Archive | March 2016

Simple Fix

There’s a lot of “knee work” to be done, yes. More of that and less “elbow grease”. The solutions will not come from a politician or any one man, or someone we want to make into a super hero – the go to guy who claims he can. He may be well intentioned, yes. But what our world faces is going to take something and Someone much more powerful than all our human efforts to “make America great again.” No need for anymore of “Follywood’s” super heroes.

I think God has a bigger idea. The “greatness” will come from doing things His way. Unless we repent, surrender ourselves to His Grace, and align with His Mind over the matter, none of our efforts are going to matter. Some will say this is simplistic. You’re entitled to your opinion. God says, “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!”

Father still knows best. So…

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“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

It must begin with the Body of Christ!

Want Transformation?

 

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Guess what, “We The People”? This is what it will take to “make America great again” – each and every one being transformed from the inside out by the Holy Spirit. Each one of us receiving the redemption which has been provided for us in Christ Jesus. Each one of us getting before God in fervent prayer, to ask for His Wisdom to be “re-created” to harmonize with heaven, instead of resonating with the ways of hell… And that begins with the churches! If you’re sensing His call to you, then come to Him!

It doesn’t matter what you gave up for Lent. It won’t matter how many “religious works” or “spiritual practices” you engage in. It won’t matter how many rifles or handguns you have in your collection. It won’t matter which crooked psychopath or closet Communist politician you vote for – left or right. It doesn’t matter what brick and mortar “church” you belong to – that won’t change your heart any more than standing in a garage is going to transform you from a jalopy into a brand new Mercedes.

No, none of that will be worth a hill of beans at the end of the day. And the end of the day is here, people.

In fact after 40 plus years of the bloodshed of the innocent, in a world where people care more about stray dogs and cats than they do that the human children of God are being sacrificed on the altars of convenience, where do you think that will go in the name of a “woman’s rights”? That in itself is America’s death knell – let alone all the other wickedness being spewed out and made legal by the crooked supreme court pack of crows.

For the blood of innocents cries out for justice! It is probably too late for this nation, for the whole world. You cannot execute 1 billion babies worldwide over 40 years and expect not to reap what you’ve sown. This makes Hitler’s holocaust look like a Sunday School picnic.

You think this is too “negative”? You haven’t seen anything yet – if you’re not noticing the freight train coming down the tracks at you. America, you’ve sewn the wind. You are going to reap the whirlwind along with the rest of this world.

Revelation 22:17 Affirmation

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:7)

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation 22:1)

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“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

Scripture passages, affirming their truth, and making art combined – used as a visual focal point – can be a profound yet relaxing mode of prayer and contemplation that helps build our faith. It is also helpful to play soothing, uplifting spiritual music while doing this, which creates a reverent and harmonious atmosphere, conducive to bringing us into a greater awareness of God’s Presence. A suggestion is to use instrumental background rather than vocal, if music is used. If it’s vocal music, the words can become distracting and pulling away attention from the work, since the focus is scriptural texts combined with affirmations based on them.

Another helpful part of this is to look up and study or consider other related cross references to round out the focused subject, such as the theme here of living water or the river of life.

Father Really Does Know Best

Truth here, taken right from Scripture, that can save individuals, our nation, and yes, even our world. Scripture records the ancient knowledge of what works and what doesn’t! Time tested. It won’t be the politicians, programs, plans, propaganda, and especially not political correctness where the answers are found for today’s challenges. It will have to be massive, global scale repentance – a turning toward God and a forsaking of evil, in a world where people do not even any longer acknowledge obvious differences between right and wrong. It will have to be a spiritual transformation by the Holy Spirit within the inner being, at the heart of every man woman and child.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.”
(Proverbs 14:34)

This is the basic truth in a nutshell. Sin – that old fashioned term for thumbing your nose at God – is at the heart of all of the world’s ills. The degree of difficulty and distress is usually the indicator of how much hearts are ruled by sin, not by the Holy Spirit.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

No one can fool God. It’s about Universal Law – the Law of sowing and reaping. When an entire nation for the most part is “sowing to the flesh” (self will, self interest, selfishness, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…), shaking its fist in the Face of the Almighty, and has done so for several generations, it is going to reap corruption and destruction and loss of freedom. This is just how things work. It does not matter how sophisticated, cool, or trendy you think you are. The question really is, am I aligned with God’s will, ways, and plan – seeking His will, not just looking out for number one?

