Paths Of Waiting Before The Lord is my latest music album of comforting Christian prayersongs, released last month. This new video recounts through my original art and in my own words the compelling story behind that album.
May the Lord use my story on this video to bless and encourage those who need to be reminded that Jesus loves them, of His forgiveness and grace, and that He answers our prayers in His own way and time, according to our needs, in Jesus’ name, amen.
To listen to the songs on Paths of Waiting follow the link to my Hear & Now Website or listen on your favorite streaming station.
Today I feel very sad for all of the families who have lost loved ones in the recent school shootings in Texas.
My prayers go out to all of them and to our nation as well, for such horrible violence affects each of us at the core of our souls, though we may try to desensitize ourselves and pretend it doesn’t affect us because no bullets directly hit our flesh or wounded someone in our family.
But evil and violence affects every soul in our society whether we admit it or not.
And it begins with anger.
Consider Jesus’s words:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:22 KJV
Anger breeds hatred.
John the apostle wrote: “But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 2:11,3:15 -KJV
Had the eighteen year old murderer in the recent shootings been taught to respect and love his grandmother, to love, glorify, trust, and believe in the God who had created him, and in whose image he and all other humans were formed, he most likely would not have dreamed of committing such an evil crime.
What is hell like?
I imagine it as an abyss where God’s name is blasphemed, reviled and ever taken in vain; a dark maze of interminable suffering, unrelenting pain, hunger, self delusion, fighting, dissatisfaction, greed, anger, hatred, covetousness, envy, vanity, idolatry, narcissism, lust, hypocrisy, addiction, sickness that never ends, cold hearted souls who abuse and condemn and manipulate others, poverty, bigotry, war, egotism, arrogance,shame, riches with no satisfaction, ingratitude, and relationships without love, constant bickering and dissembling and every kind of deceit; souls forever stealing caring nothing for the value of other’s property, hopelessness, despair, frustration because no one is ever happy and they can’t figure out why, and everything and anything that is against God’s will is committed all the time and championed because it is an endless night dominated by malevolent spiritual forces.
Since hell is a territory governed by sin, and God’s Word reveals that the wages of sin is death, then I reckon that it’s a place whirling on a blind path towards its own self destruction.
The Apostle Peter wrote that the earth is just going to erupt into a ball of flames someday.
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:7,10,12 – KJV
Sin is a corruption of something that will never go the right way and achieve its goal. It is an arrow that constantly misses the mark. And that mark is God’s will.
God’s will is revealed in His Word. When people stop fearing and respecting God; when they stop believing in Him, they stop loving Him.
If I stop fearing the Lord, I will also stop loving and believing in Him. If I lose any one of those three necessary components of love for God, then I lose all three of them.
In other words, I will have no faith, love, nor fear of God.
Faith is more than just believing that God exists.
James 2:19 asserts “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19 – KJV
While they might be afraid of God, those devils blaspheme, disobey, and dishonor the Lord through people all the time. They neither love, respect, nor glorify Him.
John the Apostle wrote: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 – KJV
The soul who desires to live for God and do His will, and who walks in love obeying Christ, no matter what their outward circumstances might be, has heaven in their heart.
Paul wrote in Colossians 1:13 that the soul who trusts Jesus Christ for salvation and who loves and obeys Christ is delivered by the Heavenly Father from the power of darkness, and “translated into the kingdom of His dear Son.”
Faith not only believes in God’s existence, but it means trusting Him to keep His word, to be faithful, to live up to everything He promises to be and more, no matter what they might have to endure.
I can attest to God’s faithfulness on this score as I live with chronic daily migraines. I know what hell is like and heaven too. Jesus Christ is a RISEN, LIVING Lord and Savior. He does not forsake us in our suffering.
Faith is not ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is not embarrassed to be called a Christian. It does not substitute a cause for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then delude itself into thinking that God is pleased, because causes do not save souls. Christ’s blood is the only thing that ever saved a soul.
