What God Calls Evil Is Evil

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.   For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” -Galatians 5:16-24

 

The Word of God has ONE meaning with MANY applications. Don’t twist the Word of God to make it fit your interpretation and fit your personal lifestyle. The Word of God can be used to apply in many ways, but it cannot be made to mean what you think it means.

Let’s take for instance Jesus sitting, drinking, and eating with the sinners. Yes, he did. However, He spoke to them against their behavior and sin. He did not participate in it. Nowhere in scripture will you find Jesus getting drunk or sinning. No, it’s not a sin to have a glass of wine.  It’s getting drunk that’s the issue and the problem. It’s engaging in things that will get you into trouble while you’re drunk.

Let’s talk about some of those stories. Zacchaeus the tax collector was the worst of sinners. Yes, Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree Jesus would eat with him at his home. Immediately, Zacchaeus repented and gave half his money to the poor and gave back the money to all those he cheated. In fact, all those he cheated received back their money plus four times the amount to make up for his sin. To the prostitute, Jesus told her to go and sin no more. He didn’t use her. He saved her from the stoning. To the woman at the well, Jesus told her to stop living with her unmarried husband and showed her what real love was by sitting with her, not by using her. Jesus had compassion for her, not disgust. To the religious leaders he told them to stop their pretend living, and to those who were disrespectful to in the LORD’s house, Jesus overturned their tables. He had no pity for them. Their hearts were cold as stones; they did evil before God by their double lives as they believed one way but acted another way. They were pretenders and had no intentions of living right before God and then would persecute those who were doing what they were doing in secret.

He constantly spoke against injustice, prejudices, and hate. He showed us how to stand for truth, love, and respect others. He in no way showed us or taught us to accept sin, condone it, or hide it. We have never been given the right to judge anyone. We have been given the right to know right from wrong and act appropriately. We love people, but we don’t engage in their sins. Simple as that. Love, and don’t engage.

Let me bring it home clearly. I’m not going to hate those that go out drink, get drunk, and then engage in doing stupid and harmful things to themselves and others. At the same time, you will not find me anywhere near their presence. This does not mean I’m not going to help anyone who wants to change their behavior and turn their lives around. I’m in to help in any way I can. They will never hear me say I approve, condone, or will ever participate with them in that behavior nor will I allow myself to be manipulated by them. They will hear me say I will help them, but they must give up their drinking and get their lives straightened up. This means getting a whole new set of friends who are not engaging in sinful behaviors. They need to stop the negative behavior and change their mindsets.

Please understand clearly the difference between loving people and agreeing with behaviors God says are sinful. Jesus preached about love, but He never allowed those who came in contact with Him to continue in their sin. He told each one, “Go and sin no more!” I cannot and will not agree with sin, or those who willingly want to continue in their destructive ways. Imagine a judge allowing someone who drinks and drives to continue willfully driving while drinking. It’s nonsense! No judge, even a corrupt one, would ever allow it.

Please understand the meaning of scripture before posting and sharing things that promote lies, hate, and prejudices. We are all held responsible before God on what we say and what we do.

Stand strong in truth, love, and justice. We have the highest judge looking at us from Heaven. We love people, hate the sin, and pray for those who are caught up in false understanding, knowledge, and false teachings coming from pulpits and religious leaders as in Jesus’ days who manipulated and distorted truths for their personal gains.

Jesus was not understanding and kind to them. He overturned their tables and called them snakes. This is what He had to say to those evil religious leaders, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Can you say, “Ouch?” Be very careful what you say and do. My personal rule. I love, respect, and do good to all who come in contact with me. However, I will not condone, hide, or accept sins in any way or form. This is my lifestyle. I choose better for myself and model right living for my children and those who watch me.

Be strong leaders by words and actions. Don’t be manipulated to do wrong and evil. So many people are hurting. Some at the hands of evil people, others by choice. Whoever comes in contact with you, lead by the word of God and by the power of His Spirit living in you. We are to bring hope and a desire with them to seek after the God who loves them and desires to fill them with real joy, love, and peace!

Teresa Allissa Citro,
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Our Response Can Only Be

stand-redeemed


For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”  -Romans 5:10

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”  -2 Corinthians 5:15

Our chains are gone, and we’ve been set free.  We’ve been bought with a high price; That price being Christ dying on the cross, shedding His blood for us.  Since Christ made the ultimate sacrifice, His sacrifice is infinitely greater than any sacrifice or offering ever made.  Before God, we stand redeemed, are reconciled to and restored by God.

