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Thursday
May122011

Whose Listening?

The scripture uses this phrase quite often, "he who has eyes to hear, let him hear,"

Matthew 11:15

 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

What does Jesus mean?  We all have ears, but as with the natural ability to hear sounds, are we listening to hear from God?  What does God sound like?  Does He speak regularly to us? Does He speak through others to us?  Does God ever remain silent and not speak?  What has He told you lately? 

Personally, I think God does all of the above, in fact He speaks to us even as we sleep. I believe God speaks to us everyday in some little way to get our attention, both in trying to assure us of His care over us, and His warning to us about the future of our world. God is much like a parent who showers the child with love, affection, and guidance, with a distinct purpose in bringing that child to a healthy adult maturity. God has the same purpose in bringing us to a maturity where we can hear His voice, and recognize His leading as we present His case to a world without God.

What happens in this communication is that people don't take time to listen.  They are too preoccupied with the cares of this life, that they miss the God moments throughout the day. God wants us to know more about Him than we know. He is desiring to impart into us His voice, His wisdom, His insights, His purposes, His values, His spirit and His word. However, in order to have this kind of connection, we must learn to be proactive about abandoning our own agenda and be willing to put aside our own voice, reasoning, and purposes.   

As I write this I am sitting in a room where it is quiet. The only sound in this room is the sound of my breathing, and the ticking of a clock on a table near by.  Both are distinct sounds, one indicating there is life and the other that time is slowly ticking by. It will be my choice today in how I will use them.

The same is true for everyone, one life, and one period of time, but there is one element to this equation that many people forget. We have one life, one period of time, and one appointment everyone will keep. There are no exceptions to these three.  So what's the appointment you ask?  It is the appointment before God where we have to give an account to Him in how we spent the first two. How did you use the life I gave you in the time I allowed you to live? What did you do with the two things everyone gets at birth, and gives up at death?

In the Book of Revelation we read this:

 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.


Notice the term books, one book is for how we lived our lives, either good or bad and the other book is a book about time. The Lambs book of life is a book about how we will spend eternity, regardless how of how good or bad we have been. That first book is only a book of accountability, what did you do with your life?  Remember Jesus told us that every word spoken will be held accountable, and these books will expose every detail of our years on earth. The other book is how we will spend time in eternity. If our name is not written in that book, we will have no part of God's kingdom.  Are you listening? Do we understand the implications of why the gospel of Jesus Christ is so important to accept now in this time period, so that the time without end can be ours with God.

Are you listening?  Is the Church listening? Are we preparing people for a life and a time without end? This is the reason I am doing a daily blog on this website, is to remind people that this life is not all there is.

Keeping it honest and truthful.....K........John McArthur reminds us in one minute what is at stake.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUsaWjnXYrk

Wednesday
May112011

There Are Giants in the Land

 

Fox News posted a questionaire on line today to find out what their followers think about the issues facing them as Americans.

Government Spending

War on Terror

High Gas prices

Immigration Reform

Social Security 

Health Care

Just think if the 12 spies from Joshua's day would come to America. Would this be the list of giants they would see in the land?  We are  facing some major giants in the land of America and these giants are symptoms of how we have all lived.

Numbers 13:32

 32So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height.

So spiritually if you were to spy out the land in America, what would you look for, and what would be your report?

Let me make three suggestions for you to consider as you spy out the land.

1. List the values/principles of the people.

2. What are the passions of the people?

3. List the gods in the land, what do the people worship?

You can learn a lot from these three questions, and you don't have to be a spy to do this kind of exercise.

If  we have insurmountable economic and social giants in the land,  the answers to these three survey questions will reveal why.  If we worship sports, money, people, and pride, than our values and principles are misplaced.  Our passion for misplaced values and principles will create the giants in the land. 

God has placed with creation a sowing and reaping principle. The Apostle Paul describes this principle:

Galatians 6:7

 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

 

As Americans we blame each other for the problems. Democrats and Republicans blame each other. President Obama isn't anymore to blame than his predecessor was, as Americans the giants in our land are created by our misplaced values and priorities.

If you place your governmental system, your materialism, your politics, your ethnicity, your personal accomplishments or your entitlements ahead of God, be prepared to face the giants those things create. 

