Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In this New Year ~ Live and Declare the Works of the Lord!

The Supremacy of Christ
For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He may have preeminence.…Colossians 1:16-18.

As Christians, we live to declare the works of the Lord ~ Psalm 118:17! What are His works? He is the Creator of the universe, the Creator of all things seen and unseen! He holds all things together ~ Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3!

Loving your neighbor as yourself is His Agape love in us. It is not about doing something as in showing 'works' as in being 'nice'. Agape love is the love that does not judge. It is this kind of love that is able to see the wonder of God's design, His image in every man and be amazed as in awe! That is why we can love our neighbor as our self because we are amazed as in awe of our Creator and His creation! That is why, in everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you ~ Matthew 7:12! That means to Look past the sinful flesh and its acts; look at the spirit within and be in awe! 

Look at all people through the eyes of Jesus as He is the all inspiring all creating God! This is what I want others to do to me. This is the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ! In this way, we can forgive others who see just the flesh as we forgive ourselves for just seeing the flesh and not looking past it. This does not mean to encourage in others sinful acts of flesh and by loving them as God's creation we do not encourage sinful acts of the flesh, we reveal to them the love of God.

Of course, many argue that faith without works is dead as we read in James 2:8; but we are again back at questioning "works". Man tends to fall back on his works and not God's. Our only job is to live and to declare His Work, His Agape love made possible only in Him! This is what we come to understand as the works of the Lord done in us. All mercy and grace that is given to us is because we rest in Him, in His love and peace. That is why we can rest in His Presence at all times in all things declaring His Work in us. This is the testimony of 'our faith' that comes to light. 

We must first show other people the 'real' light in us showing that we are not dead, not useless, and not afraid, or worried or deprived in any way shape or form because our Hope is in the Lord, we are alive in Christ! And, in this way, we are able to love others and treat others as we want to be treated... as a Creation of the Lord!

It goes without saying that if a brother or sister in Christ needs a coat or a bowl of soup we will gladly give it and more if we can as we read in James 2:14-15. And, we are joyful in it because we know the truth and share that truth with our light, which is His light in us.

But never forget that the fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace and long suffering ~ Galatians. 5:22.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What to tell your children about Jesus Christ Coming into the World!

This Christmas instead of talking about Santa Claus bringing presents, tell your children about the best gift ever given ~ Jesus Christ! 
He came to save us from the law of sin and death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord ~ Romans 6:23. "... through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death ~ Romans 8:2.

"I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness". John 12:46. 

For in Him, we live and move and have our being! ~ Acts 17:28.  He is the light of the world ~ John 8:12; and He is the bread of life ~ John 6:35.

And someone children might ask... "BUT WHY is there suffering in the world if God came as light"? Firstly, this is a fallen world (fall from the Garden). And, because of that,  it is through affliction that the Holy Spirit burns out the desires of the flesh "See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction" ~Isaiah 48:10.

"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" ~1 John 2:16.

How do we get through this fallen world if we are in it but not of it? Remember, you/we are children of the Light. With that knowledge, we are overcomes through our faith in the Light of the World ~ Jesus Christ.

Faith and Assurance

Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see ~ Hebrews 11:1.
Romans 8:24
For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see?
2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Hebrews 3:6
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God's house. And we are His house, if we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope of which we boast.

Monday, December 12, 2016

What To Tell Your Children About 'Santa Claus'...

Sadly, I grew up with this Santa Claus figure posing as a kind of saint that would fill your wish list if you were good. Sad, because such a figure outshines our true Savior. Santa as a children's fairy tale has become a kind of false religion. As I said, I grew up with Santa Claus. Ironically, at the same time, and thankfully, I was a member of a Christian church where one could find only the baby Jesus in the manager. Yet, by attending public school along with social media of the time shaped by consumerism, Santa Claus crept into our Christmas.

Probably, because I went to church with parents and attended Sunday school, I as able to judge this Santa character and follow the truth light of the world ~ Jesus Christ. Being the oldest child, I realized that it was parents who left the presents, not Santa. Honestly, I was hardly disappointed... in fact, I was overjoyed and relieved to know that my parents were the 'saints' leaving gifts for five kids under the tree. It made more sense to me than an elf called St. Nick who went around the world in one night using flying reindeer.

However, upon having my own children, I fell back into the popular culture with its tradition of Santa Claus. I think that they realized too as I did as a child that it was I (parent) and not the elf making our Christmas memorable. Is it a sin to have taken part in that and including having kids pose with Santa for a picture or watch a movie where people ironically find the truth of the light in their hearts by believing in something they cannot see? Yes and No. At the time, even though I knew that 'Santa' was not real, I thought it was an innocent tradition (everyone was doing it and I had grown up with it) bringing joy on the day of Jesus's birth. In retrospect, I would say that participation in such things believing 'magically' in a  'fake person' is a false religion... it is believing in a false god~  the god of consumerism = idolatry of things.

