The Mystery of John the Beloved

The writings attributed to John the Apostle have a lot to do with love and spiritual matters. There is one particular matter that has many wondering what Jesus meant. It comes from John 21:22 which states, “Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”. This verse has been taken out of context throughout history as some believe Jesus was saying that John would live and never die until He returns. But why was this statement even made by Jesus? Peter had just been forgiven for his denial and was told how he would die. My guess is that John was present and basically asked Jesus to tell of the others. When Jesus told Peter the above verse, it was not to tell of John’s future but to tell Peter to basically mind his own because at that point he had just been renewed into the family and that he was to follow Jesus.

John was the only Apostle to die of old age

The Apostles went into the world only to be killed by the world while speaking of Jesus. This was showing us how much devotion is necessary to share the Word even unto death. Why was John’s situation different?

One theory is that because John stayed by Mary while the others ran, he would be granted a long life never tasting the blade, noose, or nail. It works because the others left out of fear but John’s Love for the Savior was stronger than any fear the devil could put in his path. John was the first to see the joy in the suffering and while Paul talked about counting all sufferings as joy, John lived in Love and suffering to the fullest.  

John might still be alive

This theory has very few if any legs to stand on. Jesus did not say that John would not die but alluded to His power over creation saying that He could decide to keep John alive if He wanted. The believers of this theory often quote passages from Revelation only to realize that John’s long life was attributed to his faith and the great care of those who supported him. John will share the Word again just not as some people believe that it will be an earthly, physical form. John is alive in our memories through reading the Scriptures but so are other Apostles.

John’s body is not in stasis  

He is not frozen and hidden somewhere awaiting the return. He died of old age and was buried. He was not physically transformed into a younger version of himself. Why would people even think that God would do that. John is a witness to the end of the age through his writing. He saw Christ’s return and was allowed to write about it. John gave us insight to recognizing the end times but did not specifically give the five W’s. We know only what God needs us to know, the rest will be revealed on His time.

In Conclusion

 John was the only Apostle to live a full life giving him the ability to share God’s Love with at least four generations of people. He fulfilled the words of Jesus to Peter by living a long and joyfully suffering life and is now part of the Great Counsel of the Twelve with his brethren seated with Jesus. John, the Beloved lived to show and share God’s Love. He is alive in us through the Bible. Thanks be to God that we have discernment to be able to seek the truth of the Word.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God

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False Prophets and the New Year

This coming year we are headed for real trying times. The world has seen one disaster after the last and each one seems to get worse. Political and economic structures are breaking down and all we can do is sit back and watch as the people with the power try to worm their way out of dangerous roads. The way things are looking we will be seeing more and more people trying to tell us either about impending doom or that everything will be all right. So we must continue to pray for discernment in these trying times.

Micah the Prophet was told not to preach or prophesy of the truth. Many were caused to stumble because of these men as they told lies and took God’s Word in vain. Many of the false prophets had honestly no clue that they were preaching evil and the prophesies were given to them by demons. Some were so caught up in the world that they did not want to hear to real truth and condemned Micah. Though the prophet, God spoke about the false prophets and how they were ruining the people.

 “Do not preach”—thus they preach—
“one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.”
Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Has the Lord grown impatient? Are these his deeds?
Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?
But lately my people have risen up as an enemy; you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war.
The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses;
from their young children you take away my splendor forever.
Arise and go, for this is no place to rest, because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction.                                                                                    If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” he would be the preacher for this people!
I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I will gather the remnant of Israel;
I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men.                                                                                           He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it.
Their king passes on before them, the Lord at their head
.  Micah 2:6-13

There are preachers today who are so in the world that they forget their purpose. We have the common false prophets who have been exposed but they are so popular that they still get away with the false teachings. Recently I saw on an expensively computerized marque at a Christian Outreach advertising the raffling away of a Mustang GT. Sorry, we are not in the business of bringing people into a house of worship under material pretenses.

