At this particular time in our world we are under siege by an invisible, minuscule yet powerful opponent. Hitching a ride through unsuspecting carriers, this enemy has swiftly yet stealthily, attacked nation after nation with no regard to race, culture, creed, dialect, language, religion, age, sex, sexual tendency, royalty, pauper, rich, middle class, poor, famous or barely known, political party affiliation, believer or atheist, doctor or patient. Its main mission is to affect, effect and infect. And we must admit it is doing its job. A lot of people have proposed this epidemic is coming from God, bringing judgment upon the earth and going after the “gods” we have erected in our different societies. I, personally, do not ascribe to that theory as it is not Biblically supported. I personally would not want to be the one to point at Him and say to both the “believing” and unbelieving” world He did it! Does He allow things to happen, yes… possibly. For example, when teaching babies to walk, we allow them to fall, but we do not during this process push them and make them fall. Yet when we allow them to fall we also allow them to understand the lesson of getting back up.
One of the situations we have today, not only affecting and infecting the United States but also across the world is the remembrance of history. The remembrance of how we got to the point of where we are. We have lost sight of connection and human brotherhood. Yes, our past has many injustices and atrocities that cannot be ignored, but when we choose to learn from them, we can garner added benefits.
Exodus chapter 1 gives us an example of how this ignorance of history can lead to the downfall of a nation. Exodus 1:6-8 speaks of the death of Joseph, of his brother and their generation. It speaks of the fruitfulness of the children of Israel and the prosperity of the Egyptian nation but there is a problem. The passage states that a “new king” arose which knew not Joseph. Joseph’s name means “Jehovah was added”. In other words increase, exceeding and continued abundance was added just because of the presence of Joseph. The reason that the nations of Egypt prospered was because of the children of Israel who lived and operated under the covering of Joseph. Yet all the “new king” of Egypt could see was a growing immigrant culture of people who were infiltrating his land while completely ignoring the benefits and fruitfulness that they were producing not only for themselves but the nation of Egypt as a whole. The unlearned “new king” instilled into the nation of Egypt a mindset of being overran by the “immigrant” enemy. The “new king” knew not Joseph. He did not know that Jehovah adds. Don’t forget to remember where all your blessings come from. How is it that the “new king” knew not Joseph? How do you not know your history. When the “new king” issued edicts to undercut and enslave the very people that contributed to the success of the nation, things began to falter. Where were the “new king’s” advisors? Were they also ignorant of Joseph? We sometimes tend to believe that new is better so we ignore the wisdom, the taste, the aroma of that which has been aged by time. When you as “new king”, fail to see the hand of God on your nation and how He through His own sovereignty is blessing you, you then begin to negate and forget Joseph. Soon you drift into a state of tribalism. It becomes an us against them, even within the same community. We forget it was the “us” along with “them which was added” that made the nation great, prosperous and fruitful.
Understand, in the seven Jehovah titles there is not one that illustrates that He brings division. It is the nature of Satan to bring the opposite of what the Father desires. Always with the addition of Jehovah connotation there is peace. The Father delights in adding, that it might be even more fruitful. Herbs, spices and salts adds to the flavor of the original food . How is it that we miss that concept in community, governance and yes even ministry? Wake up world. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Across the globe division seems to be the preeminent call for today. The word diversity does not mean division, it means variety, assortment, mixture, range and multiplicity. The nation is strengthen when we remember Joseph, Jehovah was added. Jesus prays to the Father in John 17 His desire for us to be a s one even as He and the Father are one. If the message is division and “us against them” then we have failed to remember Joseph. Don’t forget to remember…
“But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)
Attacked, stripped, beaten and thrown in the INNER prison; in stocks; bruised and bleeding; in pain and extreme discomfort, surrounded by the very worst criminals, in the worst of places. What does one do? Pray and sing praises to God, of course!
Well, ok, perhaps not for most of us, but these two men had a different mindset. They were more interested in pleasing God than men, more interested in Kingdom principles then social edicts and perils. God had given them great boldness and confidence even in that horrendous, I do not want to be here, God how could you allow this to happen to me, place.
I have not written to my blog in a couple of months. I have just been sitting, listening and thinking on the events that are taking place in our world today. From the circus act we now call politics, police actions, humankind on humankind criminality and greed, acts of terrorisms, we as a people across the globe are in a time of midnight. In the natural, midnight is the starkest period of gloom and darkness and it is made to appear that the sun has gone away. However, the real truth is the earth has turn away from the sun. Whether you realize it or not, darkness, extreme intense gloom is covering our world today and it is made to appear that the Son has gone away. However, the real truth is the world has turn away from the Son. Not only are we in a dark time but also we have been thrown into a dark place, prison. Not just prison but an inner prison. What is an inner prison?
Inner prisons in the days of Paul were not pleasant or healthy. In the mind of the people, prison was equal to death, despair, sickness of mind and body, and humiliation. They did not have TVs and cable. They did not have commissaries and work out areas. They did not even have windows. It was devoid of light. There was no natural light at all. Sometimes we find our lives can be that way. Naturally we cannot see a light at the end of our proverbial prison tunnel. We struggle to bring a light of solution to our place of darkness and entrapment. Prisons, in the time of Paul had no air conditioners or heaters. The minimal comfort needed for sleep, were nonexistent. The floor was their mattress.
But far worse was the psychological and spiritual impact of total darkness on the prisoners. Some prisoners chose to commit suicide. They purposely decided to QUIT where they were. They purposely sabotaged their own life… BUT it still did not get them out of their situation. You know what I am talking about. God did not come through like YOU wanted Him to so now you do not believe in Him. Now you quit serving Him and going and BEING the church. You refuse to pray and bow the knees of your heart to Him because He failed you in your darkness. Spiritual suicide but you are still in locked up in your situation, dead. In Paul’s time dead bodies could lay in the inner prison for weeks at a time.
The bleeding, suffering apostles uttering their prayers and singing the praises of God must have amazed the other prisoners.
They sung hymns to God at midnight. In there location they could not be aware of time so the fact of it being midnight to them did not matter. They chose to BLESS the Lord at ALL times, in ALL times, through ALL times so the time of the times did not matter. It was not just midnight for Paul and Silas. It was midnight for everyone. It was midnight, not merely in that inner prison, but throughout the Roman Empire outside of prison, also. It was a midnight of morals, humanity, justice, forgiveness, kindness and TRUE love as well.
We are living in a time of midnight and the whole world knows. What song are you singing? And how are you singing it? How convinced of you of your own song? You can sing the right words but not be convinced of those same words! You sing “I Trust in God”, but do you? You sing “Great Are You Lord”, but are you convinced? You sing “You’re a Good Good Father”, but do that come with favorable conditions? You sing about loving Christ and Him loving you and wanting more of Him, but are you loving others with the same passion He possessed and displayed. Yeah you know, I am talking about that, “Father forgive them cause they know not what they do”, type of love.
Imagine the impact of the things heard in prayer and hymns on the jailer and the other prisoners. It was a far cry from the wails, threats and curses usually heard in such places. The message, the song, had its effect on the listeners, it always does. The kind of effect depends on each individual heart, but there will be an effect. What is the “world” hearing from you?
What is your song? “Nobody knows the trouble I see?” “Take this job and shove it?” “We can’t go on?” “Crash and Burn?” “Let’s Build a Wall, ten feet tall?
We understand the main objective of chains is to restrict mobility and prevent escape. Chains were made of rough iron that would eventually rust with the perspiration of the prisoners, causing infectious pain, saying nothing of the weight of the chains. Finally, chains were noisy, and that clanking noise of chains prevented even less sleep for the prisoners. Paul and Silas’s chains become apart of their song and provide accompaniment like a rhythm section, tambourines.
