Monthly Archives: May 2014

Spiritual bad checks

Written May 24, 2014

Spiritual Bouncies

(1 Samuel 15:22-23) But Samuel replied:‘ Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice,and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,he has rejected you as king.’

This can be really convicting! What does God require of us? That is a very important question we must ask if it is our goal to please Him and know he will judge our very souls when we die.

Saul was rejected by God as King do to disobeying and distrusting God. We are all guilty of this more frequently as Christians than any of us wish to admit! Does God really want our wallets as much as he does our hearts- yes he does want our wallets when our hearts are attached to it. Does God want our time as much as he wants us? Sacrifice says "I am giving up this portion of my day cause I need to" yet Love says "God I give you my time cause I love you and want too!"

If your time and money was a check it would only be as good as the amount of love you had to go with it.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

To give "all I possess to the poor" and to "give over my body to hardship that I may boast" without love is like writing a bad check without the funds to back it up!

We can only give what we have first received. We do not initiate the relationship with God but he seeks us first. So if we want to grow in love for God we must spend time with God.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. 

Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ 

How God Can Recycle Our Hurts

Have you ever suffered from a case of the Discrimination Mentality Disorder another word for it is a “chip on the shoulder” I suffer from it from time to time and the main symptom is paranoia and suspicion. No its not a mental illness but one who suffers from this will often times subconsciously be looking or expecting to be rejected, profiled, slighted, offended or discriminated against in some way. This causes hightened self protectiveness and the individual will be on the defense a lot of the time.They may take offense or get hurt by things that people say that have nothing in them that an average individual would even think of as being an insult.

Now Im no Psychologist and the word is coined by me. But I believe Its more of a matter of a wounded heart really and not just a disturbed mind! I speak from my own experience primarily and I know what it is like to be hurt by people. Often times there is a deep instilled fear of continuing to be hurt by people, even the people you trust the most. The paranoia in the present moment  might not be an accurate view of reality but never the less underlying cause or emotion that causes the suspicions themselves can be valid. I mean this: there are things in all of our past histories that cause us to believe and perceive certain things about present reality, whether positive or negative, the past can if allowed mold how we think today.

The good news for us who have had past rejections, hurts, disappointments, and failures. We know that as believers in Jesus Christ there is hope and future ahead! And to the audience of those who don’t know Christ on a personal level yet, I will tell you that he loves you also and can definitely help you as well if you entrust all yourself to him, he can give you a beautiful future.

Jesus said these words, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

The heart of Christ is not for you to carry the load alone, He knows your past sins and hurts as well as your present baggage you are still hauling around, and He knows your future as well.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God can and will take past garbage and present trash we are hauling around such as the insecurities, weaknesses, and even failures, and he can Recycle them into something beautiful. Recycling in the trash world is taking the garbage and some how melting it down and reusing it and making it into a new product! When we go through the heat of life it is melting the junk into glory!!!!!

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

If you don’t know Jesus you can, and he is able to take any old mess you may be in and make you new!


(2 Corinthians 5:17-19) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

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

Public School demise

Image

RIP Common sense

 

Im glad Im not in school any longer and as much as I hate to gripe and I only share this in hopes to stir people up to defend their American as well as God given rights cause if we don’t defend what rights we do have we will lose them.

 

I was just listening to the radio this afternoon and its pretty crazy what this world is coming to. The story was about a kid who accidentally brought a plastic gun to school and even though he admitted it was an accident and came forward about it to a teacher non the less he had the police called on him and was expelled. Another incident happened when a kindergardener bit his graham cracker in the shape of a gun and he got expelled as well. What in the world? In the name of “zero tolerance” we are promoting 100% stupidity. This is non sense,

 

Recently the courts sided with certain individuals who wanted to ban an American flag from a public school because some foreign students got offended. This is after all the United States of America and our flag represents freedom an patriotism.

 

Its not racism for me to think this way because its not the ethnicity itself I have a problem with. After all there are many respectable immigrants and people of different races living here but by letting those who care nothing about this Country silence us and make me bow to “political correctness” and “zero tolerance” nonsense- i could understand if this was actually a legitimate matter of people’s safety being violated- however its just another way the big government movement is trying to take faith and freedom from us just like when an Atheists group got all uptight and bent out of shape about the cross monument or the Ten Commandments sculpture and as we are all familiar they try to keep us from saying “Merry Christmas” anymore or “God bless”

 

Im proud to be a Christian, I am proud to be a American and as long as I have a voice and my freedom I will share my beliefs whether it offends or not. The truth hurts and my opinions don’t matter really but I get most of them from the Bible which people think is so old fashioned.

