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Blinking Creation

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (2)
We cannot do anything in the blink of an eye unless we are Wally West or Barry Allen. Since we are not super-fast fictionalized characters in the comic book realm, we are bound by the laws of our natural world. You know who isn???t? There???s one who is not bound to the natural world because He is the One who created the very laws, well, everything really. In a blink, lives are changed; hearts are broken, mended, lost, and healed. Just think about what God can do in a blink of an eye. He could have created all in a blink, but he took a few days to do it. Do I think our world came to be in six literal actual days? Yes. How can I say that when you say science dictates otherwise? Simple. I???m not ignoring science. I am looking at the meaning of the words. Dr. Ken Hamm wrote, ???When we look carefully at Genesis 1, in Hebrew or even in English, it is clear that God created everything in six literal (24-hour) days. First, we are told that He created the earth in darkness and then created light. Then He called the light ???day??? and He called the darkness ???night.??? And then He said (in the original Hebrew) ???and [there] was evening and [there] was morning, one day.??? He repeated the same statement at the end of the second day through the sixth day. Everywhere else in the Old Testament, when the Hebrew word for ???day??? (???????, yom) appears with ???evening??? or ???morning??? or is modified by a number (e.g., ???sixth day??? or ???five days???), it always means a 24-hour day. On Day Four God further showed that these were literal days by telling us the purpose for which He created the sun, moon, and stars???so we could tell time: literal years, literal seasons, and literal days. Then in Exodus 20:8???11 God commanded the Israelites to work six literal ???days??? and rest on the seventh because He created in six ???days?????? (using the same Hebrew word). University of Oxford professor James Barr said in regards to the Hebrew language: ???Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah's flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the 'days' of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.??? John Ankerberg received this from a college professor in 2004, ???Many non-Christians are driven away from the God of the Bible by the young-earth claims which are, frankly, ridiculous to most people who love science. It is a shame that people who love science, who would like to know the One who created the universe, reject, out of hand the Christian God, because they see Christianity as so unscientific.??? This is ultimately the problem. Is the Earth young? Old? Were the days literally 24 hour periods? These thoughts can be argued about until the end of time with both sides reverently holding their own beliefs. My answer or rather the thought that leaves me at peace over the dilemma is simply this: Jesus spoke of the events in Genesis as fact. He said it, it is done. That???s the whole purpose, the whole concept of faith. The problem is people deny not only the Bible as the Word of God, but Jesus as not only the Son of God, but also the aforementioned Word of God. We cannot pick parts of scripture that fit to our lives and live like the other parts have no bearing on us. But we do usually under the guise that all faiths are equal and everybody just find their own way to El Dorado. The late Adrian Rogers preached, ???In the Bible, God is not explained. God is just simply presented and must be accepted by faith. In Hebrews 11:6, the Bible says, ???For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is.?????? Pastor Rogers continued explaining how God asked Job this question in Job 38:4, ???Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth.??? There were no scientists there. There is no way that they can explain it. How do we understand it? By faith. You say, ???Well, that takes a lot of belief.??? Friend, it takes less belief than to believe that nothing times nobody equals everything. That???s the way they believe! No wonder the Bible says, ???The fool hath said in his heart, ???There is no God.???" All you need to know at this moment as you read is that the God of the Bible Jesus, fully man and God loved you so much that He died to pay the debt that we all owe because of sin. He died for you, but because of His righteousness and love, He defeated death and grave. All salvation comes through His name alone through belief in Him as Savior.

I'M GONNA GET YOU

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

It has taken me some time, but I get it now. Join me on this trip:

 

What if I wronged you? Let’s say I gossiped about you on social media, or maybe I physically came after you. How would you react? You might want to retaliate, get even, show me up, and lay fists on me right? What if you couldn’t? You’d look to someone who could, right? In times of trial and trouble, we often throw our hands up and ask, and demand WHY from God.

Maybe you would say,” Harass these hecklers, GOD,

punch these bullies in the nose.

Grab a weapon, anything at hand;

stand up for me!

Get ready to throw the spear, aim the javelin,

at the people who are out to get me.

Reassure me; let me hear you say,

“I’ll save you.” (Psalm 35:1-3)

Commentaries call Psalm 35 an “imprecatory” cursing psalm from David. Imprecatory psalms are those psalms that contain curses or prayers for the punishment of the psalmist's enemies. To imprecate means to invoke evil upon, or curse. Psalms 7, 35, 55, 58, 59, 69, 79, 109, 137 and 139 all contain prayers for God's judgment on the psalmist's enemies. Example imprecatory statements from the Psalms follow:

"Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave."Psalm 55:15

"O God, break the teeth in their mouths." Psalm 58:6

"May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous." Psalm 69:28

"May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow."Psalm 109:9

"How blessed will be the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." Psalm 137:9 This one we will discuss in a moment or three, okay. Critics of the Bible and other violent religions love this verse.

 

In 1996, I prayed over breakfast at Shoney’s for God to smite my enemies. It angered my devout Christian friend. Let me say, we should not pray to kill our enemies because of two simple reasons: 1. David’s call for justice was not merely, ‘God kill them because I’m innocent, better than them, because I’m perfect in your eyes.’ No, see, because he was after God’s own heart, David wanted God’s perfection, his ideal to be known by all.

“But wait! My God is a loving God,” cried the secular view. Jesus preached love, man! All that judgment is OT. Different message altogether, but Christ spoke more on Hell and Judgment than Heaven; He referenced Sodom’s destruction not as an allusion, but a solid teaching point. God is love absolutely, but what people forget as they are wrapped in sin and living life where they get to Heaven if their good outweighs the bad is that God is the only righteous judge and as the Word says, “It is appointed for man to die once, then judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27). God is the judge. David, a man after God’s own heart, fell to sin and was a lustful murderer, knew the true holiness of God.

Second reason in The Bible, I forget where, it says that we should not gloat when our enemies fall, because it will come back on us ten times. Notice by the way, it says don’t gloat, because we will have enemies-especially if we are real Christians praising God and preaching the Gospel.

 

Psalm 137. Before looking at verse 9, let’s review the whole thing in context: Eugene Peterson calls this lament “The Babylonian Blues.” They mingle their memories and tears. This is an “imprecatory” psalm, demanding that God strike down the enemies of Israel, a cry for justice. It is one thing to ask God to resolve conflict with those who oppose us…it’s entirely another to pray for their destruction. This song expresses a benediction over those who implement God’s justice. The song does not express desire for Babylon’s doom but merely predicts it. The song states what will happen to the wicked. Those who gloated over the fall of Jerusalem will suffer; those who cursed Israel will be cursed. The psalmist points out that Babylon is “doomed to destruction”, verse 8. In the original Hebrew the past tense is used, to convey the certainty of the coming ruin. It is as good as done. Those who sow evil will reap evil. There will be a day of reckoning. C.S. Lewis observed that, “The ferocious parts of the Psalms serve as a reminder that there is in the world such a thing as wickedness and that is hateful to God.”

Right away someone looking for a fight will say, “Hey Christian, you say the Bible is all God inspired right? How can it say kill kids?”

God doesn’t sanction killing children…but He does grant us complete freedom to express our indignation. Prayer is a safe place to release intense emotions. God doesn’t expect us to “suffer in silence.” In prayer, God can take our hatred and heal it. God can handle our anger, and He wants us to be frank with Him. Psalm 137 is a blunt expression of honest emotions, with nothing held back. Our anger needs to be prayed, not suppressed. This psalm expresses accurately what the people were feeling, but there is no divine approval for their reaction. The context helps us understand that this is a prayer in response to oppression, expressing human emotions and not the intent of God.

God is not commanding such barbaric behavior but stating what the future will be for Babylon.. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah 13:15-16: Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is captured will fall by the sword. Their children also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.

It is impossible to please God without faith. That faith lies at the cross, folks. Let’s strive to be more Christ like or even like David pre-sin by looking to the ideals of God’s holiness.

