Monday, May 29, 2017

Are you walking according to the Spirit?

The Lord has put something on my heart to speak about. What does the scripture verses "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." ~Jer. 31:33 (NASB) and "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." ~Ezek. 36:26 (NASB) mean? Well, first we must establish that these verses speak of future events. Second, that they refer not only to physical Israel, that is those born a Jew in the flesh, but to spiritual Israel as well. "But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring." ~Rom. 9:6-8. So, when God speaks of giving us a new heart and a new Spirit, and that He is going to put His law in us and write it on our hearts, He is quickening (making alive) our heart and spirit to be sensitive to His law (notice the word pictures of a heart of stone contrasted with a heart of flesh).
So, what does that look like in everyday life? Are we suppose to obey all 613 laws that the Jewish Authority yoked the Jewish people with? NO! What it means is that we have been given a new "sensitivity" of those things that are displeasing to God. Let me give you a real world example. When I was around twenty-five years old I received my first tattoo. I loved it! Not only did I love it, I felt there was nothing wrong with it. After I was saved I went and got another one. This one though was a "Christian" tattoo (a cross with "Yeshua" written in Hebrew). This time I kind of felt it was wrong. I mean I knew it said in the Old Testament that we're not supposed to get them but I've heard different preachers say it was "okay" to get them. I can tell you this much... the REAL reason I wanted it was I felt women thought they were hot and sexy. It had very little to do with Jesus. Cut to about fifteen years later and I wanted to cover up my pagan (long horn steer) tattoo I got when I was twenty-five with a "Christian" one. So I went online and found about a dozen or so tats that I felt would cover it up. I brought them into my buddy who is a tattoo artist and he informed that only one had enough different details that could be used to cover it up. So we proceeded to cover up my old tattoo. Now I need to let you know that prior to and during the tattoo process I had a "feeling" that what I was doing was NOT pleasing to God. BUT, it didn't deter me. I went as far as getting the other tats I liked on the same arm to make a sleeve and every time I got one that same "feeling" that what I was doing was displeasing to God, but again, it didn't deter me.
It is my firm belief that as Christians we need to pay attention to these sensitive feelings. The same way a child knows that they will get into trouble doing something his/her parents would object to, we have been given via the Holy Spirit a new sensitivity to those things that displease God. I know that EVERYONE has been in a situation that our parents may not have covered with us before as to how we should behave or act in a given situation BUT when we did that certain thing we just knew if our parents found out we'd be in trouble. It is NO DIFFERENT with our heavenly Father. Before my conversion I was dead in my sins. A slave to them. After conversion I became alive in Christ. I was no longer a slave to the lust of my flesh and eyes, but a free man! Before I had ZERO CHOICE in what I did. I did whatever my flesh and eyes wanted me to do. Now, I have a true choice. I can do what pleases my flesh, eyes and pride or I can do what pleases my Father in heaven.
So what is this new "sensitivity"? It is the Holy Spirit convicting my spirit as to those things that will please or displease my Father in heaven. When I do those things that please God I am "walking according to the Spirit". When I do those things that displease God I am "walking according to the flesh."
These days I try hard to walk according to the Spirit so as not to fulfill the lust of my flesh. It is NOT easy. The Apostle Paul tells us at times we need to "beat our bodies into submission" and to constantly train our bodies like a fighter trains for a fight. We must look for the way out that Jesus promises to give us. BUT, when failure comes and sin creeps in. We must confess our sins IMMEDIATELY! The Apostle John tells us that God is faithful and just to forgive us for the sake of Christ Jesus! AMEN!

Thursday, August 04, 2016

God's Perfect Love

The Apostle John tells us in 1 John 4:8b that "God is Love". He is the very definition of Love. This is how He expressed His love toward us, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:8. Let me explain it this way. 

From the very beginning God always knew what needed to take place in order for His creation, His children, to have a relationship and peace with Him. Never once did He think it was too high a price to pay for a relationship with us. You see, God made the earth for US, you and me. In the creation process described in Genesis, God created the earth and every living thing on it. The last to be created was man. Created in God's very own Image and man would have dominion over the whole earth. The very expression of this creation is LOVE. God didn't have to create anything. His being is eternal. His Joy is eternal. His Love is eternal. God is complete without anyone or anything. God did not create out of necessity, but out of LOVE.

