Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sin is not Godly; It is Unacceptable to God!

Sin is not Godly; Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit, God- the creator of heaven and earth is only able to forgive because He sent His son, so that by His stripes we are healed-saved. Without the blood of Jesus Christ being shed for us, there would be no salvation. We could not ever be or regain being in the presence of the Lord our God.
Man is not good. No goodness exists in us in this fallen world because of sin.
Sin is unacceptable to God. In the Old Testament, animal sacrifice was required- a blood sacrifice. Why blood? It was to represent the requirement that sin is so unacceptable to God that the only way that the penalty for sin was through blood- it represented the death of the sinner. Animal sacrifice was supposed to be horrible and we were to be repelled by it because God was too repelled by sin, because that is how God sees sin. A penalty had to be paid for God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness does not happen without a cost. Thus, in the times before Christ when man lived under the law, a blood sacrifice had to be given for the atonement of sin.
In the New Testament, God paid the cost Himself for our contemptible sin.  Though we live now under grace and not under the law Romans 6:14, we cannot consider that sin is just naughty behavior and not worthy of the extermination for every human alive. God had and has every right to sterilize the earth as it was the case after the fall of Adam and Eve. Sin is still unacceptable to God and because God wanted to show his love and mercy. He had a plan to deal with this horrible problem ‘corruption’ that doomed His creation ‘mankind and even the angels’. The plan was the death of Himself as a man in our place. To understand how merciful and loving God is, we have to understand how horrible sin is.
In our modern popular liberal-progressive ‘youth’ culture, relativist thinking leads people to say “They sin but I don’t, I am not a bad guy/girl.  I am good but other people make me out to be bad.” Christians in this culture think that being nice and doing good works, sharing etc can remove our sin. That is not true. No good works by man can remove sin. Again, to reiterate, Sin is not naughty behavior. It is absolutely the most serious thing we can imagine. We live in sin daily (in this fallen world) and because we live in this fallen world, cannot see ourselves engaged in sin daily but we are.  There is no hierarchy of sin. Harsh words, negligence, laziness, sexual immorality, envy, lust, greed, pride are all sins; even putting ourselves first, our children before other children, our needs before others... all sinful.
Bad things happen because we live in a world of sin. Sin is corruption; there is no good thing in it. As an illustration, imagine someone living in the poorest neighborhood and never knew anything else; they would think that is normal. Unless, they had something to compare it to, they would never know they live in squalor. When God gave Moses the law it showed us what we have to live up to. It was given to show that we are poor, naked and pathetic compared to God. Once we realize where we are (in this fallen sinful world), we know that we cannot do anything that will change that. Only God can change things, if you accept His sacrifice His mercy and love. He said He would forgive our sin and that the Father will no longer see you as sinful.  He redeems our body, He makes it free of sin and in the New Jerusalem we will be unable to sin, we will be like God and that is the only way to get eternal life.
Hell is a place to dump sin into, a disposal for sin. It is not a place to torture people. It is a deposit place for sin. If people do not take God free gift (Salvation) this price He paid for sin which is was His blood, they will be deposited into Hell. It is the second death. Sin does not belong nor can it co exist with God; good works cannot atone for sin. God’s righteousness is beyond any good works that man can do. The only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ. John 14:6

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dead to Sin Alive in Christ....Nothing but the Blood

Romans 6 Dead to Sin and Alive in Christ.
I asked my husband about the significance of blood in context of sin. Firstly, the Bible is clear that every person is alienated and separated from God because of our sin (Colossians 1:21). We are not good, not born good in this fallen world but born sinners. That means even the best of us are actually unable to approach God to offer worship or prayer. Because of our sins, we remain at a distance from Him.
But the Bible tells Christians to come boldly into God’s presence, “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19). “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ(Ephesians 2:13).
It is because of the blood of Jesus Christ that we have the great privilege of pouring our hearts out to God (Psalm 62:8) casting our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and praying any time and any place in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18).  In addition to being able to enter into God’s presence through the blood of Christ, we are also forgiven of our sins.  Ephesians 1:7 says that, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”  Because of Christ’s shed blood, God is able to forgive us for our sins and give the punishment that we deserved to Christ. You see, there had to be a great price paid for sin. Jesus Christ paid that price.
Does that mean we can go on sinning? No, it means that we will likely sin again and again though we may not want to, we will. In Christ, sin will no longer be our master, we died to that; and, now we are able to come boldly into God's presence. Read all of Romans 6; especially, note Romans 6:14 "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Because His blood, we are free to be in relationship with God. Sin is not our master, though we may still fall back we can choose not to sin and free of sin as we choose to be free in Christ.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Wife of Noble Character

