Monday, 28 March 2016

Je Suis Fed Up

Proverbs 26:25 When he speaks fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
      
      Albert Einstein said, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
      I am a Christian and I believe Jesus is Lord! I am not defending any one's faith or rational beliefs. However, I am fed up with the evil rhetoric that is being passed off as a holy God inspired murder. These destructive actions taken by organized murderers, regardless of the initials they kill under, is human stupidity personified. These so-called Muslim groups who are killing helter-skelter are not hearing from God and I do not believe they are following any basic faith of self-improvement. They are not Muslim, Christian, or decent citizens of any kind. They are thugs who murder and enjoy killing for the sake of killing. 
      These misled fanatics are using the name of God as leverage for their insane vengeance and personal jealousies. These groups who misquote text are doing the same thing as a self-proclaimed vigilante who claims to be a Christian and says he was directed by God to kill a doctor who works in an abortion clinic. Neither action of murder can be biblically interpreted as being led by God. Can we protest the actions of the abortion doctors and pray that God changes their heart's desires and attitude? Yes, absolutely, we can and should. Prov. 31:9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. 
      I am not ranting or making declarations of "Someone ought to do something." I am, as many of you are feeling, simply stating that "I am fed up with religious murder and the nonsense going on in the so-called civilized world." What do we do about all these complicated events? The Lord did predict that these times would come. Matt. 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 
      The Apostle Paul states that the world would eventually decay because of the hearts of man and their rejection of God's will within their lives. 2 Tim. 3:1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 
      Christ also said that when we see these signs, know that His coming will be soon. What are we to do in the meantime? What does God expect of us who walk with Him on this earth? We do, after all, live on this planet with all the problems on it. 
      What is God looking for within our souls so that we are able to overcome the feelings and emotions of helplessness that cause uncertainty of life? Luke 18:7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" 
      According to God's word, He asks us to stay in faith. We know this because faith is what the Lord is looking for within each one of us every day and upon His return. Heb.11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
      Someone might say that I am oversimplifying the solution to the world's problems. Not so. If we actually believed and acted upon God's word in the first place, there would not be so many problems throughout the world. 
      I will have to take a page out of my wife's handbook for living in a corrupt world. As she often says to me when evil events seem to be overwhelming, she gets kinder to the people she sees every day. She prays for more ability to love the way the Lord loves. She makes herself walk a closer faith walk in the Lord. She deals with her own soul and its needs to submit to the word of God. In doing that she has the compassion and ability to deal with the world's pains.
      That is her answer for the world's ills and I have to say I am with her on this one. 1 Thes. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as also you are doing. I am fed up with the nonsense in the world, but where sin will increase grace shall much more abound and with the grace of the Lord in our lives we will rise above the spirit of mayhem and chaos. Luke 18:8b However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?

Friday, 25 March 2016

Snakes And Ladders

Proverbs 14:5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

      When your life starts to feel like a game of snakes and ladders, it is time to find the word of the Lord for the season you are in; rather than leaving your choices to the roll of the dice. Oh no, you landed on a snake and downward you go. Gen. 3:1a Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. 
      It might seem like our lives may sometimes run this way, but don't believe it. God said we are the head and not the tail, we are above and not beneath. No saints, we are living under an open heaven with the angels ascending and descending on our behalf.
      There is a ladder rising into the presence of God through Jesus our Lord. We are seated in heavenly places and we do not have to fear stepping on a snake-oiled slippery slope to destruction when we are under the blessing of the Almighty. Eph. 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
 
      God is a faithful witness; He does not lie. Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God's desire is to bless and promote us. He will not lead us on a snake-oiled path where we find ourselves falling away from His love. No! The Lord is constantly trying to get the blessing of the Lord to us because He is for us. 
      God would never have provided salvation for us through Jesus had He been against us. Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. The Lord God does not play a game of snakes and ladders with our heart and emotions. No sir. He is righteous altogether. Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
      We read the story of Mordecai who had an enemy, Haman. It had become one of Haman's wishes to destroy Mordecai and all the Jews as well. In the book of Esther, chapter 2, Mordecai discovers a plot to assassinate the king and through Queen Esther reveals the plot to the king and saves him. One night the king cannot sleep; he asks for the book of records. Esther 6:1 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. 
      The king's servant reads the part where Mordecai had saved the king. The king wants to know if anything had been done for Mordecai. Esther 6:3 And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him. 
      The king decides to honor Mordecai and asks Haman what should be done for a man that the king wants to honor. Haman, thinking the honor is for himself, tells the king to go all out. Esther 6:8 Have them bring a royal garment that the king himself has worn and a horse the king himself has ridden, which has a royal diadem on its head. 9 Put the garment and the horse under the charge of one of the king’s most noble officials. Have them clothe the man the king wants to honor, parade him on the horse through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king wants to honor.’ ” 
      The king agrees to Haman's plan, then commands that Mordecai be honored and Haman be the official who leads the horse and procession. Esther 6:10 “Excellent!” the king said to Haman. “Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested!” Talk about a reversal of fortunes. 
      What the devil has meant for our harm, God can turn for our good. The enemy of our soul has laid out plans to cause us to fall and falter down a slippery slope of sin and destruction. We can and will overcome all the temptations of the enemy if we stay within and under the covering of our Lord. Psalm 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
      You may have fallen down with one of the snakes on your path of life, but be assured there is a ladder right there in front of you named Jesus, the Lord. Grab His hand and climb into a heavenly life God has planned for you. It is never too late to step up and ask God to help you get up and win. Prov. 24:16a For a righteous man falls seven times, and rise up again. We do not have to play the game of snakes and ladder because our God has determined our salvation through Christ who paid for us in full. Thank you, Lord, for being so good to us.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Believe God

