What is Your Legacy?

When we leave this earthly realm, what will we be remembered for? Will it be the type of car that we drove, the house we lived in, the money in the bank? Goodness, I hope not. The material things don’t matter. Our legacies are not about them. How you treat people and your general attitude are key components in our lives. Your faith in God and how you follow Jesus’ examples should be expressed in everything that you do, every day.

I was honored to be in the choir for a memorial service yesterday. When I heard that the woman was ill, I did not realize who she was. I am fairly new to the church and I am not extremely involved at this time. When I arrived at the church yesterday and saw the bulletin, I recognized her and everything clicked. Yes, I knew this woman. She was extremely nice and very personable. She always had a smile on her face and was quite friendly. However, I did not know her well.

At the “Celebration/Memorial” Service, the Pastors (yes, more than one) all had wonderful things to say about her. One of the pastors asked for the attendees to raise their hand if she had ever sent them a card, made them something or given them something. Almost every hand in the sanctuary went up. This woman was a nurse, nursing instructor, wife, mother, friend, and more to many. Even in her sickness, she wanted others to be uplifted. She was acknowledged as an encourager.

Last week in choir rehearsal, one of the men stated that when he saw her, she wished him a Happy Anniversary (it was 2 days away). Our lead Pastor said during his message that she wanted to know how his family and others were doing. She knew that her time in this world was ending, but she cared more about other people than herself.

She did not want her service to be about her. She wished that the focus would be on her Savior, Jesus. Well, she mostly got her wish. Every word that was said about her pointed to Jesus. The music was from a list that she had put together, but was about Jesus. The message was about that gifts that Jesus had given her. The invitation at the end (not common for a funeral service) was for encouraging others to know the same God that she knew.

There will be tears, there will be grieving, but the legacy of this wonderful woman of God will live on. Her legacy of encouragement, love and grace. This world may have lost a bright light, but Heaven has gained an angel.I know in my heart that God welcomed her with open arms and said “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

I know in my heart that God welcomed her with open arms and said “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The First Century Christian Community

How did the early Christian communities operate? How did they live as one Body in Christ? The early Christian community was called The Way, a sect of Judaism. This community had Gentiles (few in number) in it even before Paul was sent out and were mostly Roman Soldier families and aristocrats who were transformed by Christ and the Apostles. This final part on the Way to Life talks about community living and the breaking of social status.

Didache 4
[My child, remember day and night him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as the Lord. For wherever his lordship is spoken of, there he is.]
Seek each day the faces of the saints, in order that you may be refreshed by their words. Do not initiate divisions, but rather bring peace to those who contend against one another. Judge righteously, and do not take social status into account when reproving for transgressions. Do not waver in your decisions. Do not be one who opens his hands to receive, or closes them when it is time to give. If you have anything, by your hands you should give ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, and do not complain about it. You will know in time who is the good Rewarder. Do not turn away from one who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish! Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; teach them the fear of God from their youth. Do not give orders to your servants when you are angry, for they hope in the same God, and they may lose the fear of God, who is over both of you. God is surely not coming to call on us according to our outward appearance or station in life, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared. And you, servants, be subject to your masters as to God’s image, in modesty and fear. You should hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not in any way neglect the commandments of the Lord, but keep what you have received, neither adding nor taking away anything. In your gatherings, confess your transgressions, and do not come for prayer with a guilty conscience. This is the way of life!

Notice that right away social status does not matter, a sin is a sin and all face the same consequences. Also, sharing in material needs, nourishment, and services is seen as a normal way of life. Little money changed hands between believers.
Does anyone see the Scripture in the next part? Proverbs 22: 6 anyone? This goes without saying. The parent is responsible for the child until he or she is old enough be on their own. This is true for today’s world because it is actually a basic rule of life. The problem is outside influences but if the parents do right by their children, the outside will not be the teacher.
The servant and master dialogue is also found to be spoken by Jesus. One of the Apostles, Thomas, was a servant. He was given up by his master to follow Jesus. The master understood that the Spiritual debt was more important than any earthly debt and let Thomas follow his heart.