 

God bless America, cause who else will!

 

Genuine or not?

The Contrast between: Believers and Unbelievers

Paul wrote his first letter to the church in Corinth to address some real problems that were happening at the time, from lawsuits against other believers to an affair a man had with his own stepmother. The Church was not addressing the issue but actually applauding it. And when Paul received news from a member of the church named Chloe he wrote in response. Paul makes a very startling and shocking statement.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Now if we are made righteous by the blood of Christ and are being on an ongoing basis sanctified how could the term “wicked” in verse 9 be talking about us?

Paul was not implying that a born again believer in Christ will lose his or her salvation, or fall out of grace, but rather he was calling the Christians in the church of Corinth to see if they had truly come to the knowledge of Christ to begin with and had been really born again.

It was more of a passionate plea to those in the church to examine their lives and see if indeed they really were Christians. Some us cheap grace” to continue in a sinful life. According to verse 11 many of the believers were saved from evil lifestyles of all sorts, and a real change to place in their hearts and lives. But Paul had his worries about some.

In 2 Corinthians 13:5 he says:
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?

How can we be sure we are truly in Christ?

1 John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

We know if we have an on going love and desire to obey Christ! If we have the Spirit in us creating a desire to follow God and love others. It’s not perfection but rather where is one’s life truly going . When we obey God he works His love in and through us for Him and others!

Nazi Germany

 

What happened in Germany is a stark reminder of how evil the human heart can be. We all know what happened and it goes to show how evil a nation can become when human life and value of an individuals life is determined by society rather than the Creator himself. Hitler’s whole idea was to create a perfect society and wipe out everyone who did not contribute to this ideal, the Jews were the main target as well as some Christian’s who helped hide them such as Corey Tenboom and her family.

There were other victim’s besides the Jew’s such as handicap people, blind people, gypsees and basically all who would genetical interfere with his “perfect race”

The term used to describe the Utopia people was referred to as the Arian race. The evil of it was how so many of the German people agreed and sided with him and his forces known as the “Nazis”. There was so many horrible things done to people in the concentration camps including horrific medical experiments, people that were men and women both were forced to have their heads shaved and walk naked at gun point.

We do not want to ever relive another horrific time in History like that. It was a great thing when the United States intervened along with the Allies in order to defeat the enemy.

A scary thought however would be is what if the United States didn’t get involved? Or what if this happened in the United States? Who then would come to our aid? There is a subtle superiority and Utopia mentality poisoning the minds of people today here in America. A great quantity of people do not believe in a God anymore that they have to account to and if there “is no God” than they themselves individually or collectively choose what is right and wrong. The problem with this is this very thing happened in history. As the old saying goes “those who don’t learn from history the first time around are doomed to repeat it”

The point I am about to make here is not solely just 1 issue as much as the mentality behind the issue. Perfect example of this is abortion. It is now labeled as a woman’s right because some have concluded that a person is not a person if its inside the mother and she has every right to do away with it cause its inside of her. Yet we find that if the same mother lets her 2 year old drowned in the bathtub she is labeled negligent and a horrible mother (which indeed is true)

The point is not just an argument against the insidious nature of abortion but how also so many standards of “right and wrong” can be manipulated in such a way as to make evil sound like a noble thing while at the same time painting goodness and fairness in such a way as to make it look evil. Abortion is not the main topic but a supporting example of the theme of this note which is how people make evil look good.

Murder is the taking of a human life is it not? But if one can bend the rules in such a way as to make it seem as though the person is not technically human than a lot of grey areas arise and than give people an excuse (not a valid one) to end a life.

A few main arguments pro choicer’s use is rape and incest- which is a terrible sin in God’s eyes but this is contradicted when they oppose the death penalty as “inhumane” and “cruel” so indeed they favor the lives of serial killers, and rapists who often kill their victims there after.

Another argument is that we are over populated. Why then are so many of those who propose abortion as a means for population control the same people that want to legalize illegal immigrants. I have nothing against immigrants who abide by the laws and are here justly and legally but to say that babies being born should be the ones we exterminate is ridiculous if I may say.

