Building Well Matters!

During seasons of testing- the Lord seems to take what I have build, planted, sown and scattered in his name and allow fires to come against what was build, wind to blow against every structure and design and indeed some of it seems to collapse- and it is almost as if he says, “See there was a weak spot in your love, your faith and endurance and patience. Now rebuilt stronger then before, fill the gaps better, fasten that beam more tightly and add more bricks upon the out wall so that these winds and fires do not destroy the work of your love, faith, patience and things I call you to build.” Yes I feel there is many weak points and some of the material needs to be refined more! What good is a love that cannot handle the heat of hate, insult, persecution, and unfair accusation? The world loves in a house of common wood and when fires of others wrongs burn against it, it will be burned to ash, yet the Lord wants our love, faith and character he seeks to build in us to be able to be with each year more and more durable and less and less demolishable. I can say I am not a perfect man and there is weakness in me, my love is not a perfect work, my faith is not the strength of steel, my endurance is not limitless nor my patience as long range as it should be yet I know when I press on to greater and greater he makes it grow stronger!

I really am beginning to see so much lately and continue to pray that I have his grace to fortify what he wants me to!

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The King With In-Flamed Ego

Nebuchadnezzar’s In-Flamed Ego!

“King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego —who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. ” Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Daniel 3:1-30 –

This king had a wee bit of an ego as we see, or, larger than life one that caused him to make a giant statue of himself he ordered all to bow to.

The three godly men though chose not to bow or violate God’s law, and in our day there are also people who want others to bow to their pride and purposes. By nature when sin rules, it is “My way or get out of my way!” Yet these three God-fearing men chose to obey God rather than the Babylonian king!

How did ole Nebby respond? He was furious, not just mad or angry, but enraged! He ordered they be thrown into the blazing furnace, and it be heated seven times hotter than usual!

None of us should also be surprised by doing what we know is right and suffering the firey anger of those who want their way and are used to people bowing to them. Yet God allows us to suffer the fires others can create for us, yet take note- the ropes that bound them were the only things that burned up! So it is to with the one who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and walks by faith, yes we will go through fires of adversity yet we can also trust that these fires to will be used for our good- burning away every form of weakness and enslavement sin brought with the fall- it burns up mindsets that hold us prisoner and emotions that keep us hostage! And we win when we “submit then to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you!” Peter writes!

So surrender to God’s will, means you become a victor through it when all else would become more the victim! Why can we boast with such strong confidence? Because it is the Lord who does it! He will do it! Yet we owe him to trust and submit in this process! “No one whose hope is in him will ever be put to shame!” As the Word says! So dear friends, trust God in your furnace because he is doing something marvelous in spite of the bad situation.

Spiritual Edema- Swollen In Guilt, Shameflamation of the Soul

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way. Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say.

Luke 13:1,14:1-6

In this story we see Luke describe a man with a literal medical condition that we now know as Edema, which means excessive fluid retention in the limbs and appendages- therefore he had swelling.

Yet many walk around witg a type of spiritual Dropsy, guilt and shame and they are tender to the touch and react almost in intense manners when you suggest they did something that may invoke their longstanding guilt.

Yet the Pharisaic mindset was to not mess with the man, and it be Pharasaic in our attitudes as believers to be hard on the sinner without desiring he or she too find Jesus’s healing touch of grace to remove their guilt and give them new life, healing and wholeness, a freedom from guilt and shame of their past! Only Jesus can forgive and heal but we must be his messengers and intercede for these people!

Guilt is just like inflamation, it serves only the purpose to alert us something is wrong in our lives just as inflamation serves to alert us something is going on in the body. Yet Chronic inflamation is not healthy nor is chronic guilt. We must all of us acknowlege our sin to God and in faith trust Jesus will touch us- and if we let our guilt do nothing helpful or bring change them it serves only to make the poor man or woman miserable, not bring such a man or woman to true healing, wholeness and greater emotional and spiritual health.

