Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Skip Moen ~ Sharing the Secret of the Song of Solomon...

In one of the finest love poems from the ancient past, Song of Solomon places sexual intimacy, passion, desire and fulfillment under the authority of the “seal.” At the conclusion of this great love poem, the woman instructs the man to “put me like a seal” over your heart and on your arm. Once we know the cultural background of this word, we see God’s view of sexual intimacy also reverses the cultural expectation.

The word translated “seal” is hotham.It describes a cylindrical piece of stone with an external carved inscription.When this cylinder is rolled over a soft material, it leaves a raised impression that establishes legal ownership over the object. Like a signet ring, the seal permanently establishes an unbreakable legal and moral bond.

There are interesting, and powerful, nuances associated with this word. First, the Hebrew word hotham is most likely a loanword from Egyptian. Hebrew has another word for “seal” that is used exclusively in religious rituals. But this loanword is associated with magic, not ritual, in its Egyptian heritage. How appropriate that it should be chosen to describe the bond of intimacy between a man and a woman. Secondly, while there are numerous occurrences of seals establishing male ownership in the archeological record, the occasions of female ownership are very rare. But that is precisely the intention of this verse.

The woman asks the man to roll her seal on to his heart and over his arm, branding him as owned by her. In perfect harmony with the context of Genesis 2:24, the man leaves behind his old life and becomes the property of the woman who loves him. He submits to her ownership. This is in alignment with Proverbs 31:11. The man places his life in the hands of the woman. He is hers exclusively, just as he is his Lord’s exclusive property.

This all sounds really great.  A wife might think that as owner she can do what she wants with her property – the husband.  Husbands might rebel, saying that if their wives are going to act like typical domineering owners they want nothing to do with this “redeemed” marriage.  Both would be wrong.  The standard is God’s ownership.  The ‘ezer must act as the substitute owner in God’s place.  What does that mean?  It means that wives are to act toward their husbands as God acted toward His people.

Yes, He protects.  Yes, He provides.  But He is also long-suffering, merciful, forgiving, gracious, loving and full of compassion.  He never gives up on Israel.  He never acts in ways that are not in the best interests of Israel.  He is eternally committed to doing everything He can to bring Israel to the place where Israel fulfills its divine mission.

Is that the way you, as ‘ezer, act toward your husband?  Are you so much for him that you will never give up on helping him become all that God has called him to be?  Or do you have your own agenda for ownership? Is your position as ‘ezer governed by holiness and compassion, or is it practiced with personal demands and desires?  When you look at your behavior toward your husband, no matter how he behaves, are you faithfully committed to God’s best for him?  Even if you have to put your agenda on the back shelf?

The role of the ‘ezer is a dangerous one.  That’s why God put it in the capable hands of the woman.  It is dangerous because it walks the knife edge of managing obedience or obedient management.  On the one hand, most wives know that with enough prodding, persuasion and persistence, they can get their husbands to do what they want.  But that is managing obedience.  God calls the ‘ezer to obedient management – being the living proof of holiness in the presence of the husband, calling him to greater self-sacrifice for his God.

The ‘ezer does not sin in her weakness.  Her sins are not due to defects.  The ‘ezer sins in her strength.  She takes her God-given capacity and power and uses it for her own purposes.  She defeats her husband.  The result is tragic – as a great many of us know.

“Lord, help me to live as the obedient manager, putting his relationship with You ahead of my agendas.  Let me bring him to the place where he is used completely by You, and I will glory in my role in making him Yours.”

*Source ~  https://www.skipmoen.com/2009/02/ownership/

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Today's Fruit Slow to and or Unwilling to Mature!

We see a growing concern for young Americans when it comes to maturity. And, even for older people who want to hang on to their fading youth. What kind of example is that in respect of maturity? Its seems more and more than fruit does not want to mature.

All ages/ levels of life require amounts of maturity. There is a point though where a higher level or kind of maturity ( knowing what is expected and being able to fulfill that expectation) is necessary in young adult and all adult relationships: marriage, family and society. More young people are waiting until they are in their late 20's or even early 30s. 