Proverbs 31: 10-28
The wife of noble character. A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. she brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands, bringing her food from afar. She gets while its is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. she sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends er hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine lined and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her.

I have written about this before and I struggle with its interpretation. I respect God's social hierarchy in that I am under the authority of my husband. Yet, in the above proverb, it seems that a wife is expected of much regarding her household and necessary decisions to run it. It seems that the husband gains as he steps out of her way, her jurisdiction. She has much responsibility and authority over herself, her children and her household. She builds it up, she works toward its constant improvement. She knows what she is expected to do everyday without being told. Where is her husband, he is with the elders at the gate. He is making political decisions and business deals as well as ordering organization of the city... he is the superintendent along with other men over the households as a wider group, a society.  While his and each household has its noble wife.

Living with an Exuberant Soul and Reining it In

Living with an exuberant soul, as in being too enthusiastic about what God's word says for us is true! When I was born again I became incredibly enthusiastic. That means I felt I had to run out and tell the world what was wrong with it and what could/can be done about it. I still feel that way. However, I realize under the very good guidance of my husband, that I should rein in my exuberance. Some people just are ready to believe that the world we live in is a fallen world and that just by believing in Jesus Christ, we can overcome it. It is almost too incredible to think that all we have to do is repent= rethink. What? How? Firstly, we worry too much about what will be and how to make things last, we worry about how we will manage to hang on to those things which we think are so important and even precious to us. What does living with an exuberant soul have to do with that? It has everything to do with our worrying. In my exuberance, I did not realize just how much people are caught up in this world; as this is a fallen world made corrupt by a popular youth and money culture as its apex. People thus look at me like I am crazy when I tell them, live with an exuberant soul which actually means living enthusiastically in God's word and trusting in that which thus allows us to rest in the Lord. They are thinking, "yeah, right and what does God care if we are going to lose our house while resting." For women, I think (being one myself) this is difficult. We are by God's will made to be nurturers, our values oriented toward family and community. When those two important values appear to be in jeopardy, we want to respond immediately. We fail to turn to our husbands which is God's social hierarchy. We take up the task of making things right, not consulting our husbands nor God. I too have failed in this. This is living with an exuberant soul. It is valuable to rein it in. I often wonder what the world would be less corrupt if women had a better relationship with the Lord God. The best story from the Bible to illustrate when reining in an exuberant soul should have been the practice of the woman who possessed it goes back a long way. I would firstly point to Abraham and Sarah, considering that Sarah went into panic mode and told Abraham to sleep with Hagar. I would also point to Isaac and Rebekah, a godly woman who played a cruel joke on her husband so that her favorite son would get the blessing. These two women were godly women with an exuberant soul. They did not ask God for direction and if they had and did not receive direction as they had wanted to hear, they should have turned to their husbands. Living with an exuberant soul comes with great responsibility, knowing when to rein it in and rest in the Lord. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Faith Gives Substance to Hope... Healing