The fall of man to sin was not a surprise to God. God knows the end from the beginning, so there is nothing He doesn't know or expect. Yet, He still followed through with His creation. He loves us so much that even before He created light He knew He would have to die a humiliating death at the hands of the very people He created. And yet, He still went through with it. At just the right time and just the right place He sent His One and only Son Yeshua (Jesus) to us. The physical representation of Himself. To teach us and to help us see and understand the power of God to SAVE US. 

Yeshua taught us that the two greatest commandments were "to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself." He also taught us to forgive one another. If we are ever to expect God to forgive us of our offenses and debts (sin), then we need to forgive others who have wronged us. He also taught us to not think too highly of ourselves but to serve one another, "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." ~Matt. 20:28. He left us a blueprint on how we are to live our lives in faith. Yeshua's public ministry only lasted three and half years, but the gift He left us has endured for centuries. 

You see, even though Yeshua knew that the hearts of men were wicked, He still went to the cross. At any moment He could have called down a legion of angels to destroy His enemies, but He went to His execution like a lamb to the slaughter. As He was about to lay down His life, He asked His Father in heaven to "forgive them, for they no not what they do." He never made it about Himself. He was humble and followed through with His Father's plan even though none of us deserve(d) it. It is said that even if there was only one person in the history of mankind that would accept His free gift of salvation, He still would have went to the cross. I believe that. 

If you believe in Christ Jesus and His plan for salvation and want to know what to do to be saved (Jesus said "unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the Kingdom of God"), then REPENT (turn from) of your sins and turn to Yeshua, put all your faith and trust in Him like a child trusts his/her parents and be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Yeshua promises us that if we endure till the end we will be saved. Never lose faith in Him who conquered death and the grave. AMEN! HALLELUJAH!!!


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Is "truth" absolute or relative?

Is truth absolute or relative? Merriam - Webster defines truth as "the real facts about something: the thinges that are true." If I say "truth is relative" I am making an absolute statement which means my statement is contradictory. Again, if I say "I always lie" my statement is an absolute truth. If then my statement is true that I indeed always lie, then my statement contradicts itself. If I always lie, then my statement cannot be true which means I don't always lie.
You see the ONLY arena where "truth" becomes relative is faith and morals. "What's right/good for you may not be what's right/good for me, or "you believe what you believe and I'll believe what I believe." So, if truth is absolute which we've already established it is, then there is no such thing as multiple beliefs or moral/ethical  codes. Morality and ethics can only be good or bad, not both.
If morality/ethics are an absolute truth, where did we get those truths from? Our parents? If so, where did they get theirs from? Obviously the answer is their parents, and so on and so forth. But, we must come to an ultimate beginning. Where did the first humans get morals and ethics from? According to the theory of evolution all life is a struggle of survival of the fittest. So at what point did man say it is wrong to kill another person, or it is wrong to steal or rape?
You see we are the only beings on this earth that are born with a conscience. Con means "with" and science means "knowledge". We are born "with knowledge" that is wrong to kill, steal, and rape another person. So who gave us this knowledge? Was it all a part of our evolutionary process? If so, why did we develop these ideas and why haven't any other creatures on earth developed these ideas?
So as you I can see even morals, ethics, and beliefs are an absolute truth. So, which beliefs are true and which are false? God says in Malachi 3:6 "For I the Lord do not change". Jesus said in John 14:6 I AM the Way and the TRUTH and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me." And again in Hebrews 13:8 the author said "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." We all know the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. God Himself gave us the rules, morals and ethics that we govern ourselves and our behaviors today by. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the One True and Only God. He has written His laws on our hearts and seared them into our conscience. That is why we know it is wrong to kill, steal, rape and destroy. Those who violate His Laws are in rebellion against Him and He will punish everyone in rebellion to Him. Peter says in 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." If a person goes to hell it is because they chose their sin over God. They chose rebellion to God over obedience to Him.
Are you in rebellion toward God? Are you a slave to your fleshly lust, and earthly desires? We are all slaves to these masters. Jesus is asking us to change masters. Jesus says "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." ~Matt. 11:28-30. Once we do that He promises to set us free. "Truly truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever;  the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Jesus came to give us eternal life. We can never pay God for the sins we've committed. We all need a Savior. That is the Man Christ Jesus who died so that some may live. His whole purpose was to come and suffer by the hands of them that He created so that we may have life and peace with God Almighty. No other religion, faith, belief can say that. "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
If you have come to the Truth that you are a sinner, that you see just how badly you need a Savior then I would ask that you repent (turn away from your sin, and turn to God) be baptized, and obey Jesus. If you do that Jesus promises to give you everlasting life. That my friends is the TRUTH! AMEN!!!HALLELUJAH!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Faith?