Years ago, young people matured earlier. Why? Was it because they were expected more of at earlier ages? When expectation is low in society maturity drops and relationships begin to fail and thus society itself is not far behind. Society has historically placed limits on behaviors based on chronological age (such as voting and driving restrictions) because age is typically a measure of maturity. Yes, today, we can hear that age and maturity are not necessarily synonymous, especially when it comes to relationships. 

Yet, we can certainly observe that maturity plays a major role in the success or demise of relationships in the young and old. Therefore, it is essential to understand how maturity affects a person’s ability to not only reason effectively but also to understand the concepts and implement the skills needed to form and maintain healthy relationships so that society is stable.

 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature ~ Luke 8:14

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Romans 14: 1-23. Dangers of Criticism

A lot of people don't know that they are making others feel bad when they say something about a certain practice/behavior (use of money or credit, liking certain clothes, wearing of makeup or jewelry/hair styles etc.) or serve something that someone does not like to eat or drink or engage in (pop music/dancing) that would seem to be disrespectful or degrading to the mind, body, spirit or soul. 

And, some have a tendency to proclaim regularly that they don't do this/that or think a certain way, behave a certain way, wear certain clothes, and eat or drink certain foods/beverages including alcohol etc. They like to go on about how they never did that and that they weren't raised that way and that they come from a line of generations that never did. Whether you criticize directly or indirectly by proclaiming your righteousness; please, be mindful of Romans 14. You don't want to make a fellow Christian stumble. 

And, yet how to point them in the right direction if you think that they are really in danger of losing their salvation. In a friendly manner, use the Word! Find scripture that they would benefit from. Let them discover for themselves the better path. They will likely see it and repent and move forward. The next time you see them and you see a change, you can say "Wow, I like that dress on you" or "you look so happy lately or well, maybe I should try that diet or cut back/take your advice."

Romans 14: 1-23 
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.

So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,“As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God."

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Forgive us our debts!

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors ~ Matthew 6:12.

 Some say we should not incur any debt but how is that possible in a nation of capitalism where debt is part of the system. Many people would be homeless if they could not take a mortgage. In America, there is not the common practice to live with parents until one saves enough money to buy a house and that could take some people a lifetime given the cost of buying a home. Are Christians at risk because they have debt? It depends on the kind of debt they/you have. We know that in Christ there is no debt too great. “Two men were debtors to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay him, he forgave both of them. Which one, then, will love him more?” “I suppose the one who was forgiven more,” Simon replied. “You have judged correctly.” Jesus said.…Luke 7:41-43.

Should we run like crazy when a sale hits the stores and put our purchases on credit just to have that handbag that matches our shoes? No, but it doesn't mean that we should avoid a good deal on clothes and shoes when they are needed.  Does it mean we should not buy a home until we can pay for it? No, if we see a good investment, we should take advantage of it and buy a home and feel blessed to have it at a good price. 

We take what we are given to use for His Kingdom. We don't bury our money so that we don't spend it or use wisely. And, at the same time, we don't take on more than we can manage either and go into debt for that which we cannot nor ever repay to a man. And, in saying that we come to realize that being frugal is wise but never taking a risk for His Kingdom is also not wise especially when we are given money to spend on His Kingdom... as when a good investment comes our way or a blessing is given and we hide it from sight. 

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
 
“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
“ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:14-30.

Friday, June 23, 2017

To God Be the Glory!

Many Christians mistakenly think that they are not sinners; because in their mind, they have not broken one of the Ten Commandments. They think that they are not committing a sin because they don't find themselves on that list. Yes, within those ten known listed sins there are more than that as many others fall under those listed.

For example, the first commandment states that we do not worship nor put any other god before us ~ Exodus 20:3. But, look around and see the worship of goodies, things/places and the self. Yes, there are those that will argue that such scripture does not apply as it is from the Old Testament; and, since Jesus died for our sins so we don't have to worry. Let us remember what Jesus said, " Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" ~ Mark 12:30.  Know that it is the same commandment from the Old Testament and the greatest commandment.

