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Tag Archives: Holy Spirit
Something to think about.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Matthew 24:9
In some Bibles, this part of Scriptures is under the heading of “End Times.” This is Jesus speaking, and He is referring to events that will occur before His return. The question is, is this our destiny? For many in the Middle East, this is their reality today. The Christian population in many of Middle Eastern Countries have been annihilated. There is a genocide being committed in the Middle East, but of course, our press has ignored it. ( see https://adfinternational.org/detailspages/press-release-details/never-again-un-side-event-on-genocide-in-the-middle-east )
Here in the USA the former bastion of Christianity we are under constant attacks from many sides. We are being attacked either openly or subversively. Our freedoms religious and civil are under constant assault. The writing is on the wall to the suppression if not eradication of Christianity. People are openly pushing for the censorship of our views. If you’re against homosexuality, you are ostracized, humiliated and labeled ignorant or intolerant. If you support Biblically based marriage, you are closed and simple minded. If you are against the continued murder of the unborn otherwise known as abortion you are a misogynist. If you hold any traditional religious views, you are regarded as a simpleton not worthy of serious consideration. If you expose the impossibility of evolution, you are called a crack pot. All of these things do not constitute what Jesus was referring to when He spoke the words contained in this verse. What He was referring to is what is happening in the Middle East. What we are now seeing in this country is the precursor is what is taking place in the Middle East.
I don’t know if it is too late to turn from this path of self-destruction. Granted I do not see any hope in returning to where we came from. But I pray and hope that we can turn to the path that has been the only hope for the world and that is the path to Christ. If we can not turn the tide of anti-Christian persecution we will fulfill his end time prophecy. We will be “handed over to be persecuted and put to death.”
Something to think about.
Good and Faithful Servant.
Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)
21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
If there was ever a goal to strive for it is this, to hear the Lord proclaim over your life “well done good and faithful servant.” A few years ago after my heart attack, my prayer was that God would allow me to serve Him. My reasoning for the prayer was this; God had saved my life. He restored me after a massive heart attack with life threatening complications. I felt and thought if he would allow me to become a lowly servant, I could show some appreciation for what he had done. I didn’t feel qualified to be any more than a servant. I prayed that prayer for a couple of years. Then I saw an opportunity and started to serve Him in a small group in my church. Shortly after that, I got involved with another group. Then another to the point now that I am now very involved in the church. As time passed and my involvement increased. I came to understand that the prayer I prayed though simple was not what I thought it was. I thought I was asking permission to assume a position of lowest rank. A position equal to my worthiness.
“The Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.” Notice it does not say, ‘Well done, good and faithful priest, doctor, lawyer, king. It does not say teacher, preacher, singer, poet, professor, apostle. It does not say, deacon, general or any other title or position. It says, servant. What I have come to realize is that I was asking for was/is the highest calling of God. I do not remember anywhere else in the Bible where Gods commend man for his actions. When he does acknowledge mans actions, he calls him a servant. I believe our highest value is not what we are recognized for or what we have earned. It is determined by our level of servant hood. To those who are faithful in the little things it says “I will make you ruler over many things.” God will make the servant a ruler over many things.
When I prayed to become a servant, I hoped that I could show God appreciation and gratefulness for what He had done. Now I know what I was praying for has opened the door to seeing, living and participating in the fulfillment of God’s will. When you become His servant your highest call. Your life will be changed, you will be fulfilled, you will experience God in ways you can’t imagine.
Something to think about.
7 Times 7
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22
I am not writing about forgiveness. I am writing to ask. Does forgiveness include acceptance? Until recently I have never had a problem with this. I have always been or at least tried to be quick to forgive. Simply because it serves me to forgive. It is better to forgive than to hold on to the bitterness of unforgiveness. But a recent event has caused me to question not the importance or value of forgiveness but the extent of it. Does forgiveness include acceptance of the offender? When acceptance of the offender would be detrimental to me. As in; forgiving a junkie for stealing, lying, and causing you harm. You should forgive them all their trespasses. However, you should never allow them back into your home for your own well-being. Does a battered woman after forgiving the perpetrator accept him back into her life? Knowing that it is in her best interest to forgive him. Does forgiveness extend to acceptance? Now those are extreme examples, but it helps to crystallize my predicament.
Do I allow someone who I have forgiven back into my life? What about your teenager when they do something against you. Are you going to forgive them and accept them? How does that mesh with the way we would treat a junkie of a abusive partner? The easy answer is no you do not accept those that have grievously hurt you.
That answer is diametrically opposed to what Christ has done for us. He has forgiven us not just our past sins but our future sins and has accepted us as part of His family. He has forgiven us knowing that we would injure Him again. He has accepted us knowing that we would cause Him harm. Is that an example of Christ I cannot follow? Or are forgiveness and acceptance two separate issues?
Something to think about.
