April 26, 2017

No longer salty

Can you talk a good talk?

Do you sound all righteous, especially when you are at church?

Do you go to church all the time like the Pharisees did?

What makes you holy?

Is it the good that you do?

Or do you blame it all on God?

Do you stop to help anyone in the ditch or do you buy into the fear of never helping a stranger?

Do you fear losing your life?

Then you will keep it here, and have your reward here, and you will go to hell.

God says to fear no man, so why do you fear anyone?

Are you ashamed of the gospel?

Anyone, who really knows the gospel, speaks it as often as they are given an opportunity.

The message, if received, has the power to set a person free.

Free from what?

SIN!

Or do you love sin, and want to continue to do it?

That is the only reason sin is committed.

Jesus said so in John 3:19.

Read it, and weep. Weep over the fact that you love to sin. Repent of it.

Are you salty? Do you preserve the Word? Do you preach it in your good deeds to your husband?

Do you love?

If not, and I am talking if you do not love everyone, and hold no one at arm's length, then you are not salty, and Jesus is telling you that you are good for nothing good on this earth.

You are only looking out for you, and you are helping no one to see the goodness of God.

Wake up, and repent of your sin of hate, or perish in it.

Are you salt?

Or do you hide out in your home, and away from people, and do you love to be served?

If you live in fear, then you are not living by faith.

The two (fear and faith) do not dwell together in a soul.

Without faith proving itself out in your daily life, you are not pleasing to God.

You can say that you are pleasing God, but you are not if you have fear.

Big fear, or little fear, it is all fear.

God does not talk about big fear, and little fear, nor big faith, but he does talk about faith like a seed.

Faith, though you think that it is small, is faith. Faith that a dog will not bite causes you to pet it.

Fear will cause you not to pet it. Big or little fear will cause you not to pet it. Fear is fear.

You may say that God is all-seeing, and all-powerful, and that he holds you, but if you have fear?

Forget the talk.

It is worthless.

It is lip-service.

Stop lying to yourself, and repent.

Or perish in your fear, and faithlessness, and sin.



Without him, what would you be doing?

If the Lord has changed you, then how are you living life any differently because of him?

What's new with your agenda?

Do you hate anyone?

Do you love everyone?

Are the laws of God kept as the apple of your eye (Proverbs 7:2)?

Do you love them?

Do you cherish them above anything else?

If so, do you know that you will be speaking of them?

You will have no time for gossip, or fussing, or slander.

You will desire to express your love for them to whomever will listen.

Not too many will want to listen, even among the crowds of people who go to church.

Many are too busy with the world, and what it offers.

Without God in your life, would you still do what you are doing today?

How is your life any different because you say that you are a Christian?

Are you an example to other married women on how to love a husband?

Or do you just try to love him, and hope that God understands your shortfall?

Are you showing others that you love your enemies?

And do you love the very needy one in the ditch?

Are you an example of one who loves God with all that is in you?

Are you full of good works?

Are you generous to the poor?

Or do you think that you can do that maybe once, and then move on with life?

How will you prove to God that you love him today, and every moment of this day?

Is that too much to ask?

Remember that he commands that we love him with all that is within us.

How do YOU keep that command?

Do you think that it is something that YOU can accomplish?

If not, then how is it done?

Remember that his commands must be kept in order to see him, and to NOT be a worker of iniquity.

You must serve him with gladness, or you will be grumpy, and anyone saved from sin, and bondage is never grumpy, for darkness is gone, and the light is come.

Repent for soon this life is done.

What will you do with that fact?

April 24, 2017

What is wicked? (Part 2)

The wicked person says to himself, "God will never notice...." Psalms 10:11.

Do you think that about the sin that you do?

Do you believe that God not see when you neglect the poor?

Or when you see, but are not moved by compassion, for the beaten down person in the ditch?

The wicked do not believe that God is omnipresent or omniscient. 

They do not believe that God is who he says that he is, nor can do as only he can do.

They serve "another" god, and are blinded by sin.

Psalms 10: 13 tells us that the wicked person reviles God.

To revile is to speak abusively about someone.

It is wicked to use the Lord's name (God) in vain.

Someone loved is never spoken of abusively. 

Those who take God's name in vain think that he does not notice it (verse 13).

He does, but because they are not immediately smitten dead for using his name in vain, then they assume that he does not see, and they forget his mercies— for now.

Using God's name in vain is proof of hatred for God.

The wicked are "doers of evil" according to verse 15.

Evil is sin.

Sin equals hatred for God, and the neighbor.

Someone who sins does what is evil.

God will not reject the broken and repentant heart (Psalm 51:17).

He will call the evildoer into account for the wickedness committed (Psalm 10:15).

He does not hear their prayers.

They regard (love) sin in their hearts (Psalm 66:18).