Today, I would rather do as some European's do. Have the Christmas angel (mysteriously) leave a gift by the tree on Christmas Eve to be opened on Christmas Eve. This way, Christmas Day is for Jesus, a day for all of us to celebrate His birth together and consider our walk in the light of the Lord (for He is the Light of the World) and; thus, help each other to be mindful of our walk with the Lord throughout our life.

I highly suggest moving away from today's consumerism and the idea of Santa Claus bringing gifts. If you opt for the Christmas angel, you should be careful about the gifts you give or allow others to give your children. Especially, the kinds of toys and or products in our popular culture that are hardly Christian nor godly in any way. Toys that lead children down dark paths.

Tell your children the truth ~ The light of the world is Jesus Christ ~ John 8:12. And tell them ....not to love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world...~ 1 John 2:15-16.  Our destiny is in His Kingdom! How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation ~ Daniel 4:3.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Defend the Faith by Reading the Word of God!

Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now, I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His Holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God's marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

So, I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. And, I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of the authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. And, don't forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. 

Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God's judgement. In the same way, these people who claim authority from their dreams live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy but simple said, "The Lord rebuke you!" ... again, these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them and so they bring about their own destruction. 

What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion."... But you my dear friends, must build each other up in our most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God's love. And, you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgement. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives ~ Jude 1:3-23.

In these times, we must strive to live godly lives, defending our faith. The best way to do that is to read and come to know God's Word. And, to proclaim it and to give Him Thanks and Praise! We cannot afford to be seen as hypocrites and or those who bend the rules to feel good about what we like to do what we think is ok because it is the culture. Nor are we to become ambitious in our walk with the Lord... For, it is not by our works that we are saved but by the Grace of God! Ephesians 2:8.

Sadly, many people who think of themselves as Christian are guilty of this sin (s). If you find yourself boasting about yourself in any way... what you do/did or plan to do, how you lived, live and plan to live that gives glory to you as a man/woman and not to God our Creator our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you are seriously mistaken in doing so. Such behavior is not godly. This is not a call to judge others. It is a plea for you to examine yourself.  
"Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates" ~ 2 COR 13:5.

Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD ~ Lamentations 3:40.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Growing in your Knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1: 2-11. 

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And, because of His glory and excellence, he has given us great and previous promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness and with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop iin this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Suffering for Christ!

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but He was raised to life in the Spirit ~ 1 Peter 3:18.

Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God and all the angels and authorities and powers accept His authority. So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had and be ready to suffer, too.

For if you have suffered physically for Christ you have finished with sin. You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had  enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy, their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So, they slander you. But, remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was reached to those who are now dead, so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit ~ 1 Peter 3:22-4:1-6.

So, dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. So, be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you ~ 1 Peter 4: 12-14.

Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name! ~ 1 Peter 4:16 

Friday, November 11, 2016

What to tell Daughters and Sons?

As Christians, we must tell our daughters and sons what the Bible (the Word of God) says which is that a man leaves his mother and father to join his wife. The two become one. Above all, tell them that God created them for His special purpose! That in being a man or a woman, husband, father, a wife and mother has great value! It is not being slave to anyone, it is being a valuable loving and caring partner. The two become as one, giving to each other what the other needs and thus serving God.

Men have an important role in God's hierarchy which is to be strong and courageous and dedicated, loyal and the leader of their family. They need a partner for support in these duties. Marriage is a godly union between a man and woman and as such the two become one flesh. This means that the two (man/woman) have to understand and realize that marriage is very serious commitment. It is not just a 'secular/legal' contract. It is a spiritual commitment (two becoming one); it is a special kind of relationship with the Creator Jesus Christ.

As one, a man and a woman, in the flesh they do not exchange their flesh with anyone else or engage in any other kinds of relationships/activities that take away from their first commitment as one in a relationship with Christ: sexual immorality, lewd intimate conversations, wickedness of any sort and generally spending time together in the world rather than with the Creator.

The Creation of Woman
The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh ~ Genesis 2: 23-24.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh.Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate ~ Mark 10: 7-9. We can read the same message in Matthew, Corinthians and Ephesians.

Of course, Americans will say that is not true, that is not fun... There is no mention in the Bible of fun. This life is about sacrifice, obedience and prayer... in that there comes joy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What do we tell our Daughters?

I am hearing this question a lot today and of course in context of the recent election outcome. We tell our daughters what the Bible (the Word of God) tells women. First, not to marry and if one has to marry because of fleshly desires such as the desire to have children, then they must marry and follow God's hierarchy of marriage roles/relationships. Above all, tell them that God created them for His special purpose! That in being a woman, a wife and mother has great value! It is not being slave to a man or any man, it is being a valuable loving and caring partner. The two become as one, giving to each other what the other needs and thus serving God.

Now to the unmarried and widows I say this: It is good for them to remain unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.… 1 COR 7:8-10.

If they 'daughters' do not have such desires they are not to engage in fornication or adultery or any other sexual immorality or idolatry that leads one away from the Lord. We are to show daughters that we are to be devoted to God in all things doing His will. That does not mean to necessarily become a kind of monk/nun or even missionary. But those kinds of options are to be considered... certainly the later.