Interesting sermon this Sunday by Dr Erwin Lutzer of Moody Bible in Chicago. His sermon was "Children of an Awesome God!"
Pastor Lutzer told the congregation that it is tough to be optimistic when trudging through life’s tough times. Some people try to grin and bear it; others crack under the pressure. But the Christian can have a perspective that makes enduring troubles possible, a perspective of a future glory that makes our present suffering infinitesimal in comparison. Many of us think of tough times as usually being about financial situations; and why not when money and greed is the greater plague today. Besides that, we also face illness which creates tough times. We are told by Paul (in his life situation, he was blind and then could see) and can read for ourselves the healing that Jesus did during his time on earth. Healing is ours as we are alive in Christ Jesus. Yet, many people want healing when they want it = NOW and if they are not healed immediately, they think that God does not exist or does not love them and many think that suffering would not exist if God truly existed. Suffering exists not because God wants us to suffer but He allows us to suffer to remind us that this world is not our true eternal home. God allows healing for the same reason... to encourage us so that we do not lose faith. The promise of healing is ours. In this fallen world, God decides in order to glorify Himself.  Does that mean God is judgmental of believers? It means that our faith in Him gives substance to hope and future glory. This is still a fallen world we occupy and must remember that it will be made new in God's time. The hope and promise that is ours is salvation through Jesus Christ! This alone is the ultimate healing as we 'believers' are children of an Awesome God! Healing in this world is not impossible but keep in mind that when healing happens for us it is Glorify God ... to show us and remind us we will be delivered from this fallen world as we have already been made new in Christ Jesus and we anticipate His Kingdom Come - our eternal home, our future glory!.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why Women Should Be Modest in their Appearance

"Women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by their good things they do. Women should learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. let them listen quietly. for God made Adam first and afterward he made Eve. And, it was Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived and sin was the result. but women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness and modesty." 1 Timothy 2: 9-15

Many women and those who consider themselves to be Christian do not like to read the above. They think and or feel that it is wrong, it is some kind of slavery, it was not the word of God, but it was man who says such things and took and takes advantage of women.

What image of a woman appears in your mind when you see them with expensive clothes and shiny jewelry? You may think that they hold their self image high, even above others as it appears that they want to be recognized for their appearance. You might think that they have authority in their places of work and even over their husbands. You may think that they sleep around in order to climb the career ladder.
And, maybe they are not 'dolled up' but frumpy or mannish. You will also have an image of them. You may think that they have no self esteem and are careless about their appearance because they don't respect their body as God's creation. Or you might think that they are a feminist and see themselves as equal to men or a 'man' like any other man.

It is interesting to me as a sociologist to observe that women judge women more than men do. Studies show that women look at other women (even in the nude) more than men do. Why is that? Are we trying to one up each other? Are we testing each other to see who was/is closer to that original sinner 'Eve' ?  When we look at other women are we thinking... 'Yes, she is the one that brought us all down... thinking our nature had been ruined by the vanity of - that one! If only we can one up her, so that she is not the one who represents us anymore... or was Eve second guessing who she was essentially who we are/our identity in Christ that woman was second best and in that thinking, she caused us to fall into that thinking?'

As a Christian, I respect the Bible/the Word of God. I know that God is telling women to be modest for an important reason. It is not because he thinks less of us but because he thinks more of us. He knows our nature which is to be nurturing/caring/soft/gentle/calm and graceful all that which is attractive to Satan and other fallen angels. God wants to protect us. What harm to us is there in dressing modestly? None. What harm will come to us for dressing modestly? None. In this culture of defilement, we need to teach our daughters to dress modestly. Why? So, that they value their nature as God does. And, in this fallen world, we need to be models to other women in order that we are not in competition with one another for God's love, or to 'get back at Eve' either by dressing up or down.
In our gentleness and submission, there is strength. Many women do not realize this. Hence, we find them seeking another nature - a mannish nature. Women should recognize their God given nature and dress to reflect that nature.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Faith Gives Substance to Hope

From things that are not seen, come things that are... faith gives substance to hope.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for Heb. 11:1. Faith gives substance to and brings about the manifestation of healing that is already ours/yours. Look at the words of Jesus. "All things are possible to them that believe, Mark 9:23... "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:23.

In August 1991, an article appeared in The Readers Digest entitled "Patient Knows Best." It read, ...
A person's answer to the question, 'Is your health excellent, good, fair or poor?' is a remarkable predictor of who will live or die over the next four years according to new research findings.