God hears the prayers of the afflicted— the ones who know their sin, and repent of it (Psalm 10:17).

Are you wicked or pure in heart?

Does God hear your prayers?




April 21, 2017

If you beleive, what happens?

If I were to tell you my thoughts about how to raise children, and you followed my teachings, then it could be said of you that you believe in me.

If I were to tell you the one, and only way, to lose weight, and you did not follow what I instructed, then you would not be a believer in me even though you might say that you are.

If I were to tell you that those who believe in Jesus, then go to heaven when they die, would you believe me?

What if I followed up that statement by saying that if you believe in Jesus, then it means that you DO all that he has said to do, then would you also buy that?

You see, to simply say that you "believe" in someone does not mean that you follow what they say to do because the demons believe that Jesus was who he said that he was, and is who he says that he is, and they KNOW that he was raised from the dead, but they do NOT go to heaven.

You can believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, and die and go to hell.

If you really believe IN him, then you do as he says to do.

He commands repentance (Matthew 4:17).

Have you repented?

He commands total love for God (Luke 10:27).

Do you have a love for God that consumes your thoughts all day long, every day?

He commands a love for the neighbor that looks like how you love yourself (Mark 12:31).

Is that the compassion you have for your world?

He commands that we love not the world, nor the things of the world (I John 2:15).

Do you love stuff?

He commands that we not judge anyone (Matthew 7:1).

Do you judge?

He commands that we be aware of false prophets (Matthew 7:15-16).

Are you aware of any false prophets, and is your pastor one of them?

He commands that we fear no man (Matthew 10:28).

Do you have any fears?

He commands that we turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39-42).

Do you?

He commands that we love, and pray for, our enemies (Matthew 5:44-46).

Is your heart moved with compassion for those who spitefully use you, and do you pray for them?

He commands that we be perfect in love (Matthew 5:48).

Are you?

He commands that we share (Luke 3:11).

Is this the habit of your life?

He commands that one not store up riches here on earth (Matthew 6:19).

What about that one???

He tells us plainly that if we truly love him, then we do as he commands (John 14:15).

Do you diligently seek to know if you are following all that he commands?

Do you truly love the Lord?

Only if you do as he commands.

One must repent first before one can do as he commands.

"Repent" was the first word out of the mouth of Jesus as he began his ministry (Matthew 4:17).

First things first.

Agree with God that your lust is adultery, which is also hate, and that your anger is hate, and that your love of the world is hatred of God, and that all of sin boils down to hate, which is murder.

Do you agree?

If so, then you will be changed, and then you will love God with all your heart, and it will not be of your own strength that you are perfect in love, but by the power that raised Jesus from the dead, you will love with all your heart the God who created you, and your neighbor as yourself.

Or you will perish in your sins if you do not do as Jesus commands (John 8:24).

And those who truly believe do as he says to do.

Do you?

"Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Luke 11:28)

April 17, 2017

Balance

Another catch-word that is tossed around these days among Christians is the word balance.

We hear that we are to have balance in our lives.

Get balanced.

If only one has balance, then things go well.

Somehow a person is able to know when they have balance in their lives, and when they have done enough quiet time, and eaten enough, and exercised enough, and when all that is done with balance, then all is well in the soul. Really? Is that how we are told to live?

NO!

Never are we told that in the Word.

Oddly, the only place I know of where the word balance is used is found in Proverbs 11:1.

"A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight."

It would behoove the Christian to pay attention to anything that the Word calls an abomination.

An abomination is something that the Lord hates.

Do you hate it when you are unfair to anyone?

Or when you cut a pie, and take the bigger slice?

Or when you share with some, but will never share with others?

Is your "friendship" ability off the charts with a person you consider kind, and then the "friendship" ability fails to show up when someone is unkind to you?

Do you show favoritism?

God hates that.

He is not one to show more love for some than others.

His love in the truly redeemed is not balanced, it overflows, and is off the scale.

We are to love God with ALL the heart, and the neighbor AS we love ourselves.

Is that a description of your life?

God commands all of the heart, and to totally love him, and others, not balance.

Praise always, not only in a ten minute quiet time.

Never fear, not just when the doors are locked, and all the "bad" people are behind bars.

In everything give thanks, not just when there is a pile of money in the bank.

The life consumed by God is a living sacrifice of service, and only service.

And a smile comes with that service for the one consumed by God.

The smile is a knowing of what is to come.

The joy, that is set before the true believer, is heaven.

They long for it. They are passing through this world. It is not their home.

They don't balance a love for the world, with a love for God, and heaven.

They hate this world, and love God, and long to be with him.

They know it won't be long.

Are you totally aware that the end is near, and does that thought thrill you?