If those options are not suitable then they should find some kind of job (receive education/training for that job) that will either fully support or at least help to support themselves and their family if they choose to remain at home with parents or decide to live outside their parents home at the age of legal maturity. This is not an easy life. Nor is being a full time wife and mother. The first commandment is to love thy Lord God with all your heart. Thus, our number one desire is to eventually be with the Lord in the New Jerusalem accepting that this world is passing away.

This is the message of Christ and there is no other. One cannot live in both worlds: the flesh and the spirit - Kingdom of God. Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit ~ John 3:6. Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable ~ 1 COR 15:50.The flesh will die but the spirit in Christ Jesus lives on and greater rewards are for those who did not give up the good fight, who ran the good race here and now ~ 2 Timothy 4:7.  You see,... without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him
must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6.

There is no greater calling here and now than to choose a life relationship with Jesus Christ. But, know this, the world will reject you as it did Him. Yet, know that you are bound for eternal glory through Him who redeemed your sin and brought you into the heavenly realm of eternal light.

*A life as a Christian wife and mother is also a good choice because you will be serving the Lord as you bring up the next Christian destined for greater eternal glory.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Our Father in Heaven!

Matthew 6 ~ Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him...And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray"...

“ Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one".

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

God's Social Hierarchy! ~ His Word is Good for all Times/all Societies!

1 Timothy 5: 1-24. ~ Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 

But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain", and “The worker deserves his wages". "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses". But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Women's role as Mothers in God's Socialization!

So many women today ridicule men for being men. Yet, when you think about it, if they are not godly men then one could understand. If that is the case, then how did they become ungodly or rather why were they never encouraged to be godly men. Socialization begins at birth and isn't mother the main socialization instrument?  Yet, so if she had real influence over boys and young men then we should see better men, godly men, right?

In 1 Timothy 2 we read that men are to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. And, that women are not to teach men or have authority over them. Interesting... maybe this is the problem. Women are not to teach men. What about boys? In many cultures, mothers influence over boys ends around the age of 10 or 12. Does that mean that boys at that age are already men? No, but for some cultures it is a stage prior to manhood that has to be taken seriously.

In our current civilization, this is not the practice. Yes, in our western culture boys become men at 18 though 21 would be the wiser. All too often we find women are still teaching them and having authority over them. Yet, in 1 Timothy 2:15, we read that women should not be allowed to teach men. Following this scripture, God's Word, young men should move on to a college for men aspiring to be godly men or go into training provided by godly men.

But, you can say that is nearly impossible given that there aren't many godly men out there these days in higher education. Is that really true? In the paragraph above, one might say then that is true as women have continued to teach and have authority over young men and even older men considering our current social climate. But, it is difficult to say as only statistics could show. We could look at Christian colleges to see if the ratio men to women was lower and assume that this is the case. But, then we could even assume that in secular schools there could be godly Christian men though in plain sight might be hiding their faith so as not to be fired or appear intolerant to women.

You could make the argument that such was the case of boys leaving their mother and entering the company of men as was practiced years ago in early America and Europe and look what it got us... wars! That can be argued well. Yet, we also have to acknowledge that this is a fallen world and thus bad things happen. Given that bad things happen, we can make the better argument that God needs strong godly men as foot soldiers, godly men on the ground to battle for peace, and for His Kingdom come.

If men are to be men/godly men, then they must be trained as godly men by godly men and they will treat women/wives as the body of Christ. This teaching has to come from godly men guided by the Word of God! And though 1 Timothy is largely addressing orderly worship, we must be mindful that our entire life as a Christian is about and should be spent worshiping God, both in congregation and outside of congregation.

Women should know when to let their boys become godly men and thus they will become godly men and godly husbands, men who are called by God by His Word the Bible.

* Mothers can give their sons a wonderful gift too... God's Word the Bible!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Women are Called to be Modest and Humble!

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. And, I want 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 the 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. 1 Timothy 2: 8-10.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Be Humble and Live a Godly Life!

Instructions to Women

…A woman must learn in quietness and full submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, and then Eve.…1 Timothy 2:11-13.

How to live a Godly Life in 15 points:1-LoveGod, 2- Acknowledge sin and repent, 3- Read and do what the Bible says, 4- Allow God to Change you, 5- Understand you will be persecuted, 6- Set aside time for prayer, 7- Try to put yourself in other's shoes, 8- Be patient, 9- Work and pray for others, 10- Treat others as you want to be treated, 11- Strive to live a quiet life, 12- Share the Gospel, 13-Fellowship with others, 14- Practice what you preach, and 15- Help others - volunteer!

 The LORD Almighty planned it, to bring down her pride in all her splendor and to humble all who are renowned on the earth ~ Isaiah 23:9.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Do Not Love the World!

I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world.…1 John 2:14-16.

What about our jobs, our kids, our lovely houses and great restaurants/vacations and government? What about them? The flesh (pride of life) belongs to this world. Do your job, demonstrate to your children the love for and only hope for eternal life in Jesus Christ and by the way share your lovely home and food... For God is life and everything in it! And, because of that, we put Him First! 

