GOD IS OUR STRENGTH

by Tammy Phillips
October 17, 2021

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 KJV)

When we finally realize that God is inside of us…
When we finally comprehend that He abides in us…
When we finally grasp that He lives in us…
When we finally get that we can do nothing in and of ourselves…
When we finally understand that God alone is our power source…
When we finally recognize that God is our strength…
When we finally take hold of that it is all Him and not us…
When we finally believe that God is who He says He is, He can and will do what he says He will do, then we can boldly believe…

WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES US THE STRENGTH TO DO IT because it is not us doing it anyway.  It is God inside us. It is not us!  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20 NIV)

When the Word says God is our strength,  this is not one a one-word arsenal.  The word  strength throughout the Bible can mean might, power, authority, ability, fierce, bold, courageous, obstinate, established, fixed, a steadfast mind, comfort, repaired, refreshed, riches, wealth, hold up, and resolute in one direction.  These are all things that God gifts us with  to strengthen us.

When our bodies are weak and our minds are cloudy, God is the strength.
When we have no physical strength left, He steps in and holds us up.
When we think we cannot take one more step, He tells us think different, it’s Me not you.
When we are not sure if we can stand any longer, He encourages us to be resolute.
When we are at the end of our rope and barely hanging on, Jesus says, “Have faith in God.”

The LORD has been the source of power the whole time.  We were just  temporarily fooled into believing that we had something to do with it. 

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

The Lord is my strength and my  victory. (Exodus 15:2)

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  (Isaiah 40:29)

He renews our strength. (Isaiah 40:3)

He will strengthen, help, and hold us up.  (Isaiah 41:10)

“The LORD my Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights! ” (Habakkuk 3:19 CSB)

His power is at work in us. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

He comforts our hearts, establishes, and strengthens  us in every good word and work. (2 Thessalonians 2:17)

He is faithful who shall establish, strengthen, and keep us from evil. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

He himself makes us strong and establishes us.  (1 Peter 5:10)

He did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

He gives us strength to do everything! (Philippians 4:12)

I encourage you to “seek the LORD and His strength, seek his face continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:11 KJV). It is His strength which gets us through each day.   It is He alone who heals, completes, and saves us. When we cry out, He answers.  He makes us BOLD IN OUR SOUL with His strength. (Psalm 138:3)

“‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.'” (Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV)

Since nothing too hard for God, He gives us His strength, and nothing is too hard for us…in Him!  No hill is too hard to climb!  No mountain is too hard to move!  No obstacle is too big to overcome!  AMEN!  God is our strength!

IT DOES NOT GET EASIER; IT GETS BETTER

Kris running the 2021 APSU Scholarship 5k and running his personal best time. 10/2/21

by Tammy Phillips
October 16, 2021

“And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25 CSB)

My husband has always worked out like a fanatic because he wanted to eat whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.  Earlier this year, he decided to drink more water and really pay attention to what he was putting into his body.  He has transformed his body at 51 and lost close to 51.

He works out at Orange theory at least four to five days a week.  The work out is in circuits of rowing, cardio, and strength training. Trainees wear monitors that record and display real time results on screens in front of all.  The trainers push trainees through resting, easy, challenging, uncomfortable and All Out’s during the workout session. The coaches instruct when to push harder and when to pull back for recovery. The goal is to spend 12 minutes or more with an elevated heart rate in “The Orange Zone”  which  boosts metabolism, burns fat, and burns more calories.

Besides my husband being in great shape, he also is very competitive.  Imagine a muscular, military, twenty-ish young man coming to work out beside him.  I can hear Kris’ thoughts, “it is on.”  After the workout was complete, the “spent, younger man told my husband, “thanks for pushing me.”  My husband replied, “It does not get easier.  It gets better.” 

We often think that when we reach a goal, we win the prize, and the hard work is over.  Wrong! There will always be another hard road in front of us, another goal to achieve or another mountain to climb. However, there will also be the choice of the easy road, too.  The Word states:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 “Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV)

Think of it like this.  Nobody starts out running marathons.  A runner starts training with the first mile and that becomes easy.  The runner can keep running the easy mile or challenge himself to run a 5k or 3.1 miles  After the 5k, he may keep running 5k’s or decide to compete in a 10K (6.2 miles). The next step would  be to run a half marathon or 13.11 miles and then finally, a marathon or 26.3 miles.  The competition does not end there is always a harder race or an attempt for a personal best time.  Get the picture?  There is always a more challenging race to run, if we accept the challenge, keep growing and racing. 