Examine your heart first. Do you seek the praise of others? Do you need/want and love to be complimented? Do you love for your children to be complimented? Do you show yourself to others in order to be complimented and do you compliment others to gain their admiration? Do you compliment others to gain their friendship, you want to be liked... right? All of this is a form of pride of life and idolatry of self and things - the world. Sadly, many seek the glory and glorification of this world and not His.

Remember, whenever you help someone, whether it is with monetary donation/gift or scripture, You do it for Him and His Kingdom.  Because, if you find yourself helping others and putting your 'label' on it... "Here, I am blessing you", then you are usurping the Lord. You are not leading people to the Lord but to you or to money/things. The Lord God alone blesses and He blesses who He wants to bless. If you offer scripture, or reach into your pocket to give it is the Lord's doing and to Him be the Glory! Let people know who you love first and foremost!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Good Order in Worship ~ 1 COR 14:26-40. NIV

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.

God's hierarchy demands good order in worship. Why? It certainly does not seem to fit today's popular political culture. We can observe God's hierarchy for good order in worship being deconstructed in churches across the country. His hierarchy is to provide order in a fallen world so that peace 'His Peace' can overcome this world.

Monday, June 12, 2017

When good is called evil and evil good...

Many Christian people think they can tell the difference; and, when that situation appears they will know it/see it. But, many will be and have already been deceived. How so? Satan plays on the darkness of emotions: doubt, sympathy, desires, and needs. Sadly, those dwelling in such darkness will and do invent new forms of evil; they disobey their parents (not just the young). They are senseless, faithless, heartless, merciless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things are worthy of death, they not only continue to do these things, but also approve of those who practice them ~ Romans 1:30-32. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter ~ Isaiah 5:20.

How could it be that new forms of evil are invented? We imagine that they must be really horrible. But, they are simple, catchy, tasty, prideful, and just shy of horribly arrogant; invented out of sympathy due to wanting to love and be loved by the world. We see outrageous sympathy for someone or something that used to be immoral and or frowned on and considered abnormal behavior. Yes, Christians more and more are falling into the darkness of such sympathies - treacherous emotions in their lives: workplace, community and in their homes. New forms of evil look like tolerance/acceptance for misunderstood gender identity, misguided social justice quests, and love/lust for nature and animals over human beings, lack of or no forgiveness for human error and encouraged repentance. New forms of evil come to us as righteous slogans/ labels/laws, brands and icon (ed) entertainers as well as politicians and institutions, organizations, and just about every other worldly band wagon 'agenda/philsophy' you can think of.

How can you know if you are being led to invent or join in on newly invented evils? If you find yourself thinking or saying, "Oh, you poor thing, no one loves/likes, but I do and I understand you." Sounds, like the 'right' approach for some of you. But, you are only calling evil good and good evil. If you see or know someone that is struggling with gender identity or with pride and entitlement, or with isolation... you only encourage that even more with such a response. Our reaction as Christians should be, "God loves you and He knows you (even before you were born) and He forgives you". When you accept Him, His forgiveness and most of all His love all of this uncertainty you feel, all this loneliness you feel, all this false identity you feel will be overcome by Him Jesus Christ. His Love will be make you whole, healed and a child of God.

*Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter ~ Isaiah 5:20.

Friday, June 9, 2017

1 Corinthians 15: 1-49 ~ NAS

Christ’s Resurrection
      Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
      For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
      Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Order of Resurrection
      But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
      Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? Why are we also in danger every hour? I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE. Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
      But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
      So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Christian Order ~ 1 Corinthians 11 - NAS


 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ!

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Pentacost is this Sunday!

In the Old Testament Pentecost was the feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. As the passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God’s gift of the ten commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.
In the new covenant of the Messiah, the passover event takes on its new meaning as the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the “exodus” of men from this sinful world to the Kingdom of God. And in the New Testament as well, the pentecostal feast is fulfilled and made new by the coming of the “new law,” the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ.
When the day of Pentecost had come they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed as resting upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit . . . (Acts 2.1–4).
The Holy Spirit that Christ had promised to his disciples came on the day of Pentecost (Jn 14.26, 15.26; Lk 24.49; Acts 1.5). The apostles received “the power from on high,” and they began to preach and bear witness to Jesus as the risen Christ, the King and the Lord. This moment has traditionally been called the birthday of the Church.