... "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27.

Its when we don't that problems arise, conflict ensues...

So...Put your trust in the Lord ~Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding... Proverbs 3:5.

We live to declare the works of the Lord! I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done ~ Psalm 118:17.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Is Criticism a Way of Being Pious?

As some feel criticized by pointing flaws in their walk with the Lord, they too can become quick to judge one as being pious. As sisters in Christ, members of His body, existing yet in a fallen world, we are not asked to confront one another in a manner that is threatening, (I'll sue you/I'll get my lawyer) demanding to bring offenses before a court of man but we are asked to confront each other in a quiet and maybe sternly manner. Are we not truly after the salvation of another human being?  Isn't our goal to bring Christian people who are stumbling back to the fold? Yes!

The first step in that direction is for women in Christ to put their own desires aside and their husbands first. He comes under God and thus acts on our behalf for our salvation. The social hierarchy of the Lord is: God, man, woman and all others. This is not to subject anyone to harshness or punishment but to follow rules that a Loving God has set down for our own good until He comes again bringing His Kingdom, the New Jerusalem.

No one is insisting on you in pious self denial as everything is permissible not everything is beneficial (1 COR 10:23). But, if we truly wish for greater peace here and now, a greater and more intimate walk with Christ being salt and light for Him in this fallen world, then we by our own choice will deny the self and serve the Lord. This is what we as Christian women must teach our children and represent in our communities.

If one goes in the opposite direction, if one opts for a free unrestricted, a happy go lucky, let it all hang out... just be enthusiastic about life and not critical about others, then who is salt and light, what is salt and light?

We could run the risk of evil becoming good!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Women who Tend to Live in the Flesh!

Women who tend to live in the flesh are those that do not understand the Kingdom of God. We can see it everywhere! We see it in them as mothers doting on their children by dressing them up and lavishly them with gifts that they don't need or even deserve... getting an A in gym, art or music etc. They brag about them when they graduate from kindergarten and even more when they graduate from high school or college. They put them on pedestals and worship them as idols. Their entire life, they introduce their children to the world of consumption... both the boys and girls. They introduce them to the fallen world!

Women drive the fashion (including underwear) and cosmetic industry, the accessory (jewelry) and handbag industry, the cleaning product industry, the home decor industry and the list goes on. Don't they know that this world is passing away? Yet, they cling to every aspect of it. As they age, they want organic food, spas, facials, other treatments, vitamins etc.

Women tend to have huge needs in this world... the need to be pretty and prettier than others. The need to be adored and to be the one everyone turns their head for/toward. They want to be worshiped by men and certainly by their husbands. If they 'husbands' slip up, they put the hammer down... as in go to court.

Women have a tendency to tease and scheme and throw daggers and then in their hypocrisy bring birthday cake into the coffee clutch at the office... Yes, women do tend to live in the flesh. They dress up for church and do not cover their heads. They even demand to get up on the pulpit these days to show men they are better and or in the least equal and worse that we are over and above men which is going over and above God's hierarchy for this fallen world.

One can hear their argument which is that they deserve to be worshiped after all women give birth... aren't they doing God's work.

For Eve's sin, our salvation lies in the pain of childbirth...

To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children... ~ Genesis 3:16.

Why such harsh criticism coming from a woman. I only want to point out that in these times and in times past, we woman want a better world. Yet, it hardly seems we want to actually build it. We forget God's hierarchy which is for our own good.

Ephesians 5 ~ 21-33 ~ Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

We must remind ourselves that we are the first encounter a child has with this fallen world.... Yes, women live in the flesh. But given our great role in this fallen world we should be delivering the word of God when we deliver.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Live no longer as the Gentiles!

Live no longer as the Gentiles... in the world.  There are numerous scripture that tell us how to Not be of this world. That we cannot live in both the Kingdom of God and this world. Those scriptures that come to mind can be found in John, 1 John and 1 Cor and many many others. Why? Because it was essentially Jesus's purpose to show us that this world is passing away and only the world that is God's Kingdom is eternal. Though born into this world, we are overcomers through Jesus Christ ~ 1 John 5:4.

So Remember... You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil--the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God ~ Ephesians 2:2.

"With the Lord's authority I [Paul] say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kid of impurity. But that isn't what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off you old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 

Put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foot hold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.

Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement o o those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his won, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you" ~ Ephesians 4:17-32.

One cannot live in two worlds ~ 1 John 2:15.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all Else! Matthew 6:33.

Alive in Christ
As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins,  in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is no at work in the sons of disobedience. We all lived among them at one time in the cravings of our flesh, indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.… Ephesians 2: 1-3.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

When calling into question doctrine and interpretation is Not judging!

It can be difficult today to talk with Christians of different denomination about faith and understanding the word of God = The Bible. There are many Christians that are pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post-tribulation.  There are those that different on when the Millennium is going to be and some think it is even now. Some differ on God's grace, the recipient of the Holy Spirit and gifts of the Spirit as well as fruits of the Spirit.