How do we fight against those who would silence the truth and continue the worldly view? Well, we must ask the question “Is it really our fight?”. Is it worth getting upset over when what we need to do is forgive and express the truth of God. Remember, God has a place set aside for the false teachers and prophets. There are so many who want to stay in the world that they cannot feel the difference when the Spirit knocks at their heart door. We must fight the spiritual battle with the Holy Spirit guiding our every move.

Brothers and Sisters, be on the lookout for the false teachers. There are many on You Tube and other Social Media outlets that are spreading false information, be careful. If it looks fishy do not give the person your ear. Spend time reading the Bible and let God speak to you through your time in the Word. He wants to spend time with you and time is something that is running short.

Have a safe and happy New Year. Let go of all your worries and let God take control. He will guide you the way you should go. May this new year be filled with Joy and Compassion for your fellow man.  

Blessings, Rob, Servant of God

Shepherds, The First Evangelists for Christ

Peace is the one thing that many people desire. It is in our nature to not want anger and war to be everywhere in our lives. Unfortunately, also because of human nature we have this tendency to want to have rule over another which means there is a period of discord which comes before a peaceful resolution making one a victor over another. The peace that God has instilled in us does not have the desires of our nature but of a Spiritual one that is beyond all of us.

Jesus Himself said that He did not come with a peaceful intention but a sword. His sword was internal and external but it was not made of metal. It is the Word of God which breaks all chains that hold the soul captive in this world. When those chains are broken and melted, all that is left is the peace that the Word of God brings. His birth began the breaking of those chains as the lines that separate the poor from the rich were made grey and faded. The first to hear the that the Word had entered the world were not kings, nobles, or persons of earthly wealth; they were poor unimportant shepherds. These shepherds then became the most important people in the world as they were the first besides Mary and Joseph to feel the peace of the Spirit enter in.  

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
 and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

According to Dr. Eddy Coakley (Pastor of Trinity Baptist in Cayce, SC), these shepherds then became the first missionaries and evangelists who shared His arrival immediately after meeting Him face to face. Imagine the peace that entered into them once the fear of the angels subsided and they met Jesus. It is this peace that we should feel when we speak about Him to others.

In fact, let’s change something right here right now. Let us truly put Christ back in Christmas not just by saying Merry Christmas but by sharing Christ with all those we meet just like the Shepherds did that night. It is really easy if you only try. Start with each other by sharing your love for Him with your family then go into the world and share Him. There is no reason to stay at home (unless you are sick) this Christmas. God’s Word is meant for all creation not to be kept inside.

What do you say? Let’s Do this. God would not want us to keep His Word in a box.

Rob, Servant of God

The Uniqueness of We

What happens when you are surrounded by many people with the same thoughts and attitudes? Nine times out of ten we concede on our own ideals and blend in with the crowd to be liked and loved. Human nature explains that we are social creatures and will do what is necessary to fit in to the situation at hand sometimes compromising our thoughts and beliefs, losing ourselves in the process.

A Danger Seen But Not Conquered

All too often the youth are easily influenced to be like others with whom they really have nothing in common. This is especially bad when certain people who have abused their gifts are given a platform to share their idealisms and agendas that are not in concert with God’s plan. Think of what has happened in the last 120 years with the event of audio/visual media. First used as a way of informing people of things happening in the local area, it has flourished into a means of delivering both true and false information throughout the world. The owners and those who make an extravagant living off of fame think they have the power and the right to influence the way people think. They really do not.  

God created each of us as unique persons with one purpose, to take care of His creation through expressing His Image through mirroring His Love. Yes we all have the same purpose but each of us has been given a gift to be used for His glory. We are not supposed to be hateful towards each other. We should not hold grudges or bitterness towards anyone whether we approve of their lifestyle or not. God gave us the opportunity to be unique and use our gifts to live together in love, not away from each other in fear.

You Cannot Be Completely Like Mike

For those who may be jealous of one person’s gift and desire to be like that person, you have to realize that God designed that individual to succeed in that gift and not you because your purpose is elsewhere. If everyone tries to be like someone else, our uniqueness and gifts are wasted and God’s purpose for us is overtaken by the devil’s desire to overthrow God.

