Friday, 22 February 2019

The Human Spillage

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

      Joel Osteen said, “Don't make permanent decisions on temporary feelings.”
      When we look all around us and see the human spillage that is polluting the earth, air, and waters that we need to live in - we can only wonder how we have made it this far without blowing up the entire world. This same polluting attitude and resulting uncertainties have spilled into the spiritual lives of people worldwide. 2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what 
their itching ears want to hear. 
      The Messiah syndrome - as in we need a Superman from another galaxy to save us - is rampant with people claiming to have found the way to deliverance from all the mayhem that is about to come upon mankind. Whether for spiritual growth or for daily living, people are looking for some kind of Messiah to save their solipsistic existence. Matt. 24:5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
      The pendulum swings of belief are so incredibly vast and wide that people feel forced to make decisions at a rapid speed. They feel caught up in the momentum of multiple choices of ideas and beliefs that are dangling before their hearts on a continual basis. This zeitgeist has created a feeble condition that has reached a tipping point of worldwide saturation that people are having a hard time hearing a clear and honest message. Matt. 24:23 At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it.
      The Lord warned us that these days would come and sin would increase in intensity as the end times approached. His encouraging word to us who walk in Christ was straightforward. He said to keep your peace that you have in the Lord and make your life decisions based on His word and not what you see going on around the earth. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. 
      God also admonished us to stay faithful and continue to trust in Him. Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
      The human condition is manifesting such cravings and needs for personal identity and fulfillment that anything seems to be accepted and eaten up with ravenous gluttony. If you have the Lord’s peace in your life and heart, then it is easier to shun the multiple snake oil cures offered as true salvation. However, if you are desperate in heart, soul, and mind then anything goes. Prov. 27:7 A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
      How badly can humanity corrupt its life? We know from history past that God endured to the point where He said it was enough. The heart of man was exhibiting corruption beyond understanding and had reached a dreadful saturation point of evil. Gen. 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Will it get that bad again? I do not know, but some say we are there already.
      We can be encouraged that grace is at work in the dispensation that we are living in today. Rom. 5:20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
      We do have the advantage of the finished work of the cross and the blood of Jesus at work in our hearts and lives. The generation before the flood did not have that blessing working in their hearts. However, we do. So as we look around and see the human spillage affecting the world, let us keep making our permanent decisions based on the leading of the Holy Spirit and not the noise in the streets. Blessings and peace to us all.

Friday, 15 February 2019

A Serpent's Jealousy

Proverbs. 26:25 When he speaks graciously, don't believe him, for there are seven detestable things in his heart.

      Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. I find it interesting that even Satan cannot resist the presence of God. Why does he show up to present himself before God when everything in his heart is only hate? We see Satan showing up on another occasion to accuse a man in front of God. Zech. 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. Again, in Job 2:1 Satan presents himself before God and in his flawed character starts bad mouthing Job.  
      Why is Satan hanging around so much when he has nothing but venomous hatred for God and His created beings? I believe Satan is possessed with jealousy for the attention that God lavishes on us - his most prized human beings. This unwavering attention that God has for His people is the desire of Satan's darkened heart. He wants what we have. God's doting love and attention to everything we say and do drives Satan to envious jealousy that is so palatable it manifests in Satan's demonic stupidity.
      The devil is so blinded by his own jealousy that he can't even take a hint when the Lord Himself uses His own name to rebuke him. Zech. 3:2a And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee. Even after this - in your face rebuke - the devil's need to be seen and heard of God still drives him. This makes me wonder how magnificent God really is. It makes me think of how profound and affected we become once we have met and known God in person.
       Way back when, in times past, when the devil overplayed his hand by trying to take over God the Father's realm, he sealed his future forever. Satan became an unapologetic pathological self-absorbed liar. Prov. 26:25 When he speaks graciously, don't believe him, for there are seven detestable things in his heart. Since then the devil has spent his entire existence trying to get back to the forefront of God's presence. I think the devil believes his own importance; otherwise, why would he be so jealous of us - the human race? I think it's because we were created in God's image, but Satan was not. Gen. 1:26a And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. 
      Pride enveloped Lucifer's identity because his name meant bearer of light. The irony of ironies after his sinful act of treason, he became the bearer of anything but light, even though he comes and presents himself as an angel of light. 2 Cor. 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. His grasp on reality was lost to the jealousy that controlled him. 
      He wanted to own God's kingdom and be as beautiful as the infinite beauty of God Himself. Isa. 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
      Human jealousy will cause people to do horrific things. How much more will demonic jealousy affect an angelic being who has seen and tasted the good things of God, but now has no part in God's eternal plan except to be thrown into a dark and Godless existence. Rev. 20:10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
      The next time you are feeling jealous about another person's life, remember that Satan is trying to give you part of his own character so he can fight you on a level plane. We were created in the image of God, and through Christ, we have the right and authority to cast out the devil and resist him in all that we do in the name of Jesus. A serpent's jealousy does not belong to us, so don't take it home with you. Rather, take the blood of our savior Jesus, and be washed clean of all sin including jealousy. Blessings to us all.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Broken? Fix it!

Proverbs 29:1 One who becomes stiff-necked, after many reprimands will be shattered instantly--beyond recovery.  