Catholics had recently changed the wording of the liturgy so much so that some parishioners have fallen out of that 'faith'.  Firstly, the only faith is in Jesus Christ. His Word, the Word of God is written in the Bible. We cannot add to it nor take away from it. Everyone can and should read the Bible, also join in Bible study groups and feel free to be open and frank about concerns and needs which includes questioning any woman or man's as in people's interpretations as they read it. We should always support as in build each other up using the Word of God in order to arrive a greater understanding of God's Word.

This is not judging someone's faith... For if their faith is in Jesus Christ there is nothing to judge.

In the process of open dialogue... remember to   “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”
~Galatians 6:2

Thursday, September 8, 2016

How to understand 2 Thessalonians 3:10?

Many Christians are hung up on 2 Thessalonians 3:10 ...

I say hung up because they take the literal understanding before the spiritual understanding.

"nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. Instead, in labor and toil, we worked night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you. Not that we lack this right, but we wanted to offer ourselves as an example for you to imitate. For even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “If anyone is unwilling to work, he shall not eat.”…
The important clauses being: "not to be a burden"...and "not that we lack this right". Paul (relating the Word of God) is telling us that we should not take advantage of/depend on others to satisfy our basic needs (not that they did not have a right as church leaders to expect a meal and housing for their work as church leaders). Why? Because, if others have to care about us first (we depending on them), they cannot care about their walk with the Lord and will not eat from their input - service!
The Lord gives us all gifts and with those gifts we are expected to serve the Lord first and foremost. And, this goes both ways, if we neglect our gifts in order to wait on / work for others who do not work for themselves not using their God given gifts, then they suffer and we will suffer and no one eats from their input - serving the Lord. The Parable of the Talents and the Scripture telling the story of Mary and Martha (who busied herself neglecting the Lord) supports this scriptural understanding as does Romans 12 and 16 and 2 COR 10:15-16 ~ "Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended... preach the Good News in other places far beyond you, where no one else is working."

Yes, real work is involved but it is work of the Holy Spirit in us, not the 'work' of this world that makes us right with God. 2 Thessalonians is about our work for the Lord, to make our life a representation of His Kingdom.

The Words You As a Christian Should Never Hear!

What are those words... "I didn't know you were a Christian".

Know this ~ 2 Peter 1: 3-11

Confirming One’s Calling and Election

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Christian Women ~ At Home, Chaste!

Chaste = Modest, very simple in design or execution : Austere, clean and spotless. 

Christian women "are to be sensible, pure 'chaste', workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored" ~ Titus 2:5.

"Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things" ~ 1 Timothy 3:11.

"Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see your pure and reverent demeanor. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair or gold jewelry or fine clothes"… ~ 1 Peter 3: 1-3

And so you say what about Proverbs 31?  Yes, what about that!

~ 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.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
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 her 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 linen 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:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

A wife of noble character finds herself at home first and foremost and value is given to her for that.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Dark is Rising!

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the authorities, against the powers of this worlds' darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand".…Ephesians 6:11-13.

Check out "A Godly Man" blog on the right margin of this blog to read in full about ~ "The Dark is Rising"

Monday, August 22, 2016

Women in God's Hierarchy and in the Church!

"Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings ... Do you think God's word originated with you... Are you the only one to whom it was given? If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what is being said is a command from the Lord himself. But if you do not recognize this you yourself will not be recognized." ~ 1 COR 14:34-38.

"And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for it is just as if her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, let her hair be cut off. And, if it is shameful or a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man." ~ 1 COR 11: 5-7.

You see... "woman was created for man. For this reason, a woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head because of the angels. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.…For just as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?  Doesn’t nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him…Doesn't nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him?... but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory! For long hair is given to her as a covering".… 1 COR 11: 9-16.

"If anyone is inclined to dispute this, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God. In the following instructions I have no praise to offer, because your gatherings do more harm than good".… 1 COR 11:16.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

When sexual sin is among us ~ What to do when it temps and or enslaves you?

The Body is the Temple for the Holy Spirit ~ 1 COR 6:19.

1 Corinthians 5: 1-13 and 1 COR 6: 1-20

I [Paul] can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you, something that even pagans don't do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. Even though, I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. Your basting about this is terrible. Don't you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spread through the whole batch of dough?

Get rid of the old 'yeast' by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. When I wrote to you before, I told you not associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But, I wasn't talking about unbelievers... I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy or worships idols or is abusive or is a drunkard or cheats people. Don't even eat with such people. It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church were are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the scriptures say, "you must remove the evil person from among you."

Surely, this sounds pretty harsh today for the many people who claim to be believers ... who go to church and boast about how 'tolerant' they are of those who continue in pursuit of the sexual sin or any other sin for that matter.  As believers in Jesus Christ we are to call out the sin in our fellow Christians and pray for them, get them to repent and discontinue the sin that shackles them in darkness. If they refuse to give up sinning, if they willfully continue down the dark path, if they claim that God made them that way whether it is their desire for sexual perversion or lust, or greed for flesh and money, then they must be dealt with harshly. They must be given over to Satan so that the sinful nature will be destroyed in hopes that they will be saved on the day the Lord returns.

