DO WELL TO BE ANGRY…” (MSG) The Bible does not tell us to hide, mask, camouflage, or pretend with our feelings and emotions. We’re never asked to lie about the level of hurt we’ve experienced. However, we cannot take Part of the Scripture, we must embrace it Whole, and the rest reads, “…BUT DON’T USE YOUR ANGER AS FUEL FOR REVENGE. AND DON’T STAY ANGRY. DON’T GO TO BED ANGRY. DON’T GIVE THE DEVIL THAT KIND OF FOOTHOLD IN YOUR LIFE.” (MSG) Get Angry, Deal With it in a Healthy Manner, Then Let It Go Before Sundown! Listen to the Bible, “…DON’T USE YOUR ANGER AS FUEL…”

Let no one tell you that anyone is beyond restoration. Not even Jesus felt that way. And He had good reason to kick quite a few folks to curb, but He didn’t…Judas betrayed Him (but He didn’t discard him); Peter denied Him (but He didn’t discard him); Thomas doubted Him (but He didn’t discard him); and in the end, they all left but John, and still He didn’t discard them, in fact, He gave up His life still. And to take it a step further, can you imagine hanging on a cross, dying yourself, between 2 thieves, knowing full well that they are guilty as sin, and yet one calls out to Him, and He still answers.

Don’t discard your loved ones. One day they will be on the other side of dirt, and by then it will be too late to wish you would have dealt with what you delayed. You can bring as many flowers to the grave-site as you wish; you can visit the grave annually; you can sit on top of their tombstone and talk to them all day long about how sorry you are, and still it will be too late! Therefore, deal with it now, and make it a dead issue while they're still alive, for once they are dead and gone, you will be left with the unresolved issue renewing itself in your mind every day.

Today is always your best opportunity to go to that person and do whatever it takes to repair things. Apologize if you need to, confront if you need to, pray together, talk it through. You just can't afford the hard spot in your heart that develops from anger that you stuff inside and let sit and settle. Anger Never Stays The Same Size. Bitterness Never Stays The Same Size. It Always Grows.

Remember the veteran dish-rinser, there's nothing to gain in waiting. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. Today is a great day for a new start. So, call them, email them, text them, write them, visit them. Whatever it takes, for however long it takes, put the work in and rebuild your relationship ruins. It can be done, it will be done. No More Delays…Today…DEAL WITH IT!

Blessings