Check out the new podcast video with special guest Nate Ward, where we are discussing boldness in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Originally aired live on Facebook on 7/31/21. We hope you find this message encouraging and it stirs something inside of you to want to be bold for Christ.
What if I told you we are NOT born naturally good? In fact, that is EXACTLY what I am saying. We are born wicked and it is only through Christ alone that we can produce good fruits.
What?! How could you?
I think I am a pretty good person…
I would then have to ask you– measuring by what standards are you counting yourself as a good person?
At this point in time most people go on about how they help people, feel like they are a good friend/parent/etc., and say things like I mean I haven’t killed anyone.
Well, yes that is good and I am certainly glad to hear murder isn’t on the table. (insert chuckle)
However, if we measure by the ultimate judge on weather we are good or wicked, I think you may come up with a different conclusion.
I now ask you to be completely honest with me, yourself, and God. Answer the following questions.
- Have you ever told a lie? Even a little white lie?
- Have you ever taken something that was not yours or that you didn’t pay for? Think hard, because it happens on accident a lot! (a pen, something you carried home from work, something you found at a public location)
- Have you ever said something about another person out of anger, hurt, etc.?
- Have you ever talked about someone else to a third party, when it was not your place to tell?
- Have you ever looked at another person in a lustful way?
If everyone is being honest, the answer should be ‘yes’ to all of the above questions. It is common for mankind (men and women) to naturally do these things because we are NOT naturally good. So, if we measure by God’s standard, which He has the ultimate say, then we are liars, thief’s, unforgiving, gossiping, adulterers.
YIKES! When you put it that way… we are not naturally good.
Which is precisely why the Bible tells us in John 3:3-7 that we need to be born-again.
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Why are we born this way?
God created mankind (Adam and Eve) and called it all very good. He gave mankind freewill and CLEAR instructions, in this case they could eat from any tree in the garden except NOT from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent and disobeyed God’s instruction and ate the forbidden fruit. If you read the whole story of the creation and fall of mankind in Genesis 1-3, God tells us that the land and mankind is cursed from the time we are born until we die because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.
From here the Bible is full of stories about the wickedness of mankind’s hearts. Stories of murder, stealing, betrayal, adultery, and so much more. (Doesn’t sound much different from what we hear today on the news and in social media.
As the story goes on you will read about periods of time that mankind used animal sacrifices in attempt to atone for our sins. However, nothing was good enough to cover the disobedient wicked ways of our sinful nature. None of these sacrifices were able to bridge the gap of separation between God and mankind (us).
This is where Jesus comes in and radically changes EVERYTHING from that point forward!
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus came and fulfilled many prophesies spoken. He is fully God and fully man, which is how he lived the perfect life during His time walking the Earth. Jesus’ purpose was to be the ultimate example for us to follow and to ultimately be crucified on the cross as an atonement for our sins.
Jesus conquered sin and conquered death. He was buried in a tomb and rose from the dead on the third day. He is alive today and will return for His people. Those who are born again– that repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness, and confess Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior
Just as John 3:3-7 says born again is by spirit and water. This is our new birth or re-birth. This is not just a stated prayer. It should be followed by devout study of God’s Word. It should be a life changing radical moment in a person life.
Being born again doesn’t mean we are instantly perfect and will never sin again, it means we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus.
Born again also doesn’t mean we are free to sin when and how we please or that we should continue down the same paths, making the same choices, it means the old has passed a way, we are free from the bondage of sin and we are a new creation in Him.
A born again Christian who has had true repentance and a life changing renewal spiritually will want to seek God’s direction and to know Him more. They will be intentional when it comes to prayer time and reading the Bible.
Reading the Bible and prayer is our way of communication with God, to learn His instruction and renew our minds and soul. An internal noticeable change.
There is a common misconception that ‘most people are naturally good. have your best interests at heart’. This is just NOT the case, the Bible tells us so and not in a ‘because I said so’ type of way. The Bible clearly explains why the evil and wickedness is in the hearts of mankind from birth. It goes all the way back to the original sin of disobedience to God’s Word.
What is the root of disobedience to God’s Word or disobedience in general? Pride, thinking we know better then God or someone else who has given clear instruction for our safety, health, and well being.
2 When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
This is why in Luke 9:23 we are to to deny ourselves daily, and take up the cross to follow Him. Our ways are wicked and will lead only to destruction and death (an eternal separation from God).
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
A born again believer is a new man, a new creation, and you should see changes in their life as evidence of that.