Praise Jesus! For the Word says

“By his wounds you are healed”

Why God Got Jealous- Pt 3 [Babylonian Breakup- Regeneration Reconciliation.

“Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’ “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst. I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold — which they used for Baal. “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot, ” declares the Lord. “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. “In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord — “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God. ’” Hosea 2:1-23

The Prophet Hosea was sent to prophesy against the sinful ways of God’s Chosen People. And they had thrown him under the bus and forgot all he had done for them but then attributed their praises to others, their success to idols and other “lovers” meaning the nations around them that influenced them to their harm. God says, “She said, ‘will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ They refused to give God the glory and praise for being good to them but as we see in Romans 1, when one fails to praise God as the source, given time, God hands them over to corruption of their own heart. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:21-25)

And so was the case with Israel, depicted in an analogy as a loose and easy woman. Yet worst of all, they abandoned God and treated those who did less good for them with more honor than God who saved them from slavery in Egypt. Like a unfaithful woman who cheats on a good man, or a unfaithful spouse who cheats on a spouse who gives no reason to be unfaithful to, so the natural bent of our hearts in sin is to be faithless to God- –

My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’ Originally God chose Israel and Judah to be his treasured possession and they time and time again ran to idols, backslid, and failed to be the light unto the nations We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life. (Isaiah 26:18 )

Yet, did not God already know in his divine foreknowledge Israel would fail? Yes, and on their part they failed but on God’s part he succeeded- because through these wayward people through the line of David came eventually Christ, and it is through God’s arm of salvation anyone who believes in Christ’s atonement as the Messiah promised hundreds and thousands of years earlier, God did what Israel could not under written code of Law. Through the Prophet Jeremiah God says he will circumcise the hearts [See Jer 4:4] of the people to know him and a day would come where he punishes all that are only circumcised in the flesh— and Jesus described in John 3 the rebirth-through true faith in him.

Hosea continues to say: -She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ — [See similar story, Luke 15, Prodigal Son]

-She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold — which they used for Baal. “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. This nation did truly what we all by nature are prone to do, value them that hardly care about us over the ones we do have that care, and especially we are prone to this in our sinful falleness with God. We forget God gives us all the good we enjoy and can rob him of glory do him and give it to others or our idols we create in our hearts. Yet the hope is that just as God showed compassion again after he suffered his people for their sin, so too does he show favor to us when we repent of our unfaithfulness to him. The season of reaping what we have sown may carry on so that we learn the difference between the good way vs the bitter consequences, yet even in his chastening he responds to the heart felt cry of a repentant sinner or backslidden believer. –

-Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. “In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord — “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God. ’” Hosea 2:1-23

After God carried out his rod of judgement toward his people by giving them into the hands of Babylon, God brought the sword against Babylon and the people returned to their native soil and we see God’s compassion restore his people who did turn back to him. “I will betroth you in faithfulness and you will acknowledge the Lord,” So in a nutshell, if the Lord’s relationship with Israel was a dating one under Mosaic law that they failed to hold up their part in, the betrothal is when

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33 –

When God creates a new heart through faith and one turning to Christ, it is no longer do this, do not do that,- because to use the analogy of dating vs marriage- dating is expectations and marriage is covenantal and based on a vow. So if by the Holy Spirit God enters into man or woman to redeem them from the written code- Law, and transfers them into a state of following God’s commands in response of love for God, then it is a even greater state then before.

Haman Plays A Game Of Hang Man

The book of Esther is a perfect portrayal of someone who is a schemer, seeking to trap people for a various number of reasons. People tried to constantly trap Jesus in what he said and find basis to condemn him and Judas is a fine example of a man who was quite underhanded and as a result when he realized his folly he was driven to despair and hung himself- impaled more like, and commited suicide by falling headlong on a sword, spilling his entrails. He chose to let his condemnation turn him away from repentence to despair, and he was not held guiltless- or should we say, gutless.

