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Saturday, October 7, 2017

MORALITY - THE DYING STANDARD




It's no secret that as time progresses, people lose their morals a little bit more.  What was once taught to us by our parents, their parents and backtracking all the way to the beginning of time, there is a standard by which morality is lived.  I'm not even sure if today's generation knows what the true meaning of morality is.

As generations move farther and farther away from the time of Jesus' earthly life and teachings our world gets worse and worse.  Senseless killings, personal attacks, and sheer hatred dominate our world today.  This is not to say that evil has existed throughout history, but the Bible is in place for a reason.  Never has any manuscript or book ever written lived and remains relevant as the Bible has.  To this day, the Bible remains to be the top best selling book.  

After Jesus died, the Word has always been protected.  People gave up their lives to keep this book going and handed down from generation to generation.

But why is the Bible so timeless?  Need I really answer this question for you?  It is because every word between the pages of the Bible is God's Word.  The most powerful Lord will always protect the Bible so no one can ever give an excuse at the end of their life to say that it had never been available to them.  There is no reasoning or negotiating with God when we meet Him face to face.

People will dismiss the Bible as just written and made up by the writers.  To that I ask, have you ever had an event so noteworthy that compelled you to write it down in order to remember the details of such important event?  Exactly!  People who were touched by the grace of God, the honor of meeting Jesus Christ face to face and being able to walk with Him during His time here on earth, cannot help themselves to write about it.  Shame on those who dismiss the Bible, God's Word as fiction. 

The Apostle Paul's main purpose in writing his Bible contribution is to remind us of the godhead of Christ and His sacrificing His own life for sin.  If man moves Jesus out of His position in the Holy Trinity, all hope for salvation is lost.  We must not pray to anyone living or dead.  Christ alone is sufficient to save us.   Paul says let the Word of Christ live in us richly in all wisdom because when His Word (the Bible) lives in us, our deeds will surely please the Lord.

It may be hard to understand but let me tell you, as sure as I am standing here, I can attest to the fact that if we know, learn, study the Word of God, our actions will become a testimony for others.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

 

Friday, September 29, 2017

THE WAY BACK TO GOD




Even as a Christian, there are seasons where I feel so detached from God.  No longer do I feel the burning of His presence in my heart when I pray, or my heart becomes nonchalant to things that would otherwise touch it so it brings tears of joy, compassion and love to my eyes.  In other words, I feel sometimes so alone unless I feel God's constant presence tightly wrapped around me.

King David's situation, when he wrote the Book of Psalms becomes my cornerstone when it comes to these types of seasons for me.  King David knew God intimately and God favored him during his reign as king.  But there was one particular season where David became complacent in his walk with God.  As a result, David fell into the sin of idleness.  As we all know, idleness is the devil's workshop.  While David's military was out fighting wars, David was at home doing absolutely nothing.  He was coasting in his faith thinking grace will continue to come and taking God for granted assuming the blessings of the Lord will continue.

David falls deeper from the sin of idleness to the sin of carelessness.  One day as he was walking out of his balcony, he notices a woman bathing and she was a vision to watch.  His flesh took over and now he was inquiring about her.  He fell into the trap and now he wants her.  He succumb into the sin of adultery.  David.  The one who God favored, the one next to God's heart.  David.

David's sin snowballs into the sin of callousness.  He finds out that the woman whom he was committing adultery with was married to Uriah who was his right hand military man.  Uriah trusted David.  He gave his life to David, so much so that when David was ridden with guilt after finding out Bathsheba was pregnant with his baby, called for Uriah to come back from battle to sleep with his wife so he could hide the offspring of his sin.  Even so, Uriah's dedication to David barred him from sleeping with his wife while the battle out there was hot.  Oh uh.  What to do?  So David sends Uriah back to the hottest part of the battle and sure enough, he gets killed.  It was all in David's plan to hide his sin of adultery resulting into the callousness of murder.   What is sadder is that David's pride became more important to him than Uriah's life.  While adultery is a hot-blooded sin, murder was a cold-blooded sin.  He plotted the death of a devoted servant who was willing to die for David's honor, died before David's hand.

