Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Truth Made Known Through Wisdom from the Spirit

God reveals the spiritual truth to us when we are ready to understand it. This is revelation, and a spiritual evolution. Many people including educated people and theologians think that today we know what is true through science and there are Christians that blend science and history with the word of God. There is one truth and that is  the word of God. Teachers of the world are just that. They are not teachers of God's word; unless they teach only God's word. This is how the truth is made known to us ~ God's word.

That is why..."we speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. However, as it is written: "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.... but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." 1 COR 2: 6-16

Working for Salvation ~ Not Scriptural

I heard a program on Christian radio this morning. The pastor was so proud to tell his congregation that what's wrong with the world will be made right by Christians with their 'Christian' love and their forgiveness for everyone to see! Isn't this boasting of what the world can do? This is boasting and not of the Lord. We cannot save the world by our works. Saving the world is for the Lord. We must show others the Lord at work in us, and the way to do that is to rest in His Presence ~ this is being Christ like. See the story of Mary and Martha. Luke 10:38

Our work is to confess our sin and ask Jesus for forgiveness and move forward sinning no more. We show this to people, to the world but not because we put it out there or shout it out but because we live it. That is our work but it is not work as in doing something in the world to show off. It is work we do to show the Lord that we are sinners seeking forgiveness and salvation.  

Don't misunderstand, love and forgiveness are the foundations of Christianity. Love and forgiveness is for all who reach out to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians show this by examples of love and forgiveness in their life. They do not go about boasting or making the world right by delivering love and forgiveness. Deliverance is God's work. Our work is to reveal His glory by living our experience being delivered through His love and forgiveness.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dead to Sin and Alive in Christ ~ The Prodigal Son/Daughter

This story is one of the best and wisest stories in the Bible. Because, it is about our relationship with God. We stray from the Father, yet he is always there, waiting for us to return. To make the choice to return and leave behind our sinful life, our carnal life. As we approach him, we shed that old life and become made new in Christ Jesus. We cannot bring that carnal life into our new walk with the Lord.

The prodigal son does not bring with him his entourage of men and women... those that he 'hung out' with in the old days, those that he was sinfully engaged with. As we enter our new life, our walk with Christ Jesus, we do not and in fact cannot bring with us the past because it is leaving us, we are shedding it as we walk away from it as we become dead to sin and alive in Christ.

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6

Marriage Purity!

Today on Family Life with host Dennis Rainey, we could hear what marriage is about 'a holy unity' and how difficult it is in our post modern culture to embrace what that is, what it means. It is difficult these days to stay married and to stay faithful to our spouse which is staying faithful to God who created marriage.

Dennis related a story about his marriage and a situation he never imagined could happen to him. He said it was during the early days of his ministry when he was traveling with other men 'pastors' throughout the country (wives stayed home with kids) giving lectures/talks on family life, on marriage. One day after all the conference speaking finished, he found that he had the rest of the evening to himself. He went upstairs to his room at the hotel and put on the television. To his surprise, the movie playing was the 'Ten Commandments'.  Great, he thought to himself. "I will kick back and watch an old classic".

Just then the phone in his room rang. It was a woman's voice, but it was not his wife's. She had met Denis that day during the conference. She asked him bluntly "Can I come up"? Dennis replied, "say what?" She repeated. Dennis said, "Look, I am a married man and my wife means the world to mean, besides, I am watching the ten commandments... thou shall not commit adultery."

Dennis did not let the woman come up. He was shocked at his feelings though; caught between feeling wanted as a man and feeling disgust as a husband that such a woman would want to harm his marriage. For some, this invitation, this intrigue, this wondering what it would be like is too much to refuse. Both men and women must be strong and turn to the Lord in such instances. But, it is not easy.

For example...
"Our world fell apart in 2007 when my husband's secret addiction to porn was discovered. We lost our ministry, our church, and for a time, our purpose. Our entire family suffered from the consequences of his sexual addiction. From shock to fear to brokenness to hope, we have experienced it all. During this journey God, who is able to make all things new, has led us to the road of recovery, healing and restoration."

Chris and Cindy Beall share their experiences and others with individuals and couples who are struggling with sexual sin. We want you to know that victory is possible. You can recover. Your marriage can recover. But, it takes time, a lot of time. Best advice... don't go there to begin with!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Can Christians be Sad, Unhappy and even Depressed?

Yes, they can. Christians can suffer from bouts of sadness, unhappiness even depression. In fact, the more spiritual you become and less carnal, the more cause you will need to reach out to the Lord. We can become sad, unhappy and depressed because we begin to see the carnal world for what it is. There are many Scriptures that share such stories about Christians and Old Testament Hebrews i.e. Mosses, Job, Jonah, Jeremiah who were confronted with anxiety, unhappiness and even depression. Both Paul and Peter in the New Testament surely felt all those.

