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.

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Sharing From The Desk of Teresa Allissa Citro

trust-me

While I was walking down River Street, Savannah today, I was praying and asking God a question. Actually, I found myself having an attitude.

Yes, I know all about not getting upset with God. God already knows our hearts, thoughts, and actions before we even do. So, I told him, God I already know I’m wrong, and I’m sorry but I just don’t like You putting me on this road. What are you doing? It feels very scary to me.  I don’t like being here, and I’m confessing I’m mad.  Don’t make me look like an idiot, please. As if God didn’t already know what was in my heart!

Obviously, the road I was talking about wasn’t River Street. Let me tell you, God spoke to me immediately. His response was quick, to the point, and with a warning. Clear as day he told me, “I put you on this road.  I’m leading you.  Keep walking in it, and do not go your own way. Trust Me even if it feels scary to you.  I have already shown you My will. Obey me. I did not say it would make sense to you. I told you to walk in it. And by the way, you have no right being angry.  You are the one in the wrong.  Keep on this path, and do not divert from it.  Do not miss your blessing by allowing yourself to be deceived by your anger.  Do not miss my perfect will for your life because of your attitude.  If you go your own way I promise it will bring you misery. Stop complaining, and trust that my way is better than your way.”

I got in the car, and about three hours later, I got a text from a friend I hadn’t heard in a while. Justin read the text as I was driving. I called my friend back, and he asked me how I was doing.  I told him I was disappointed in something and was feeling frustrated by it.  He listened and then said, “I know you didn’t ask for my opinion, but I’m going to offer it to you anyway. You have got to trust the process! God knows what He’s doing.”  He didn’t know what my problem was nor what God already told me.  In fact, I never told him what the problem was or what God told me.  I was about to cry when he said what he said because I knew God had him text me to drive home what God told me three hours earlier.

I’m sharing with you because I’m not alone in feeling disappointed or angry that things don’t always go our way.  But it’s here we make the biggest mistakes. God says, “Be angry but don’t sin in your anger.” How exactly do we sin? We sin when we decide to play God in our own lives and go against His perfect will.  We get into trouble when we allow the emotions to take over common sense and our faith walk in what God said He would do.  Remember Jonah?  We all know how he got swallowed by a large fish. He knew the will of God. Yet, he decided to go against it and go the opposite direction of where God told him to go. We are not any different.  Jonah got angry, and in anger, he sinned. I can’t imagine how terrified he was in the fish’s belly.  Eventually, he repented and God forgave him. God made that fish spit him out exactly at the city God wanted him to go to in the first place.  Had he listened he wouldn’t have found himself in the belly of a fish in the middle of an ocean.  We can find ourselves in the middle of an ocean if we are not careful, too.

Let me wrap it up and say courageous faith doesn’t complain, doesn’t get angry during the “trust process.”  It simply has faith the God of the universe is able to keep him whose hope and trust is in His God.

Whatever your struggles, disappointments, or trials, trust the process. God loves courageous faith.  Don’t be Jonah.  What a huge contrast to Abraham a man that lived by faith.  Abraham Is a great role model of courageous faith.

God wants to increase our faith and the only way He can is to put us through tests. Trusting the process means no matter how painful the trial is, our faith in God isn’t shaken and we don’t become angry in the test process. We trust a living God who will see us through the trials victoriously.

Breakthroughs happen when we let go and let God do what He does best -lead our lives His way.

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

Set Your Face Like Stone

 
big-heart“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7

We, as children of God, have one resolve to make every single day, as long as we have breath, which will affect our eternal destiny. That resolve is to know God more and more, study His Word, obey Him, and seek His face. Nothing else is of greater importance.

 

A Most Beautiful Time of Year

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A MOST BEAUTIFUL TIME OF YEAR

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In this Christmas Season,

Let us not forget about

The Greatest Gift God ever gave us,

And that gift is JESUS CHRIST.

Do you have room in your heart & in your celebration

for the One Christmas is about?

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.  The government will rest on his shoulders.  And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His government and its peace will never end.  He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.  The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

Isaiah 9:6-7

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All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

Isaiah 7:14

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May You Have A Very Blessed Holiday Season

& A Very Merry Christmas!

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Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Psalm 101 -About That Integrity

integrity

PSALM 101

I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.

Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.

I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.

No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.

Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
from the city of the Lord.

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