Every link became a part of their praise. The link of failure, PRAISE, link of pain, PRAISE, the link of plenty and the link of lack PRAISE. The Link of bad choices PRAISE, the link of right choices, PRAISE. Everything that is weighing heavily on my mind and causing me to lose rest and peace and feel fearful and powerless will be an accessory to my song.
I am certain that Paul and Silas didn’t feel in their natural man like praying and singing praises unto God. They were going directly against all their natural feelings and deliberately exercising their will to enter into praise.
Notice this final point, the prisoners heard Paul and Silas praying and singing praises unto God. This explains why none of the prisoners escaped when the earthquake came and their prison cells were opened. They had apparently been so moved by Paul and Silas’ demonstration of faith in God to such a degree that they recognized the earthquake as an intervention of God and followed Paul and Silas’ leading in not fleeing the prison. What a song, what a message they must have delivered in that “midnight” hour.
Paul and Silas had the audacity to forgive, before they were asked, to trust where they could not see and sing a song that shook the world.
It’s midnight… what are you doing? What song are you singing?
Real love is a mystery to most people. Most people never realize the true potential or value of love. It is usually very poorly defined. There is a great deal of confusion and cross-referencing of the terms LOVE, ROMANCE, INFATUATION, AFFECTION, TENDERNESS and so forth.
Love may include romance, infatuation, affection and tenderness. But even if those elements are not present, it could still be love.
How? Love can come in many ways, facets and or degrees.
But love requires one aspect… giving. Love requires the giving of one’s self to another. It involves an element of self-depletion, self-exhaustion. Love also may involve RISK. Love is empathic. It puts itself in someone else’s shoes. Love seeks to understand another’s perspective yet love is bold and honest and truthful. Love cares. It does not pre-judge. It does not pass sentences. Love does not jump to conclusions. Love does not throw down ultimatums. Love does not declare war on its object. Love is tender, it is kind, and love is forgiving.
Love is tuning into another’s sensitivities. Love sense’s another’s strengths and weaknesses. It uses the other person’s measuring stick. It suffers and rejoices on another’s terms.
Love seeks rapport and connection. It seeks to bond in every facet of being. It seeks to relate emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Love sacrifices personal whims if they are incompatible with the one who is loved. Love abandons pursuits that hurt the one who is loved. Love will do without. Love bends. Love stretches. Love must sometimes keep silent, while screaming inside. Love is a desire that someone will fare better than yourself. It is the willingness to spend all that you are for the well being of another. Love will pay a debt the other cannot pay. It will bail them out for the sake of survival. Love wants the other to survive even if it means death to oneself. Love will die so someone else can live. Love is color blind, it does not deem one nation, culture, country or race over another. Love seeks o satisfy those who would partake of it.
SO JOHN SAYS SOMETHING SIMPLE YET PROFOUND…
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
God so loved the world that He “gave.” This is the secret of love, to give, to share, that others may benefit. Jesus Christ, the begotten Son was given to the world for all and to all.
God delivered His love through the Son. It wasn’t enough for God to speak from Heaven and say, “I love you, world.” God showed His love through His action. His Son dying on the cross for our sins saw the apex of God’s love. In fact, God IS love.
When Christ walked our world He shared His love by opening the eyes of the blind, healed lepers, caused the dumb to talk, and raised the dead. He gave power to His disciples over all the forces of the devil. Christ gave us an example that we ought to love one another. He set the example of how we are to be in this world. How far it seems we have strayed from the foundation He laid. As Christ loved us, we are to love one another.
We are called to be disciples. We are not disciples of Christ by building a huge church and having a huge membership that do not exemplify the love of Christ. We are not disciples of Christ by giving large sums of money. The cattle on a thousand hills are His and even the thousand hills are His. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Believe me He is not impressed by our stuff.
We are not disciples of Christ by outward appearance. We are disciples of Christ if we LOVE one another.
The O’Jays had a song back in the day, perhaps you heard of it. It says, “People all over the world, join hands, start a love train, a love train. ISIS is tweeting and propagating hate, murder and mayhem. How much more should we use the same venue and proclaim LOVE is King. PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD… let YOUR love reign and rain down on this dry and thirsty world desperately in need of its benefits.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
These three words have impacted me so much …“BUT IF NOT”! These three young men went from being praisers on that day to being TRUE worshippers! They basically said… “we know that God CAN do it, but even if he chooses not to do it we will still worship HIM! We know that God can keep us safe, but even if He doesn’t and allow calamity to come upon us, it doesn’t change the way we feel about Him!! Help us Lord to say “BUT IF NOT!”
God’s people go through some hard rough and trying times, but if they can stay true to God, and learned how to worship in the hard times, eventually God brings them through and blessed them more mightily than ever before! You might be in the furnace now, but learn how to worship! You might be stripped down to nothing now, but learn how to worship! You might have lost everything, but learn how to worship, God’s not thru yet! Unfortunately, we often seek what God can do for us, and neglect having an intimate relationship with Him. We want the blessing of God, and fail to come union with Him. We are adept in praise, but we never really worship.
Can we as the church truly worship God even when HE it appears that He is not blessing? Can we yet worship when it appears that He is taking things from us? When we are seemingly being attacked on every side, emotionally, spiritually and physically?
My heart is heavy as I think of the horrific event that took place in Charleston, South Carolina a few days ago. Yet to hear the words of forgiveness spoken by the families affected embolden me even more to operate in the love of Christ. Can you hear him from the cross saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. They have chosen not to serve the king of this world that says hate, demand and seek revenge. But instead they released their grip on anger and embraced their arms around unexplainable love.
True worshippers are shown at this time. It is much more than lip service and even church actions. Yeah I know we volunteer to clean up the church building and serve in the different ministries, but that is not worship. That is works and in the realm of His Kingdom Jesus says that worshippers are wanted and preferred not workers.
Let me end with this… the world will know us by our love, not our religious sayings, not our righteous indignation, not our Bible thumping or our condemning others. Until we can love our enemies and pray for them who despitefully knowingly use us, they will not see Christ. They will see Christians. Mahatma Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I understand and agree with what he was saying. My prayer and desire is to be a follower of Christ so that He may be seen even in the “but if not” times. If He does not heal me, if he does not let me work where I desire, make the money I should rightfully make, or if I do not get the girl or the guy or the house I desire, I choose to worship Him. If I am never known or recognize outside of my small circle I will worship Him. Understand this, He can deliver us oh king…BUT IF NOT……
I Samuel 1:11
Verse 11 – And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
Mom, you’ve got a tough job regardless of the role you play in society. It’s a tough world…difficult society…and a harsh reality that we face today. Everything is against the home and motherhood. Today’s mother does not face the normal situations that mother’s of previous day’s faced.
Today you face drugs, alcohol, sexual diseases, crime, violence, divorce, and abuse. Today you have to guard your children from everything harmful and these are things that your grandmother did not have to face.
There are struggles in the home that have never been seen before. There are disciplines in the home that never have been observed. There are pressures in the home that have never been placed there before. So to say a mother’s job is difficult is to say much. Yes and sometimes you have to face down your child with the WHOLE world watching as in the case of the Baltimore mother a few weeks ago. LOVED IT!!
Even though it is difficult how do you succeed in accomplishing the daunting task of motherhood? Through this snapshot of Hannah’s prayer, we are being shown a blueprint for success.
You might be saying I am not a mother or I am not trying to have another child, or I’m a man, or I am not married, or I’m too old, or I’m too young so how is this blog relevant to me?
You see the real truth of this text is not about having a child per say. But the real truth of this text is about the desire to birth something, to be productive, to produce life and all of us whether male or female, young or old, single or married should have a desire in the inner core of our belly, the city our soul, to be PRODUCE.
If we are part of the body of Christ and the body of Christ is the bride, then the very nature of the role as bride indicates that we be female. If that be true, then the very nature of being female says we have a womb, which then has the potential to nurture and produce life. We as the church, the bride of Christ, SHOULD desire to PRODUCE!!!