Causes come and go.
If we want to glorify our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross to save us from the power of sin and hell, triumphing over our souls and our own ultimate self destruction, then we have to believe He exists and that He is watching everything we do, and hears every word we say and write, that He cherishes us more than we can ever comprehend and that He really and truly will speak to us if we will listen.
He will guide us and teach us His will and enable us to do it.
He absolutely will forgive all our sins because His blood paid the price for every wrong thing we ever did against Him. If we are sorry for it and turn away from it He forgives us.
We might be ashamed of it but He won’t ever hold it against us. He washes our sins away as far as the east is from the west. The only one who ever brings our sins back up in our face is the devil and his allies.
The Bible refers to the devil as “the accuser of the brethren…” (see Revelations 12:10)
When we accuse, slander, libel, scorn, condemn, etc, we are throwing the ball in the wrong court.
Rather than “sit in the seat of the scornful…” (See Psalm 1:1-2) Christians are to look for the true, good, just, excellent, pure, noble, and praiseworthy things in ourselves and others (see Philippians 4:8)
Christ tells us to abide in Him in our prayer closets and allow His Holy Spirit to guide us as He promises in His Word.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 – KJV
May we not allow anger to guide us. Anger does not accomplish Christ’s will. “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20 – KJV
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Psalm 37:8 – KJV
Evil is defined as everything that opposes God’s will no matter how righteous it may appear on the surface.
May we ever give our anger to our Lord Jesus Christ. For He is the righteous Judge.
May we be guided by His love. For to love is Christ’s command —His will. May we ever remember that Love is how we are defined as Christ’s disciples.
Heavenly Father, we mourn and pray for the families who lost loved ones in the Texas school shooting and ask that You comfort every precious family, every heart that has been shattered by this evil.
We pray You will hold them in Thy everlasting arms and fill them with rivers of Thy infinite love, mercy, and grace.
Comfort every fearful heart.
Lord, may we not grow insensitive and cold toward our fellow human as so much evil and iniquity abound in our world.
Help us to conquer evil by doing Thy good will on this hell bound earth that the reality of Thy heaven might live and be displayed in our hearts so all can see Thy light in us and You be glorified in our lives when we do Thy will to love and serve each other.
Help us always to say with Jesus who prayed while being tortured on the cross for our sins, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing,”
In Jesus’s name, amen.
Suzanne ❤️ …created through the Indwelling Risen Lord Jesus Christ, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, to the Glory of God the Father, in Jesus’ Name, amen. (*See John 14:20, 21, 23)
Jesus Christ said, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
23 Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” ~ Matthew 5:21-24 -NASB
“…do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:26-27,31-32 – NASB
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21 -KJV
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 – KJV
An innocent little six year old was mercilessly gunned down by someone in a fit of road rage recently.
I wondered how was this possible?
The Lord led me to the story of Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis.
Cain and Abel were two brothers, the children of Eve, “the mother of all the living.”
When her first son was born, Eve called him “Cain,” a name related to a word for “lament” or “wail.” Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord…”
BDB Definition: 11b) husband, 1c) human being, person (in contrast to God), 1f) champion, 1g) great man
The Bible says of Cain that he “…was a tiller of the ground.”
The word for tiller means: H5647 (Strong)
‛âbad, aw-bad’, A primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), (be, become) servant (-s), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.Serve self
Where Eve seemed so filled with hope after Cain’s birth giving him a name that meant “Champion,” she seemed to have lost her faith sometime after his birth.
For she named her second son Abel which means:
BDB Definition: 1) to act emptily, become vain, be vain; 1a2) to be utterly vain;1b1) to cause to become vain; 1b2) to fill with vain hopes;
People who have lost their dream call faith “vain hope.”
Also, branding a child with such a name is akin to calling them hopeless, futile, or vanity.
It would not be any wonder then that Abel would find refuge out in the fields with his Father God while tending the sheep rather than with a family who considered him “… filled with vain hopes.”
