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The “wicked”… Who are they?

 

Dictionary.com gives the following definitions for the word wicked: 
1. evil or morally bad in principle or practice; sinful; iniquitous:

wicked people; wicked habits.
2. mischievous or playfully malicious:

These wicked kittens upset everything.
3.distressingly severe, as a storm, wound, or cold:

a wicked winter.
4. unjustifiable; dreadful; beastly:

wicked prices; a wicked exam.
5. having a bad disposition; ill-natured; mean:

a wicked horse.
6. spiteful; malevolent; vicious:

a wicked tongue.
7. extremely troublesome or dangerous:

wicked roads.
8. unpleasant; foul:

a wicked odor.
9. Slang. wonderful; great; masterful; deeply satisfying:

He blows a wicked trumpet.

10. Slang. very; really; totally:

That shirt is wicked cool.
But what does the Bible tell us about wicked people? 
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Psalm 119:53 describes the wicked as those who have forsaken the law of God.  Psalm 119:155 describes them as those who do not seek out God’s decrees.  In Psalm 141, David describes them as those who are evildoers.  Acts 2:23 tells us that Jesus was put to death on the cross as God’s plan and with the help of wicked men.  And in Acts 3:26, we read about Peter preaching that God “raised up His servant” in order to “bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
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To put it simply, the wicked are those who do not obey God, those who choose to ignore Him.  We are being wicked if we choose to not spend time with the Lord, but we have plenty of time for watching television or going shopping or spending time with friends.  We’re being wicked when we choose to stay in bed on Sunday instead of going and worshipping with other believers as the Bible tells us to do in Hebrews 10:25.  Ignoring God sums up the word wicked.
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Ignoring God sums up the word wicked.
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Look up the word wicked in your own concordance and see how God feels about “the wicked.”  If you’ve been ignoring God, seek Him out and ask for forgiveness, ask Him to give you a stronger desire for His presence, and begin today to turn from being one of the wicked.  God wants a relationship with you. He loves you.
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There’s a big problem in the world today and it seems to be an outright epidemic here in the United States.  Christianity has become more of a hobby than a serious way of living every single day of life.  Church has become a social club full of entertainment for the masses.  This is a far cry from what our Bible tells us life should look like when following Christ.  This whole situation scares me, to be honest.  I cannot fathom a worse nightmare than to die and find myself facing Jesus, the King of Kings, and hear Him say to me, “Away from me, you evildoer!”

(“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of m Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘ I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’  Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:21-24)    

Can you just imagine standing there and having Jesus say that to you?  I simply cannot handle the thought of that.  Yet, so many will experience exactly that.  They don’t have to… and they’ve been told by Jesus Himself that it can happen and what to do to prevent it, but still… it’s not getting through to people. I used to be one of those people who didn’t understand this very simple thing.  I went to church with my dad as a kid and heard all the same church sayings many others hear – still today even. And I believed it all. Hook, line, and sinker. I thought…. surely THAT many people must have it right after all! Regardless of the fact that the very Word of God tells us that FEW will find the narrow gate…..

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14

I got uncomfortable when that passage crossed my path and it would send me running straight back to my excuse bag, or my feel better about myself bag, or my great big ole bag of Christian lies – a gift from Satan himself given to all who will take it.

 “Yeah but alllllllll those people can’t be wrong and besides…. God is a loving God and Jesus died for my sins and I believe in Him so yeah…. relax…. it’s not about what I do… cause that would be works and didn’t Sue and George say that we can’t ‘work’ for our own salvation anyway?  Yes, they sure did and yeah they can’t all be wrong so I’m good… I mean I was baptized  when I was 12!  So yeah… Surely, it’s all good?  Oh yes, I’m a good person too…  I help people and besides…  have you heard what Johnny did last week?  I would NEVER do THAT so yeah… I’m good.  And we go to church too, especially at Easter and Christmas cause that’s the important days anyway.  You know how churches today are… full of hypocrites and besides… a lot of times I’m just too busy, but Jesus loves me and it’s not about what I do!  Remember?!!!  I have a personal relationship with Jesus and I read my Bible (well sometimes… but sometimes I do get so sleepy when I try and it’s hard to understand…. you know?) and just last week I prayed for everyone I know!  But that ‘organized religion’ stuff just isn’t for me cause I’ve been hurt by church.  People that go to church just look down on you anyway.  They judge you and decide who you are before they even know you cause you know…. they’re just hypocrites n all.  They sin too anyway, just differently than I do – we all live in sin and can’t help it.  We just can’t help it.”  

