Friday, 27 October 2017

Holiness Is Wholeness

Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.

      My friend and pastor, David Kalamen, was explaining a thought from his sermon to a few of us sitting around a table. That thought lit up and stuck to my inner being like a bramble to the hide of a forest animal. The illumined thought was hooked and set. I got it! The insight from that particular word of God now belonged to me and it could be used for my wholeness in life. Prov. 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. He asked us what God's main attribute or nature was and like most of us I said, "Love." Others around the table picked justice, mercy, goodness and so on. He said, "Holiness!" 1 Pet. 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 
      My understanding of pastor David's explanation is as follows. Without holiness, love is just lust or emotional and mental euphoria. Justice without holiness is whatever a person deems it to be. Justice could easily resort back to an eye for an eye if holiness is not the foundation for justice. The mercy or goodness we dispense is just an interpretation of social mercy based on our place and manner of upbringing if the mercy and goodness is not processed through the holiness of God. Wow! I get it! Holiness determines wholeness and wellness in all things we do and become. 
      Until we filter all of our life actions through the holiness of God, these actions simply remain acts of religion, soulism, and humanism. Do the acts in themselves do any good? Of course they do. They are good works and there are often good results from these works. However, these good works in themselves will not get the traction for the wholeness of life that holiness produces through our God. 
      Holiness will sift out all personal agendas, carnal interpretations, and self-righteousness that individuals stumble around in trying to do the works of God in their own strength. The measuring stick or plumb line we use in life must line up with the one God uses and His is holiness. God is holy! He cannot be outside of who He is. Lev. 20:26 You must be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the other peoples to be mine. We belong to him, and He wants us determining all our decisions through the same filter He uses and that is holiness.
     Jesus was explaining this concept from what we call The Sermon On the Mount or The Beatitudes. In six places in chapter five, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says," You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, do not (do this or that.) "BUT I say to you." Jesus was filtering the law of God that people had brought to the lowest common denominator back to what the spirit of holiness would have seen the law to be. Man could not do this by himself but Jesus, the perfect and holy sacrifice nailed to the cross, could do it and give God's holiness to everyone who accepted Jesus as Lord. 
      Matt.5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Adultery filtered through holiness not only takes in the very act, but now through the holiness of Christ also takes in the musing and planning of the act. Holiness, through Jesus our Lord, brings wholeness to all the things we do and think. 
      Jesus has made it possible through His perfect and holy sacrifice on the cross for us to have a whole and righteous life with God. If we filter and process our Christian walk by faith in Christ and His holiness, we also will have wholeness of life now and forevermore. Rom. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Thank you, Pastor David, for this living word. I needed it and I get it! Holiness is wholeness.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Absolutely Boring

Proverbs 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

      I cannot think of a more boring existence than that of the devil. Satan has got to be bored to tears when it comes to his role of accuser and destroyer, never to get any new revelation or thought. His mind is stuck in the knowledge of eons past, never to have a moment of the Lord's modern illumination or peace. Always the same old thing century after century, just another day to rob, kill, and destroy - oh hum, will it ever change? 
      Satan spends his time looking for the weak links in humanity then pounces and robs, kills, and destroys. All he ever sees is the ugliness of the human condition, then accuses them before God of the ugliness manifested daily around the world. Job 1:7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it. Back and forth, back and forth, killing and robbing, back and forth, killing and robbing, same old same old. A pathetic brat breaking all of God's creation. Talk about a life sentence without parole.
      When I hear someone complaining that life is getting boring, I often think "Nowhere as boring as the devil's existence." We have the privilege in Christ to come to God in prayer and receive new illumination and revelation of God's greatness filling our hearts and minds with new hope. We can be comforted by the Holy Spirit in our distress. We can be filled with the joy of the Lord in a moment of time, changing our sad day into a glorious victory. 
      Who would want to become an ally of a boring pretender like Satan? The devil gives you poison ivy, God gives us the rose of Sharon. Beelzebub gives the world aids and cancer, God gives us restoration and healing. Psalm 107:20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. The devil accuses our soul to the point of depression, while God delivers our body, mind, and soul through the blood of Christ giving us peace in a true relationship.
       At the end of the day when the devil is trying to add up all his mischief - all he can realize is his own misery. Prov. 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? Who has these problems? The devil does! He is simply reaping what he has been sowing for thousands of years. 
      James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Here is an exciting life. Submit your full lives unto God and destroy the works of the devil by being a blessing in this earth. Lay hands on the sick for healing. Pray for all the people God puts on your heart and see lives change for the good. If we do these things, we will not have time to be bored. We will be vigilant and aware of the enemy's tricks.1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 
      We can all agree that God Almighty has never been or ever will be boring. The devil, atheists, and recidivists will always be boring, but never God. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Blessings to us all.

Friday, 13 October 2017

May Contain Sin

Proverbs 23:6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats.

      I read labels on all packaged foods. It is one of the ways I have learned to take care of myself and make sure to keep certain chemicals, artificial-sweeteners, and nitrates out of my body. The overwhelming amounts of processed fillers, artificial-flavors, and preservatives added to packaged foods as well as to some everyday staples have become dangerous to the point of creating a toxic soup. 
      I have become so familiar with some of the unpronounceable names printed on packaged and processed foods that I no longer bother eating them. They do not improve over time. They just get more government regulated and more chemicals are added for our apparent safety.
      