Oh and we are familiar with the “Its my body so I can do what I want” thats not what scripture indicates, our bodies are a gift ultimately belong to God, he could kill anyone of us at any given moment. Every breath is a gift. Whether you believe in God or not we all will give an account to him. And the problem we have is all the people who reject the idea of God all together cause they don’t want to believe in a God that is in authority, they want to be the boss and want to rule their lives how they see fit. Its not a pro life or pro choice issue its really a matter of submission or rebellion. Mankind wants to rule in the place of God and in the case of Nazi Germany we see this happen at the expense of may lives. How did such an evil man gain so much power by means of persuading masses. Subtle manipulation and brainwashing. He did it in such a way as to not raise any red flags. We will never agree that just because a large majority agreed at the time in Germany that it was good. The truth is subtly we move from accepting one form of evil and as we grow more to tolerate things we lose sensation altogether of moral standard all together. It could be only a matter of times where we begin to euthanize all who do not “contribute” to our “overpopulated and utopia” society.

We see this has happened in a lot of Communist nations such as China.

The only perfect Society and Utopia is The one Christ gives to those whom belong to him when he returns. Let us then look forward to that!

Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’

 

Christ came not to overthrow the Roman Empire but to destroy Satan’s kingdom.

There were several main people groups in the days of Jesus.

1) Jews
2) Gentiles
3) The Roman government
4) The Religious leaders
5) The zealots

Now not unlike today we live in a country that has similarities. The only difference I suppose is that these people groups might go by different names in our day. For instance in the time of Christ the zealots were people who believed the Messiah would come to overthrow the tyrannical Roman government. They were more into a earthly kingdom/political cause more so than what Christ had truly came to do and that is to free mankind from the tyranny of Satan. So often even well intentioned Christians including myself forget “we fight not against flesh and blood” according to Ephesians 6:12 but the real Enemy the devil who has “blinded the eyes of the unbeliever” as 2 Corinthians 4:4 says.

The Religious leaders Included the teachers of the law, Scribes, Priests, and Pharisees, as well as the Sadducees, they had one idea in mind and that was religious order and Jewish law.

Also there was the Roman Government that kept civil peace and enforced Roman law. We also had the Jews who knew God through Moses and the prophets. The last group were referred to as Gentiles. Who were not Jews and had no knowledge of the Jewish way.

What about today?
What was Jesus mission really?
How does this apply today?

I would say today the heart of God has not changed one bit. Jesus came to set men free from the power sin and the eternal consequences there of, he came to save sinners whether they are the “religious type” or pagans who have not the slightest idea who God is or what he is like.

Throughout the life of Jesus And there after even many people in high positions of Roman power put their Faith in Him as well as some Pharisees.

Christ did not come to overthrow Caesars empire but he came and crushed the kingdom of Satan.

So whether one has been to church all their life yet to have a personal relationship with Christ or if they have a pagan background, Christ died for everyone who will accept his message.

Whether they are a citizens government officials, politicians or prisoners, the gospel is good news for everyone.

 

 

Power that is perfected in weakness

No one wants to feel weak and no one wants to feel broken but when Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 12 he is speaking of God’s ability to work through such things.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For a period of time Paul was under a great deal of pain pleading to the Lord to remove his affliction, until he realized that God’s power is magnified and multiplied in human weakness. His very weakness became a means for God to use to unleash an unstoppable and massive power house of energy.

Formerly Saul and converted to Paul after the Damascus encounter, he heavily relied on His scholarly learning and reputation as a Pharisee. He had what men viewed as “greatness”

Yes he had credintials, he had applause, he from a world point of view he had it made and had it all.

However in the later years of his life as he sat in a dungeon he wrote this to the church of Philippi:

Philippians 3:4-9 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

He at the end of his years considered everything as rubbish compared to his relationship with Jesus Christ. And this right standing we have from God “depends on faith” and we know this intellectually often but do we really let it sink deep in? Do we truly believe God has already dealt with our past sins and present failings once and for all? Do we acknowledge the fact we are a “new creation” (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) in Christ? And he times we do fall into sin are the times we revert back to human effort, self energy, and old habits.

Indeed no one will be or has ever been justified by the law, but what matters is if we have become the “new creation” (see Galatians 6:15)

The bible says the “heart is deceitful and wicked above all things” according to Jeremiah 17:9 but lets bear in mind that old heart is a part of the “old man” and he is the “old nature” he was of the first Adam and not the risen Christ, we do not have to live in the sinful nature as Christians however since we have bee freed from that.