Satan has placed His demons in areas that control those who do not know God or refuse to know Him. He has created a world where money and materialism control our lives so our uniqueness is hidden away. When we open our eyes and accept Christ as Lord and Savior, Satan loses control. Once we rely on Jesus our gifts become more apparent but we must fully submit to Christ. It is honestly real easy but it is the hardest thing to do if you remain attached to the things of your past.

Regain Your Uniqueness  

Putting your full Faith and Trust in God helps you discover the real you. For some it takes a long time but it will happen. We are all infused with a servant’s heart it just depends on the specific gift on how we are to serve others. Are you able to teach, sing, play an instrument? Do you have good business sense and can lead others? Look even the ability to stack a bunch of cards in a pyramid without it falling shows the potential for a natural gift of construction or engineering (either that or you can balance things easy). We are meant to share our gifts with specific people groups but all is for the Glory of God and His creation of which we are a part of.

Be unique, share your uniqueness with others but to not convince them that your way is the only way because you will going against God. Do not go against the Commandments nor the teachings of a right moral life or you may be easily influenced and lose your you which God made you to be.

Brothers and Sisters, Love one another as He loves us. Love your neighbor as yourself and do not hold anything against them. Be in Christ and Live.

Rob, Servant of God

Jewish Influence in the Lord’s Prayer

What I am about to talk about today may shock and challenge some people who are blind to certain facts of historical significance. There are many things about Christianity that so many have been blinded from by radicals who desire supremacy over others when the origins do not even belong to their ethnicity. There is no “Master Race”. There is no White Jesus or Black Jesus. Here is the fact. Jesus was born of Middle Eastern ethnicity in Bethlehem in Judea. His mother and earthly father came from Nazareth. Both of them are descendants of Abraham who descended from Noah who descended from Adam. When Rome took The Way and made it into the national religion called Christianity they tried to strip away all things Jewish except that one fact.  

Did you know that the Lord’s Prayer and other things we say and do as Christians have Jewish roots? In fact, we would not have Christianity except that the first people who knew Jesus and spread the faith were Jewish.     

So we ask this question, “How did Jewish Liturgy influence the Lord’s Prayer?”

Jesus taught us the model on how to talk to God in prayer. Here is the Lord’s Prayer as we know it.

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
  Luke 1:1-4

For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever, AMEN was added later.

The Lord’s Prayer is by far the most central and well-known Christian prayer in the world but it has almost word by word similarities with different Jewish prayers.

First, the content of the Lord’s Prayer is the same as the key Jewish liturgical concept of אבינו מלכנו (pronounced: Avinu Malkenu). When translated it means “Our Father, Our King”. In fact, everything in the Lord’s Prayer is centered around either the fatherhood or kingship of God.

Our Father, Who art in heaven

​The prayer begins by professing our core religious belief that God is our heavenly Father who is all knowing and all powerful. Notice that Jesus didn’t instruct us to say, “My Father” but stressed “Our Father.” God is not just the Father of one or five children but the Father of the human race.

 “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt.6:9b-13a)

Second, there are word-by-word parallels between the Lord’s Prayer and variety of Jewish prayers such as “Our Father, Our King”, the “Amidah”, and the “Morning Blessings”. Here is one example from each:

אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ סְלַח וּמְחַל לְכָל עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ

Our Father, Our King, forgive and pardon all our sins.

נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם

We will sanctify your Name in this world, as it is sanctified in high heaven.

ואל תביאנו לא לידי חטא ולא לידי עברה ועון, ולא לידי נסיון ולא לידי בזיון, ואל ישלט בנו יצר הרע

Lead us not into sin and transgression, iniquity, temptation and disgrace, so that evil will not rule over us.

Jesus had taken what was already known from established prayers and petitions to God and gave them deeper meaning outside of the realm of Israel as the plan was originally intended.