You should hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not in any way neglect the commandments of the Lord, but keep what you have received, neither adding nor taking away anything.
This last part was held to a high standard in that there was always someone who tried to pervert the Word. This is a warning against False Teachers. These early Christians were still with Jesus and the Apostles teachings fresh in their minds so they could tell if there was hypocrisy being taught.
Look into the Old Testament and what Jesus reiterated of the Father and you will find what displeases them and what abhors them. We are to keep the Commandments they are God’s Law not recommendations. Also keep the Scriptures as they are without adding or taking away anything. Man’s thinking does not override God’s Word.

Brothers and sisters, this was not just a grouping of believers in a building, it was a community of believers that worshipped together daily. They shared meals and material goods. They prayed together, sang as one, took care of each other as family because they were the new definition of blood related (blood of Jesus). Each person had skill or trade to bring to the community that helped others. These were not communes, these were a people group that studied God’s Word and did their best to live a Christ-like life.

When Man’s Law Attempts to Override God’s We Have a Problem

When Mankind changes God’s Law to suit the needs of a few, those are not people of God. Brothers and Sisters, we know that God sent us a specific Code of Laws, Ethics, and Morals so as to not defile the Spirit and make life easy to live as long as they are adhered to. Jesus did not abolish these Laws, but reemphasized them to be understood as a rule of living a right life. God’s Law is non-negotiable and set in stone.

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’
And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:1-20

Jesus clearly called out the Pharisees for changing God’s Law to fill their own pockets and bellies, wrong answer. They clearly said “traditions of the elders” which means they followed traditions made by man and not the Law of God. We are to use what we have for God’s Glory which does not mean send it to the storehouse of the religious leaders or the government (unless it is Caesars). Caring for the Religious Leaders and other officials is part of what we should be doing, yes but that does not mean you will be held accountable to God if you do not give your 10% of earnings to a house of worship. You will be held accountable if you do not support your fellow man which does include giving a portion to the church but that is not all.
When we speak, we should not be speaking harsh or derogatory words about another in such a way that it is evil. God’s Word and words of correction (not judgement) should be the only things that are heard. Yes normal conversation is fine but words should be chosen as to not bring thoughts of evil into the mind which may cause those in the hearing to sin.
Let’s hear Isaiah again:
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’

I cannot emphasize this enough. Jesus was here in corrective cleansing mode for God’s chosen people and when the priests and religious leaders of the Sanhedrin heard Jesus they may have been convicted but did not seek correction. He came to save them and reignite their love for and desire to serve God. Unfortunately, Satan already had complete control of them and they served themselves instead of God. The Pharisees said Jesus was a blasphemer when it was they themselves who blasphemed God with their greed and foolish human desires. God used this to His advantage though to be Death’s own demise. The world has Jesus blood on their hands but only those in Christ are washed in it and become clean.

Look, even the ancient courts of Hammurabi spelled out these morality and ethics codes as did many other cultures. These laws and codes are for right clean living so that mankind could live together in peace while working in the manner for which we were created. You remember, caretakers of God’s creation.

What about us in today’s world?  Man’s desire for power has corrupted those in authority and desires of the world have replaced the Law of God. This has happened throughout the centuries leading up to now. The world had come together with the United Nations and they have done good things but even they are subject to corruption.  

The world’s sense of morals has become corrupted due to being given over to sexual desires and the destruction of the family. When laws are perverted to go against God’s Law, the country is in trouble. Look at the U.S. State governments have changed and solidified laws and statutes to appease society on both sides.

Since the American Revolution, the devil’s foothold on our lives had slowly increased. The desire for money and material things has taken the place of God. Because of this, we have been set on the path of Rome where we have been given over to moral degradation to the point in which even the Supreme Court under the direction of President Obama, destroyed marriage and changed “civil rights” to include sexual preference. Sorry, there is only one type of “sexual preference” for mankind, that of Husband and Wife (Man and Woman).

Brothers and Sisters we are being set up. The media, those with monetary power, and some with celebrity status have been doing satan’s bidding for years. We have been confused. This corruption began when Scripture was no longer taught in public school. The only thing that remained was titled the Golden Rule with no reference to Jesus and now that is gone too.  

Judaism and Christianity are under attack (and not just by ISIS)  but there is hope.

