Friday, 29 March 2019

Me Myself And I

Proverbs 3:31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways. 

      Why are other people's prejudices strange to our thinking and ours seem right and should be accepted? There are those who are quick to point out that all of our woes today are because of the me, myself, and I generation. I do not think this is the current problem. Every generation in history has had to deal with those who are selfish and solipsistic. There is nothing new here in our outward prejudices of other's actions. We are very skilled at pointing out the reasons for all the problems others cause. We never seem to point at ourselves for the cause of things going wrong.
      Me, myself, and I have been the reason for submitting to temptation and compromise from the first sin in the garden of Eden. Gen. 3:6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Like Adam and Eve, I make the choice to sin, even though I may have been deceived. I have to take responsibility for myself and for the actions I choose in life. 
      Me, myself, and I have to choose to stay away from iniquity. Psalm 18:23 I was blameless toward him and kept myself from my iniquity. I make the choice to choose or not choose what Satan offers me. Prov. 3:31 Don't envy a violent man or choose any of his ways. I choose to give all of myself to the Lord Jesus and I make this choice because of the love God has shown me. Therefore, I enter a real relationship with God the Father through faith in Christ. I have the right to choose God or choose not to let Him into my life. No excuses work here, as it is me, myself, and I making the choice to love or not to.
      What shall we say or do then? As long as we sit on the throne of our own heart our choices will be selfish and self-serving. The moment we ask Christ onto the throne of our heart and allow Him the reigning voice, we will become who God intended us to be when He created us. Our raison d'etre for being created will far extend our short and insipid views on life when Jesus reigns. We have been born with eternity in our heart and that eternity has a God purpose. Eccl. 3:11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.
      When God thought of us individually and we became a living being through birth, His vision for our lives was eternally divine and set. God could see us in eternity's future fulfilling the majestic plans of God. No matter how big we think we can vision life and purpose, it truly pales in comparison to the vision God has for each and every one of us. Psalm 139:6 This wondrous knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.
      When me, myself, and I get out of God's way and I allow the Lord His rightful place in my heart, I will no longer worry about choosing the ways of a violent and oppressive man. My prejudices will not be self-serving but guided by the spirit of a living God. The Holy Spirit will teach me what is the will of God for myself and my fellow man. John 16:13a But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. May we all get out of God's way so He can work His eternal miracle in all our lives. Amen!

Friday, 22 March 2019

Return To Sender

Proverbs 26:27 Whoso digs a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolls a stone, it will return upon him.

      There is a knock at your door and the deliveryman says, "We have your new washer and dryer you bought yesterday." The fact is you did not buy a new washer, or dryer, and you never ordered one. Most likely the problem is the deliveryman has the wrong address or the shipper has the wrong customer's name on the waybill. Promptly you refuse delivery of said items and say, "Return to sender."
      When the devil knocks at your soul's door and offers you sickness, disease, and mayhem - in the name of Jesus, return the curse to where it came from. Return anything the devil tried to give you. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. You do not accept mail with someone else's name on it. You return it to the post office or write across the face of the envelope Return to sender. Why then would you accept a curse from the enemy of your soul just because it was being offered to you?
      The devil is a liar and a deceiver who continually tries to get you in a position of fear, guilt, and shame. Fear, because he makes you feel like you are not doing enough and therefore feel guilty. Shame, because you have fallen for one of his temptations and are now being accused of the very thing the devil tempted you with. The devil's tactic has not changed from the beginning. Satan delivered a well-written sales pitch to Adam and Eve and they accepted the order hook, line, and sinker. The result was fear, guilt, and shame. Gen. 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
      The good news is that we now have, through the blood of Jesus, the authority to rebuke and send back anything Satan tries to give or sell us. We can, in Jesus name, shout loudly as the devil is handing out his lies, "No! Return to sender." Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
      We are no longer ignorant of the devil's tricks and false promises. God has given to us through His Son Jesus the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to recognize the enemy's devices. 2 Cor. 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. We now have what Adam and Eve did not have. We have an indwelling of God Himself in our heart guiding us into all truth, plus a written record (the bible) that exposes the workings of the kingdom of darkness. We are able to overcome the enemy with the word of God that is freely given to us all. Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
      We now have the right to go through everything Satan has ever delivered to our door and with the blood of the Lord write across the deceptions, disease, and lies, Return to sender. Through the prayer of faith, in Christ, you can go as far back into your generation's history and return all the rubbish Satan had given to your family as well. Eccl. 3:11a He hath made every thing beautiful in his time. Jesus is not bound by time because the power of His blood is far reaching. He is the same yesterday, and forever. Heb. 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 
      Father God, I thank you that in the name of Jesus, I can return all the enemy's works that came to me through times past to this day. I rebuke the lies and deceptions I have fallen for and return them to hell, from where they came. By faith, in Christ, I wash my heart and mind in the blood of your dear Son Jesus, my Lord. I pray this blessing over each member of my family and anyone who is in agreement with me and who wants to enter into the blessing of this prayer for their own lives. May it  be done in Jesus name. Amen!