Giants are created by us, you and me, and no one else. As Americans, if we consume more energy than any other country on earth, if we break every commandment of God in the way we live, if we feel we have more entitlements than others, then we have just created giants that will consume us. 

I find it amusing that when the news organizations do a story on one of these giants, they never ask the question, did we as a people violate any principles that guard us against a greedy, self serving society?

God will not be mocked. If we continue to live as if He doesn't exist and ignore His values, He will turn us over to the giants we have created. 

Have a nice life living among the giants and remember God will not be mocked, we will reap what we have sowed.

Hosea 8:7

 7For they sow the wind,
and they shall reap the whirlwind.

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

Tuesday
May102011

Just Don't Ask

The Navy just announced the following according to Fox News: 

The Navy will allow its chaplains to officiate same-sex marriages once the military's ban on gay marriage is officially lifted this summer, according to a new memo written by Navy's head chaplain, Rear Admiral Mark Tidd.

On Monday Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., released a statement saying the Navy's new policy violates the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. "While a state may legalize same-sex marriage, federal property and federal employees, like Navy chaplains, should not be used to perform marriages that are not recognized by federal law," Akin says.

Homosexuality is not a right, it's a preference, and preferences shouldn't get societies blessings. Of course if you're gay you would disagree. What would you say if my preference was for children, shouldn't I have a right to legislate my sexual preference to have sex with children?  We know this preference is happening today, so why not legalize it?

The child sex trade is growing around the world.  MSNBC Dateline states: Inside the world of child sex trafficking, each year, by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of girls and boys are bought, sold or kidnapped and then forced to have sex with grown men.

It is called Sex Tourism.

What is Sex Tourism Involving Children?

Sex tourism involving children is defined as traveling to a foreign country with the intent to engage in sexual activity with a child.  Under federal law (18 U.S.C. § 2423), it is illegal for a U.S. citizen to travel abroad intending to engage in sexual activity with a child younger than 18 that would be illegal if it occurred in the U.S.  Individuals who commit these crimes are subject to prosecution in the U.S. even if the crime was committed on foreign soil.

So whats my point?  Where does this sex freedom end?  The same Bible that condemns, (yes thats right, condemns) homosexuality is the same Bible that condemns child sex.  All of the moral laws on the books in the United States were based upon the scriptures that forbid such acts as homosexuality, incest, bestiality, and pedophilia. So if we legalize homosexuality, who says that's where the sexual slippery slope will end?  I have read articles where people have advocated that pedophilia is healthy for children, and that sexual activity at an early age is beneficial for childhood development.

Many people would say, homosexuality is not pedophilia, so don't equate one with the other. Well, I have news for you, any kind of sexual deviation that God forbade will eventually go after the innocent and the taboo.  That's why the sexual sins in Leviticus 18 is a long string of sexual activity that humans are capable of committing. God said even the land gets polluted and it vomits out the vile activity. Leviticus 18:24-25

 24“Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean,  25and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.  

Silence about these matters is a sin of indifference, and if we are silent on moral sin, we too will be guilty of participation.  Don't be silent, don't think it's someone else job to speak up, use your voice and your Biblical convictions to tell the truth.   