On Pentecost we have the final fulfillment of the mission of Jesus Christ and the first beginning of the messianic age of the Kingdom of God mystically present in this world in the Church of the Messiah. For this reason the fiftieth day stands as the beginning of the era which is beyond the limitations of this world, fifty being that number which stands for eternal and heavenly fulfillment in Jewish and Christian mystical piety: seven times seven, plus one.

While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter stood up with the eleven and proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy ("I will pour out my spirit"). 

In Acts 2:17, it reads: "'And in the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams." He also mentions (2:15) that it was the third hour of the day (about 9:00 am). Acts 2:41 then reports: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

Peter stated that this event was the beginning of a continual outpouring that would be available to all believers from that point on, Jews and Gentiles alike.

Pentecost was the beginning of the last days of God pouring out his spirit which have been ongoing since. In the end times, there will be an increase just as it was in Apostolic times.




*https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/worship/the-church-year/pentecost-the-descent-of-the-holy-spirit


Monday, May 22, 2017

Romans 8 Has Everything We can Ever Imagine and Need Regarding the Christian Life



Life Through the Spirit
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And yet we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 

More Than Conquerors - Victory in Christ
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 

Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.



*NIV

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When your way of godly life seems to be unfairly changed...

His way is not our way... and sometimes we just can't get past our way of doing things, seeing things and hearing things as well as saying things. It takes time to adjust and believe the Word of God always has the answer.

Recently, my own 'way' or I should say my preferred order of things in terms of my morning 'ritual', as in... coffee, Bible and Family Radio, was interrupted as in dramatically changed in my view of things. What was changed? The programming on my favorite Christian radio had changed and instead of the voice of what I thought was a very godly voice in terms of providing daily scriptural reason/wisdom suddenly sounded like the voices of two teenagers leading a facebook conversation or chat forum.

To say the least, I was in panic mode. And, even at first, in pain seeking to understand what had happened. I wanted back the old voice, the one I preferred. But, then I remembered Jeremiah.

The Call of Jeremiah
But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. "Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.…Jeremiah 1:7-9.

So, I should not be afraid of their voices or faces... for though younger, they may have been called to do the Will of the Lord! And this is what we must always pray for. For His way is not our way. Trust God in all things ~ Trust in Jehovah, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness.
~ Psalm 37:3 ASV



Monday, May 8, 2017

Words of Inspiration in a Fallen World!

If you learn to trust Me, really trust Me with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting me. This is how you foil the works of evil, growing in grace through the very adversity that was meant to harm you. Joseph was a prime example of this divine reversal, declaring to his brothers: "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good."

Do not fear what this day, or any day, may bring your way. Concentrate on trusting Me and on doing what needs to be done. Relax in My sovereignty, remembering that I go before you, as well as with you, into each day. Fear no evil, for I can bring good out of every situation you will ever encounter.

Genesis 50:20; Psalm 23:4 ~ Sarah Young selection from, "Jesus is Calling".

Do not long for the absence of problems in your life. That is an unrealistic goal since in this world you will have trouble. You have an eternity of problem-free living reserved for you in heaven. Rejoice in this inheritance, which no one can take away from you, but do not seek your heaven on earth.

Begin each day anticipating problems, asking Me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is My living Presence, My hand that never lets go of yours. Discuss everything with Me. Take a lighthearted view of trouble seeing it as a challenge that you and I together can handle. Remember that I am on your side, and I have overcome the world.

John 16:33; Isaiah 41:13; Philippians 4:13 ~ Sarah Young selection from, "Jesus is Calling".



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Worldly people ...who are they?

Worldly people like to think that they make the 'right choices'. They like to 'rub' shoulders with or surround themselves with other people/books/philosophies as if those things are the 'right or valued/praised by society things' that they think can or will get them ahead in this fallen world and or bring them favor in any regard. 