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:16-24)

It’s time to stop kidding ourself and trying to make God’s Word say something other than it says. Sexual immorality? You’re outside of God’s protection when you practice this (included is fornication or homosexual lifestyles among other things). This is just a little rundown on some of the “deeds of the flesh”. How about the psychic consultation, fortune telling, or those Tarot cards? Consider what’s said here. Is it worth it? God’s not making threats. This is a promise. It is based on how things work, not how you think they should work. Only a loving Father would say, “Don’t walk over there – that’s a bad neighborhood; it’s so dangerous that you may lose your life, and your eternal life at Home.” Yes, Father has rules. Father has principles. Father knows best. Dabbling with these ways attracts the dark side, and they only come to rob, kill, and destroy. Our Father’s intention for us is Life abundant. He shows us how we can either walk away from it or have it. It’s that simple.

“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:7,8)

This is not fear porn. A lot of people say that Christians just want to control people with fear. Nothing could be further from the truth. What kind of friend would withhold water from someone dying of thirst? What kind of friend would just tell a kid he’ll be safe by playing in the middle of the freeway? Warnings likewise are given from the ancient ways and wisdom recorded in Holy Scripture so that we do not choose the path that leads us into destruction. And those admonitions are found not only in the Old Testament but the New Testament as well. So if somebody makes the excuse, “that’s just Old Testament; it no longer applies; I can live as I please,” then that person does not come from the perspective of the whole counsel of God! He does not understand the power of Grace.

Jesus Himself warns, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19) The New Testament does not void the moral law; it provides the revelation of the One by Whose Spirit we keep it!

“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations. You shall say, Thus says the Lord GOD, A city shedding blood in her midst, so that her time will come, and that makes idols, contrary to her interest, for defilement! You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations and a mocking to all the lands. Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you, you of ill repute, full of turmoil.” (Ezekiel 22:1-8)

This could be spoken to America today, for example. God raises up prophets in every generation who are called upon to call a spade a spade – just as He called Ezekiel in his day. We have also become “a city shedding blood in her midst”. 3000 plus abortions on demand per day? More bloodshed than most can imagine. You bet this nation has idols contrary to our own interests! The idols of pleasure, convenience, and self will.

Our Heavenly Father has our best interests, our eternal interests and treasures at heart. The King of kings and Lord of lords wishes for us to have the highest and best, especially in heavenly places, as His beloved sons and daughters. He has given us The Way – through the redemptive work of His Son Jesus the Christ, His teaching, and the example of His life – to turn around and to come home to Him. He has sent His Holy Spirit upon all flesh! He has provided everything to bring us back home.

How does the turn around happen? Here’s the beginning answer.

“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This great turn around – some call it “revival”, better called repentance and regeneration through the Holy Spirit – must begin with those who have been born of Him and called by His name, whose hearts burn to see His name honored and His blessing again enjoyed by all who so honor Him.

This is a call to all who know Him to be humbly surrendered to the Mind of Christ, relentless in prayer and honest self examination, seeking the Lord’s will and surrendering all self will to the Holy Spirit. As He shows us whatever is standing in the way of His blessing, let there be a turning away from anything that is getting in the way of the only Power that can set us free from all sin… It is only in this manner of actually being the spiritually dynamic Body of Christ that our land (and the world!) will be healed and set free for the glory and good God intends for all humankind to enjoy.

There is so much here to be gleaned and understood and bestowed upon us! Let us take seriously and apply the understanding of Psalm 1. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.”

It’s time for all who are led by the Spirit of God to lead humankind in a movement to put away the childish things of being rebellious adolescents who want to make Dad’s Word say something other than what it does. Father speaks by His prophets. He speaks by His Son. He speaks by the Scriptures. He speaks by anyone who hears His call to carry the message.

Father knows best!

Are we listening? Will we heed Him and thus live and thrive?

Eternally.

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 24

A Rundown On What’s Run Down

“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. (Proverbs 24:30-32)

This focus from Proverbs 24 is interesting because it is not essentially what could be called a piece of “advice”, but an observation about learning by observation.

It applies on any number of levels – sloppy thinking, slopping attitudes, sloppy habits, sloppy work… and especially sloppiness when it comes to spiritual endeavor and the pursuit of God. This little thought poses a question: What does one do when one sees states of ruin, neglect, carelessness? Answer: Consider it well, examine it, and see what it tells you. And make a note to not be that way.

Suppose the vineyard represents what is to be the fruitfulness of the Spirit within us – the likeness unto the One Who calls Himself the Vine. If we are truly the branches we will not be mired down in thorns and nettles. For we are kept and cared for by the Vinedresser, bearing fruit in due season.

This little passage makes a great deal of sense. God’s messages are everywhere. “Behold!” Scripture so often says.

Look around. What do you see? What might He be showing you concerning yourself or your life? Sometimes He will offer the most profound message through the simplest, ordinary, everyday things.

Hopefully we can get into the habit of not overlooking them or of taking them for granted.