For the redeemed, who know of freedom from sin, and grace, live lives that are off-the-chart thrilled that this world is passing away, and that they will soon see their Savior face-to-face.

Forget about balance.

Love God with ALL your heart, and your neighbor as yourself, and thus fulfill all the law.

April 15, 2017

Mormons celebrate Easter

Did you know the following:

Mormons dedicate their Easter sacrament meeting to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Did you know that to be true?

How is it that a cult can believe the same way about the resurrection of Jesus as perhaps you do?

What would you tell a Mormon about how to be saved?

Would you use the words of Jesus?

How would you define the word "believe" to them when it comes to believing in Jesus?

Is belief simply acknowledging that Jesus rose from the grave?

Mormons believe that to be true.

Now what do you tell them?

How is it that you have eternal life?

According to Jesus, who gets to see God?

When does a soul become pure in heart?

Do people go from sinning a lot, to sinning less, and less?

If so, where is the passage, that supports that idea, found in Scripture?

On this day, have you chosen whom you will serve, and if so, will you choose differently tomorrow?

If so, how does redemption work in a soul who does that?

Inquiring minds want to know, need to know, and should know your testimony.

Do you have one that comports to the teachings of your church, or to the teachings of Jesus?

Are they one and the same?

What say you?

You will answer one day soon for how you lived your life here on earth.

Do you love others to the cross, or do you hold them at arm's length until they straighten up and see the light, and then when they do, then are you ready to open your arm's to them?

What makes up a love such as that?

What belief makes one think that one can distance oneself from others until......

Until what?

Where did Jesus go when it came to sinners?

He went into their homes, and ate with them.

Do you know who it is that he tells us to steer clear of when it comes to sharing a meal?

Read I Corinthians 5:11 for your quiet time today.

Ask yourself the hard questions.

Do any of the qualifications about whom true believers are to steer clear of, when it comes to sharing a meal, fit you? In any area of your life are you greedy? Sexually immoral? Do you slander anyone?

Is there anything that you hold dear that is made by man?

That is idolatry.

Idolatry is also thinking incorrectly about God.

We make idols when we do not worship God, and God alone.

Have you ever swindled anyone since you have professed to be a Christian?

To swindle is to cheat. Must one do a lot of cheating to be a swindler? What does Jesus say?

Yes. You will most likely agree that Jesus rose from the dead. And then what?

How is your life different than that of a Mormon?


April 13, 2017

How to or bow to?

Watch for the words "how to" in the "Christian" world.

The words are prolific, and if truth were being told, then the life with Christ would not be described in a "how to" but a "bow to" way.

If I tell you how to cut up an orange, or how to iron a shirt, or how to make a wreath, and then you do it, then would you say, "Look what Debbie did?" or would you say, "Look! I did it!"

When "teachers" or "preachers" tell "how to" live joyfully amid troubles, and then you do it, then there is ALWAYS going to be the expected pat on the back, and congratulations, from others, and you'll not want to admit it, but you'll be thinking that you are pretty good.

YOU DID IT!

Great job!

Way to go!!!

And all the while, for those who think that they did it, there is boasting in the heart that they did it!

There may even be vocal boasting from the pulpit, or from friends who will pat you on the back.

If there is a true bowing of the heart, that comes with repentance, then the repentant KNOWS who is doing the successful living for the Lord in, and through, them.

They know how to love.

It is to, while in sin, repent of it.

Repent of hate.

If successful Christian living were up to a "how to" list, then the Scribes and Pharisees of old would have been congratulated by Jesus.

They kept to their lists, checked it twice, and found others who were naughty, and they never found themselves in contempt of God's law of love; it was others, always others.

And that is what you will do when you keep your "how to" lists.

You'll be noticing who is not doing what you are doing.

You'll want to hold up your list to them.

You'll even think, "Love like I do," "You're not loving properly," and you'll hate the ones who cannot love like you do, and think, "Why don't they get with it!"

They just need more "how to" lessons, right?

No.

Those lessons are just more "laws" to keep.

Make more notes. Try harder. Nose to the grindstone life.

No, thank you. Enough already. Not another "how to" book, or sermon, or conference.

Jesus gave no "how to" lesson.

His message was simple.

Repent.

Those, who repent, have the love of God flowing through them non-stop.

They finally understand the easy yoke, and light burden.

They don't keep records of wrong that others have done.

They love.

They bow to God, and the power that raised Jesus from the grave keeps their foot from slipping (Psalm 121:3), and that same power will not allow them to fall to temptation (I Cor. 10:13).

How powerful is your god?

Must you keep a how to list?

Or does love flow through you because you repented, and now bow to God at all times?

You cannot be serving two masters?

Serve your how to list and try to be a good girl, or bow to God in repentance.