David was saved.  But now you ask, can a saved man do this?  The answer is certainly!  But what sin can do to a saved person under the heavy hand of God that you know that you know that if you don't get right with God you're going to die soon (aka Conviction).  The consequences of unforgiven sin goes on and on.  

It took David about a year to confess his sin.  He covered his sin as if God will forget what he had done.  It is better for a saved one to confess his or her sin immediately and cleansed so that it doesn't fester or infect as quickly as it will.  Confess your sins and obtain mercy from God immediately.  

David talks about his secret sin in Psalms 32: 3-4.  He told of his aging body that in one year, he looked like he aged 10 years.  There is nothing that will prematurely age a Christian like unconfessed sin in his heart and in his mind.  When God saves us, He doesn't fix you up that you cannot sin anymore, he fixes you so you cannot enjoy your sins anymore. 

David felt God's heavy hand upon his heart as if God was squeezing the life out of him day and night, constantly.  He felt shriveled and dry.  Now it is a struggle for him to pray, to praise or to witness.  He felt no joy, no victory or peace in his life.

I feel the same way when I cross God.  I feel Him far away, I'm unable to pray, praise or witness with an open heart.  But once I've confessed my sin to Him head-on, I feel closer to Jesus than any member of my family.

Most of the time we cover up our sins in various ways.  We rationalize it.  God doesn't accept alibis as an excuse for sin.  He is omnipresent so He knows everything.  He knows it before you do it.  

Another way to cover up sin is to stay busy.  Staying busy will mute God's voice in your heart.  We also fall into hypocrisy.  Nothing to see here, nothing is wrong, let's sweep everything under the rug and forget it.  

Sidetrack:  Moses when he was full of the Spirit of God walked around with his face shining so brightly that he had to wear a veil over his face so as not to blind anyone.  It was the result of Moses' fellowship with God being with God up in the mountain for 40 days, his face became radiant.   After being away from God, the glow started to fade and he had to wear a veil of steel so that the Israelites won't see that the glow was gone.

When we hide our sin, the next step is that God will convict us.  When we are convicted, it is imperative that we confess our sins right away, directly to God, forsake the sin and immediately be forgiven.  If we don't, God will chastise us. 

Chastisement comes in different forms.  It could take the form of an illness, sorrow, death, loss of money, health, or unanswered prayers.  He does it not because He doesn't love us, on the contrary, its because He does.  


God is more interested in your obedience than you driving a nice car, He is more interested in our relationship with Him than our health.  This is what getting right with God really means.


If any of the above factors still bars you from getting right with God, he moves on to challenge you.

He did it to David.  2 Samuel 12 -He sent Nathan to point blank in David's face tell him that God sent him to challenge him about his sin.  Nathan expected David to deny it.  Instead, David admitted it openly that he sinned against God!  David knew that this man was sent by God!  Despite David's once close relationship to God, he is now challenged.  If David denied his sin at that point, he would've surely died because God's next step would have been condemnation.  Sin unto death 1John:5:16.

After Nathan left, David wrote Psalm 51.  He knew God's heart.  He had confidence that no matter what he had done, God still loved him.  After confessing his sin and being forgiven, he received God's cleansing.  He was once again saved, restored and used by God to further His kingdom.

So in conclusion, we have to be confident that even after we sin (which we will always do) we have to know that God loves us enough that if we confess our sins, get right with God, get forgiven, He will never forsake us.  Why?  For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ so we may live in eternal life with Him.  Eternal... that is a very very very very long time.  Selah! (Think about it!)!


Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOHTER!


 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

REJECTED BY HIS OWN FATHER FOR US




Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.”
Isaiah 53:1-12 NLT

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Why?? SUFFERING IS NOT BROUGHT ON BY GOD


 When a loved one is struck with a tragic illness or even death, God is sometimes blamed.  I do not understand the logic in that and perhaps neither does the blamer.  It's easy to blame God because they think that the devil is some kind of cartoon character with red skin, horns and a pitchfork.  That is exactly what he wants all of us to think, that he is not real.  But the fact is, he is very real.  Although he didn't start out as an ugly character.  It is written in the Bible that before he became satan, he was lucifer, God's beautiful angel.  It is the fact that he thought he could be God that led to his downfall.