The good thing is that now, even though the immoral society hates him, our current POTUS* has been slowly correcting certain laws and other things that are destroying our lives. The man has even begun Bible studies in the White House. The Adversary is still trying to hang on but is losing its foothold so how do we defeat it. Continue to pray.
Pray not for Jesus to come quick but for the Holy Spirit to work in all lives. Change the hearts of man from worldly desires to the desire of the Spirit. Keep those in authority in our prayers that right decisions are made and that the hand stays clear of the self-destruct button (red phone in Oval Office). Take up our arms with our crosses in hand and be proud Children of God not hidden in our crates or behind the bush.

*Disclaimer: I am not endorsing or condemning the Presidents mentioned, just stating fact.

 

Do You Keep Your Faith In A Box

Faith In a BoxDo you ever wonder what your friends think of you? Do you worry about how you’re perceived by others when you are in public? Of course you do. We all do. Our society places a lot of emphasis on appearances, physical and behavior. It’s normal, expected, and the cause of a lot of anxiety, depression and other mental issues.
However, as Christians, we tend to place ourselves in boxes to keep the world from touching us. We also hide our humanity from those on the outside.
What box am I talking about? The one where you, as a Christian, cannot talk about enjoying the latest pop hit or action movie. The box that holds only happy little bluebirds and pure thoughts. This box doesn’t allow you to listen to music other than Gospel, Christian, and Hymns. Your movie selection is severely limited and secular activities are out of the question.
My 19 year old daughter loves K-Pop music. She loves to dance to it, learn what the lyrics mean and has taught herself to read and speak some Korean because of it. She is afraid to talk about it, though. She has stopped “liking” the latest articles on Facebook because she doesn’t want to be judged by others for her enjoyment of the genre. I have heard the music, read the translated lyrics and watched some videos with her. There are some that I have questioned the words to, but the music is upbeat and energizing. She also watches Korean dramas, but doesn’t talk about those either. The fear is real.
Why is this box that she has put herself in so bad? Well…If someone was to look at her Facebook page, you will see one thing. When you get to know her well, you’ll see something different. The box that she’s in is not her true self. The humanity of living in this world is not evident. To some, she is unapproachable.
When we lose our humanity, we can lose our purpose. We are called to “Go and make disciples of all nations”. (Matthew 28:19 NIV) This “Great Commission” should propel all of us to go into the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ and the redemptive power of His saving grace. We cannot do that if we are not able to speak to others as people.
I can talk about God to my fellow church members all day, because we have our church in common. But if I felt led to speak about Jesus at a comic book convention, I would not be able to. I do not have anything in common with the attendees. But I know many Christians who love the comic book world, they can relate. I can associate with Star Wars, Harry Potter and Disney. My daughter would be able to share the gospel at a Korean performance or fan gathering of Whovians.
But who would know? If we are afraid to share the secular things that we enjoy, with whom can we share our salvation with? There is an old saying…”Preaching to the Choir”. What purpose does it serve to talk about God’s salvation in church or Bible study? Most of those in attendance have heard the stories time and again, but are searching for deeper knowledge. The ones that need to be reached are usually outside the church doors.
Making disciples is not an easy task. However, in order to reach the lost, we have to reach them where they are and allow God to work through us to show His light. We have to be transparent enough to show our humanity so those outside the box feel welcome. Better yet, tear the box down and shine Jesus’ light to everyone. Be a part of the world, not above it. Don’t sin while you’re out there, but don’t judge the sinners, either. God is the only judge. Be aware of the temptations, but don’t succumb.
The world needs God. He is not in a box, get out of yours.