You must have a Desire.
What about you? Is something stirring inside of you to propagate, or increase? Is there something growing and moving in your belly or are you satisfied with earthy things? Hannah went to the temple yearly, when allowed.
She was at church every time the doors opened. She was on the usher board, sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and baked pies and cakes for the bake sell, BUT she was not producing. INSIDE she was empty and the things that her man was giving her just wasn’t enough anymore. Inside, she had a desire. Do you have a desire that earthy things can’t satisfy?
You Must Pray.
In verse number 10, we see her praying and weeping before the Lord.
The desire in Hannah became more than an “I wish”, it became so strong that it became something she has to verbalize. And she takes it not to her husband, not to the priest, not to her girlfriend or to the pastor but she goes to the one that can open up her closed womb,
We have a desire to produce, and we want to be productive. We recognize that earthly religious things just are not fulfilling and life producing BUT ARE WE PRAYING? Are we not seeking Him? Who else can fill this void, this empty womb within us? We have tired many earthy things but all it was a feel good, that still left us empty. You must pray and seek HIS face! NOT ONLY PRAY BUT SEEK TO BE IN HIS PRESENCE. It was not enough for Hannah to pray at home, she came to the temple where the presence of God was. There is a place where we need to be, this place where we know God hovers. She did not have a “God come see about me” attitude, but she sought Him. Verse 15 says she poured out her soul before the Lord. Hannah, her name means Grace, is pouring out before the FACE of GOD.
You Must Commit.
Verse 11 Hannah… made a vow. Hannah is not only making a vow, a commitment, but she is being very specific about it. Before we are ready to receive many of God’s blessings, we must commit them to Him.
To all mothers WORLD WIDE, even if your country does not celebrate this day.. I wish you a Happy Mother’s day and thank you for all you do.
Whom do men say that I am…no wait… whom do YOU say that I am?
Mt 16:13 “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” The original Greek is more specific, and means, “Who do the common people say that I am”? He does not ask for the opinion of the religious people, but of the everyday people.
Of course, there was a reply to that question. “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah (a strong man, a great prophet) and others say Jeremiah (someone who lifted himself up, or an appointed prophet) or one of the other prophets.” Curiously though all of these responses from the common people still reduced Jesus to being just a man. There is nothing really special about Him, in their mind, when you come to the finality of their response. Yes, He is strong, exalted an appointed prophet, like Jeremiah and Elijah, but there was already a Elijah and Jeremiah so they saw Him being in the same category. Their opinion cannot be faulted, that is the conclusion they came to because of the lack of relationship and closeness. He is a good man, He is a prophet who is a good speaker and seems to have a good heart. Some one who came from impoverished beginnings and lifted Himself to some notoriety in society. What other answer could He expected. I am one who is imaginary in my thoughts so hang with me. I imagine Jesus saying with a smile saying, “that’s cool, but tell me guys, since you have been with me for about three years, whom do YOU say that I am”.
I can see the disciple’s faces now as they hear His question. Can you see John, the youngest follower, slightly turning his head to Thomas saying “oh snap, dude…say something”. Thomas might have responded “no man, you answer Him, beside you, Peter and James are always taking those side trips with Him. If anyone should answer it should be one of you three”. John’s head, I imagine, is spinning to give an answer to Jesus’s question, but then John hears Simon (Peter) answering, and I am sure a sigh of relief came upon him. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. What? What did you say Simon? I can see the other disciples whispering to each other, “did you hear that?” What hat did he pull that rabbit from?” I can see them looking at Jesus, then looking at Peter, then looking back at Jesus, waiting for a response to that blasphemes answer. OMG, Jesus is getting out of His seat and walking towards Simon Peter, it is about to get interesting now. “Matthew leans towards Andrew and says “See that is why I was not going to say anything”.
They watch as Jesus slowly approach Simon and (in my imagination) put His hands on Simon’s shoulders and says “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And upon that solid truth, that rock I will build my church…” Not upon you Peter, but upon the Truth you uttered without really understanding what you just said.
Ok, that is when I, Douglas, asked the Father what are you talking about? This is what He said to my spirit. “The Father, through His Holy Spirit will INSTILL the truth to you, but it is your life’s walks that REVEAL the Truth of what you proclaim.” Ok… explain. He then said many have accepted me as their Lord and Savior… They “say” I am the Christ, the Son of the living God and I AM, know that. But what do their life choices; decisions, motives, words, and attitude say about who I AM. It is in hard times, under pressure in the work place, in finances, in relationships, in their society where they reveal their embracing of that truth. Look at Peter after that spot on answer, he soon followed up by denying me 3 times. He lied, he cursed, reneged and recanted the instilled Truth. That is why I built my church on the TRUTH of the revelation not the one who uttered the revelation.
Today, many who have the instilled truth of Jesus, when asked the question of whom do you say that I am, are strangely answering, You are prejudice, You are heavy on homophobia but not overly concerned about lying, adultery, fornication, greed, envy, lust and a multiple of other “lower class” sins, as if. You are only for one race, one creed, one denomination. They say, through their life, that You are impatient with those who do not measured up to their standards. You are judgmental, you are intolerant and you are vindictive. You are disrespectful to those whom you, through your divine decision, given to rule over us. However, on the other hand we expect you to be patient, tolerant and delay judgment on our obvious sins. We say you will treat us differently for the same faults we condemn our fellow men. We say You are not the God of the second, let alone the two hundredth chance.
Who do YOU say that He is? Peter later through his life revealed that he embraced and yes cherished the Truth of his statement. What true answer will your life reveal? I am reminded and confronted by the life’s revealing Truth of those who have recently been beheaded in the Middle East because they would not recant of their revealed Truth. He is the Son of the living God. Even as recently as a few days of this blog there were university student in Africa who would not denounce “the Christ” but were brutally murdered because they chose to stand on that Truth. But sadly today we see others who so easily abandon against much lesser challenges and opportunities turn their proverbial backs on the instilled Truth, which they espouse. Who do you say that I am? No not the readers, Douglas… you!!!
It is amazing that in 2015 we are still emphasizing our uniqueness in race, culture, politic, age, nationality and preference. Why in this age of supposed enlightenment do we as passengers of this ship called earth have the audacity to think one is better than the other? Are we so impoverished in our own self esteem that the only way we can feel good about ourselves is to down play the uniqueness of others? Understand the GOD given truth, we are not different, we are just unique. He said “in the beginning” let us make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness. Let us make man, which by the way, includes both male and female as ONE, not just the gender male. We are made in His image, all of mankind male and female. Yet as “man” we espoused the uniqueness by mislabeling it as different. Once a difference is perceived then it becomes easy to be judgmental, prejudice, separate and “superior”.
In my country, the United (catch that word) States of America there is so much separatism that it is becoming destructive. We are hardly “united” in anything, it seems. Look at how we describe ourselves, Latin Americans, Native-Americans, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American. Why can’t we all be American? Why when we fill out forms for almost anything do we have to describe as to what “category” of American we are? That does not indicate “united”. I would love to hear my country described as the “United People of America”. How powerful would that be? These last 2 decades our political cultures has been a travesty in how we have allowed a culture of division to arise and invade our land, egged on by religion and economic status. I know that many read this blog from other countries and I so appreciate it and am humbled by it but I wonder do you face the same division? If so, in what aspect?
You can say that is just the way it has always been and always will be and that is true, I guess. BUT there is one GREAT arena this should not be found. That is within the body of Christ. Sunday mornings are one of the most segregated days of the week. You don’t believe me, when you attend your worship service on Sunday, what does the congregation look like? Are other cultures incorporated in your worship? I am a musician and what really disturbs me is the labeling of music. Southern-gospel as oppose to Black gospel, contemporary Christian as oppose to traditional Christian as oppose to Christian rock as oppose to countless other labeling. The sadness of it all is that because one’s personal preference, the uniqueness of the others fall within a “difference” category which again leads to the path of superiority. We negate the oneness of the message, based upon what WE like PERSONALLY.