Our focus scripture today instructs us to watch out for each other and to provoke each other to love and good works.  To provoke is the Greek word, paroxysmos, that means:  to make sharp; to stimulate; to spur on; to urge on; to stir up; to sharpen alongside.  The Greek word for encourage is parakaleō and it  means  to call near; address; implore; exhort; strengthen by consolation;  comfort; to call to one’s side. 

We all need people in our lives who tell us the truth and provoke us by saying:  “It does not get easier.  It gets better.” -Kris Phillips.  We need people in our lives who encourage us, “We are to take the obstructive path!” -Kristi Stephens.  We need Jesus to tell us to take the narrow gate.   

Each difficult road we take leads us higher and higher and makes us better and better.  We need each other to help us keep on keeping one. 

I enCOURAGE you to be that someone.  Watch out for your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Choose to sharpen and encourage them.  Get together.  Meet together.  We all need each other.  We cannot be our best, nor successful in our journey…alone.   Hebrews 10:25 tells us we were meant to do life together.  As Jesus’ return draws nearer, we are to encourage each other “ALL THE MORE.”  Things are going to get tougher.  Trials will get harder. We should decide to  promote each other to endurance, perseverance, and diligence.  It’s what the word says to do.

RESPECT ALL

by Tammy Phillips
October 15, 2021

“Honor all [people]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17 NKJV)

“HONOR ALL.”

HONOR

  • Regard with respect
  • Fix the value of
  • Prize

ALL

  • Every
  • Any
  • Everyone
  • Everything

Prize all people.  Respect all people.

We are to value the one who cut us off in traffic?
We are to prize all who hurt us?
We are to honor all who rejected Jesus?
We are to respect all who have attempted to cancel justice and righteousness?
We are to honor all who have slandered us?
We are to prize all who persecute us?
We are to honor the person who attempted to destroy our marriage?
We are to respect all who targeted innocent victims?

Yes, because until ALL take their last breath there is a chance for them to turn to the Lord.  If we don’t believe that ALL have some redeeming value, we will not work to share Jesus with them.  We are to love all, forgive all and honor all.

I don’t know about you but this one is a hard one to chew.  It is what Jesus did.  Paul who pursued, persecuted, and murdered Christians was prized by God.  He chose Him and used Him to turn the world upside down for Jesus.  The LORD valued us and saved us.  Our sins are no cleaner than anyone else’s.  Jesus paid the same price for ALL sins and ALL people. 

“LOVE THE BROTHERHOOD”

LOVE

  • Be fond of
  • Prefer
  • Wish well

THE BROTHERHOOD

  • Brothers and sisters in Christ
  • The Christian Fraternity
  • The Christian Family
  • Born again of the same Father God

 “Love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 KJV)

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:11 KJV)

 “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God [must] love his brother also.” (1 John 4:21 NKJV)

Church hurt is some of the worst hurt.  We expect that we should all love well in the family of God, but that does not always happen.  We are all in different spaces and places with the Lord on our journey.  As children of God, we are on the path to learn to love well like Jesus and that can look different.

  • Brothers are rejected because tattoos.
  • Sister are shunned because they don’t wear the right clothes.
  • Brothers and sisters are unwelcomed because of divorce.
  • Brothers are blackballed because of past or current sins.
  • Sisters are cancelled because one wears a mask, and one doesn’t.
  • Brothers are ostracized because they got the vax or did not get the shot.
  • The brotherhood is snubbed for so many reasons.
  • The Word tells us to love unconditionally.

Still chewing on this word from Lord.  How about you?

“FEAR GOD”

  • Revere God
  • Respect God
  • Be in awe of God.
  • Be amazed by God alone.

We have nothing to fear but God.  He is the only One who should make us shake in our boots because of His awesomeness.

“HONOR THE KING.”

