30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 18

One of our adult kids has gotten particularly hard at life, hard at the things of God. Good Friday…on that day Christ died for our sins; He is our propitiation, our gift. We did not deserve Him but God loved us so much that he gave His only Son. As parents we demonstrate our love for our kids with our sacrifices to give them what they need or want. Certainly I am not God, neither are you. But to our kids, we seem so.

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.” Romans 5:7

The loyalty we show for our children isn’t reciprocated or even appreciated. My middle son’s birthday was just the other day, he wouldn’t answer his phone. I gave birth to that beautiful redheaded ball of energy and he wouldn’t pick up the phone or call us back. I would give my life for him and he won’t answer his phone? To that I say, I gave birth to you and CHRIST DIED FOR YOU…what else could you possibly want? Your life began with me and it can end in Eternity with Christ; I’d say your needs are taken care of, if you accept Christ.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Can you even imagine it? JESUS DIED FOR US! How can anyone not be awestruck by that? No one would, at the very least, stand up for me; but not only did Christ stand up for me, He died for me…ME. Dealing with unsaved or backslidden kids is heartbreaking for me, I cannot imagine how that grieves Him after enduring a horrific, humiliating death on a Cross for these kids to ignore.

As our kids get older we want to be what they want but as they grow into adults, we have to become what they need. Some of these kids are not satisfied with ‘need’, they want more and more, and on their terms. Then, rather than kicking against the goads, perhaps they should take the narrow gate?

v4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

v5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

v6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Acts 9:4-6

In the spirit of thanksgiving, Paul asked what he could do for Him. Even after all of the persecution that Paul [then Saul] had committed to Christians, in that moment he knew he had grieved the Lord for what he did and asked “Lord, what do you want me to do”? Paul spent a lifetime doing what He called him to do. Paul was given a gift he cannot repay, a debt that we all owe.

I pray for my children to be comforted in their time of need and despair with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, not the empty promises of the world.

 

Wednesday Night Bible Study: ANGER.

We are continuing with the Sermon on the Mount, tonight touching on a common sin among Christians: ANGER.

Did you know that no sin is without consequence, especially anger? We are called children of God, not the crowd at a cage fight. We are required to keep it together, learn and relearn how to battle what our mind wants to do before it falls out of our mouths and through our fists.

At Church

Jesus equates anger and hate to murder. Murder is different than killing; murder has intent. Then our anger, our HATE, has intent toward the person we are cross with. Some of us quietly plot the demise in our heads to that person that has wronged us. We are human…free will. But with the gift of free will comes responsibility to govern it in a GODLY way, not murderous.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is trying to reteach us how to consider what we do with our minds before we act upon them, such as lust. How many of us have lusted in the heart? ALL OF US. Jesus tells us that what we DO in our minds is precariously close to acting upon them.

Matthew 5:21-26 says, “21You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.”

Yep, it’s that ‘turn the other cheek‘ stuff. But the explanation is much better than that. How do we turn the other cheek? How do we discern what is righteous anger? Having righteous anger is not a bad thing, we should be angry with sin! But only AT sin, not the sinner. In other words, being angry at the sin  of abortion or homosexuality is okay, but slinging it at the sinner is NOT.

We need to consider righteous anger versus relative anger:

Ephesians 4:26-32 says, “26Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27nor give place to the devil. 28Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

And there it is: FORGIVENESS. We have to forgive or we will be bound in a way that is not of God to continue in a spirit of anger and hate.

The Ten Commandments given by God to Moses spoke of our shortcomings as humans since the fall of Man in the Garden; critical thinking put the apple in the hands of Eve rather than trusting God. So, understanding that we had free will in the Garden, how much more do we need to renew our minds now? Not just daily, but but every minute!

Romans 12:1-2 says, 12I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

There it is: The Sin Nature. In this passage in Romans, Paul directed it to the ‘brethren’, or Christians, not the guy on the street. The church was young then and was going in a way that was unseemly. The Apostle Paul understood the sin nature because he also had to battle it. Remember, PAUL WAS A MURDERER. Paul need a Savior, Paul needed to learn how to rewire his mind to be GODLY. Paul struggled with the sin nature just like we all do.