In John 17:22 Jesus in praying to the Father said “and the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” One not necessarily ALIKE, but one. My prayer is that the world sees a “unified body of believers” encompassing every nation, creed, race and color presented as “one”. That the display of our “uniqueness” is as colorful and captivating as a bouquet of beautiful flowers that will show the tapestry and make up of what Heaven will be…no that is not correct, what Heaven is NOW made of. I do not envision that Heaven will be sectioned off by race, nationality, creed, political leanings and economics. I seriously doubt that we will hear “our” music of preference.
Strive for unity be one…many different ages (but ONE), many different races and ethnic groups (but ONE), many callings, gifts and talents, (but ONE), many different life backgrounds, (but ONE), many different personal likes and views (but ONE). If the church can once again be as they were in Acts 2:1 “with one accord and IN one place (not physically but with their SPRITUAL MINDSET) what would happen in the world in which we all are locked into? ONE! Understand we are not different just unique in the Father’s eyes, and He is the author of uniqueness, and if you doubt that just look at nature wherever you reside on this planet ship. There is but One God ..who is above and rules over ALL. He stands as King of kings, Lord of lords, and through all.. he acts through all, permeating every thing, is present with every thing, supporting everything… it is in Him do we live and move and have our being. God is over all, as Father, through all; by the Logos, the Word; and in all by the Holy Ghost. Through the Word He has made our hearts His temple, His dwelling place. We have been enlightened, quickened, purified and comforted by the energy of His Holy Spirit.
Personally I have been enriched by having immediate family members that consist of at least 3 races and it is a blessing. We are not different, we are a unique family of one…and I LOVE IT!
Well….we’re going back on the grid…
I have been away for a while doing other projects. i am currently working on a music CD and was a little focused these last few weeks. The world has been presenting a lot of unpleasant situations both here in this country and abroad. ISIS is murdering under the guise of religion and trying its best to intimidate. As I looked at these event and more importantly listened to different commentary, it appeared to me that a basic principle was being attacked. That principle is HOPE! The news people, the radio talking heads, the “we should be worried” people all propagate hopelessness. I applaud the Jordanian nation as they said to ISIS because of the cowardly way you murdered our pilot, you have not only invigorated our hop, but also stirred our righteous indignation. What you were hoping produced the opposite effect.
Romans 8:18 – 8:25
What is hope? Hope is usually defined as a longing, a desire, or an expectation of fulfillment. It can be passive or intensely active. It can be for evil or for good. It is vitally important that we have the right hope because the Bible says that along with faith and love, it is one of the three timeless and enduring eternal values. There will never be a time in eternity when hope is not on our minds! Think about that! It is that important.
Hope is a powerful motivator. What we love, we pay attention to, , our hope will motivate us in that direction. Hope influences us either to take or not to take certain actions, depending upon what we hope for. We will generally do all that we can to make sure that what we hope for happens the way that we foresee it happening. If we hope something does not happen, we generally do what we can to see that it does not happen. Hope motivates us to move in a certain direction and to do certain things.
What if we hope for something that is beyond our immediate control? We will still pray that what we hope for will happen. If there is nothing else we can do, we will still pray. That is how powerful hope is. It will make us do things even subconsciously, bending us in a certain direction because our hope is so strong. At the very least, even if we do not pray, we will at least wish, fret, and worry about it until something is resolved. Our hopes, whether we are conscious of them or not, are constantly playing on our mind.
No matter how difficult or how desperate our situation seems, Paul says we can face it with hope.
You don’t have to be real sharp to notice that we live in a world that struggles against hopelessness. If you talk to people at all, you are going to get in a conversation with someone who is going to tell you that they are discouraged. Listen to any of the radio talk shows or watch the news and you are going to hear people who are cynical about life. They think the world is going down the tubes. And on a world scale, it seems that we go from crisis to crisis. Some here acutely remember things ISIS, just to name a few of the highest profile conflicts. And in spite of our best efforts, we know there will be more conflicts. Plus, there have been economic crises.
Right now we live in a world that is less than perfect. This world is subject to a law that states that everything in this universe is decaying. What seems fresh and new one day will someday be old and broken down. Something that is growing and vibrant will someday shrivel up and die. To use Paul’s language, this world is in “bondage to decay.” But it wasn’t always this way though. In the early days of the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, we see the sin of Adam and Eve caused several things to happen that were previously nonexistent.
So Paul tells us that creation is frustrated and it even groans for the day of redemption. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Now we groan and become frustrated because of evil in the world. We long to once and for all time rid the world of evil. We long for the time where the world will be free of evil and corruption.
Hope is not just an optimistic and positive outlook but also the drive to persevere, to endure whatever comes, to push us forward. Only the hopeful will do this. The hopeless will give up. For the Christian, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. It is true that we will endure suffering in our lives. Hopefully it is for Christ and not our own foolishness. But the great news is we have a hope even though we suffer.
We as Christ followers have hope because we are God’s adopted children. We can look forward to the blessings ahead. We have an inheritance that is not of this world. We know for certain that it will not always be like this, something better is coming, we will be made new!
And now we come to one of my favorite verses: Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
That hope gives us the ability to turn our eyes away from our pain to God’s glory. The good news for those who are in Christ Jesus is that YOU ALWAYS HAVE HOPE. Through Jesus we have hope. Hope of better things to come. We can know even though this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, things are going to get better for those who follow Christ.
Wow! I do not know how you feel but to me the year 2014 came and went very fast. It seems the older I get the faster time goes. When you are young time seems to drag, but now it is in hyper speed mode.
I was just reflecting on the past twelve months and seeing the financial, professional, emotional and physical impacts both positive and negative, I absorbed. Through it all I am grateful and thankful because He bought me through it. I am constantly learning to first be grateful and content. An attitude of gratitude is important because it causes you not to focus on your lack but on your abundance. My wife and I was just in a conversation today about how we know some people who have everything one could want, money, expensive cars, a beautiful huge house, community influence, but there is no peace in the home. Chaos abounds. We were saying although we are experiencing a need in some areas, we were grateful for peace, love and contentment and gratitude for what He has done. Yes sometimes we look at the prosperity of others and how they seem to have all the earthly things you might desire and let’s be honest you desire those things also and that is not necessarily wrong. It becomes an issue when we begin to accuse the Father unjustly. We must understand that the blessing of this realm is temporary, whether we are a believer or not. Nothing we accumulate can we take with us. That is the sad truth that many in “powerful” positions fail to understand as they pad their personal treasure vault knowingly abusing those who should receive the same benefit. The “trickle down” scenario was espoused to “trick” those who were already down. Yet, Paul says be content in whatever state you find yourself. Easy? No… here is what he wrote… “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Did you see it? He says, “For I have learned”. It is not a natural automatic attitude. It is something that you LEARN. This learning can come through trial and error. It can come from looking at other’s plight. It can come through life experiences. Time and circumstances (both good and bad) are EXCELLENT teachers believe me.
One thing that was highlighted to me in 2014 was the vast number of manufacture’s recalls. Within the last eight months or so of 2014 there had been a rash number of automobile recalls, baby furniture recalls, food recalls illustrating at defectiveness within the product. When I look at the automobile recalls I find that the manufacturers range from average standard model Ford, Chrysler, GM products to Mercedes and Lexus. Just recently within the last month my wife who happens to drive a Lexus was also recalled for a possible defect that could cause an engine fire within the gaskets space. The causes, the reasons for these recalls can be very varied. It could be because defective materials are made in the parts or it could be a defective design within the part. For instance just this week I got notice of a recall for my car’s airbags because of defective and substandard parts. Apparently the airbags could, without provocation go off it and pose a danger. It could fire shrapnel of plastic and metal seriously injuring the occupants of the car therefore causing more damage than the accident itself. Detailing the deficient, defective unreliability of the product is only half the problem. Yes, the manufacturer or the companies issuing the recalls have only done their part, however the greater part is on those who possess the product. It is their responsibility to contact to get in contact with the manufacturer rep or the company and follow the instruction outline in order to have a bad defective part replaced or improved up on. Whatever the case would inquire it wouldn’t do the owner of the product any good to know of the recall and yet not take the product in to have the defective part replaced or refurbished. It is by doing that possible serious injury can be avoided or maybe even a life saved. So I should seek to contact my creator to “turn myself” in and over to Him knowing that He has what I stand in need of.
