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The Wheel of Religion or The Will of Relationship

Jesus confronted a very dangerous spirit in His day and in scathing rebuke He addressed them when they manifested.

When Jesus walked the earth, He confronted a very dangerous spirit in His day and in scathing rebuke He addressed them when they manifested.

And He wants us to know how rampant the ‘spirit of religion’ is within churches today.

It’s not wrong to want to be involved socially with people in Church events and services. However, GOD clearly wants us to realize and recognize the true motive of our own heart as to why we are involved.

We must ask ourselves; while in church events and services, and the who’s-who socially are, are we really doing it for keeping up appearances?

Actually, are we getting to the nitty-gritty of our heart motives in wanting to have good standing in the community, rather than having God’s good standing in us?

There are many lures that come to feed these needs, that only bring us into bondage to man’s opinion of us!

Man’s approval and opinion of us has nothing to do with the true pursuit of The LORD Jesus and His Opinion of us!

Man’s opinion is flawed and carries no weight in the things of God. We can never do enough, be in Church meetings enough, congregate enough, and through our opinion of self and our accomplishments we think we earn points by seeking out our own personal padded pew that our ancestor bought years ago on the first row!

This is quite contrary to God’s Word! Through our ‘personal relationship’ with The LORD, we are to be led to let GOD make room for us and our gifts.

Religion verses Relationship is a very different stance.

Religion is a return to bondage and we can never ever do enough to please the demands. If we are seeking or wanting a religious reputation in our spiritual life, it doesn’t come from endless Sunday school lessons, services, activities, or the people we think we must know to climb the latter of success in man’s eye.

We must do it God’s Way, where His Opinion and approval of you will always be the reputation that matters.

You will never be able to keep up with the demands of obedience to please a religious spirit.

If the motive of our heart is to please men we will never be able to do enough and we will burn out from its endless demands on us.

In Christ it is not so. If we don’t have a true Relationship with Christ in daily worship, prayer, and His Word, all we are doing is living an exhaustive religious hamster’s wheel life. We keep spinning but it is getting us nowhere.

What Christ did for us on that Cross liberated us from the never-ending lists of cheap demands that the spirit of religion keeps us focused on.

Measuring ourselves against man’s appearance, abilities, and settling for the religious lists of do or don’ts is a cheap replica of a very real life with Christ himself, who wants to be our first love!

Christ wasn’t a cheap sacrifice, the price that He paid covered your total life. The spirit of religion was then and still is a cheap counterfeit.

Do you want to represent Christ and be credible with integrity?

We must never settle for man’s approval and acceptance when it is impossible to please man’s demands!

If we somehow have lost the intimacy we once had with Christ, and we traded it for a cheap list of do’s and don’ts to gain the approval of man, we must get off that hamsters’ wheel of religion, repent of our sin and return to our first love, who is Christ in us the hope of glory!

Beloved, it all begins and ends with a true love relationship with Christ in our prayer closet, in intimacy with worship and study of the Word of God!

Our life long fulfillment comes from that place. Everything in life and our destiny will come from that place. Rules without relationship equals rebellion.

Many have the rules of religion without knowing the relationship with the Son of God! The fear of The LORD is the beginning of Wisdom, and we can have this wisdom in Christ.

Jesus Christ’s harshest rebukes were to the Religious spirits of His day and beloved, the same is true today.

Ask yourself today; does my life on earth begin and end with my personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Or am I exhausted from the demands of a religious world that is devoid of the Spirit of Liberty and Peace?

The fear of man and man’s opinion brings a snare! Why? If we measure ourselves among ourselves it’s not wise because we can only find our fit when we behold the image of that man, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS as he decrees us to be.

As we behold HIM, we will reflect His image to this world! Amen?

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Matthew 23:13 KJV.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,” Matthew 23:29 KJV.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Matthew 23:15 KJV.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” Matthew 23:25 KJV.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27 KJV.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.” Luke 11:44 KJV.

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in The LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25 KJV

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 KJV/

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4 KJV.

 

In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey


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Comprehension of Peace

We live insecure lives; wandering and wondering in this life in Christ is a significant reality in our everyday lives.

You may have wanted to reach out to others, friends and loved ones but you have been discouraged due to the criticism of others and even your own negative thoughts of yourself.

Maybe some of you think you may have gone off the deep end, and in essence, maybe you have. Deep does call out to deeper still…. (Psalms 42:7).