And, then when they seem to have success in that kind of thinking and or endeavor, (pleasing themselves by one's initiatives; i.e. he/she is my friend... look they are at my house, I go to their/that church/ we do this/that, and we can provide public account of our actions, I read that book and recommend that book or philosophy - I adhere to that kind of thinking and it has helped me), it 'their success' can be viewed as God's providence toward them but in fact is only their arrogance...

Worldly people look to the world... when someone says that in order to discipline ourselves and our children we should combine positive and negative behavior modifiers... they 'those people' are in the world. Especially if in that same statement they don't mention God Jesus Christ or His Word the Bible. It is truly sad that most have given up to the ways of this world, missing the true healing, forgiveness, the love and peace found in the Word of God!

You cannot serve two masters. If I am truly your Master, you will desire to please Me above all others. If pleasing people is your goal, you will be enslaved to them. People can be harsh task masters when you give them this power over you. If I am the Master of your life, I will also be your First Love. Your serving Me is rooted and grounded in My vast, unconditional Love for you. The lower you bow down before Me, the higher I lift you up into intimate relationship with Me. The Joy of living in My Presence outshines all other pleasures. I want you to reflect My joyous light by living in increasing intimacy with Me. ~ Jesus is Calling- Matthew 6:24; Revelation 2:4; Ephesians 3:16-17 and Psalm 16:11. Sarah Young

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Is there a Lack of Faithfulness in Your Life?

Unfortunately, in many American lives and in Christian American lives, there is a lack of faithfulness. This can be observed in everyday conversations, in social media including most selected entertainment preferences, casual parenting, divorce rates, the education of gender identity and its politics.

There is a daily pursuit to acquire things... insisting on immediate gratification. Many well intended parents seek to send their kids to the 'right' schools, get them into all kinds of sports and or lessons of some sort. The agenda is to get them on the best team and in the right place at the right time.

There are more and more single parent families as we observe the decline of the 'nuclear' family with stay at home moms; rather, women are marching in demonstration against or even to say in rebellion toward the Almighty Creator and His intention for them.

Churches are turning into circuses...pastors standing on their heads so to speak to keep the church growing and bring in the youths. Or they preach a prosperity gospel as if God meant to promise everyone that they will have what they want when they want it here and now. Not true!

And tragically, the twisting of scripture so as not to hurt anyone's feelings...

Anyone can believe that God exists but it takes the mindset of Christ to have faith that God is the only One who holds all things together and that in Him we live, move and have our being. He has the con! Even in a fallen world, God makes all things good for His purpose in His time ~ Col 1:17, Acts 17:28.

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture ~ Psalm 100:3.

Be still and know that He is God ~ Psalm 46:10.

Live and declare the works of the Lord ~ Psalm 118:17. Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future ~ Proverbs 31:25.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What is Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel?

Titus 2: 1-15
Doing good for the sake of the gospel...

Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.  Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  

Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Teach slaves to be subject to their masters (bosses) in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.


Titus 3:1-11
Saved in Order to Do Good

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. 

He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Blessed be the name of God!

"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever," cried Daniel the prophet, "for wisdom and might are his"... ~ Daniel 2:20. God is infinitely wise and this is the root of all truth. It is a datum of belief necessary to the soundness of all other beliefs about God. Being what He is and what we are... His creations, we cannot ever be wise in our own eyes ~ A.W. Tozer. 

We cannot try to 'set the record straight' by being 'wise' or 'nice' and preaching that we together can build a 'nice/nicer' world here is this fallen world. You see...God is unaffected by our opinions of Him but our moral sanity requires that we attribute to the maker and sustainer of the universe a wisdom entirely perfect. To refuse to do this is to betray the very thing in us that distinguishes us from the beasts... A.W. Tozer ~ The Knowledge of the Holy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The False Gospel of 'Nice' ` How Man's 'nice' Limits the Coming of God's Kingdom


The Instruction of the Lord is to pray that His will be done! So that His Kingdom come!

A Warning to a Rebellious People - those who want for and pray for 'nice' things to happen in this fallen world are mistaken; they do not know the true gospel and do not fully grasp the cost paid by the Son of God and the promise of His Kingdom come. And, yet, I am not saying to not want for peace, or not pray for peace, i.e. And, certainly we recognize the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness and faithfulness ~ Gal 5:22. This is what the Holy Spirit in us reveals outwardly to others. Understand, it is not because of our being nice. For we can do nothing.