People have an image of themselves. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21. What you believe and speak not only affects your body but your immune system as well. your words become either a blessing or a curse to you.  Jesus put it this way: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings froth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh Luke 6:45.
People do have an image of themselves, and it is a social construction. Look at television today, all we see are adds about drugs and then lawyer adds on how to get money from litigation / lawsuit due to the use of the drugs just advertised to us as good for us. If people have an image of themselves today, it is not a healthy one. And, yes, you can disagree and say that a friend or family member of yours was a kind person with kind words for everyone and always helping out and eating right. Then suddenly they are ill and dying. What can be overlooked by those of us observing others is that they may not realize that they have come under another power especially the worst kind of power which is reflected in our society today largely through mass media. It is not easy to have a positive image of yourself. Yet, I know that having a positive image is what God wants us to have.
As a sociologist, I know that a positive image is good for you/us. The article in Readers Digest pointed above was based on a study conducted by sociologist Ellen Idler, a sociologist at Rutgers University (I did a sabbatical there in 2002) and epidemiologist Stanislav Kasl of Yale Univeristy Shcool of Medicine. Their findings supported the connection between having a positive image of yourself and longevity. How would you answer that question above "Is your health excellent, good, fair or poor?"
Being a Christian requires that you show others your faith and that your faith is positive and produces positive results in you. Embrace that Christ loves you and profess that Jesus loves you and that He is your savior, and that He is God. Rest in Him, and have no worries, show others that it is not by 'works' that you have been saved...  for know that you have already been saved.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Less on Rapture and More on Vision

Less rapture and more vision for the future. Though we live in end times, God still wants us to be positive. Why? Because this shows our enthusiasm for the Coming of the Lord and the New Jerusalem. Yes, there is a lot of discussion and books out there today about end times and the 'rapture'. As I wrote earlier, in my own reading of Revelations, the rapture happens for some through death followed by resurrection and for some who are resurrected instantly - raptured.
For many of us, thinking about end times is not something we like to do or want to do. So, what should we do? What does God want us to do?  He wants us to be prepared. He does not want us to be surprised. He does not want us to stop living and hoping that the future is ours, because it is.  He wants us to have vision for the future, to hold fast to our faith and have a vision of His coming and promise of the New Jerusalem.  We need to demonstrate this faith to our family our children and community. He does not want us to get caught up in the daily blemishes that pop up. What does that mean? These are the nagging imperfections we see when we look in the mirror and why they are and how they got there and if someone else is to blame. Didn't Jesus say "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eyes and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye"? Matthew 7:3. We are all guilty of sin. We are guilty of sin and we see them as blemishes on our faces and we are also guilty of putting them on others by saying unkind things to mark other people as being less than who we think we are.  We are a comparing culture. We don't like the unsightly. We don't like it when our neighbor leaves his/her garbage cans out too long. We don't like when someone does not recognize our efforts to beautify the neighborhood or get the job done and we get angry when they don't get the hint and do the same.
We are sinners. We blemish ourselves through bad choice and we try to blemish others to make ourselves own blemish seem less and or to feel better... to hide the blemishes we have. Praise the Lord that God sent His Son so that when the Father looks at us (at our blemishes) He sees His Son. We must repent - rethink those blemishes we see. We have to be more understanding of others and forgiving. In understanding there is love and in this way we can love ourselves and our neighbors/brothers as we understand/love ourself. Having such view on life here in this fallen world lifts the blemishes and allows us to have a vision of the New Jerusalem.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Rapture Discussion: Pre-Trib vs. Mid-Trib

Dear Readers, it is very popular in these end times to discuss the rapture. In fact, coming out this weekend is the Hollywood movie starring Nicholas Cage "Left Behind". So, what is the discussion among Christians? When!!!!! and Who!!!!! will be raptured? These questions are the main points of discussion. Firstly, there is a division among Christians: some are pre-tribulation and others mid-tribulation. I never thought too much about which position I was until I did a deeper study of Revelations and thanks to my husband's guidance in that. Pre-tribulation believers like to think that they will not have to endure the terrible events of the end times and that believers will be raptured before God's judgement on the earth. In my study, I was told that the word rapture is a word which means the harpozo (being taken away) as Paul tells people that there is a mystery whereby resurrection will happen in the twinkling of an eye 1 Cor 15:52.  In Rev. 6:10 we are told that there are those (martyrs) who have already been killed and they want to know when they will be avenged. They called out in a loud voice, "How long Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them as given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they has been was completed. Rev. 6:10. These are those who are already with the Lord martyred throughout history. Concerning end times, what is clear to me is that some believers will be raptured and others not. It is a choice. But, what about all those who have died before and were ignorant of the Lord or had not made the choice for Christ while alive? What about those who have not been ministered to that are alive now? Well, those are good questions. We can ask those questions as informed Christians of end times. We wonder as portrayed in the the movie, title - Left Behind, what will happen. Matthew 24:40-41 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Acts 1:9-11 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. What will happen to them, those left behind?
In Thessalonians 4: 13-15 we read according to Paul - And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died... We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God. First the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  Who/What number is that and when will that be completed/happen? We don't know. Jesus said that no one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