I truly understand The LORD knows my heart but sometimes I think we all struggle because we don’t know OUR own heart.

We live insecure lives; wandering and wondering in this life in Christ is a significant reality in our everyday lives.

The revelation of this reality is Christ in us The Hope of Glory! Once comprehended, finally grasp its meaning, it opens us up to a peace like a river we have never understood or even fathomed before!

While it isn’t just the quoting of scripture or teaching about peace we seek or what we believe by faith; but this is the final grasp of comprehension within the reality of His peace (which is Christ in us!)

This peace that passes ALL HUMAN Understanding that shall truly guard our heart and mind in Christ Jesus!

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” Colossians 1:27 KJV.

The Holy Spirit descended like a dove and came upon Jesus when he was Baptized in the river that day by John the Baptist.

Jesus is the anointed one that came as the Prince of Peace and I am not just speaking of peace in an elementary sense.

There is a revelation in us that manifests the Comprehension of Peace that comes when we finally grasp the meaning of who He is, within our tangible lives.

“Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth: and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.” Genesis 8:11 KJV.

I am not talking of the peace we have at times in life when we feel and think we have earned his peace through our self-efforts like the amount of prayers we pray or when we fast, study, or gain other self-assurances etc.

Self has nothing to do with this marvelous grace and peace filled life! We cannot earn a thing when HE did everything!

Where does our Assurance come from?

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

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
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Portions of Hymn “Blessed Assurance” lyrics © Fanny Crosby.

I have found Him in places I never fathomed he would go; His peace and assurance are incredible!

To try and describe would be futile because the peace I speak of is unwarranted, because man has no power to give it or take it away. When they try to take your peace, their criticism of you is unwarranted.

They don’t have the authority to criticize you! Their words have no power over you therefore let no man take your peace!

“When I rise no thought to plague me, no complaint I thought to see, but peace I find to be?

What can you do when everything you thought, is done and you stand naked before the Son?”

God wants us to be His Peace makers. As He was in this world so shall we be. To be peace makers, we must also be peace watchers.

As we search for every wound and rip or tear in people, our friends, and family alike we must understand such a ministry is needed as Jesus uncovers those rips and tears that affect the flesh and leave hurt on many a soul!

“And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.” Matthew 10:12-13 KJV.

Encourage or pray with someone today!

Encourage yourself in The LORD!

Realize you are a majority!

There are more with you than with them!

There are places for you today prepared by God so rich and filled with his peace and presence!

Some may be so busy but as we take time daily to pray, realize that you carry within your peace, gifts, talents, and words to encourage, and when that heavenly wealth comes upon you, release it and your relationships will be rich.

Release your peace upon them!

When you come among anyone or any house, release your peace to open the door, for every place your feet take you, so shall you go! These spiritual doors have been given unto you to possess in the Spirit.

Be encouraged this is a new season and a very different season it be!

Many are still shell shocked from the year we lived, but I say realize your season is over and the struggling with depression and anxiety and other stressors give them over to The LORD!

You’re not a burden, you are God’s child and He has YOU! We are growing into His image and likeness!

Have a great day regardless, because you are in HIM and HE is in you! Your worth is such that he completely identified with you and he became you and you became him!

You are covered! All of the hard life issues are designed for growth and to share our message of Christ in you to others.

You have much to share! Don’t sell yourself short! You are very vital to God for His plan to seek and save the lost!

He knows your heart and who cares what others think or say. You have the King of the Total Universe in you! He has this! Be who you are in him and be settled within.

Realize he is with you everywhere and look for opportunities to share a word of encouragement to uplift them in your peace.

It is a blessing and honor to share and encourage people! Take time and make time for others,

In Jesus’ Name!
 

In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey


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The Struggle of The Accuser and the Way We Overcome

Are you going through discouragement due to the unforgiveness of men; feeling worthless?

Are you going through discouragement due to the unforgiveness of men; feeling worthless?

Do you think the GOD you love, serve and ask for forgiveness would possibly reveal your forgiven secrets to others so they would blast them over the airwaves?

It is not God who brings up accusations of our past.

We are forgiven when we ask The LORD in sincerity. If The LORD chooses to forget, who are we not to forget?

As far as the east is from the west HE remembers our transgressions no more.

If there are other people judging you and bringing up your past, speaking gossip, slander, and things they think you have done; give no place to discouragement and accusation!

You let God be your vindicator and let God deal with those who curse you! You be who you are in Christ and give no place to their words and thoughts of you! Overcome evil with good!

