“I can’t help it.


“I can’t help it.
I’m just not very strong when it comes to
resisting temptation.”

Do you remember an old B-grade movie called The Blob? As I recall, a meteor came hurtling in from outer space, crashed to earth in a wooded area, and split open. As it lay there glowing, a man came up to it and poked it with a stick. Suddenly and violently, this cosmic goo slithered up the stick and onto the man’s arm.
The man began screaming and running, doing all kinds of things to try and get this glue-like substance off his body. But as we watched, the blob began to consume him. The harder he worked to shake off the blob, the more completely he was consumed until finally, he was gone. This blob-like creature had devoured him.
As the movie went on, the blob got bigger and bigger by consuming everything in its path. Pretty soon, it was eating everyone in town. People were running around screaming because the blob was taking over.
When I think about temptation, I am reminded of The Blob. Like the blob, temptation is pervasive. It didn’t matter whether the people in the movie wanted to deal with the blob. It was there, and it was coming for them. Their only choice was to run or get blobbed.
That’s the way it is with temptation. If you’re a man and you’re alive, you’re on the list. It’s that simple. Temptation will find you.
Now, the blob started off small. It was just an interesting-looking lump of glowing goo. The man who poked at it with a stick didn’t really feel threatened at that point. He was just curious to see what it was.
Temptation usually starts in a small way too. It’s in just one little area. We reach out to touch it and get a little bit of it on us. But when we try to shake it off, we find out it’s sticky. No matter what we do, it doesn’t let go. In fact, it starts moving up our arms, eating away at us until it consumes us.
When this process goes beyond a certain point, the temptation becomes an addiction. We’re all aware of the more obvious addictions to things like drugs, tobacco, and alcohol—or the various sexual addictions. But a lot of addictions are not so obvious. A man may not be immoral in his actions, but if we could peer into his mind, we might be very surprised at what we see. In fact, some of us do with our minds what most people would never do with their bodies, because we become addictive in our way of thinking.
Now, addiction is at the far end of the scale. It’s what happens when temptation is allowed to wander out of control, like the blob. An addiction is something that has gained such complete mastery over us that our ability to resist has been all but destroyed. Like the blob, this thing is consuming us and perhaps even rubbing off us and destroying other people around us as well.
Obviously, not every man is addicted. But temptation is a fact of life for all of us, Christians as much as unbelievers. The difference is that if you are a son of God, you have supernatural power available to you to say no to temptation and to live a life that pleases our Creator.
A nonbeliever may whimper and roll over in the face of temptation, excusing it by saying, “I just can’t help myself.” But that doesn’t have to be your story.
Since temptation is an ever-present reality, we need to know how it works and why trying to conquer it in our flesh won’t work. To help us get past the excuses, we are going to learn from a brother in Christ who thoroughly understood the lusts of the flesh and the wiles of Satan, and who struggled in this area more than you might think. I’m talking about Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Sent from Prophet Timothy v Shockley Sr

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PAGANISM IS ALIVE AND WELL


PAGANISM IS ALIVE AND WELL

Any religion that focuses on the acquisition of things and the meeting of personal needs is a religion of pagans. Look again at what Jesus said:
So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:31-34).
According to Jesus, always running after and being preoccupied with the acquisition of things and the satisfying of basic necessities is the activity of pagans. Based on that definition, I would have to say that paganism is alive and well in our world today. As a matter of fact, one of the largest gatherings of pagans takes places every Sunday (or Saturday, in the case of Seventh-Day Adventist churches) when the communities known as the church of Jesus Christ gather for worship. We claim to believe God and trust Him, but our daily lives and the concerns that fill our thoughts reveal that most of us do not. We give lip service to God’s provision, yet we work for food, drink, clothing, shelter, and other things as if it all depends on us. And working for those things becomes the center of our existence and the top priority of our lives. We work hard but we don’t spend time with God. A couple of hours a week pretending to worship, and that’s it. Our preoccupation with material things, satisfying basic needs and getting ahead in the world is nothing other than pagan behavior. Those who truly know the God of Heaven as their Source and Supplier do not have these concerns because they are confident that He has taken care of them.
It is important at this point to understand what we mean by the word pagan. Contrary to what many people may assume, most pagans are not atheists; nor are they, usually, evil people. On the contrary, pagans are highly religious. The word pagan, in fact, refers to worshipers. It refers to people who worship a god other than the one true and living God as revealed in the Bible. An equivalent word to pagan is idolater. Pagans, then, are religious devotees, often highly zealous adherents to a specific system of beliefs and rigidly faithful to a strict set of customs and rituals. The concept of a personal, loving God who cares deeply about them is completely alien to pagans. God, however they conceive him (or her) to be, is a distant, often harsh deity who must be appeased and persuaded to help them. The thought of loving such a god is incomprehensible.
Jesus said that only religious people—pagans—run after the basic needs of life. So if food, drink, clothing, money, car, house and other material things are your priorities, then you are thinking and acting like a pagan, no matter what you claim to believe.
We need a complete change of focus. It is time for us to stop living according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and start living by the principles and priorities of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus turned Maslow upside down and then gave us the correct perspective: “But seek first His [God’s] kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33, emphasis added). They will be given. That means that we do not have to work for them or worry about them; God will supply them freely if we give priority to His Kingdom and righteousness.
This does not mean that we should quit our jobs and sit around waiting for God to drop all of these things in our laps. It does mean that even as we work from day to day in our jobs and professions, we are living for other priorities—God’s priorities—supremely and serenely confident that He has us covered. There is no surer antidote to stress, anxiety, and worry.
It is time to set aside the pagan mind-set with its priority of things and take up instead the divine priority, the priority of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Isaiah 26:3 provides this precious promise: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed [steadfast] on You, Because he trusts in You” (NKJV).