We all start out innocent, beautiful and pure. As time goes on and in becoming aware, slowly satan sets his eyes on us.  All of us.  he wants to gather up all the souls that he can in order to defeat God.  his biggest problem is that God has already marked his fate.  he is on the losing side.  People who turn away from God and turn towards the dark side intentionally choose the losing side.  These are the same ones who blame God for tragedies in their lives.

If they only knew what God can really do for them if they are on His side they may change their minds.  But satan will always be there to throw a wrench in those human decisions.  Know your side, pick God, He will bring joy, comfort and insurance for your eternal life of happiness.  Not just in the next life but in this life, most importantly.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

DECIDING TO BE POSITIVE




Never have I ever seen worldly chaos such as we are experiencing today.  Whether or not one person has caused people to have ideas and been convinced that they have somehow been short-changed, the world that we live in right now is badly in need of a heavenly intervention.

I've often wondered why before the time of Jesus, people, especially the chosen ones, the Israelites have been severely punished by God when they disobey or sin against Him.  For sure, our All-Knowing God has forseen our time today.  Why then hasn't He punished the people today who blatantly turn away from Him, have no regard for another human life, making them expendable?  When will He look at this dirty world and say, Enough already!?

Having been alive all these years, I can't even begin to explain how my youthful days' breaking news pale in comparison to the daily evil we currently experience.  As much as I want to see God smite evil people causing evil deeds, it really is up to Him to say, enough is enough!  I trust in His plans, whatever they may be.  But in my simple little human understanding, I believe that if there is ever a time to swing that ax, it is today.  Right now!  But I'm not God, and I can't even begin to comprehend the greatness of His plans.  All my minute understanding can come up with is that He is giving us time to come back to Him.  The faster that happens, the quicker Jesus comes back.  

As for now, I choose to be positive.  If I catch myself becoming negative, I would follow it up with positivity.  For now, that's all one can really do.  Are you with me?

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

ALL IN




When we decide to turn back to Christ and follow Him, the enemy is most present to block it every which way to make the transition unsuccessful.  he attacks our most vulnerable human characteristic... sinfulness.  he uses our weaknesses against us, guilts us into submission to our comfort zone and that is continuing to sin.

That is why it is very difficult for a lay person to turn against their sinful ways simply due to the uncomfortable effort to fight their sinful ways daily.  Some even backslide and never return to God.  satan will plea bargain, then intimidate, then convinces us to sit on the fence.  he knows that once we really know God and become obedient to Him, the grace and blessings will flow effortlessly into our lives and our lives will be so fulfilled that it becomes easier and easier to avoid sin at all costs.  Of course we are not perfect like Jesus, and we will falter every now and then.  God knows that and He will always give us a mulligan as long as we come back to Him and get back on track.  

With God, there is no middle ground.  Either you are with Him or against Him.  That is it.  Only a fool accepts the premise of the enemy.  If we are ever to really be free, we must sell out to Christ completely.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

IT AIN'T NO FAIRYTALE




If people who doubt the authenticity of the Bible only did their research, they will find the complicated and meticulous process in which the Word of God ended up in our hands today.

Some of the oldest manuscripts of the Bible are locked up in a St. Petersburg, Russia library.  Meticulous care was exercised that the translation was met with accuracy.  Several translators are involved and the procedure designed to avoid addition or subtraction from the original manuscripts.  It is imperative and critical that careful measures were taken, after all, God exalts His word above His own name as the fulfillment of that Word was His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

This fact must not be taken lightly.  Our lives must revolve around God's Word, to be as important as our very own lives.  The Bible was not words from just laymen.  It is a living, breathing, Holy presence designed to guide our lives as ordained by God.  The Bible IS God.  It is our tangible and direct connection with God.  The Bible is not man's view of God, instead it is God speaking to us.  We must treat it with our utmost reverence.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!