Let me close with a story I heard. A little boy once built his own toy sailboat. He built the sail and had it all fixed up, tarred and painted. He took it to the lake and pushed it in hoping it would sail. Sure enough a wisp of breeze filled the little sail and it billowed and went rippling along the waves. Suddenly before the little boy knew it, the boat was out of his reach, even though he waded in fast and tried to grab it. As he watched it float away, he hoped maybe the breeze would shift and it would come sailing back to him. Instead he watched it go farther and farther until it was gone. When he went home crying, his mother asked, "What’s wrong, didn’t it work?" And he said, "It worked too well." Some time later, the little boy was downtown and walked past a second hand store. There in the window he saw the boat. It was unmistakably his, so he went in and said to the proprietor, "That’s my boat." He walked to the window, picked it up and started to leave with it. The owner of the shop said, "Wait a minute, Sonny. That’s my boat. I bought it from someone." The boy said, "No, it’s my boat. I made it. See." And he showed him the little scratches and the marks where he hammered and filed. The man said, "I’m sorry, Sonny. If you want it, you have to buy it." The poor little guy didn’t have any money, but he worked hard and saved his pennies. Finally, one day he had enough money. He went in and bought the little boat. As he left the store holding the boat close to him, he was heard saying, "You’re my boat. You’re twice my boat. First you’re my boat ’cause I made you and second you’re my boat ’cause I bought you!" And so it is with God. We are are “twice God’s.” First God created us and then God redeemed us.

 

 

 

 

The Need 1-25-14

Posted on January 25, 2014 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I promise this won’t be a history lesson, but to understand the present or even the future, the past has to be examined. Even middle school textbooks in the most secular school districts list the birth of the cornerstone of Christianity as a fact in either 6/5 B.C. It’s just when we call Jesus Lord-well, that causes issues among the secular, agnostic, highly evolved crowd. That said, if you yourself are one that sees the Bible as an old book written by men that may have had mental issues-this view is popular among scoffers, or are one that does not accept Christ because no way at all- no way could the Bible be right, please throw away your know it all blinders and just for crazy argument sake, read and consider the following. Anyway, at this time, Roman rule dominated the Jews. They looked to prophecies that promised the Messiah; yet, irony reigned as the One King came and was not recognized due to self-righteousness and arrogance. In other words, the people needed a way out, the promised salvation, but due to their own bloated sense of self-worth, they neglected to see their need of the Savior because of sin. Was this 30 something B.C. or 2014?

I’d like to take you on a little trip called Jesus 101. Don’t be rude about it and think all churches are the same. I say this because right now some of you mid-twenty somethings base your thoughts on Christ and the Bible on one or two childhood experiences where maybe you felt smothered by well intentions and the cross. I won’t smother, but I will expose you to everything sans bias thoughts, mainly because I used to be you. I see both sides, the one with the truth and the one where Satan disguises lies. The F word is the issue. Faith. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.” Famed Baptist, the late Adrian Rogers said, “A faith that hasn't been tested can't be trusted.” I promise if you seek answers from The Bible in earnest, you will not be disappointed. Test it out. Jesus said that with just a little faith we will be blessed beyond our expectations. He also told a doubter in John 20:29, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed." Hebrews 11:6 explains faith like so: Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. Now here’s the twist on faith. It isn’t so much a leap in the dark because first, God as creator is seen through all creation and two, you can divert attention by mocking organized religion, Jesus, and all things Heaven to deflect that even the most disbelieving soul does in fact have a void and a longing for God. Ever felt like something was missing that you just couldn’t grasp? Well, after 500 words plus, let’s get this journey started.

 

First of all, please dismiss the concept that you and I emerged from ooze or evolved from a monkey. Atheists or agnostics, and perhaps misguided Christians (There was a Big Bang, but God clapped a lot) rely heavily on scientific evidence to explain origins. Concerning evolving, how many species have you seen change into a new species? In other words, do birds or fish evolve into a camel or another creature? No, animal species evolve into the same type of species. Birds from the family Zosteropidae have been said to be “poster children” for rapid evolution, but do you know what these birds evolve into? Right, more birds. To rationalize the concept of the Big Bang, we should take any mechanical contraption like a watch. Let’s smash it and throw it in a box. Now if the Bang theory is accurate in three, two, one, after shaking the box, our previously disassembled contraption should be back in working order since the intricacies of the contraption pale in comparison to human anatomy which all just perfectly together from the bang bang. If I told you that thousands of pieces of timber were set in motion by a tornado in a lumberyard and this ultimately resulted in the amazing design and complexity of the house you live in, you would think this was absurd to say the very least.

Yet in essence, this is what the Big Bang theory teaches.Now I know that anyone with kids might say that a tornado ripped through their room - but the tornado did not create their room. It only created the mess that is throughout the room. Will the mess be cleaned? Yes, but it will not cleaned up by itself.

 

Even if millions of years of tornados did somehow randomly land in a complex pattern thus assembling your room, this would still not explain where the trees came from or how it was made into the lumber. It would not explain who planted, or cut the trees, or even how the trees grew. You see, such theories do not give an absolute answer of truth. They only serve to cause people distractions and assist them to lose sight of the larger picture of eternity.

One, it ludicrous to think a big bang, super explosion happened causing all life complex in detail to form. Granted, the skeptic will say the same about Genesis 1:1, more on that later.

Two: Star light star bright. Evolutionists generally believe that stars formed by the collapse of gas clouds under gravity. This is supposed to generate the millions of degrees required for nuclear fusion. But most clouds would be so hot that outward pressure would prevent collapse. Evolutionists must find a way for the cloud to cool down. One such mechanism might be through molecules in the cloud colliding and radiating enough of the heat away.

According to theory, the ‘big bang’ made mainly hydrogen, with a little helium—the other elements supposedly formed inside stars. Helium can't form molecules at all, so the only molecule that could be formed would be molecular hydrogen (H2). Even this is easily destroyed by ultraviolet light, and usually needs dust grains to form—and dust grains require heavier elements. Therefore, the only coolant left is atomic hydrogen, and this would leave gas clouds over a hundred times too hot to collapse.

Three, Despite eduMAcated professors’ arguments, the following pattern of thought is not a logical fallacy. So many science/evidence driven thinkers would love for The Big Bang t be proven true because it would completely obliterate The Bible because in Genesis 1:1, we are told that God created it all. Now what makes us think God did not use the BB process to create? The most popular version of the big bang teaches that the universe will expand forever and eventually run out of usable energy. According to the story, it will remain that way forever in a state that astronomers call “heat death.” The Bible teaches that the world will be judged and remade. Paradise restored. The big bang denies this crucial biblical teaching. Also, another serious challenge to the big bang model is called the “flatness problem.” The expansion rate of the universe appears to be very finely balanced with the force of gravity; this condition is called “flat.” If the universe were the accidental byproduct of a big bang, it is difficult to imagine how such a fantastic coincidence could occur. Big bang cosmology cannot explain why the matter density in the universe isn’t greater, causing it to collapse upon itself (closed universe), or less, causing the universe to rapidly fly apart (open universe).

FOUR: BB ignores the First and second laws of Thermodynamics.

Fifth: The Bible, now keep in mind, I was a former mocker and hater of all things Christian, is uniquely constructed over a period of 1400 years by 40 + authors and it contains zero contradictions ranging from its earliest forms. Historically, mathematically, and scientifically, The Bible holds true.

The Bible tells that all scripture is God breathed. I believe in a literal 6 days because of the writings in Hebrew. Think of The Bible like an exam. It is either True or False. One never sees on an exam, a True And False question. It is either true or the biggest joke that has lasted for six thousand years.

Any feminist will tell you that men are dirt, so how is that different from the biblical creation account? So, this book the Bible that we affectionately call and take literally, the Word of God in Psalms 139:13-16 says:

13 For it was You who created my inward parts;[a]

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise You

because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.[b][c]

Your works are wonderful,

and I know this very well.

15 My bones were not hidden from You

when I was made in secret,

when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;

all my days were written in Your book and planned

before a single one of them began.

You know the hardest part to understand about those verses? The questions that follow amid life circumstances intimidate. “If your God made me and knows all my days, why does my life suck? Why was I abused? Why did he have to drink and drive, kill my mom, then get off free? Why?”