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Fruits of the spirit are NOT produced by our flesh naturally. We are not naturally born with these traits. They are produced by and through the Holy Spirit from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as the Bible tells us we must be born again through water and spirit to see the kingdom of God.
Society as a whole has become one of oppression and a victim mentality. Consistently finding ourselves as victims to someone else’s actions, thoughts, morals, and so on. This has become such an issue within our nation that it is literally ripping families apart, ruining businesses, and attempting to “cancel” our history.
This victimization of one’s self is an acquired trait or taught behavior in which a person identifies as a victim to seek persecution in order to gain attention from others. This is happening all around us. There are many in the world that are claiming to be oppressed and a victim of the actions from others, that have not actually happened or were results of a ‘bad day’ and ‘bad mood’ NOT of oppression. However, they continue to claim these oppressions even in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence of the claimed circumstance.
Please note: (I do recognize that there are hateful, evil people out there who are causing harm and truly are attempting to oppress someone. I am in NO WAY taking away from the seriousness or damage caused by those whom have TRULY experienced one of these horrific acts.)
So what does this cause?
The oppressed individual blames those around them, often times the ones they love, for feeling a particular way. The victimhood mentality or oppression mentality has a need for recognition, a desire for someone to affirm their victimhood or oppression. To the point that if you do not affirm this oppression, that does not exist, then instantly you become the oppressor.
This ideology has made it to the point that even government authorities have pushed for this oppressor verse oppressed societal groups. Using movement ‘groups’ to create division and violence among us all– in the name of trying to create equality.
I could speculate and give my educated ideas on why this is, but for the sake of this article, I will not.
Let’s take a look at what oppression means…
unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power
something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power
a sense of being weighed down in body or mind
In order to truly understand the above definition we must follow a short “rabbit hole” and define what is ‘just’ to understand what is considered unjust.
the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
conformity to truth, fact, or reason
Now we must go a little further and explore the definition of what is just.
having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason
conforming to a standard of correctness
acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good
You see to be considered unjust the action has to be based on something that is NOT truth, fact, or morally upright or good.
Where do these standards come from?
If you trace our history all the way back to the beginning it all starts with God.
The Bible, also known as God’s divine Word, is where the original moral guidelines came from. This is where our laws, constitution, and so on all originated from. Laws against murder, theft, and violence, for example, were all formed around what God tells us is just and morally good.
Just as we have standard rules and morals most of us teach our children, for example, we teach our children to be kind to others, do not lie, do not cheat, and so on. All these principles come from the Bible and God’s direct instruction to mankind.
However, our culture today is so far removed from God that these very standards of living are being eliminated and it is becoming a free for all for sin. Society is attempting to justify sin and it is truly heartbreaking.
As a whole, society has successfully deceived so many into believing they are victims of oppression by another person, when in reality, they are a victim of oppression because of sin. (We all are– oppression is sin holding you down and back, keeping you separated from God.)
I want to encourage each person who is feeling oppressed by someone or something to truly examine your life. Is what you are feeling oppressed about a sin in the eyes of God? Likely the answer is yes, and at that point we need to take our desires and struggles to the feet of the Lord and ask for His help and deliverance from the oppression, so we may be able to live a happy and fulfilling life– in relationship with Jesus Christ.
Don’t allow society to keep you bound by the chains of oppression. You are designed for so much more and God has great plans for each one of us.
Press in to God and cast your cares, worries, fears, hurt, anger upon Him and He will help you.
It is July of 2021 and it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between lies and truth in the world today. Society has lost it’s moral compass and is throwing out age old truths in attempt to redefine and recreate what is seen as right and wrong; to form a society that fits their agenda and/or reach their ultimate goal.
Along with redefining words, history, events, and more– society is intentionally misleading our young children and creating a sense of victimhood and self worship from the time they are in kindergarten.
This is a VERY dangerous game to be playing..
The world tells people today that our feelings are what matter most and that an individual’s perception is truth.
There are many problems with this ideology, so many I could probably write a book on it, however, I want to focus on just a few of the major points.
- If everyone’s perception is truth, then there is no real absolute truth. This can NOT be possible as we already know there are absolute certain unchanging truths. For instance, two plus two will always be four– a square will always have four equal sides, just as a triangle has three– the sun rises in the East and sets in the West these are universal, absolute truths that most people will always agree on.
However, there are many absolute truth’s that are being redefined and questioned by a particular group or groups of people.
For instance, God’s Word is never changing and always relevant– God’s Word is the measuring tool for right and wrong and good verse evil–God is alive today and will return for His people and there is only ONE true God. However, society is doing all they can to label Christian’s as intolerant, hateful, bigots that are oppressors for stating truth from the Word of God.