HONOR

  • Regard with respect
  • Fix the value of
  • Prize

 THE KING

  • The leader of the people
  • The ruler of the land
  • The commander in chief

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Romans 13:1 NKJV)

“By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice.” (Proverbs 8:15 NKJV)

“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.” (Daniel 2:21 NKJV)

“The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.'” (Daniel 4:17 NKJV)

Honor the King. When the king, queen, president, prime minister, or leader of the country is not the leader you chose, we are still told to honor, respect, and value the king.  According to the multiple verses above, He nor she would be in the position, but God.   Our command?  Honor the King and pray for the leaders.

“Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NKJV)

 In the United States, we can all be united in one thing.  Most of us have been unhappy with leadership over the past two years in one way or another.  Many did not like Trump, and many did not like Biden.  Over the two-year span in the country, we have differed on our opinions of the leadership.  According to the word, we are to honor and pray.   Yes, this is really hard to chew.

The ten words of 1 Peter 2:17 have really challenged me and I suspect I will chew on these for a while.  How about you?

I enCOURAGE you to join me and crucify your flesh.  Ask the Lord for help.  “Honor ALL [people].  LOVE the brotherhood.  FEAR GOD.  Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17 NKJV). Ouch! This one hurt!

PS…You don’t have to agree with me.  It is your choice.  However, if we choose to disregard the verses from today, we are disregarding the word of God and definitely not fearing Him.  And, Yes..I am having to ask for forgiveness.

YOU ARE SEEN

Sunrise in Clarksville today. I wonder what it looks like from heaven? Beautiful here.

by Tammy Phillips
October 14, 2021

The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.” (Psalm 33:13 NKJV)

I do not know which path the LORD took me down to even get me to this verse today.  Even though I ask Him what to share every day, I know He saw me struggling today.  Somedays, it is so easy.  Some days, I am given words a week in advance.  Sometimes, I have to trust Him with the word for the moment and that was today.  He looked down and saw me.  He sees you, too.

Do you ever walk into a party, work or even your home and feel invisible?  Do you feel lonely?  Do you feel unimportant?  Do you feel less instead of the most? Do you wonder if the Lord hears your prayers?  Do you question if the LORD even sees you?

  • THE LORD…
  • LOOKS
  • LOOKS INTENTLY
  • SHOWS REGARD
  • NOTICES
  • CONSIDERS
  • FIXES HIS MIND ON
  • CAREFULLY EXAMINES
  • THINKS ON WITH CARE
  • PONDERS
  • STUDIES
  • PAYS ATTENTION

He sees you.  He sees all.  He is looking for you and I know He sees you.  He says He does.   You are not invisible to Him.  You are not lost in the sea of seven billion.  He has His eye on YOU.  He loves and cares for YOU.  He is El Roi.  It is one of His names, The God who Sees!

“Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”” (Genesis 16:13 NKJV)

The above verse was an encounter Hagar had with the Angel of the Lord.  Hagar was feeling invisible and hated.  She had done what was asked of her.  She was pregnant and running away from her boss that absolutely despised her and treated her terribly.   The Angel of the Lord saw her, stopped her, talked to her, and turned her around.  She was seen and it changed her life.

I enCOURAGE you to stop running.  THE LORD SEES YOU right where you are.  He is in the middle of the struggle with you.   You cannot get away from His watchful and attentive eye.  He is thinking about you.  He wants you to turn your thoughts and prayers to Him.  He sees the way out and is willing to guide you through, if you just ask.   He wants to change your life and your situation, if you will allow Him.

 

 

 

THE LORD KNOWS

The LORD knows it’s fall and transforms nature to the most glorious colors.

by Tammy Phillips
October 13, 2021

THE LORD KNOWS the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:6 NKJV)

The LORD knows our ways. We should follow Him.

THE LORD KNOWS the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.” (Psalm 37:18 NKJV)

The LORD knows our days, our nights and every second we breathe. 
We should follow Him.

THE LORD KNOWS the thoughts of man,
that they [are] futile.” (Psalm 94:11 NKJV)

The LORD knows our thoughts are useless.  He lavishes us with useful thoughts.
He gives us the mind of Christ so that our thoughts can be transformed to His thoughts.

