Complacency vs. Contentment. 

If I can differentiate between the two, I can best correlate this to a MMA fighter.

Let me start with the easiest of the two to explain, which is COMPLACENCY.By definition, 

* 1
: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies <When it comes to safety, complacency can be dangerous.>

* 2
: an instance of usually unawareor uninformed self-satisfaction

Someone who is “complacent” is basically one who has no interest or motivation to learn more than what they already understand. The inability to make healthy adjustments in one’s fighting style to counter an opponents attacks.

Complacency is paralyzing. It is mostly related to fears and the simple fear of failure. Lack of faith maybe, but definitely a lack of internal or external motivation. 

CONTENTMENT, however by definition is about peace. Possessing peace while you roll with the punches of life.

A MMA fighter’s “peace” is based on his or her’s diversity and the atmosphere they create in any situation.

You can be challenged by various opponents throughout life, but your confidence and peace is not determined by anything external, but internal. 

A heart that is always open to learning and remains hungry and appreciative even if it is just the crumbs from that have fallen from the MMA Master’s table.

It is a way of life vs. a temporary emotion. It is what keeps us satisfied with our faith in God irregardless of what life brings.

It is NOT based on the fact that I will never know it all, but on the fact that there is so much more to learn.  

To be willing to anticipate my fresh daily bread and to be content with it vs. me being complacent with eating yesterday’s week old bread.

To allow things to flow in our life freely vs. things building up and hoarding things in fear of a lack of supply upon life’s demand. 

Furthermore, contentment is based on things internal while complacency is based on things external.

John 7:38 NIV

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

Philippians 4:11-14 NLT

“11Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13For I can do everything through Christ,c who gives me strength. 14Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.”

Hebrews 13:5 NIV

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

1 Timothy 6:6-7 NIV

“6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”

Luke 12:15 NIV

“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Proverbs 16:8 NLT

“Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.”

Proverbs 28:6 NLT

“Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.”

Ecclesiastes 3:13 NIV

“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil–this is the gift of God.”

I then asked our brother Noah who is a MMA Instructor to give me his input on this short note: 

“In full harmony with the talk I gave my students today.

I only wish to elaborate on one common reason people SAY they are content, but it’s obvious they aren’t when they judge. This could be judging success in socializing, finances, or spirituality.

We sometimes misuse the God given desire for stability. When we see someone do something we know we could’ve done, too, we desire to make sense of it.. often with excuse and criticism. It’s seems easier than correcting a false 12-year-old story.

As they say, game recognize game. This means that we recognize in others what we recognize in ourselves. So what stops us from acting? The answer is in one’s actions. When we criticise, it means we fear criticism. “The only reason you care about your failure is because you care what other people think about your failure.” – Gary Vaynerchuck.

Happy people are learning people. We desire new televisions, cars, phones, etc, but when it comes to changing our own person we meet with the fear that if I change something about me, it means I’m deficient. This happens, often, because we “braid” our concepts of identity over treating our knowledge like pillars.

If a support pillar is outdated, I can remove it and rebuild with little trouble. However, if I braided my concepts of identity, it’s a painful mess to unravel the whole thing to remove the weak strand of rope.

A great fighter has a tendency to see his skill sets individually, yet use them as one.

A fighter may tell you their striking may not be as good as there grappling. This doesn’t make them feel weak. If anything, it directs their game plan for where they want the fight to take place, range wise, and what to cultivate in training.

I got on a roll Ray Lol sorry it’s long. Use any/all, and God bless, my brother. 🙏”

-Noah Parkman, Mixed Martial Arts Instructor.

And on that note, on behalf of The Kingdom of God, brother Noah and myself,  I close with an Amen.

Brotherly love, 

Ray

QOTD: That Day On Calvary. 