To me 2014 and even 2015 is a reminder, a recall to my spirit the ultimate truth that HE IS IN CONTROL. And in that truth should my gratefulness, and contentment lie.
The weight to question and complain is noticeable, but flowing from my heart is gratefulness. He spared my children and their families, I am grateful. He has given me a praying wife who loves the Father, and me and my “ways”, grateful. He is my provider, grateful. I am still employed, grateful. Do I have everything I desire? No. Have I understood the path He designated? No. But I recognized I am ALWAYS in HIS hands, so name me a better, more safer and secure place to be, I’ll wait!!
What did 2014 teach you, reveal to you and present to you? You are here for a reason. Your purpose has not been accomplished. So bring on 2015. I smell VICTORY ahead. Impact your country, city, and neighborhood, home…for the glory of God.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.
Joy to the WORLD, the Lord has come, let earth receive her KING! For unto us a son was born, a Son was given. Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) – “ For to us a child is born,to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
He is our Wonderful Counselor – Wonderful (extraordinary, hard to understand thing), Counselor (to advise, consult, give counsel, purpose, devise, plan). The name “Counselor” speaks of His wisdom (Omniscient-ALL KNOWING). Do you know when wisdom is worthless? It is when it is not available and when it cannot be applied to your Life. But with Jesus it is available and can be applied to your life. As the Wonderful Counselor, God Became Available to us. He became a personal God. As Wonderful Counselor, Jesus came with an assurance of hope in a world that sometimes seems hopeless; Jesus brought hope to those who had no hope. No situation or problem is too difficult for Him to solve. With that truth surely He has brought JOY to the world.
I declare upon every readers life the prosperity of His WONDERFUL Counsel, Joy, Peace and prosperity, as we begin our exit of 2014 and the entry into the awesome prospects that await you in 2015. I speak a blessing over your health, finance, families and life. No matter your nationality, race, creed or color or religion leanings, He THE wonderful counselor is available to you. For some 2015 is going to be LIFE CHANGING as you begin to walk in His counsel.
Be Blessed and God Bless the WORLD and cause us your children to be a blessing!!
There is no question about the great need for thankfulness in our day. I firmly believe that much of society’s ills today are the result of a lack of gratitude. I am not just talking about lip service, but I am talking about an attitude of the heart from within.
Here in America on the last Thursday of the month of November, we celebrate the landing of the Pilgrims and their first celebration dinner that they had with the Native Americans who were very instrumental in the survival of the pilgrim settlements. It is a holiday that we call Thanksgiving. It is a time to gather with friends, family and eat to your hearts content and to be thankful for the time that the year has brought you to. One of the things we as believers should be cognizant of is to always have a spirit of Thanksgiving.
I Thessalonians 5:18 clearly state, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” So we should be grateful for everything that transpires in our lives the good, the bad and the ugly. I know, I know, it is easier said then done. If we believe the Word of God, it says that all things are working together for our good according to his purpose to them that love the Lord. We should be compelled to always have a heart of Thanksgiving and to be grateful. One of the hardest things I have learned personally is to keep this attitude of Thanksgiving. During the month of November I try to consciously be more aware and be more thankful. For instance, I try not to ask God for anything but to thank him for all things even for the things that I might not desire. It is many times through those things that come to break us, is the catalyst for making us. In asking, we must understand that we come from a position of not wanting but possessing and if we have that mindset then we know we already posses what we have need. Otherwise we are saying we do not possess it and it is just in the realm of possibility. But if we come from a position of possessing then we can have an attitude of Thanksgiving.
For instance in praying and simple prayers as such as blessing your food instead of asking God to bless it thank Him for already blessing it even before it reached your dining table. Instead of asking God to heal you thank you for the healing that was already made available through his dying on the cross for He took upon Himself our diseases and infirmities and by his stripes we were, not are but were healed. Everyone who has breath no matter the circumstances can find a reason to be grateful and thank God for life, for strength, for family, for health, for being able to understand your surroundings. You might not have everything that you want but you understand that you have a hope and you have a Father that is there to hear, to undergird and to provide.
One of the signs of the end times is that there will be a time where man will be ungrateful ungodly. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 points out at that in the last days perilous time shall come for men should be lovers of their ownselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, UNTHANKFUL.
I know we all recognize that we are living in those times but I want to stick out like a sore thumb with the glow of thanksgiving. How about you? During this time take the time to be thankful and offer unto the Father a heart of Thanksgiving. After all, we should be able to give thanks because He has made our heart, our body His temple. I am THANKFUL for that truth!
Division, separation, disunity, disease and destruction seem to be the order of today. Probably in our history of mankind have we not seen such a state of chaos, especially here in America. Not to say this is new, because history will support the treacherous actions of mankind, however in this age of “enlightenment” we are amazed at how these atrocities still exist in such a great percentage. And it is happening all over the world. Your nation is not excluded.
Jesus says a “truth” that is not religiously based, because you must remember He was not a “religious” man. Here is what Matthew 12:25 state. “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:” Every kingdom? Every city? Every house? Yes, every, every!
When we look at the word “divide” there are 2 meanings. The first definition can be a good thing meaning to bestow or impart as in bestow money to a charity or imparting wisdom to the next generation of life students. The second meaning is to split into factions, separate into parts or parties, or to cut into pieces. Let’s look at it this way. When healthy cells divide and reproduce they can impart positive traits and genes and cause growth and life. The dividing of the egg cell produces life. However a cell can also be divided and produce a cancerous result. This is the meaning Jesus was inferring.
It is a simple yet profound truth that somehow we do not grasp or at least tend to forget. In America, we have a government who for the last 6 years would rather be consciously impotent than productive. This has nothing to do with political parties or biases. It has nothing to do with the race of one or the creed of another. It has nothing to do with the old order versus the new reality. It has to do with the entity, in this case government being productive able to stand for the good of its citizens. Stand means to be upright and in a place of balance. It means to be firmly established and have the ability to be mobile. Standing illustrates strength and unity between parts needed to be progressive.
There are so many examples today of division:
Nations (Civil wars)
Religion (Denominations and factions)
Human Race (Nationality, creeds, race, sexes)
These are kingdoms that cannot and will not stand. They might exist and appear strong and right in its ability to separate, but it is still impotent and crippled in it reality. The only final result that occurs is death, in its many forms. The first biblically recorded separation was recorded in in Genesis when Adam became impotent when Adam broke from his source of life, God the Father. The result was even forewarned, “the day you eat, you will experience a death, a separation. Even when our human house becomes ultimately divided, our spirit will depart, separate from the physical body leaving and empty shell unable to stand.
So the question is where is the kingdom, the house divided in your sphere of life? Oh and do not go to far down this road of searching because it might be good to look in the mirror first. I know, I know, impossible, but just maybe, just maybe there might be a potential division to inspect. The Bible speaks of a double minded man in James 1:8 stating that man is unstable or divided in his own interest, in all of his way.