We, as believers in Jesus Christ, cannot and are not to tolerate the indulging and or flaunting of sin. Why? Because, the body is the temple for the Holy Spirit. You can say, "I am allowed to do anything... but not anything and everything is good for you. Though you are allowed to do anything and everything you must not become a slave to it... If you allow anything and everything (including and certainly sexual immorality as no other sin clearly affects the body as this one) there will be no room left in the temple for the Holy Spirit.  What to do when sexual sin temps you and or begins to or already has you enslaved ~ Run from it!

Again, we as believers in Jesus Christ we are to call out the sin in our fellow Christians and pray for them, get them to repent and discontinue the sin that shackles them in darkness. If they refuse to give up sinning, if they willfully continue down the dark path, if they claim that God made them that way whether it is their desire for sexual perversion or lust for greed, then they must be dealt with harshly. They must be given over to Satan so that the sinful nature will be destroyed in hopes that they will be saved on the day the Lord returns.

Remember, God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. This refers to all things that we do to our body that corrupts the body.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Are there Christians in the Dark?

I encounter many people that call themselves Christians; yet they fail to understand why they call themselves or think that they are Christians. Many are like the Pharisee.

"To some who trusted in their own righteousness and viewed others with contempt, He also told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the other men—swindlers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and pay tithes of all that I receive.’
But the tax collector stood at a distance, unwilling even to lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man, rather than the Pharisee, went home justified. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18: 9-14.

In that parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee - the one who is in the dark and not in the light of Christ, we find the greatest misunderstanding of Christianity. If you point this out to Christians today as Christ did in his time on earth, many will think and or say you are against the law just as they did then.  Why? Because, those that are like the Pharisee consider the practice of the law is what saves you. If you tell them that the "trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with them/me [Paul] for I am./we are all too human, a slave to sin. I/we don't really understand my/ourself, for I/we want to do what is right, but I/we don't do it.  Instead, I/we do what I/we hate. But, if I/we know that what I am/we are doing is wrong, this shows that I/we agree that the law is good. So I am/you/we are not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me/us that does it  [And, this is what most people cannot accept, that sin is living in them].

And, I/we know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I/we want to do what is right, but I/we can't. I/we want to do what is good, but I/we don't. I/we don't want to do what is wrong, but I/we do it anyway. But if I/we do what I/we don't want to do, I am / we are not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I/we have discovered this principle of life, that when I/we want to do what is right I/we inevitably do what is wrong. I/we love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me/us that is at war with my/our mind...Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? ~ Jesus Christ! ~ Romans 7:14-24.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What does it Mean to be a Godly Woman?

It means to put the Lord Jesus Christ first and foremost in your life... above all else, above husband, children, neighbors and especially your job. Oh, woe to me ... No! Why not?  Because, Christ asks us to love Him FIRST!!!!! - to love who He is = God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When you do that, you will have so much more love in your life and enough for all others.

Lead the way in the good news! Don't be a wall flower. Our culture/society has been and continues to be an immigrant society having 'liberty' first and foremost. That means, we put individual freedom first and thus can only be hold together by social contract... don't tread on me and I won't tread on you. In that light, we don't approach people boldly with the good news.

Because of our American culture, we all too often think.... "Oh, they won't want to hear or they would ask me". We are a society that likes to be asked first what we want, what we think etc. as if it is a display of that 'liberty' we cherish. So, we apply this in our walk with the Lord. However, Christ asks to to be bold about our walk with Him and to boldly love and get others on that same walk. Yes, same... not the one for them which is different from the one for you/me. That is another cultural character of Americans called relativism.

Check with the Word of God - The Bible. We are asked to love Him first and foremost and then to love all others therefrom. We are told what a Christian household looks like and what a Christian marriage looks like. We are told what behaviors lead to sin and deeper into sin as in away from the Lord our God who so boldly wants to embrace us as His!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Secrets of the Secret Place ~ Desparate for God!

Sharing with you ...

When you are made desperate for God, your pursuit of God takes on a different quality. When its personal survival that's at stake, you begin to seek Jesus in a different way. You get a look in your eye that appears half crazed to others. You're willing to go anywhere or do anything. No price tag is too high.

Banal sources of entertainment, such as television and movies have to go. Invitations to parties are spurned. Others start to pull away because you're not as much fun as you used to be. But it's irrelevant to you because you're desperate for God.

Nothing else matters right now except touching the hem of Jesus' garment. Desperate people don't struggle with the same distractions and hindrances as the general population. A desperate person would never say, "I struggle to find time for the secret place (time/space for God)," or "I get easily distracted by the everyday demands." Such petty distraction could never hind someone who is desperate. The normal hindrances of life don't even faze a desperate one because single-focused intensity of the pursuit.

When you begin to seek God with this kind of desperation, powerful spiritual winds begin to blow around your life. You're setting off a storm! Things begin to change inside you at an unprecedented rate. Angelic  activity (both good and evil) surrounding your life becomes intense, even thought you may not be aware of it. You gain the attention of heaven and hell. Issues that simmered on low for many years suddenly come to a head, screaming for resolve. You find yourself surrounded  by suspicion and reproach. God has you in His accelerated class, and the speed of change and transition surrounding your life is dizzying.

