Thursday, 27 May 2021

I Am A Father

Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly, and the pride of children is their fathers.

      Within the church assembly that I am part of, I am considered a father in the house. I take this role that has evolved throughout the years seriously. We are in a time when fathers are needed to father a generation of lost, confused, and desperate people. I am not just talking about young people. Numerous people of all ages struggle with a sense of being deserted by a father or a fatherly influence, thus causing feelings of lifelong loss. Thank God, the Lord will never stop fathering us. Prov. 3:12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
      Our church offices offer countless amounts of programs and studies directed at helping people resolve their father issues. The resulting problems that have come about after the implementation of these well-meaning programs are that we have created a multitude of foster children rather than children who know their God. Some of these ministry teams have become foster parents and sloganeers rather than spirit-led fathers who use discipline and grace. Thank God for foster parents, but as my friend, Clay, who was a foster parent said, "We are given responsibility for the children but no authority to raise them to know what is right from wrong. They want us to help these children become good citizens without the tools of discipline. All this does is create another fatherless generation." Sad to say, but this has become the politically correct way to deal with these issues.
      Interestingly, so many of the problems affecting our youth happened because they had rejected their father's discipline and direction. After running away they went looking for a father image to fill the gap that is missing in their hearts. They run from a father to go and look for a father. I'm not saying all fathers are great examples of good parenting. A lot of problems are the result of fathers who never had a good example to follow and in some cases, are men who were brutalized by their so-called fathers. Eze. 18:2b The fathers eat sour grapes, but it is the children’s teeth that have become blunt. 
      I find it insidious that Satan is so hell-bent on causing discord between fathers and their children. The enemy of our soul knows that fathers who walk in righteousness are a threat to the kingdom of darkness. Our heavenly father has promised to bring the children home and we need to be praying into this promise on a national level. Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. 
      God's promise to reconcile the hearts of children to their fathers and the father's hearts to their children cannot come fast enough. Part of our Lord Jesus' mandate is to reconcile the hearts of man to our heavenly Father. Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Being a good father is God's idea. He wants us close to His heart so that we know what real love is.
      I am a father and a grandfather. I have been blessed to see my sons become fathers. Prov. 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly, and the pride of children is their fathers. As hard as it is to fathom, God loves my sons more than I do, and the Lord can be counted on to continue to be a father to us all in His love. The best part for me is that my sons are good fathers and to have witnessed that is a blessing worth living for.
      It is still true that it takes a village, community, and neighbourhood to raise children. It is time for the men of our land to man up and put away the daddy issues that have been used as an excuse to become an absentee father. This generation needs leadership and the blessing of fathers to be spoken upon the children. As men who love the Lord, let us declare over all the children whom we know the blessings of God's favour. Num. 6:24 May the LORD bless you and protect you; 25 may the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 may the LORD look with favor on you and give you peace. Hey dad, time to man up!

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Bureaucratic Constipation

Proverbs 29:4 A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it.