At the time of this writing is the 25th anniversary of the taking down of the Berlin wall. This wall symbolized division that separated friends, families, father and sons. The wall not only kept people out but kept people prisoners or confined…on BOTH the east and west side. Oh if we could know true unity and live it out, especially those who label ourselves as believers. I rephrase President Reagan’s request to the Russian President at the time, Mr. Gorbachev. Believers…encompassing all nations, creeds and colors, tear down this wall. John 17:20-21 says it better through the words of Christ, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
I can understand why the world does not really believe in the Jesus they see every day illustrated by us. I can almost understand the dissolution of our young people that they search for the answers of life through drugs, cults or false religions. They turn to gangs and other demonic promises that say join us and feel free. They say believe in our human ideology because the one you have been shown is falling short on what is being preached. Love for ALL mankind? Yeah right! What Christ are we illustrating? One of bigotry, racism, sexism and preference? To do so would make our Father the same. We see that in our churches where we label churches, music and ministry. We have the Hispanic church, the black church, the oriental church, and the Protestant church, the Catholic Church. There will be no white, black, brown, yellow or red church in Heaven. There will be no favoritism of music of praise being sung. This leads to the labeling of music. Gospel music, which is different then southern gospel, which is different, then hymns which is different then sacred liturgy. How dare we!!! Each really is all the same to the Father because there is only ONE CHURCH and your INDIVIDUAL preference of style of song does not indicate HIS preference. Yet we continue for the MOST part I want to believe unconsciously divide the representation of even HIS Kingdom so thus the church is impotent. Father I hear you… and thanks for already forgiving me BEFORE I came to this realization and my need for repenting, turning, doing a 180, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
2 Timothy 3:1-4… “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy; Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good; traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
Does this sound familiar to you? What is your local news reporting this week? What time is it? Do you know? Are you aware?
We are constantly hearing of “perilous times” in the Middle East, the Ukraine, the west, third world countries and other various parts of the earth. To be honest “perilous times” encompasses the entire earth. Yes, even in your country, province, city and town. “Perilous times” resides in your family, your home, and even your mind. It is of different variances and intensity but it is still “perilous times”, a struggling, and a conflict. This “time” is impacting everyone, every class, every race, and every culture. Sometimes I think mankind is not at peace unless mankind is at war. What is that? Why do we seem to have the urge to usurp someone else? Where is this attitude, this brokenness, this rage, and this reaction coming from? What is the weapon of attack?
One attack strategy of the perpetrator in this time is to use seducing spirits, spirits not only highlighting lust and sex. We see and hear that constantly. It is attacking every culture. Look at the videos; listen to the music that is prevalent in our culture, especially the American culture. You cannot see a show or listen to music today without sexual suggestive dancing and lyrics being presented. This attack from seducing spirits is not just about lust but more importantly it this spirit is to lure us from our true lover, our true husbandman, our true strength and help. It is to draw us from Truth and to bond us to a lie. Its assignment is to make people question Truth and seek another. What is Truth?
Another attack strategy is spiritual deception. The only way that the enemy can gain a foothold in this world is to pervert and twist truth. So he uses men to espouse religion and tradition and superstition to bring about chaos in the name of God. He is not ignorant of God, but mankind has allowed himself to be ignorant. So he tells mankind to reach out to God. He says find him in your own way. He says there is no right or wrong way. He also empowers men to lead astray, lead from the virtuous way those who have not entrenched themselves in the Truth. What is Truth?
This can only be done through false teachers. They take the lead in engineering a path to lead people to a false, dangerous and fruitless destination. They excel in the atmosphere of fear and phobia. The pathway to false ideology becomes wide and bright when the sheep mentality of the fearful uninformed is revealed. Trust is placed on the most flimsy of support. Add to that the need to sensationalize any event through the phenomenon of real time access from anywhere in the world, we are a people open to anything good or bad.
But it is the time that we should be most concern. Nothing is by happenstance. All is by plan and purpose.
2 Peter 3:3 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts…
In this time some men, using the guise of politics, religion and morality are REALLY walking after their own perverted lust. They mock the sanctity of life and freedom that every human being has if their will only is to be done. They are seeking to fulfill the lust of control, money, position, sex, murder and power. They follow their own evil desire. That is their NOBLE cause. It is not only here in the United States but it is in every country in the world. It is in every religion and those who would be the head of such. History has consistently shown the hearts of men.
Sooooo, how do we overcome this? What is the winning strategy?
2 Corinthians 2:14 – Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
The winning strategy is not the problem. We as believers just need to NOT be afraid and be BOLD in the HIM because we are ALREADY victorious. Read it again He CAUSES us to triumph to be victorious. This is a concluded result. He will make us victorious because in Him dwells NO defeat. We just need to be willing to stand up and fight.
But a prerequisite must be that we are aligned in agreement as believers. Not as a denomination, race, culture or creed, but as believers.
Lev 26:8 – And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
The Greek word for agreement is “symphaneo” – this is where we get the English word symphony. A symphony is a collaboration of different instruments playing together in harmony. Whether you enjoy that style of music or not, there is one thing you must admit. When you hear it, there is harmony and each instrument is playing the same song in the same key on the same tempo together. but have you ever heard the orchestra musicians before the presentation doing warm up? Every section, every musician is doing his own thing. They are all playing different notes in different keys, different scale patterns and rhythms. It sounds like total chaos. But once they are united and give their total attention to the conductor, the one who knows the plan, chaos becomes collaboration, headache becomes harmony, individual limits becomes collective actuality But only when we agree. We as Believers need to have “symphaneo” in our prayer, worship, and resolve of following our “conductor” who knows the plan to victory. If God be for us, who can be against us? We should not be a people paralyzed by fear of terrorist, disease, and mayhem or any other. He CAUSES us to triumph, even in “perilous time”.
The world has seemingly lost its moral sense of decency, love, care, and humanity. Murder, mayhem, destruction is an everyday common occurrence. Mothers against daughters, father against sons. The more gruesome, the more heinous, the more exposure, the more people garner attention to themselves. WHAT? Decapitation and cannibalism has become Internet entertainment.
ISIS, yeah we are hearing about your barbaric actions, supposedly in the name of Allah, but it is also the grandfather who lives a few miles away that murders his 6 grandchildren and daughter, the Cartel drug gangs that are fighting for territory and money. It’s the teenagers seeking to see what the real thing of killing feels like after being dulled by video images and games. It’s the demented co-worker influenced by what they see on television that seeks the same glory and exposure.
“There is a generation…” A foolhardy and foul generation (30:11). It is a generation that curses their father and mother. Now the word “curse” is not a meaning of “cussing them out” as in calling someone out of their name. No, the Hebrew term is means to discount, to bring to contempt, to dishonor, bring their influence to insignificance. The proverb is saying there will be a generation that will devalue the values of the forefathers and mothers. They will count them trivial. The father and mother is not necessarily someone’s immediate parents, because the scripture does not say “parent”. Let’s be honest some of our “parents” were far from being a Godly example and many of us had to overcome many obstacles despite our upbringing.
“There is a generation…” A filthy and faithless generation (30:12). This is a generation of people who are pure in their own eyes but morally filthy in the eyes of a Holy and Righteous God. Note, the scripture does not say “dirty” but filthy. The word here is used for “excrement”. Think dog poo! Great Dane poo not Yorky. Before we start condemning others let’s quickly look at ourselves, however. The prophet Isaiah in chapter 64 says “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags…” In other words even when we do everything right by human and mankind moral standards, to God they are as clean and pure as a woman’s menstrual pad or a baby’s dirty diaper. That is the reason for the GREAT exchange that took place on the cross. “Christ exchanged HIS righteousness for our sins. No, when God the Father looks at us as believers He sees us righteous THROUGH Christ Jesus. So if we think our works will some how earn merit in the eyes of God then we are members of this “F” group. Filthy! Their faith is in their own means and abilities. When one rejects Jesus, they reject the GREAT exchange leaving them to their own righteousness.