The liturgy of Jewish prayers, their festivals, and traditions, are the basis of all things Christian. Some modern scholars even want the Old Testament put aside but then call the New Testament, Scripture. The Word of God, Jesus, is found at the very beginning of the Christian Bible cannot be ignored. Jesus gave the two Great Commandments but they lose their meaning without understanding the Ten Commandments. The Great Commandments are the culmination of the Ten so everything in the Ten still apply.

STOP THE HATE

This Anti-Semitism and ethnicity hatred that has grown stronger must stop. We are supposed to be helping the Jews see Jesus in a peaceful manner not by killing them like the zealous Catholics did during the Inquisition. We should be spreading Love not hatred because we are all of the same flesh. Our outward appearance comes from a manipulation of dirt, clay, and water. That is what our bodies will return to. Our spirits live on after the body dies. There is no color, gender, or ethnicity, just the spirit. We are all one. Let’s start acting like it. Look at the inner person not the sinful shell. Be the Child of God He desires us to be. Love one another, give up the hatred and all things that keep us in the world. That is one of the ways we will have communion with God.

Brothers and Sisters, the time is past and we are already hurting. Now is the time for healing.

Love to All,

 Rob Servant of God     

Trusting In His Promises

Do you remember the hymn, “Standing on the Promises”? The Bible is full of God’s promises to mankind. Some of the promises were meant for specific people only but most are generalized promises meant for all humans and or all creation. If a person were to place God’s promises on the promise meter of a politician you would see the meter speak truth by stating complete, in motion, or in the works on every one of them. His truth is that He cares for each and every one of us and will do everything He can to help us make the right choice by following His ways and trusting in His Promises.

Some of the Promises have visual representations. The Rainbow, for instance, is the physical reminder that God promised never to destroy the world by flood ever again. We know He is talking about a worldwide flood and not just local ones. Earthquakes are another form of promise. I know that seems bad because of the death and destruction that occurs but Isaiah 54:10 states, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD who has compassion on you.”. His love cannot be shaken and His promise of peace remains in place.

The promises He makes remind us of His Love for us. He reiterates to Joshua that He will never leave or forsake him which was told to the whole Community of Believers earlier in Deuteronomy. Jesus mentions the same upon the Ascension. Scripture also states that He will guide us, deliver us, protect us, watch over us, and many other things that emphasize His Love for us.   

How do we know His promises cannot be broken? Well first of all, He is the Sovereign Lord over all things and He does not break a promise. It may seem that a little edge is given but that is there because of our Free Will and He allows us to choose whether to obey or deny His Words. Even if we choose disobedience, He still loves us. We have to accept the consequence of ignoring or denying His Love.

Another Hymn that comes to mind is “Trust and Obey”. In the Chorus we sing, “trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey”.  If you read the Common Jewish Bible you will notice one major difference, the word “trust” is often in place of the word “faith”. These are not fully interchangeable but at the same time they are. To have faith in someone there is a large amount of trust involved as well as obedience. But trust is of upmost importance because we are literally putting our lives in His hand.

We trust God by His Word which was written down for us in order to know it and be obedient so that we can be accepted into the Kingdom. We trust that God will make good on His promises even when we are disobedient. God does promise that He will teach us lessons that return us from our disobedience back to Him but we still must choose to trust Him.

His promises are given so we may learn to trust Him in all things we do. Even though we falter, He will fight for us and guide us home to Him. To return we must have faith that He will accept us back, which Scripture shows that He will.

Do you trust that God will keep His promises? He is not a promise breaker, but if we test Him the promise takes a back seat to discipline. Remember, the some promises are if/then and after the punishment is over we return to acceptance and live. God keeps His promises.

Brothers and Sisters we are bound by our faith in God that He will keep His promises. His Mercy and Grace are freely given so that we are assured that He will not give up on us. All we have to do is put our full trust in God. Have you put your trust in Him. If not, will you. He is waiting for you to accept Him.

