Monthly Archives: November 2016

Mental Penitenturies

(2 Peter 1:3-4) His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Knowlege of God and the ways of the Lord through the person of Jesus Christ will bring freedom if these promises are inacted by faith. Real belief changes the game really because if you believe God has saved you out of darkness through the blood of Christ and has given you His approval and acceptence and love- if you truly let this soak deep then you are freed!

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free”

Truth is the key to unlock dungeons of guilt, fear, self condemnation, and truth can open locks of imprisoning habits and mindsets. When truth is held in one hand, faith turns the key in such a lock and the door is open to freedom.

To be locked in a prison of the mind is often just as unbearable as being in an actual cell. We construct mental jails all the time, we imprison ourselves in unbreakable chains of sin and addiction all the time because we buy a lie that freedom is not possible. Some scriptural promises are easier to turn in faith then others yet if we were to as Christ followers to lay hold of every spiritual reality at its fullest of measure then nothing would hinder us.

What about Condemnation– now if we have received Christ through faith and we are forgiven by His grace we should not cage ourselves back in the prison of the Law. We should not cry out “Woe is me, Woe is me, in a cage that’s door is already opened, like some silly trapped bird that thinks it is still confined but has the freedom to fly out. The silly bird will stay in such bondage as long as he truly believes the door is locked when it is really wide open.

What about fear of future unknowns? Well your belief about God’s goodness, control, and wisdom will make or break you here- if you believe God is angry and spiteful or stingy with his blessings or that he does not have as good of an idea as you think you do about what is best for you then you will indeed live in paralyzing fear of what has not even happened yet. But if we truly believe Jeremiah 29:11 says “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope”

Lets not say for one moment God has no struggles in your future or a problemless existence this side of heaven, but I think the other unhealthy extreme is to assume there is nothing to look forward to but miseries and hardship and crushing trial after trial. To believe a prosperity problem free theology is dangerous, to believe in a non ending continuim of unbearable suffering is depressing but to believe the truth is liberating.

Jesus said, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have came to give you life and life abudantly”

We know that does not mean “riches, popularity, and no problems” but it does not mean living your life in despair but victory!

Problems come but we can truimph over them in Christ! And we cannot be too quick to just say God will only bless us with spiritual blessings, (Although this is the greater) but God does provide for our basic survival needs, Jesus also said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink, and what you will wear”

He sums his sermon on worry up quite wonderfully by saying “Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be added to you”

The promises of God are activated by faith, not misguided presumption, or on the other side of the coin not believing it works.

Unbelief is a prison of its own sort. But as Christians we are called to “walk by faith not by sight”

From Snakes to Saints,

(Matthew 3:7-8) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Snakes are fascinating animals, they are feared often in many places, cold blooded, they can swallow prey much larger then their own mouths because they have a jaw that can come unhinged and expand very wide. Some snakes kill with venom, paralyzing their prey and then swallowing it whole yet still others, such as those in the constrictor catagory will wrap around their prey and strangle it to death, and not only do the non constrictor and smaller snakes eat mice and other small rodents, but they are notorious for eating one another-

Isn’t this just like the unredeemed nature of man? The people of the world and those overrun by the philosophies of this fallen world and their own propensities to the fallen nature inherited by Adam. We here people say “You have to be ruthless to get ahead” or “this is a cut throat society” as well as “dog eat dog world”

Yet Christ defied such cultural standards, Jesus Christ defied most of the customs of his days and we find that he addressed the unregenerate Pharisees like this:

(Matthew 12:33-36) “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

The unregenerate tongue spits venom, venomous malice, resentment from thick stick streams of slander, toxic bites of flattery with crafty intent, that serve to blind others so they can swallow their fellow person whole.

(Psalm 58:3-5) Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.

As hard as it is to swallow, no pun intended (since we are talking about snakes) but as hard as it is to swallow Scripture is pretty blunt about who we really are before the grace of God touches our hearts and transfers us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God, as Jesus said himself, “You are of your father the devil, for he is a liar and a murderer”

(John 8:44) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Not only was the Great Serpent a liar and murderer but also in Greek, Diobolos, meaning devil, which in the Greek language holds the description “Slanderer”

Satan is refered to as the “thief” and other titles such as “The Accuser of the brethren”

Jesus was pretty blunt and too the point, not only did John the Baptist liken certain people to be “You brood of vipers” but Jesus also said it and even though he was speaking to a religious crowd it did not matter, they practiced only an external one at that, soon to shed like an old malted exoskeleton. Whether or not it was religious heathenism or lawless irreligious heathenism it was all the same class, order, and family of “snake”, though the species may be one of a black mamba (Flat out denounces God, Christ, the Gospel) but the other a Texas Rattle snake (Rattles a phony show of religiousity but is really just doea snake is a snake, and the unredeemed untamed sinful nature in all of us is like a viper of death.

