Friday, 31 July 2020

Painting Over Rust

Proverbs 15:23 A person has joy in giving an appropriate answer, and a word at the right time - how good it is!

      A vast number of the world's answers for fixing the human condition can be compared to painting over rust. The secular methods of healing fall short because the root of the problem is the heart of man. Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
      We can cover a stained mess with paint, but soon the flaky corrosion that lies beneath breaks through the new paint job, and the ugliness can be clearly seen. In a similar way, the whitewash fixes that society has for their broken people reveal within a short time that the festering hurts, pains, and wounds are still flaring up. This oozing mess starts blistering through so to speak, and they are often worse off because they were expecting some kind of feel-good lift, but ended up with a bland gloss over. Hag. 1:9a You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little.
      The problem is exacerbated by a society that is always on the edge of being offended by anything that is said or done that is contrary to the smallest belief that a person has deemed sacrosanct within their lives. The resulting help ends up becoming a patchwork of platitudes that are nothing more than feel-good sayings at best and psychobabble at worst. The real help rarely shows up because the hearts of men have to be fixed from the inside before the soul and body can have the healing so desperately needed.  
      Now don't get me wrong. There are some victories that come from professional help within the world system. However, a lot of the time the prescriptions that are given alongside the treatments end up becoming a new problem in the future. We then end up with social-workers who represent the different human resource departments throughout the world hitting a brick wall when it comes to achieving good and lasting results.
      
What the secular agendas do not realize, is that they cannot give away what they do not have. They cannot give peace to anyone if they do not know what real peace is. The Lord who is the Prince of Peace can give His healing peace away to those who are in need. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. If you have accepted Jesus as Lord then the real opportunity to have peace, truth, joy, and love is available to your heart through faith. You now have an accurate and trustworthy foundation to build your spirit, soul, and body upon.
      God will help us overcome in all areas of suffering, but we have to really want an honest diagnosis. Isa. 63:9 In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. The Lord has always been there ready to help. But, we will have to believe that God will help, and not only help according to what we feel needs fixing - but beyond to what God knows needs fixing. Our heavenly Father will do a greater work of real healing in our souls than we could have imagined.
      God always has the right word at the right time to bring restoration within our lives. Prov. 15:23 A person has joy in giving an appropriate answer, and a word at the right time - how good it is! You may not always like what God is saying to you as He tries to help, correct, and direct your path, but it will be the exact medicine you need in that moment. I would rather trust God with His righteous cure that might give a temporary pain than trust a phycologist with a theory and a prescription that just paints over the rust.
      Yup! Time for some powerful paint remover to expose the real corrosion taking place just under the surface. Time to stop the ineffective patch jobs that only last for a short time before the mess shows up again. Time for some real remodelling of the heart, and that is done through a relationship with the Lord Jesus who knows you through and through. Matt. 11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Time to get real. Amen!

Friday, 24 July 2020

Remaining Relevant

Proverbs 2:9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and integrity — every good path.

      Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Don't give up. Remain relevant to your faith in the Lord and honour your brothers and sisters in Christ. We are going through some big changes during this everlearning season of the pandemic. Some have become disoriented because things are not as they used to be. Don't fear, but focus on what you can do.  
      A lot of church buildings have had their doors closed to congregational services because of the virus protocols and regulations. Some people have used this as an excuse to cop-out from serving the Lord. As if the only commitment needed to make God happy was showing up at a church service every once in a while. What shallow and immature thinking this is. Heb. 5:12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
      We the people of the Lord are the church. There is no time in our lives once Jesus resides in our heart, that we are not serving God. If history has taught us anything about serving the Lord, it is that there are no days off from Christianity under the authority of Christ. It is eternal life now. Therefore, we have to remain relevant during these uncertain times. This is not a new event that caught God off guard. 1 Sam 3:1b In those days the word of the LORD was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.
      We should be grateful to have been handed an opportunity to use the spiritual skills that God has been honing within us throughout our covenanted life with Him. God does not seem to be fretting that we are all going to fall flat on our faces, and revert to secularism. No saints! The Lord trusts in our desire to look to God for direction. We have the Holy Spirit guiding us as He did for the saints during the past centuries of wars, famines, and plagues. 
      History reveals that those who remained relevant ended up leading some of the world's greatest revivals. From the Awakenings of the seventeenth century to the Welsh and Azusa Street revivals, God used the people who were submitted to Him and ready for the change that history was birthing. Isa. 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
      Don't use these times as an excuse to shirk off your responsibility to the Lord like some delinquent child squandering opportunities. Take this time to press into His word, and gather together wherever we can in accountable fellowship to keep on maturing in our faith. This will assure that our path is clear even in all the uncertainties of life that are happening right now. Prov. 2:9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and integrity — every good path.
      A lot of the religious structures that we got used to may not be coming back, and that is a good thing. We are to remain relevant to our time and the only way to do this is to remain in Christ. Even though church doors may be locked, that does not mean we are to forsake the gathering of the saints as some have done. Heb. 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. 
      Remain relevant in the faith, and keep the doors open so to speak. Find a way to meet, support, uphold, and pray for each other. Whether it is a homegroup, parking lot meeting, breakfast-club, beach-gathering or in a sports-field. Keep in touch with each other and intercede for one another while giving thanks to God. This is the will of God for us. 1Thes 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Blessings to us all and may we remain relevant.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Rumour Has It