Sound familiar????  Heard any of those nifty little sayings/excuses?  Said a few of them yourself perhaps?  I spent years with all that mess and then some! I’ll never forget the day that God, in all His loving kindness, nudged me and said, ‘There’s more to it.”

I was in our laundry room, ironing my husbands pants, and thinking about the whole ‘being saved’ thing.  I was going round and round in my mind with the whole idea of  a person being able to pray a little prayer one day and then go on back to living life any ole way they wanted to, making up excuses for living in continual sin,  and how that just did not seem even close to being right.  I talked with a few people (who were basically in the same position as me) and they all tried to convince me that, of course, that’s the way it works cause well…. you know…  Jesus died for our sins and did all the work for us etc… and so on.  Still…. something about it all was bothering me.  I prayed and asked God to please show me the TRUTH.  HIS TRUTH.  Not what I wanted to hear, but the real truth – even if that meant big ole hard changes in my life.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

I started seeking and He helped me to find Him.  He keeps His promises!  I cannot begin to say how much has changed in my life.  He has turned everything upside in my life, in my husband’s life, and in my children’s lives.  I am not saying that life has become some awesome easy every day is great type of life.  Not hardly!  In fact, I would say that in some ways things are harder.  Harder based on the world’s standards and harder based on choosing Him over sin.  But is it worth it?  Ohhhh most definitely!!!  All of this here on earth that we think is going to bring us happiness – won’t and can’t.  Only Jesus will bring you permanent happiness.  His joy lasts regardless of your circumstances!  His joy is eternal without end.  His joy is worth everything and then some more!

Don’t settle for some version of nominal Christianity.  Truly seek and find Him and begin to live for Him the way the Word tells us to.  Best thing I’ve ever done.  Best thing you’ll ever do too.

You won’t regret it!

Is there anything that could possibly be more important in life than seeking and knowing the Lord and His forever kind of joy?

If you are interested in knowing more about Jesus, please feel free to contact me!  I would love to talk to you and introduce you to a life changing love with Jesus Christ! 

Quotes 307

 

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Did you know that sin breaks God’s heart?  Jesus dying for our sins did not make sin acceptable to God.  Actually, continuing in known sin, like it’s nothing – not a big deal, after having accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and accepting His death and blood on the cross as payment for your sins, is like stomping all over His cross and saying it was worth little, maybe even nothing to you.

 

You may say, “But D… it’s just so hard on me cause I love to (insert watch that tv show, listen to that music, read that kind of book, talk like that and so on…)______________!!!!!  I just don’t know if I can quit!!!”   God’s Word says differently.  We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:13  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.  ❤

 

Choosing your sin over the Lord Jesus breaks His heart.  It’s really that simple.  Jesus Himself tells us in John 14:15 “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”   And in 1 John 5:21 we’re warned – “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”  Choose Him instead of the world’s sin.  Choose life.

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Following Jesus’ Command to Make Disciples…

 

Let’s Get Practical. – Awesome blog that gives you great ideas on how you can go out and make disciples!

 

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Personal Disciple-Making Plan.

Can’t say enough good things about what David Platt and Francis Chan are doing in the area of encouraging people to get out there and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone possible.

I fully believe we need to get serious about sharing the truth and the love of Christ.  I hope you enjoy this blog post I’m sharing that can help you in this area of life that is soooooo very important.

Keep speaking…gently.

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The following is a post from a friend of mine on Facebook (Pastor Ken Smith). To me, it’s about God’s incredible power and how He knows exactly how the story needs to go, if only we’ll follow Him.

In Kroger I was meandering around the bakery working my way to the back of the store. Heard whistling an old song I haven’t heard in years coming from the aisle over… Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! I then started to sing.. not stupid loud but in a normal tone.. Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.

Then an old black man walks around the corner and he stops whistling and we just sing…

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

THIS IS MY STORY!!!! …..

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

THIS IS MY STORY!!!! THIS IS MY SONG! PRAISING MY SAVIOR ALL THE DAY LONG!

By the end we had most the folks in Kroger over by the bakery and deli. When done I simply told them… If you don’t know God, seek Him. He will let you find him. I hugged the old black man who had tears running down his face. Come to find out… he just buried his mamma who was 97 a few days ago. She had them sing that song at her funeral and it was stuck in his head. He used to be all about God but life, business success, well known,… all that sort of got in the way and God was now far away from his life. A while later, standing in the produce section… that old man found that blessed assurance now Jesus is his.