Absolom the conspiring son of king David succeed for a time plotting to overthrow his own father so he could become king. Absolom was such a proud man he made a statue of himself in his own honor. Unfortunately for Absolom, it did not end well for him and his pretty boy hairdo got him hung on a low lying branch when he fled in battle. His choice to pass up a good barber in his arrogance of his thick and flowing hard gave him one barb-aric demise!

Next we have Haman, his envy and lust for self glory led him to hate the Jews of his day living in Exile, especially Mordacai who refused to bow to him. He planned to hang Mordacai from a gallow errected yet Mordacai gained honor with the king. Eventually through a series of events, Haman’s plot blew wide open and the king had him executed in the manner he plotted against Mordecai.

But when the plot came to the king’s attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be impaled on poles. And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia?

Esther 9:25,10:2

Why God Get’s Jealous! PT 2—Spiritually Promiscuous with idols

All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations — a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick;

Isaiah 65:2-3

Imagine for a moment you caught your wife or husband, your boyfriend or girlfriend whom you were commited to cheating, flirting and arousing your jealousy without any regard for how you felt, and with great audacity, they thought you did not mean what you said when you broke off the relationship or divorced them.

These people were chosen as God’s special inheritance and He was good to them, he saved them countless time from their enemies and provided for them. He established them in the Promised Land, modern Israel.

Since I am a man, I will write from male skin, but i suppose if I caught my wife with another man’s hands on her, I would be aroused to indignation and great jealousy. What if whoever the man was that catches his wife or lady he has commited to be loyal to and possibly marry, what if he treat her well and bought her sweet tokens of his affection like jewelry, flowers, and he tried his hardest to treat her like a lady, and was romantic. Suppose he would run to her rescue when she was in a bad spot and spend hours trying to comfort her when she was sad. Yet suppose one day, she finds him dull and unexciting and has some “side excitement” she finds more “fun” and suppose not only that, she has let other men who would not even value her enough to make sacrifices to show her how much she is worth but she lets them just put their filthy hands all over her.

Yet Israel time and time again through the prophets was likened to a whore, or an unfaithful wife. The Bible uses many analogies to describe Israel’s and Judah’s love affairs with other gods. They cuddled in the arms of their idols and undressed for foreign gods. So, the Lord broke up with them. He basically said, “Ok then, run to your lover boys and they are later going to defile you ans turn on you, humiliate you and make a sport of you for your whorish ways!”

So it was, the Babylonians finally marched against Jerusaelem and Judah and took her captive as a slave subjected to the reign of the kings of Babylon. Yet the Lord did patiently give them time to change but eventually made good on his promise and they dwelt as foreigners in a strange land not their own for 70 years. Finally God came back to her and restored her and planted her once again.

What can we learn? Idols are in all our hearts and we may use the analogy above just to make a case. Yet God of course wants our total devotion and trust- after all, he is worth it. Yet idolatry of the heart makes us desire this, or trust that, or long for such and such more so then God and Jesus Christ himself. Everytime we sin, we in essence kiss the hands of idols. Because we choose to delight more in sin at that moment then what God can give us in his presence!

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:4-10)

So, here is the deal, when we have a choice between God’s ways and closeness to God versus the Worldly ways of sin, self and pride, when we choose the World over God, we make love to an idol in our heart! When we chase wealth as our number one pursuit or let greed put his grubby hands on our hearts, we are unfaithful to the Lord. Or when the man chooses to let his eyes lust after firbid fruit, he in those moments says, “God your not enough or exciting me enough right now so Im going to look at lustful pleasures.” Or when we in pride choose our ways, our feelings, our wants and grumble because we do not get our way, we say, “God you are not enough now and I am going to do what I want.”

Now wish I could say that I am free of idols entirely but no, my sinful tendencies are a daily “put to death” to do list- but we do it in His power and not human strength.

One prime way idols can flourish is if we let our joy im the Lord burn down to embers and refuse to feed the fire with time in God’s presence enjoying him, time in His Word learning more from him and connectedness in prayer.