Proverbs 14:5 An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.

       I don't want to start a rumour here, but rumour has it, that Putin might be running on the Republican ticket in the next US election and has a good chance of winning. Just something I found from a reliable source off of the search engine Yandex. It must be true, it was on the internet. Rumour has it that Elvis has been managing projects at Area 51. Apparently, a reliable source saw him there. I read the headline on a newspaper while in line at the grocery store. Rumour has it that health Canada sends out a grief counsellor to men on their fiftieth birthday to gently let them know that they will not be called up for try-outs for the National Hockey League. I heard this at Tim Horton's so it's got to be true. DISCLAIMER!!! Just covering my 'lie-ability' bases. The above rumours are not true! At least I don't think they are.
      Yea, rumour has it all right! What rumours have is a stolen licence to broadcast whatever it wants in order to secure the agenda it needs to influence a gullible public. 2 Tim. 4:4 So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. The question becomes, why are people so willing to fall for a rumour or believe a lie? Most of the time with some thought and reasoning a rumourous lie can be debunked before one acts upon it. Where has our common sense and logic gone, if believing the rumour is automatically the first choice in a person's heart?
      You are either in control of a mendacious rumour and it stops with you, or the rumour controls you, and you spread it farther. Isa. 44:20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?” The problem with rumours is that sometimes parts of the rumours might be true, but which part? Usually, the part that a person embellishes to suit their own agenda. God has asked us to be honest witnesses in life and to proclaim His goodness, and not to become a gossip destroying the character of His people. Prov. 14:5 An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.
      Someone said, " Everyone's integrity is perfect unless we have to test it." There is nothing like rumours to test a soul's integrity. To actually stop and find out if what has been said is true. Imagine, if we all took the time to do that. The healing of so many souls would begin in earnest. Prov. 26:20 Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. The salient point God is trying to make with our attitudes toward rumours is not to be the one who spreads them.
      Why does God not want us to participate in the use of rumours? Because rumours promote fear and anxiety. Mark 13:7 When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. Who is the one who does everything and anything to have fear and anxiety running rampant throughout this world? Yes, the enemy of our soul. So why would we partner up with that loser?
       I was once approached by a young lady who said she had heard a rumour about my wife and I struggling in our faith. Now, this was news to me, but apparently, we had left the church in anger, again, news to me. I asked her if she had prayed for us when she had heard this gossip. "No," she said, but I have decided to come by and ask you for myself. "Well, praise the Lord," I thought. At least she did not keep the rumour going. 
       Have we not been called to an ascendant life in Christ, and to be obedient to our communion in the faith? Then let us lay aside the rumour-mongering that is so easy to post, repost, and to give spurious opinions on every imaginable platform available in the world today. 
      Rumour has it that anything can be said today without consequence. Don't be one of those fools listed with the ones promoting lies. One of the things that God hates is, Prov. 6:19 A lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers. What rumours have - are pain and suffering. Stop spreading them. Amen!

Friday, 10 July 2020

Fastidiot

Proverbs 30:2 I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.