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That Day On Calvary

“Now watch. Jesus said. Watch how He stated it. “The works that I do,” He’s doing them right now. “The works that I’m doing now, healing the sick, raising the dead, opening the eyes of the blind, these works shall you do also. You’ll do these if you believe in Me. You do these works. And then a greater than this shall you do, for I go to My Father.” 
 “A little while, and the world won’t see Me no more, yet you’ll see Me. I’ll be with you, even in you, to the end of the world. I will not leave you comfortless. I’ll pray the Father; He’ll send you another Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the world cannot receive; yet, you can receive Him.” 

Now notice. The “greater” works, was to have the Power in the Church, not only to heal the sick by prayer, cast out devils by prayer, but to impart Eternal Life to believers. The Holy Ghost was coming, and given into the hands of the Church, to impart Life. Oh! That’s what Calvary meant. It took stooped, degraded men and women, and lifted them into a place, to be sons and daughters of God, to heal the sick and to impart Eternal Life; by giving the Holy Ghost to obedient believers, men who were once unbelievers, be made believers, and impart spiritual, Eternal Life.”- Rev. W.  Branham

QOTD: Who Is This?

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Who Is This?

“One revelation on that sacred sand, one time upon that place, man can never be the same. A man, before he should call himself a Christian, before he can identify himself, he should first have that backside-of-the-desert experience, where he met God, face to face. 
For, today, you can have any kind of an answer. You can see the Lord perform just exactly what He said do, and smart theologians will explain It away. They’ll say, “That was for another day. It was for this. Or, It’s for another age. Or, It’s wrong.” Like they said of Jesus, “He is Beelzebub, the devil. He’s a fortuneteller.” And all those things, they have an answer. 

But when a man has ever come in contact with Christ, and seen Him as Paul did, or experienced Him, there is not enough theologians in the world to ever be able to explain that experience away from a man. 

That’s the reason, today. They don’t have the experience. That’s the reason they can’t say. They’re all saying, “Who is This? What is This? Where does It come from?” They don’t have the answer. Why? Because, all they know is a theology that some church has made. Not “to know theology” is Life. Not “to know the Bible” is Life. 

But “to know Him” is Life. “To know Him” as your personal Saviour, as the One Who has filled you with His Presence. You were there when it happened. There’s nobody can take It away from you. There’s no one can explain It away for you. When that experience happens to you, you know Who He is. To me, He is Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.”-Rev W.Branham 

QOTD: Five Definite Identifications Of The True Church Of The Living God. 

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“And, that, God is the Doctor. He’s a Doctor of the soul. He’s a Doctor of salvation. And He educated a man in His Own Theology, Peter, an unlearned man that couldn’t even read his name when it was wrote before him. But He give him the Holy Spirit, and give him the pencil to write the Doctrine about. So, on the Day of Pentecost, he wrote the Prescription. Let’s see what he wrote. Dr. Simon Peter, let’s see what your Prescription is for salvation. Let’s see what It was wrote out for. 
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and…the rest…the apostles, Men and brethren, what can we do? 

 (Watch out, you got the keys.) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

For the promise is unto you, and to your children,…to them that’s far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 

That’s the Prescription. Don’t doctor It up; you’ll kill your patient. That’s what’s the matter with a lot of these people talking this, “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” They’re killing a lot of spiritual people, doctored with the wrong thing.”

Rev. William M. Branham

The Fate of Faith in Perfection. 

John 1 NIV

“45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”46“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.”

People will always go and listen to God where they have the faith to listen to Him. 

Whether it is a priest, ordained bible scholar, or even someone non-ordained (like a simple son of a carpenter).  It solely relies in one’s child-like faith to lead us into a more intimate relationship with God. 
Now the entity that takes the greatest FAITH to hear the gospel is what is pleasing to God.  For what we often deem FOOLISH,  God holds very great in His heart.  

It takes great FAITH to be reverend or to be still and to “hear” God in creation. How can something that is temporary point to something eternal? 