Renewing our mind, rewiring it from what it was, is key to not having a murderous heart and replacing it with ‘what is good for necessary edification‘ and ‘acceptable to God‘.

Be the Christian you want others to be.

The Pauline Christian

A bunch of years ago, I worked at an upscale beauty salon and heard a curious question: The hairdresser asked her client, “When I highlight your hair, what do you want people to see?” This hairdresser was asking her client what she wanted other people to think when they saw her as their ‘first impression’ of her. This is a great lesson on what people think of us at first glance or impression and that we can change what we look like to garner an opinion, good or bad. In other words, if someone saw you on the street or the mall today, would they see a Christian? Are you sure?

Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

While researching this subject, I came across many ‘secularized christian’ denominations regarding the teachings of Paul and found that they follow [if you want to call it that] the teachings of Jesus, but not of Paul the Apostle:

Universalists are rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition and are Christian in that we follow the teachings of Jesus, but not the teachings of Paul, which frankly does not make us Christian by most Christian’s definitions.”

…not Christian? If that ain’t the truth.

And it’s not just universalists that don’t follow the teachings of Paul, most of the emergent movement does not; they feel that Paul was not called or that his Damascus Road experience and ministry was not enough to make his teachings and epistles part of the Word of God or even viable. That being said, they also believe that the Bible CONTAINS the word of God, as if it’s a piece of Tupperware.

Regarding Pauline Christianity: “Reference is made to the large number of non-canonical texts, some of which have been discovered during the last 100 years, which show the many movements and strands of thought emanating from Jesus’ life and teaching or which may be contemporary with them, some of which can be contrasted with Paul’s thought.” Interesting.

Contrasted with Paul’s thought’ is a great example of what pains most pseudo ‘christians’ that endorse the gay agenda and lifestyle, abortion rights, ecumenicalism, and the Liberal agenda…to name a few. They believe that since Christ did not mention these ‘maladies’ that they would not be the abominations that Paul cited and therefore either excused, overlooked or even encouraged: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners [1Cor 6:9-10, Rom 1:29-32].

Paul said, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1Timothy 1:12-15

Paul KNEW he was a sinner! He acknowledged that he was NOT perfect but taught a perfect message that Jesus gave him on the Damascus Road. The relevant ‘easy believism’ that befalls the emergent is not taught by Jesus, it is a demon spirit that seeks to consume and forsake the righteous.

Yes I am getting to a POINT: Even some of the most godly Azusa Street offshoots have been bewitched by not pleading the Blood of Christ or preaching the Holy Spirit inspired teachings of Paul, who was once Saul of Tarsus [Acts 7:58-60, 8:1-3], an evil murderer that was a large part of the ‘church’ of the day. How ironic that someone gets saved from his own church [Acts 9:1-19].

All this being said, the outward appearance of a Christian as a Christian is nearly invisible. We are seen as part of the world with short shorts, miniskirts, men that don’t wear shirts in public, heels that defy gravity or description, foul language, drinking alcohol, gambling [yes, the lottery is gambling], smoking, drugs, adultery, defiling our bodies and fornication…and that’s just the highlights.

“Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.” 1Thessalonians 4:1-5

Is this a maturity problem of the Christian? Are holiness, modesty and chastity not taught in church anymore? Or is the Emergent Movement making the rest of conservative Christianity look and act like the world to attract moths to the bug zapper? Are we selling ourselves to the highest bidder: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” [1Cor 3:16-17]

Considering that Pauline Christianity is too conservative for the ‘modern christian’, wouldn’t it be apparent that the Holy Spirit has been told He is not welcome anymore?

I saw an employment ad for a ‘Growth Pastor’ once. Look and act like the world, but just show up? Is this the future of the Church? Is this the Church that Christ is looking for when He comes back? Of course not…He did not die for the mega church, He died for me and you. And until He comes back, we need to sanctify ourselves because we are His and His ways are correct. And until then:

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

 

The Spirit-filled Christian & Church

People seek to be complete as a person, a parent, an employee, a citizen, etc. – but do we seek to be a complete Christian and Church?