- If perception is truth then every person is always right in their own eyes–this is a recipe for selfishness, pride, and self serving motives that results in utter disaster when applied as a universal truth. For example, what’s true to me does not mean it is true to you. Perception varies from person to person and situation to situation. This can cause some serious division quickly.
For instance, you may hear someone say something or see someone do something and to you it appears to be one thing, but if one were to ask the individual what they meant or why they did something it will likely not be the reason you perceived.
With the perception is truth ideology you can see the set-up for division as each person will believe their perception is THE TRUTH; leading to arguments, hurt, anger, and possibly even more damaging feelings or actions.
The Bible tells us to lean NOT on our own understanding, that our hearts are deceitful, and our knowledge is limited.
As society continues to press for this agenda, we see America’s history being erased, classic songs and movies being banned, words and beliefs being labeled as racism, bigotry, hate speech, intolerant, and so on.
Essentially what this ideology is doing is causing mass chaos and pinning friend against friend, child against parent, spouse against spouse, neighbor against neighbor, and in some cases one race against another.
We must take a stand against this attack on our families, attack on our history, attack on our children’s minds and the attack against God and His Word; the Bible.
This ideology is allowing society to redefine what America has stood by for centuries. Redefining what is good and what is evil, what is truth and what is oppressive, what is acceptable behavior and what is not; the list could go on.
The thing I want to drive home is that we need to be doing our part within our homes and community to stop the spread of this division causing ideology.
Perception is NOT truth!
Perception can effect how you feel and think about a situation, but it is not a defining reality– especially not one that can be applied as the universal truth or absolute truth.
It is important for us to have a solid foundational set of truth’s in which we measure each interaction against. The Bible gives us these foundational truth’s. Revealing to us what is good and evil, what is sin and righteousness, what true love looks like and how to navigate through life’s most difficult storms.
Here are a few words or concepts rather that are being redefined in today’s culture.
I encourage you today to turn off the television and stop turning to social media or other media outlets to find the moral baseline of what is right and wrong and what the actual meaning or design for the above concepts are. Instead, open your Bible and begin to discover REAL TRUTH, ABSOLUTE TRUTH in God’s Word. See what the creator has to say about these things, after all He is the ultimate example and author of love, justice, and truth.
** If you do not have a Bible and need one contact us and we will be sure to get one out to you. If you are unsure where to start reading I suggest the book of Proverbs. **
We are created by God– for God and the society we live in today is promoting self love, self truth, and self identity ultimately leading to themselves being their own god. Many of the agenda’s being pushed by society and some ‘christians’ are simply NOT Biblical.
Self affirmation attacks and victimizes one’s self–stirring up the emotions of needing to hear and feel like one is ‘enough’ or that we are ‘perfect just the way we are’.
Listen to today’s podcast on FaithAnchored Speaks. Where I talk about the power and fruit of our words and how what we think and speak are connected.
This episode covers the reading of Matthew 12:33-37 and talks about the power and fruit of the words we speak.
I also read Chapter 3 from my debut book Change Your Focus Change Your Future: Positive and Negative Mindsets which talks about the connection between what we think and what we speak.
..For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (vs.34)
FaithAnchored Speaks on priorities and acting now.
Tomorrow never truly comes, it will always be tomorrow. Don’t let the time get away from you. There is a time and season for everything.
Listen to my podcast on FaithAnchored Speaks about Love is NOT Love. Discover the difference between worldly love and God’s love.
Click the Photo to listen.
It is 2020 and the world seems to have lost its’ mind. From a global pandemic that caused a shortage of toilet paper– to riots, looting, and pure hatred for our president as well as accusations of a stolen election.
Hatred is at an all time high in America– we are slowly going from the United States of America to the Divided States of America.
There are many in our country who are pushing to turn things of evil into things that are acceptable and good. This comes from a place of pride, selfishness, and lack of knowledge of the truth in God’s Word.
Those who claim to be Christian are under great scrutiny right now. The world is watching every step we take and using our imperfect if we actions to draw conclusions about our perfect and loving Savior- Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us that the world will hate us– just as they hated Jesus. Jesus faced many attacks during His time here and warns us that we are ‘no better than our master’. Meaning we should acknowledge that they hate us because we are not of the world– we are of Christ– who the world also hated. If we were of the world- they would love us.
If we are faithful servants and believer’s of Jesus Christ the questions is not if the hate and attacks will come, but when.
John 15 goes on to tell us that we are not alone– they hated Jesus without a cause– and they will do the same to us.