Blessings and In God’s Love,

Rob, Servant of God           

 

 

 

 

The Compassionate Shepherd

ADVENTURES IN THE PARABLES lost sheepMy people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. Jeremiah 50:6

There were folks in the religious hierarchy that loved to confront Jesus. Their idea of the Word was corrupted by man-made traditions and practices that had manipulated God’s Word for their purposes and not God’s. Often, they confronted Jesus trying to get Him to slip up and say something that would condemn Him. No matter how they tried they were the ones getting the lesson and were confronted with their own mistakes and misgivings. They were the ones who were lost. Not just those in the hierarchy but all Israel was lost and Jesus even told them as, He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24). 

Bringing The Lost Sheep Home

His compassion was first for the chosen people of the Father to bring them home again. We know that this was going to be very hard especially since the people wanted earthly freedom from their oppressors and evidently were not really concerned with spiritual things. But God beats all odds and can get right to the heart.

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:3-7

Jesus, the Great Shepherd, gives this account of searching, saving, and rejoicing. Even more, we can clearly see a picture of salvation in these verses that we do not want to miss today. Even though this was meant for the People Israel, we can clearly see the redemption and salvation that God gives by His Grace and Mercy through putting everything else aside, sacrificing the safety of the rest just to find and rescue one. Jesus lifts us up so we do not have to tread in the waters or the thorns of the world alone. All heaven rejoices even when just one comes to know the Lord and returns home.

The Heart Condition

We are lost to God because of sin. He knows the lost condition of humanity and of our hearts which were given in to sin. But you see, God sent Jesus to rescue and redeem us, to discover and help us choose to repent and change the condition of our heart. All of God’s children are precious to Him, yes even the hardened sinner. We are loved so much. He professed His love in John 3:16, then Paul reminds us how He showed His Love in Romans 5:6-8.

We Are Valued

Like I said, we are precious to Him. Luke 19:10 states, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Brothers and Sisters, we are not something that is created and left to rot. We are created to love and care for one another just as He loves us. He loves us so much that He died as the final blood sacrifice. The innocent given to replace us for our sins. Our value is found in every drop of the Saviors blood which was shed so we could live.

At What Cost

The last line in the Parable speaks volumes on what is needed from us. Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Yes we are saved by Grace but there is still certain obligations. These obligations have not changed since Abraham. Better yet, these obligations have not changed since Abel. We are obligated to Keep His Word on our hearts because our strength comes from His Word. We must repent and not return to our sinful, worldly ways. God continually waits for us in patient love but if we cannot give up the world then we are forever lost to Him. It is our choice though God will continually fight for us. Jesus gave us the examples of Kingdom living and He did it outside the world. He showed us what true love is. He showed us what true compassion is. He thoroughly explained what it is to live for the Father and this generation has thrown it away. We are not perfect so we must depend on His Grace and Mercy but not without making the commitment to giving up the things that keep us away from Him.

Are you willing to peek out so He can find you or will you stay hidden and lost?
The Parable of the Lost Sheep is a tale of a lot more than just one lost person. It is the lost people Israel and the hope for redemption and salvation of all people.

Stop The Corruption

Stop the CorruptionBrothers and Sisters, Rob here and I have to tell you I am getting sick and tired of hearing about churches embracing sinfulness. The liberal churches are going too far in this love is love and that we should love and embrace all people and tell them that their sin is ok instead of telling them they must repent and sin no more as the Master Saviour says we should do. Children are innocent and very easy to manipulate. Parents who let their young children believe they are something they really are not is very detrimental to the child’s health both physically and spiritually but even more damaging to the parent.

Those who understand the meaning of Proverbs 22:6 will tell you that we are not to teach children in sinful worldly ways but in the way of God but go against it because of societal pressure are basically condemning themselves as they are causing their children to sin. This is NOT OK. Look at what Jesus tells his Disciples according to the Gospel of Mathew.

