Thursday, 28 April 2022

Our Credibility Is Waning

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

      Our credibility will become real to ourselves when we stop borrowing the credibility of others or using high-end stuff, such as (cars, portfolios, and properties) to define who we are. Take away the possessions of a person and what remains is the real person. We do not have to borrow or steal the status of others to be affirmed in this life when we have the Lord's assurance of His love abiding within us. Our standing in the Lord is based on what God says is true and what righteousness is in Christ, and not what we mistakenly think it might be. Righteousness, integrity, and credibility in Christ are what God proclaims these virtues to be.
      At times, some Christians presume to have spiritual credibility by trying to make God say something He did not say or even meant to be implied. They sometimes mix their faith and the spurious correlations of their syncretistic beliefs into a form of personal dogma, creating an illusion of credibility. These polymorphic views are manifesting in church circles because of undisciplined lifestyles, uncontrolled emotions, and their adopted soulism that leads them into carnal choices rather than being changed from glory to glory by the conviction of God’s word that leads believers into righteous living. 
      The upshot with this loose method of belief is that any hair-raising or goosebump sensation these people experience will become their divine guidance system to their high-minded spirituality, when in fact, their soul is now in a position to be self-deceived by any bump in the night noise. The credibility they thought they borrowed from God's word to falsify their personal value and fabricated doctrine, ends up judging their immature faith. By claiming to be more open to the ways of God, they end up closed to the Lord’s conviction of true righteousness that validates our eternal lives in Christ. 1Tim. 6:20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. 
       We see what happens when credibility and integrity are borrowed rather than lived and grown into. Samuel's two sons had corrupted the priesthood that came to them through nepotism. Samuel was a man of God who lived by faith, and all of Samuel's prophecies came true. 1Sam. 3:19 So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. Samuel was a loved Judge of Israel. His sons took over the responsibility for the nation's spiritual well-being. The problem was that Samuel's sons Joel and Abiah were corrupt, and the only reason they were in control of judging Israel and the priesthood was that they got the job by default. The little credibility these young men had, was the credibility and integrity that Samual had walked in his whole life.
      Joel and Abiah had no integral heart for God to minister the way God wanted the priesthood to work. Pretending to have a form of Godliness because of the priestly office they held, and the garments they wore, did not hide the reality that they only wanted the money and power that came with the position. 1Sam. 8:3 But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice. The sad thing is that these (I'll do religion my way) sons had corrupted the priesthood to the point that the people of Israel felt better off with a worldly governmental system rather than what God had set up for them to remain free people. 1Sam 8:5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
      Without the Lord's righteousness at work within our souls, our credibility and integrity are only as strong as we are in the flesh. Whereas, when we are walking in the Lord's salvation we have the leading of the Holy Spirit to strengthen our resolve to choose God's righteousness rather than our own. By faith, we have the strength to make the harder choices that have to be made because the integrity of God is at work within us to help us make the hard decisions our flesh does not want to make. To stop our credibility from waning, we will have to keep choosing Christ's righteousness and not our version of it. Prov. 22:1a A good name is more desirable than great riches. We will have to depend on more than our good name to be in right standing with our Heavenly Father. We will have to be saved in the name that is above every name Jesus our Lord. Blessings and peace be on us all.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Sorry To Inform You

Proverbs 21:2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.
            
