The Parable of the Sanctimonious Servant

EP25: A lazy sanctimonious Christian helps no one, ever, contrary to what Jesus called all of us to do.

Context: Matthew 15:1-14 [Amp]

A changed mind is a terrible thing to waste.

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Sidewalk Rescuing and Ministry, by a Minister
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Epilogue, Part 1

I have NO idea how much time we have left. It all seems so dark and unattainable and scary. We spend our entire lives for whatever the epilogue is for us. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder.

Actually, I’m talking about retirement.

The way of the world today, in the past couple of decades, has made it harder, if unattainable, to “retire” in the true sense. GONE are the days of the gold watch, pension, health insurance and life insurance that was freely given to long-time employees. GONE are the days of a job that allowed you to save money for a down payment on a house, saving for your kid’s college, or just being able to live until you die without starving or languishing in a subpar nursing home ALONE.

Now dump covid on that. That’s the retirement most Americans are looking at right now.

The way of the world is choking all of us, without apology, financially and spiritually. We are obsessed with the next dollar because it could be our last. I do not understand why the government steals our money all of our working lives just to push us off the edge, thanks for nothing. At times it keeps me up at night, steals my breath and my joy and my peace. The amount of pure evil is blinding.

But God.

We may be retiring soon but that doesn’t mean ministry is over. And it shouldn’t be for you, either. That is one thing that cannot be stolen from us. The promises of God and Gospel of Christ are relevant to a still dying world. We can never allow the enemy to surround us with lies ever again. We may not be able to age out the way we hoped so we’ll redeem the time, love our neighbor, restore that which was lost.

Someone, somewhere still needs to hear what God wants you to say. Speak up until your last breath.

So how was your trip around the mountain?

Mine was FABULOUS. Really. Every lap around that mountain gives us the opportunity to learn, even if you’re doing the same thing over and over. This unscheduled “trip” was not a journey away from Jesus and ministry, but to clarify and make clearer the Man He is and the words in red.

Some of my mountain trip was my renewed interest in the Jesus movement from decades ago. The kind of hippie way of following Jesus seemed so pure and unencumbered. Yes, there were issues with the doctrine, but the essence was of it reminded me of the unhindered love of the Gospel preaching to every creature without fear.

We fear mean people. We fear backlash. We want ‘peace’ but not the peace that passes all understanding. I, too, wanted to be LEFT ALONE. But ministry is PUBLIC, so says the Book of Acts, which has no end until Jesus comes back.

So, what cool stuff did the mountain trip teach me?

Your opinion has VALUE.
It is acceptable to listen to and glean from other ministries.
Strengthening discernment is the best workout EVER.
No two ministries are ever exactly the same.
Love does not mean acceptance.

Perhaps the hardest thing for a Christian and Minister to do is accept who WE are rather than caving to others. And by that I mean other ministries or the sister who prays more or the brother that gives more, etc. YOU and I are completely unique in our walk with the Lord and we should give a great big HALLELUJAH for that! Jesus wants us to be fishers of men, not a bunch of Stepford wives and clones.

Christians use social media to demonize other Christians and ministries. Shame on them. God hears them. But didn’t I do the same thing “in the name of Jesus”? Sadly yes. But then the mountain showed up! Thank God for the mountain!

Believers do not have inherent light, but we do have reflective light. So let your light so shine, for He is our source, a public acknowledgement of Jesus. Angry social media armchair preachers are the clanging cymbals of “ministry”.

Resurrection Day

On the Glorious Day that Christians reflect on the Empty Tomb, I have this for you: A true revelation of WHO Christ is, WHAT He did for us, and WHERE He is now.

I wish for you to have the same REVELATION I did. Like many others, I ‘knew’ about Jesus, I read and saw movies, sort of like researching for a book report. There was no true understanding of Him, just knowing about Him. Then one day I ‘got it’; the He truly took every stripe in our stead, when we deserved every single bit of it [Isaiah 53:1-5].

I had to learn what the Love of Christ really is. He was despised, a Man of sorrows,He took the beating we deserved. ONE DAY, I got it, I realized His love, throughout the horrific pain and hatred, HE STILL LOVED US, He died for ME. And while I still marvel at that, He ROSE and sat at the RIGHT hand of God, giving us the CHOICE of Eternal LIFE, if we only repent and accept Him as LORD. Yes, He ROSE from the grave, but He has NEVER left us:

Matthew 28:5-6: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.”

Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. GO THEREFORE and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Thank YOU, Jesus.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers,” 3John 2.

Happy Resurrection Day.

God is in control, even during the Abortion Wars.

 

There has been increasing proof that the Abortion Wars are cloaked in religion, and Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NAF, and others have exploited this fact for decades. Over 85% of post abortive women identify with a ‘religion’. How much more evidence do we need to see that our Risen Savior is used to PROMOTE abortion by deceptive religions and denominations?

This post isn’t just about the sanctity of LIFE, this is about those that clothe themselves in religious garments advocating killing unborn life, outwardly deceiving women. Read more about the proabort pulpit here.

