Good news!!! I just released a free song called “Stay Lit” which is about how it is too easy to say you’re a Christian who believes in Jesus, while hating and discriminating other people who seem unworthy of your love. Referencing Matthew 5:16, I expounded on the fact that our Father warmly embraces ANYONE who worships Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24). For me, staying lit is to stay on fire in Christ and shine your light for God’s glory. Now, the question that’s been burning in my heart all week up until the release of this song may make some people upset. Although I'm aware of this, I feel really lead to put it out here: What if staying lit for God meant remaining separate (2 Corinthians 6:14-17) from the people, culture, and traditions we love so much (Luke 9:60-62)? What if staying lit for God required of us to go through an Abraham-Isaac ultimatum (Genesis 22)?
What do you mean Nerva?
Have you ever saw a campfire light up a forest? Or lights in your home light up several rooms? Something must give. Wood must be burnt for that campfire to brighten that forest. Suchlike, money is sacrificed to keep the lights on in a home. Guys, we are called to be separate. That’s within our homes, community, and on-forth. It can be a struggle getting it right as we strive to live righteously, but what this means for us during these days is, there are some letting go required of us. We will have to burn away old, comfortable, and familiar ideas or lifestyles to see something spark. How can we be connected in one area while being in God’s will in another area at the same time (Matthew 6:24)? Are we lit for God? Are we on fire for kingdom business (Luke 2:49), or are we allowing certain connections or distractions to put out our flame (Revelation 3:15-16)?
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. - Ephesians 5:11
Be careful who you let in your circle (Proverbs 13:20, 1 Corinthians 15:33). I mean, very careful! Even the most fervent believer can find their love for God grow ice-cold if they are not careful (Matthew 24:12). Here’s the reality: Everyone you love doesn’t love you, especially if they don’t know love (1 John 4:8), and just because someone is friendly doesn’t make them a good friend. Sometimes the people we thought were “friends” will do you wrong quicker than an enemy. Who else is close enough to know how to harm you? But that’s not my point here. Someone harming you doesn’t even have to be intentional on their part (Luke 23:34), for the effect thereof to suddenly start smothering your vision and putting out your fire. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like we’re living in times where it’s getting harder to know who’s for you unless you’re being lead solely by God (Matthew 6:33, Matthew 7:15-23, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 1 Timothy 4:1).
Paul did inform the Ephesians, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Again, be very careful who you let in your circle. There are spiritual workers of Satan everywhere and at any moment someone can be used against you by Satan (Mark 8:33). Truthfully, everyone isn’t a child of God (Romans 8:13). We may not wrestle against flesh and blood, however, there are agents among us who have chosen (Joshua 24:15) to be workers (1 John 3:8) and children of satan (John 8:37-47).
I write this message in love and with the upmost concern for those who disregard the Word of God. I’m not exempt from being imperfect (Romans 3:23) and needing the grace of God through one savior, Jesus Christ, who is the only one that can save me from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9). For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10). I still cannot keep the whole law and even if I could, then would I need Christ (Galatians 2:21)?
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. - 1 Timothy 1:12-15
Yep, that’s right! Remember Jesus warning His disciples about those ravening wolves in sheep clothing (Matthew 7:15)? I was once, and not too long ago that guy. I still cringe when I think about my mistakes, however, I admit that I was the fakest, super religious, and most hypocritical, lukewarm believer walking on earth. And any moment I decide to turn my back on Jesus I won’t be too far from falling in that pit again; where I become an enemy of the cross (Philippians 3:18-19). But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6). I am a living testimony of how much God hates sin (Romans 2:12-15), but loves sinners (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5). I wondered away from God and He disciplined me until I returned. Now, I am forgiven and reestablished in my relationship with God.
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. - Psalm 86:15
Does this mean we should stop loving others with the love of Christ (Matthew 5:43-46, Galatians 6:10)? Of course not! Just because you don’t agree with someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean you hate them, just as much as correction doesn’t mean God wants to take the fun out of life. We must continue to pray for those who won’t accept the fact that the Word of God will forever remain the final authority and it’ll never change even if it never changes the hearts of disobedient believers and unbelievers.
I ask, “How long will we remain silent without taking a stand because we’re too afraid of looking like the bad guy preaching Truth?” We must stand boldly and be the light in this dark world. Jesus didn’t teach the disciples about shaking the dust off their feet for entertainment purposes (Mark 6:11-12). No, I am not perfect, however I do strive to be (1 Peter 1:16) ever since recommitting my life to Jesus. I do not look forward to being used by satan anymore (1 Peter 5:8-9) and I certainly don’t look forward to being yoked with someone who enjoys doing Satan’s dirty work (Amos 3:3). Don’t let satan use you (Ephesians 4:27).
I’m done being afraid of cutting people off when I’m clearly being lead to trust God by letting go and walking away (even if I had to lose everything and everyone I consider dear to me; Even if I must be thrown in jail, or martyred). This world is temporal, however being sentence to hell, apart from God for eternity because of my unrepentant sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11); because I denied Christ on earth (Luke 12:8-9), lasts forever. As much as people can become our idols, I’m constantly learning that It is not difficult to find yourself being either let down by those same people or misled, so I put my trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-7, Psalms 118:8).
Does this mean that all people are bad? Yes, we all suck without Jesus (Jeremiah 17:5-10, Romans 3:11, 23, 2 Corinthians 5:21) and that’s the beauty of it all. No man can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9) or share God’s glory (Isaiah 42:8). So, He came down to earth from heaven as God in the flesh to prove that there is only one way to eternal salvation (John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5-6) and to those who will receive the gospel of Christ and believe it with their heart and mouth shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Now, who will endure until the end (Matthew 24:13, 1 John 5:4)?
Are you lit?
Jesus keeps me lit for kingdom work and I refuse to let the systems of this world or any harmful relationship to put out my fire for God’s glory! Stay Lit. Be ready (Matthew 25:1-13)!
“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” - Luke 12:35-40
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. - Matthew 5:10-16
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus for dying for my sins! I repent, and I accept my call even if that means a righteous path can oftentimes feel like a lonely one (Matthew 7:13-14). I know I am not alone. Lord Jesus, I ask you to show me my heart on this journey; show me where I need improvement to be a better friend from your perspective. Please, shut every door that shouldn’t be open before I walk through another door with anything or anyone that will bring me down or detour me from my purpose (Revelation 3:7-8). Amen!