Let Christ who is your light fill you with light, so that your light will shine before men that they will be ashamed for accusing your good behaviors. Your good words and works prove themselves!

This seems to be a theme right now for many that others think they “discern when it is actually accuse.” Satan is the accuser of the brethren.

We put to death the deeds of accusation by reminding the devil that he is the accuser of the brethren and that no one has that power or right over you to do anything! Remember our battle is not with flesh and blood!

“For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), Being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission and obedience [as a church] are fully secured and complete,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 Amplified Bible.

The LORD knows us better than we know ourselves and forgives us and HE forgets it! PERIOD!

“The day we ease from struggle is the day we die!”

When God forgives, HE cannot see it and there is no remembrance of it!

I praise The LORD that HE knows me and especially my heart. Aren’t you glad HE knows you?

Give those evil spiritually motivated people to God and with your attitude, kill them we kindness! Overcome evil with good!

 

In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey


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Grace to Be, to Live, to Love, and to Win

To be a choice counselor and corrector of others that God will use, one must first be tested, and well-seasoned.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 KJV.

The judgmental person, criticizes and judges things they think they see, “yet cannot see.”

To be a choice counselor and corrector of others that God will use, one must first be tested, and well-seasoned.

The LORD has us go through many seasonings. The process reveals our own heart and soul to ourselves! We each go through these seasons of testing’s, but these are not designed to convince God of our readiness!

These cycles of testing are devised to prepare us to be in readiness to surrender to His Will. However, this is a very different type of readiness; to be ready to have the revelation of our own heart revealed to ourselves!

There are many who think they are wise and discern, but in actuality are guilty of judging others of things they have no clue about. Many are guilty of judging, as they think they rightly discerned The Body of Christ.

Job went through so much and God graced him to endure what we could never do. But in the end, when he began to go on the defense and was fed up with his friends’ “discernment,” he began to defend himself and then God rebuked him.

God was Job’s defense! Even though Job’s friends were steady at trying to discern, correct, and provoke Job of something he ‘must have done’ to deserve the fruits of the reality of his life.

Job began to list his credentials to his friends and defended himself and lashed out! It was at this point of time that he was confronted by God.

Job came to understand that there was a higher purpose that he had no idea about, and when he realized his error he immediately repented.

We don’t need to prove our rights or our innocence when we are judged or criticized by man. Even if a whole group of people accuse you to the world, we can know that we have a personal relationship with God and He is our defense.

To have security even if you are left all alone and accused, God knows you and with God there is a majority. God knows our heart and motives and he is our defense.

This is why Christ stood alone and never spoke a word when He was judged and sentenced; ‘as a lamb led to the slaughter is dumb,’ Jesus spoke not a word.

Jesus had given his total Will over to God as His defense and He knew The Will of God.

“Father …. not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42.

God graced the Son of Man in that garden when he fell on his face in prayer. Jesus accepted The Will of the Judge of the whole world! Shall not the judge of the whole world do right?

The Son of Man knew He would drink of the cup of humiliation, suffering and crucifixion because of HIS great love and promise to us that receive Him as LORD.

There was a great payment that had to be met for the purchase of your eternal soul! For God so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life!

God graced the Son of Man to yield and obey the plan of God and endure till the end. God sent his Son for payment, as the only perfect sinless man to make payment for the sin for all have sinned.

Beloved, God graced our LORD to fulfill the promises He made, just as God graced Job to be able to endure.

God will not give us more than we can bear. As Christ did in the garden, so we too must rectify and settle it in our hearts to fulfill His plan in us. God will grace you to endure whatever price.

“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:3-6 KJV.

“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42 KJV.

When we come face to face with our flesh and our deceitful heart is laid bare, then we will see properly our own depravity and total moral bankruptcy!

In our flesh dwells no good thing. To become revolutionary, bringing the message of The Cross for His Purpose is to realize what we are without Him, and we must learn to die daily to our fleshly deeds and deceitful heart.

We must die like the Son of Man finally surrendered to the Father’s Will as we too must accept God’s will and put to death the deeds of the flesh, so we can rise in newness of life.

We can do nothing until we realize it is all about Christ in us the Hope of Glory!

We must die to our will and purpose and begin to seek The Will of God in secret where He will reward us openly.

Like Abraham prayed and said, “HE is my exceeding great reward!” We have nothing to offer the world and The Church until we do.

Is service to Christ your highest reward in this life?