“Yes! I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you won’t even enter the Kingdom of Heaven! So the greatest in the Kingdom is whoever makes himself as humble as this child. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me; and whoever ensnares one of these little ones who trust me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the open sea! Woe to the world because of snares! For there must be snares, but woe to the person who sets the snare!” Matthew 18:3-7

Children are snared into sinfulness through the evil desires of man. Pedophilia is an ever growing problem, sex-ed is being taught at a younger age with homosexual influences, We have made evil good and good evil. We have allowed this sinfulness in the church by allowing open boastfulness of sin. When a person repents they are to follow the words of Jesus when He said, “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). He did not say I forgive you and you may continue in your sin and be saved if only you believe in me. That is the statement that is being taught in some churches today which is against God’s Word and will be punished by Him.

Yes we are to love our neighbor as ourselves but we should not let sin influence decisions, especially in the church. Having openly gay persons leading the church means that entire congregation accepts the sin and will allow the influence to take over their thinking on Scripture as the leader tries to validate the sin instead of repenting and changing.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:18-25

It was not too long ago that children who played with things that were meant for the opposite gender and it was called a phase. Now the second a child does this, some parents want to jump in and change their child’s gender. This has turned out very damaging for many who go through the reassignment leading some to commit suicide. We should not be playing God here. We are born a specific biological gender (gender is not a mental state) and that is who we are to stay. God does not make us LGBTQXYWhatever, but He does give us into our sins when the society is so corrupted and against Him. It happened in Sodom and Gomorrah, in Rome, and it happening now all over the world.

Society has refashioned the words and meaning of Proverbs 22:6 to suit their specific worldly desires. Instead of rearing a child in the ways of good moral and ethical behavior we have corrupted children who truly do not understand right from wrong.

How much longer are we going to let sinfulness influence our children. Gun violence is on the rise for people under 18, fantasy has overtaken reality, sexually immoral behavior is becoming less frowned upon and more accepted. We need to revive God in our lives so we can change these influences and teach right from wrong as we are supposed to. 

How???

Get off your donkey and start in your neighborhood. Everybody does not have to start in the church but it helps if some do. Find out where the outside influences are and begin to make that change. Make a difference. Bring God back to the front with Jesus at His right hand. Share the Gospel as it says in Scripture before we completely do what Israel did that caused God to send Jesus to us. Stay faithful to the words and teachings from our youth and grow in the truth of Scripture. Love one another as He loves us even if it means we have to have tough love. Be blessed today and all days brothers and sisters.
Rob

Keep His Word (Unless you deny everything Christ died for)

 

The world opened their heart to Dr. Charles Stanley and he has done so much in so many lives but he could not keep his son from denying the need for Scripture.  In a sermon from Andy Stanley, he denies the need for the Old Testament and says that the only thing we need to understand, know, and believe, is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The way the sermon reads is that everything that Scripture (that is, Old Testament) says is unnecessary for our salvation. He is bluntly denying our Father. He even states that the Scripture is only meant for the Jews; wait what??? Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, He came to fulfill. This means that we are still bound. Jesus is the Word made flesh and He came and ministered first to the Jews to put them back on track. It was their understanding of the Scriptures that enabled them to understand the need for the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.

 

You cannot fully comprehend everything Jesus said and did without an understanding of the past events and circumstances that led up to His birth. That being said, one must have an understanding of the developments, the covenants made, the history, and the story of God as it is told in the Old Testament to fully comprehend the reason we believe. That is like saying that the great structures and artistic representations of the world are there and just taking by faith that they exist. Someone had to have the idea, the blueprint/sketch, the knowledge of what materials to use to create it and give it meaning.

 

To understand why Jesus did what He did we need to know the reason for it. The fact that forgiveness is found in the flowing of innocent blood dates back to the time of Adam. The mark of faith was sealed in the circumcision of Abraham. The Day of Atonement was established by God through Moses. The need of sustaining the Word is given through the commission of Joshua. Faith and trust in God was described and demonstrated in the victory over Goliath. The need for maintaining faith and trust in God is demonstrated in the description of what happened every time the Israelites did their own thing. The list goes on and on of why we need the Scripture to understand why Jesus came.  