How many Christians are going to run away from this one? A lot of Christians rely on the ‘God don’t put on you more than you can handle.’ That is total, bogus theology. See, if we could fight the trials and tribulations of life without the Father, Son, and Spirit, we wouldn’t need them. The scripture they refer comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth found in chapter ten:

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

 

Through all of life’s trials and tribulations, we have the victory. "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ." Although we are in a spiritual battle, Satan has no authority over the believer in Christ. God has given us His Word to guide us, His Holy Spirit to enable us, and the privilege of coming to Him anywhere, at any time, to pray about anything. He has also assured us that no trial will test us beyond our ability to bear it, and “he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Jesus Christ set the perfect example. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). These verses reveal aspects of His divine purpose for both Jesus Christ's trials and tribulations and ours. Persevering proves our faith. "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

 

Now that we have established that God made us, folks, allow me to list why you need salvation through Christ, who He is, why He had to die, and what it means to be a Christian. Do not confuse being a child of God with regulatory church attendance that starts and ends when the pastor asks one to open up the Bible.

Sin. James briefly elaborated on it in chapter 4:17. So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.

There are many religions that tout good, moral truths. Most religions denounce murder as a bad thing. That is a moral truth. The God of Abraham, the God of the Living represents not just truth, but absolute truth. God is not an easy understandable concept, but he is holy and out of reach of us as Genesis tells because of disobedience, i.e. sin. Absolute truth lies in salvation at the cross of Christ. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of God. We are separated from God. How can I say this?

Yes, the early churches put the Bible together one could say, although I wouldn’t. Man decided what books we would encompass and call The Holy Bible one could say, but I would not. Man wrote under God’s inspiration The Bible. There is a difference between say The Gospel of Luke and the “lost” gospel of Theo of Tropical Hill. Ultimately God not only inspired over 40 men to write the books, he also I believe gave discernment as to what went where if you will. So anyway, sin. Sin that separates us from God.

ISAIAH 59:2

But your iniquities have built barriers

between you and your God,

and your sins have made Him hide His face from you

so that He does not listen.

It should humble us that the One who spoke the world into existence hides His face from us because of our sinful ways. I hope you do not live in the United States of the Easily Offended because I would not like to be labeled intolerant, judgy, or oh who I am kidding? To quote Isaiah again, in 7:9, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.” The Bible speaks about sins such as being a drunk, lusting after the flesh, (be it male or female) greed, idolizing, SO basically any action that takes the focus off of God is sinful.

We limit God and break the second Commandment when we make God into a graven image of what we want. God knows I’m not perfect and loves me anyway we announce as we continue on living in a manner that that biblically been taught to offend the Lord. We are correct that God does love us as we surmise, but we take away our responsibility to not sin thinking God will allow us in his holy presence maybe because dad was a preacher or because my sins are not too big and God is a loving God. We tend to forget that loving God is also a just God that is THE only righteous judge.

 

Earlier I mentioned how God is absolute truth, he is our measuring stick for all that is just and right. He should be, but to those who believe themselves to be above the very nature of the Almighty, well, they wil not grasp this message. Without a perfect standard, there is no way to determine whether something is imperfect. Without the absolute standard of God’s glory, every word or action would be judged by the faulty, shifting standard of imperfect people. Every rule, law, and moral tenet would become a matter of opinion. And man’s opinion is as varied and changeable as the weather.

 

If a builder builds upon a foundation that is not square, he risks the integrity of the entire project. The building does not get better as it goes up; it gets weaker and more out of line. However, when the starting point is perfect, the rest of the structure will be sound. Moral foundations work the same way. Without God’s moral law, we have no way of knowing right from wrong. Sin is moving away from what is right. The further we get from God’s moral standard, the worse the sin becomes.

One of the most damaging thoughts that we as people have is, “I don’t care what so and so does, it ain’t hurting me.” Now this is a thought brought to us by Satan. See, when we think about sin, we want to live and let live. Now did Jesus go around thumping a Bible screaming about hellfire damnation to the sinners He hung out with? Well, he taught plainly more about Hell than Heaven. He told people to, “Go and sin no more.” Jesus did live and let live because folks, God Almighty, God in the flesh has never made anyone do anything. Since the first sin of disobedience, God the Father has allowed free will to reign among mankind. We can choose to carry the cross daily or we can choose to engage in sin without one repentant thought as easily as we chose to watch those around sin away to Hell never knowing the saving Grace of the Cross because we want to live by, “I don’t care what so and so does, it ain’t hurting me.” One does not plant corn and expect to harvest beets. We cannot “plant” sin—even in private—and not expect to reap a harvest of consequences. And consequences have a way of spilling out over everyone and anyone that comes into contact with us because of another principle called "association." This means that those around us can be blessed or hurt by association with you and the choices and actions you make, both privately and publicly.

 

Is it wrong to snort cocaine and get high in your own home where no one can get hurt? Let’s say that it is okay despite being illegal because no one is hurt at home. Let’s fast forward a few hours and you still are high or on the verge of crashing. What if you wreck on the way to school based on your actions? Sorry, forget to say, you are the school bus driver. Your decision making, driving skills due to your actions in private have caused a wreck that killed three kids affecting numerous families for the rest of their lives. Still think the mantra of “It don’t affect me” works? Numbers chapter 32 plainly explains that your sin will be uncovered. Billy Graham wrote and quoted Genesis chapter four and verse seven when describing sin’s power over all.

If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

There’s only one way to conquer sin. It’s not therapy, good deeds, moderation, or any other new age pattern, but Christ. Christ by the way isn’t just for “Christians.” Christ said as recorded in Matthew 9:13, “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The righteous people he referred to in reality were the religious experts, hypocrites who refused to recognize Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. So, not so much righteous as self-righteous as the Bible further teaches in Romans 3:10: There is none righteous, no not one.

For the born-again child of God—one who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior—there is a standard of conduct, both in private and in public: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). A born-again child of God has a desire to live to glorify God, and even though there are times when we can and do fail, God has made provision for us to be in fellowship with Him. He has promised that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Blood. Without blood we die. I don’t believe anyone would argue this biological nugget of truth. Okay, so why then do we not see the connection between blood and the cross of Christ? In Jeremiah, chapter 33:8, we find the plan of redemption foretold:

I will purify them from all the wrongs they have committed against Me, and I will forgive all the wrongs they have committed against Me, rebelling against Me.

The purification is the sacrificial death of Joseph’s son as doubters called Him, the carpenter who happened to be both man and God in the flesh, Jesus. Paul defends in Romans 5:21:

so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

But why blood? Hebews 9:22 answers that.

According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The only way through blood to achieve redemption was and is through the sinless Son of Man, Jesus. Adrian Rogers said, “Sin is not just breaking God’s laws; it is breaking His heart.” Think about breaking God’s heart. In Genesis chapter 6, God’s heart is grieved at the evil of man. Let it sink in, so the gravity of the most quoted least respected verse found in John 3:16 weighs on your heart.

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Despite the broken heart, God the Father gave Christ the Son as a ransom to bring us, you, and me back to him even though we were not worth it. Please get over your delusions of bloated and exaggerated, self-worth and humble yourself at the cross realizing you need Him, not ten good deeds, membership at a certain church, or other exercise that adds to o takes away from His love and Grace at the cross.

 

If you do not even acknowledge Jesus as fully God and man, consider what He proclaimed. Keep in mind that all religions apart from Christianity have central figures, but not one that ever said I am God. Here are just a few from Christ:

John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.”

John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 1:1 says, “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says that “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, "...Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood." Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. Acts 20:28 declares that God purchased the church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!

Finally, we have to decide. We either accept Him or we don’t. Jesus of Nazareth was a liar for claiming to be God, he was a loon for believing himself to be God, or He is Lord. That's the biggest, most serious question we all have to answer. Christ asked Peter, "Who do you say I am?" We too have to answer that. To the believer, no evidence is needed to embrace in faith. Sadly, to the mocker, no evidence will ever be enough.

One of the greatest condemnations against the church is the disagreement among denominations teaching salvation is attained by the Cross of Christ plus your good deeds and baptism. I’ve written other places about that, so allow me to ask you, if you realize you need to repent and give your life to God living for Jesus, how can immersion in city tap water, a dirty river, or a creek save you? Same question with a twist, how can anyone say that a person is not saved even though they have given up the old ways making Christ Lord of their life if they haven’t been immersed in the aforementioned dirty river, city water, or creek?

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

"Oh God, I'm a sinner.

I've been a sinner all of my life.

Forgive me, Lord.

I receive Jesus as my Savior.

I trust Him as my Lord.

Thank you for saving me.

In Jesus' name, Amen."