After all the Lord has done, our response can only be, “Thank You, Lord, for setting me free to live for You.  I’m Yours, O Lord.  Do with me as You will.”

Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.

 

You Are A Servant of God

 

MATTHEW 20

Jesus Teaches about Serving Others

20 Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. 21 “What is your request?” he asked.

She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”

22 But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?”

“Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

23 Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We Don’t Know When So Continue To Do The Work of The Father

JESUS COMING BACK

We’ve all read it in the Bible, and we’ve heard it preached: Jesus is coming back! But we don’t know when He is coming back. Are you ready? What do you need to do to get ready? Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? What will happen to you when He does come back and you have not accepted Him? Is your name written in The Book of Life? Matthew 24:36 states that no one knows when Jesus will return, not the angels, not Jesus, only God knows, literally.

MATTHEW 24.36
It is also written that many will say they are the Messiah returned, that they are the Christ. Do not be fooled as they will try and trick you with their miracles. Even the very elect can be fooled.
We are to be so in tuned to God so we won’t be deceived.  How do we do that? It’s a matter of living, breathing,  dwelling and being totally focused on God, not just knowing His Word, but being completely engulfed in Him in every conceivable way.

We cannot be like those of Sodom and Gomorrah,  drunk, lost in idolatry and perverse things. For when we are involved with such, we won’t know what hit us when He does come back. And when we finally realized what has happened, it will be too late. Be on guard, be prepared, always watching,  dwelling in His Truth and spreading the Gospel to all who will listen.

Ruth Strait
Vice President,
Thread of Hope, Inc

Are You Ready?

COMING SOON 9


JESUS IS COMING BACK SOON…


For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. -Matthew 24:27


As fast as lightning strikes, as quick as we blink our eyes, in just a mere second, our lives can change. And in that same amount of time so will our Savior’s return will be. Do you really know if you are going to heaven?

We, as Christians, will meet Jesus in the sky when He comes back. What do you think you’ll be doing? Do you know that you know you will be caught up in the sky with Him?


Jesus IS coming back, Dear Friends!


We don’t know the time or the place.

We must be like the night watchman always vigilant, always on guard.

Get ready, stay on guard, keep your eyes on Him who reigns for we know not when He is to return for His people.

Ruth Strait
Vice President,  Thread of Hope, Inc.

Easier For The Camel

The Camel Has An Easier Time Going Through The Eye Of A Needle Than A Heart & Mind Consumed By The Things Of This World!

…and that is what happened with the Rich Young Ruler.

Image result for photo of eye of the needle at judgment gate at jerusalem's old wall

Eye of the Needle

“Someone came to Jesus with this question: ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” ‘Why ask me about what is good?’ Jesus replied. ‘There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.’  ‘Which ones?’ the man asked.  And Jesus replied: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery.  You must not steal. You must not testify falsely.  Honor your father and mother.  Love your neighbor as yourself.’  I’ve obeyed all these commandments,’ the young man replied. ‘What else must I do?’  Jesus told him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’  But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.  Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!'” Matthew 19:16-24

Materialism, wealth, power, vain ambition…  Things of this world, if we let them, can cloud our vision and take over our thinking to the point where they become idols replacing God and taking first place in our lives.

The Rich Young Ruler had many possessions, not wanting to give them up when Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”

Nothing should ever take God’s rightful place in our lives.  Seek Him always, and seek Him first.  Is there something you have to give up?  Is there something God wants you to do?  Then let God be first in your life, and do not resist the call of the Holy Spirit.

King David said it best in Psalm 139: 23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Submit to God today.  Whatever it is that has replaced God in your life, turn it over to Him and let Him put you back on the right path again, letting Him be the One who directs your path.

 Much love to you all,

Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.

 

 

Gospel of Luke

CROSS 2


LUKE 24:1-53


THE RESURRECTION

CROSS 3.jpg1 But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.

The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”

Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened.11 But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. 12 However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.

THE WALK TO EMMAUS

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles[c] from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”

19 “What things?” Jesus asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”

JESUS APPEARS TO THE DISCIPLES

35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.

41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.

44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations,[f] beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things.

49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

THE ASCENSION

50 Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. 53 And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.

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