This is a fallen world; that is why God sent His Son.  He is our blessed hope...waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ ~ Titus 2:13. Which means that we greatly forward to His Kingdom come. Did you know that there are those who have already died in Christ waiting for His Kingdom? What does the Lord tell them?

We know what He tells them. He tells them that they have to wait for all those who have not yet died in Christ to be persecuted as they were.  "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" ~ 2 Timothy 3:12. That does not sound too nice.

"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been" ~ Rev 6:9-11.

"For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the LORD;  Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, tell us what is nice, prophesy illusions. "Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel"…Isaiah 30: 9-11.

"I say this so that no one will mislead you with nice-sounding rhetoric" ~ Col 2:4.

"How terrible it will be for you when everyone says nice things about you", ... Luke 6:26.

Many misunderstand the true gospel ~ the Good News. Which is that this world is passing away 1 John 2:17, that there is a greater Kingdom. Jesus our Lord and Savior, the Creator of heaven and earth was more than the nice we can imagine. Was Jesus a 'nice' man? By man's standards He was for some but not for many as we know and that is still a problem today for those who want only a 'nice' Jesus.

No one should attempt to answer that question. Why? Because, as mere humans in a fallen world, we are sinners, filthy rags without Christ, and though we can be born again, we should not assume to know the kind of nice that the true God was/is and will be. Though, one day we will when we rule with Him. But, here and now, our hope is in Him, in relationship with the Word Jesus Christ, and in that, we come to know what He expects from us.

Jesus came to divide people ~ Luke 12:51. His ministry though about love, joy, peace, kindness, and long suffering 'patience' did bring division among people. We can read about that in all the gospels and especially in the gospel of John.  Jesus did not always say 'nice' things in order to be liked by people. He said things that by our standards were not nice. "You unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with 'tolerate' you? ~ Mark 9:19.

The problem with being 'nice' is that we falsely portray ourselves (we put on the fig leaf to hide our sin) in order to be liked, or being nice so that others will want to be like you and not say bad things about you... always compliment you; and being nice to gain favor, being nice so there is no disagreement or tension in the room brings a false calm and has no use in the true gospel. Why? Because, this is a fallen world and our trying to be nice by God's standards is impossible for us and thus likely our being nice is essentially a lie to ourselves and to others. 

The Parable of the Two Sons

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went."

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

How is this parable an example of our expectations of being nice and how it is false in context of the Kingdom of God? Because, then and now we don't think of those kinds of people as 'nice'. But, even more so today, we apply the 'not nice' to many people. She or he does this and that's just not nice!

We like people who agree with us and tell us nice things; yet, they may never really do anything that is nice by God's standards. They look nice, they say nice things to us and always seem to be in a nice mood and in agreement with us. However, as 'nice' as they seem to be, they don't do anything.

The reason is they know they would no longer be perceived as 'nice' if they disagreed with us or told us what they really think and do.  They won't tell us what we don't want to hear. And, because of that, even when they don't show up, we make excuses for them just because they are 'nice' though they never really do anything.

We don't like people who tell us 'no' or those who disagree with us or those who keep us from feeling nice about ourselves and our nice life style. Yet, those people who may not be nice in our eyes are likely the very ones who come through, those who don't seem nice to us are exactly those that Jesus knows can be counted on.

The first son was not nice but he came through.  He did what was expected! And, he showed compassion for his father by doing what was expected. This is key to the Kingdom, compassion for each other because man is not 'nice' and nor can he be 'nice' for man even one born again in the spirit will in the flesh struggle with sin and the wages of sin is death ~ Romans 7:21.

Again, the greater problem of the 'nice' gospel is that it is really man being wise in his own eyes and that limits the coming of His Kingdom!


"Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him. "Only God is truly good." ~ Luke 18:19.

Are You Wondering Why Your Family is Divided?

Jesus said, "Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law "~ Luke 12:51-53; Matthew 10:34.