Jeremiah 17:9-10: v9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? v10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” 

The ‘Religious’ Coalition for Reproductive Choice is leading this deception to further the abortion agenda within religious circles. These zealots that repeat the abortion mantra have no interest in who Jesus really is; they see him as a man who lived and died, did some good things, never spoke above a whisper. Nothing can be further from the truth. The RCRC [and others] have made Jesus Christ a political figure, not a Savior. People want to know which religion or denomination that advocates for LIFE – but the short answer is don’t follow man, follow Jesus.

Jeremiah 18:7-10: v7 “The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, v8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. v9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, v10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.” 

God forgives, religion condemns. But will the religious abortion wars repent? We pray that those who believe in aborting God’s creation will relent, repent, and serve God. That is always the hope. Christians with a true relationship with Jesus wants to see souls saved, not condemned to hell; judgement lies with God. I am a sinner saved by Grace, all have fallen short of the Glory of God. Then, even they who have advocated for millions of abortions, can be saved from a hell they deserved, the very same one I deserved before coming to Christ.

God does not forget, nor does He pass by sin without judgement. I assure you, God is quite secure in who He is, not who the sanctimonious believes He is. They have made God a puppet and Jesus a byproduct of Him just to satisfy their agenda to kill unborn children ‘without apology’.

Jeremiah 22:15-17: v15 “Shall you reign because you enclose yourself in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. v16He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?” says the Lord. v17 Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence.” 

Read more about Abortion and the Church here and here.

Preach the Word. Everywhere.

Witnessing on a public right-of-way is just as biblical NOW as it was in the times of Jesus. However, public being ‘public’ means that we have to share a public venue with religions who may not hold to the very foundation of Christianity. Think of it, all ‘religions’ are in prison ministry, homeless ministry, prolife ministry, etc. Then, what do we do as Christians – evangelize the lost or tell the other religions that come to the same venue they’re doing it wrong?
 
Hold fast, hold true, and hold on! Strike a balance or you are just as guilty as a man-made ‘doctrine’ that soothes the seeker, not save the lost. Always remember your task at hand, don’t sway to conformity, preach the Word.
“v1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, v2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, v3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1Timothy 4:1-3
If it is your ‘ministry’ to go to venues and tell everyone they are doing it wrong – not witnessing to YOUR specifications – then you do not do the Will of God. If your are in public ministry as we are, remember the public does not need to see your displeasure with a fellow servant. That will create chaos that cannot be ignored. Remember your venue, remember Who sent you, remember the servant who led YOU to the Lord.
“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2Timothy 4:5
MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

To Pray or Sleep?

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Agony_in_the_Garden Jesus praying in the garden after the Last Supper, while the disciples sleep, by Andrea Mantegna c. 1460 (en.wikipedia.org)

And He came to his disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ” So you men could not keep watch with me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40 -41

(Voice of the Persecuted) Many of us have often read these scriptures. At the time when the Lord Jesus needed his three closest friends to pray for him, these disciples exhausted from sorrow and found sleeping. One can only imagine that Jesus was grieved much in his heart. At the time when Jesus was about to go to the cross and lay down his life for us—at the time when Jesus was about to carry His cross to Calvary, so that we might have…

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PERSECUTED CHURCH: Our lives as Christians under the microscope.

We are on watch, we are targeted – by our own government. The Supreme Court is weighing in on so-called ‘gay marriage’ which can force churches, ministries, and Christian organizations protected by their 501(c)(3) status.

Should we be concerned? YES. Because Christians are persecuted outloud with hideous beheadings, and sometimes so quiet that it’s almost undetectable, or so the government hopes. In China, the hope of Jesus Christ is so abhorred and feared by their government, they are calling it “a restriction on the public space for Christianity” toppling them one at a time: “Compared to the Communist Party’s previous militant-style campaigns aiming at wiping out the religion, the latest crackdown is milder and its primary target is a symbol rather than the belief itself“, read the rest here.

A restriction on the public space for Christianity? Sounds familiar? It should, Bible studies, prayer meetings and church services in private homes in America have been targeted:

“A California couple has been fined by the city of San Juan Capistrano for holding Bible studies and religious gatherings in their home.” Read the rest here.
AND
“A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail after he refused to stop hosting Bible studies in the privacy of his home – in violation of the city’s building code laws.” Read the rest here.

Is this what’s coming to American churches as the LGBT community continues to target and persecute Christianity? Look to Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston. She took her LGBT agenda and manifested it as law to placate her own sin to make it appear normal; ‘City of Houston’ demanded “sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker. Pastors and churches and ministries said a resounding NO, claiming rightfully that their Constitutional rights cannot be taken away by anyone.

“This new draft law is just another attempt by the government to legitimize its existing illegal violent campaign of destruction and removal of the cross,” said Bob Fu of U.S.-based China Aid, which has documented that 448 churches have had crosses removed or buildings destroyed…..To continue to forcefully remove and ban the cross on the rooftop of the church buildings demonstrates the Chinese regime’s determination to contain the rapid growth of Christianity in China,” he said in an email.” Read the rest here.

Many smaller churches here in America are decidedly not tax exempt so that  they can continue to use their rights to Freedom of Speech, religion, and religious liberty. These rights are Constitutional and is supposed to protect individual American citizens, but are they protected under a 501(c)(3)? Many people would disagree with what protects us by something manufactured by the IRS and Federal Government.