      Albert Einstein said, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity." The definition of stupid is knowing the truth, seeing the truth, but still believing the lies. My friend Scott Moore invented the words 'fastidiot and fastidiocy': From fastidious meaning determined. Idiot meaning stupid. Determinedly Stupid. Prov. 30:2 I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. 
      We have used the words fastidiot, and fastidiocy lately to describe some of the nonsense going on during these world events that are related to the global pandemic and all the national protests. There has been no lack of subjects or events to choose from that explains the fastidiot state of the human race right now. Mankind continually proves his inability to fix his heart and therefore, the world goes on in confused stupidity. Jer. 17:9 The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
     How desperate we have become during this time of great divide. Whether the argument is over political parties, religious beliefs, or an ecological stand, there does not seem to be any tolerance or give from any side that someone finds themself on. No longer are there civilized discussions but rather, full-blown screaming matches with weapons drawn and life-threatening vulgarities blasted across each other's line in the sand. 2 Tim. 4:4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. I reckon Socrates had it right when he said, "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."
      The Lord did warn us that these days would come. Sound doctrine would not be listened to and eventually, the betrayal of one another would get real serious. Mark 13:12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. We should not be discouraged. The Lord told us to rejoice, look forward, and look up when we see all these calamities blowing-up all at the same time, because our redemption is close. luke 21:28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
      I am not pointing out anything that we don't already know. The human race has always walked a precarious path exposing the lost state of their being and the corrupt human condition that man is in. The fastidiot or the willfully ignorant have insisted on choosing anything but God even after knowing God exists. Rom. 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, 23 and instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. This is outrageous because the truth is plain to see but the lie is chosen.
      We can become the most blessed and enlightened person on earth, or we can become the most witless and pathetic person on earth. The choice is ours to make. Regardless of the culture, environment, and side of the tracks, we were raised in. We have to want to come out from common fastidiocy that surrounds us and be counted. 2 Cor. 6:17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. How badly do we want to stop being mindless and change our everyday life? We need to find out who we really are in Christ. That revelation cures all deceptions.
      I was once a fastidiot man, or determinedly stupid until I met Christ. The good news is that Jesus will save anyone who wants to be saved. He died for everyone regardless of their education, social standing, cultural beliefs, or physical condition. God made it possible for anyone to come into His kingdom, by making a way for all people to come to Him through Christ. 
      We don't need a diploma to accept Jesus as Lord. We just have to repent of our sins and confess our eternal need for Him. We have to humble ourselves as a person in need of the Lord's salvation. Rom. 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. That is good news! Amen!

Friday, 3 July 2020

Look At Me!

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

      When God looks at you and says something about you, then you had better take notice and respond in humble agreement.
      Gideon felt weak and minimal, while God called him a mighty man. Jacob saw himself running away in cowardice fear, while God saw him as the founder of the tribes of Israel. Esther saw herself as an orphan in captivity, while God saw her as the queen who would deliver her people from annihilation. Jephthah saw himself as born illegitimate. Jdg. 11:2b Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. God saw Jephthah as a judge and deliverer of His people.
      Nothing has changed when it comes to God looking at you from His point of view. My publisher, Clay, sees himself as a small-scale publisher trying to work through the maze of life. While God sees Clay as an authentic spokesman for Christian literature and someone with a heart to get God's word out to all people. My friend, Jami Rogers, sees herself battling just to make it through the day. While God sees Jami as an untamed warrior bringing down the strongholds of the enemy, and fighting anyone, at any time from any side when it comes to doing what is right! Many of my friends see themselves one way, but God sees them for who they are in Christ.
      I once saw myself as an illiterate man just getting by, while God saw me as a blessed layman in His church, and now an author. This is a very serial and overwhelming feeling. But nonetheless, in the same way, that the above-mentioned people had to move forward with humility, I had to respond by faith to God's view of who He said I am. Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 
      The beauty of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, is that we can go to God and say to Him, with respect, "Abba, look at me. Who do you see?" Once the Lord says who and what He sees in your heart and soul, you can do anything with His grace that runs throughout your entire being. It does not matter if what God sees is a need for correction, building up, or development of character. With enthusiasm, you will respond to God's goodness. God is always watching us. Therefore, He knows who we really are. Prov. 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
      God did many miracles for all the people of faith who are listed in chapter eleven of Hebrews. Why then, would it be hard for God to work a miracle for you today? There is no way that uncontrolled rioting and a worldwide pandemic can stop the blessing of the Lord from reaching your life and fulfilling all that God has created you to be. No war, drought, famine, or hubristic tyrant who is in charge has ever stopped God's blessing in the past and will not stop it now. When God looks at you, there is nothing in the universe that can hinder the result of His look of love and favour toward you. Rom. 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
     The world has gone mad trying to get anyone to look at them and give them a sense of identity. We who are in Christ have been looked upon and given an eternal identity that no man can take from us. Rev. 2:17b I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it. We are living in this favour right now. With a full heart, we can say to anyone, "Look at me! Look at what the Lord has done!" 
      Saints, like any other time in history, world problems are continually happening. The only difference we have right now is a pandemic and social unrest have been thrown in with everything else. This worldwide mayhem has put us in a position for a miracle. Therefore, let us all come to God the Father and say, "Abba, look at me. Who and what do you see?" God sees His Son and the finished work of the cross active in your life. We are the Lord's chosen. Therefore, let us agree with what we have been chosen for. 1 Pet. 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.