      Japanese Proverb: If you understand everything, you must be misinformed.      
      How has it become possible that so many people are absolute authorities on everything and anything ever said, done, or invented throughout the history of this world? Just wondering because I am still learning so many of the mysteries that life has to offer. It must be dismal for countless individuals to have reached the pinnacle of all knowledge and know that there is nothing left to learn or experience in life because they know all that is knowable. This may come as a shock to some of you, but, I am sorry to inform you that you have been taking yourself way too seriously lately. We need to get healed from the inflated egos that are now the default setting in many of our lives. 
      We have to start learning how to laugh at ourselves again. Prov. 17:22a A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Getting rid of the hyper seriousness that has lodged within our self-awareness would be a good place to start humbling ourselves so that God can get through to our hearts. Prov. 21:2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart. To become an authority on anything takes a lifetime of intense learning, and even then, there is still vast amounts to learn. We may have a lot of information about a particular subject and have been involved in that field our whole lives, but there is more to learn.
      Ugh, especially lately, when someone says, "I have done the research, and I have all the information on that subject," I cringe inside because their foundations of fact-finding are already yesterday's news and those facts have become challengeable with new findings. At this point, I think about their spoken claim, "I did all the research" and think, "Everything they are about to say is true, except for the parts that aren't." Life, news, and times are ever-evolving and new information is forever coming forth. I am sorry to inform you, that we will never know all that is knowable even if we are convinced we do. 
      I realize that a lot of people are finally coming out of the lengthy restrictions and lockdowns that have quelled the hearts and emotions of many. These same people are ready to explode with a lot of things to say, but please have some thought before you say what cannot be taken back after it is said. We will be judged for our spoken unbridled opinions, and we will have to make an account before God of our idle and empty words. Matt. 12:36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. Ouch! This scripture has always convicted me because I talk a lot. Oh, grace oh grace pour out on me!
      The only truth that does not change is the love God has for us and His righteousness that has been given to us through Christ. Mal. 3:6a For I am the LORD, I change not. Even then, we are the ones who are changing within our relationship with our Lord. The Lord's eternal hope is working within us and is maturing our spiritual growth in His righteousness because His all-knowing presence is alive within us. The wisdom we might want to adopt is to take the grace God has given us and put our full strength into acknowledging the only all-knowing God so that when we need to know the truth of a matter, we have the loving source of all knowledge helping us understand. Psalm 139:2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 
       Like so many people coming out from under a funk and fog of long-term memory loss, I too have to recognize that not all is well with everyone. We will all need a time of healing and grace for each other to find our way back to a semblance of normality - if there is such a thing. Only God has the all-knowing answers to what is needed right now. Only the Lord has the rest we are looking for. It is in Christ that we live and have our being. I am sorry to inform you that you do not have all the answers to your life, even if you think you do. No, we do not know all that is knowable, but Jesus, our Saviour does. God bless and help us all.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Consider God's Word

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.     

      Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commands from His lips; I have treasured the words from His mouth more than my daily food. When someone asks me to help them figure out what they should do in a particular situation (and if they are a Christian,) I normally ask them, "What does God's word say about it?" The word says to ask God for instructions, direction, and wisdom for life. James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. The word of the Lord explains how to approach a problem that one may find themself in. You might have to read and do some digging, but you will find the answer because God's word is contemporary, and it will have answers for the confusing and hyperbolic times we live in.
      Do not steal was written thousands of years ago, and it still means the same today. Do not bring a false accusation against another person still means the same today as it did when the finger of God wrote it out on stone tablets for the children of Israel. Ex. 24:12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” The word of truth does not change, however, we tend to change what we consider truth to be, and therein is the problem and the reason for so many of the counselling sessions that are going on.
      If we would just stop and consider God's word on the particular event or circumstance that is perplexing us, we would have fewer problems to deal with. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. We could save a whole lot of hurt in our lives if we would do what God has already said about the situation. For instance, it is not the ten suggestions, it is the ten commandments. That aspect of the word and life has not changed regardless of whether some governmental law has legalized something God says is iniquity. Sin is sin, no matter if the transgression is legal.
      Our Heavenly Father allows us the freedom to reason with Him, and hopefully, our choices of reason will result in what God has asked us to do and be, for our sakes, and the glory of God. Hag. 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Interestingly, parents want their children to obey them because they are the parents. However, these same legal guardians reject the parenting of God the Father. Parents have difficulty understanding when their children disregard the rules of the home, but it is permissible for these same parents to disregard the rules of life that God has declared right and true. Can we have both ways? I don't think so. If honouring our earthly parents has a promise of life, then how much more life will there be for us today and evermore when we honour and consider God, our Heavenly Father. Ex. 20:12 Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.  
      Can God's integrity be trusted? Does God's honesty hold up, and can it be depended upon? Is God's truthfulness reliable? Prov. 30:5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection. Considering God's word and drawing faith from it, will help in deciding that we can believe God. After contemplating who God is and realizing His omniscience, then yes, God can be trusted and loved with all our hearts. Therefore, obeying the Lord is the right, smart, and divine thing to do. Num. 23:19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
      The ability to stop and consider what is said and what is going on around us has become a lost art. Flying off the handle and speaking our mind (regardless of what is in it) has become the new norm. If you want to know anything about the science or facts on any subject, just ask the man on the street. The modern man has become an authority on everything, including what has not been invented yet. Our hubris knows no bounds. Mega information is coming at us with lightning speeds from every imaginable platform there is. Sorting out the fabrications and lies has become difficult to tell from the truth of anything said or written. We need a standard that remains true and forthright.
      God's word is still a safe place to get an honest answer if one is looking for truth with a sincere heart. Jer. 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. There are no gimmicks with the Lord. He is faithful and true to us and will not change His love toward us. Yes, consider His word.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