Look y’all… there is no recipe for witnessing to another about our Savior. Many times you just go where it goes. An old man whistling… a song being sung… even though it an odd place for that to happen… the kingdom grows by one. You don’t have to be fearless… it can be a scary thing. You just have to be willing to overcome the fear and open your mouth at any time. God still does strange things in very strange ways. I really didn’t even want anything in Kroger… just went in looking. Wasn’t a revelation… no voice of God saying go into Kroger… to be honest I wasn’t even particularly looking for the opportunity. He knew though… He knew.

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379455_469705126399165_1053964202_nJanuary 1, 2013.  That’s today.  Another year is gone and a new one is here.  I pray it’s a good one.

I noticed a trend on Facebook as we were on the downhill stretch towards the start of this brand new year.  A fairly large number of people were in agreement that 2012 was a bad year for them.  Seriously, it was a decent sized number of folks all extremely glad to see the end of what appeared to be a banner year of bad luck and unhappiness.  It seemed like people were focusing on everything bad that had happened to them over the past twelve months and only a precious few were thankful for the good things the Lord had done for them.

Thinking about this issue while browsing around some of my favorite blogs, I ran across a post with a great idea for keeping track of the blessings God gives us.  (Thank you – utesmile!)   jar Each and every time something good happens to you and your family, write it down on a slip of paper and stick it in a large jar, then at the end of the year go throuigh them all and thank the Lord for all the blessings He’s given you through that year.  I love it!

What a fun way to spend next New Years Eve!  It would be a great habit to start your children doing too.   We need to spend more of our time being thankful to the Lord for all He does for us and much less time concentrating on what we don’t have, didn’t do, or wish was different in our lives.

Ok, I’ve gotta run…. time to go find a large jar in which to cram all the blessing memory notes that I just know God is going to give me and my family this year!

Happy Beginning of 2013!!!

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If you’ve read very much of my blog then you know already how near and dear to my heart Make Way Partners is.  They work so very hard to help the widows and orphans in the world and they could use your help too.  Visit the link below and find out some of what they’ve done already and find out how you can be involved in helping to share Christ’s love.

http://www.makewaypartners.org/documents/MWPYearEndNewsletter2012forweb.pdf

Also, please visit the link below to change dot org and sign the petition to request that

UNSC, AU and US: Provide Civilian Protection in Sudan.

http://www.change.org/petitions/unsc-au-and-us-provide-civilian-protection-in-sudan-2?utm_campaign=action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

It’s amazing to read all that they have accomplished and I know you wouldn’t want to miss out on doing what you can to help them accomplish even greater things in the future!

Make Way Partners Mission Statement:

Make Way Partners is a Christian mission agency committed to prevent and combat human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery by educating and mobilizing the Body of Christ.

 “…he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.” Luke 4:18

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I saw this picture posted on Facebook and it really grabbed my attention.

This can be oh so hard… the world, and especially the culture of today, calls for us to compromise, to live in the gray areas we try to create for ourselves.  We try to rationalize our own known sin because we WANT to do it.  Then we attempt to assuage our guilt by getting self righteous and looking at others and their sins to make ourselves feel better. “Well, I’m not so bad cause look at So n So and what they’re doing! At least I’m not doing THAT!”  Doesn’t matter, never did.  God sees absolutely ALL OF IT – even what we may not see for ourselves quite yet. The Bible tells us in James 1:5-8If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Him, be sure your faith is in God alone.  Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.   You can’t live with one foot in with the “world” and one foot in with God.  It just doesn’t work that way, as the Lord is clearly telling us here in James.

It is of utmost importance that we get something straight and sooner, rather than later.  Jesus didn’t suffer and die so we could continue in our sins, doing whatever pleases us.  Far from it.  Don’t take my word for it though! Please don’t!  God’s own Word, the very book He gave to us in order for us to learn all we can about Him and from Him – The Bible – explains it to us quite well.

In Matthew 18:3 we are told by Jesus Himself – “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”   Jesus isn’t mincing words here.  Turn from your sins and become like little children (innocent) OR you will NEVER get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  We may not like it, it may seem harsh, but regardless, He’s pretty clear.  Jesus also tells us in Matthew 18:7-9 “So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet.  And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”   According to Jesus, we are better off if we cut off limbs and gouge out our very eyes, than we are if we sin.  That’s a pretty clear statement regarding sin!  Another statement Jesus made that tells is as plainly as possible is Matthew 7: 21-23 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.  On judgment day many  will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord!  We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”  That folks, is a dramatic and clear statement and no one can deny after reading it that turning from sin and obeying God’s laws is something Jesus wants and expects us to do. 

In Matthew 16:24-27 we’re told – “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?  Is anything worth more than your soul?  For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.”  The very definition of a Christian is to be a follower of Christ.  Jesus tells us to be one of His followers we must give up everything for Him. 