He will make you new, and you will not be good in, and of, yourself, but because of God's righteousness that is in you, and then his goodness always flows out of you.

No reservations.

No prejudice.

No one is left out in the rain with you, and no one gets a cold shoulder.

Will everyone love you? No. Did they love Jesus?

Do you want lots of friends? Do you want lots of money? Do you like to be entertained?

That is wide-road living.

On the narrow road, the heart belongs to another, and not just on Sundays.

Bow to God.

Repent, and do it soon, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

April 12, 2017

"Spending time with the Lord"

Spending time with the Lord.

Doesn't that sound----spiritual?

Pious?

Religious?

Are we commanded anywhere in Scripture to spend time with the Lord?

Do you think that you have appeased the Lord somehow when you give him your moments in time?

Is he a god who appreciates a wink and a nod?

Should he feel grateful that you gave him some time whenever it is that you do that?

I googled the words "are we commanded to spend time with the Lord in Scripture" and found some sites that listed verses, in fact, one of them listed 17 verses.

But none of the verses listed specifically said, "Spend time with me."

We use conjecture when we say that we are to have quiet times with God.

Sounds sweet though doesn't it?

And we do it cause we know we are supposed to do that according to just about everyone.

And we sadly think that it makes us holy.

It does not.

One of sites that listed 17 Bible verses about quiet time with God has the gall to start off its article with the following words:

"One of the hardest things for most believers to do is to have a consistent daily time with God."

You can google it and find it if you want.

It is astounding to me that someone thinks that it is a very hard thing for a believer tot spend time with God. The person who sets a soul free from prison is forgotten?  He is not praised continuously?

True believers do not "spend time with the Lord" at all.

They live in him. He is their very breath. His words are on the tip of their tongue.

Go ahead and do your quiet time, and think that you are religious.

That is all that you are.

Scripture has very stout words for religious folks.

Look those passages up the next time you spend time with the Lord, and then repent of your sin.

You will be transformed, and not of your own doing, it will be a gift from the Lord.

When that occurs, then you will forever be blessed, and comforted, and peaceful.

That soul never just spends time with the Lord.

He is why they open their eyes in the morning, and breathe, and they never forget to praise him.

Do you?





Ridding oneself of anger....what to do?

You'll hear it said (even by "Christians") that physical exercise, tennis, a run, a swim, a walk, or any physical activities one can name can rid one of anything to do with the soul, like worry, or angst.

Scripture calls worry, angst, and anger, by another name entirely.

Sin.

Nothing one can do physically works to free one of sin.

Might as well eat, or drink, or make a phone call, or take a nap, or fly a kite.

Anything physically done is called a diversion.

After all that one can do physically, one is still left with the anger, even while thinking it gone, for if a walk could abate anger, then divorce lawyers would be out of business.

Murder would be extinct.

Anxiety would cease.

And Jesus died in vain.

Nothing one can do physically removes the stink, stain, and chains of sin in a soul.

Believe the lie, and continue to do the kick-boxing, yoga, and latest dance moves to release stress, worry, and angst, or as Scripture calls it, sin, and remain in your sin, or repent.

To repent is to agree with God that your angst is hate, and hate is murder, and no one likes to put themselves in that category, for Hitler is there, and Ted Bundy is there, and so is Andrea Yates.

When one repents, or agrees with God that their anger is murder, then God frees them.

Do you really desire to be free?

I find it interesting that Jesus asks the sick man if he wants to be well.

Jesus saw the man "lying" there, and he sees us lying.

The man was an invalid we are told.

He was someone unable to tend to himself.

We, in our sin, cannot tend to ourselves.

Jesus sees us.

Lying to ourselves.

Lying around moaning, and complaining, and thinking, "Why won't someone help me?"

Some people don't want to be well.

They enjoy the "freedom" that being sick brings to them.

They are not able to do for others, for they are sick.

They do not lift a finger for the neighbor, for they need others to lift a finger for them.

They are not asked to do anything, for everyone knows of their sickness, and inability.

Would you be well?

Jesus commands, "Get up." "Go home." "If you want to be well, you choose to get up."

He commands us to repent.

Do you want to be capable?

Repent.

Do you want to be sufficient?

Repent.

Are you tired of being needy?

In your state of being not a valid, useful, loving person, repent.

Or remain in the sin that so easily besets you.

You will perish in it.

Or repent, and be free to tend, and love, and have residing in you the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, which is the ability to love the needy, tend the ones who remain in darkness, and do all of that, and more, because in Him is the strength to do for others, and live life to the fullest.

Is your life one of fullness of joy, strength, and love?

Would you be free from anger?

Don't think that a walk cures anger.

Hitler took walks.

Repent.

Jesus commands it.

Or perish in your sin while you jog, dance, and kick-box.

Choose this day.

Be free, or continue to strive to be righteous.