Ponder this... How many of you when boarding a plane are frozen with overwhelming terror? The answer most would say is "I'm fine flying. It is more dangerous to drive a car than to fly." The fact of the matter is we all put our trust and faith in the pilots ability to deliver us to our destination safely. It is the same with Jesus Christ. He promises that if you put your trust and FAITH in Him, He will deliver you from eternal death and damnation. Jesus is the only One to overcome death and the grave. He loves you so much that He willingly went to the cross to endure excruciating pain and humiliation for YOU. In fact the word "excruciating" come from the word crucifixion. It means pain beyond human endurance. Most people would become unconscious at that level of pain. But because Jesus is God in the flesh, He was able to remain conscious and feel every bit of God the Father's wrath. This is the measure of Love He has for you. He died for you... don't you think you should live for Him?

The beauty of the Gospel

So here it is... the God of the universe, of all that was created, the seen and unseen, the known and unknown did not consider it too high a price for Him to lower Himself a little below the angels so that some might be saved. Who needs to be saved you ask? All of us! You seen we are all sinners and fall short of the Glory of God. Because we are sinners, and God is Perfect and Holy, He cannot and will not allow imperfection and unholy people and things in His presence. Hence, mankind needs a Savior.

That Savior is Jesus Christ. God in the flesh. The only Perfect One that could possible pay for the sins of all mankind through His sacrificial death on the cross. It pleased God the Father to take His wrath out on His own Son so that we may have eternal life. Now our Heavenly Father no longer looks at us as we truly are but through the sacrificial atoning Blood of His only Son Jesus Christ. Here's the catch, we can only be saved from eternal torment and punishment if we accept Jesus Christ as our Master and Savior. Then we must repent  (turn away) from our sins and turn to Christ Jesus. We are already slaves. We are slaves to our fleshly lusts, worldly desires and satan.

We are exchanging one Master for another, and Jesus says He will set us free. We will no longer be called servants, but friends. Once we see how truly debased and wicked we really are in our present state, and our eyes have been opened, repentance comes easily. It is a gift from God. Once we repent we MUST be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, then Jesus promises we will have eternal LIFE!

BUT... if we don't then we are stuck in our sins, and the requirement for payment of those sins is eternal torment.

I beg all of those reading this that don't know Jesus Christ and what He has to offer PLEASE... PLEASE read a Bible! Search out to see if what I'm saying is true. Don't just trust me, trust Him
Ask Him to prove Himself to you. HE WILL! You have nothing to lose accept maybe a little time reading and talking to others, but you if what I'm saying is True then you have everything to gain i.e. ETERNAL LIFE AND JOY or everything to lose if you don't believe i.e. your eternal soul (the second death).

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Seek Him while He may be found!

There is a time coming in the near future when mankind will no longer accept God's grace and free gift of salvation. There will be a great falling away in the church and many who claimed to have known Christ will reject Him. Seek out the real Jesus Christ while He still may be found. Read the Bible. Start in the New Testament. Find out who this Jesus is and what He's all about. You have nothing to lose and eternal life to gain!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Innocent until proven guilty?