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

Monday
May092011

The Trophies In The Church

Observation:  It was the early 90's when the strong emphasis in the church began to incorporate more business practices, and marketplace principles. It made sense at the time to get heads of business into ministry work, to bring their expertise and money into the church.  Now, I think there was some wisdom in doing this, but was there collateral damage to the way the church operates?  It's a debatable issue, but my observation is that the balance between ministry and business is a fine line to walk, and in some cases business practices won out.  This meant that ministry outlets, churches and para-church organizations were finding their strength in the techniques of consultants and business plans. This created a filter to which faith was subject to a business grid, rather than a Biblical grid. Now on the other hand, one of the reasons business controls were needed in the church was because some church leaders who by faith would hurl the ministries into debt, without restraints.  There must be a balance, between the practical raising and application of money, and the faith in God that it takes to run the ministry spiritually. The same is true when it comes to bringing in people who we hold up as a trophy of the faith. It has been my experience we are so quick to run to the newest sensation in the church, whether it be the new young preacher with with a new idea, or a celebrity who has found Christ. Like the business/faith dilemma, we rush to judgment before we allow time to verify the reality of the transformation.  We have seen people use their Christian testimony for the wrong reasons such as manipulation for a political agenda, or a social justice cause.  We saw this happen following Mel Gibson's movie "Passion of the Christ" and many Christians concluded that Mel Gibson had some kind of conversion because of the film.  Since then Mel has imploded with divorce, drunken disorderly conduct, and violent domestic charges. Recently there was an article about the son of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef, who reportedly converted to Christianity, wrote a book and was on the speaking circuit in churches.  There are reports out that this person, was not who he said we was, but converted to Christianity with an agenda.  Once again, if this is true, the Christian community was taken in hook line and sinker because they wanted this trophy from the Arab/Muslim world. You can read more about Mosab Hassan Yousef for yourself through this provided link. 

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-mosab-yousef-saga-did-hamas-%E2%80%98defector%E2%80%99-dupe-all-of-us/

 Jesus told us to do works that represent the fact we have repented, we have been transformed, and are living according to His Word.  That means, it becomes about Him, our Savior/Messiah, and not about my ethnicity, my political views, my ministry agenda, my reputation, my denomination, my doctrinal views, or anything else associated with me. 

Luke 3:8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance
 

So what's my point?  God will not share His glory with anyone. In other words, He is the only one to be worshipped, not the instruments by which He uses to proclaim His name.  We are too quick to seek a trophy to prove the existence of an almighty God and in our well meaning ways, we become  stumbling blocks for the cause of Christ. Let someone live out his or her testimony for a few years to see whose agenda they are really trying to accomplish. Rushing to print in order to tell someone's story because it makes good business sense, is not wise, and we, the Church, are the only ones to blame, because we love our trophies. 

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

Friday
May062011

How Come I Don't Know These Things?

With the internet at our finger tips we can find out just about anything, making any one of us an expert these days. Yet, if you don't know where to look, your information may not be incorrect, or at best be incomplete. 

For example: When I was in school preparing to go into the ministry I studied  the Church Fathers on how they formulated their doctrine and how it influenced the church. However I never studied the anti-semitic attitudes of these leaders, in fact until recently it was not information I really cared about.  Check it out for yourself, and see how uninformed you might be. 

http://www.yashanet.com/library/fathers.htm

I just didn't know, but that shouldn't be an excuse.

I never realized that even Martin Luther had an axe to grind with the Jews. Check out this link and see for yourself how this kind of  information can bring insight into why the Jews are hated and blamed for the death of Christ. 

http://www.nobeliefs.com/luther.htm

I just didn't know, but that shouldn't be an excuse.

Theologically I didn't know:

I didn't know that the New Covenant was given to Israel, in keeping with all God's promises to the Jews. This covenant is another reason why the world hates the Jews.  I thought people hated the Jews because the Jews controlled so many industries, and have an influence in the world more than any other people group. Not true. The reason there is so much anti-semitism, is because the Jews have being given the covenant that brings the Messiah and salvation to the world. Check out Revelation 12, and the women that is referenced here is Israel:

 17Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Here is why this hatred is so intense, and you can see it has nothing to do with financial or political influence,  it has to do with a spiritual hatred of God by Satan because God created a way out of Satan's control.  

Jeremiah 31:31-34

The New Covenant

31“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,  32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.  33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: 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.  34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ or they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

 I didn't know that God was fulfilling His promises to Israel first before it developed into full redemption for the whole world.  That's why Paul said in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is first to the Jew first, and then the Gentiles.

Information can be incomplete.  But why?  Because the information I received did not point me in the right direction. This is a critical point, leaders are called to lead, guide and direct people to the truth, not their truth, but God's truth. 

The information that I received from my former pastors, and my seminary professors never pointed me in the direction proving that the Jews played a huge role in the world getting the gospel of salvation.  To my shame for not getting the right information, and to their shame, because they didn't provide it. 

Its no wonder the world hates the Jews,  but it's surprising when the Church does, by not providing the truth about the Jewish people and the salvation that has come through them to us all.  

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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