Sent from Prophet Timothy v Shockley Sr

A Metaphor For America


A Metaphor For America

Restoring The Father- Led Home

Some months ago, an ugly crack appeared in my bedroom wall. I called a painter who replaced the defective plaster and repainted the wall. It looked great. I was happy; he was happy. I paid him, and he left. But about a month later the crack reappeared, uglier than ever. Preachers don’t get mad, but I was somewhat “evangelically ticked off”. I called the painter back and asked him to fix the problem. He apologized and expressed surprise that the problem had recurred so quickly, he redid the work and everything was fine- for about forty-five days. But then the crack came back, only this time it brought its aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews at this point I concluded that I need a new painter. I called another professional to come and fix my problem for good. This man looked at my wall and shocked me by saying, “I’m sorry sir I cant help you with your problem because you don’t have a problem with cracks in your wall.” Well I looked at the cracks in my walls then I looked at the “crackpot”, telling me my problem wasn’t cracks in my wall. I said, “Excuse me, but I can see a crack, you can see a crack in fact all God’s children can see a crack.” “oh yes, he replied, you have a crack, but that’s not your problem, it just reflects a much deeper problem. Your problem is a shifting foundation. Until you stabilize your foundation you will forever be repairing cracks on your wall.

That’s a metaphor for America. The condition of American Society today, we can see cracks everywhere; social cracks, political cracks, moral cracks, even cocaine cracks. But until we stabilize the foundation, no number of programs, government grants, or elections will be able to repair the cracks in our cultural walls. There is no place where the foundation of America needs to be stabilized more than in the home.

The breakdown of the family is the single greatest contributor to the deterioration of our country. Strong families hold the key to a strong society, while conversely, weak families lead to a weak society. This is so because every other institution in society is predicated on and dependent upon strong families and you cant have strong families without God at their foundation. No wonder Satan didn’t bother Adam until her got married. Satan knew that in order to shut down God’s program of expanding his Kingdom on earth, he would have to destroy the institution at the foundation of that program; namely the family. We can’t talk about the role of Christians in affecting society without talking about the family. As Christians we need to help others, if our families are a mess, we don’t need to be exporting that into the culture.

As a husband and a father as well as a Pastor, I am convinced that the responsibility of building Godly homes lies at the feet of the man. This is not to discount a women’s importance and input. But God has placed men at the head of their families, and I don’t know of any greater task or any more risky business that to be a man holding the responsibility of leading a home. Look at what we are up against. What used to be considered rather unusual not too many years ago a family without a father is now a crisis of growing proportions. The reality in our culture today is that a staggering number of children are growing up in single-parent homes. The vast majority of which are fatherless. In 1970, for example only 13 percent of children grew up without both parents at home. But, today that member is at least 30 percent in the culture at large. For African-American children, the percentage more than doubles to 63 percent.

We’re talking about millions of children growing up in homes where in most cases they will know little or nothing of a father’s influence. I know that mothers are deserting their families today too, but the numbers are still heavily weighted toward missing fathers.

In fact, we’re told that half of all American children will go through at least some part of their lives without having a father at home. And the future doesn’t look any brighter. By the year 2010; it is predicted that 70 percent of black children will be products of single-parent (mostly fatherless) homes.

The implications of this are staggering in terms of the world we have to live in and minister to. This is not theoretical for me.

I want to address primarily fathers and husbands as we look at how Christians can strengthen America by stabilizing their own homes in the foundation of God’s word. It used to be alot simpler
than it is today. At one time our culture shared a basic understanding about what it meant to be a father and a husband. But the role of man has been radically redefined, leaving behind a whole generation of boys and men who aren’t clear about what it means to be a man, let alone how to go about leading a home.

Sent from Prophet Timothy v Shockley Sr