THE LORD KNOWS the thoughts of the wise,
that they are futile.”(1 Corinthians 3:20 NKJV)

The LORD knows He alone is wise, and we need all the help we can get

“Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:
THE LORD KNOWS those who are His,
and Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19 NKJV)

The LORD knows His children.  He knows us by name.  We are sealed in Him.  We are made righteous in Him.  We should run, revolt, and remove ourselves from all unrighteousness.  We should live worthy of the Name.

THE LORD KNOWS how to deliver the godly out of temptations
and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,”

(2 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

The LORD knows how to deliver the godly OUT of every temptation.    Temptation is like a river flowing fast and furious. The LORD sees and knows how to rescue us from the drift.  He knows what life preserver to throw at us to save us from being taken away by the roaring rapids of life.

THE LORD KNOWS.

I enCOURAGE you to follow the LORD.  Hold tightly to the LORD.  He knows the WAY, the DAY, the THOUGHT, and what to SAY.  He knows us and knows we need delivering.  He shows us the way and tells us how to pray, “Forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:4 KJV) The LORD KNOWS.

ASK GOD TO SHOW OUT

Sunset over the Cumberland, September 9, 2021

by Tammy Phillips
October 12, 2021

“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”” (Exodus 14:13-14 NKJV)

What God did for Moses, and Israel He will do for you.  He is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). I am not talking about asking God for signs and wonders.  I am talking about asking God for the impossible. 

My sisters in Christ inspire me.  We ask God for big. We ask God for bigger.  We ask Him for what seems impossible.  I want to brag on God. I want to give Him the glory He is due!   I want to share with you four different times in the past week that God has showed out and showed himself big in my sister’s lives.

  1. Last year, one sister wrote in her journal “My list of Impossibilities.” She numbered three things.God being God tackled her biggest ask first.  One impossible marked off the list.  Glory to God. 
  2. Another sister was having a retreat where she was meeting a new partner in her business that she had never met in person before.She wanted to warmly welcome the new partner with a yummy treat.  She asked God for help in picking the dessert.  The only thing that came to mind was Key Lime Pie.  When she presented the new partner with the pie, her response was, “How did you know?  I have been craving that Key Lime Pie.  It is my favorite.” 

  3. My mom wanted to gift a friend. She labored a little bit as to what present to give.  She did not waste much time before she turned to God for help. Immediately, Holy Spirit instructed her to gift a journal.

  4. One sis had a friend who got covid and was on a ventilator. On the 35th day in the hospital, hope for recovery seemed impossible.  She asked God to show out.  We asked God to step in.  Step by step Jehovah Rapha healed her and she is recovering.  She is off of meds and the ventilator.  Glory to God.

There are so many more God stories!  In the words of John, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (John 21:25 NKJV)

These might seem like little things to you, but they were big things to my sisters and me.  The Holy Spirit is our Helper.  God is our Provider.  All we have to do is invite God in, ask Him to show out, patiently wait, and then give Him the glory for answering. 

If I could write the Phillips Interpretive Version of Exodus 14:13, it would read like this:

Tammy borrows the words of Noah and says to the people of God today…

Don’t be afraid. Don’t fear.  Don’t hear and fear.  Don’t see and fear.  Don’t dread.  Don’t revere.  Don’t be astonished or in awe of the impossible “Red Sea” before you nor the impossible “enemy” behind you.   

Stand still.  Be set.  Stay in place. Stand fast.   Stand forth.  Stand up. Withstand.  Remain.  Station yourself. Take your stand. Be resolute.

See the salvation of the LORD.  Look at the salvation of the Lord.  Watch the LORD show out and save you from whatever you need saving from, every enemy, and every Red Sea. 

He is our Savior!  He is our savior when we need the impossible.  He is our Savior when we need help picking a pie, a gift, or an outfit.  He is our Savior from the penalty of our sins.  He is our Savior from the flames of hell and eternity separated from God. 

He will accomplish it for you!  He will attend to it for you.  He will work on your behalf.  He will show out and show you that He is the God of impossible!  The enemy who you see today, you shall see again no more forever!  The LORD God will wipe away sickness, debt, loneliness, injustice, fears, anxieties and so much more.  We just have to ask and trust Him with it.