“There is a generation…” A fearless and self-flattering generation (30:13)”. It is a generation that has no respect for authority whether it comes from God or man. They are filled with pride, self-flattery and conceit. They think that their own ideology is the one they should govern their lives. The problem is that we all can have our own ideology. Then the question arises which one is “right”. And as we now see with ISIS, dictatorships and other oppressive groups, one tries to FORCE through fear, intimidation and violence the acceptance of rule. What they want, they take having no regard for human life. Deep inside the valley of their reasoning they see themselves as being superior. Mere men trying to rule as the supreme head over billions of people. I am always amazed by the so called experts that have a solution for everything yet are responsible for nothing within in the context of their “solution”. “If I were the President, I would”…. Yeah whatever. The simple truth is you are not the President, so you are just pontificating without accountability.
“There is a generation…” A fierce generation (30:14). A generation that has become dulled and addicted to murder and violence. Cannibalism, decapitation, rape and debauchery have become the norm. Nothing is shocking to us anymore. Zombies, walking dead, real life murder documentaries showing actual bodies have dulled our senses. We feed our society’s psyche this junk and wonder why we have reaped this strange bitter fruit. For the weak minded, it is a catalyst to explore the realm of evil. Do not be deceived this realm is real.
IT IS THIS GENERATION THAT WILL OCCUPY THIS EARTH JUST PRIOR TO CHRIST RETURN.
Matthew 24:37-39 – “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” What was significant in those days? Spiritual Decline, shameless depravity, demonic delusion, increase in crimes, exploding population and sudden destruction. All signs say we are living in the same vain as the “days of Noah”.
What are we “the followers of Christ” to do in this perilous time?
Do not fear, but stay strong with no possibility of quitting. Why… because He has overcome the world, even the condition of this time and generation. Psalm 91 implores us to decree, “I will not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day… and with my eyes I shall behold and see the reward of the wicked.” So let’s counter this “evil” generation and be the “fearless, fervent, faithful, formidable” children of the God of ALL victory. Let’s up our game and SPEAK and declare into the atmosphere the “flood of Noah”.
Luke 23:34 – “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
I have been prompted through various indications to touch on the subject of forgiveness. First, this scripture was something I was hearing on last week when contiplating what to blog. Then by mere happenstance I was watching a movie with family that we randomly chose called “The Railway Man” (good movie) and the concluding theme and focus was forgiveness. To top that, we happened upon an estate sale on Saturday of this past weekend and my wife purchased some items that I went to pick up on Sunday. After obtaining the items, the man who was with the company conducting the sale walked out with me and began to talk about the goodness of our Lord. He had suffered a dibiltating injury and he was in some pain and discomfort physically but he was delighting in how the Father had bought him through the valleys of life. He and I had a conversation for about thirty minutes but near the end he described how his brother had stolen $350,000 from an inheritance he should have had. He said at the time of this incident eight years ago, he had given his life to Christ. He indicated I could be in prison at this moment if it was not for the words that Jesus implored from the cross. He said to me, I heard in my spirit, “forgive them; for they know not what they do .” Now you must understand I had not discussed ANYTHING about that scripture with him but it was to me confirmation to touch on this subject.
The first question that comes to my mind is who is the “THEM”? This request seems to be nondescript, plain, indistinct. “Father, forgive them.” He does not say, Father, forgive the priest that rendered false accusation. He does not say, Father, forgive the soldiers who have nailed me to this cross. Neither does He say, Father, forgive my disciples who have seemingly forsaken me. From His lofty position on the cross seeing the distant future He does not say Father, forgive those who will in the ages to come l turn their back to me and reject your sacrifice and sin against You, yet with those ten words He includes them. He does not mention a specific accusation or accuse a specific person, race, culture or group. Even though He being God knew the names of the soldiers that nailed Him to the cross He does not mention their names for prosterity to ridicule throughout the ages. AND no, He is not willing to mention their descriptive mission saying, forgive my murderers. There are no words of specific and directed accusation, only “Father, forgive them.”
Again, who is the THEM? Because it is not descriptive we can be included. He made room for us, too. I know the tendancy is to think that the “them” is the Roman soldiers and Jewish priests and the Roman government and it was, but it was also you and me. “For they know not what they do”. They think they know but they do not.
I am glad that He made it possible for me to live under the umbrella of the Father’s forgiveness that covers my purposefull and ignorant actions that documents my guilt and reveals my “filthy righteousness”. Yet we do not know the shallowness of our self-righteousness. We think, because we go to church regularly, or we were christened or were baptized or say our prayers or read a chapter in the Bible every day; that we do not merit His forgiveness. We think our religiousness outward performances, makes us exempt from His forgiveness but I still hear Him saying “They know not what they do.” They are trusting in their own actions and performance thereby negating my redemptive work through the cross.
The timing of the prayer is intriging also. It is in the midst of His pain, His humiliate His ultimate challenge that He petitions for “us” requesting our sanctuary, the Father’s forgiveness. Would that be our request or would it be “get them” Father.. look at what they are doing to me? Today what is our prayer for those who are terrorizing this world today. ISIS, brutally murdering innocent people of all cultures.. what is our prayer? Abusers, both governmental and domestic, viciously beating those we should be protecting, what is our prayer? Those who are being abused, tortured, and victimized in ALL countries by ALL tribes, nations,races and cultures. What is our prayer? Father, thank you for your undeserved forgiveness towards us, because we still do not realize what we do and how short we come to Your GLORY!! The heart of religion seeks and desires to control other men, cultures and nations. Jesus wants to set men free to live through Him, free, whole and forgiven. Oh how He loves us…
The real take away is also realizing IF we say the same petition it will release us to live life and not be painfully chained to the wrong visited upon us. I pray this was a highlighted message even if for just one person.
1 John 4:17-21
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Are you saying I cannot just proclaim my love for God and that be my identification as being a “Christian”? No you cannot.
This past week has been a revealing week spotlighting the heart of man. Not only as a country, race, culture, religion but most importantly, individually. Where have you stood in regards to the many events that have taken place? The horrific and demonic killing of the American journalist by ISIS, the aftermath of the killing of the unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri that has grasped the attention of not only the United States (that is becoming an oxymoron) but also the world. What of the crisis in Iraq concerning thousands being murdered not only Christians but also Muslims by terroristic bullies who sole purpose is to be feared, and in control? Where are you, where do YOU stand as an individual? It does not matter the country, the race, the culture, the religious belief or non-belief… where are you?
For instance concerning the event in Ferguson Missouri, it was stated that it is a “They” problem, meaning black people. That how they are raised and taught. It was stated “it’s their culture, it is what we should expect from “them. It is how they think. I wrote in response that I submit it is not a black or white (and throw in every other race and culture), thing. It is the heart of man. I have never been to Ferguson and I do not know anyone in Ferguson, so I do not know what “they” think. The truth is it is not a “they” problem. It is a “we” problem. If we look at ourselves as separate, superior and more “Godly” (whatever God you are worshipping or not worshipping) then we are disconnected. So what part of the we conversation are we? Are we the “we” that does the looting? Are we the “we” part that guards the stores and homes and confront the “we” looters”? Are we the “We” that hear of these crimes perpetrated upon our businesses and neighbors and without being solicited go and help clean up the mess and board up windows? All 3 of the “We” were demonstrated in Ferguson this week. Are we the “we” that will put political parties motivated by division based upon classism, racism, and greed aside and stand united against the spirit of murder, rape, torture and extortion? I live in America but I am neither “conservative” nor “liberal”. Forget that nonsense. I AM A BELIEVER!!! Deal with that Democrats and Republicans. Our (citizens of this world) skin color might vary but our spiritual opposition is the same. Prejudice, division, hate and the spirit of antichrist.