One of the noticeable trends now being printed on labels is the extra warnings of "May contain peanuts or sesame seeds." This added warning has become a common disclaimer because of the severe allergic reactions some people have to these products. The smallest trace amounts can cause some sensitive people to become very sick within moments. We could say as the Apostle Paul says in Gal. 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Just one peanut can cause major health problems to their whole body.  
      These people who are allergic must make an extra effort not to come into contact with the said products. They basically have to treat these products like poison or sin so to speak. They must train themselves to be aware of food trends and be vigilant to the point of excess. 1 Cor. 9:27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
      Many people are becoming food conscience because of the myriad diseases plaguing society. Alzheimer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and disorders of every kind just to name a few. These illnesses are becoming the modern plagues of our time. Unless we take personal responsibility to take care of ourselves, we will be overrun with the deadly effects these diseases are producing in society. If we do nothing to change our lifestyle, then we will end up in a place of paralytic existence, not necessarily living out our old age with health and sound mental ability because of the detrimental effects these modern illnesses have. 
      Yes, we will all die one day as death is guaranteed to us all. However, we can go out full of life and living out our God-given purpose until the day God calls us home. There is some value in taking care of our bodies throughout life so we can live a whole life within the grace and gifts given to us through Christ Jesus our Lord.1 Tim 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 
      Since some of us are becoming avid label readers in order to maintain good health, let us not forget to read the instruction book of life God has given us to maintain a healthy spiritual life as well. The word of God is a living word that can train us to see events in life clearly. As we read His word and make it the authority in our lives, our faith will grow and become vibrant. Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. We will be able to read the labels life has on it, so to speak, and recognize the warnings written, "May contain sin."
      As deadly diseases plague modern day man, hopefully, we do our best to overcome these ailments for our well being and health. Overcoming sin in our spiritual lives also benefits our health because the result of sin is also death. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
      Thank God the gift of life is ours through Christ if we want it. The choice is ours to pursue health in both cases - natural and spiritual. The best part is that spiritual health is a blessed assurance because it is received by faith. It is the gift of God that gives us the wisdom to live out our lives by faith and as healthy as we can by putting our best efforts forward. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers. May the Lord give us all the ability to read and obey the Godly labels He has printed out in His word for our lives. Amen.

Friday, 6 October 2017

An Emotional Lie

Proverbs 17:4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

      Adam and Eve had been living a protected and blessed life in the garden of Eden. Eve was used to straight talk with Adam and God. "What is that Adam?" "That is an Elephant." "What is that God?" "That is the tree of life." "And that one?" "That is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, do not ever eat from it or you will die." Gen. 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. 
      I believe the everyday communication Eve had with the Lord and Adam was honest and to the point. Eve was emotionally safe because her conversations had no ambiguity, cynicism, or crassness in it. The communication Eve experienced was clean and pure.
      Then the devil came along and lied to Eve and tricked her into mistrusting the integrity of God. The devil said to Eve, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” When defending what someone said it is easy to become emotionally responsive as Eve did. It was an emotional lie Eve fell for and resulted in her wanting something more than God could or would give her at the time. Gen. 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
      Judas also fell for an emotional lie while walking with Jesus for three years. Judas betrayed Jesus at the last supper. John 13:27a After Judas took the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. There was a belief that a Messiah was going to deliver the chosen people from their oppressors. The Lord was trying to save mankind from eternal oppression and death, but Judas was trying to provoke Jesus into saving Israel from Roman oppression. Judas believed the emotional argument the religious leaders put forth. Prov. 17:4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue. Judas' emotions were right off the chart. When he realized what he had done, he ended up committing suicide and paid dearly for his sin.
      It does not seem to matter how long we have walked with the Lord or have overcome past temptations. There are always new temptations coming along to test us one more time. The sin we take part in that seemed so innocent and even harmless at the time now creeps up our spine with squeezing reptilian thoughts of "What have I done?" 
      That is always the result of falling into temptation because the emotional lies are always the most disappointing and crushing to our soul. It is so personal. The sin at the time was so titillating and looked to be an ultimate privilege in life, but the results are never satisfying or fulfilling. True enough it was seductive to look at and desire as Eve noted, but not satisfying, as we all found out.  
      These sinful ideas or desires shout "It will all be good and fun. You will never have a better chance for happiness." In the end, however, it always leaves us feeling like we were let down so hard our inner man hurts and feels uncomfortably anxious. Rom. 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 
      The seemingly harmless sin that looked good a few minutes ago now has a stench of utter disappointment about it and we are not sure what to do with it. We realize what an emotional lie it was that we fell for because our self-satisfying gratification had not been met as promised. Now our emotions are judging our mind and heart with no mercy. Rom. 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 
      Thank God the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ meet our every need and that includes the emotional needs as well. For the salvation of God has cleansed us from all sins of the body, mind, and soul. We can bring our emotions to the Lord and have them tenderly touched, healed, and sorted so that we can get up in strength to fight the good fight of faith in Jesus name. Rom. 8:37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Thank you, Lord, for keeping us emotionally sound in Christ. Amen.