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.  It is not our battle.  It is His and He has already won.  Our battle stance? Resolutely standing in awe of Him alone.  We are not to be astonished by the impossible giant in front us yapping in our in our face, not the enemy in hot pursuit behind, nor the deceitful whispers of our adversary to left and the right.

I enCOURAGE you to ask the LORD to show out and do the impossible.  Be courageous and ask big.  He is God.  He can handle it…you…and absolutely anything and everything.  Don’t forget to patiently wait and then give Him the glory for all answered asks.   

BE STEADFAST: GROW AND GO

photo credit: Maria Silén

by Tammy Phillips
October 11. 2021

“…some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable [people] twist to their own destruction, as [they do] also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know [this] beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him [be] the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:16-18 NKJV)

Have you ever had anyone twist your words to make themselves be in a better light?  Peter tells us that people will twist the word of God for their own use.  When Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted, Satan twisted and tried to tempt Jesus with the word of God.  Do not think for a minute that the false accuser will not try to distort; put to the rack; torture; overstretch; dislocate the word of God and attempt to lead us into destruction.   This is why everything we hear and do needs to be aligned with the word of God.  If anything, we hear or read does not align with the Word, it is error and needs alignment.   However, if we are not reading and spending time studying the Word, how in this world would we have a clue what is wrong?

Peter plainly tells us to BEWARE! We are in danger of falling out of line and “falling from your own steadfastness, “if we listen to the twisting of the unlearned and unstable. When we don’t listen nor accept the truth, we are out of line with the word of God and are in danger of falling.  Remember…

Truth is plumb.

How do we keep standing and avoid stepping into error?  How do we remain steadfast and aligned?  Peter tells us:

  1. Grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,” (2 Peter 1:2 NKJV)

We grow in grace by growing in knowledge. 

  1. Grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

We grow in knowledge by giving all diligence.  There is that word again, diligence.  We grow and go by “…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, [you] will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8 NKJV)

Be diligent and fruitful in knowledge:

  • Labor to know Him.
  • Be transformed by Him.
  • Be more like Him.
  • Be diligent like Him.
  • Have faith like Him.
  • Be virtuous like Him.
  • Be knowledgeable like Him.
  • Be self-controlled like Him.
  • Persevere like Him. 
  • Be reverent, respectful and in awe of Him.
  • Love like Him.
  • Love Him.

When we grow in grace and the knowledge of Him, we remain steadfast and prevent a fall in times of apostasy. When we guard our hearts and minds in all diligence, we grow and continue to stand in Him.

I enCOURAGE you to live like a “last days” Christian.  2 Peter 3 is a great outline of how to do just that.  Remember the word.  Jesus is coming.  Know scoffers will come.  Don’t be a scoffer.  Be prepared and watch for Him.  He is not constrained by time.  He could come anytime but He is not slack concerning his promise.  He is coming, but He is longsuffering to want all to repent. Change your mind.  Turn to Him.  Open the door to Him in every area of your life.  Invite Him to come in and abide.  Ask Him what kind of person He wants you to be.  Be diligent in pursuing Him and your relationship.  Get to know Him and His Word.  Grow in in the grace and knowledge of Him to keep you from falling. Keep on keeping on.  Stand. Be diligent.  Be resolute. Give Him the glory forever!

 

BE DILIGENT

“Whatever path you are on be diligent and keep climbing!”
(picture from deep in the woods of Cullowhee Forest, NC)

by Tammy Phillips
October 10, 2021

“Beloved, looking forward to these things. Be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation… ” (2 Peter 3:14-15 NKJV)

 Life is not easy.  As Paul says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed–“ (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV).  Life keeps coming.  Life keeps punching , but God always gives an encouraging word to help us keep going and punch back. 

We detoured away from Revelation and through 2 Peter for the last several days because of one encouraging word I heard from the Lord, “DILIGENT.”   I went on a treasure hunt through God’s word to see what He had to say.  