When we fail to cultivate a love for God we are more emotionally vulnerable to a spiritual affair with idols we create. Yet let us always seek to regularly be refreshed in his presence for

As Scripture says “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

That is where the power flows, a delight in God that overpowers cravings for sin and dominant fear. The Power to be bold in our witness also comes from closeness to Jesus! Otherwise we like Peter did deny we know him by keeping quiet for fear of being made fun of- Ever were in love with someone you were thrilled about and bragged to everyone over yet then they acted embarrased to be seem around their friends with you, at no fault of your own? Well does not feel good. And another case like that is those onry adolescents embarrassed to be seem with the parents who do not let them starve/ let us be faithful also to the Lord!

When Everyone Became A Prostitute

Throughout the OT prophets, God used analogies of an unfaithful spouse to symbolize a spiritual problem we all have, that is running to idols when God wants us to trust him, love him “Love the Lrd your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Yet when we turn away and make an idol of self, money, relationships or careers- we show we all at the core are not in those moments truly trusting God to meet our deepest needs but trusting our own devisings and hoping certain things will rescue us!

Israel had started to turn away from God who saved them and trusted their false gods to make them happy and save them. God used an literal relationship Hosea the prophet had with his wife Gomer to show the people, all of them what they were doing to Him.

Hosea was told to marry a promiscuous woman by the Lord and she ended up commiting adultery and got trapped in prostitution, had a child from another man but God had Hosea buy her back and said

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes. ” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.

Hosea 3:1-5

So it is true also with the Gospel. We cannot buy ourselves out but Jesus Christ payed the ransom for us and then when we turn to the Lord in humble repentence he saves us from our old ways and gives us a new lease on life to serve and love Him in response to his great love toward us!

Dating The Law, Or Engaged In The Spirit

Dating The Law Or Engaged In Spirit

Here is the modern equivical :

In modern lingo, I suppose we could say when God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt it was almost in modern terms, he asked her out and entered into a dating relationship where he gave her His expectations if he was to be her God and she his people. Yet, we know that even those who knew what God’s Law required and the expectations of her were, if He was to stay with her, often violated the terms.

He led the people through the wilderness and many did not make into into the Land he promised because they rebelled and grumbled in the wilderness and refused to believe him. So only a few entered and the children of those who died in the desert entered into the Promised Land now known as the nation of Israel. For hundreds od years after they were in their promised land they fell into cycles of sin, idol worship, they would repent for a season when God sent hardships and let their enemies oppress them till finally they totally went so deep into idolatry and adoption of the practices of the other nations, God basically said, “We need to see other people since you have been in loving on other gods.” And he allowed the Assyrians and Babylonians to conquer and capture them- taking them into Exile in a foreign land. Yet God had made a promise that after 70 years of captivity he would bring back a remnant still loyal to him and resettle them in their land, while there were some that decided to date the Babylonian’s instead who were eventually wiped out by the uprising Persian Empire. This fulfilled in a promise God made years before that He would punish the nation who had taken them captive. Finally the Jews were able to go back and rebuild and after the book of Malachi, there was a time of 400 years of silence, no prophets but just seemingly God vanished-

Before Exile God disclosed that a time would come where He would circumcise the hearts of the descendents. After 400 years of silence, Jesus enters the scene and lives among these Jews and performs miracles and wonders just like God did in the time of Moses yet even then many still remain unchanged. He selects the 12 disciples and they are the ones he walks with closest for 3 years and then his time comes and is crucified and rises again after 3 days.

Yet he tells his disciples the gift that the Father promised would come to them after he rises again and that is the Holy Spirit.