And, what's happening on the inside? You're coming alive to the word of God! His word is feeding and sustaining you. New insights are electrifying and carrying you. the closeness of His presence begins to intoxicate you. The revelation of His love for you is redefining your relationship with Him. The understanding of His heart and purposes is giving you a whole new perspective on the kingdom of God. You're becoming addicted to the glories of the secret place!

* This excerpt was taken from ~ "Secrets of the Secret Place", by Bob Sorge: 2001- 114-115.

Monday, June 6, 2016

I will have no other gods before Me!

Remember that you live in a fallen world: an abnormal world tainted by sin. Such frustration and failure result from your seeing perfection in this life. There is nothing perfect in this world except Me. That is why closeness to me satisfies deep yearnings and fills you with joy. I have planted longing for perfection in every human heart. This is a good desire; which I alone can fulfill. But most people seek this fulfillment in other people and earthly pleasures or achievements. Thus, they create idols, before which they bow down. I will have no other gods before Me! Make Me the deepest desire of your heart. Let Me fulfill your yearning for perfection.  *Exodus 20:3; Psalm 37:4 ~ Sarah Young "Jesus is Calling"!

We go about our day seeking the things of this world and we never feel truly happy. That is because, this is a fallen world. We blame others for our unhappiness. We think that they owe us, they have caused our trouble, our sorrow, our grief. It us by our own doing that we are unhappy. Because, we seek the things of this world. We call out the sin in others, we fail to cast the log in our own eye. In this light, we are not truly saved. We may think that we sin against others but we sin against God in our judgment and unforgiveness, in our bitterness we toss out the true joy we seek.

Praise the Lord who did not let their teeth tear us apart! We escaped like a bird from a hunter's trap. The trap is broken, and we are free! Our help is from the Lord who made heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 124: 6-8.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Florence Nightingale ~ Deny the Self and Put Aside all Vanity!

Yes, deny the self and put all vanity aside. This is difficult for western women especially young women and including all those who think they are modest Christians. The story of Florence Nightingale is one worth reading to young women and old alike. Florence was born in Florence Italy in 1820 to wealthy British parents. She was expected to marry up and continue the upward mobility for herself and family. Advice we might expect to hear from parents today.

From a very young age, Florence Nightingale was active in philanthropy, ministering to the ill and poor people in the village neighboring her family’s estate. By the time she was 16 years old, it was clear to her that nursing was her calling. She believed it to be her divine purpose.

When Nightingale approached her parents and told them about her ambitions to become a nurse, they were not pleased. In fact, her parents forbade her to pursue nursing. During the Victorian Era, a young lady of Nightingale's social stature was expected to marry a man of means—not take up a job that was viewed as lowly menial labor by the upper social classes. When Nightingale was 17 years old, she refused a marriage proposal from a "suitable" gentleman, Richard Monckton Milnes.

Nightingale explained her reason for turning him down, saying that while he stimulated her intellectually and romantically, her "moral…active nature…requires satisfaction, and that would not find it in this life." 

It is in Matthew that we learn what it means to follow Christ. Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus told His disciples, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.…Matthew 16:23-25.

Florence at a young age knew that this world of things, of marriage, prestige, wealth and status would pass away. She was committed to others and their comfort while in this world, as we in Christ are in it but not of it. "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you" ~ John 15:19.Yes, do not run after things of this world... "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them" ~ 1 John 2:15.

"...those who weep, as if they did not; those who are joyful, as if they were not; those who make a purchase, as if they had nothing; and those who use the things of this world, as if not dependent on them, for this world in its present form is passing away" ~ 1 COR 7:30-31.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will" ~ Romans 12:2.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Reading from the Book of Colossians!

Living as Those Made Alive in Christ ~

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Instructions for Christian Households ~

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Male, female... He created them!

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them ~ Genesis 1:27.

God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth"…Genesis 1:26-28.

Don't be led astray by a fallen 'corrupted' world. If you think you were not created male or female, then God is not the voice you hear. Its the voice of the a fallen world that thinks man has all the answers...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jesus Christ is our Blessed Hope ~ In Him, we are Free Indeed!

Yes, even in this fallen world, Jesus Christ is our everything! In Him, we are free indeed ~ John 8:36.

Jesus told us "do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And, why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet, I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here to day and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry saying, "What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?" For pagans run after all these things and yet your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself " ~ Matthew 6: 25-34.

 " We have born in the likeness of the earthly man, so also shall we bear the likeness of the heavenly man. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!" 1 COR 15: 49-51.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Understanding His Will and that His Will Be Done!

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control. So, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me, His prisoner. Instead, join me in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God.  He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our own works, but by His own purpose and by the grace He granted us in Christ Jesus before time eternal ~ 2 Timothy 1:7-9.

We read in 2 Timothy 2:3 ~ Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance ~ Romans 5:3.