“If you then, being evil [original sin], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those [His children] who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an interesting thing in the Church today, mostly because a whole lot of Christians have no idea what the Baptism is or have been taught to ignore it because their salvation does not depend on the Baptism. This is partially true, BUT if you had the opportunity to be better and fulfilled and complete, wouldn’t you want that? And if the Pulpit does not teach this, how can you know?

“He [Paul] said to them [Disciples in Christ], “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2)

Just as in the Church today, the Apostle Paul sensed a deficiency, or better said, a lack of knowledge pertaining to not just being baptized in the Holy Spirit but who He is and His POWER. The people Paul is addressing are disciples in Christ but were not taught the fullness of what they can or should be as Christians:

Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Holy Spirit], that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive [without knowing Christ as Savior], because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)

Some would suggest that the scripture referenced previously in Acts 19:2 means that to be saved you must be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), as the Apostolic sect maintains. Others will say that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not for today….if that were true, why then would Christ’s last words before he was taken up, be:

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem [keep in prayer and supplication], but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)

AND: “For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:39)

The Greatest Gift: We cannot repay the debt for what Christ did for us, and in spite of that, Jesus gives us the Gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and we don’t accept it or seek it? How He must grieve our disobedience and lack of faith besides the reluctance of fulfilling what He has for us. However, even those that are baptized in the Holy Spirit – spirit filled Christians – have one more step to take, one that is seldom thought of…and that one step is SO important to maintain a Christian’s walk:

“Though I [Paul] speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE, I AM NOTHING.” (1Corinthians 13:1-2)

We can’t keep glossing over the fundamentals of Christianity 101 BECAUSE we are Spirit-filled: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing,” (1Corinthians 13:3). When the Apostle Paul spoke this, he was a Spirit Filled Christian that had to learn to LOVE just as we do. The order is this:

  1. Paul was a sinner
  2. Paul had to be born-again
  3. Paul needed to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit
  4. Paul realized he needed to learn to LOVE both the brethren AND the unsaved
  5. Paul preached as Christ commanded (Mark 16:15).

 

As you can see, just as Paul, we have to follow the same order or we cannot be effective as Christians, Ministers, Preachers and Pastors.

How can I get this precious Gift? Seek for it in prayer and supplication, “And when Paul [the Apostle] had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6)

SUMMARY: Pastors and Preachers that are preaching only part of the Bible are not going to affect the Body of Christ as a whole body. The body has many members as noted in 1Corinthians 12:12-31, and every member has a 1)function, 2)needs Christ as their Savior AND 3)the Baptism of the Holy Spirit so that the Nine Gifts (1Cor 12:8-11) of the Spirit can work and flow FREELY…Paul said that he would not have us ignorant! But ignorance of what, who and how the Holy Spirit works is prevalent in the Modern Church even though the Bible says otherwise which can border on being blasphemous. The Church today is much like the lame man at the Gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:2-11); expecting alms but nothing to show for it.

 

*Notes in [ ] and emphasis in bold and italics are mine.

The Revelation of Christian Death & Life

Every one of us are victims of Original Sin. EVERY ONE.

I just read a story of how a brother’s faith rocked because his sister is dying from cancer. Why her??? he says…we’ve all questioned the fairness of it. It’s one thing knowing we are going to die one day, but when it comes much too soon we question God. When is too soon? Since we are going to die one day, why do we bemoan and wail just because it’s too soon for our sensibilities?

“And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died…..David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’  But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:15-23, NKJV

Have you forgotten we are on God’s time schedule, not our own? God listens to prayer and supplication but we are still ultimately under His subjection and His decisions. He is perfect, we are not. Our decisions are based on emotions; His are based on Perfection and fact.

That’s the human nature that we carry with us – being a victim of Original Sin.

But getting back to the root of it all – back in the Garden – and really getting the revelation that we are all victims of Original Sin, we will finally come to the conclusion that it is our responsibility to KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR so that when death comes, it’s with barely a whimper and great joy:

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:7-8, KJV

Our hope is with Jesus Christ and what He did for us at the Cross so that we would only taste death for a fleeting miniscule moment and have an Eternity with Him, “It is finished.” John 19:30

“So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-8

 

 

The Bruised Christian.

