Tuesday, August 15, 2017

7 Times 7


Something to think about.

7 Times 7

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22

I am not writing about forgiveness. I am writing to ask. Does forgiveness include acceptance? Until recently I have never had a problem with this. I have always been or at least tried to be quick to forgive. Simply because it serves me to forgive. It is better to forgive than to hold on to the bitterness of unforgiveness. But a recent event has caused me to question not the importance or value of forgiveness but the extent of it. Does forgiveness include acceptance of the offender? When acceptance of the offender would be detrimental to me. As in; forgiving a junkie for stealing, lying, and causing you harm. You should forgive them all their trespasses. However, you should never allow them back into your home for your own well-being. Does a battered woman after forgiving the perpetrator accept him back into her life? Knowing that it is in her best interest to forgive him. Does forgiveness extend to acceptance? Now those are extreme examples, but it helps to crystallize my predicament.

Do I allow someone who I have forgiven back into my life? What about your teenager when they do something against you. Are you going to forgive them and accept them? How does that mesh with the way we would treat a junkie of an abusive partner? The easy answer is no you do not accept those that have grievously hurt you.

That answer is diametrically opposed to what Christ has done for us. He has forgiven us not just our past sins but our future sins and has accepted us as part of His family. He has forgiven us knowing that we would injure Him again. He has accepted us knowing that we would cause Him harm. Is that an example of Christ I cannot follow? Or are forgiveness and acceptance two separate issues?

Leia Mais…

Monday, August 14, 2017

We Are Not Cool

Something to think about.

We Are Not Cool 

14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. John 17:14

Jesus is praying for His followers. This verse is a part of that prayer. He is not making a request at this point, He is stating a reality. Once you accept the teachings of Christ and are born again and begin your life in Christ. It can truly be said of you, you are not of this world. If we are marching to the beat of the call of God, we will not be cool. We will not be the ones the world chase after. We are the people that are hated, rejected, ridiculed and humiliated. If the world did it to Christ, they will do it to you. We want to be accepted, included, loved and appreciated. We want to fit in with our neighbors and friends. The truth is once you become part of the family of God. The only place you will be truly accepted, appreciated and loved is within that family. Outside of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will be at best tolerated.  

That is why God goes to such great lengths to let us know that he will never leave us or abandon us. Because once we accept Christ, the world will abandon if not expel us from their presence. It is why we are grafted into the family of God and called His children. Because we were made to live in community with each other.  Because we belong to another reality another world. We belong in the reality of Christ in our home in Heaven. We are temporary sojourns on this planet. We are on a journey with a destination of Heaven. 

Leia Mais…

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Commonplace

Something to think about.
Common place
He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6
"For he is risen" the four most important words ever spoken. The world has been shaken to its core at these four words. An actual change in the history of man occurred on account of these words. A new hope and reality came into existence when they were uttered. A whole new way of living was validated because of these words. 
The crucifixion of Jesus was not the single most important event in history. His resurrection was. Jesus was dead, Christ was resurrected. This man died. He was resurrected as King and Savior. His resurrection was by the God of the universe. Have we lost sight of this event? 
We are so busy with our lives. With doing for God. We try to flourish and excel in our gifts, jobs, lives, have we lost sight of why we do what we do. Have we turned the resurrection into a commonplace event? Has it become a historical event that we lump together with all others? Has it become something that is not life altering. Something commonplace? Something that we have become so accustomed to we don't give it the importance it requires?
"He is risen." Have you ever seen the dead come back to life? I'm not talking about CPR or any rapid resuscitation protocol. I mean someone who has been dead for an extended period of time being brought back to life. No other such event has been recorded or claimed by anyone in History. Do you realize this event was witnessed by hundreds of people? It was reported by his followers. These twelve men went on to change the world. Not based on a conspiracy or on Jesus's religious philosophy but on His resurrection. His inner circle never recanted their claims. Even when threatened with death. Even as they were killed
The most important aspect of this event is this. Jesus the Christ is alive. He was not resurrected to die again. He was not resurrected to be lost or hidden from humanity. That reality should be paramount in your mind every day through every situation. God or bad. He was the first to be resurrected.  His resurrection gives us hope for the future. It validates all of His claims. It solidifies His claims of eternity. It turns an interesting philosophy into an undeniable reality. Every Christian belief hinges on this one event. His resurrection validates all of the claims about Him. From His virgin birth to being the sacrificial lamb for the world. Without the resurrection, we diminished Christ to an interesting person in human history. He becomes as so many others without eternal consequence. He is then an enigma without substance or value. 
Christ is everything. There is before His resurrection and after. Before is hopelessness and futility. After is eternity and victory. He is resurrecting every day the lives of those who believe. "He is risen."

Leia Mais…

Friday, August 11, 2017

Repent Revival



Something to think about.

Repent Revival

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Mathew 4:17

I have repented. Yes, I'm still working on it. I am still in the process of receiving all that is associated with repentance. This commandment of Christ still haunts me. It rattles me to my core because it is still a valid call. There are those around me that have not repented. I am not talking about those in Hollywood or in politics or business. Nor any other category of people, I am talking about my brother, sisters, nieces, nephews in short my family. There is an entire world living all around me that have not repented that have not accepted Christ. I pray for revival in this country, state, and city. I need to start praying for revival in my family.  Is it possible that we have not seen a great revival in this country because we are praying for someone else? The next great revival needs to begin at home. The great field of harvest is not in some far away city or country. It is within our homes. With the people, we break bread with. With those that will no longer listen to our message. If they won't listen how can we reach them? We need to pray for them. We need to stand in the gap for them. What that means is we need to chase after God on their behave. We need to cry out to God for their salvation. We need to get into the battle for their souls. They may not listen to us, but God has the resources to reach them He has the means to touch their hearts. 