Remember ~ "Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

What does it mean to live Carnally? ~ How Not to???

It means not living in the spirit. To live carnally, you live in the world. Many of us get caught up in the world. We are lured into it by commercials, social media, films and the everyday world of work ~ paramount social reality.  When you work for a company, a corporation, the government, or have your own business, you are often burdened with issues, tasks and decisions that draw you out of the spirit and hardened you in the carnal world. It is very stressful to live in both trying to blend these very opposite worlds especially given today's complex social reality with its global agenda and political liberal relativistic correctness which does not exist in sync with a Christian 'correctness'.

What to do?  For the most part, I pray you have a supportive spouse, parents, neighbors, pastor,friends and Christian community. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable position regarding your faith and spirituality, then ask the Lord for guidance. But, first, ask if what you are being asked to do truly weighs on your heart as a Christian or is it just a matter of dealing with an issue that kind words will solve.

If it weighs on your heart, you will know it. You will feel the burden on your spirit as a yoke to bear and one that you feel weighing heavy on you as it goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ. In that situation, ask the Lord to take that yoke from you. If you don't see any change in the situation, then ask if you can pass the task, meeting, or travel assignment on to someone else with the promise that you would be more than happy to take on something else in its place. If there is agreement, you will know that the Lord was with you.

Remember ~ "Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

By doing this, you will be able to live spiritually!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Does the Bible Tell us to Disobey Authority?

Yes, because the Bible is our guide. It is the Word of God. It asks us to respect God's authority that is godly authority but not ungodly law/policy/agendas. The best examples come from the Bible. The first being when Jesus himself healed on the Sabbath. This was a law that came under the highest authority. Yet, Jesus did not obey it because it was an 'ungodly' law. How? Because, it was a law that hurt people more than helped them; it kept them under the law of man. There are other examples in the Bible with many in the Old Testament and in the New Testament 'Gospel' as just pointed.

From the Old Testament, we find the Hebrew midwives were not obeying the law that was decreed by Rome... every male child had to be killed. We find in Jeremiah that he publicly demonstrated 'protested' the law of sacrifice to idols that he and Jews of his time were required 'by law' to uphold.

Remembering such rebellion is not to encourage any kind of revolt only positive activism. How do we know something declared a law is a 'bad law or policy'? We will know if we are made to fear the law of men and not God's law... then we will know it is not a godly law, it is not from God.

Just Open Your Eyes!

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. We will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, through ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes! " Psalm 91: 1-8

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wisdom from the Spirit

There are people who call themselves Christians as in believers in Jesus Christ.  However, many still remain in the world. They hang on to things that have nothing to do with the Kingdom; they justify their 'holding' on out of fear of being in this world by saying "I worked hard for that" or "it belonged to my mother or grandmother" or 'its been in the family for years, why should I give it to someone else" or "its mine, I found it and always will be mine."  Those people live in the world and those who live in the world are always afraid. 

Those kinds of people are always afraid that someone is trying to take away something from them. They don't realize that everything in this world belongs to God. It is because of this, that we should be able to rest and be at peace knowing that God owns everything and because He does, we have everything all the time and there is no need to be afraid that someone else will claim it for themselves.

Those people are so caught up in the world that they simple can't understand God's knowledge. For not knowing God's wisdom, God's knowledge, we should be afraid.  "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe."1 COR 1:20-23.

The man/woman without the Holy Spirit in him will not be able to recognize the Kingdom of God. For they are of this world. Do not seek to know this world without the Holy Spirit for you will only find what men make of it. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weakening of Marriage ~ First Sign of Civilizational Collapse!

If you read the writings of Russian born and educated Pitirim Sorokin, the founder of Sociology at Harvard University, you will find that his view of a sustainable society was due to the regulation of sexuality as the essential first mark of civilization. Exactly, and according to Sorokin, civilization is possible only when marriage is normative and sexual conduct is censured outside of the marital relationship. Furthermore, Sorokin traced the rise and fall of civilizations and concluded that the weakening of marriage between a man and a woman was a first sign of civilizational collapse.

It is not surprising to me as a Christian Sociologist to read this and understand the importance of it.  Even if I were not a Christian, just by reviewing histories of fallen societies,  I  'we' can notice that whenever sexual deviation from the norm (normal as we find in set down by nature) societal collapse is not far behind.

There is such thing, even in nature for anyone who is a follower of Darwin, as gender complementarity. It means that each gender, as in physical sexual distinction between male - female, has certain properties within its gendered physical boundaries. A man is different from a woman in many ways and we can say the same about women being different from men in many ways: physically, mentally, emotionally, hormonally, socially and even philosophically. A man provides for society in a way that a woman cannot and visa versa.