Repent, or in your works, remain in bondage.





The soul of the saint sings freely

No matter what the circumstance, the soul set free will sing.

In prison?

Still singing.

Neglected?

She sings, for the eternal, and all-wise God has given her peace which she cannot explain.

Hated?

Insulted?

Beaten?

Abused?

Mocked?

Used?

Persecuted?

Betrayed?

Her soul sings. 

What could any mere human do to her to her silence her soul?

She has suffered more from her own hand!

Her own sin, which once bound her, is gone; she is free.

And she is certain, with no doubt, not even a hint, that nothing can separate her from God.

God is love.

She is intimately acquainted with the God who is love.

Her eyes are fixed.

Something fixed is unmovable. Not for a moment does she waver. God fixed her.

She stays put in love, and not by any power of her own making, and not by trying, and striving, but the same power, that raised Jesus from the dead, keeps her right where God put her.

In his hand, she does not quake.

She does not wonder if God loves her. He knows how to prove it to her. He set her free.

Gratefully she no longer wants, begs, or cries for someone to love her.

The husband is free.

The friend is free.

The neighbor is free.

No one owes her a thing.

What could anyone on this earth give her that compares to freedom from sin???

She knows love.

She has repented.

She no longer wanders.

Her foot, held in place by God, stays put on the narrow road.

Oh the freedom!

Oh the song!

Do you sing?

Not from prodding. Not because you are in church. Not because your favorite hymn is playing.

Not because the rhythm got to you. Not because you remembered to do so. Not because you feel it.

But because you cannot but do it.

The mouth of the saint is full of song— always.

It is not conjured. No favorite CD needs to play. Her mind is set on singing.

Someone put her mind on auto-song, and she is very aware of why she sings.

No more sin binds her. Love flows in her. Freedom rings in her soul.

Day after day, moment by moment the song never stops.

In him is fullness of joy.

Going home, where the Father waits, brings instant, and endless song. 

Have you repented?

Have you agreed with God that the sin that you do is hate?

All sin boils down to hatred of someone.

And you will not love anyone perfectly till you repent.

Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Jesus commands it.






April 11, 2017

What is wicked? (Part 1)

Before we look at how Scripture defines the word wicked, think about if someone can be really wicked, or sort of wicked, or are they just simply— wicked.

It is the same as determining if someone can be just a bit of a liar, or a really bad liar, or a really good liar, or an occasional liar, and how many lies does it take to be a liar.

The same as the question, how many affairs does it take for a married person to be an adulterer?

When we begin to attach a "weight" to offenses, then your sins could look better, or worse than mine.

We like it that way.

We prefer to look around, and see if someone is doing what we do in what may appear to be a more offensive way, and then we feel better about ourselves. We become the standard at that point. We hold up our "sins" and contrast them to the "sins" of others, and we always will win that comparison.

We will always be better than the other stinker.

But God says that perfection is the standard.

How do you measure up to that?

What must you do to get there?

Try harder?

Have more prayer meetings?

Study your Bible more, sing more, go to church more?

How does perfection occur in a soul, and what does it mean to that soul?

For that matter, what is a soul?

The soul is where the thoughts are, and it is also synonymous with the heart.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.(Proverbs 23:7).

Your spirit is your capability to breathe.

Some have a vigorous ability to breathe, and live this life, either for the Lord, or not.

Your body is what is seen, and includes the inside physicality that is not seen.

You will get a new one, if you are saved, when you die.

You do not get a new soul upon death, nor do you get a new spirit.

Wicked, as defined by Psalms 10:2-10, is found in a person.

In Part 1, let's look at verses 2-5.

It looks like arrogance, and in a person, it seeks to set a net, and devour others (vs. 2).

Is there any part of you that thinks you are better than another?

Do you watch, in order to catch, others (whom you have deemed to be weak) in their "sins," and then have you put them to a "death" of sorts in your life by ignoring them?

Or is your heart only, and simply, loving on others to the end that they may, or will, come to know God, and love him with all their heart?

Are you full of compassion?

Are you simply a vessel of love, with no agenda of your own making?

Is anyone held at arm's length? Do you avoid anyone? Or wish them to vanish from the earth?

Wickedness in a soul, will boast by expressing desires that are in opposition to God (vs. 3).

Of what does that consist? Status? More of what the world offers? Ease? Entertainment?

Wickedness in a soul, seeks to promote the very things God hates, like greed, and in doing so, that soul proves that it hates God (vs 3).

The tongue does not need to say that it hates God, it is proven in what is sought for in life!

One can say that they love God, even as they go out to be entertained, and then pass by the one in the ditch, proving that they do not love God. Words are easy to speak, but actions reveal the heart.

Greed = desire for wealth and possessions that cloud out the needs of the neighbor.

