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When Things Go Badly

Here are some great words when you are in the height of a battle:

2 Chronicles 20:15

15And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's.

We have to make sure that our battle isn't because we acted inappropriately.  If I create a battle because of my own making, I need to take responsibility for the outcome.  If I punch someone in the nose, and they turn around and beat the tar out me, whose to blame??  The Devil?  No, my angry punch created that kind of battle, and to be honest, I desire what I get. 

However, as believers we often find ourselves in a battle  because we believe in the Lord, and we are standing up for a moral society.  Ideology is the battle all believers are facing today.  As time continues to march toward the coming of the Lord, the battle will increase, and either we join the battle, or be swept up into the mire of a society without God. Many times people just don't want to cause any waves, they don't want to say anything that would offend anyone. This kind of strategy I don't understand, and I think God doesn't either. 

 27What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on jthe housetops.

Does this advise from scripture create waves?  How about the putting a sword through the heart of man's ideology?

 34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law

The one thing we get from scripture is that we are not to be silent, but pro-actively loud, and determined to succeed in proclaiming the message, or die trying.  Has your pastor said anything like this?  You should know by now that I am an outspoken critic of the pulpit in America. Few Christian leaders are telling the whole truth.  They proclaim a message that thinks we will win the world by a passive, don't create waves, don't offend anyone kind of theology. The Bible says we will be brought before the magistrates of the world because of what we believe and proclaim.  The church in China has been enduring persecution for the past seventy years because they refuse to die away.  Now, believers are so battle hardened they are ready to go into the Middle East to preach the gospel directly to the muslim nations.  Silence doesn't produce this kind of warrior, and can not be a strategy for today's church.

People tell me to tone things down, because love isn't forceful.  Sorry, that is no strategy of mine. Love speaks truth, and truth is forceful.  If truth didn't affect people, there would be no ideological war today. 

Love can't be silent and if your love has a strategy of silence, then it's not the kind of love that comes from God, it is an invention of your own making. 

So, my point is simple.  You might be in a battle because you are not silent about your faith. God says, He will reward warriors who stand up for Him, regardless of the battle they may face.  He also says that the battle is not fought by you, but by Him. 

When things go badly, continue to stand your ground in living for Him. They may take your things, your family, and even your life, but they can't take your soul, that belongs to God.  The Apostle Paul was right when he penned, "all things work together for good, for those who love God. 

Stand your ground, defend the turf of your faith, and don't let anyone silence your voice. 

Keeping it honest and truthful....K


The End of it All?

A good friend of mine is a "Strengths Finder" counselor where he helps individuals find out how they are wired, so as to provide some counsel in how they should be organizing their life. I like that kind of thinking.   It has helped me understand why I have a desire most of the time to know how things work, so I can get a context to why things happened the way they do. It is for that reason, I love Biblical prophecy, I want to know how God designed His plan for the human race, and especially in how it concludes.  I also love to review management systems and ask questions of why or why not something works or why it doesn't? At times I just conclude, "now that's stupid."  My wife says I should run for city council, no thanks, you would have to be half insane to do politics today. (even if I quality, the sane part of me says no)

But there is some truth to looking at the end of a matter, and then backing up to the present and organizing your life accordingly.  When you discover what Bible says will happen as this world winds down, you begin to see the early signs of the end in sight. As that view becomes more prevalent, you have to ask yourself, "how then do I live my life in light of what the Bible teaches?"  As a follower of Christ, do I really want to just warm a pew on Sunday morning, and find a few good relationships in a small group?  Or do I want to use how God created me to build into His kingdom?  It's easy to just let life take its course through family life, career, even church life to simply happen without a lot of intentionality. I think this is a mistake, because the rewards we would like to receive from God will never happen without some motivation on our part to make it happen.  We need to think through how we live for Christ now, so that the end of lives can be seen as an honor to God's plan of a kingdom without end. 

King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7;8

8Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,

As a follower of Christ, what do you want your following Him to count for at the end of your days?  The Bible teaches us that the greatest rewards will come when you live your life for Christ. So in order for you to hear God to say to you at the end of your life,  "well done, you good and faithful servant" what do you have to do today to set a course to receive that accommodation?

Let's be honest, most of our lives are lived out in pursuit of our own dreams.  Now, I know that is not a bad thing in itself, but that dream will be your reward if nothing changes. But what about God's dream for your life?  What can you be doing today, that God will reward you for as you end this life and begin eternity?

Now that is a big, big question, but it's worth some time to pursue its answer.

Remember, reward is not only based upon what you believe, its how you live out that belief that proves its value with God.

More tomorrow......until then, keep it honest and truthful....K

If you don't have a starting point with God, it might be time to consider His promises to you as His creation.


What Makes Me So Mad?

Arrogance!  For some reason when I encounter arrogance, it makes me mad.  Here is the definition of the word.

"having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities" 

As a motorcyclist, I notice the arrogance on the road. First there is the arrogance of those who think they can talk on the phone and drive a car. The first myth about arrogance is, "we can do this."  Repeatedly, I find people wanting to get ahead of you even if their arrogance in driving could cost someone like me on a motorcycle their life.  That by the way is the second myth, placing my interest first, won't hurt anyone."  and that leads to the third myth which is, "what, me arrogant!?" This attitude is a complete dismissal of a prideful ownership of "me first.

