Monthly Archives: April 2018

We Want A Fix To That, God Wants To Fix Us.

To look at our problems as merely external woes and nuisances, we indeed can lose a double blessing. Because what we fail to see so often when things are not going as we think they ought in life, we fail to see that our greater problem is not what is out there but in us, self centeredness, pride, jealousy, anger, and in Mark 7 Jesus speaks on “What comes out of a man’s mouth is what defiles him” and often when things go hard in our lives, we suffer losses, trials, and firey tests, God is often allowing these to show us what we are truly made of. To have things going well and smooth often does not create nearly as much of an avenue to be tempted by anger, envy, and other nasty evils and sin. Yet deprivation of what we want- oh there in lies the X ray of our souls. What is the good news? The good news is that God wants to ideally mold his Sons character of selfless love, humility, compassion, righteousness, and good things in us. He alone can produce this but often trials help us see how we need him, how we too “Sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Often our hardships are exasperated most by indwelling traces of pride, self focus, and what bitterness or negative feelings caused by entitlement we allow to creep in.

God is not just wanting to fix a problem in your life if you or I do not have our hearts better purified as a result also. Shall we settle for less? In Job’s case, God was purifying him inwardly as a result. He was a man who feared God and shunned evil yes but God purified him even more because of his trial. After though, God blessed him with double of what he lost- but the greater blessing is so often one God produces in us!

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Attitude Adjustment

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Ephesians 4:15 –

The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

Philippians 1:16-17

Motives for speaking are extremely important. The Apostle Paul was suffering from the affects of people who even shared the Gospel, but with impure attitudes and motives. We should not be surprised also when we suffer persecution from the World but get lumped with those who call themselves believers also yet may not have been doing so truly out of love. The people who preached in Paul’s time also spoke truth, but had motives of pride and mischief and God is not pleased with that. Some Christians may be letting resentment or feelings of inferiority or desire to look good and impress drive them. That is why as Christ’s followers we must all examine our hearts regularly and look for tumors in our motivation that can truly create in us spiritualized cancer if we do not carefully, purposefully let the Lord reveal what is in our hearts. David prayed, “Search me God and try my heart, and see if there be any grievious way in me and lead me on the path everlasting”

The Heart Of The Human Problem

Gettng to the Heart of the human problem—

——Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 26:23-28 –

Earthenware was basically the common pot made of clay, nothing spectacular there, but through a deceptive layer of silver dross coated on top, it looked valueble. Dross also is not spectacular either but was the impurities of melted metal in the rifining process. What this tells us- talk is so cheap if coming from the deceptiveness of an evil heart. People who want to harm others often will flatter them into a trap, or trip them. Eloquent as some may sound, it is still a chocolate coated chunck of rat poison. A truffle to cause death. Laced delecacies. “Malice may be concealed by deception”

Lets look here:

They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Matthew 22:16-21

Jesus knew this better then anyone how people can opperate, he knew that they were flattering him by saying what he would want to hear “Teacher we know you are a man of integrity and you teach the way of God ” and these people failed to see Jesus was already one step ahead of them and knew their hearts.

Lets examine what Jesus already taught before:

—-Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

Matthew 15:1-11 –

The disciples acted clueless as to what Jesus was getting at, but he explained the first importantance of a clean heart.

Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Matthew 15:15-20

The sin of the Pharisees was that of a rotten heart, though outwardly they obeyed the Laws of God, it was drivin by pride, self centeredness, lust for power and prominance and greed. (See Also Luke 16:14-15) and (Matt 23:13-39)

What amazing truths we see in the Word for our time even. There is a religious form of a wicked heart as well as the flat out open rejection of Christ in our days. The Pharisees though strict and religious were on the road to hell not because of what they did as much but how God was not truly the love of their heart and they did all things for show. There are both groups. People who do not know Christ but pretend to be loyal to him, and those who reject the Bible all together and have no interest altogether.

The good news is that Jesus came in the flesh of a man to die for both groups so that those who do believe his Gospel can be made new in their hearts. Be freed from the truest problem of sin living enthroned in the heart. All our actions are a byproduct of what comes from our heart. And only Jesus Christ can cleanse that rotteness out that is by nature lurking in us from day one. We must be willimg though to let him do this.

—-Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Romans 10:3-15

Lessons From Two Kings and One Commander.

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. [1 Kings 11:9-10]

Then the Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom. Earlier when David was fighting with Edom, Joab the commander of the army, who had gone up to bury the dead, had struck down all the men in Edom. [1 Kings 11:14-15]

Earlier on Solomon was walking faithfully with God and had Joab put to death because of needless bloodshed Joab had commited. I assume from reading this that there was a culmination of events that God wove together to punish Solomon for turning away after foreign women to serve their gods. Last phrase in 1 Kings 11:14-15 “Joab the commander of the army, who had gone up to bury the dead, had struck down all the men in Edom. [1 Kings 11:14-15]

Now we we see Hadad resurface as a result of Joab, even though Joab had long before been executed. Yet because of Solomon’s own sin “The Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary.”

What an incredible lesson for us also that just as God warned the Israelites to not turn away to follow the nations around them in the days of Moses – “Be sure your sins will find you out” and they do and I have personally in the 9 years of beinf a Christian seen this first hand on some painful levels throught the many years it seems but God has good in store for us when we repent and seek him wholeheartedly. We will reap what we sow but even if you or I reap some negative consequences from sin yesteryear, that does not mean it is no use to turn back to him today or wholeheartedly seek him. David reaped hardship from his affair with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, and as he ran from Absalom his son who wanted to kill him years later, David could have given into despair and thought God had totally forsaken him, yet David unlike his son Solomon who became king after- David turned back to the Lord and died later faithful to God as the king again. Solomon whoever seemingly became more unfaithful and suffered more.