“I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged. At the very least, we should debate. We should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights, or whether or not we are going to have a full and able debate over whether or not we can live within the Constitution, or whether or not we have to go around the Constitution.” ~Rand Paul - NSA Filibuster

“We have to decide whether our fear is going to get the better of us.  Once upon a time we had a standard in our country that was ‘innocent  until proven guilty.’ We’ve given up on so much. Now, people are talking  about a standard that is ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing  to fear.’ Think about it. Is that the standard we’re willing to live  under?” ~Rand Paul - NSA Filibuster

U2's Bono - "America is an idea"

"It's not a left/right issue. It's a right/wrong issue, and America has constantly been on the side of what's right. America is an idea, That's how we see you around the world: As one of the greatest ideas in human history... The idea is that you and me are created equal... If we have dignity, if we have justice, then leave it to us. We'll do the rest... This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and  put that on paper." ~Bono (U2 frontman)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Square Peg In A Round Hole

I recently heard the preacher Alistair Begg say that Christians are a "peculiar" in comparison to the world. We are different and the world sees us as different, even strange. This concept is not new to me, I've heard or read it in the Bible before. It comes from the King James Bible 1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a PECULIAR people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light". As I was listening to Alistair's sermon it came to me that I have lived a very sorrowful, even heartbreaking life. A life that oftentimes felt as if I couldn't be loved by others. I've tried desperately to fit in to what the world called "normal". But I always fell short. I was never the best at anything I did or tried. In school, I always wanted to be "that guy". You know the one, the one that everyone loved. The one that had "that girl". The girl all the guys dreamt and drooled over. I wasn't him though. I was the guy that was the class clown, the one people mocked and made fun of. I started running away from home at 13 because it was unbearable to live in my house. I put myself in extremely dangerous circumstances because living out there was better than living at home. But through all this I just wanted to fit in.

As an adult I tried many different careers. I was a decent network engineer, but not the best. I was a decent barber, but not the best. I've known people in these fields that excelled, but I could only attain mediocraty. This encompassed all areas of my life. I've never had a successful relationship with the women I've been involved with including a marriage thirty years ago. My relationship with my daughter is strained at best and almost non-existent.
All my life I felt like a loser... but as I was listening to Alistair talk I realized that I've been trying to fit in where I was never intended to fit in. I'm the square peg trying to fit into a round hole. God made me to be a peculiar person so that I could see the glory of His Love and Mercy. Jesus said "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you" ~John 15:18-19 (NASB). If I had all the things that people have, a great wife, a good relationship with my child, the perfect job that I was great at and successes that the world seeks, then I may have never known my desperate need for a Savior.

You see I am MORE fortunate than the wealthiest or most loved and revered people in the world. I have been chosen by a King to be His son. I am the adopted son of the Most High God. I do not have to seek riches and adulation from the world because I have the Love from God that the world cannot understand. 1 John 4:8 says "The one who does not love does not know God, for GOD IS LOVE." So. if God is the very definition of Love then it stands to reason that I have the very best kind of Love.

This gift from God is not just for me, but for all people seeking more. This world will never give you enough. You'll constantly starve and strive for more. Only Jesus Christ can give you all you need. He will wipe away every tear and tell you in your heart "I Love You". If you are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, then ask Jesus Christ to be the Master of your life. Believe on Him that He was crucified, died and and rose from the dead, defeating death and the grave and is seated at the Right Hand of God. Believe also that there is nothing He can't do for you according to His will and mercy. There is no pit you are to far down that He can't reach down and pick you up. Then REPENT of your sins, see them as He sees them... vile and dirty. It is only then that He can clean you up. When you realize you need to be cleaned up. A child that has never seen or been to Disney World does not know what he/she is missing. So when the parent says "Come in so I can clean you up and take you to Disney, they refuse. They are content playing in the mud making mud pies. However, once they see what Disney is like they are excited to come in and get cleaned up! We need to see how filthy we really are before we can come to Jesus and ask Him to clean us up.

Life on this Earth with Christ will be difficult, maybe more so than the difficulties you are going through right now, but He will give you a peace that surpasses all understanding. ~Philippians 4:7. He will give you strength and courage to take on whatever this world throws at you and you too will know that you are a son or daughter of the Most High God, the prince or princess of a KING! HALLELUJAH!!! AMEN!!!

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