 

 

 

 

 

BABY

Posted on June 21, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

How is it that fifty million deaths have occurred and it is labeled lawful? The next statement I make will insult you, your way of life, and your “moral” code if you are pro-choice. There, you have fair warning. I challenge you to take your beliefs and reasoning and see how they stack up against not mine, but God and The Bible. The Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, the one where The US Supreme Court concluded that the unborn child was not really human or a person, therefore was not protected by the right to life assured “persons” by the US Constitution. Furthermore, The Supreme Court concluded that the unborn fetus was merely a part of the mother’s body, not a separate human individual. If memory serves, another landmark case, the Dred Scott decision had The Supreme Court concluding incorrectly that black slaves were not really persons and therefore had no rights under the constitution.

2013: “Stupid” (Rep. Charlie Dent, D-Pa.), “offensive” (Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.), “cowardly,” (Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.), “cruel,” (Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.), “blatantly unconstitutional,” “borne of ignorance,” and an “insult to the intelligence of women.”

These are words used to describe a bill that would ban, stop, abort abortions after 20 weeks. Look at the image from Bing. You can see the baby not fetus or fetal development for yourself by clicking here. If you didn't click it, I'll tell you that at 20 weeks, that baby recognizes mommy's voice. I personally don't appreciate the chart's use of the pronoun its referring to the baby, but anyway.


It is interesting to note that most often, when someone is planning to terminate the life of the unborn, and destroy this miracle of God’s creation, they refer to the unborn as the “fetus” or the “embryo.” By contrast, when they plan to keep the child and cherish it, it is always known as “my baby” or “my child.” Did you ever hear anyone say “I’m going to have a little fetus?” Did you ever hear an abortionist say, “We’re going to kill the little baby?” Our respect for the unborn seems to be strangely affected by the circumstances or semantics.

First, let’s set up the stage.

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.”

 

Most Christians have concluded that in those very few instances where the life of the mother is at stake, an abortion is justified. However, modern medical technology has virtually eliminated this terrible choice. In almost every case where the mother’s life is jeopardized, the baby can be taken by Cesarean Section and the doctor can do all that is humanly possible to keep the child alive.

 

Is rape and/or incest a justification for abortion? Evidence indicates that less than one percent of the abortions in America today are the result of rape or incest.

 

Does destroying the unborn baby eradicate the tragedy of the rape? The answer is no.

Don’t cry out choice. Let me make it clearer. When does life begin? Surely you don’t think a fetus becomes a baby at birth. Do you think the fetus is magically transformed into a breathing little thing thanks to the marvels of medical science? If so, why, please think, why do expecting mommies and pops gush when listening to the heartbeat of the fetus? You don’t have to look too far to see the plan of life. Look in Genesis. God breathed into Adam. He instructed Eve on the pains of her future childbirth. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines human as “having human form or attributes.” It further defines being “substance, nature, or essence of anything existent, one that exists.”

 

Can anyone rationally conclude the unborn child is not a human being? To suggest it is not a “being” is to suggest it doesn’t exist. Certainly, it does exist and it is, therefore, a “being.” Further, to suggest it is not a human being is to imply it must be some other kind of being. If it is some other kind of being, what kind is it? Is it a pig, a cow, or a duck? Is it a vegetable, or perhaps some inorganic thing? Surely, this developing child within the mother’s womb, from the moment of conception, is a human being. While we are looking up words, let us see what Webster says about abortion:

The termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus. a: spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation b : induced expulsion of a human fetus c : expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy

Did you read C? Expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal. Are we domesticated animals now instead of being formed by the hand of God? Two words not found in The Bible are Embryo and fetus. Consider the marvelous occasion when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, several months pregnant with John the Baptist. When the good news of the Messiah’s coming was declared, the Bible says: “The babe leaped in her womb...” (Luke 1:41,44). Luke further declares that John was “filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). The Holy Ghost only fills people, not tissue or cells.

 

The Greek word for baby is (βρεφος) brephos. It is the same word used here in this passage for the unborn baby in Elizabeth’s womb. The Thayer Greek Lexicon defines brephos as “embryo, fetus, newborn child, young child or nursing child.” This same word is used to describe Jesus in the manger (Luke 2:16) and Timothy as a “child” learning the scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15)

In 1967, the first International Congress on Abortion was held in Washington D.C., six years before abortion became legal. At that conference, there were 60 major authorities from the fields of medicine, ethics, law, and social sciences. After several days ,this was their official statement passed with only 1 dissenting vote: “The majority of our group could find no point in time between conception and the birth of an infant at which point we could say that the fetus is not a human life. The changes occurring between implantation, a 6-week embryo, a 6-month fetus, a 1-week-old child, and a mature adult are mere stages of development. Here’s a weightier statement from God in Jeremiah 1:5:

 

Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee...

Choice is for choosing medium or large fries not whether a baby is allowed to live or is literally ripped apart inside you because his/her life is inconvenient at the moment. All life is precious because The Bible says it is. Right now, those who disagree are jumping and saying, soldiers kill, the same law that says abortion is choice also practices capital punishment “It is hypocritical,” opponents say to decry abortion, but uphold the death penalty. Even though The Bible clearly commands, “Thou shalt not kill,” and even though the Bible continually affirms the sanctity of all human life, The Bible does allow the taking of human life in instances of flagrant and serious crimes, such as murder, rape, incest, and child sacrifice. Capital offenses were sometimes punished by the death of the offender.

 

However, in every instance where God allowed or even commanded the death of a human being, it was in response to that person’s serious crime. God does not condone the death of an innocent human being. THAT IS THE KEY, FRIENDS. GOD, not a politician, a judge, a rape victim, or an inconvenienced girl COMMANDED IT. THERE IS NO INSTANCE IN THE SCRIPTURE WHERE THE BIBLE TEACHES OR GOD CONDONES THE DEATH OF THE UNBORN CHILD. King David killed many people who attacked Israel, and God was with him as he did so. But when he killed one single innocent man, Uriah, God was much displeased and held him accountable.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said from the bench in a case concerning decency, “The evolving standards of decency mark the progress of a maturing society.” It is because of this evolving standard of decency that has not matured, but “manured” our society calling abortion a choice. Your body your choice? Eve thought that too. Look up Genesis chapter 3.

Due to copyright issues, I cannot show the information from the Barna Group, but feel free to check out the information for yourself. The information considering Christians’ attitudes may surprise you. It is a shame that we as a church, a people that say we love God even have to have a Sanctity of Life Sunday. Every day should be that for us. So Christian, you say disagree with abortion unless it’s a rape or a life or death situation for the mom? We can’t hold our bibles and say amen over the cries of the dead babies can we? I leave you with this story called Lifetime.

LIFETIME

I remember the tenderness in your voice the first time I heard it. I remember you saying the silliest things. I knew you were the most important person in my life. I knew we were linked together. It is humbling to think God made me for you and you for me. We were made for his Glory. I remember the first visit to Doctor Livens and the words, “It’s positive. Congratulations you’re pregnant.” It still seems like a dream that I will wake up from.

Out of all the new experiences during the pregnancy, I remember the spicy pickled nachos that hit the spot. That was gross most people said I’m sure, but it’s not theirs to digest. I remember listening to Bach and Beethoven. I think I liked Bryan Adams too. I remember all the kicks and jabs that were delivered dancing to the beats. Looking back on all that now, I wish I could experience it again.

In the early stages, I tried to imagine your face. I longed to feel your comforting, warming touch that would tell me all would be okay and the world is a good place to live, love, and grow. You were everything I wanted. Truth is, you were all I needed. All my life, some people called me names and didn’t think I deserved to have you in my life because of how things needed to be. I’m as much of a person as they are. I remember how excited I was to feel and hear your heartbeat. It made me feel as though we were the only ones in the world. I dreamed of the day we would hold one another and dance the night away.

Do you remember the day, my hair was pulled back into pigtails and we spent the day snorting and having fun? What about the time my heart was broken and you promised to make it better with chocolate cake and scotch tape? I so long to cherish those precious memories, but I can’t.

What will you remember?

The truth is I don’t remember the pigtails, cake, or tape. I don’t remember the music. I can’t recall even hearing your voice unless it was the loud hateful sound that was constant. I was twelve weeks old. I was only with you for three months and you decided to kill me. I know you didn’t mean to get raped. You were the victim first before you became a murderer. I heard you call me a mistake. The politicians called me a fetus. God called me chosen when he created me. Did I want to call a rapist Daddy? No. Did I want to call a murderer Mom? I never had the chance.