As we journey through this Life, we encounter many people, places and things. However, as Christians we will meet and befriend other Christians and other Churches besides having to deal with the secular world. Sadly, people of the Church are much like the unsaved – rude, indignant, haughty, vain and arrogant; precious few Christians, it seems, are loving and giving like the Scriptures purport what we are to be…‘Christ-like’.

When you read the Gospels, look at how Jesus walked with everyone. He never wavered on His belief or faith; He became our example of how Believers are supposed to walk, talk and work on this earth until He comes back. While Jesus was here, there were no ‘churches’ – Believers instead met and congregated to pray, serve and worship. It didn’t take long for fakes to arise to pull Christians from Jesus and focus on another gospel, another Spirit, another ‘Jesus’:

“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5

And the Apostle Paul said:

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9

How many churches and/or ministries does the average Christian belong to and give to in their lifetime? How many churches does a person ‘visit’ before selecting one that satisfies what they want in a church? The true Church is harder to find than you think. Real born-again Christ-centered Christians want to go to a church that loves and shows love, is bible-believing and charitable. You would think that should be easy.

Look at this survey by ChurchAbuse.com:

  1. Does your church tightly control the flow of information within its ranks?
  2. Does your [church/staff] spiritual leader use public shaming as a method to gain the compliance of followers?
  3. Is your [church/staff] spiritual leader intolerant of questions or critical inquiry?
  4. Is your [church/staff] spiritual leader the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation?
  5. Does your [church/staff] spiritual leader have unreasonable fears about the outside world such as evil conspiracies or persecutions?
  6. Are you discouraged to associate with former members, being warned that they are “evil” or “defiling”?
  7. Is leaving your group to join another church equal to leaving God?
  8. Does the surrounding community view your church as a cult?
  9. Does your [church/staff] spiritual leader consider it evil persecution when criticized or questioned?
  10. Do the goals of your [church/staff] spiritual leader seem to supersede any personal goals or individual interests?
  11. Do you fear being rebuked, shunned, or ignored for expressing a different opinion?
  12. Do former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances?

Worse yet is a congregation that mimics what it sees and calls it normal. Church members get ostracized and spoken of in tight-knit groups as if we’re still in middle school. Making another Christian to stumble is outlined in the Book of Mark:

“…But whoever causes one of these little ones [new Christians] who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”Mark 9:42

Any church or ministry that has spiritually abused a member of their congregation or organization is preaching another gospel, another Spirit, another Jesus. Spiritual abuse causes those that suffer from it to be paranoid, immobile, untrusting, angry, physically sick, indifferent and worst of all, without a church and perhaps eventual apostasy.

The Everyday Christian

Can we be so unaware of what life is doing to others every day around us? Jesus said the poor (of spirit and of circumstance) will be with us always, until the end. Christians aren’t supposed to step over them to get to church. But life is happening every minute of every day and nothing is getting done by the Church to put a dent into issues like abortion, homelessness and hunger – and that’s the short list.

I believe in correct doctrine 1000%, absolutely. Christians should have proper teaching from the pulpit regarding the Word of God that we can go out into all the world, as the Bible says, and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature. It is our commandment from Christ to be aware of correct doctrine that we would evangelize the lost. Nevertheless, His other commandment is this: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Should a church have walls? The answer is yes and no.

The Bible says, ‘And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.’ We are commanded to strengthen each other so that we can endure until the end, whether that is our natural death or the Rapture. We need to worship together and fortify our love for the brethren. But is going to church more important than extending a helping hand to those that need it? Some say yes.

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me…. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”

While re-re-re-re-re-re-rereading the Gospels, I am impressed by the Holy Spirit to take notice of the many good works that Jesus did and gave us power to do. He didn’t sit on His doctrine. I was also impressed with the way Jesus and the Apostles evangelized and taught; they went to the people. What Jesus taught and what Paul continued to teach is this: a Christian’s pulpit is in ‘all the world’ every day. Our works are set before us and was known even before we were born. We are intended to be an Everyday Christian, every day.