The Humanity of Christianity

Repent, Repent, Repent. Without telling you the consequences, let’s talk about the advantages of what happens when you repent of your sins and put your hope in Christ. What happens when a person repents of their sins and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior? First thing is the heaviest weight is lifted off the shoulders of the penitent person. The process is completed with the outward sharing of the inward heart through Baptism where our old selves are put to death and we are reborn with Christ as a new being.
So what happens after? After your heart and mind have been transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit there is a change in how people see you. A deeper and fuller relationship builds as you are welcomed into the Body of Christ, pastoral follow up, discovery of Spiritual Gifts, New Christian and Discipleship Classes and requests to join certain ministry teams. And that is just the organized religion part.
Outside the church your actions and relationships will see a change as well. There are things you can no longer participate in and others that become mission fields. When you become a follower of Christ, people notice a change in behaviors. Because of this, you will suffer persecution, ridicule, shaming, forced separation, and a sense of being unwanted in certain facets of your old life. Those feelings are ok because you are being changed spiritually and physically. It’s really ok, honest.
Now if the last paragraph scared you away from making the decision to follow something that cannot be physically seen, I am sorry for your loss. If you do not accept Jesus, then when your time is up you might just end up in a place where you will suffer because you did not allow yourself to suffer on earth. You can live a good healthy life on earth without the riches, materialisms, technology, and other, worldly things that make you temporarily happy. Accepting Jesus means not worrying about food, clothes, and other things of this world. God provides a way for you to eat, dress, and live.
One of the hardest things to do is unplug from the world. We are a society dependent on technology and money where Satan is at the forefront by using these to control us and change the very DNA Coding that separates Good from Evil, Forgiven from Unforgiven, those in Christ and those who just claim belief. This world is being inundated with violence, immorality, and so many end time scenarios on You Tube and Facebook, that people have become numb. We have become so dependant on currency that we are a slave to it. The change is marked in us to show who are of the world, and who are of the Spirit.
Pastors that concentrate on the Tribulation, Second Coming, and the War for our Souls, usually put the Hope in Jesus as an afterthought. Hope in Jesus should be in the first things not the last things. Even though there are many things we must do and not do, Jesus made it abundantly clear who gets in and who doesn’t. Hoping in Jesus and knowing that He is carrying your burdens is one thing. Doing as you are told to do according to Scripture is something even more amazing. How do we help get people on the right track? Share what is good about being a Christian and the Hope that we are given through Christ.
We should not say that all we have to do is believe because that is definitely not the case. There is a difference in believing in and Being in Christ. The simplest way to state it is having an active faith means you are sharing your faith diligently, or inactive faith with the belief that Jesus has my life and “I’m good” not sharing with anyone. One person does not make a relationship.

Didache 3: A Matter of the Heart

Continuing the Way of Life, the Teachings take the last chapter and go a little more detailed. These explain that the evil deeds result in matters of the heart.

DIDACHE 3 FLEE EVIL
My child, flee evil of all kinds, and everything like it. Don’t be prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Don’t be jealous or quarrelsome or hot-tempered, for all these things lead to murder. My child, don’t be lustful, for lust leads to illicit sex. Don’t be a filthy talker or allow your eyes a free reign, for these lead to adultery. My child, don’t observe omens, since it leads to idolatry. Don’t be an enchanter, or an astrologer, or a purifier, or be willing to see or hear about these things, for these all lead to idolatry. My child, don’t be a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Don’t love money or seek glory, for these things lead to thievery. My child, don’t grumble, since it leads to blasphemy, and don’t be self-willed or evil-minded, for all these things lead to blasphemy. On the contrary, be gentle, since the gentle will inherit the earth. Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good, and with trembling, treasure the words you have received. Don’t exalt yourself or open your heart to overconfidence. Don’t be on intimate terms with mighty people, but with just and lowly ones. Accept whatever happens to you as a blessing, knowing that nothing comes to pass apart from God.
Right out the gate the author discusses the death blow to the mental and emotional state of others when we give in to anger. Then the author speaks of the physical death. In the time this was written there were few ideas about mental control measures so they understood that these emotional responses could lead to ungodly, negative actions. Technology and mass media have made it easier for children and adults to be subjected to violence and sexual situations which makes individuals believe it is ok to view. This corrupts the mind into believing these are the new norms for society. Illicit sexual desires (anything besides husband and wife consensual sex), and the taking of another’s life are not acceptable behaviors. We are not animals and our behaviorisms can be controlled. All we have to do is not give in to them. Sex is reserved for marriage (man to woman nothing else),killing is only acceptable during war (and even then it is still painful to the mind). Matters that ruin the minds also ruin the heart. Be heart healthy and do not give in to temptation.
The next part about witchcraft, occultisms, and divination are the forms of idolatry that were prevalent in that time. We can include: celebrity worship, alcohol/drug dependency, anything that deals with seeking future events that gives glances that do not fall in line with Godly Teachings. There are things that we are just not supposed to do because they may be tricks of the Adversary.
The love of materialism, having selfish desires, and bearing false witness are worldly things that lead away from God. They are the thieves that steal our soul from the eternal glory and light of God. Anything that goes against God’s teachings is considered blasphemy. Claiming you are something you are not, belittling someone who has done nothing against you or others (bigotry), gossip, and other similar actions are things that lead away from God and destroy another’s heart as well as your own.
This section is not without a hope of relief and salvation. The basic message in being right with God is being a humble servant towards others without thought of yourself. I have mentioned numerous times our lot in life as caretakers and this part is no different. We should accept the situation we find ourselves in and not wanting more or better for that is the situation in which God has placed us. When God is moving in our lives we should not question it, just move because God places us where we are needed as caretakers. Those that try to control their own destiny will eventually fall and fail. If not them personally in this life, then their future generations who seem to reap the benefits will eventually have to deal with the consequences. The eternal soul is what matters, not human fame and fortune.
Accept the hand that God dealt and if mankind gives you a rotten egg, take it to God so that you will understand how to deal with it. Stay from the trappings of man for they are not of God but the Adversary who does everything to go against God’s Plan.
Brothers and Sisters, walk through the days without a chip on your shoulder, God will knock it off. Rather, accept the way that you are and God will provide.
I pray that you receive God’s Love and Blessings as you walk humbly with Christ letting Him lift you and take care of you as you do His Will on earth.