I feared the word Misoprostol, but you let me live past the age range for that murderous death. Suction Aspiration is a nice way to say death. Mom, I remember trying to kick that suction thing away. It invaded my womb, my sanctuary! It started decimating my home and me! I open my mouth! I’m screaming! Mom, save me! Oh God it’s ripping my toes. I hear my limbs coming apart! I can’t see! My entire body is being savagely torn! This was not a choice! It’s murder! Can’t they hear my heartbeat? Can’t they see I’m not a fetus, or a mistake, but a child created by God? My body is gone!

“Is number one out?”

“What are you doing? What’s that metal thing on my head doing? Oh no! It’s bearing down on me! I can’t stop it! It hurts It hurts It h-----------------------------------.”

If the baby could talk now, she would say that this has not been graphically presented as a fundamentalist scare tactic, but rather as a presentation of how far gone our society has plunged when the act of murder is semantically sabotaged and referred to as choice. Our current president, Barrack Hussein Obama once said he did not want his daughters punished with a mistake referring to “unplanned” pregnancy in his defense of murder known as abortion.

With that being said, the same self-professed Christian president cannot say when life begins despite The Christian Bible making it clear. Christian people hold The Bible sacred, as God’s holy, inerrant (without error), Word. We know that God knit us in our mother’s womb and that He knows us before we are born. We know this because The Bible says it is so! In a Stephen King novel one character said, “God knows the truth and waits.” One day the unified voice of the murdered unborn will be heard with a loud trumpet. Woe be to those murderers in the guise of healers that killed helpless children and those who allowed it.

Most murderous mommas say it was not an easy decision to make. Most regret it after learning the truth of God’s Word. Some will cling to the excuse that it was either her or the baby. It is what it is; ripping apart a living breathing creation inside your own body is not a procedure. It is murder.

 

 

The Hidden Gospel

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Say it with me, “I love Jesus!” We all do at least three times in our lives. Easter, Christmas, and when the good times are rolling. Wait that’s not right. Those are two out three occasions most fly by Christians play church to feel good or look good by attending a service with a loved one. The third, when the good times roll doesn’t qualify because we don’t know or call Jesus until we panic and then it isn’t, “I love Jesus.” It’s more like, “Oh Jesus help!” Tell me I’m wrong. I am not judging you, because I have no right to be a judge; however, the truth does sting like a bee, Mr. Allergic Reaction. Let’s look at the Word concerning the Gospel.

II Corinthians 4:3-6

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

     Verse 3 says that the Gospel is hid. You say what? The Bible is the most sold book in all of history and arguably, the least read, practiced, and understood. If I’m wrong, then why do all of us Christian people argue with other Christian people of different Christian denominations about the center of the Gospel, salvation? Until a person comes to the realization they need God, they will look at the Gospel as foolishness. The Bible says Jesus is knocking at the door of our hearts. We have to understand our need for a savior. Brace yourselves now.

     You think you can get saved just any old time you please No you can’t! I didn’t say God wouldn’t save you. But a part of the wooing of the Holy Spirit, how do these people who are spiritually blinded come to know Christ as Savior? Paul gives us that clue in 2 Corinthians 3:16.

 

     Example: Here is a person who is absolutely spiritually blinded of truth. They have nothing to do with religious matters. Everything goes wrong in their life, and they hit rock bottom. They are desperate. Everything Satan has fed them and promised them just doesn’t work anymore In desperation they cry out to God. Paul says that if they turn just the slightest bit toward God, he will remove the veil of darkness.

 

     But let me warn you, when that spiritual blindness gets so strong, you are going to have to get absolutely and totally desperate before you will turn to God because your pride will keep you from it.

     Why is it that some people are so opposed to the Gospel? And why is it that some people, whose lifestyle is so unscriptural cannot understand our rejection of their disobedience before Almighty God? And how is it that some people can criticize the Word of God as to its origin and authenticity? Well, the answer to those questions is very simple. It is called spiritual blindness. Spiritual blindness is a very dangerous condition for anyone to be in. READ 1 John 2:11. He says that those who are spiritually blind do not know where they are going. They think they know, but they do not.

 

     Spiritual Blindness is the inability of a person to understand, perceive, grasp, comprehend spiritual truth. They may be able to fully understand some facts, many things in life that are true. But a spiritually blind person is incapable of digesting, comprehending, perceiving the true meaning of spiritual truth.

 

Verse 4 of II Corinthians spells it out simple like:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

     Know what this means, people? Satan is here. He wants you to die and suffer. He has you now if you don’t have Christ in your hearts as Savior. He will whisper, yell, lie to you so you don’t come to the knowledge that God, Holy God died for you, so that through His sacrificial love all eternity is yours if you believe in Christ. Now you can know God. You can see a painting of Jesus and say, “That’s Christ,” but until you know John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, until you know that you are dead heading to Hell without the intervention of the love of Christ through repentance and acceptance, He will never know you!

Jesus said in Matthew 7:23, “And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”

     The one who is blinded is Satan himself. Paul describes him as god (little g) the one who claims to be god of this world (this age), the god of this world system in which we live, religious system, economic system, political system. The system that makes up the life we are a part of. Paul says that Satan has set out to blind the minds of the unbelieving in order that something might not happen. Look at Isaiah 14:12-7 how Satan is described. 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul describes Satan as a crafty deceiver. V. 14 Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

 

     Satan’s objective is stated in v. 4. He wants to so blind men’s mind so that they will not be able to come to the right conclusion about spiritual things. Notice the words used. See means: “grasp, understand, comprehend the illumination of the Gospel.” Satan’s purpose and objective is to so blind a person’s mind that they can’t grasp it.

 

     What is the truth that Satan wants to hide from man? Look at v. 3. He wants to hide the truth so that they cannot possibly perceive of the fact of being lost. Ask a lost person is they have ever been saved, and they might respond saved from what? There are many people who are sincerely and honestly blinded. They really believe that they are right. Satan blinds people to any sense of need on their part of the Lord.

 

     Secondly, he blinds them to the whole meaning of the cross. The cross, the blood, all of that is meaningless to the unbeliever. They have no earthly idea of how it relates to them. It’s an Easter holiday to them. Satan has blinded them to the real meaning.

     How does the old serpent fool us?

First, Satan always launches his attack against Word of God.

 

1. As To It’s Origin. It is not God-breathed. How could God breathe through some men to give a book. How could the Bible be inspired. This book was written by some men. Once a person begins doubt the origin of the Word of God, they next begin to doubt:

2. The Authenticity Of The Bible. They say, probably it has many mistakes in it. They begin to pick and choose what they want to believe. They then doubt:

3. The Authority Of The Word Of God. After all it was written by men, and full of errors, so how could it be the authority of my life? Next they doubt:

4. The Power Of The Word Of God. When you doubt the origin, authenticity, authority, and power of the Word of God, you are in a dangerous condition.

 

     When a person begins to doubt the Word of God then he becomes the center of his world. He becomes his own authority. He has no room for God to control any part of his life. Spiritual blindness is a dangerous condition. So we live in a society today in which Humanism is a rising religion because Satan has blinded men’s eyes to the Word of God.

 

     If there is no divine authority what is the authority? This is the thing that puts churches in a bad spot. People make decisions in churches and oftentimes say, the majority rules!

     That is not what the Bible says! It says the principles of the Word of God rules!

 

     That is the acknowledgment of the authority of the living God over our church. When you have a society or a church that does not accept God as the final authority, you have all kinds of things taking place, and they are well defended, because Satan has blinded their eyes.

 

     Let’s look at Luke in chapter 8 concerning the Gospel and Satan’s effect.

Luke 8:4-8

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."

11-15

"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

     While I hold to the philosophy there are only two kinds are people in this world, those whose names are written in the book belong to and with the Lord God and those, whose names are not, will be in the Lake of Fire forever, Jesus elaborates by speaking specifically about how people react upon hearing the Gospel message or the seed as Jesus explained in verse twelve. First are those who know of God, but do not believe.

“Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”

     Other than pompous, in your face, agnostic comedians, educated idiots, and self-proclaimed atheists, everyone on this planet if asked, will say they are aware of a greater power, a Supreme Being, and or God. The first kind is those who just don’t know enough to make a life altering decision. Teenagers are the best example here. A child can be a “bad” kid regarding his behavior with most people in authority, but the same kid will in many cases not ever use God’s name in vain or let others poke fun at the concept of God. The “bad” kid more times than not does not understand the concept of Cross, Christ, and Grace, but he knows instinctively that God is real. He just doesn’t make the the connection between God and the fact that The Bible are inseparable.

     Jesus mentions Satan’s role. Satan, as Peter described in I Peter 5:8, is a roaring lion seeking those he may devour. James wrote in chapter 4 verse 7 in the book same as his name: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Satan wants to kill, decimate, destroy and annihilate every one of God’s beloved creations. That’s you by the way if you did not know that. Many people think that Satan is as powerful as God. They read the line, then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, and think, Satan is equal to God. That is not the case at all. All we have to do to avoid sin, Satan’s initial hold on us, is to look to God. Remember James wrote to submit ourselves not to the sin, but to God. We do not have the power to fend off carnal, fallen desires without Jesus. No Christian is perfect. We are new creations in Christ. Our old desires and thoughts will be erased if we truly submit and give our hearts fully to God. If we do that, Satan cannot touch us. However, those who know not of Christ, submitting, and His Grace, do not know or have the word in their hearts. These are people who have the theological knowledge of a third grader that goes to Sunday school every fifth Sunday. Sin is never ugly to those it consumes. The consequences are hideously repulsive after we realize our actions were sinful.

     The second type is the one that covers most Americans if recent polls indicate the flip-floppy thoughts of those who wear the mantle of Christian.

     A man stands before judge and jury, places one hand on the Bible and the other in the air, and makes a pledge. For the next few minutes, with God as his helper, he will “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

 

     He is a witness, His job is not to expand upon nor dilute the truth. His job is to tell the truth. Leave it to the legal counsel to interpret. Leve it to the jury to resolve. Leave it to the judge to apply. But the witness? The witness speaks the truth. Let him do more or less and he taints the outcome. But let him do that – let him tell the truth – and justice has a chance.

 

    The Christian, too, is a witness. We, too, make a pledge. Like the witness in court, we are called to tell the truth. The bench may be absent and the judge unseen, but the Bible is present, the watching world is the jury, and we are the primary witnesses. We are subpoenaed by no less than Jesus himself: “You will be my witnesses – in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria and in every part of the world” (Acts 1:8).

 

     We are witnesses. And like witnesses in a court, we are called to testify, to tell what we have seen and heard. And we are to speak truthfully. Our task is not to whitewash nor bloat the truth. Our task is to tell the truth. Period.

 

     There is, however, one difference between the witness in court and the witness for Christ. The witness in court eventually steps down from the witness chair, but the witness for Christ never does. Since the claims of Christ are always on trial, court is perpetually in session, and we remain under oath. For the Christian, deception is never an option. It wasn’t an option for Jesus.

 

     Let me be brief in the finish: Verses 5 and 6 say, Christians, we share Christ, the Gospel not because we want to be on a pedestal or win awards, but we do it because our teacher, master, Savior, Almighty God told us To do so not once, but for the span of our lives.

 

PSALM 38

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Matthew Henry wrote concerning Psalm 38:

This is one of the penitential psalms; it is full of grief and complaint from the beginning to the end. David’s sins and his afflictions are the cause of his grief and the matter of his complaints. It should seem he was now sick and in pain, which reminded him of his sins and helped to humble him for them; he was, at the same time, deserted by his friends and persecuted by his enemies; so that the psalm is calculated for the depth of distress and a complication of calamities. He complains, I. Of God’s displeasure, and of his own sin which provoked God against him (v. 1-5). II. Of his bodily sickness (v. 6-10). III. Of the unkindness of his friends (v. 11). IV. Of the injuries which his enemies did him, pleading his good conduct towards them, yet confessing his sins against God (v. 12-20). Lastly, he concludes the psalm with earnest prayers to God for his gracious presence and help (v. 21, v. 22). In singing this psalm we ought to be much affected with the malignity of sin; and, if we have not such troubles as are here described, we know not how soon we may have, and therefore must sing of them by way of preparation and we know that others have them, and therefore we must sing of the by way of sympathy.A psalm of David to bring to remembrance.

 

O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.

4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

13 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

16 For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

17 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.

18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

19 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

20 They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

21 Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.

22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

 

Before we begin looking at the message in these words, let us break it down so we can focus on sections at a time.

God’s Retribution - 38:1-3

Sin’s Ramifications - 38:4-10

Other’s Reactions - 38:11-12

Personal Repentance - 38:13-20

Protective Request - 38:21-22

Ultimately, people fail to acknowledge God the Father, Christ the Son, and God the Holy Spirit because said people view themselves in a light where the ideal of sin and a supernatural Savior dying yet living again fades. Everyone thinks they are a good person and their decisions are validated because God is a loving god that just wants happiness for all. This is why the first three verses may not make sense to you if you are more in love with the thought of being a good person because David was admitting his sinful mistakes and need for punishment-just not punishment administered in anger.

O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.

How many times have you lost sleep at night over something you did that was wrong? Verse 3 rings true, folks.

 

I went to a funeral many years ago and the well-meaning preacher read that the wages of sin are death. The majority of the mourners while knowing the scripture felt like the preacher meant their loved one died from a sin. Now, even the most educated theologians with degrees adorning their walls can never know the will of God. He has given us his Word-and we know, love, fear i.e. respect him, but only our arrogance can claim to know all God’s mysterious ways. I say this because as scripture shows, in the past God used sickness to punish sin, but not always.

Ole Herod (ACTS 12:21-23):

21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.

22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

Abusing The Lord’s Supper (Acts 11:29-32):

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Now back to Psalm 38:4-10:

4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

     To fully understand, we have to be broken perhaps mentally and physically like David. He was chosen by God to be the king of Israel. He rose to power as most of you know, but sinned against God with another man’s wife. David’s family life spiraled out of control worse than Days of Our Lives. I say this only to say, “We need to be more like David.” Not sinful and broken, but humble with our eyes on God alone. Verses 4-10 show us David’s condition. Yet, he still focuses on the only one that can save him. Matthew Henry commentated, “ Nothing will disquiet the heart of a good man so much as the sense of God’s anger, which shows what a fearful thing it is to fall into his hands. The way to keep the heart quiet is to keep ourselves in the love of God and to do nothing to offend him. He acknowledges his sin to be the procuring provoking cause of all his troubles, and groans more under the load of guilt than any other load.”

     Was the physical failings punishment from God? I don’t know. I do know that God is the greatest parent of all. Today, a lot of kids are falling away from church into darkness and evil. Why? I don’t blame them believe it or not. Hey, Mommas, Daddys, get off your butts and raise your kids. Stop tanning with them, buying alcohol, hanging out like an older, creepy, fraternity brother and lead them by example as opposed to running with them. How can I be so self-righteous and be as I am sure some are saying “judgy”? Read one example of how God, the great parent disciplines his children. If he does it right, Momma and Daddy, shouldn’t we follow his lead?

Hebews 12:5-11 NLT

5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[a] He said,

“My child,[b] don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline,

and don’t give up when he corrects you.

6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves,

and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[d]

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

     In times of trouble, we often find who our real friends are. Verses 11-12 paint a very sad picture of David’s Facebook page so to speak:

11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

     If it were not bad enough to have your friends and family distance themselves from you, those other people who are out to get you constantly lay traps for you and run their mouths against you. What is the most natural, fleshy response? I know some of you have already got the torches and the butter socks ready, but that response is not the way at all. Verses 13:20 show the way:

But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

16 For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

17 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.

18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

19 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

20 They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

     These seven verses can be summed up simply by reciting the old nursery rhyme about stones and sticks. David by comparing himself to a deaf man that does not speak is paralleling Christ’s behavior by staying quiet before His accusers. It is hard for us to stay quiet and not lash out like a wild cobra. If we have been wronged, we want to charge out fighting with words and weapons to avenge our self-perceived “good honor.” In reality, we honor God through these times by not engaging in such useless verbal tirades. In other words, we simply stay quiet. Psalm 38 ends with David praying for protection. That friend, in this day and time is what we should do as well. Pray.