Peter tells us:

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

Now if God has dealt with our sins at the cross when we received his Son Jesus Christ than the pain we go through is not punishment but polishing us for the master’s use as one polishes prized china or silverware. The greatest impact and power come through blood, sweat, and tears of Paul’s life.

In Acts after Saul’s conversion to Paul, God said this about Paul:

Acts 9:15-16 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

Look closely for it says “For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” And this is after Paul was born anew in Chist and his sins were covered under the blood. Why then did Paul have to “suffer”?

It wasn’t punishment but rather preparation to change the world!

 

Jonah’s Vine/The Lord’s Compassion on Nineveh

The story of Jonah is a quite fascinating one. It can also bring a lot of conviction to myself personally at times. Now Jonah was commanded by the Lord to go preach to the Ninevites, but he was very reluctant. Nineveh was a major city in Assyrian region. The Assyrians and Chaldeans were a very savage and barbaric race of people at that time that were known for many cruel practices. Some sources I have read have led me to believe that it was not just the Romans who practiced crucifixions.

However, inspire of such savage people the Lord said to Jonah:

Jonah 1:2 ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.

Jonah ended up doing the exact opposite of what God called him to, and the book itself seems to imply it was not out of fear he tried to avoid the task but he wanted Ninevah to perish and come under judgement. Jonah deep down feared that these people would be shocked into the terrible reality that their wickedness would bring God’s wrath.

If you read below you will see exactly how Jonah felt toward these people, fast forward a few chapters and you can peer in the heart of God’s prophet:

Jonah 4:2-11 He prayed to the Lord, ‘Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ But the Lord replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.

The truth is many of us like Jonah forget how unworthy we are of God’s grace daily as well, and we have a hard time loving those who are lost and desperately stuck in sin themselves! It is incredibly easy to get angry at another person’s evil behavior and lifestyle of sin, and think we are actually better off. Indeed as Christians we are in a way but this was nothing we did. We were merely recipients of God’s unmerited grace and forgiveness that we received when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.

The passage goes on to say: Jonah 4:6-11 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, ‘It would be better for me to die than to live.’ But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’‘It is,’ he said. ‘And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.’ But the Lord said, ‘You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left – and also many animals?’

Jonah got mad that his plant died but the Lord basically said, “Jonah, do you care more about this mere plant that you invested nothing in, but you have no concern for a large city full of people who are about to die in their ignorance?”

We too like Jonah sometimes get angry when we see the world and the evil around us these days, the vine that we did not cause to grow may begin to slowly die, a nation slowly compromising all sense of morality and life as we have known it for many years is possibly withering. We often fear more so losing our comfort and convenience than getting involved in someone else’s mess, we should not, because God is far more concerned with people’s eternity than His own people’s comfort and luxury or creature comforts. We must be willing to get down and dirty if we are going to love like Christ desires. Jesus is the perfect picture of God’s perfect messenger, he not only loved sinners but died in agony for them. He got down on their level and walked through their pain, sin, and struggles in order to be able to free them from the bondage of sin.

The good news is God is still saving people “who cannot tell their right from their left” God loves even the worst of sinners and will forgive them if they admit to their sin and cry out for mercy. God delights greatly in the repentance and salvation of people, Jesus said,  “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7

The gospel is the hope for this country and unless the hearts and eyes of the people are opened to the good news only Jesus has to offer, no political campaign or moral code will do a thing, Christ is the answer and the only solution to the problem we know as sin and selfishness.

Motives behind sharing Christ

Motives for preaching the gospel

Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter and in spite of his grim looking situation he praised God that the good news about Jesus Christ was spreading through the Roman world. In the midst of being confined in a dungeon without knowing whether his release was coming or his execution, he also had to deal with people who were spreading the gospel but only for the motives to make Paul’s confinement all the more unpleasant.

Philippians 1:15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,

The Apostle Paul knew something a lot of us don’t consider today when we share Christ with non believers, in spite of ill motives of some people who may give Christ a bad name with their behavior the truth is that no human being can thwart God’s plan. He realized that the Gospel was the power of God to convert the souls of those who heard it. The people who share Christ out of “envy and rivalry” will receive no reward from the Lord even if it saves thousands. At the end of the day the Lord will look at the size of the heart rather than the size of success. Winning one soul for Christ out of love is better than winning a thousand souls for the sake of selfish prestige.

The second truth Paul was aware of was that even if The gospel was preached out of insincerity by some it would still save some. The power is in the Word of Truth and not the mouth piece