Have we given up on our families? Have we written them off as unreachable, unworthy, hopeless unforgivable? Have we become blase about their eternal destination. Have we accepted them as a lost cause? Have we turned them over to eternal death? If we are to see revival it needs to start at home. If we have written off our families do you really think we will care about the lost of the world? This is a call to action to pray for your family to begin a revival in your home.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, August 10, 2017

There Are No Civilians

Something to think about.
 
There Are No Civilians
 
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
 
We've heard this verse quoted, preached, and expounded upon. Yet have we heard what it says? We miss the first three words.  "For we wrestle" It is written in the present tense. Not just something that has occurred in the past or something that will happen in the future. It is happening now.
 
The spiritual forces that are aligned against us are not excluding the unbeliever. They are using the unbeliever to subvert and attack the will and purposes of God. This battle that we are involved in is all-consuming. It affects every area of our lives. The world is losing this battle, immorality is being exalted as the new way. 
 
We are our own worst enemies. We have kept silent for fear of being offensiveness. We have allowed political correctness to define our boundaries. We have silently consented to the removal of God from our public lives. We have permitted the rulers of darkness to identify and control the battle lines of righteousness. Our enemies the spiritual forces of wickedness are disguised in our presence. They have been renamed and rebranded as something less than wicked. We have submitted to our enemies. By allowing wickedness to restrict our beliefs to the four walls of our churches. We have allowed ourselves to be placed in a room of obscure access. We have cowered under the pressure of societies insistence on our silence. We should be the vanguard of righteousness not a secret society of nostalgia. We are becoming the outdated pariah of society. 
 
As a result of expecting someone else to wrestle for us. We are losing ground to the secular anti-God forces in society. We honestly believe that the laws of this country will defend us against the attacks of the enemy. While the enemy finds ways to use these very laws to promote unrighteousness. 
 
We must put on the armor of God and valiantly press the battle for humanity with the word  God and our testimony. God never said thou shall be silent. 

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Real Life

Something to think about.

Real Life 

48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:48

We Christians want, even portray Christianity as being a wonderful harmonic belief system. We do everything we can to make it as attractive as possible. We try to accentuate the great things about Christianity.

The reality is Christ was betrayed by one in His inner circle. His disciples were persecuted and killed. His believers were hunted, tortured and killed. His followers to this day are being abused, persecuted and murdered. His teaching are under attack. There is infighting among us.

Why am I writing this? If we deal with the reality, we might not lose so many to the deception that is our enemy. If we better prepare ourselves for these conflicts and realities, we will be in a better place to help the lost. 

Christianity is a mess. It is a mess because we are dealing with flawed humans and we are flawed humans.  There is no fault with the bible and its teaching. The fault is with us who have turned the word of God into a mirage of a painlessness utopia. 

We should be telling everyone the truth. Christianity is hard. You will be disappointed you will be hurt. The biggest blows will come from those you learn to love. You will fail you will hurt someone either out of ignorance or with intent. We need to tell each other and everyone we are not perfect, we don't have all the answers. Please forgive us when we fall short. Do not judge Christ by what we do judge Christ by what he has done. Forgive us for our misrepresentation of the gospel. Let it be known we will make mistakes. Christ has made a way despite our errors to redeem the lost and restore the broken hearted. Let us tell the world we will mess up but there is still a Christ that can fix it, but only He can fix it. Let us stop trying to portray a clean conflict free Christianity. Let us display a true Christianity with all of its faults and short comings. Let us allow the God we proclaim to be glorified by His restorative power and grace. Let's point others to the one that is perfect and true.

It is in our weakness that He is strong. It is in our faults that He shines. It is when we fall that He can pick us up. It is in our battles that He can bring peace. It is in our hurt that He can bring healing. It is in our defeat that He can bring victory. It is in all the things we hide that He is visible. Christianity is indeed a mess, But Jesus Christ died to clean the mess. To bring order to confusion peace to those at war and life to those that are dying. Jesus is in the business of cleaning up our mess. If we hide it, deny it, cover it or ignore it, Christ cannot be glorified by it.  Remember Christ came for those that need a savior, not for those who are saved.
  • Mark 2:17 (NKJV) When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Leia Mais…

Monday, August 7, 2017

Joy

Something to think about.
 
Joy
 
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

"Fullness of joy" To me this short phrase defines the height, depth, and breadth of the fullness of life. This verse promises me what my heart longs for peace, fulfillment, and love.  A life without lack, full of all of the good things of life. A lack of need, want or desire. It means that I will have abundance in every area of my life. And if that is not enough it then says," at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." When you're on the path of God, you will be safe, provided for loved and cared for. He will give you pleasures above and beyond that. Have you ever received a better offer?

When you are in the presence of God almighty He will give you the fullness joy. All you have to do is walk the path He has provided for you.  The path is not a secret. It is not anything that requires great education, superior, intelligence or a unique revelation. The path is the same for everyone. 

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)  

Jesus is the path. He is the way into the presence of God the Father. Jesus is the one that makes your joy full. It is He that provides all that you need. He is the secret in plain sight. He is the fullness of life. In the God Man, that is Jesus rests the the completion of man, and it is offered to you freely. You can have all the promises of God, but only through the path, that is Jesus. Celebrate the joy which is Jesus. Look around you will not find a better life.

Leia Mais…