Abel was given the name of someone whom his parents saw as having no expectations.
And this was surely to open the door for his brother to also adopt the same attitudes toward him as someone who was worthless.
It might not be difficult for a man to murder a brother whom he neither loved nor valued. For Cain had no love for his brother the Bible says.
“This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other. Don’t be like Cain. He belonged to the Evil One. Cain killed his brother. But why did he kill him? Because what Cain did was evil, and what his brother did was good.” 1 John 3:11-12 – ERV
“Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God. But Abel offered a better sacrifice to God because he had faith. God said he was pleased with what Abel offered. And so God called him a good man because he had faith. Abel died, but through his faith he is still speaking.” ~ Hebrews 11:4 – ERV
After Cain had killed his brother, the Lord asked him where Abel was. Cain sarcastically replied, “I don’t know, am I my brother’s keeper?”
BDB Definition: 1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed/ 2) 1a1) to keep, have charge of/ 3) 1a2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life/ 1a3) to watch for, wait for/ 1a4) to watch, observe/ 1a5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory)/1a6) to keep (within bounds), restrain/ 1a7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow)/ 1a8) to keep, preserve, protect/ 1b1) to be on one’s guard, take heed, take care, beware/ 1b2) to keep oneself, refrain,/ abstain/ 1b3) to be kept, be guarded
God revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ that we are indeed to be our brother’s keeper. We are to love and to lay our lives down for one another.
Abel was asked to sacrifice His will to God even as Christ would one day be asked to sacrifice His will to the Father that all might in Him be given eternal life through His sacrificial death.
Abel gave God what He asked of him. This pleased the Lord greatly.
For Abel like Christ in effect had said, “Father I want Thy will not my will…”
How did Abel know what God’s will was?
He spent all his time with the Lord every day in a close relationship with Him.
While working in the fields he was abiding in His Maker. He listened to God speak to his heart.
God wanted something that was difficult for Abel to give Him. Something that Abel loved, prized, and valued very much. The finest of his flocks.
Yet, what else was worth having if he kept it back from God and lost his intimacy with the Lord by withholding that thing which God had asked him to sacrifice?
What could be more important than his relationship with the Lord, his Creator?
Abel knew what God required of him, he knew and cared to do God’s will.
The Bible says that the ungodly don’t care to know about or to do God’s will. They just want to please themselves.
‘“At harvest time, Cain brought a gift to the Lord. He brought some of the food that he grew from the ground, but Abel brought some animals from his flock. He chose some of his best sheep and brought the best parts from them. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift.But He did not accept Cain and his offering. Cain was sad because of this and he became very angry.” ~ Genesis 4:3-5ERV
Cain offered to God the sacrifice of man; the sacrifice that insists on doing its own will and pleasure. Such a sacrifice may take a lot of time and effort to accomplish, and appear beautiful but it will not satisfy our Creator if it is not what He asked for.
God’s will is that we obey Him no matter what that obedience looks like, no matter how displeasing to us it seems. The Lord needs to know that His will matters to us more than our own our own will.
He created us to worship HIM. We were not created to please and worship ourselves.
Abel obeyed the Lord and offered the blood sacrifice He required. Cain did not.
Hebrews 9 explains that under the Law that without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness of sins. A blood sacrifice was required for the atonement of the sins people had committed. That was just how it was. We may not like it or understand it. But that was why Jesus Christ, God’s Son had to die to shed His spotless blood for the sins of all humanity to redeem us and put a fallen world back in right relationship with God. This is the truth. Cain refused to believe this truth of the need for the blood sacrifice to atone for his sins to be made right with God. He would do his own work and labor to please and satisfy God. Yet, God only wanted the sacrifice of an innocent pure lamb to atone for the man’s sins. He need only go to his brother and procure a sheep to sacrifice to the Lord. It was that easy. Cain made things hard in his unbelief.
Cain was furious when he saw that God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice and not with his own.