You want me to prove it, to everyone who thinks people are just deep down good and jolly just look around you at how much ruckus has happened over mere preference in political preference of a presidential candidate. People are thirsty for violence and quarelling because they are of “their father the devil” and he was “the serpent more crafty then all the other animals in the garden”

Yet like many animals I am sure a male snake may as well eat his own offspring, female snakes may guard their own young but probably not a male if he sticks around long enough to see them hatch, and even if a male snake were a creature of tender fatherhood to its own young, the devil is not that type of snake and has no concern for his brood.

The only time Jesus told his followers to be like snakes was “Be wise as snakes but innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16)

After all Jesus even did give the unredeemed world credit, for really only own thing- shrewdness, and if you look at the parable of “The Shrewd Manager” Jesus says “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:8-13 )

Jesus is not promoting dishonesty here since he even says “whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” However he is saying that the world knows how to make friends and gain advantages with dishonest means and wealth, how much more then should a follower of Christ use wealth well to reap eternal rewards that far outweigh earthly wealth.

Consider the worldly soul’s favorite types of prey, money, pleasure, fame or success. These are not evil in themselves but a snake when seeking a meal will in many cases eat other snakes or the eggs of another snake, likewise people who do not know what it is to have Christ are left to themselves to devour eachother, rob, steal, cheat, take advantage of, use and abuse or trick eachother if they think they can have the meal of their preference, the goal they seek, or their desire end.

Let’s look at the King Cobra, it is a king of snakes and eats all that dare cross it wrong or any snake it sees as lunch. The king cobra is a mighty ruler of the slithering underbellies, and so are the rulers of human beings, so were kings of old, dictators of yesteryears and godless politicians of the present. People cry out because their snake kings swallow their resources and gobble up their income with excessive taxes and regulations they spew as a spitting cobra but this is just the nature of such a slithering beast.

As Christ disciples, Jesus gives a totally reverse way to live:

(Matthew 20:25-28) Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Christ the sinless lamb of God layed down his life to serve and save his own, unlike a cold blooded serpent that would devour only it’s own. Jesus sets the standard for godly and the noblest of conduct and way,
Laying down our lives and being humble servants, not using position, power or privilege to unjust gain or to prey on an advantage at anothers expense.

What the unspiritual mind scorns as weakness and foolishness, Christ exalts as wisdom and the way to real success,
He says “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted” as well as “Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”

The world screams do whatever it takes to rise to the top, but Christ teaches the only way to rise in the real sense is to bow low and become nothing. And many a man and a woman have gained all the wealth, riches and esteem only to be miserable of all people, they find that they have opened the box called “the good life” to be disapointed to find nothing but ashes inside of it. Yet there are those who have layed down their own comfort, the feed the poor, clothe the naked, encourage the downcast and preach the riches of the gospel to find that they have found it all, the “Pearl of great price” and the “Treasures in jars of clay” which is true fulfillment. Not only have they found joy in more then mere self focus but rather touched many lives, but also have a eternal reward that will last forever!

The hope of the gospel is God’s grace through Christ’s death on the cross that nails our sinful snake nature to the cross also, but enables us to be new in nature, “For if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has gone the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The Nature of the snake must be crucified in faith in the Son of God who hung their and rose from the dead to deliver us from darkness and sin and death.
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:14-15)

Trail Of Heavenly Crumbs.

(Acts 16:14-15) One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. 

(Acts 18:7-8) Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized. 

These people had not yet put their faith in Christ yet an interesting thing to note was they tried very hard to worship God in accordance to the knowlege they had. Such is many in our time as well, they may not yet know Christ and who exactly God is but they are seeking and worshiping the best way they know how! God reveals himself to those who “Earnestly seek him” as Hebrews 11:6 and Jeremiah 29:12 tells us “You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with your whole heart”

“Lord reveal yourself to those truly trying to find you, reaveal Your plan to save them from their sins and grant them eternal life. Honor their efforts to try and reach out because we know it was you first that were drawing them”