Pride, arrogance, selfishness, are all products of our culture. We measure value by what we own, what we do, and who we know. Its unfortunate, but these things bring us pleasure in how we live our lives before others. Many times, our arrogance is to send a message to other people. Notice me, I am important! It may seem like our day has a big problem with this kind of attitude, but that's not the case.  Human nature from the begin has had this dilemma.  Cain, was not happy with his brother, so his arrogance killed him. The pharisees in the day of Jesus were arrogant in how they represented God. Jesus identified their arrogance as conditions of the heart. In Matthew 23:25-26

25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  26You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

It all comes down to what's in the heart. In Jeremiah 31 it states:

I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 God knows that the heart of a person must change before society as a whole will change.  From Mark 7 we read:

 21For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,  22coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Can the heart be changed without the help of God? How can we replace what is naturally grown within us? For me, God is my only defense against my the greatest enemy that lurks in my heart....ME.

It is my own heart that generates all of what is described in Mark 7, and I can not blame anyone, or use the argument that I am not that bad, at least I am not a murderer.  But look at those descriptions again, do you want to be friends with anyone who practices those things?  Well, if you said no, then how can you be friends with yourself?  Someone has said, "as long as we have the human heart, we will have lawyers?"

Well I guess there is some insight there somewhere, however, the change God proposes is that He can change the condition of the heart if we want Him to, and that is a choice totally up to you. 

i have asked Him to change my heart so that arrogance doesn't get to me like it does. FYI.

Keeping it honest and truthful....K 


What Is An Angel of Light?

One of the reasons this blog exists is to bring into focus a Biblical emphasis that is not strong in the church today. We have repeatedly made the case that the days in which we live, are days of great deception. Now, there is a balance to warning, and encouragement, both are essential. God's word tells us that He has our backs, but He also makes it clear that not everyone who says they follow Jesus actually does. In fact listen to the warnings of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:

 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  14And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  15So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

This type of person is more than someone who is in a cult, it is describing people who are servants of righteousness. So what does that mean?  It means there is a claim to Christianity, they do outwardly good works, teach the Bible as if it is true, but in their hearts their agenda is quite different. Here are a few specific ways to identify this kind of spirit.

1. The emphasis is on Christ, plus something else. If the cause they promote becomes more of the focal point than the emphasis on Christ and His word, beware.  The cause may even be a good social justice issue, or even a good doctrinal underpinning, but if it rivals the importance of Christ first, it could be held suspect. The Spirit of Christ, The Holy Spirit, does not work outside of promoting Christ, and Him alone. Often believers will buy into an emphasis that says it's following Christ, but the end result is it is promoting a ministry of men.

2. The Word of God is manipulated. Many denominations/churhces make a point of preaching their distinctive doctrinal or mission emphasis, and often will spin the Bible to support their point.  This is why I am adamant about the Hebraic Roots theology of scripture.  The Bible is a Jewish document, the Savior was a Jewish man, and the future of this world will be a King returning to fulfill the prophecies about Him and He will rule and reign from Jerusalem. This is significant and critical to understanding prophecy as the Bible predicts. So if your church/pastor is preaching any other gospel, it is a different gospel than what the Bible promotes. The Bible is about 1/3 prophecy, and if you never hear a word on what the Bible teaches about the future King, I would hold that ministry suspect. 

3. The heart of the ministry is bring people to Christ. Here is where it gets questionable, because not everyone who promotes Christ in an evangelistic manner, is doing so through the knowledge of a personal savior. 

The best way to describe this is in what Jesus said in Matthew 7:

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

So make sure the heart of the ministry is about knowing Jesus, following His Word, and that any hidden agendas are exposed to the light. Deception is slow, reasonable, and scriptural, so be wise in what you believe in and in whom you place your trust. 

Keeping it honest and truthful, in an age of deception.....K

Take a moment to listen to this link, it will point out further what you just read.


Is There A Holy and A Common?

In our world of casual at best, we seem to have dismissed anything that is Holy.  Only the ultra-religious seem to have a holy place, or a holy book, or a Holy Land. But for most of society, there isn't much difference between what is holy and what is not, it all seems to be the same. 

The leaders of Israel were told to help the people distinguish between what was holy and what was common. It was a requirement that leaders tell the people about Gods standards and distinguish the difference between what is good and what is bad. 

Leviticus 10:10

10You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean,

Today, we have removed the boundaries of what is good and what is bad. In fact our society is guilty of what the prophet Isaiah said about Israel.

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!

Who is distinguishing today between what is right and what is wrong?  Isn't that the job of the Church?  Of every believer? Have you been in church lately where the preacher actually used the words, "this is just plain wrong?"  Why?  Because no one has the right anymore to make those judgment calls. Who says what is right and wrong, isn't that left up to the individual to determine that?  

NO, if it was left up to us to determine what is right and wrong,  we would have pedophiles saying its okay to have sex with children. I am thankful that many of the laws of the land were made in response to the moral laws God laid out in the Hebraic scriptures. (Old Testament)   A preacher friend read some of my blog postings and congratulated me for being bold enough to stay up against the homosexual issue. I appreciated the comment, but isn't that what a moral conscience does?  Aren't we as believers suppose to be the salt and the light in the world, not only about the good news of the gospel, but to be a standard against the evil in our day that is trying to remove all immoral restraint in our society.  There was a case in the news recently about a youth pastor who is in his 40's having sexual relations with a 14 year old. This story is great example why God gave us the moral law, to keep children safe from predators who have evil intentions. If predators were given the choice to choose what is right or wrong, of course they would say it was okay.  God is our moral agent in the world, and He and He alone sets the rules. 

If you are the enemy of God, your first line of attack would be to confuse what is right with what is wrong. (Isaiah 5:20)  This is why the church, and Christian ministries must hold the line in teaching what is right in God's eyes and what is wrong before Him.  No compromise....period. Christianity was meant to infect our world with the standards of God, from salvation to moral living.  How about asking your pastor to speak on the Holy and the common someday soon in your church.  Let's recapture the standards of God and begin to live them out in open display before a world who considers all things acceptable.

Keeping things honest and truthful...K

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