Friday, 15 March 2019

The Last Enemy

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

      1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
      
What a day that will be when we resurrect from the dead and our last enemy death is abolished and rendered powerless forever. The resurrected life that Christ has born within us through His blood and love is an eternal force to be reckoned with. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, nor the finished work God has planned for each and every one of us who love the Lord and who have accepted Jesus as the Savior. Rom. 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      The last enemy death will have a temporary effect on us while we are living now. However, the eternal life we will step into is beyond explanation or understanding. We see death as an unpleasant suffering we must all face. But the word of God says the suffering is nothing compared to the glorified lives we will have throughout eternity. Rom. 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
       Isn't it comforting to know that God has death in His crosshairs? True enough, we live with the threat of physical death over our lives our entire life. However, God has taken away the fear and sting of death from those who walk in Christ through the finished work of the cross and blood of Jesus. 1 Cor. 15:54 The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true, "Death has lost the battle! 55 Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?
      What an incredible God we have who is capable and powerful to destroy the effects of death and death itself. Through the Lord's resurrected life within us, we actually come back from the dead in full glory having an eternal body and life. This is not some adaptation of a movie with Frankenstein or zombies coming back to some kind of hellish existence only to be destroyed again. No, no, no saints! This is a true resurrection from the dead and all the ills, sicknesses, disease, and corruption that ever attached itself to man's physical life is destroyed forever and ever.
      Rev. 20:14a Death and hell were thrown into the lake of fire. This is good news for those who are afraid of death's ominous presence. To know that death has a limited reach into our lives and an end to its whispers of nightmarish thoughts is something to be grateful to God for. The table has been turned on death. The clock is now ticking at death's door because of the eternal gift of Christ. Death is running for its life, so to speak.
      Let us enter into all the life God has for us through Christ. Let us exercises life to the fullest because we have life personified living within us. We can bring life to this lost and dying world. Jesus is the life, the way, and the truth of it all, John 10:10b I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. Thank you Lord for your life and delivering us from the last enemy. Amen!

Friday, 8 March 2019

Darkness Bleeds

Proverbs‬ ‭3:30‬ Don’t accuse anyone without cause, when he has done you no harm.      

      Mēdeia is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides. A quoted from that story, "Hate is a bottomless cup; I will pour and pour". If this were written today it could easily have been inspired by the endless amounts of hate that trolls spew out regularly on social media.
      The gluttonous feeding frenzy that occurs when someone falters in public service, or life in general, creates an explosion of vicious opinions on social media - regardless of the accusations being true or false. Like v
oracious piranhas devouring a wounded and bleeding carcass within seconds of the first bite, these trolls devour the innocence or guilt of people's lives at the same rate of consumption. They don't stop long enough to consider that they may be out of line with their hateful slanders. Psalm 53:4 Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like bread and wouldn't think of praying to God.
      This kind of darkness of heart bleeds into our social fabric, staining whatever it touches with hateful anger. It causes a mob mentality and a cruel outlook on anything and everything pure and honest. John 8:59 Therefore they took up stones, that they might cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went forth out of the temple. 
      Let's face it. There is nothing new here. There has always been slander. Even if you do not accept that Jesus is Lord, you do have to admit He was an honest and forthright man. Yet people or the trolls of His day wanted to stone Jesus because of things He had said. The difference of opinions about Jesus was as diverse then as they are now. John 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
      Character assassination starts off with belittling snide remarks and derogatory comments. However, history shows us that it does not take long before lynch mobs and burnings become acceptable actions for the venting of indignant rage. We are the Lord's hand extended in this dark world and grace must be the balm anointing our hands as we reach out in the love of God. We are to hand out the bread of life to those who are hungry for righteousness and offer the salt that causes a thirst for the love of God. 
      