God does not say that one can have greed, excessive or otherwise, and love the neighbor.

Is the heart good (or righteous) with just a little greed?

How does one measure a "little" greed? Again, who is the standard?

The wicked person is proud, and does not seek the Lord (vs 4).

If you think that you are saved, then do you still seek the Lord?

Every day is an opportunity to seek something, or someone, so what is it you seek?

In your thoughts, is there room for God? Does he get shoved up and out of the way of your TV, or your other entertainment of choice? If God is at the forefront of your mind, then is there room for error in your thoughts? Does God fill a mind (which he owns), or does he sit in the corner, and wait?

A (wicked) tyrant will not take "no" as an answer (vs 5). Meekness is a stranger to him. God's laws (love him with all the heart, and the neighbor as self) are anathema to him. The wicked have enemies, and the wicked do not love their enemies, but show contempt for them. They get the cold shoulder.

So now, I ask, is there any wickedness in you?

Any greed?

Any cold shoulder for anyone?

Any room for God in your thoughts, or do those pop up on Sundays during certain hours only?

Does wickedness come and go in a soul? Does it fill it, or occupy little spaces? What has God said?

How much wickedness must one do to be considered wicked to God?







April 10, 2017

Have you ever said this?

I want to be born-again.

How can I be saved?

What must I do to have eternal life?

How would you tell someone to be born new?

Can you explain to anyone what they must do to inherit the kingdom?

Do you feel like pulling punches with them?

Like you just want to gloss over the whole truth, and share bits and pieces with them because some of it is harsh like, for instance, those who would follow Jesus WILL be persecuted?

What were the words of Jesus to those seeking to know what must be done to get to heaven?

The words of Jesus are different than most everything you will hear from pulpits today.

Have you ever heard a pastor, or preacher say to one desiring heaven, "Go, sell all that you have."

Kind of a hard thing to say when he may live in a big house, receive a big salary, and have a sweet retirement package waiting, and especially hard when he wants them to join his church.

Those who know truth are found speaking it, in season, and out, for it is in them to do so.

God, by his spirit, is in the true believer, and God, through the true believer, speaks truth— always.

True believers do not seek popularity, and do not they make anything of themselves.

The truth that Jesus spoke brought exactly what into his life?

The same thing will occur to those who speak truth today.

What do you desire?

What is the intent of your heart?

Why do you do what you do?

Do you think that godliness is a means to financial gain?

Read about what Paul says to Timothy concerning that in his first letter to him, chapter 6, verse 5.

He goes on to say that if believers have food and clothing, then they will be content with that.

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation.

So when we pray, "Deliver us from temptation," then what are we saying?

The "get rich desire" is a trap, Paul says, and is a harmful desire that lead people into ruin.

Ruin equals destruction, and Jesus does NOT bring that to a soul (John 10:10).

The evil one does.

People, who are eager for money, can actually wander from the faith (I Timothy 6:10).

Have you heard that lately from the pulpit, or ever from any pulpit?

Or like so many, do you get the sense that being rich is right up there with godliness, and righteousness, and proves "something" about a person's faith?

But you, if you claim godliness, what will you do?

Paul says to run from the love, and the desire for money, and pursue something else.

What is it we are to pursue?

Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness (vs. 11).

Do you wake up in the morning ready, and eager to do that?

And do you express to anyone, who is rich in this world, to not be arrogant, nor to put their hope in wealth, but to put it in God, who richly provides for his own? (vs. 17)

Have you ever told a rich person to do good, and to be RICH in good deeds, and to be GENEROUS (prolifically magnanimous) , and WILLING to share? (vs. 18)

That is how Paul tells Timothy that those who have made a profession for Christ can take hold of life that is truly life (vs. 19).

Do we really know what it means to "believe" in Jesus?

Would you agree that it means to, not just agree that Jesus is who he claimed to be because demons believe that, but that it means to DO as he commands? Do you espouse that claim?

Do you do as he commands?

Do you love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself?

Do you do unto others as you would have done to you?

Are you rich in good deeds, or does you left hand know exactly what your right hand has given?

Are you hesitant to talk to anyone about money? Is it really none of your business?

Well, according to Jesus, and Paul, and all of Scripture, the desire for more of what this world offers is central to the gospel message.

One cannot serve to masters.

Jesus said so.

So if you think that some of your friends, or family, or anyone at all is serving money, and you do not pray diligently for them to be saved, and if you do not, at every possible opportunity, tell them that they cannot serve two masters, and that they are commanded by God to be FULL of good deeds, then you do not love them, nor do you understand the gospel message, nor do you love God.

Those, who love God, are full of good deeds, and they speak truth, for they love with the compassion of God, for it flows through them, and they want that none would perish— not one.