Don’t Be A “ME”, God Needs “We”

People who care for their own well-being and not that of others who have abandoned God’s Law are not healthy to be around. They claim to care for others and may do things but only if they receive reward. If it doesn’t benefit them then they will not really be there in full participation and leave when it is no longer for them to be center of attention.

Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.    Jude 11-13

The selfish actions of a wolf hurt the actions of truly caring Christians. When the caring see the show boaters and boasters put on their look at me see what I am doing, it is hurtful to everyone. This usually causes the truly caring Christian to step away from these situations because they do not want to be marred with the sinfulness of the wolf. This hurts the people that were being served as it leaves a bad taste. The right thing to do is to give the show boater a menial unnecessary task away from those being served and correct in private.

People like this are seen in everyday activities. The ones who believe it is “all about ME” need to be set straight before it is too late. For some, it is the way they were brought up and will be hard headed. The silver platter children will see their demise when the money runs out. Others who want to be like them are given into hate. Cain did not want the attention so he was marked. This mark became a curse that has people caring more for their own selves than the care of others even when they are in a position that requires them to do so.

God seeks a relationship and when you do not “get along with others” the situation may become volatile. How do we avoid this, be an active participant with others and do not go it alone. Remember it is not about you alone but a relationship with all people. We are all one flesh though the color of the outer skin is different, we are all the same inside. We are originally designed as caretakers of creation. That is our lot in life. Do unto others as you would have done unto you is the New Covenant way of stating God’s intent for our livelihood. Be relational, not a loner. Love one another as HE loves us. Take Care dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Be Blessed.