      My work brings me to a lot of different locations throughout my province. I have been listening to a lot of frustrated people over the last few months. Their patience and trust in our governing officials to bring the pandemic to a close has brought out some warranted and unwarranted criticism of what is being done. Some of the criticism has been justified because of the confusing messaging coming from the authorities. People's hearts feel like the decisions being made for their future health, are wrapped up in a system of pork-belly politics, graft, and double-dealing. Therefore, what is the point of expecting any hopeful changes? Negative thoughts only lead to more negative thinking, which ends up promoting a general feeling that our whole world system is corrupt and works off bribes and backroom deals. 
      I can understand these feelings and why the enemy of our soul would want us to focus on them. When a person does not have an eternal hope, they are left with what they see all around them. If we are in Christ, then we have a greater assurance than having to trust in any government. We belong to the King of kings and the Lord of lords who reigns on our behalf. We are blessed to be able to enter into God's perfect peace. It would be a frightful way to live, only trusting in a bureaucratic salvation plan, as so many do.
      No wonder God asks us to pray for the leaders of the world.1Tim. 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. Even though many world leaders have a hubristic attitude that says, "They do not need God’s help," we know that mankind needs all the divine assistance it can get. Our leaders need authentic and honest help. They need prayer and the wisdom of God to bring us the deliverance we need at this time and the real solutions that people are looking for. 
       During this last year of viral chaos, many citizens have gone through some hard trials. Everyone has felt that we have been tested to the point that family members have risen against siblings and friends against friends. This corrosive anger has become very noticeable in all mediums of communication. When nothing is moving forward because of bureaucratic ineptness, the exasperation within people's hearts can be overwhelming as everyone is feeling betrayed on some level. The instability the nations are managing their countries under is causing a helter-skelter of quick fixes that do not work and produce fear worldwide. Prov. 29:4a A just king gives stability to his nation.
      We have all formed opinions on how the world's governments have responded to the worldwide pandemic. It does not matter what side of the innumerable arguments we find ourselves on, we have all formed opinions whether right or wrong. In most cases, we feel like our government leaders want us to carry their bags of fear and fright. Their continual empty promises of "Soon everything will be back to normal" have become irksome to our soul because we keep hearing over and over their newest claim of resolving their self-made mess. Then, we find out it is only a recap, a repeat, and more regurgitated claims of supposed success. Prov. 13:12a Hope delayed makes the heart sick.       
      It is not their fault. These people have a limited understanding of the events that are going on. Most of these elected representatives are reading off a transparent display monitor what a scriptwriter has laid out for these talking heads to say. We are looking for answers from those who do not have any, and we are getting a belly full of bureaucratic constipation for our troubles. Jer. 17:5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD.
      We can serve God by praying for our governments. We can choose to stay ahead of the nonsensical rhetoric that is showing up ad-nauseam on all communication platforms. We can ask God to enlighten our next step to take during these confusing times by offering intercessory prayer. This is how we will become a voice of reason and blessings. God knows what to do. However, we will have to take the time to ask Him what to do and how to do it, rather than running around like the rest of the world with a mouth full of useless and none-effectual slogans. 
      In Christ, we are not led by a fearful spirit, but rather, by God's spirit of faith, which gives us the gift of living without fear and with a sound mind. 2Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. We do not have to get on the world's train to destruction just because everyone else is climbing aboard. Keep your hearts and minds focused on the Lord. God will surely deliver us from the mess we have witnessed throughout the last year. Psalm 91:7 Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you.
      Prov. 29:4 A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it. Those who demand bribes within our government to push the agendas that the interest groups promote will answer to God. There is no bureaucratic constipation going on in the kingdom of God. The Lord is the only honest and true judge who can be relied upon to guide us through this worldwide disease. Let the Lord instruct our going and coming as we move forward in His love. Peace belongs to the people of God, so let us minister from that place of blessing. Amen!

Thursday, 13 May 2021

What I Really Mean

Proverbs 11:6 Honesty can keep you safe, but if you can’t be trusted, you trap yourself.