6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6
“For he is risen” the four most important words ever spoken. The world has been shaken to its core at these four words. An actual change in the history of man occurred on account of these words. A new hope and reality came into existence when they were uttered. A whole new way of living was validated because of these words.
The crucifixion of Jesus was not the single most important event in history. His resurrection was. Jesus was dead, Christ was resurrected. This man died. He was resurrected as King and Savior. His resurrection was by the God of the universe. Have we lost sight of this event?
We are so busy with our lives. With doing for God. We try to flourish and excel in our gifts, jobs, lives, have we lost sight of why we do what we do. Have we turned the resurrection into a commonplace event? Has it become a historical event that we lump together with all others? Has it become something that is not life altering. Something commonplace? Something that we have become so accustomed to we don’t give it the importance it requires?
“He is risen.” Have you ever seen the dead come back to life? I’m not talking about CPR or any rapid resuscitation protocol. I mean someone who has been dead for an extended period of time being brought back to life. No other such event has been recorded or claimed by anyone in History. Do you realize this event was witnessed by hundreds of people? It was reported by his followers. These twelve men went on to change the world. Not based on a conspiracy or on Jesus’s religious philosophy but on His resurrection. His inner circle never recanted their claims. Even when threatened with death. Even as they were killed
The most important aspect of this event is this. Jesus the Christ is alive. He was not resurrected to die again. He was not resurrected to be lost or hidden from humanity. That reality should be paramount in your mind every day through every situation. God or bad. He was the first to be resurrected. His resurrection gives us hope for the future. It validates all of His claims. It solidifies His claims of eternity. It turns an interesting philosophy into an undeniable reality. Every Christian belief hinges on this one event. His resurrection validates all of the claims about Him. From His virgin birth to being the sacrificial lamb for the world. Without the resurrection, we diminished Christ to an interesting person in human history. He becomes as so many others without eternal consequence. He is then an enigma without substance or value.
Christ is everything. There is before His resurrection and after. Before is hopelessness and futility. After is eternity and victory. He is resurrecting every day the lives of those who believe. “He is risen.”
Something to think about.
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Mathew 4:17
I have repented. Yes, I’m still working on it. I am still in the process of receiving all that is associated with repentance. This commandment of Christ still haunts me. It rattles me to my core because it is still a valid call. There are those around me that have not repented. I am not talking about those in Hollywood or in politics or business. Nor any other group of people, I am talking about my brother, sisters, nieces, nephews in short my family. There is an entire world living all around me that have not repented that have not accepted Christ. I pray for revival in this country, state, and city. I need to start praying for revival in my family. Is it possible that we have not seen a great revival in this country because we are praying for someone else? The next great revival needs to begin at home. The great field of harvest is not in some far away city or country. It is within our homes. With the people, we break bread with. With those that will no longer listen to our message. If they won’t listen how can we reach them? We need to pray for them. We need to stand in the gap for them. What that means is we need to chase after God on their behave. We need to cry out to God for their salvation. We need to get into the battle for their souls. They may not listen to us, but God has the resources to reach them He has the means to touch their hearts.
Have we given up on our families? Have we written them off as unreachable, unworthy, hopeless unforgivable? Have we become blase about their eternal destination. Have we accepted them as a lost cause? Have we turned them over to eternal death? If we are to see revival it needs to start at home. If we have written off our families do you really think we will care about the lost of the world? This is a call to action to pray for your family to begin a revival in your home.
Something to think about.
There Are No Civilians.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
We’ve heard this verse quoted, preached, and expounded upon. Yet have we heard what it says? We miss the first three words. “For we wrestle” It is written in the present tense. Not just something that has occurred in the past or something that will happen in the future. It is happening now.
The spiritual forces that are aligned against us are not excluding the unbeliever. They are using the unbeliever to subvert and attack the will and purposes of God. This battle that we are involved in is all-consuming. It affects every area of our lives. The world is losing this battle, immorality is being exalted as the new way.
We are our own worst enemies. We have kept silent for fear of being offensiveness. We have allowed political correctness to define our boundaries. We have silently consented to the removal of God from our public lives. We have permitted the rulers of darkness to identify and control the battle lines of righteousness. Our enemies the spiritual forces of wickedness are disguised in our presence. They have been renamed and rebranded as something less than wicked. We have submitted to our enemies. By allowing wickedness to restrict our beliefs to the four walls of our churches. We have allowed ourselves to be placed in a room of obscure access. We have cowered under the pressure of societies insistence on our silence. We should be the vanguard of righteousness not a secret society of nostalgia. We are becoming the outdated pariah of society.
As a result of expecting someone else to wrestle for us. We are losing ground to the secular anti-God forces in society. We honestly believe that the laws of this country will defend us against the attacks of the enemy. While the enemy finds ways to use these very laws to promote unrighteousness.