Correction over Judgement

Correction Not JudgementCorrection of a fellow Christian is something Jesus definitely tells us to do. But He warns us to be careful not to judge, especially openly, but when correcting make sure you are not doing the same nor have anything that needs correction yourself. If you are in the practice of judging someone while knowingly having something against you, your judgement may be worse. There is a difference between judging and correcting. Judging is something we should not do but we are told to correct even though we have conditions given by Jesus in order to correct someone. Jesus tells us this. It is recorded in Matthew while Jesus was speaking to a large crowd.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5
We all have something that we have done wrong that either we continue to do or has been something in the past that still has not been forgiven. In order to be forgiven we must be able to forgive others for wronging us. Jesus takes it a step further when discussing personal sinful attacks and the consequence of disobedience.
“Moreover, if your brother commits a sin against you, go and show him his fault — but privately, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he doesn’t listen, take one or two others with you so that every accusation can be supported by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to hear them, tell the congregation; and if he refuses to listen even to the congregation, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax-collector. Yes! I tell you people that whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. Matthew 18:15-18
Paul, when traveling to the different towns where both Jew and Gentile lived, took the issues of the city and brought the teachings of Jesus. For the Jews this was not just a reminder of the Torah but an expansion to better understand what it means now that the Messiah has come.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:1-8
Paul takes the Word given by Jesus and makes it understandable to all. Because of His background in the Synagogue, Paul new what the Law and Prophets said and with Jesus he now truly understood what it meant for the world.
In the passage above, Paul warns against falling into the trap of being tempted to sin while correcting someone of the same. He also warns against being fake, or pretending to be someone else and turning that into a common lifestyle. We do not need to pretend to be someone else nor compare ourselves to others.
If a person sows ungodly things then the individual will suffer the consequences. If a person sows the Word through thought, speech, and deed, then that person will see rewards in heaven.
Be of the Good Spirit and do not let someone else’s ungodliness turn you away. Do not judge but with compassion and humility, correct the sinner. That is one of the many ways God desires of us to live a Christ-like life. Have faith and do not waiver though it is easy in this day and age to be tempted.
May God’s Grace and Mercy be with you.
Love and Blessings to you all.

 

DIDACHE On Commandments and Codes (Laws and Statutes)

Didache 2

Continuing our look into the Didache, the second part is an extension of the first about the way to life.  

 The second commandment of the teaching is this:  Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not have illicit sex; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn. Do not covet the things of your neighbor. Do not swear or bear false witness. Do not speak evil of others; do not bear grudges. You should not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a deadly snare. Your speech should not be false nor empty, but fulfilled by action. Do not be covetous, or greedy, or hypocritical, or malicious, or arrogant. Do not have designs against your neighbor. Hate no one; correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.

Notice the Commandments and the Morality Laws? They are there. This specifically speaks of adulterous and sexually immoral behaviors, pedophilia, homosexuality, abortion, thievery, abduction, astrology, sorcery, murder, lying, bitter, two-faced, back stabbing, and more. It looks to be a short-hand version of the  Ten Commandments to the Gentiles who never heard them. This section also covers the Morality Laws, and the things God and Jesus flat out abhor. Some of these are common sense practices and are also found in Codes of Law from other nations so most of these are nothing new to the receivers of this teaching. The main difference is that these are from God and emphasized, NOT ABOLISHED, by Jesus as things not to do in order to live an eternal life in the light not in the darkness of death.

Looking into these teachings, they speak of behaviors that affect mankind both physically and spiritually. The teachings are telling us what we must not do in order to live a right life with ourselves, in the community, and out in the world. I will not go into detail on all these “do not’s” and “should not’s” (although I would love to) because, simply, these are the opposite of the good morals, ethics, values, and characteristics that Believers need to be abiding in.

In layman’s terms: Once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you must give up your sinful past and life for Him. There is no, “This is the lifestyle I choose and will continue in it even though God says I shouldn’t”. Christians accept people for who they are and if they join in and accept Jesus, they must transform their heart and daily lives to reflect it. YOU CANNOT CONTINUE TO LIVE IN SIN. You live in sin you are in darkness, live for Jesus and you are in the light.

These teachings are called archaic by today’s standards of society. I have heard people say that the world is so depraved we should be rid of laws altogether so people can do what they see as right in their own eyes. Yeah that would be great until they are wronged and start complaining to others and crying that it shouldn’t happen and the perpetrators should be punished. This causes witch hunts and accusation band wagons that destroy careers.  Does that sound familiar in society’s current situation?   

The Didache teachings have just as much relevance today as they did even before they were written. So what do we do with this? Before the 20th Century it was easier to abide by these teachings, today it is an even worse struggle but it must be done. We need to live with a good moral compass, giving yourself over to Christ and following His ways all the time (not just Sunday in church). Do not being judgmental of others and stop giving in or compromising to appeal to a sinner’s ways. Have a compassionate, loving heart towards others but know when it is time to exert the tough love that the Father and Jesus has shown us.