So what now happens is when Jew or non Jew turns in faith to Christ, the Messiah and promised deliverer, they are filled by God’s Spirit who puts His law on their hearts not just on stone tablets. To be saved by faith is like those who God once dated with a list of expected requirements, the Law of Moses, becoming now engaged to be “married”

This is a human analogy for a deeper spiritual truth taught throughout Scripture and in Ephesians 5 the Bible gives directions how a believing man must love his wife as Christ loves the Church- those truly sealed by the Spirit in faith. Yet God broke up with those who stayed in unbelief. Because for example- a man longs for a woman he loves to trust him- and if he be a man that is decent this is not too much to ask for. Yet a woman will find herself very hard pressed to love or follow the lead of any man she has little trust in or confidence he cares enough about her or has a clue what he is doing, Women do not feel safe to be vulnerable with a man they cannot trust and the nature of a woman seems to suggest that her feelings for a man she is with and trust for him are nearly impossible to separate from her trust in his character or word or love. Why do women get upset when us well intentioned men do not do what we say? I assume it is tied to trust in reliability. Why will a woman disconnect in her emotions if her view of a man is worth her distrust or solely her perception? Because it is a matter of her faith in who he is and his intentions toward her.

Yet God is not able to lie or guilty of sin, so to distrust God as human beings is a problem nit with God’s character but our view of him. Those who do not trust God in some harder matters even if they are saved have a misconception based on missing truth that they have not fully absorbed in their heart. So when Christ saves a sinner as we all are by nature he earns our full trust and loyalty by giving His all for us and as a Jewish man in a Jewish wedding used to pay as large of a aum as he could afford in ancient culture for a wife, so when Christ pays with all He has and all the love God could offer us with his own life, it is foolish to doubt His love. In Jewish culture the grooms parents pay for the wedding yet Christ brought all heavens treasures and poured them out through sacrificing himself!

Yet under the Law the heart is bound in sin and unbelief until our eyes are truly open to see the Gospel. That is God entering into human likeness out of his great love to sacrifice himself in the form of his own Son to win the love, loyalty and trust of those who should have trusted him all along but could not do to our weakened sinful nature.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

(Romans 8:1-8)

The Heavy Hand Of God, Plagues in the City and The Exile, The Restoration and Hope!

“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace. Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes, everyone will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace. ” A prophecy concerning the animals of the Negev: Through a land of hardship and distress, of lions and lionesses, of adders and darting snakes, the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’ backs, their treasures on the humps of camels, to that unprofitable nation, to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless. Therefore I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing. Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Isaiah 30:1-18 –

The people had been warned time and time by the prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah to turn from their ways and trust the Lord for their deliverance until finally God used even a sinful nation like Babylon to march out and defeat Israel, and God said they should surrender to the Babylonians because if they did it would go well with them, but if they did not, they would be forced to leave the city and surrender because he would afflict them with plagues and famine within the walls.

The Lord was angered by the ways of his people collectively from those prophesying false predictions of peace and prosperity when none of them wanted to do what God required to have that.

He was angered at the proud unrepentant attitudes of both men and women but in this passage we see that even the women were giving themselves over to corruption by seducing the people to sin and oppressing the poor. They were haughty as well and walked around in arrogance thinking they were untouchable and God would not do anything about it.

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. The Lord says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald. ” In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground.

(Isaiah 3:9-26 )

“Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own? You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live. “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives, therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord. ’”Ezekiel 13:17-23

Finally God’s time came to bring to pass his words that if these people, men and women, young and old alike, would not turn away from sinning and seek to do His will then he would bring the Babylonians against them. This he eventually did but he tried to dissuade them from their course time and time again through his messengers.

“The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.” But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath. I will strike down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague. After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’ “Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’ “Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says to you, house of David: “‘Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it. I am against you, Jerusalem, you who live above this valley on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord — you who say, “Who can come against us? Who can enter our refuge?” I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the Lord. I will kindle a fire in your forests that will consume everything around you.’” (Jeremiah 21:1-14 )

These people expected God to work a miraculous deliverance on their behalf yet had no desire to change their ways, for many a man or woman will call on God in distress yet like Pharaoh in the time of Moses, “When Pharoah saw there was relief from the plagues he hardened his heart”

The human heart is stubborn and so capable of being self deceived as the Word says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can understand it it? Who can cure it?”

Other passages show God used various nuisances that were listed in the Law as curses for disobedience, [See Deuteronomy 28]

“Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings — boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do,” declares the Sovereign Lord. “I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, destroying them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God.” He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth — the Lord God Almighty is his name.