Proverbs 30:6 Don't add to His words, or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.

      James 2:19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble.
      There is a difference between believing in God and believing God. The devil believes in God and trembles, but the devil does not believe God and that is why he continues in his iniquity. When talking with people about God there is often a statement of: "Oh yeah, I believe in God, but I don't believe in the bible or anything like that. After all, Jesus was just a teacher of sorts." This statement is normally followed-up with a weak declaration of non-commitment to anything of faith or value. 
      I do understand when unsaved people of the world talk this way because they do not know the fullness of what God did for them through Christ. But when it is someone who proclaims to be walking in the truth of God's word and living a lifestyle that is contrary to what God says in His word, then we have to look deeper and find the root of the hypocrisy and deception. 2 Tim. 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 
      When someone is truly struggling with a personal battle of conscience or belief in what God says, a minister might ask, "Since you believe in God, then why don't you believe God Himself and what He says?" There is a difference. When men say they believe in God or that God exists but ignore what God says, they are doing the same thing the devil does; and in some cases without trembling. 
      Until a person starts to believe God, he or she will not leave their iniquitous lifestyle because they believe only in God and that does not take any fortitude or faith. It takes faith to believe what God says and act upon it. To believe in God or that God exists is simply non - committal thinking. Is believing in God and believing God exists a good start to finding God? Yes, absolutely. It is an excellent place to start. But remember, the world is full of people who believe in God but do not do any of the things God says to do to inherit eternal life. We end up in a religious argument with endless semantics. To actually believe God is to do as He says in His word, as in accepting Jesus as Lord - and that is life eternal. Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 
       Jesus was running into this problem on a regular basis, especially concerning the Sabbath. The scribes and Pharisees would ask Jesus why He and His disciples were breaking the laws of the Sabbath or other traditions. Jesus would then ask the scribes and Pharisees why they ignored God's word to keep their religious laws and traditions. Matt. 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 
      This line of engagement is a constant discussion throughout the four Gospels in the New Testament. The scribes and Pharisees are constantly touting their belief in God but blinded by their traditions to where they cannot believe God and act upon what God said. 
       In what is known as The Council Of Jerusalem in Acts 15, we come across an event that sets a precedence for our church history. There was a teaching that had gone out stating that unless a Gentile was circumcised he could not be saved. All the apostles of note got together and hashed out this tradition of Jewish faith and whether this should be expected of the Gentiles. Acts 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 
      Peter gets up and says, "Look the Holy Spirit has fallen on the Gentiles the same way He did on us. God is judging the hearts of men, not their keeping of traditions and laws that we nor our fathers could keep, so why would we put this burden on the Gentiles?" Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. 
      A letter is written to be delivered by the elders of Syria and Cilicia where this circumcision doctrine was causing consternation. This is one of the first instructions written in the New Testament because at this point there are no Gospels or Pauline letters to guide their lives. The word of the Holy Spirit was simply this. In order to follow Jesus and be a Christian per se, start here. Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. 
      The word of the Lord had come through the Holy Spirit and all the Gentiles had to do was believe God and their walk in Christ would start in earnest. The Holy Spirit is saying the same thing to us today. We are fortunate to have the whole word of God delivered to us in a collection of books collated in the bible. The word of God admonishes us to believe God and act upon His word for our lives so that we may live a Christ-filled life. If we are believing God and doing what He says, we will not have time to live in sin or empty traditions that bring no peace. Therefore, believe God! Blessings.

Friday, 11 March 2016

God Also Loves Atheists

Proverbs 6:9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up?