      What a strange couple of weeks I have had. All kinds of little things kept breaking that needed repair or fixing right away. We got about a foot of snow one day and the snow blower would not start. A tiny metal fiber had plugged up a small part of the carburetor. The wipers on my car stopped in mid-wipe and needed fixing. The glove compartment latch snapped off and a band-aid repair was needed to stop everything from falling out unto the car floor. The toilet started a small leak at the floor and a new wax ring was needed. I dropped my electric toothbrush on the floor and it stopped buzzing away. It had been a gift. It had to be fixed. Then a few days ago the hood support stabilizers of my car would not keep the hood up. It let out a grinding noise and that was it.
      Outside of the fact that the little breakdowns kept me busy figuring out what had to be done, there was nothing really dramatic here because all of these little annoyances could be repaired or fixed. The only odd thing was that these things kept happening one after another, therefore, it was noticeable. If these things are happening in the natural, what is going on in the spirit? 
      How many little things are breaking down or malfunctioning in our soul that God has talked to us about that need fixing? Why have we not asked the Lord for help in fixing the sinful things that we fall for so easily? If God says something is not right within us, then we should be on it. With God's help and grace, we should be repenting, restoring, and repairing the wrong taking place within us. Phil. 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 
      We can become accustomed to living with broken appliances, furniture, vehicles and putting up with a patchwork of fixes that will get by for now. This attitude does not work in the kingdom of God. Nor should it. God is perfect and desires obedience. When He asks us to do His will, He doesn't expect us to say, "Ya well, I'll get around to it sometime soon." We do not bring God down to our level of procrastination, but rather we rise to His level of perfection that He may be glorified and we may live and be blessed.
      
The danger in being lackadaisical with God's directions in our life is that we may end up not caring or doing what He asks of us. Disobedient people will get to the point where they no longer listen to the Holy Spirit and their stiffneckedness will put them in a precarious position to be destroyed by the enemy of their soul. Prov. 6:15 Therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. All because they did not obey the first simple instruction that was doable at the time. However, now they have become rebels because they did not fix the small things that were pointed out in love by God. 1 Sam 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
      It is simple saints. In the same way, when we come across something needing repair at home or work, we get on it and do it. When God points out sin or problem, then we get on it and allow the Lord to fix it with our volition and cooperation. God will take notice, and He will help us if we ask for His help. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 
      We were created to solve problems. How much more could we do if we asked the God of all knowledge and wisdom for help? Broken? Fix it! Father, in Jesus name, help us not be afraid to ask you for all the help we need every day of our lives. Amen and amen!

Friday, 1 February 2019

Philosophical Baloney

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident.

      Friedrich Nietzsche stated, "They muddy the water, to make it seem deep."
      Everyone has a philosophy. Even if you believe in nothing, that belief is a philosophy. I've had a few philosophical discussions over the last few weeks. Every other day I was running into people who had strong and varying views of what they claimed truth was. The deeper the explanations of belief these people expounded on, the muddier the waters got. They seemed to be talking about God, but it was vague. As my friend Scott says, "What is said in vagueness, stays in vagueness." 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
      All I could hear was a whole lot of syncretism going on. There was an amalgamation of different religions being put into the blender of supposed thoughtfulness and the mixture was coming out frothy in explanation and insipid in taste. A patchwork of cherry-picked theories to suit their own spiritual agendas was their foundational cornerstone of belief. They seemed to be making it up as they went along. Fickle interpretations did abound in speech and thought, plus they had no problem gainsaying God's clear instructions or God Himself.
      One of the trains of thought was that Jesus came to teach us how to save ourselves. This implied there was no need for the blood of Jesus that takes away the sins of man, nor the need of Jesus as a personal savior. All we have to do is save ourselves by looking to Jesus as an example of virtue and learning to be the same through attained consciousness. Really? How can I save myself without a savior taking residence within my soul of which is of a fallen nature and must be reborn?
      How can I become born again as a new man or a new creation entirely without God setting and fulfilling the conditions of my salvation? 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! How can I do this myself, within my own godless abilities? If it were possible to save myself, then why would God have sent Jesus to the torturous cross?
      Was the Crucifixion just something for pseudo philosophers to draw examples of self-righteous tips on how to save yourself? No! The Crucifixion was a serious plan the Godhead hid in Christ to save mankind from himself and eternal death! I can only be saved through Christ and not of myself. The only thing that is of my own volition is my personal choice of receiving God's gift of Jesus as my savior. Even within my own choice of accepting that Jesus Christ is Lord, it is still the Lord who saved me and not myself.
      Another discussion that was presented as deep profoundness was that the whole Bible was only a spiritual example to draw inspiration from and not to be taken literally. I thought to myself, "Would they feel that way about the commandment Thou shall not murder if they were being confronted by an axe murderer?" I am sure at that moment they would want the pragmatic reality of that biblical law to be real and honored as literal. Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, because they are unprofitable and worthless.
      We live in a world that has offered a smorgasbord of philosophical thought and has supplied the false teachers that dispense the rhetoric that goes with the said philosophy. Truth is truth. There are some who claim that there are many truths, but Jesus was the only one to say, "He was the truth." Jesus did not say I will show you a way or path to truth, or there is a truth to follow, or you might like this truth if it is convenient with your belief. No saints. He said, "He was the way, truth, and life." John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
       Syncretism seems to be the religious flavor of choice these days. Take the best and convenient feel-goods from different religions and make your own to suit a personal lifestyle whether God approves or not. After all, when you are saving yourself anything goes because it is personally chosen for the satisfaction of the moment. The upshot is their foundations of truth erodes with whatever is trending at that point in history, and a syncretist person rewrites his or her own convenient belief to act on along the way. Living in those shifting thoughts is living in absolute uncertainty and absence of God Himself, even though the word god is thrown around. Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Living in this philosophical quicksand will not last. 

      God's grace, however, will last for an eternity. Let God save us from ourselves and our so-called intellectualism. It may not be eloquent in words by calling a belief philosophical baloney, but that is what it is. When you look up how baloney is made, you get this answer. Usually contains afterthoughts of the meat industry - organs, trimmings, end pieces and so on. All I can say is, "Yuck." That is what I was hearing while these people philosophized with all their afterthoughts and so on. Jesus is Lord and not an afterthought. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.