We must put on the armor of God and valiantly press the battle for humanity with the word God and our testimony. God never said thou shall be silent.
Something to think about.
48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:48
We Christians want, even portray Christianity as being a wonderful harmonic belief system. We do everything we can to make it as attractive as possible. We try to accentuate the great things about Christianity.
The reality is Christ was betrayed by one in His inner circle. His disciples were persecuted and killed. His believers were hunted, tortured and killed. His followers to this day are being abused, persecuted and murdered. His teaching are under attack. There is infighting among us.
Why am I writing this? If we deal with the reality, we might not lose so many to the deception that is our enemy. If we better prepare ourselves for these conflicts and realities, we will be in a better place to help the lost.
Christianity is a mess. It is a mess because we are dealing with flawed humans and we are flawed humans. There is no fault with the bible and its teaching. The fault is with us who have turned the word of God into a mirage of a painlessness utopia.
We should be telling everyone the truth. Christianity is hard. You will be disappointed you will be hurt. The biggest blows will come from those you learn to love. You will fail you will hurt someone either out of ignorance or with intent. We need to tell each other and everyone we are not perfect, we don’t have all the answers. Please forgive us when we fall short. Do not judge Christ by what we do judge Christ by what he has done. Forgive us for our misrepresentation of the gospel. Let it be known we will make mistakes. Christ has made a way despite our errors to redeem the lost and restore the broken-hearted. Let us tell the world we will mess up but there is still a Christ that can fix it, but only He can fix it. Let us stop trying to portray a clean conflict free Christianity. Let us display a true Christianity with all of its faults and short comings. Let us allow the God we proclaim to be glorified by His restorative power and grace. Let’s point others to the one that is perfect and true.
It is in our weakness that He is strong. It is in our faults that He shines. It is when we fall that He can pick us up. It is in our battles that He can bring peace it is. It is in our hurt that He can bring healing. It is in our defeat that He can bring victory. It is in all the things we hide that He is visible. Christianity is indeed a mess, But Jesus Christ died to clean the mess. To bring order to confusion peace to those at war and life to those that are dying. Jesus is in the business of cleaning up our mess. If we hide it, deny it, cover it or ignore it, Christ cannot be glorified by it. Remember Christ came for those that need a savior, not for those who are saved.
Mark 2:17 (NKJV) When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Something to think about.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
“Fullness of joy” To me this short phrase defines the height, depth, and breadth of the fullness of life. This verse promises me what my heart longs for peace, fulfillment, and love. A life without lack, full of all of the good things of life. A lack of need, want or desire. It means that I will have abundance in every area of my life. And if that is not enough it then says,” at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” When you’re on the path of God, you will be safe, provided for loved and cared for. He will give you pleasures above and beyond that. Have you ever received a better offer?
When you are in the presence of God almighty He will give you the fullness joy. All you have to do is walk the path He has provided for you. The path is not a secret. It is not anything that requires great education, superior, intelligence or a unique revelation. The path is the same for everyone.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)
Jesus is the path. He is the way into the presence of God the Father. Jesus is the one that makes your joy full. It is He that provides all that you need. He is the secret in plain sight. He is the fullness of life. In the God Man, that is Jesus rests the the completion of man, and it is offered to you freely. You can have all the promises of God, but only through the path, that is Jesus. Celebrate the joy which is Jesus. Look around you will not find a better life.
Something to think about.
“as it is written,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”” Romans 9:33
Jesus is a stumbling block for people of all races. He is a conundrum for those who don’t believe in Him. They don’t know what to do with Him. Today Jesus is offensive to more and more people. Why would someone who did not kill anyone nor advocate violence become a stumbling block or an offense to anyone? Jesus did not come as a revolutionary. He did not oppose or prefer any political system. He did not have financial power. The influence He did have was confined to the spiritual lives of the Jewish people.
Jesus is the son of God. Is this why He is a stumbling block an offense? Because He claimed to be the son of God, the salvation of the world. The answer to man’s problems. The first and the last the creator of all things. Deity, equal with God. He claimed to be the only way to the Father. Was it because He healed the sick raised the dead? Was it because of His resurrection? Is it because He is the sacrificial lamb for humanity? Was it because He called man to repentance and restoration with God? Is it because He challenged the ordained order of religious tradition? Is it because he is the Truth?
It is because He is the standard of truth. He is without blemish, He is the Holy One of God. He is a stumbling block because He is our salvation. He is the doorway to heaven. He is the only way to heaven. He is a stumbling block, an offense to man because he is the exact representation of righteousness. It is because we are sinful and He is not. It is because we love sin and hate righteousness. It is because we want to stay in our sin and be in the light. We want to be in both worlds simultaneously, and we can’t. It is because He is the eternal answer to the eternal question. Why are we here? We are here to be loved by Him. That is the only reason for our existence. And we can’t understand that. He is a stumbling block, and an offense to us because He wants to love us.