  • Be diligent
  • Be forward
  • Make constant in effort
  • Be prompt
  • Be earnest
  • Be steadfast
  • Be speedy
  • Make haste
  • Study
  • Labor

A new heaven and a new earth are coming.  The day of the Lord is coming.  Jesus is coming.  Peter tells us to BE LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!  Wait for it.  Expect it!  Watch for it.  This is an active role not passive nor a delayed reaction.  He encourages us to be diligent in four things:

  1. To be found by Him in peace.
    In peace is a place! When the Lord comes again, we are to have been diligent in staying in the peace place with God, man, and ourselves through Jesus Christ.
  2. To be found by Him without spot.
    We do not need to be found in the wrong spot or with spot. We need to be found pressing into Christ in spotless purity and absolute perfection.It is only in Him that we can be found complete. This is not something we do, but whose we are. I see this as dealing with sin immediately.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence.” (Proverbs 4:23) 

  1. To be found by blameless without fault; innocent; guiltless; not meriting censure. We can only be found blameless in Him and by diligently abiding In Him and doing what He asks.
  1. In considering that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.

I pray every second that the Lord tarries another soul is added to His kingdom.  He delayed His return for you and me.  I pray He defers His coming until every member of my family, my friends, and everyone in this world come to Jesus by working out their salvation and turning to Him.  He waited on us to choose Him the least we could do is heed His words and watch and wait for Him.  His longsuffering with humanity is salvation to us all.

I enCOURAGE you, brothers, and sisters, “give diligence to make your calling and election sure.”  (2 Peter 1:5)  You could affect some one’s eternity.  Be diligent in all things.    My definition  of diligence would be to be:  KEEP ON KEEPING ON.  DON’T STOP AND DON’T GIVE UP!   Live like a “last days” Christian.

“Never expect to be found at that day of God in peace, if you are lazy and idle in this your day, in which we must finish the work that is given us to do. It is only the diligent Christian who will be the happy Christian in the day of the Lord. Our Lord will suddenly come to us, or shortly call us to Him; and would you have Him find you idle?” — Matthew Henry 

WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE SHOULD WE BE?

SUNSET OVER THE CUMBERLAND by God captured by me, September 9, 2021

by Tammy Phillips
October 9, 2021

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:10-13 NKJV)

Peter describes the day of the Lord in 2 Peter 3:10-13:

  1. It will come as a thief in the night.
  2. It will come quickly when no one is expecting it.
  3. The heavens will pass away with a great noise.
  4. The sinful earth and all in it will melt with fervent heat, be burned up and purged from its vast sin.
  5. The heavens will be dissolved, being on fire.
  6. He promises new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

I do not mean to imply ignorance, but this is a warning that many “Christians” are not heeding.  Jesus is coming.  When He comes, the time for do-overs has ended.  True, we are living in the age of grace now, but many believers have taken the grace of God for granted, I have. Forgive me, Lord? Forgive me?  Grace and mercy are freely given by God but should not be abused nor exploited.   Any time we do not do what we know we ought to be doing, we are sinning against God.  We are taking advantage of His grace.  Have you murmured and complained?  Have you gossiped?  Have you borrowed and not returned? Have you indulged in food, alcohol, sex outside marriage?  Sin is serious and not to be taken lightly. In my terms, it hurts the heart of God.  It hurts others, too.

In light of Jesus returning at any time, and the knowledge that the world and all in it are going to literally melt away, Peter questioned, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be…?

 He answers his question within his question.  “WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE SHOULD WE BE?”  What is necessary? What is right and proper?

We should be holy in conduct. We should be full of awe, reverent, pure, consecrated, set apart for God and His exclusively in conduct, behavior, conversation, and all manner of life.  We should be busy walking and talking for Him.  We should be busy in overturning, turning upside down, right side up and turning back to Him. We should walk set apart.  If the 2.5 out of 8.7 billion professing followers of Christ would be holy in conduct and walking set apart, the world would be a different place.

We should be in holy in godliness.  We should be reverent and respectful.  Honoring the Lord in heart and in the practice. We should habitually obey His words and what he asks us to do.  We should be fully devoted to the service of God.

We should be looking for the Lord. We should be seeking His kingdom first.  We should live like we are expecting a knock on the door from Him at any time.  We should be waiting for Him and not trying to run ahead of Him.   How many times in the Bible does He say, “Watch!”  We need be watching out for Him.