Where do we get the notion that we have the right to comment and cast hard judgments on anything another person says or does? I thought judgment was the Holy Spirit's job. John 16:8 The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God's justice and the judgment. There is enough darkness and shadows around us without us creating more. We are supposed to be the light of the world. We are to shed that light through love and mercy, not condemnation and slander. Prov. 3:30 Don’t accuse anyone without cause, when he has done you no harm.
      We see signs throughout British Columbia say "Do not feed the wildlife." Well, don't feed the trolls or give them the assurance that what they are saying and doing is alright. Let us bring back to society and each other a loving respect that is birthed in the knowledge of God and His love for us. Satan is a troll with a bottomless cup of hate. He slanders and stands accusing the saints with lies and innuendo, making it up as he goes along. 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.  
      The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, makes 
intercession for us and defends our lives with His blood and righteousness. Rom. 8:34b Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. He continually blesses us so that we can go out and do no harm to those Jesus died for.
      Before you get ready to jump in and slander someone who is in the headlines of all the media outlets, ask yourself who it is that is promoting the barrage of juicy tidbits. Prov. 18:8 A gossip’s words are like choice food that goes down to one’s innermost being. Remember who you are! Darkness may bleed, but you are the light of the world. Matt. 5:14 You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. Blessings and peace to you.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Secrets Have Weight

Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression. 
 
       Secret lives, secret thoughts, and even secret bank accounts get found out eventually. Eccl. 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. The weight of carrying a secret can make one sick with the dread of others finding out. The unwanted responsibility the secret contains that is affecting other people will also affect you. The secret may end up controlling your life because of the tremendous weight you find yourself under. Valerie Bertinelli said, “You're only as sick as your secrets.” 
      I grew up with a weighty secret throughout my childhood. I had seen my father beat my mother until there was blood smeared all over. The smothered sounds of punches connecting with my mother's body and face were memories deep within me. I was five years old when we had escaped this violent and volatile life environment. However, the memories of those ugly and cowardice events my father had brutalized us with remained a secret of great weight within my soul. Prov. 29:22 An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.
       
It was in the fall of 1996 that I decided to expose this heavy secret by writing the story of my young life and relationship with my father. I wrote a story called, I'm Telling On You Doug. Only after I wrote it out in full living color, exposing all that was brutally done to us, did the weight finally come off my tattered life. 
      
The key to my victory ended up being that I gave complete forgiveness from my heart toward my father and all that he had done so that God could heal me completely. Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. I was miraculously healed and delivered from all the nightmarish memories. There was truly real healing that took place within my heart and life.
      I have since learned to shed weighty secrets that can cause hurt. When I feel the enormity of a secret too great to carry - I drop it! Maybe you have been carrying secrets that have weighed your life down as if you were dragging or stumbling under an overloaded packsack. It is time to drop it and let the secrets out of the bag so you can have your life back and get on a God-led track that leads to peace, joy, and love. Neh. 8:10b And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Hand over your secret hurts to the Lord so He can show you how to overcome the garbage these pustulent secrets have caused in your life.
      Not all secrets are bad. The intimate ones between my wife and I that make us smile and draw us closer to each other and God are healthy. But the ones that tear families apart are to be dropped or exposed as the poisonous plagues they are. Plus, a secret should never be told that is generated out of gossip and slander. Prov. 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.  
      Secrets that have scarred and maimed people's very souls are to be confessed, disclosed, and communicated. After this is done, forgiveness is to be given by grace to the ones who caused the pain, so that God's healing freedom can rush in like a mighty wind and blow all hurts away. Psalm 91:1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 
      How much weight are you carrying within yourself because of secrets kept and protected by ignorance, fear, and confusion? You can be set free by giving them up and forgiving the past. This courageous act from your heart will help you take back your present and future. With the Lord's help, may it be so in your life. Amen.