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. And, if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ... if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us ~ Romans 8: 16-18.

This is a fallen world. God sent His Son to redeem us from the sin of death. In Him, we are free indeed. He is our Blessed Hope. We need not ask for the right house, the right car, the right job... for in Him all things possible, in Him we can endure all things.

For those Christians that think they can ask God for a new house, a new car, a new job... are mistaken. There is nothing biblical about such things. Yes, the Bible says that God gives us the desires of our hearts... and that desire is not material things. The true desires of the heart of a child of God is to become closer to God, Jesus Christ.  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" ~ Matthew 6:21.  God did give us the desire of our hearts ~ Jesus Christ! 

If we think that God has more in store for us here or that he has special plan for us here or that He has a certain direction for us, we are mistaken. He has a way, a path that is certain Jesus Christ. In Him we are free indeed. In Him we can endure all things.

By saying 'we should wait for a sign, wait to see what God has planned, where He will direct us,' we are not only mistaken, we are anti-Christ. How? Because, we detract from why Christ was born and died. The Kingdom of God is within ~ Luke 17:21. By making such such statements/desires we actually make Christ into just a man who was a nice person and who was a good example on how to live. We take away from His great sacrifice by saying that. And worse, we are actually saying that we want the 'this' world: we want and run after the things of this world: good health, wealth and whatever else. Remember, this is a fallen world. "Those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away" ~ 1 COR 7:31.

"For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever" ~ 1 John 2:16-17.

Though this world gives us an idea of God's original design, it is still fallen, a corrupt version. That is why God does not want us to get too comfortable here nor to be truly 'happy' as man understands 'happy' and runs after 'the pursuit of happiness'. Look around, there is decay and suffering. In that, God wants us to join in the suffering of Christ so that we can overcome this world. Bad things happen so that we can remember that this is a fallen world and remember that our sin was/is so great on the earth that such sin required and still requires a great sacrifice ~ Jesus Christ. In our suffering, we come to know the true bread of life, the real joy and peace that Christ offers. 

By Having the Kingdom within, we can go where He went, we can do what He did. Faith is knowing that we have been empowered to preach the Good News because we are a new creation in Christ. How can you preach the good news if you are too busy waiting for a signal, a green light as to when to go, move and do something. No! " do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed" ~ 1 COR 1:7. So, get up and move out as He empowered you. If you are not welcome in a place, shake the sand and move on. "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet" ~ Matthew 10:14.  In this fallen world, His will is that we stand as His testimony, a testimony of salvation and resurrection through Jesus Christ. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day" ~ John 6:44.

What are we to do? Give The Lord God Thanks and Praise to Jesus Christ in all things; and, Rest in Him, know that He is God!

His plans for us are not plans for this world.... this world is passing away ~ 1 COR 7:31.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Christians Overcoming this World!

When you are outside of a social norm, social pitfall, a social harm, and even social harmony, you cannot begin to grasp what it means to be a member of the social norm or under the thumb of the social pitfall, or hurt by a social harm and or even embraced in social harmony.  

Whose job is it to bring an individual into the social norm of things (the way things are done around here) or bring someone out from under a social pitfall or social direct them away from a social harm or bring them into the fold of social harmony? 

Christians... Yes, “We the people”.  Not via a top down government mandate, nor law or ordinance, and not the organized church either; but we can together... “Where two or more are gathered, there I am” ~ Matthew 18:20.  Between us, having the Kingdom within (Luke 17:21), being socially engaged in social interaction aware of the social norms, the pitfalls, the harms, we can bring about social harmony.

Where to begin? We can begin by looking at what is expected of us (love God and our neighbor - Luke 10:27) and what we have been designed to do. For instance, be responsible for the earth, and to procreate (Genesis) and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15). 

Gender was created to be socially harmonic, a ying and yang which we recognize in all God’s design and harmony.  There is great beauty in masculinity and femininity that come together in the oneness of marriage.  To accept any blurring of that denies God’s design and social harmony.  Men as men and fathers, women as women and mothers build strong families and communities. They build social norms that act as guides for all social well being. 

Are there pitfalls in social norms? Yes, this is a fallen world (Isaiah 26:18); therefore, we can expect that even in our most determined endeavor to build strong families and communities that are the main components of/for social norms and act as guides for social well being, that there will still be social pitfalls and social harms. People are sinful... this is still a fallen world. But, thank God Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we may be forgiven and thereby given salvation...”for He is the way, truth and the Life” ~ John 14:6.

In this fallen world, in our yet sinful condition, it is only by being born again in the Holy Spirit that we are able to overcome the world. Not always in every instance; after all, this is still a fallen world. Paul said I do what I hate and not what I want (Romans 7:15).  However, we, together in Christ, can overcome this world spiritually ... though in baby steps or inch by inch. 

In our sinfulness, perhaps even pointed out by a fellow Christian (as it should be) we come to repent; and thus, we can come to a greater understanding of what it means to truly reach out to the Lord God Jesus Christ Creator of heaven and earth, to fully embrace His social harmony ... thus, overcoming this world.