 

Dying and Living

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

II CORINTHIANS 5:6-11
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 

     The entire canon of Christianity-the belief in the first eleven chapters of Genesis as historical fact as opposed to myth, to acknowledging with mind and heart Jesus Christ as a personal risen savior rely on the same commitment rooted in unwavering faith. In his message to the church at Corinth, Paul explains in simple detail that we, well, rather our physical bodies are separate from the Lord emphasizes the importance of faith. Jesus when speaking to His doubting Thomas said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

That’s what it is about. You, yes, you, don’t have to be a biblical giant, a seminary degree carrying bible preacher to understand that your fate, eternity after that last breath hangs right now on whether or not you can distance yourself from your pride, your own self-worth, academic intelligence, sarcasm, past experiences, held grudges, perceived wrongs, to see the simplicity in message of the cross and the crucified Christ.

The smart-mouth critic loves to taunt verse eight saying Paul wanted to be suicidal. Now that friends, is simply ignorant.

We miss those who are absent from us and we all long to see our loved ones again. Just as the believer holds onto that thought, so does the knowledge of Christ’s Second Coming resonates a certain celebratory anticipation by His children awaiting the return of a loved Father. Verse 8 also rather cements the thought that after our last breath, we are faced with our decisions. Hebrews 9:27 teaches that there is an appointment to die once, then the judgment. There is no intermediate state for the Christian as some believe to take care of and purge their sins. Jesus took care of that at the cross. And when Christian die they are immediately in the presence of the Lord....Think about that for a moment.

Verse 9 reminds me of the last chapter of Ecclesiastes. The first 11 chapters of that God-breathed book shows Solomon pining away basically about the woes and useless futility of vanity and the fleeting state of things in our lives. In a not so elegant way of speaking, Solomon the original emo stated “Life Sucks.” Then in chapter 12, he says that it does not matter because we live not for ourselves but to live for God and honor his commandments. Paul in Verse 9 restates this. We all are to live for God. The truth is we are saved by the sacrificial death of Christ. We cannot work our way to Heaven, but our actions will reflect our love and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Lord.

Speaking of actions: WE ALL MUST APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, SO THAT EACH ONE MAY RECEIVE WHAT IS DUE HIM FOR THE THINGS DONE IN THE BODY WHETHER GOOD OR BAD."

The Judgment for the non - Christians will be a judgment of sin. They will receive the sentence for their sins eternal death (ETERNAL separation for God and all that is good).

The judgment of Christians is not for sins, Our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ... we are not accountable for them. Our judgment will be to determine our rewards. There will be greater rewards for martyrs like Paul then for softies like most of us. "OUR WORK (THE THINGS WE DO AND THE LIFE WE LIVE FOR CHRIST), WILL BE SHOWN FOR WHAT IT IS.. IT WILL BE REVEALED BY FIRE, AND THE FIRE WILL TEST THE QUALITY OF EACH MAN’S WORK. IF IT SURVIVES, HE WILL RECEIVE HIS REWARD. IF IT IS BURNED UP, HE WILL SUFFER LOSS; HE HIMSELF WILL BE SAVED, BUT ONLY AS ONE ESCAPING THROUGH THE FLAMES." (I CORINTH 3)

 

That’s what happens when we die; our spirit departs and we go to be with the lord -- immediately. Then at the return of Christ we get a new body, we’ll stand before Christ to receive our rewards and then comes perfect existence in eternity with Jesus. Jesus said, "Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in god; trust also in me. In my father house are many rooms; if it were not so, i would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

We can face death with confidence when we:

are assured of our personal salvation....

are eager to go to heaven (walk those streets of gold)

understand what happens when we die,

realize this body is only a tent.

Derrick Johnson is a singer with a group called Regeneration. He often tells the story of when his four-year-old daughter got lost in a crowed supermarket. After an anxious search, she was found only one aisle over from her mother, but she was petrified. For a long time after that she was afraid of crowds.

Shortly after that they had a devotional about heaven one night, and the little girl said, “Daddy, will there be a lot of people in heaven?"

"Yes, there will be a lot of people in heaven, ’ he said. "So many that we can’t even count them, the bible says."

"How will i ever find you and mommy when i get to heaven?" she asked.

He knew that was a childish question, but he wanted to give her an answer. "I’ll tell you what -- when you get to heaven you just wait for us right inside the gate, and we’ll all meet there as a family."

"Daddy" she said, "is there more than one gate in heaven?"

He remembered that revelation said that there are 4 walls and there are 3 gates in every wall. He said, "Yes, there are 12."

She said, "then which gate do i meet you"

he said, "I’ll tell you what. When you get to heaven, you ask someone which way is east. Then just walk and walk until you come to the eastern wall, and then you find the middle gate in the eastern wall. We’ll all meet as a family just inside the middle eastern gate."

That seemed to satisfy her and he kissed her good night. then he said, "Now remember, we’re going to meet inside--"

"the middle eastern gate"-- she interrupted.

Ever since that time he and his daughter who is now grown have hardly ever said good-bye without one saying "meet you just inside", and the other saying "the middle eastern gate."

 

Someday we too will meet our loved ones just inside the gate. We know that to be absent from the body is to be home with the lord. What a day that will be don’t miss it for the world.

 

 

 

 

 

DEFINE IT.

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

What the dictionary reports:

Fetus:

(used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in thewomb or egg, especially in the later stages of development whenthe body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, inhumans after the end of the second month of gestation.

Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English

 

What God’s Word says long before 1350:

Genesis 3:16 I will intensify your labor pains;

you will bear children in anguish.

He said, ’Bear children’ not a fetus.

 

LUKEWARM FRUIT

Posted on July 9, 2010 at 6:17 PM Comments comments (0)




              Young Luke Skywalker once asked his trainer Yoda how he could tell the good side from the bad. Yoda answered with asimple, “You will know.” Many years before Lucas and Oz brought Yoda to life,the master teacher, God in the flesh; Jesus Christ spoke on the very issue the fictitious young Jedi pondered. There is a cliché that states one bad apple canruin the bunch. It’s true.


              Jesus said as recorded in Luke6:43-49: “Fora good tree does not bear bad fruit nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Forevery tree is known by its good fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns,nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. As a good man out of the goodtreasures of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the eviltreasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the hearthis mouth speaks. But why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things Isay? Whoever comes to Me and Hears My sayings and does them, I will show youwhom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid thefoundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehementlyagainst the house, and could not shake it for it was founded on the rock. Buthe who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.And the ruin of that house was great.    

                So does that mean the fruit represents our actions in ourlives? Yes. Then the fruit equals things like good deeds, compassionate, lovingeach other, and other good stuff right? Yes. So I’m saved because I do goodthings for people right? Wrong. Many times, this part of scripture is preachedon or shared, so many people get the idea in their heads that good works cansave them. If doing x amount of good things could gain entry into Heaven,Christ would not have died on the cross. A life sold out to Jesus willrepresent Him. For every tree is known by its good fruit. Right away so many folks get offended by the talk of good fruit and the e word. Before coming to Christ, we all are sinners. Jesus spokeclearly that sinners can love. Just because a person is not a Christian doesn’t mean they don’t provide and love their kids or others. Muslims love their children. But, Christ is love. Until we accept Christ as savior, we cannot know truly what love is because we don’t know who love is.

                So if a person doesn’t profess Christ as savior are they evil? What’s thedifference between two criminals dying on crosses where one continues to mockChrist, but the other despite prior actions that led him to crucifixion callsout to Christ acknowledging Him as Lord? The answer lies in Christ’s responseto the one calling out to Him. “I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”    

                Many are saying, “You can’t call me evil. I haven’t killed anyone! Bin Laden isevil! Hitler was evil! You can’t call evil because I don’t follow yourbeliefs!”  The Bible states that ALL havesinned. The difference between real good and real evil is the great divide, theMediator known as Jesus Christ!

                As a good man outof the good treasures of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out ofthe evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance ofthe heart his mouth speaks. Whatever orwhoever controls the heart controls the mouth. 


               Both the Father and Son love to ask rhetorical questions.“But whydo you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things I say?” A s a people that say we love Jesus,we have to check our hearts at the door of the sanctuary. Are we a people thatshow up to church to sit with our buddies, mouth the words during worship, openthe Word only when told, and are the first to hit the door because a game isstarting? Just asking.