We also know that many will die for Christ in the end times... who has not died and are to be killed for their testimony remains a main question still for many like myself and if you don't have such opportunity, then what?  Make it your goal to live a quiet life, mind your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.Then, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live and you will not need to depend on others. Thessalonians 4:11-:12
In Revelations, we read that the Seventh Seal is brought forward, here we think we are witnessed to what Paul meant by those that were of the 'rapture'; yet, we are not sure. It seems a kind of flashback. We read the 144,000 asking Rev. 7:14 "who are they" and the answer is that they came out of the great tribulation; they are those (of many nations) who gave testimony of Jesus Christ and were killed for their testimony. To be sure, upon reading further into Revelations, we could suppose to be finally brought up to speed regarding who comes back to life as in Rev. 20 where we read that all those who gave testimony for Jesus over all history who had died for Him and who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not receive his mark (during the tribulation) came to life and that they will reign with Christ for a thousands years...
And to be sure, in John 14:1-3 we read Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Now pre-tribers like to point to Paul as they think he tells us that all believers will not be killed/die but be 'raptured' as they will not experience any of the tribulation. As a mid-trib thinker, I think that what Paul is telling us is that we 'believers' will experience part of the tribulation (before God's wrath as described in many other chapters) and we will be 'raptured' ... but each of us and in his/her own turn 1Cor 15:23.
For sure is that all of us, as Christians made alive in Christ Jesus, the truth and our inheritance is that our salvation is in Jesus Christ and that if we want to be saved it is only through Him and that means that we will die to this world or be taken away. Scripture assures us that we have til the last minute. The parable of the workers at the vineyard and other scripture tell us that salvation is for all those who seek the Lord even at the end (last moment of the day) and no one gets to the Father expect through Jesus Christ.
If you want to read a good book on this subject, I suggest 'The Window of the Lord's Return' by John Shorey, 2010.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Same Sex Attractions Not Scriptural... the Caring and Gentle Response

Same sex attraction is not scriptural.
Sadly in this fallen world, Christians are engaged in sexual immorality. We don't even have to recognize whether or not they are either same sex couples or not. Why! Because, sexual immorality is the desire for the flesh over God. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ never and would never have advocated the choice for the flesh. God's word found in the Bible has never told us to have sex with a same sex person. However, God's word does ask us to love our fellow Christians. Jesus asked us to love our neighbors as we love ourself.  I can and should love my fellow man (male/female neighbors). This does not mean to engage in sex with them in either a homosexual or heterosexual relationship. Too often especially those who are engaged in same sex relations equate sex and love as the same. It is not. The argument that same sex couples can be Christians and sleep together (if legally wed) is scriptural, is wrong. In fact, the Bible tells us better not to marry (1 Cor 7:9) if you plan to do ministry and in times of persecution; and, not to be engaged in the flesh at all in the meaning of making it our first priority in life. Paul told us that if we have the desire for the flesh, better to marry the opposite sex and become a family (with children). The Bible is clear about desires for the flesh and that all Christians who desire the flesh (before God) should abstain from the flesh. We should declare our sin and ask God for forgiveness.
Hence, there is no argument for same sex marriage nor same sex relations in the meaning that same sexual orientation is justification to indulge in the flesh. There is no hierarchy of sin either; hence, even for heterosexual relationships, indulgence in the flesh (above indulging in God) is wrong. If one demands this as being right or even ok with God is mistaken; and anyone who thinks that he or she has been born as a sexual being only is wrong and are committing sin. Any other argument is simply the demand to justify sexual immorality and not the demand to love one's neighbor; which God encourages greatly!
Read 1 Cor:12, and read Romans 7 and read Matthew 19:4 and 19:19.
Besides what scripture tells us, what can we do as Christians in these times to get fellow Christians back on the right path toward salvation? What is the caring and gentle response? It has been provided above. However, for more assurances of this we can point to Prof. Tim Muelhoff who teaches at Biola University. He instructs on Christian Communications. He tells us that we have to be wise with our words. As they are the caring and gentle response. Why? Firstly, we are to be Salt and Light.  We are to be like Christ Jesus, listen and understand each other as sinners in a fallen world with a tendency toward sin (sexual immorality is a sin among many). In the knowledge that Christ came to rescue us from sin and death, we can forgive ourselves and others. This does not mean now we can go 'hog' wild and sin all we want. With this knowledge we don't want to sin, though we still may. Nor should we interpret scripture for our own purposes, to justify the sins we are engaged in no matter what our sexual indulgences are.
Muelhoff asks only for communication between Christians and others (to draw them into Christ) to be this kind of understanding and forgiving which will lead all Christians away from sin and into the light of Christ.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Proverbs 31 ... The Wife of Noble Character