The whole message here is that sin does not pay in this life or eternity- but even when we truly seriously blow it, we can either turn to God and expect his grace or turn farther from him and see bitter fruits of that. Just because you have blown it yesteryear does not mean God cannot give you a future, but do not rebel or grow discouraged and plumit farther and miss out.

What God Wants.

The only real thing of value that we could ever offer God is faith yet even that too is something he develops in us or brings about. If a man had a woman he was captivated with and delighted in- the thing most reasonable and good men want out of a woman they are in love with is her adoring trust- yet if she distrusts him and sees him in a bad way and then even the things she did that were “favors” or “things he wanted” would be only from a begrudging heart that felt it was duty as a good wife. And what crushes a man more then to be head over heels for a woman who always saw his romantic gestures or acts of love as something to be suspicious of or worse to be taken for grantid? Any man who reads this could most likely say that he would be crushed inside over this, angry and sad.

How much more the a God who knows how good he is and how deep his love is for human beings made in his image who regard him with disgust? If a man who adoringly tried to kiss his wife or show her affection ans she shrinks back with suspicion or disgust- can you feel the agony in your bosoms now men? Or what about that grief of a loving father who sees how little his children once they grow into young adulthood act as though he is just some hinderance to their fun and like rebellious wayward youths pursue a life of poor choices to their harm and vent against him when he tries to warn them of the life of pain he knows they will bring on themselves in their foolish naivity. First that father is grieved by the pain he knows they create for themselves but feels the sharp quils of rejection. What if a man had a daughter that he looked after and she was special to him but as she grew, her sweet innocent “I love yous” became “I hate you dad, get out of my life”

Can we not also see how God must be grieved by faithless people?

Can we not see how doubting his love as his elect and redeemed cuts his heart too?

What then if a man who adored his wife and rejoiced over his beloved met her hostility and she grieved him by only doing what he wanted to get him off her back? What if a man thought the world of his wife but she recipricated with distrust and acted as though the marriage was just “duty”

Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2:12 –

When one rejects the Lord God by unbelief and see his greatest act of love as nothing – that is like a man who gives it all to prove his love to a woman he desires but sees him as nothing. Yet when one asks, “How could a loving God send anyone to hell?” Let me just say, “God has a heavenly home for his Bride the church and goldiggers that are only after his estate but do not want Him get left outside these glistening gates”

Moments of Doubt

But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”

1 Samuel 27:1 –

David was a great man of faith but had his moments of weakness we see here. Years before God made him a promise that he would be the next king over Israel, yet years go on doubts can grow and we too can hit moments where we give into doubt instead of living by faith. David most likely was not supposed to go live in the land of the Philistines during that span of time anymore the Abram ans Sarai in their moment of doubt were doing right in trying to accomplish God’s plan by Hagar. Yet great people of faith have had their moments of failure- and this is encouragement fot us. For it is written,

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:11-13 –

Doubt can be temptation, we usually think of other thing when we think of temptation but may overlook where doubt can lead us- it created a doorway to other sins in the lives of them who lived long ago and so is true with us today.

We must arm ourselves with “The Shiele of Faith” and remind ourselves of their examples of both faltering and victory and perseverance overall. Trust God to keep his Word.

Fight The Lion In The Pit

So was in my car and some thoughts entered my mine that began to make me start to feel really negative and discouraged. The snow in kansas is coming down and do not like cold weather, that adds to the meloncholy of it all, but remembered a Bible verse about one of David’s mighty men who went down into a pit on a snowy day to square off against a lion. He killed the lion and was held in esteem as one of David’s mighty warriors.

Now check this out:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

1 Peter 5:6-9

Those days we feel are pits can be golden opportunities, in the pit alone on cold days of life we face our struggles alone but not truly alone with God and Our Lord and savior, we must take up the sword and fight for victory.

Satan is defeated by Christ because of The Cross and resurection- yet we must lay hold of the victory that has already been secured: Satan cannot steal your eternal salvation but can devour you in doubts and fangs of lies that leave you emotionally dejected and feeling hopeless.

He also may swipe with claws of temtation to injure your witness for Jesus Christ so the world will gaze on your spiritual wound and mock- but block with the shield of faith and swing with the Sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word, and hide in the stronghold of prayer by “Casting all your anxiety on the Lord” –

I find quoting verses that controdict the negative voices to be quite powerful, though my soul felt like saying in dark moments “I may never see happy days again” I by will said “Surely I would have despaired life itself if I had not thought I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” Psalm 27:13

And my doubts roared, “God is witholding enjoyment from you” but I replied “The Lord is a sun and a shield, he bestows favor and honor, no good thing does the Lord withold from him whose walk is blameless” Psalm 84:11

When the Lord left some Caanenites in the land in the days of Joshua it says, “These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience):

Judges 3:1-2 –

What bad people, sin, temptations, hardships and the devil would use to defeat us God wants to use to train us to be overcomers and mighty warriors! Do not fret the attacks that come but pray in advance for wisdom and grace to defeat them, overcome them and gain strength as a result of them!