So 1 John 4:17-21 basically says stop with the bravado, the grandiose idea you have of yourself. All of you religious radio and television personalities that act as if you care about the cause of Kingdom while you really care about the size of your bank account… I declare you shall receive your just reward. IF YOU DO NOT LOVE those you do see, the people of different races, cultures, creeds, religions, sexual orientation, financial class, colors, ages, etc. How can you love God whom you have NEVER seen? In fact through John the apostle that Jesus loved, God, not me but God, calls you a liar!! Accept their choices no, but love them through their choices. Of all of the HUNDREDS of churches of all denominations that proclaim the name of Christ in the St. Louis area, why did they not join together (black, white, yellow and brown) and have a worship service in the streets by the THOUSANDS and pray that the His Spirit would so saturate the place that the looters would have bent their knees in humble submission, police would have laid down their shields and refused to bring harm bending their knees in humble submission. That news people, CNN, FOX, ABC, MSNBC, CBS, BBC and others would not have sought out the chaos but would have bent their knees in humble submission. That the cities across the nation and yes even the world would have seen such a manifestation of Christ that their knees would be bent in humble submission. That the cry of you can kill indiscriminately ISIS but at the name of Jesus, every knee WILL BOW and every tongue SHALL confess that He is Lord. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” In your nation, your city are you showing love, not yours but His love or are you just talking? Have you positively effected just one person this month by being Christ to them? Or is it a “they” problem. In response to my comment noted previously, silence. I wonder if people this weekend, in our mosques, synagogues and churches heard a message of loving and coming together as passengers on this ship we call earth and joining together to rid this atmosphere of hate?
I finish with this. A coworker during a lunch break asked me are we living in the end times, spoken of in the Bible. I responded affirmatively. The signs are all to clear and the stage has been and is being set for the return of Christ. In America we are concerned about racism, but it is a diversion, a smoke screen. The real culprit that will catch you by surprise is classism. This will supersede race, religious beliefs and political ideas. But that is another topic.
Just a thought today I wanted to share… thanks in advance for your indulgence. We so often under estimate the power of words and forget through our speech we are able to create. Through your own confession of I am so “—-“ (you fill in the gap)., you become. I am so sad, I am so lonely, I am so sick, I am so happy, I am so blessed. What ever you vocally confess becomes your reality. So what are you articulating, confessing? Well for many our confessions based off of what we see or how we are feeling at that moment has not worked for our good, so let’s put His Word to the test. Let’s confess and verbally articulate who He says we are and His promises to those who believe. I am the head and not the tail. I am the lender (not only in monies, but wisdom, understanding, guidance, joy, peace, compassion… and not the borrower.) Let’s make it personal and “Insert Your Name Here”. AND NOW LET THE WEAK SAY I AM STRONG. (Joel 3:10)
Psalm 1:2 – “But (insert your name here) delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth (insert your name here) meditate day and night.”
I underlined the word meditate which in Hebrew is “hagah”. This is more than to think about something. It actually means to mutter or talk under your breath. You ever see people on the street that are seemingly talking to their self? Sometime we think there is a screw loose somewhere? Well that is “hagah” EXCEPT we are to mutter (or murmur) the Word of God. (lol) “Hagah” also means to regurgitate or chew it again and again.. break it down so to speak. So as we today chew on a passage of Scripture let break it down, word by word. (for example “The Lord is my Shepherd” ..”the” (not just any but a specific definitive), “Lord” (one who reigns and is in control, JEHOVAH, the all existing one, the one who spoke the universe into existence) “is” (right now.. not shall be or could be but at this very moment) “my” (Douglas’) “Shepherd” (guide, director, protector, ruler, provider, watchman, healer, companion)…. you get my drift?… (cool huh?)
Ok NuMind readers, it is confession time…. Let’s make it personal… (mutter away)
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon formed against (insert your name here) shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against (insert your name here) in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of (insert your name here) the servant of the Lord, And (insert your name here) righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.
Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day which the LORD has made; (insert your name here) WILL (decision of my personal choice, not based on how I feel) rejoice and be GLAD in it.” (This has nothing to do with whatever transpired on yesterday or will transpire tomorrow.. but TODAY I choose to rejoice)
Romans 8:35-39 – “Who shall separate (insert your name here) from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake (insert your name here) is killed all the day long; (insert your name here) is accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things (insert your name here) is more than a conqueror through him that loved (insert your name here). For (insert your name here) is persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate (insert your name here) from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Psalm 34:1 – “(insert your name here) WILL (again a decision of my personal choice, not based on how I feel) bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in (insert your name here) mouth. (insert your name here) soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us (NuMind) exalt His name together.”
Galatians 3:26, 29 – “For (insert your name here) is a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus. And if (insert your name here) be Christ’s, then (insert your name here) is Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Romans 8:28 – “And (insert your name here) know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. (Douglas’ question sometimes.. why am I going through this Lord, what the purpose?) For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be CONFORMED (adapted, molded, and reconfigured) to the image of His Son…”
2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He hath made Him to be sin for (insert your name here), who knew no sin; that (insert your name here) might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
1 John 4:15-17
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
Have you noticed a lot of people across the world talk about God’s love and other moral things, but it often merely camouflages their real intentions. These talking heads are not peaceable, righteous people, but are deceivers seeking an opposing purpose. More than likely that purpose is self-serving. I myself have grown tired of the hypocrisy. The so called Christian conservatives that FAIL to show the heart of Christ towards children crossing the border, the leader of our country, the people from another ethnic or financial status. The calls for a “Holy war” except the ones doing the call are not the ones on the front lines while wearing Rolex watches and silently accumulating wealth. Love cannot be shown while preying on others.
Today’s Christians are the victims of an age that is apathetic to a true relationship with God. He is saying that in His own church there are some who know that He is at the door, yet will not get up to answer it and fellowship with Him! They are refusing to fellowship with Him. They are so far from Him that they do not even see their need. If there is no awareness of need, there is no desire; no desire, no prayer; no prayer, no relationship, and back to no awareness of need. It runs in a vicious circle. AND THAT becomes COMFORTABLE.
But God wants to rekindle an awareness of need. Awareness of need to see clearly how holy, gracious, kind, merciful, and good He is, and then we will want to be like He is. In other words, we so admire and respect Him and His qualities that we want to be near Him and will chase after Him, diligently seeking after Him like a lover seeking after His Love. We will exalt Him and seek to honor Him by being like Him. WHAT IS HE LIKE? GOD IS LOVE!!
Do we really want to be like God? Our frequent contact with God, or lack of it, is an easy, concrete measurement for both God and ourselves to know the true answer.
What is the purpose of love? Love is the desire to enhance another. God is love. God builds, he strengthens, he helps – all the while he is being resisted, rejected and ignored. God loves us. That means he wants to do us good. If we reject him, it is because we do not want his ways or his lifestyles. It is because we have deluded ourselves into believing that our way is better than his way.
If our lives are not motivated by love, we become corrupted, contaminated and diseased by other spiritual forces. If we do not love our spouses, our children, our families, our fellowman, then we have indicated that we care nothing about their end. The failure to love is a form of abandonment. It says I don’t care how you turn out. Wow, imagine if that was God’s thought towards you. It says your life is unimportant to me. It says I am selfish – I don’t want to be involved in your well-being. God requires us to love every man, because in doing so, we become partners with God in the redeeming of mankind, ALL of mankind not just those who look like us. When we love our neighbors, we are allied with God in salvaging ALL the human race. When we love our children, we are allied with God in the saving of ALL children. When we love the Father, we are allied with God in the saving ourselves.
When we do NOT love others, we align against the will of God. We are neglecting what God is trying to build up. We are ignoring a cause that is uppermost in the mind of God. Husbands should love their wives. Wives should love their husbands. Parents should love their children and children should love their parents. It is illogical to think that we can help any society while we are neglecting our most fundamental responsibility… to LOVE. So my question is this, “are we displaying…no it needs to be more focused, are YOU displaying the reflection of LOVE? “; because as He is, so are we in this world.” … and He is love! Where has LOVE gone, will we find LOVE, REAL LOVE in time? Where is the love……where are you? You are to be the personification of Him.