How could it be that Christ came to bring division? Firstly, the practice of being a Christian is about being pure, peaceable and loving which is contrary to man's pride and lusts.

~ A Matthew Henry Commentary
All are to take to themselves what Christ says in His word, and to inquire concerning it. No one is left so ignorant as not to know many things to be wrong which he does, and many things to be right which he neglects; therefore all are without excuse in their sin.

The bringing of the gospel into the family as dispensation could bring the occasion for desolations. Not that this would be the tendency of Christ's religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; but the effect of its being contrary to men's pride and lusts. 

No, bringing the gospel into the family is a zealous act for making known the truth; for though divisions will be stirred up, and a man's own household may become his foes, sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.

That is why, a man must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive~ 1 Timothy 3:4.

Remember that division comes when we live according to the flesh and we let our children do the same. "Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit" ~ Romans 8:5 .

Our best example is to live by the Word of God and if division comes because of that then it comes not because God wants it to, it comes because sin has replaced the love of God in our life.  Be an example to your family and live by the Spirit. Which does not live in envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. Be warned, those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. For... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control ~ Galatians 5:21-23.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

As Godly Women ~ Disciples of Christ!

The Cost of Discipleship

Large crowds were now traveling with Jesus, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.… Luke 14:25-27.

The word 'hate' is pretty strong isn't it.  And, we know that this word in today's politically correct world is seen quite negatively. As you check and you should check, in every translation whether NIV, NAS, NLT or KJB, hate is the word we can find.

Many who read Luke like to interpret the word hate to mean abandon. Essentially, though not a synonym, it can be used to better understand the kind of commitment we must make to be a disciple. We can also use the definition found in Webster's as an intense dislike or detest. If we accept that all are sinners before God and all who are not born again are children of Satan, then yes we should dislike and detest those who are not born again in Jesus Christ even if they are family members.

There is another use of the word hate which we can often find used when we want to express a kind of great regret. For example, when we cannot help someone out when they need us. I hate to tell you but I am stuck in the office that day. Or, I hate to say it but that is a difficult situation he/she is in. I hate to be the one to tell you, I hate to have to do this but in the end you will thank me.

And, here perhaps in the last version of 'hate' used as a phrasal verb or even idiomatically, we may find the best answer.  We hate to have to take a stand when we know that it means standing alone. It is when we get to a point of 'tough' love that we find true love. That is the cost of discipleship... getting to the point of truly being in love with God, Jesus Christ!

It does not require us to purge people from our lives, or to abandon them or to hate them but to show them who we love the most; first and foremost! Show your family, neighbors and children the true source of your identity - a child of God.  Show them who your go to is, the sovereign truth and the light of the world Jesus Christ.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" ~ Mark 12:30.

"... If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world" ~ John 15:17-19.


Have a Blessed Easter!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Where is Your Mission Field?

So many think that to be a 'missionary' you have to drop your life in the place you are and fly off to a developing country. Not true! Your mission field is wherever you are and your audience your target individual/group is anyone who is in need of and open to the gospel.  It can be your own family, your neighbor/neighborhood, community/town, county/country and abroad if you feel called to go abroad.

What kind of ministry should you have? The same as Christ had. Bring the Gospel to the poor as in needy (those in need of it and seek it but don't know where to look), to release the captives (sinners), give sight to the blind (those that want to see a way out of sin but cannot) and free the oppressed/ imprisoned (those held captive by sin i.e debt, those imprisoned by their sin).

Jesus's public ministry began with teaching in the synagogues of Galilee and was praised by all. And, He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood reading from the book of Isaiah. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." Luke 4:14-19.

All the above, brings peace, joy and love to the receiver.  In this way, we are free indeed in Jesus Christ ~ John 8:36. Does this mean that you must wander about looking for the one in need, visiting the captive, giving sight to the blind and forgiving those in debt. Yes and know that they are not nor ever are they far from you, they could be in your family, your community, and your own household.




“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” ~ NIV

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Religioin ~ Mankind's attempt to cover him/herself and Reconcile with God is Always a Failure!

Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with fig leaves to hide their sin. This was essentially the first act of religiosity - religion. Thus, religion is an attempt to cover sin. It is man's attempt to redeem him/herself and that is not possible. Its not possible and that is why 'religion' is always a failure in this respect.

I heard Dr. Chuck Missler say that the most anti-religious person was Jesus Christ. Now, for some of you that might be horrifying; but it is the truth. Jesus gave people the Good News, fed them for coming to see Him and then He sent them away. "A total of four thousand men were fed, in addition to women and children. After having dismissed the crowds, Jesus got into a boat and went to Magadan..." ~ Matthew 15:39."

Why did Jesus send the people away? Jesus sent the people away in order that the Good News was not made into 'religion' which causes works not of Him but of men. It is by grace that we are saved so that no one can boast ~ Ephesians 2:8-9.

Think about it. The work of men can do nothing. When Adam and Eve sinned and tried to cover themselves with fig leaves to hide their sin; this was work (s). God replaced it with an animal skin to show them that they can do nothing. God instructed them that only the Blood of the Lamb can now redeem man's sin. It is Christ's blood shed on the cross that redeems. Neither a man nor woman 'mankind' can do any 'good' works to redeem him/herself.  Jesus Christ did it all on the cross, by His Stripes we are healed.

Jesus came to proclaim the Good News (the Word of God) to mankind! And, what was/is mankind's condition? Mankind's condition then and now is being: poor, captive, blind and oppressed! Poor in spirit - lacking the Word 'Light of the World' and the Blessings in it that are only of the Kingdom of God, being captive in sin, being blind to his/her own condition, and oppressed by the powers of evil. Who can deliver us, who can do/did the Work that needs to be done in this case? Jesus Christ! What works are we to be known for ~ Praising the Lord Jesus Christ for all His Good Works for mankind- human beings!

When it comes to 'works', know that as Christians we work only for the Lord, we do not work for people ~ Col 3:23. Do only as Jesus did, proclaim the Good News which is that only Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life, the Creator of all things seen and unseen, the Light of the World and our Redeemer ~ John 6:35, Col 1:16, John 8:12 and Isaiah 44:6.

"This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God ~ Isaiah 44:6


Monday, March 20, 2017

Serve Him in the place where you are, Praise His Holy Name!

We can wonder what does God want us to do? How can we serve Him? Sing Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, and proclaim the Good News! And, tell the world that He alone is the Holy One, He alone is Lord, Most High and the Creator of all things seen and unseen ~ COl 1:16.

You can serve God in the place where you are? Jesus's public ministry began with teaching in the synagogues of Galilee and was praised by all. And, He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood reading from the book of Isaiah. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." Luke 4:14-19.

Jesus came to proclaim the Good News (the Word of God) to mankind! Why? Because of the condition of mankind. And, what was/is mankind's condition? Mankind's condition then and now is being: poor, captive, blind and oppressed! Poor in spirit - lacking the Word 'Light of the World' and the Blessings in it that are only of the Kingdom of God, being captive in sin, being blind to his/her own condition, and oppressed by the powers of evil. 

Who can deliver us, who can do/did the Work that needed and needs to be done in this case, in and for this fallen world? Jesus Christ! His Work at the cross is now our work but a joyous one indeed for we are free indeed in Jesus Christ ~ John 8:36. What works are we to do/ be known for ~ Praising the Lord Jesus Christ for all His Good Works that He alone did for mankind- human beings! "Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name" ~ Psalm 103:1.

Serve Him in the place where you are, Praise His Holy Name!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

God made them male and female and From one man He made all the nations!

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He create 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 1:27-28.

Jesus answered, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' ~ Matthew 19:4..., from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female" ~ Mark 10:6.

‘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~ Mark 10:7-8.

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 2:24. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" ~ Mark 10:9.

Popular thinking is of the flesh and popular thinking never changes. What was popular before in terms of the flesh is still popular; especially sexual immorality. That is why the Bible gives us God's the above guidelines for a godly union. 

There are other popular ideas out there. One is that Adam and Eve were just symbolic of many early men and women. Wrong! From one man God created mankind. There were no groups and or pockets of men and women all over  the world. God started with only one man. 

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us" ~ Acts 17:24-27.