God's design for marriage, follows nature. After all, it too was created by God.
It is unwise to think that marriage of any other kind is Ok with God and His design for us!
Is this a time to be concerned about given the political correctness in today's post-modern America? Yes, especially for Christians.

Read Luke 17:28 "And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business, eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building until the morning Lot left Sodom. Look around ~ there is much of Sodom to see thesedays.

Scripture pertaining to marriage...

* 1 Corinthians 7 ~ Marriage
* 1 Peter 3 ~ Wives and Husbands
* Romans 7 ~ An Illustration from Marriage
* Ephesians 5:22  ~ Wives and Husbands
* Colossians 3:18 ~ Rules for Christian Households
* Mark 10:6 ~ Divorce "In the beginning God made them male and female"

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Family has a Purpose in God's Social Design

God's design of family has a purpose for social reality. It allows for diversity to exist with having two parents, a male and female, as in father and mother. Men and women have different biology and sociology. They form the foundation of society by creating the base unit of it seen and experienced in an intimate form allowing for their diversity 'special and individual qualities' that are different to come through as in to be performed; God created men created differently from women and visa versa.

Identity is built up in this way for those that participate in this base unit, intimate form of society, and society on a wider scale is built up as well. Identity in God, the Creator of all things seen and unseen are introduced in this intimate social structure. Men draw on Him as He is their authority and women draw on their husbands as he is theirs. In this way, children gain identity that is stable as it brings them into relationship with the Lord. Because, it is a social relationship that God wants with us; He is the Creator of Social Reality ~ The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Men as Fathers, women as mothers, should understand that their social contentment comes from their willingness to participate in God's social hierarchy.

"If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer ... the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that this children obey him with proper respect." ~ 1 Timothy 3: 2-5

"Wives in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the world, they may be won over without words by the behavior of the wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." ~ 1 Peter 3

He is Life!

You can be a nice person and live a nice life style, but you cannot have life and live eternally without the Savior ~ Jesus Christ "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched ... this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it; and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete." 1 John

Monday, April 13, 2015

Speak Truth ~ Speak Life!

Speak truth~ Speak life! "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

Being salt and light means speaking truth and speaking life. It is so easy to get caught up in political discussions today as most is anti-Christ. If you want to change the heart of someone and get them to embrace their Savior Jesus Christ as You have embraced Him as yours then speak truth, speak life.

That means when you find yourself up against the opposition then try to move them toward Christ and not away. It is not easy to do. It requires you to have a strong heart for Christ and know that His will is to have all His creation be saved.

I heard a good story about a person who was faced with the opposition - Satan. This person met another person who was a professed atheist and was degrading Christians and calling them the problem with the world and that Christians are the real 'haters'.  The person who told this story said that it was hard for them to stand in front of this person and look them in the eyes while they spewed his atheist vulgar righteousness. In a moment, the person taking in all this profanity realized that this guy was in trouble. What he wanted was out of the tangles of a world that offers no hope, he wanted to be set free...

So, once he finally got to say something, he said " Hey man, I know where you are comin from. But I just want to tell you that we may be in this world but we don't have to of it. We don't have to feel condemned, and unforgiven, we don't have to worry about not being loved because Jesus Christ is alive and He loves us, He loves you! He gave His life for you so that you can live with Him forever. He knows the pain of your sins and forgives you. Accept that forgiveness and His love and You will be free indeed." John 8:32-38

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Marriage ~ Its about Loving Someone else as Yourself!

Marriage is about loving someone else ~ as yourself! 

In marriage your greatest job is to love someone the way Jesus loves you. We go into marriage looking for someone to love us the way we love ourselves. We should look for someone to love because we love ourself. Yes, and we are able to love our neighbor and spouse because we love ourselves... Jesus said "love thy neighbor as yourself" John 13:9.  Remember, self love is only possible because you know that you are loved by Christ Jesus and because of His love, you love what He loves and you share that love.

In marriage, our job is to love. This gets misunderstood. Often people think that if they are the only ones loving that it is not fair. I understand that. However, both spouses in a marriage have the same task.

Which is ~ To love the other, to lift up the other as a celebration of the love that they have already received from the Lord! This is what needs to be taught and embraced. The way you speak about your spouse and treat your spouse should reflect John 13:9

When things start to feel as though they are coming apart in your marriage or that your spouse is not loving you the way you want... it maybe that you are not loving him/her as you are loved by the Creator!!!!!


Monday, April 6, 2015

God's Wrath Against Mankind

"...though they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires off their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men, also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.  furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful, they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they no only continue to these very things but also approve of those who practice them. " Romans 1: 18-32

Have Faith in the Son of God

"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5-6