Amos 4:4-13 –

These people did play religion and give to God bur neglected what he truly was after, obedience, faithfulness and the love of God.

Jesus quotes the prophets when he says, “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me, they honor me in vain with rules and teachings of men.” And so often people decide what God wants and then if what he truly wants is too hard then they try to throw lip service or religious acts at him. Yet as it is written, “We have become as those unclean, our acts of righteousness are as filthy rags.”

And in Hebrew this meant “Menstrual cloths” and to give God what we assume he wants while disobeying him we insult him more than honor him. In my personal life, when I am not obeying wholeheartedly even if I pray all day, something still does not sit right inside me!

These people who were captured by the Babylonians and lived in a land not their own for 70 years refused to heed God’s many warnings then fell under the heavy hand of God! Yet we all to can be this way unless we to submit daily to The Lord and seek to surrender our will’s to his greater plan- yet none of us has this power in our own self and from the perspective of someone who has learned the hard way many times I too have been in a place where my stubborness caused more pain than necessary!

“For God does speak —now one way, now another — though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword. “Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones, so that their body finds food repulsive and their soul loathes the choicest meal. Their flesh wastes away to nothing, and their bones, once hidden, now stick out. They draw near to the pit, and their life to the messengers of death. Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright, and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them — let their flesh be renewed like a child’s; let them be restored as in the days of their youth’ — then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being.”

Job 33:14-26 –

I am convinced God uses a variety of ways to still communicate, dreams and visions, circumstances, closed doors and even illness-

Sometimes God uses our own bodies as ways to warn us of bad health decisions we are making or in other cases may directly send illness to avert death that is the result of a sinful course we may stubbornly persist in and pain is the only thing that can get us to see our ways are not working!

In the early church of Corinth, a man in the assembly was engaged in immorality and was sleeping with his step mother. The believers there were in error and were not calling that man out and he was proud of what he had done, so when the Apostle Paul heard of this, he was outraged!

“For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:3-8 –

In Paul’s 2nd letter to this church he planted, we see the man did repent and feel sorrow over his wrong actions and was welcomed back in total forgiveness. Yet God will use circumstances and even allow people to grow sick as he did later in 1 Corinthians where there was abuse of the Lord’s Communion and people instead of seeing what it symbolized got drunk and were disruptive and irreverent, As a result Paul said many are “sick and have fallen asleep as a result” meaning God allowed them to die, and he said, “When we are disciplined of the Lord, he does so that we may not be condemned with the world.”

In the time of Jeremiah and Isaiah we see the same concept, God’s chosen people became steeped in idol worship and oppression of each other, they were violent and deceptive and flatterer each other for personal advantage and with pretense made a show of being good neighbors but secretly plotted against one another.

“Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. “They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me,” declares the Lord. “Beware of your friends; do not trust anyone in your clan. For every one of them is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning. You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors, but in their hearts they set traps for them. Should I not punish them for this?” declares the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?” I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands. They are desolate and untraveled, and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds have all fled and the animals are gone. “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; and I will lay waste the towns of Judah so no one can live there.” Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross? The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids. The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How ruined we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins.’” Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord; open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament. Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has removed the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares. Say, “This is what the Lord declares: “‘Dead bodies will lie like dung on the open field, like cut grain behind the reaper, with no one to gather them.’” This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord . “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh — Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart. ”

Jeremiah 9:1-26 –

God longed to be good to his people but would not bless them in their ways! He sent prophets to warn them and also they prophesied a day where God himself would “Circumcise the hearts of your descendents” back in Deuteronomy.