Speak truth, or you know it not.

Repent, or perish in your sin.

Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge (worldly wisdom), which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith (vs. 20-21).

May God's grace be with you all.




April 9, 2017

It is unsustainable

The "high" that you may experience at church is unsustainable, and by unsustainable, I mean that you will find yourself grooving to the music, and "happy" and excited, and clapping, and maybe even tearful, and maybe you think you could even take a dance up-and-down the aisle, but for sure you are in a state of ecstasy from which you think will never be free, and you think you easily love everyone.

Much like the pep-rally that your high school may have had, where everyone was encouraged to clap, and shout, and get all excited, and then what? Go back to class? Study? Take the test? Everyone just wants to stay at the pep-rally, and sing, and shout, and forget the real reason one is at school.

Church services can be a performance induced faux worship time.

Do this. Do that. Clap. Sing. Shout. Dance. Get all excited.

And then what?

Go home.

Face the dishes, and then where is the energy to put on the apron, and get to work?

Face the fact that groceries may, or may not have been purchased, but for sure, preparations were not made for a meal, and no one wants to cook, so who sacrifices and starts the grill, and serves?

Face the husband who is not excited, and then where does the love go?

Face the fact that it makes one irritated that the same level of enthusiasm is not shared, and then where is the compassion for the lost?

Face the neighbor who is needy, and then where is the joyful worshiper who will show compassion?

Face the fact that it is time to understand that emotional highs are not true worship.

True worship is not man-made, and cannot be conjured, nor induced.

True worship flows.

It does not stop and start, and get high, and then go low, for it comes from the hand of God.

It cannot be stopped in the vessel that is always yielded, and clean.

The vessel that is always yielded and clean does not do the cleaning of themselves.

They've been made clean. The new birth is not of them. They know that.

They boast not of themselves, but of him who made them righteous, and they sing while doing the dishes, and when no one sings with them, and they love the neighbor as they love themselves.

The vessel that is always a living sacrifice knows of nothing but constant communion with God.

Yes, that brings an overflow of tears, but not for mere man to see, or applaud.

Yes, communion with God brings joy, and never a temporary high.

Pseudo worship is not of God.

Worship of God is continuous or not at all.

You can do nothing to make it happen, except, in your sin, repent of it.

Then the miracle of rebirth occurs to you.

Then the love of God is given to you.

It is a gift that you cannot but receive, because to do otherwise is to not have repented.

Continuous praise, as we are commanded to give to God, does not flow from a heart that sins.

It can't.

Sin separates one from God.

Always.

Repent.

Be born new, and be always joyful, and serve with the same strength that raised Jesus from the dead.

Life will soon be over here on earth.

Eternity waits.

Where will you spend it?


April 8, 2017

What does it mean to be born-again?

How is it that one can know that being born new has happened to their soul?

How does newness from God appear in a soul, and show itself to the world?

Is smiling, or using "good" manners, or naming children "Bible" names count for righteousness?

Is having a soft voice, or making delicious home-cooked meals, or having company frequently, and knowing how to yuck it up with them proof of a pure heart?

Is love for God demonstrated by never saying "bad" words?

Does honoring a parent mean that one can choose not to speak to a father or mother?

Do wives who don't or won't submit to their husbands know God?

Can one choose to be disobedient, and have confidence that prayers are heard?

Is disobedience always a choice?

What counts for the sake of righteousness?

Does sharing from a vegetable garden, or "clean" eating, or reading Bible verses mean one is saved?

Does knowing hymns, and singing them at church, and/or at home prove love of God?

Must one have devotions every day, or at least try to do that in order to be a "good" Christian?

Can someone be a "bad" Christian?

What does Jesus say is the way to heaven, and what exactly does it mean to believe in him?

Did Jesus say that one must ask for forgiveness of sins in order to be saved?

Who goes to heaven according to Jesus?

Is it that one prays, sometimes, most times, or always at bedtime?

Does casting out demons count for anything in the book of life?

What about hosting or leading Bible studies, or attending Bible studies, or yearly conferences?

Is baptism by water, and by the spirit, the answer?

Is it joining a church?

Is it knowing all the books of the Bible, and memorizing verses that proves one is pure in heart?

Did Jesus say that any of those things prove newness of life?

How can one claim to be saved, and sin just like the one who sins, and does not claim to know God, and is sin the same in everyone, or does disobedience look different in one who claims to be saved?

Do all things become new in a heart that is willfully disobedient, and is all sin willful?

Does having a new soul mean that one does not sin?

Do light and darkness dwell together in a soul?

Must one obey totally, or partially, the commands of Scripture found in Matthew 22:37 to see God?

If partial obedience is fine, then how do the impure in heart see God?

If people were going to heaven before Jesus, then why the need for a "final" sacrifice?