              Hypocrisy and a lukewarm heart are not confined just to a particular group. Those two conditions affect all who breathe.  You can be the teenager that says he loves Christ on a graduation trip to the beach, but drinks more liquor than you canremember. You can sing in the choir on Sunday and pass out from pills Mondaynight. You can lift Christ’s name on Sunday, trying to forget your fling onSaturday night! We have too many people parading around with the Christian maskwith no real commitment to Christ. A lot of people go to church, but so manydon’t experience God there! What does Christ want us to do? It’s pretty simple.We live our lives exalting God by accepting Christ as Lord. We hold Him aboveall others. We witness, teach and tell those who do not know about the Gospel,IE. Jesus is The Christ. It’s more than BDR (birth, death, resurrection), it isGod loving us so much that Jesus the Son is the only way back to the Father. If we call ourselves Christians like the tree producing good fruit, our lives will reflect our love and growth in Christ!     


                The part is a rather simple part tounderstand. Whoever comes to Me and Hears My sayings and does them, Iwill show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deepand laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beatvehemently against the house, and could not shake it for it was founded on therock. Christ is thatrock. Life is hard most of the time. We stand upon our faith in Him. When lifeis hard and we can’t stand anymore, we either give up literally or figurativelyor we stand with Jesus. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built ahouse on the earth without a foundation against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great. God knows the heart’s condition. If you aren’t trusting in Him today, you are playing a game with eternity hanging over the pits of hell. Don’t let today slip away if you don’t Jesus as your Savior.If you are a Christian and Christ’s question has pierced your heart, I pray you are replenished and recommit yourself to better service to the Lord, God Almighty.     

 

 


DOUBT IS GOOD?

Posted on September 6, 2009 at 4:27 PM Comments comments (0)

 

I once had a roommatethat wore the saying; “You doubt me?” out. Christian people so studious anddevout in their walk with God never have moments where they doubt right? If youare saying, “Amen,” to that, I’m going to call you a liar. Now now you may notdoubt Christ as Savior, but I’m sure that when life gets in the way, even thestaunchest believer steps back, wonders why things are the way they are, andlooks to God for an answer that may not come as quickly as we desire. 


Let’s think about JohnThe Baptist. Most folks, kids included will say ole John BAPTIZED PEOPLE. Thatis right, but so many times, we as God’s children forget the details. John andJesus were cousins. John from conception was different for a number of reasons.First, the name John was unusual for his family’s lineage. Second, God’s HolySpirit was upon John from day one. God had a plane for John as he does for allof us by the way.


So John says to theruling religious know-it-alls when asked about the Messiah, “No, I’m not Him,and I’m not worthy by the way to tie his sandals.” That’s a paraphrase, by theway. So, John knew that the Messiah was coming. He recognized Christ as it andeven baptized our Lord. So where’s the doubt? Here it comes. See, ole John gotin trouble with the king and he was thrown in jail. While he was in jail, sincehe didn’t have radio or cable, he had time to think about it all. See, John,filled with the Holy Spirit still sinned by doubting Christ. It is possible though that John did not doubt, but used that to strengthen his own faith.


Let’s look at MatthewChapter eleven:

 1Jesus finished teaching his 12 disciples. Then he went on to teach and preachin the towns of Galilee.

 2John was in prison. When he heard what Christ was doing, he sent his disciplesto him. 3 They asked Jesus, "Are you the one who wassupposed to come? Or should we look for someone else?"

 4Jesus replied, "Go back to John. Report to him what you hearand see. 5 Blindpeople receive sight. Disabled people walk. Those who have skin diseases arehealed. Deaf people hear. Those who are dead are raised to life. And the goodnews is preached to those who are poor. 6 Blessed are those who do not give up their faith becauseof me."

 7As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John.He said, "What did you go out into the desert to see? Tall grass wavingin the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No. People who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tellyou, and more than a prophet. 10He is the one written about in Scripture. It says,

   " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you.

      He will prepare your way for you.' —(Malachi3:1)

 11"What I'm about to tell you is true. No one more important than John theBaptist has ever been born. But the least important person in the kingdom ofheaven is more important than he is.


Historically speaking, John was in jail I believe around the time Jesus began His ministry.That being said, John did not get first hand accounts of the miracles andhealings. Obviously he had heard and sent his disciples to Christ. Verse twodemonstrates this: 2 John was in prison. When he heard what Christwas doing, he sent his disciples to him. 3 They asked Jesus,"Are you the one who was supposed to come? Or should we look for someone else?"


They just come right out and ask. Now, Jesus being God, answered correctly, but you and I in ourfailed flesh, probably would have answered indignantly.  But see, Jesus used John’s doubt for a teachable moment to spread the Gospel and maybe take a quick jab at the king Herod and his palace.


Jesus replied in verse four and following "Go back to John. Report to him what you hearand see. 5 Blindpeople receive sight. Disabled people walk. Those who have skin diseases arehealed. Deaf people hear. Those who are dead are raised to life. And the goodnews is preached to those who are poor. 6 Blessed are those who do not give up their faith becauseof me."

At firstglance, it sounds like Jesus is patting Himself on the back in an arrogant fashion, but that is not the case at all. This is one time where from my view, Christ does not answer plainly about His identity. When Peter called to theapproaching Christ, Jesus answered, “It is I.” He simply tells the messengers to report what they hear and see, not what I or others say. He then lists what they will see.  Blind people receive sight. Disabled people walk. Those who have skin diseases are healed. Deaf people hear. Those who are dead are raised to life. And the good news is preached to those who are poor. Whether it be a physical, mental, or spiritual healing, Christ took care of everything. TheGood News that we know as the Gospel of Christ’s love, sacrifice, death, and resurrection was given to the poor. Right away the skeptic will say, “So,Christ didn’t preach to the man with money!?!” Christ preached openly to all people. My thoughts on the meaning of poor meant poor as in lack of financial viability due to the way of life. Today it means the same thing as well as being poor spiritually.

"Blessed are those who do not give up their faith because of me."

           

This verse as I havelisted in the NIV may cause some to misunderstand and feel confused.  In the King James, as translated from Hebrew,the verse goes 6 Andblessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

           

Looking at the versesone can see what the issue surrounding confusion is. All throughout both Testaments, God the father and Christ the Son warn against those people, all people that turn from them due to shame and arrogance. "And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Jesus has made His case clearer than crystal when He saidregarding salvation, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father whois in heaven.”


If we are a people that are offended by Christ, we are not a part of Christ, and we have not a place reserved for us by Christ. We cannot call ourselves Children of God, Christians, when we denounce Christ, His virgin birth, His sacrifice, His love, His death, His resurrection and His very blood by living a life that doesnot represent His existence in our lives and or doubting He is Who The Bible,God’s Holy Word, says He is!

Verses seven and eight show Christ practicing what He preached. He says many kind things to those around Him that may have questioned John’s character or his own faith since his disciples asked Christ for validation of His identity. 


As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John. Heasked, "What did you go out into the desert to see?Tall grass waving in the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No. People who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces.”


Christ asks rhetorically to the people what they expected to seewhen they went to John, the messenger sent to prepare the way for Christ. Jesus here, in my uneducated opinion takes a small shot at the ruling class bymentioning that those who wore fine clothing were in the king’s palace. Take it for what it is worth.

“Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes,I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 He is the one written about in Scripture. It says,

   " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you.

      He will prepare your way for you.' —(Malachi3:1)

 11"What I'm about to tell you is true. No one more important than John theBaptist has ever been born. But the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is more important than he is.”

           


Talk about the greatest pat on the back ever! By referencing Old Testament scripture to the Jewish audience, Christ not only validates that He is the Messiah but also John’s stature. Christ then makes a statement that no one greater-including Himself has ever been born. Christ was fully God and fully man. His stature as apart of the Triune Godhead is never in question by the way.  That’s like Michael Jordan giving the game winning shot toPaxon. The educated skeptic will say that The Bible says there is no favoritism with God. But then Jesus tells how important the rest of us are.  “But the least importantperson in the kingdom of heaven is more important than he is.”


John’s doubt or his needing validation allowed our Lord to further His ministry. The point to all this is that even the most devout Christians at times have doubts. What strengthens our faith from our doubts is the basic belief that caused us to believe in the first place. Jesus Himself asked God for the cup to be taken from Him if possible. We must continue to grow in faith daily, taking up the cross as Christ instructed. If doubts are on the rise in your mind, let your heart open up to Jesus and the Truth.

God bless. 

 

 



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