I Was Wrong

Proverbs 29:1 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

      Before having a stroke, I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle that caused heart disease, which led to a stroke and all the suffering that came afterward. I had to repent and ask God for help to establish a healthier lifestyle because I was wrong in my previous health choices. I even had the nerve to question God as to why He had not warned me of the health issue - when in the middle of that very thought, God showed me that on four occasions, in four different towns, where and when He had warned me. The thing was, I did not recognize the severity of the warning. I was wrong in my estimation of the potential problem. 
      I had recently discovered something about a writer whose books I do not like, and I had judged the writer to be as unlikeable as his books. I came across an interview with this author and I was astounded at the amount of work he has put into helping those who cannot read and the generous donations he has given to thousands of schools, libraries, and scholarships for the advancement of literacy to help the poor and marginalized people throughout North America. I was wrong about him as a person, and I had to repent concerning my attitude toward him. I still do not like his books, but I have found a new admiration and respect for the soul and heart of this writer.
      I was talking with my automotive mechanic about one of his employees whom I felt was a loser. It turns out I'm the loser for thinking it. The man in question has one of the best work ethics in that business establishment and is one of the most reliable mechanics working there. I was wrong in my judgment of his character and abilities. I had judged a man before I got to know him. Prov. 30:10 Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it. Again, I had to repent. We do not always get it right, but when we are wrong we should admit it, or we will be in danger of becoming destroyed beyond recovery.
      The downfall of King Saul was his stubbornness not to accept criticism when he was wrong. Saul's insecurities could not handle a rebuke from his son Johnathan or other members of his royal household concerning David's faithfulness toward the king. Prov. 29:1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Saul was suspicious of all the people around him and accused everyone of conspiring against him. His obdurate determination to be right when he was wrong was clouding his judgment in all areas of his life. 
      The emotional immaturity that was influencing Saul, allowed a spirit of pride that drove Saul to madness. The oddness of this needless suffering was that he needed David to play music to help drive away the heavy spirit of depression Saul was fighting. 1Sam. 16:23b David took a harp, and played with his hand: So Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. The person Saul hated, was the one helping him through his self-made anxiety. All he had to do was admit he was wrong and act upon that fact. Saul died a jealous man believing a lie because he would not admit to being wrong.
      The pride of life can cause unnecessary problems in all aspects of relationships. 1John 2:16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. How many marriages could have been saved had a spouse admitted to being wrong? How many partnerships could have prospered had management admitted to being wrong when the work plan was not prospering? Admitting we are wrong is a quality of heart that comes from God and places us in a position to be helped and forgiven. I've been wrong about a whole lot of things, and I am so grateful to God that He was not wrong about me. Yes, even when we are wrong, the Lord loves us and helps us make it right. Blessings.