In China, an article depicted Christian church crosses being torn down and in some cases, the entire church:

“The battle started when a government-hired crew tore down the metal cross atop the one-room church in this village surrounded by rice paddies last month…The next day, a church member used his own welding torch to put it back. He was promptly detained and questioned for 10 hours on the charge of operating a welding business without a license.” Read the rest here.

Tear down the Cross? Not one person can tear down what God has provided: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” [1Cor 1:18].

Doing nothing gains nothing. Jesus is knocking on the door trying to get back into the Church, we should let Him in and keep the government OUT.

Just as it was, so shall it be.

We have spent so much of our lives telling God NO or LATER or SOME DAY. We took our lives, created and purposed by God, and rearranged them with sin and idol worship.

God does not change, we do. Seek Him, get back on the narrow path, don’t look back:

v24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
v25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
v26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. [Gen 19:24-26]

Let this encourage you! No matter how far you have gone, you can come back! Yes, there are consequences and repercussion for sin but He gives us STRENGTH mightier than Goliath!

Then, just as it was, so shall it be:

Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. [Ps 100:3]

RockOfPraise

©revkatherinemarple

On the OTHER Side of Addiction

We hear on the news, internet, and other media sources about addiction, the addict, what the addict did, etc. Addiction is ugly and deadly. But I’m on the OTHER side of addiction, I’m his mom.

What seems like a million years ago, I was married to an addict. Saw it all with my own eyes…and so did my kid.

Every day I wondered if this was going to be THAT day. Will I find him dead? Will he crash his vehicle again? Is he in jail again? Will he come home? Will he hurt us again? Again and again, over and over…I waited for the other shoe to drop. It’s a surreal thing watching someone slowly commit suicide with drugs and alcohol and be completely helpless.

And every day of this marriage my young son watched and was witness to this daily chaos. As parents we want to protect our kids and home, but when you are married to an addict you’re too busy dealing with the addiction than trying to keep a home and family and a job. And for that I have begged God for forgiveness that my sweet child had to see this horror when all I had to do was just leave. I had to find out many years later that the cancer had spread.

The last day I saw him was 25 years ago, TODAY.

I won’t go through all of the gory details, that’s for me and God to know. But I do want to address what it’s like on the OTHER side of addiction….because that addiction spread like a cancer to one of my children.

Unlike a very bad marriage, you can’t just ‘leave’ your kids. An addicted adult child is much harder to understand and deal with because they are forever your children, not a bad marriage. I truly thought that after seeing with his young eyes how bad addiction was that it would be the absolute last thing that would happen to him. The cancer spread anyway and without any fanfare…yes, I was totally blindsided because I was never a drug user. Remember this the next time you think your kids aren’t paying attention to what you are saying or doing.

About thirteen years ago, I gave my life to Jesus and eventually became ordained…all before I found out about my son’s addiction. Now I have different eyes to see through and a different heart to love with. The hard thing for my kid to do was confess his addiction to me, the hard thing for me to do was accept the fact that it happened.

Just like with my ex-husband, I have to deal with codependency and enabling. I don’t want to make his addiction worse, I want to make his recovery extraordinary! But isn’t that just like a Christian, wanting to give the devil a great big ole black eye? Then what does a person do, on the OTHER side of addiction? Every day for me I struggle with wondering if I’ll get THAT phone call and every day he struggles with the real pain of detoxing. It’s harrowing, it’s hard and it’s exhausting.

Certainly I am NOT alone, although for the rest of you I wish it were just me. But as people on the OTHER side of addiction, we have to band up with the LORD and each other to face that precious face of our addicted adult child. This is a love I never knew I had but God is GOOD! He gives us this supernatural strength to see our kids with His eyes.

If there is one thing I would say to ANY addict, it is this: YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FORSAKEN. You are NOT an accident or mistake. Your life is NOT over. You are important to GOD! And here’s why: The Bible says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” This scripture says that we are all known by God since the beginning of the world with a purpose and path already assigned to us. There is no mistake or accident, God does NOT make mistakes! God cannot lie! We are all His, and He is ours. 

If there is one thing that is foremost on my mind about my addicted adult child is that I never want him to feel hopeless or worthless. That kind of desperation paralyzes me; and if it does that to me, I cannot imagine what that does to him.

As a mom, I have said that I would die for my child if it meant saving theirs. I’m sure you’ve said the same thing. But One mightier than I has died for him, and died for me! Jesus is the only way to true salvation and restoration! I could die for my kid but that would do nothing for him when Jesus can give him the true love that will save his life!

Addiction is forever, so is Eternity. And for as much as I LOVE my son, God loves him even MORE!

Every day I wake up giving my kid to Jesus and trusting God to heal and restore him from drugs, then I ask God to keep my heart full of love and understanding with the right balance to help my kid, not hurt him. After that I thank God for a husband who cares for and loves my kid and me. I can’t imagine my life without either of these guys.

Recovery…restoration is one day at a time, for all of us, even on the OTHER side of addiction.

“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

TRUSTJESUS