But this is the FATE of FAITH, it will always take great FAITH to receive a gospel of perfection from imperfection or a gospel of maturity from us who are immature.  However this is God’s will. 

The TRUE meaning of PERFECT biblically via Hebrew/Greek translations is simply about being mature. 

“The word “perfect” that we often use in religious conversation is frequently misunderstood. We tend to apply an unqualified philosophical meaning to it and have it mean “without flaw” or “without error” or put it into other absolute categories. It then becomes easy to say that Jesus’ command in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:48), “Be therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect,” is a laudable goal, but one that is impossible for human beings to achieve sicne we cannot possibly be perfect. That is even easier to do from certain doctrinal or theological positions that assume human beings can never respond to God beyond their contaminated sinful nature (see Body and Soul).

The problem in this thinking is that the Hebrew word (tam or tamim) does not carry the meaning of “without flaw” as does the term “perfect” in English. It normally means complete or mature or healthy (for example, Lev 22:21). That meaning of mature dominates most use of the equivalent Greek term in the New Testament (telos). Something, or someone, can be complete or mature yet not be “without flaw.” In fact, it is much easier to be mature and still have flaws, than it is to be without error or without flaw. Many people are mature, but few if any are “without flaw.” A six year old can be mature, and still have a lot of growing to do, just like a person can be “holy” and have a lot to learn about spiritual maturity.” – Dennis Bratcher, PhD

Dennis R. Bratcher: Is a Treasurer and Executive Director – A retired professor of Old Testament; he has earned the PhD in Biblical studies from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and has served as a educator in the church for more than 25 years. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene, and has recently served on staff at a United Methodist church.

So hopefully this short note had planted a seed of compassion, love and an open mind to how God can truly use anyone and anything to draw us nearer to Him.   

It is simply a matter of faith and where we choose this relationship with God starts and ends.   

So to truly grow as a Christian, is to desire to be more intimate and mature on the things of God.   And as we grow, the less offended we become because there is something about feeling loved that inspires, encourages and produces confidence and compassion.

If we are to be the light and salt of the world, I pray it is because of our maturity and compassion in Christ.  

As always, God’s speed and love.

Ray Evangelista

Don’t Doubt, Wait on God. 

Genesis 3:17 “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.”

Genesis 5:29 

“He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed.”

Calvary was supposed to had freed us from a “curse”. Remind us my Lord what this “curse” was. 

Let me feel the LOVE only to the things that draw me nearer to you my Lord and may the things of SIN be the only time I feel the sacrifice and the sweat of my brow.

John 3 NIV

“17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Romans 14:23 NLT

“But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”

Wait on love. If you doubt anything, wait on God. Don’t just try to achieve a simple result and sell your birth right for bean stew or for a honeycomb.

For there is not enough sacrifices we or mankind can give that will even touch our our debt of sin. 

Only Christ can pay that debt in your heart and give us that joy and peace that we repeatedly try to find in sin.

Just receive it and receive it daily brethren. 

What separates LOVE and SACRIFICE is INTIMACY with God. 

It is what separates a Father’s love or a friend’s love from that of a love of a bride. 

To those who remain in the old, they only know sacrifice and will preach sacrifice.

But to those of us born of the Spirit, the old is gone and the journey of our rebirth has begun towards our intimacy and maturity with God and His love.

Apostle Paul knew love but his “Thorn” was that the “good” that he was suppose to do was still “sacrifice” to him. He was a “swordsman” and he still struggled with his nature, like we do.

His life by no means was it perfect my man’s standards, but “perfect” by God’s standards. And this maturity had set and example for the “Church” that to be mature is to know where you are immature. That our lives be symbolic of a life that represents a shield vs. a sword.

Because “perfection” is about maturity and to me, the Apostle Paul had more maturity than ALL the of old testament prophets combined. 

In the name that has fulfilled the prophecy of old and gives closure to all things, our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Amen. 

Brotherly love, 

Ray