 

Now this is not the first time a popular pastor has denied some part of the belief system in favor of only one thing necessary for our salvation. In the past 200 years there have been more than I can count on my fingers and toes but guess what, the Word cannot be denied. They have died and most of their memories have faded but the Word has remained and its truth is unchanged. God is still God, David still killed Goliath, and Adam and Eve still made the choice that took down the path which we live today.

 

The Apostle Paul who persecuted Christians even noted the need for understanding Scripture to get the full grasp on why Jesus had to die. The explanation is simple: The flesh had to be destroyed so that the Word could live. The ascended person of Jesus showed the world the result of living with the Word ruling the heart, soul, and mind.

 

So, all this to say that we need the whole Word not just the resurrection occurrence to truly be saved. Yes we need to follow the example of Jesus but to follow His example we have to know what He is demonstrating. We are saved by Grace because we cannot be perfect followers, it is against human nature but we must persevere and give our best to follow God’s Word in our lives daily. Trusting in His mercy that we may become faithful followers through suffering and a fearful respect of the One who gave us life.  God grants us the provisions to be strong and courageous when standing in this world but under the condition of keeping His Word on our heart.

 

 “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:7-9

 

Jesus emphasized the need for this, all the Apostles reiterated it, some modern pastors deny it. Who will you believe????

 

Seasons Of Life

SeasonHow we live our life now will determine what our next existence will be (eternal life or damned). Our lives are split into seasons. Unlike the weather system on this earth having four main and a few storm seasons, mankind has many seasons that flow within our physical and emotional states. How we handle the circumstances given to us in these seasons teach us lessons for how to better handle what this life brings. The key is to live each day for God and not ourselves because our actions effect the lives of those around us.

The Book of Ecclesiastes discusses living on this earth and the senselessness of some things that we do that will have spiritual ramifications in heaven. The choices made while dealing with circumstances given us help shape us from birth to death and prepare us for our eternal existence whether exalted or damned. The writer calls all activities vanity and basically worthless expenditures or our time under the sun. In chapter three, the writer informs us of the human seasons.

For everything there is a season, a right time for every intention under heaven —
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to discard,
7 a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Scripture tells us that God really desires all of His children to come home but He knows that will not happen. We are given choices and God guides us using the Holy Spirit and others to help put us on the road that leads home. The Devil puts potholes and bumps along the way to deter us from our eternal home.

Looking at the choices from Ecclesiastes 3, some things are unavoidable such as our birth and death. The other choices made are ways that our life is guided towards God. Some are emotional and others are physical, some are both. Think about it, planting and uprooting have many meanings from gardening to moving or staying still. Each one is relational. How we handle our relationship with others is a true test of living.

How many bridges get torn down just to get built elsewhere? How often do we feel anger and are hard pressed to pick up the pieces? How about our choice in friends and acquaintances? When do we raise our voice or stay silent letting others chose their path? How long we let ourselves stay in one negative season such as bitterness will dictate if we can ever make it to a season of happiness. We have to know when and how to let go.

Our actions and reactions towards each other determine the status of our relationships here on earth. With God in our lives we really cannot stay in the negative seasons for very long. How glorious the relationship we have with the Father in Heaven.
We can learn a lot from a wise king even though he had many troubles and made some very unwise choices in his own life which had disastrous effects on the whole nation. His teaching is wise and I bet that if he had actually stayed true to God’s Law the nation would not have suffered as it did.

This time we live in is very testing. It is hard to keep in line and on the narrow path when we are in a society that accepts immoral behavior as normal. If we are not careful, the devil’s snare will have taken everything. What can we do? Pray, stay in the Word, worship with others, keep His Word on our lips do not waver, share with everyone no matter what. Maintain a best positive attitude whenever possible and if we do have to react negatively, get out of that season quickly.

We will suffer a persecution of many kinds. Stay positive through persecution just as the Disciples did. Some will call it defiance but we should understand that we meet pain and suffering with joy and gladness. Weep for loss but celebrate what has been gained. Do not fear because if have faith, God will not leave us forsake us and we will be comforted. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, be blessed with the knowledge that Jesus died and rose for us, for you. May God shine upon you and guide you. AMEN