“If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the Lord. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ then the nations will invoke blessings by him and in him they will boast. ” This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it. (Jeremiah 4:1-4)

What is this? Our hearts from the day of birth are self centered and given to sin, yet God made the way that the Law of Moses could not- the Law says,

“Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Deuteronomy 27:26 –

For example

“‘Do not steal. “‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another. “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord. “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight. “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord. “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt. “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:11-18 –

Yet in our day most do not live consistently in these ways. We have people lie all the time and deceive, and our culture too takes advantage of those it can. When we by nature if one is like me, it is easy to hold a grudge if indeed I let anger go unaddressed in my heart but we see God is interested not only in our actions but motives and attitude of our hearts also! Otherwise malice concealed would not declare us guilty or a haughty estimation would not condemn us of sin.

So if God sets such high standards yet knows we are so given to do the opposite as a result of our inherited sinful dispositions, he created the way to for once and all forgive our sin and renew the attitude of our heart by putting His Spirit in us who have believed in Christ’s work to die for our sins and then by God’s very own power resurrect from the dead, this is God’s means receive by faith that cleanses our inward falleness and covers all our outward sins. Because promises in Scripture that he will “Write my laws on their hearts” yet when someone believes the Gospel and truly receives it as God’s greatest rescue plan to save a race condemned to die by nature and inclination, this should create a overflow of great gratitude that God in his mercy makes a way for us to be totally forgiven and He empowers us to live different, not sinless and perfect but faithful. “Through love and faithfulness sin are atoned for” Proverbs says, and “This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John says, And when a person truly realizes how badly they owe God yet he pays a debt they could not, for a true convert of faith that is one facet that makes our hearts inclined to love God and faithfully follow. Jesus also promised the Holy Spirit to those who have believed, God’s power and Spirit working in them to strengthen them to make it possible to no longer live only for sin and self but for God!

Yet God makes the first move toward us, he came taking on human frailty and transcended to the level of those he came to save, born in poverty and willingly rejected by those he spoke his message to, suffered from temptation that comes on human beings without yielding in sin so he may experientially taste what human beings go through yet he overcame! For God who is totally removed from sin, entered into human skin to know from an experiential degree what temptation felt like!

So when we too understand the length God gave himself up we should if this truly sinks in be moved to no longer want to live for sin but the one who bore our weight of guilt and sin. As a kind king who under no obligation came down to the level of his subjects and peasants because in his royal authority and splendor he still valued those lives of his subjects- to the extent he leaves his palace and riches to sojourn to live among the ranks of common man.

Real repentance requires more then simple sorry and no change but the actual turning from sin that starts in the heart and then moves us to turn to the Lord acknowledging we were wrong and need to live different. Sorrow over sin itself is not enough but can only result in guilt, shame, despair or denial. People who know they are sinners often times may sit and a soak in guilt like a man who pukes from a hangover- if that man says “I did not puke on myself and crap my drawers” he is in denial when everyone else knows he smells. If he says, “Woe is me because I am a puky and poop stained individual, woe, woe, woe is me!” Then he still stinks and his problems not fixed- yet if he decides to take off the old clothes, shower, put on the new, then he is clean! So in the Just Judgement of God- we smell, and we finally get tired of our sins and then we turn to Christ, he washes them away as “Far as the east is from the west” and yet by God’s enablement we all must choose daily to put on new clothes of “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control” and “Clothe yourselves with compassion and humility since you have taken off the old self and its practices”

When a Christian even chooses to put on those old clothes, he or she won’t feel too good inside and others will smell the stench!

Using Jesus’s Name In Vain

There are many ways people use the Lord’s name in vain, some use it as a curse word and others live in a way that deny they know Christ at all even though they call themselves Christians, but others do the third:

Some people use the name of Jesus as a magic word. Yet if they do not personally follow Jesus or have faith in him, they also do not personally have the power of Jesus living in them by faith. They are not realizing it that saying that name without knowing him personally is as silly as an unarmed civilian who plays policeman and tries to arrest a drug dealer- without having powers vested in him by the state.

Police have authority and firepower, and yes even then they must follow the laws. A Christ follower should let themselves be fully governed by the Law of Christ and the Word of God. To act carelessly with the forces of darkness is yes indeed as silly as a vigilante civilian trying to fight criminals when all he has on is a Spiderman outfit.