You may never be acknowledged by man or get rewards in this life, but is HE your greatest reward?

Put absolutely no confidence in the flesh and a deceitful heart! Our methods are all the same; we must become like the Son of Man.

He came with a mission to seek and save those who were lost. As we separate ourselves from others, we must learn to sit in His presence, pray, study, intercede and then He will have weighty and capable stewards He can use.

Is our reward HIM? What is our motives?

There are disciplines in life so you can face this world…. like waking up and getting dressed, eating, brushing your teeth etc.

In Christ there are spiritual disciplines as well for success, of starting your day in prayer, worship, study, regular fasting, and determining to obey The LORD. These are not optional! They are vital for your Spiritual fortitude and your journey!

We must choose whom we serve each day!

We have nothing to offer anyone except what is given to us. We must be first partakers of the fruits.

How much we determine to align ourselves with The LORD and fulfill his will in the earth will be determined by how much time is given to die daily to our flesh and dwell richly in His presence in prayer, study, worship, and obedience.

Once we know who we are, or rather HE knows who we are, and we have prepared ourselves for HIS mission, only then can we encourage and build up those who are trapped in the confines of self-made prisons, legalism, selfish ambitions, instead of prisoners of hope many are in prisons of their own making.

Religion and legalism are a return to bondage. Do you feel free today? Or has someone or a religious group taken the place of the Holy Spirit in your life to manipulate you to do things their way, leading to further bondage?

When Christ came he set us free from the law of sin and death. He set us free, AND he did not put a yoke on you that you can’t carry.

If your yoke is too heavy you need to come aside alone and seek God and ask Him why you feel so weighted!

A religious group or spirit will make you feel heavy and exhausted for you are spinning that wheel like that hamster and going nowhere. His Yoke is easy and his burden light. In other words, He created your yoke to fit you exactly and he gives you grace to wear it!

Just as religion was in Jesus’ day, it is alive and well in many churches and groups. To have great mental health and spiritual help, you need to run as fast as you can from these groups and don’t turn back, they will spend your life and wear you out as they use you, and when you can’t handle the pressure anymore and they shun you and you are no longer in their circle they cast you aside when you don’t fulfill their manipulated purposes.

If you are in this place today, there is hope beloved, you are in process of getting free! Trust God and if they all forsake you, God is greater and he will never leave you or forsake you!

You need to ask yourself, is what you do motivated by your time spent with God or by doing all sorts of rules and regulations that start to weigh you down and put you in chains?

You need to do a faith check, do you have no time anymore for family or time with your relationship with God?

I believe Jesus was clear to us in scriptures, and his harsh rebukes were against the religious leaders of the day in the Synagogue. Christ has paid the price and his sacrifice set us free from the law of sin and death.

Only God knows the motives of the heart, for God truly knows the depth of our soul, and even when our own heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.

The heart is deceitfully wicked who can know it. Once we understand this about “US” then we are faithful counselors and witnesses that God can use.

The depths of God’s Mercy and Kindness toward us is overwhelming! Often, we do not see our own heart, that is why we must depend on The LORD in prayer, worship, study of God’s Word, and obedience.

We all are the temple of God and we each have the responsibility to hear God and ask God to fill us and live in us. No one or nothing can fill that place that God wants in us.

Through our own heart and motive we learn through by experience. And through this we are built as a Spiritual faithful house.

We have and will continue to learn by experience God’s amazing Grace and Mercy toward us! As we grow into Him as His Holy temple which you are, He will entrust us with others to share with by giving us pieces of knowledge for them and as He is trusting us we will have come to understand the truth in us that sets us free!

God doesn’t give anyone total fully revealed truth, for we walk by faith and not by sight, but when He gives us glimpses into a person’s heart, we must be trustworthy!

There will be many in your lives that will have pieces of the mystery and words of knowledge that will bless you along the journey.

You must never put your total trust and obedience in man, it is to God that you belong and to Him that you serve.

Your journey of God’s Grace and Mercy will have you cross paths with many. Some will stay and others maybe for a short period, but when God connects it is always to benefit your life. It may be for prayers, or be given insight shared to others.

In whatever case in the course of your lives there shall be many, many others who will read of your seemingly impossible storm-tossed life, and read how Grace conquered all!

However, in closing, the wise will glean from your years of gaining HIS perception through Grace and His Grace will lead you home!

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6 KJV.

“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13 KJV.

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 7:25 KJV.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6 KJV.

 

In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey


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