It’s heartbreaking, as well as quite terrifying, to me that for so many years I believed various things I was told about Jesus.  Things like:  Jesus is LOVING so He’ll not send me to Hell as long as I believe He’s saved me.  All you need to do is say the “Sinner’s Prayer” and then you’re Heaven bound no matter how you’re living.  You can’t “earn” salvation, so don’t worry about your sins.  Only God can “change” you, so just “believe you’re saved” and don’t try to change anything because that would be “works” and no one can “earn salvation” since it is a gift.  It sure was nice thinking I could say a simple little two minute prayer and then I could carry on living as if nothing happened and will still enter Heaven!  Were I to have died, it wouldn’t have been “nice” at all. My life and the way I lived proved only that Jesus wasn’t Lord of my life at all, thanks, in part, to my believing false teachers, but also thanks to the fact that I enjoyed some of my sins and didn’t want to give them up.

The Bible warns us of false teachings. Matthew 7:15-16“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.   You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

Please do not misunderstand me.  I’m not suggesting that we work for our salvation at all.  It is a free gift, no doubt about that.  However, where I messed up for many years, and where many others appear to be messing up, is in taking advantage.  Thinking that since Jesus paid for our sins with His very death, that it was okay to continue in sin – known sin, and to not fully love Him.

To truly love Jesus means to put Him first in our lives, as the Bible clearly tells us to, and I didn’t do that for a long time.  Oh, I had all sorts of convenient excuses…. “I’m busy and don’t have time to read my Bible cause I just have so much going on right now, I don’t like going to church, it’s full of hypocrites, well I’m only human so sure I’m gonna make mistakes, and no one is perfect except Jesus, but it’s okay cause Jesus died for me.”  There were plenty others too, but you get the point.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 23: 37- 38“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment”  Again, Jesus is clear in His teachings.  Put God first in your heart, in your soul, and in your mind. He doesn’t tell us to put God first, but only if it’s not going to interfere with your other plans, wants, or desires.  I can’t find Jesus saying that anywhere in the Bible!  

To truly love Jesus and put Him first in our lives means we’re to turn from sin and to do as God’s Word tells us.   James 1:22- 25 tells us – But don’t just listen to God’s Word.  You must do what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the Word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.  

To live a Godly life instead of a worldly life can be hard, of that there is no doubt, but God will help us.  In Galatians 5:16-25 we are told: So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealously, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.  Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things!  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.  

Yes, let’s do that.  With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can.  Amen!

I am so thankful that the Lord chose to keep after me until my eyes were opened to what is  real instead of leaving me to die in my sins.  Now, I seek Him daily and am more in love and alive than ever before in my life.  Giving it all up for Him isn’t like losing anything at all, it’s more like gaining everything and then some.  I am thankful to know Him and blessed by His amazing love.

You know what?  He loves YOU too!

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Numbers.  I’ve never been particularly good with them.  Even as a child in school, dealing with numbers wasn’t a favored task.  However, using numbers is a huge part of every person’s life.  They’re a source for many various types of information.  Some of which is good, some bad, often indifferent.  Statistics are used every single day to give people all over the world all sorts of information about all sorts of issues.

Numbers can be great when they tell us our favorite sports team just won a game or give us some other information that’s considered positive in our minds.  However, they can also make us feel bad, such as when we’re dieting and the numbers we see on the scale aren’t what we wish they were.  They can also fool us and deceive us.  They can even hurt people in need.

How can numbers hurt people in need? Quite simply, by making us feel that our efforts are worthless, and by making us feel that one person surely can’t be of that much help when the number of people in need is so very great.

Studies have shown that people will care, and therefore do, more for the plight of one child, than they will if the need is for a large group of people.  In our minds we can grasp the needs of a single family much easier than the needs of an entire country.   It seems that the larger the number in need is, the more numb our minds and hearts get.  It’s easier to depersonalize larger groups.  We can more easily  justify doing nothing when we feel that the need is so great we can’t personally fix it.  We often say that there is strength in numbers, but when it comes to poverty, larger numbers don’t give us strength at all and instead actually give only a sense of hopelessness.  .

However, in the Bible, God plainly tells us that even only one can accomplish much.  One can indeed save many.  One has saved all who care to take His offer of salvation as their own.

When the disciples brought it to Jesus’ attention that there were large numbers of people that were hungry and in need of food, Jesus told them simply, “You feed them.”   With faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, one can truly make a difference in the lives of many.  With Him helping us, we are capable of doing so much more than we could ever imagine.

You are one and yes you can make a difference.  All you have to do is choose to follow Him.

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