We should be hastening the day of the Lord.  We should eagerly be awaiting His return and diligently urging Him to come on. How do we do that? We hasten Him on by preparing, praying, and living right. We say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

All of these things are things we ought to be doing.  Are we?

I enCOURAGE you to ask yourself, “What sort of person should I be to bring glory to God?”  It is a hard question with difficult answers if we are not living set apart. If you knew your home was going to burn down tomorrow, how would you be living today?  We should be livin’ like we are forgiven. We should be living on fire for Him.  We should do the little things right, as well as the big things.

Father:  Purge my heart! Purge my body, soul, and spirit.  Purge me from every propensity to sin! I want to walk and talk just like you.  I want to bring glory to Your Name alone and draw others to You.  AMEN

THE WILL OF GOD VS THE WILL OF SATAN

by Tammy Phillips
October 8, 2021

The Creator of the Universe created us for His plans and purposes just like He originally created Lucifer.  Lucifer was created perfect in his ways and beautiful creature, until iniquity was found in Him.

“You [were] perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. … 17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground… 19 You have become a horror, And [shall be] no more forever.”  (Ezekiel 28:15, 17, 19 NKJV)

Lucifer, the light bearer, then became darkness, a defector, and infector of the world with His own plans in direct opposition to God.  He was so impressed with himself.  He thought that we were all that…beautiful, powerful, and intelligent.  He wanted God’s glory for himself.  He said, “’ I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’” (Isaiah 14:14 NKJV).   Pride entered in and Lucifer fell from heaven. 

Obviously, He still believes his lies and thinks he has a chance in hell to rule and reign above God.  He is a fake!  He is an imitation!  He is a deceiver.  He has a detailed plan to wreak havoc and destroy your life.

“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 NKJV)

He has his own plan and purposes and to directly oppose all things God, right and good.  Jesus said that the  thief’s (also know as the devil) will is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).  He wills to fully destroy us, to put us out of the way entirely, put an end to us, ruin us, and render us totally useless, to blot us out, and to cancel us.  He is devoted to the cause of us being eternally miserable.

BUT GOD…He had a different plan!

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have [it] more abundantly!” (John 10:10 NKJV)

Peter said that the Lord is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV). Perish is the exact same Greek word as destroy in John 10:10. 

Jesus is not willing that any be destroyed, but that all should be saved.

Jesus is not willing that any be put out of the way entirely.  He wants us to follow the Way.

Jesus is not willing that any of us be put  to an end. He offers us new beginnings every morning.

Jesus is not willing that any be ruined, but that all have life more abundantly and prosperous.

Jesus is not willing that any be rendered totally useless.  He counts us extremely valuable to the kingdom and well worth His sacrifice.

Jesus is not willing that any be blotted out.  He welcomes all to come.

Jesus is not willing that anyone be cancelled.  He approves, establishes, and upholds us.

Jesus is not willing that any be eternally miserable.  He devoted and gave His own life so that we could eternally live with Him in glory, today and forever.

Are you anxious?  Are you miserable?  Are you sad and depressed?  Are you fearful?  Are you scared to death?  You are not living the life that Jesus paid for you to live.  You are not living the life He wills for you.   He wills that “all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV). According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word come means to leave space which may be filled or occupied by another; to have space or room for receiving or holding something; to make room; to give place, yield; turn oneself; to go forward.

To avoid the destructive life here and for eternity, Jesus simply asks us to come to Him and make room for Him in our lives. Make room for Him in our fear. Make room for Him in our sickness. Make room for Him in our beautiful, powerful, intelligent life.   His plan is to abide with us.  We can open the door for Him to enter by repentance…which literally means change our mind. Reverse our decision.  Choose Him and His way.  Choose life more abundantly.  Choose to hate sin.  Change our minds and allow Him to change everything else.

I enCOURAGE you to fulfil the great plans God has for YOUR life.  It is never too late.  Change your mind.  Turn to Him.  Open the door to Him in every area of your life.  Let Him come in and abide.  Expect a life change.  It will because He wills.

“The highway of the upright [is] to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul. 18 Pride [goes] before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:17-18 NKJV)