      Atheists do not exist because God does not believe in them.
      I find it humorous when someone says they are making a decision as to whether or not to make Jesus the Lord of their life. I always want to jump in and say, "Jesus is already Lord! You are simply accepting the fact of this reality by submitting to His Lordship that was eternally established from the beginning of time." 1 Pet. 1:20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 
      We have people who claim to be agnostic and feel they can keep their distance from God because they do not believe it is possible to have a relationship with a divine God. An atheist comes along and dribbles out some psycho-babel about nothing because there is nothing to believe in and so on it goes. What is it about the human condition that is always testing the love of God? Why do we have to be so stubborn? 
      We have come through hundreds of years of so-called enlightenment and can barely see how to get along with our neighbours. We claim to have gained deep insight into life's mysteries and can hardly understand our own emotions on the surface, let alone deep ones. We keep missing the spiritual because we keep looking for an intuitive worldly answer. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
       The Apostle Paul was having to think through similar and established beliefs when he was trying to get through to the Corinthian mindset because they were trying to cover all the basis for all types of lifestyle choices by having ready-made gods available to cover any whim and circumstance. The people of the day had set up many gods so they could be petitioned for any possible event. Within their cluster of gods to choose from, they even had one named the unknown god.  Acts 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 
      It was thought that by offering a spiritual smorgasbord of gods they could cover their lifestyle choices regardless of what their choices were. It looks to me like not much has changed since that time. Eccl. 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 
      People, in our time and history, are still trying to make their gods work for them by self-pronounced validation of their life choices regardless of what the Almighty God has said about it. Within churches, we have people rewriting and reinterpreting clearly spelled out scriptures to suit their own sin of choice. 
      At this point, I will be accused by some of not having an open mind because of what I have just implied. Our minds should not be so open that our brains are falling out. Righteousness is righteousness and sin is sin! Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
      It is God who tells us to be reconciled to Himself and not a suggestion as to whether we want to or not. It is a divine instruction to do so. 2 Cor. 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 
      You may not believe God exists or you may believe that you cannot have a divine relationship with Him, but this does not eliminate our personal invitation from God to accept His loving gift of salvation through Christ the Lord. You may have rejected God's eternal offer, but you have been served with His edict of love. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
      Atheism, agnosticism, and every other humanism is not enlightenment. It is the belief of believing in nothing which is creating empty souls and resulting in a generation of spiritual sloths. Christ describes these so-called teachers of nothingness; the blind leading the blind. Matt. 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. 
      God loves atheists, agnostics, and humanists alike. Christ died for every person ever created. God believes in you. If He did not believe in you, He would not have created you. God knows our eternal potential and purpose, so why would we hand our created purpose over to some self-proclaimed Anti-Christ or a teacher of emptiness? 
      No, its time to wake up from the sleep of the slothful. Jesus is Lord of all and every knee will bow to that fact. We can bow now and live in the joy of the Lord, or bow on the other side of death and weep. Either way, we will all bow to the Lordship of Jesus. Phil. 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in the heavens and on earth and under the earth. Jesus is Lord!

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Name Of Jesus

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  

      I found myself humming and signing an old chorus the other day while working on a project around the yard. ♪ ♬♩ What a lovely name, the name of Jesus. Reaching higher far, than the brightest star. Sweeter than the songs they sing in heaven. Let the world proclaim, what a lovely name.♫♪
      God the Father loves the name of Jesus because it is through Jesus we have been reconciled and restored into relationship with God Almighty. God admonishes us to do more than pay lip service to Jesus, but to actually listen to what Jesus says. Matt. 17:5 While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!" Listen to Him is the emphatic instruction given to us because Jesus knows what the Father wants out of our hearts and lives; therefore, pay attention to Jesus and what He says. 
      The name of Jesus can stir incredible reactions within people, whether positive or negative. What an amazing statement Peter makes addressing the most religious law keeping scribes, elders, and rulers at the time. Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 
      Peter closes his statement with "Neither is there salvation in any other name." Think about it. The world at that time had gods galore and belief aplenty and God brings to earth one name that can save and do all and beyond any other name imaginable. Jesus is the name above all names, and there is no salvation in any other name. Phil. 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
      The power in the name of Jesus was evident while Jesus walked the earth. The Lord had sent out his disciples to minister and deliver people from the bondage and possession of the devil. These disciples came back in the joy of the Lord expressing wonder at the power of Jesus' name. Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us through your name. What a change from the dry and ineffectual religions of the day. 
      In the name of Jesus people were healed, encouraged, and delivered from demonic influences. This caused arguments and debates as to if Jesus had any spiritual authenticity. Then with a resounding declaration Jesus declares, "He is God." John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Mark 14: 61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am: and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 
      What an amazing name the name of Jesus. Within the name of Jesus is the whole plan for man that we would be holy and blameless in Him. Eph. 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. No other name in history can do or accomplish what Jesus did for us on the cross as He became the only sacrifice that God the Father would accept as acceptable for all the sins of mankind. 
      A name above all others. A name I can put my heart, soul, and trust in without fear of being rejected. Oh, Lord Jesus, how wonderful is your name who heals the sick, who calms the storms, who delivers from destruction, and who saves unto eternity. Truly Jesus is the beginning and the end. Rev. 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all you have done for me. I am truly grateful. 
      ♪ ♬♩ What a lovely name, the name of Jesus. Reaching higher far, than the brightest star. Sweeter than the songs they sing in heaven. Let the world proclaim, what a lovely name.♫♪