Remember brothers and sisters, God’s rules are not to be changed or broken to satisfy our own thinking on how we should live. They were, after all, “set in stone”.

 

We Are Suffering A Moral Deficiency

Moral Deficiency

GOD does NOT tolerate the foolish. The foolish are those who are morally deficient and are prone to do what is considered evil in the eyes of God. Now do not confuse this type of person with a simple/naive person (easily controlled/deceived). That is, a person who is need of moral guidance, and could be persuaded to do evil things. So how do we tell the difference?

                                                   CHARACTERISTICS OF A FOOL

  1. No moral absolute

The definition of a moral absolute is: Having a moral absolute is the ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. So the lack of means that they do not care to understand the difference between what is right or wrong. These individuals will act immorally and think they are doing things that are acceptable.

  1. Total disregard to authority

A fool does not believe that anyone has authority over their actions and will what those with a moral compass consider as wrong. These individuals do not care nor recognize consequences for their actions.

  1. Total disregard to others

These individuals do not care if their actions hurt or help others and only have concern for themselves

  1. Arrogant

These individuals have and/or show a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance. Basically those who feel they are superior to others whose opinions do not matter.

  1. Proud

This person feels deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated

  1. Lack of self-control

This person acts on impulses and is prone to follow through with temptations all the time. Acts without fearing consequence. Conducting oneself in a manner that does not conform to what is considered right ethically and morally. 

God’s response to these types of people is:

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:20-33

Then we have people in the last decade who have been deceived into believing right is wrong and wrong is right. Mostly regarding biological mistreatments of gender. Have you seen pictures of what this has created? Most are youth who follow mainstream society and the popular people and believe that their ways are correct while not seeing the double standards that are placed right in front of them and come out of their mouths. They believe they are making positive changes when they are really destroying the very fabric of their own lives and taking many good people with them.

We have witnessed recently folks with a very poor moral compass and those who are the “victims” speaking out. Yes those who believe they did was considered normal behavior in a certain industry are lacking a moral compass and are being punished. Yet some of the victims who spoke out and try to parade themselves around asking for pity are those who would return to being victims for popularity purposes (i.e. Hollywood “casting couches” submitting themselves to others lusts to get a job). They go back to it because that is the only thing they know.

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (NKJV) 

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (ESV)

Don’t be fooled. “Bad company ruins good character.” (CJB)

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (NIV)

“Bad company ruins good manners.” (The Message)

1 Corinthians 15:33

Can it be said any clearer?

This is a world-wide epidemic.  

There are Christians that live outside the principles found in Scripture. These individuals proclaim Christ but do not act the way they know they should. In fact they continue to live their lives the way they did before submitting to Christ.

For those who want to continue in live in foolishness and then face the consequences of the choice of living in foolishness, I like to give you this Word of Wisdom: Never Complain About What You Permit.

In other words, if you truly believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, follow His earthly teachings and God’s Laws and statutes. Here is a hint, Jesus did not abolish the laws but fulfilled them. The only things we are no longer bound to, are the sacrificial laws and the fact that we are not to carry out the punishments unless appointed by God. 

It has gotten to the point where even large church organizations have fallen into the trap of the Devil and even though they are correct in bringing all sinners into the church, they are wrong when they say to the sexually immoral and confused, thieves, murderers, etc., we accept you and you can continue living this lifestyle. Jesus tells us to accept all people but He specifically says, to them “Go and sin no more.” If we accept their sinful ways without caring and helping them work through their sin, then we are just as guilty (yes Scripture tells us this).

There is a stark difference between Christ-based individuals and those who go to church act like a Christian then go home and continue their sinful lives. There is NO double standard.  
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.     Proverbs 1:10-19    

For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly. Proverbs 5:21-23

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6
Brothers and Sisters, we are living in a very rough age where we are considered to be wrong by many. Christians do have an edge and we do have representation that is actually doing good and a return to good morals is on the horizon. This does not mean we are winning the spiritual war but we are regaining the upper hand in the battle against Satan.

Do not let this slow victory relax but keep moving forward in correcting those who are against God. We know the final outcome and we know that there will be a time when it is the darkest. This is our tribulation, we will succeed.