In order to present the Gospel to a lost soul, then must one know the answers to these questions?

What does Scripture say about all these things?




April 6, 2017

Be born new

Again, when it comes to motivation to do something, or be better at something, or just plain motivation to live for others, we will hear the world say, "Be positive," "Stay positive," "Be the best that you can be," "You are wonderful, now go out and prove it," and on and on it goes.

YOU MUST DO SOMETHING TO BE BETTER, AND DO BETTER!

And Jesus says that you must be born new.

He gives a new heart to the repentant.

They are never the same again.

They do not live by cute sayings, and motivational slogans, because they have been made new.

Upon repentance, the soul is changed, not by motivational sayings, or rah-rah speeches.

One must not pull one's self up by the boot-straps once the newness is given.

One is then compelled to love.

II Corinthians 5:14 tells us that this is so.

To be compelled is to have no power to not love.

The love of God in a new-born soul loves others.

The repentant is crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).

They no longer live, but they do, and it is solely by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Is this your lifestyle, or must you get your mojo on? Or get the praise music loud? Or what?

Whatever it is, if it is not the power that raised Jesus from the dead, then it ends.

When the music ends, your love stops, and when the mojo falters, so will your love, and that is not love at all, for love, true love from God, does not end (I Corinthians 13:8).

In the repentant, love is the theme by which they breathe.

How about you?


April 3, 2017

Beatitudes or Platitudes?

Many live by platitudes.

Few live by the beatitudes.

A platitude is a trite remark uttered as if it were fresh or profound.

The following are platitudes:

Live. Laugh. Love.

Think positive, and positive things will happen.

Replace every negative thought with a positive one.

You are so much stronger than you think.

Good things come to those who wait. 
Better things come to those who don't give up, and the best things come to those who believe.

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.

Life is tough but so are you.

Be happy and smile.

One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. 

Be the best version of you. 

If you quote platitudes, then you are quoting man-made ideas that set no one free.

They are lies.

Only the words of Jesus will set the bound soul free.

If you know him, then you quote his words.

If you love him, then the very essence of him flows from you.

Not of works, lest you boast.

Not of trying to do it, lest you do it, on occasion, and think that you are successful.

Jesus said, "Happy are those who are full of mercy, for they shall obtain mercy."

Are you full of mercy, and are you happy, and not just sometimes, but always, or do you believe that when Jesus sets someone free, then they are happy sometimes, but not always?

He said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God."

With every beat of your heart do you work for the cause of peace, and never do you stir up strife?

He said, "Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Is your heart pure?

Jesus said, "Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God." Are you proud?

He said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." 

Do you weep over the lost? Nevertheless, is your soul at peace no matter what you see happening?

Jesus said, "Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Do you think  that others would say that you are overly submissive, docile, and tame? Would God say that of you?

He said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."

Are you filled with righteousness? Does it overflow from a heart that is full? Or must it be conjured?

Jesus said that those who know him will be persecuted for the righteousness that they proclaim, and that they will have evil things said about them, but that they will be happy nevertheless, and that the reward that waits for them is great in heaven. 

Have you been persecuted? 

Has anyone spoken evil of you because of what you do, or say? 

Lies will be told about you when you speak truth.

You will be happy anyway, and not because you "think happy thoughts," or try to stay positive.

Do you live according to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, or platitudes?

One will set you free, and the other keeps you in bondage.

Repent.

Believe on the Lord. Do as he says. Love him with all your heart. Love those who love him.

Or you will be hating the prophets who speak truth now, and the ones of old.

Whom do you love? Whose words do you speak? For whom do you weep?

When you love God, and live for him, then you will be hated.

Jesus is the example of one who lived solely for God, and was accused falsely, and killed.

Is that in your future?

It very well is if you speak truth.

Truth cuts to the core of selfishness, and love of money, and love of self.

Giving up on that is painful.

Giving up has a price.

Repenting is to admit that one is wrong.

Pride keeps one from wanting to admit error.

God hates pride. Pride keeps one from knowing God. Pride keeps one quoting platitudes.

Pride thinks "I can do this thing called life if I just keep thinking positive."

That is a lie. Platitudes are not Scriptural. The platitude sounds good, and it tickles the ear, and leaves you believing that you are in charge, and that is a heavy load, and you will fail.

The load Jesus gives the repentant is easy, and light. He carries them. He fills them with love. 

You will quote platitudes, and you will bear a heavy load, or you will repent, and be carried.

Which road do you walk? 

Will you repent, or do you live as you think is right according to what you hear in the world today?

Do you live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)?

Or do you live by positive thinking?

We do not walk two roads.

Good trees (righteous people) do not speak lies (or bad fruit, Matthew 7:18).

What is coming out of your mouth?

Beatitudes or platitudes?