Proverbs 31 describes the wife of noble character.  What does the wife do in order to be noble?

She does for her husband and family. She works with what her husband gives her, she manages her household and ensures its comfort. All she does is for her husband, her home and her family. She is not working for any other reason. She is frugal, she is modest, she is welcoming, she is wise, she is prepared. She is not working for men, though she may be among them in her daily trading. She is not working for any other household but her own; though, she is kind and generous by extending her hands to the needy. She is clothed with strength and dignity not flashy garb and makeup. She laughs at the days to come... and her children call her blessed!

When Adult Children Stumble

" The Godly will trip/stumble seven times, but they will get up again." Proverbs 24:15
These words are to encourage us because in this fallen world, we will stumble, trip even fall and so will our children, especially adult children no matter how prepared we think we have made/helped them to be. We need to know that we can and we will get up again and so do they. The job of parenting is never ending. This is not easy to do but it is made easier when we know that Jesus Christ our Lord God our Savior is there for us, he will never abandon and children need to see this demonstrated by parents! Many Christians today are so caught up in this world that they struggle to get up. As parents, we must be strong for our children and especially our adult children. I hear too often the excuse that they are adults now and we really can't tell them what to do. Or, they have to learn the hard way, they have to go through it. Though there maybe some truth in that thinking, these days are full of trouble and our children face it in every moment. Our culture does not help but adds to their struggle as our culture's way of dealing with trouble is to walk away from it. Throw it away and get a new one. I remember a song that came out in the early 2000s about "walkin away, goin find a better way". The better way may be out there but walkin away from trouble will likely lead to new trouble. Parents need to help their children (adult children especially) to fight their trouble with the armor of God, parents themselves should intervene either by their steadfast presence and or their prayers... they can/should ask God to send  His armies of angels to do battle for their children who face divorce, financial difficulty, illness, abuse of any kind.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Be a Lukewarm Christian!

Don't be a lukewarm Christian. That is the message for today. I too did not think about the extent of my passion for Christ until I heard Pastor Francis Chan speak and started reading his book, Crazy Love. That is why today, I would like to pass onto to you some passages from that book that really grabbed my heart.

"Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn't allowed to control their lives."
 (Chan 2008:72)

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom  of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)

"Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today's to-do-list, this week's schedule, and next month's vacation. Rarely, if ever, do they intently consider the life to come. Regarding this, C.S. Lewis writes, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this." (Chan 2008:75)

"For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And, we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phil. 3: 18-20 )

"Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or life in America. Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label Christian or because some people persist in calling us a 'Christian nation'." (Chan 2008:78."

How to not be Lukewarm??? Do the will of the Father... let Him be in control and sing Praise to Him for His control. For some, that sounds like individual responsibility for ones actions/job/daily living costs should not be taken seriously. On the contrary, if you let God the Father control your life, you will find yourself on the best track for living in this fallen world.