      People sometimes say the opposite of what they really mean. They do this to protect themselves from their painful past experiences. They do it to protect their fragile hearts, and in some cases, their egos. For example, someone might say, “I don’t think marriage is for me.” But what this person really means is, “I don’t think anyone will ever love me.” Someone else might say, "I don't think I can accomplish that goal." But what this person really means is, "I think I'm a coward, I can't do anything." These ugly self-images are not the way God sees us. This is the way Satan sees us, and the devil has no problem shouting it out from the rooftops.  
      We should be saying what we really mean. Matt. 5:37 But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one. If I lie to you, then I am a liar. However, if I Iie to myself, then I am a fool. Honesty with ourselves is as important as honesty with God and our fellow man. Prov.11:6 Honesty can keep you safe, but if you can’t be trusted, you trap yourself. 
      God always says what He really means. When God says He loves you, He means it! The Lord reminds us that He is not a liar. Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that He would lie, nor a son of man, that He would change His mind; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? God's word will not come back empty. His word is full of promises we can rely on. Our heavenly Father always says what He really means. Isa. 55:11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
       The Lord Jesus was not bothered if He stepped on a few toes as He ministered the truth to the people. Jesus said what He meant and it was clear what was meant. Matt. 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Wow, Jesus made it clear as to what was going on. He said what was true and what was happening in plain sight.
      We are being trained through the agendas of the modern thought police and have become inundated with the use of political correctness in our daily communications. More than ever, we need to say what we mean. It is refreshing to know that when God says something, it is clear and precise. We don't have to second guess God as His word and instructions are to the point. Isa. 46:11b What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. 
      As I have continued to write my weekly blog, It is in my heart to write what I really mean. The message to my readers from the beginning has been a repetitive declaration that Jesus Christ is Lord, and there is no other way to our heavenly Father but through Christ. It has also been my endeavour, to be honest about my life and share my ups, downs, failures, and victories to demonstrate that my Christian walk with my Lord is a work in progress and will be that way for the rest of my life. I'm ok with that, and I mean it. Psalm 45:1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Blessings.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

The Judas Within Me

Proverbs 25:14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.

      Shakespeare's Richard III - Lady Anne says, "For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell." I have to ask myself if I have made anyone's happy earth a hell. What am I capable of when it comes to the betrayal of Jesus and my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord? This is not a hard concept to understand. We are all capable of responding to an event in life just the way Judas did. We can all be treacherous if we let our emotions rule, and not allow the Holy Spirit to instruct our hearts.
      Defrauding a person with the claims of having spiritual insight into their lives is one of the worst betrayals there is. Prov. 25:14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Everyone is capable of deceit, but to use the gifts of God as a devious way to get what you want is an indictment against our character. This deception is flourishing in this modern day of syncretistic beliefs. We have to be careful of claiming that God said something when in fact it is our own prejudice dictating nuances from our own carnal soul. 
     In the book of Acts, we read the story of Simon Magus, who was using sorcery and trickery to bewitch the people of Samaria by claiming to have a gift from God. Acts 8:9 A man named Simon had previously practiced sorcery in that city and amazed the Samaritan people, while claiming to be somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least of them to the greatest, and they said, “This man is called the Great Power of God.” People who practice this type of con so that they can cheat or trick someone by gaining their trust and causing them to believe something that is not true, are literally making a person's happy earth a hell. This is an ugly sin.
     Simon noticed the Apostles were ministering in the real power of the Holy Spirit. He tried to buy this power. Acts 8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,  saying, “Give me this power also so that anyone I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter's response is fast and clearly denounces this request. Acts 8:20 But Peter told him, “May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 “You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God.
     Peter went on to say, Acts 8:23 “For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by wickedness.” Poisoned and bound people can only poison other people. This is why using the ecclesiastical calling on our life as a tool to falsely manipulate others is insidious. Jer. 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. This is also why praying for our pastors is so important. Pastors are continually under attack by having the same temptations as everyone else, but with the added burdens and responsibility of ministry. Pray for your ministers!!!
      As a minister, author, and student of God's word, I have to continually look for the Judas that may try to work out a scheme from my soul. As the scripture says, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." The opportunities to be manipulative and conniving are as available to me as they were to Simon Magus. Satan does not have any new tricks or temptations. He is still using the same old things because they work. However, I can thank God for His leading and prompting when these guileful lies try to slip in. I do not want to make anyone's happy earth a hell. There is enough hell to go around without me adding to it.
      Judas and Simon allowed the enemy to enter their hearts because they had an agenda that was different than the Lord's. We are all capable of becoming a Judas because we are human. Only Jesus can deliver us from ourselves and help us choose the direction the Lord has ordained for us. Any minister can tell you that they know a fellow minister who crashed and burned because they allowed their soul to enter into the corruption of a Simoniac. It is a heartbreaking thing to witness. Keep Jesus at the forefront of your heart and pray continually for each other. Eph. 6:18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.