The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why does your face look sad? You know that if you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you don’t, sin is ready to attack you. That sin will want to control you, but you must control it.”~ Genesis 4:6-7 – ERV
God up and told Cain His will and the man simply ignored the holy revelation! It went right over Cain’s head because he had no regard for the Lord any more than he valued his brother’s life.
If he had loved and feared the Lord then he would have obeyed Him. Christ equated love for our Lord with our obedience to Him.
Jesus said to His disciples: “If you love Me, you will do what I command.
Those who really love Me are the ones who not only know My commands but also obey them. My Father will love such people, and I will love them. I will make Myself known to them.”
…All who love Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them. My Father and I will come to them and live with them.
But anyone who does not love Me does not obey My teaching. This teaching that you hear is not really Mine. It is from my Father who sent Me.” ~ John 14:15,21,23-24 – ERV
The rest of the story is a very sad one.
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” So they went to the field. Then Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Cain answered, “I don’t know. Is it my job to watch over my brother?”
Then the Lord said, “What have you done? You killed your brother and the ground opened up to take his blood from your hands. Now his blood is shouting to Me from the ground.So you will be cursed from this ground. Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow. You will not have a home in this land. You will wander from place to place.”~Genesis 4:8-10,12 – ERV
The price Cain paid for his sin was enormous. Cain’s former gift of being able to till the soil successfully became a curse as God said, “Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow.
Whereas Cain had been the family’s hope for success and prosperity, “their champion,” he now became the disappointment, the one who was truly filled with “vain hopes;”one who could no longer produce. The Lord not only took away all former expectations of success, but also drove him away, branding him with the indelible mark of a murderer, condemning him to the life of a wanderer. (*See Genesis 4:13-16)
Have we ever stopped to think of what we give up when we ignore the Lord’s voice, giving in to our stubbornness, anger, own desires, and lack of faith over simply obeying the Lord’s will?
First we must like Abel abide in Christ to love God and to know His will.
Second we must care to obey His will once He reveals that will to us.
If we don’t love others, we won’t love, honor and value our God. When we do not love and value others we disobey God’s will.
Christ said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 – KJV
Jesus once told a religious ruler that the two greatest commandments upon which hung the whole Law were the first two: Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 22:37-40 – KJV
The Apostle John wrote, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21 – KJV
In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus let us know that in God’s eyes, everyone is our brother and sister. Not just people in our religious affiliations, our fellowships and social cliques. The Lord does not see as we see according to the teaching Christ gave us in that parable.
As I contemplated the enraged man who’d gunned down the innocent child on the freeway, I couldn’t help but wonder if he, like Cain, had lost his love and value for human life made in God’s holy image ~that life of which God says we are to be his keeper, his guardian, and to keep ourselves from harming.
Would that people knew God’s will and would do it!
Then I thought are we not too like that furious man when we explode like a seething time bomb with bitter words; words like lethal verbal weapons, over everything under the sun, ever finding fault, seeking to destroy with bitter criticism, accusation, and judgment, ever so quick to assume false conclusions without having all the facts? The internet and social media are daily inundated with these incidents of “virtual road rage.”
And if we regard not the life of our neighbor, resisting God’s will to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper, we absolutely do not love, fear, nor honor God our Heavenly Father, the Bible declares. (*See 1 John 4:20-21)
Jesus said, “…the bad things people say with their mouth come from the way they think. And that’s what can make people wrong. All these bad things begin in the mind: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and insulting people. These are the things that make people wrong.” Matthew 15:18-20 – ERV
“Heavenly Father, may You give us Thy divine love for one another, that we may also love and honor Thee, in Jesus’ name, amen.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” ~ Colossians 3:15, 17 KJV
May Our Heavenly Father bless you all with a beautiful New Year in 2021! May He keep you and your precious families all healthy, safe, and close to His heart, and fill you with His peace and grace, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Love always and forever on Christ, Suzanne, Mark, and JJ ❤️