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
We need to be prepared with the knowledge of truth in the gospel, so that when the attacks come– we can defeat each one in the name of Jesus. The Bible warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that in the last days perilous (full of danger or risk, exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin) times will come.
Perilous Times and Perilous Men
3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
The Man of God and the Word of God
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Are you prepared with the gospel of truth, and ready to take a stand for Jesus?
We are living in the last days and the hatred for the truth in God’s Word is growing. Many are putting their personal feelings as priorities over the truth- removing God from many areas of our life.
I have been told we must keep the separation of church and state as the reason as to why their feelings or ways are being discriminated against. I can agree there should be a separation of church and state but NOT a separation of Jesus and state– these are two completely different things.
One is a building with religious practices and rules; where as the other is a relationship and foundational base of our country. All moral principles and laws were made based on the truth in the Bible. (stealing is illegal, lying is wrong, cheating/adulatory is wrong, we are to respect our elders, and forgive those who have hurt us– the list could go on)
The Bible is our foundational truth– the truth that people should be using as their source to ‘fact check’ anything. Without the compass of truth and morals– there would be no laws to follow.
I encourage you today to start preparing yourself for the day Jesus returns. Prepare yourself for the battles that lie ahead and equip yourself with the truth of God’s Word.
If the world hates you because of your relationship with Jesus- you are not alone- pick up your cross and keep pushing forward. Fight for what is good and right according to the word of God.
Thank you for sending Jesus to be by my side and to go before me in each battle I face. Thank you for Your guidance through Your Word on the hatred in the world and the last days we are living in. I confess that I have allowed the hatred of others to affect my relationship and walk with You- forgive me Lord- and expose to me any hatred I am holding in my heart. Bring every thought and action in accordance with Your will for my life. I pray You would be my strength when I am weak and that in You I will run and not grow weary when standing against the hatred in the world. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.
God did not design us with a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind. Fear is a liar, and from the enemy himself. The truth about fear is that everyone experiences it throughout their life. It is how we handle the fear when it creeps in that determines its effect on our lives.
Wikipedia describes fear and its cause like this…
Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. (Fear – Wikipedia)
Fear can stop us in our tracks, it can prevent us from ever starting something, it can keeps us stuck where we are, and can destroy our lives if we do not overcome it. Just as you read Wikipedia state fear is a feeling that is induced by perceived danger or threat.
Notice that the definition says perceived danger.. perceived means to interpret or look on in a particular way. So fear comes as a feeling that each person gets from how they interpret a situation as a danger or threat, this does not mean it is actually dangerous or an immediate threat.
This means that more likely than not, whatever it is that you are fearing, is not worth fearing at all. Change your perception and thoughts about the situation and see if you still find the circumstances as a danger or threat.
If you find that you are still feeling fearful, but do not see an immediate danger or threat, then I encourage you to do it afraid, as Joyce Meyer would say.
If you struggle with feelings of fear over any area in your life, it is important to remember that God tells us to ‘fear not’. The Bible also tells us that God is with us wherever we go. Fear is a liar and wants to hold us back from our God given purpose and destiny. We cannot let fear control our actions and ultimately our life.
One of the struggles I face today is to ‘go’ when God calls me to go. I have a fear of not being good enough, not being able to effectively share His Word, a fear of rejection and failure, and in the past I feared God was mad at me.
I realize that these fearful feelings are NOT from God. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel them, but it does mean I must put my fearful feelings in check with God’s Word and not allow them to stop me from following His lead.
What is God saying to you today about fear?
Do you feel God is calling you to take a stand against your fearful feelings?
What is the definition of fear? Perceived?
Call to Action
Determine the reason you are fearful in a situation… is the fear from a perceived danger or an actual danger or threat.
Pray and ask God to help you ‘do it afraid’.
Don’t let fear stop you from fulfilling your purpose and chasing your dreams.
Thank you Lord for your unfailing love, patience, and understanding. Thank you Lord for another wonderful day to rejoice and praise Your Holy name! Lord, I confess that I have allowed fear to stop me in the past from doing something I felt called to do. Lord the fear can be so paralyzing at times and the perceived danger seems so real. God help me to discern when circumstances are truly dangerous and when it is a ploy from satan to try to stop my growth in You. Lord I pray that You alone would be our strength and courage. Help us Father to be bold and courageous in Your name, pushing forward, putting every lie from satan under our feet and glorifying Your kingdom! Lord, help us to choose faith and courage over fear and disobedience it is in Jesus mighty name I pray.