 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

Intellectualizing Christianity

All the rah-rah ‘preached’ solves nothing but pats the back of the person in the pulpit. There is nothing more pitiful and unfruitful than a bunch of bible college students stretching their evangelizing muscles with each other rather than going out into ALL the world to preach the Gospel. But just as ridiculous are pastors that glaze over major issues that the Church as a whole faces, and does nothing about. So, what do you do about that?

There is too much personal conjecture in the pulpit. I find that followers of Paul tend to talk of their own way of how they got there instead of getting back to the Words in Red. I appreciate that the Apostle Paul took the Gospel outside of Jerusalem, but we seemed to be much more interested in what Paul said than what Jesus taught.

Paul never capitalized on how he got to where he was in his ministry but the scriptures make mention of his conversion and his persecution. Particularly, Paul’s writings to the Romans were clear, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Simply, even the Apostle Paul knew what was important – Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever; His story will never change and His way is perfect. However, we are not perfect and our way is not like His. The best thing a pastor or preacher can do is expound on the Words in Red in the pulpit and leave conjecture, religion and speculation to the devil.

The Short List.

As I’ve spoken about in a related post, the simplification of my life to the minimum that I need to survive in this world has been not only laid upon my heart by God but as I look back years ago before my Salvation, I have been headed in this direction for most of my life. And I’ll go back to the Apostle Paul – Getting back to the 9th chapter of Acts when Saul became Paul, suddenly everything was nothing; nothing was everything because Saul was a rich man in those days. When he became Paul, he was in need of only what God would provide and the richer man for knowing Jesus Christ.

I gotta tell ya…Christians are stupid. I’ve never seen a people as led around by the nose like Christians are. Every new thing or whatever their church is purporting is GOD. Why aren’t we studying our Bible instead of getting the second mortgage to pay for a super cool new swimming pool?

So, what is the short list?

First, don’t buy/have something you are not willing to lose. The Lord is not happy with this debt infused opulent lifestyle Christians insist they need. No one needs something that has no value in the Kingdom of God. And by the way, the Lord does not supply mansions on Earth.

Second, identify what is MOST important to YOU, not your friends. Are your photo albums more important than your car? They should be. Is your health more important than a raise at work? It should be. Is your marriage more important than going out with your friends? BETTER BE.

Third, what you think is important to you may not be to God. Pray about it. Listen to Him. He’ll tell you if it’s a smart idea to buy that car when you have a perfectly good 5 year old one at home.

Fourth, be the steward that God wants you to be with what He gave you. We are given a life that God ordained before even the world! Why would you not want to take care of it? Financial stewardship is so important to God. So much of the Bible speaks about money and what we do with it and what we should do with it.

Fifth, like the song says, ‘Don’t worry – be happy’. God wants us to live a joyous life. He wants us to be content with what He provides for us. He wants Jesus to be our focal point, not money or houses or purses or cars or clothes.

The less I have, the less I have to take care of. In other words, having two cars instead of the one we have would require another car payment, maintenance, insurance and gas. My husband and I make one car work for us. Renting makes sense because home ownership cost a lot of money with maintenance and insurance and yard work besides a house payment I would be have to make for the next zillion years.

My commitment is to God, not a house or car or lifestyle. Living a minimalist life is very rewarding and fulfilling. The less I have the more time I have for Him – the way it’s supposed to be.

If it quacks like a duck & looks like a duck…

Is it a duck? Not always.

Christians want signs and wonders but when does it become occultish? Have we strayed so far from the reality of the Gospel that we’ll listen to just about anything? You may not think so, but demons know so.

As soon as we walked into this Christian book store, I felt a thick blanket of oppression. A woman – in her 60’s, nearly black eyes – walked up to me and my husband and was trying to give us a ‘word’. My husband’s discernment antennae stood on end. He listened to her for a bit and asked her if she was saved. Ask that if you ever want to make a demon mad! This woman was very distressed when my husband asked her that and then she tried to justify herself. It was really quite a spectacle.

Even the Apostle Paul dealt with this:

Acts 16:16-18 says, ‘ (v16) And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: (v17) The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. (v18) And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.’

Matthew Henry commentary concludes that ‘Satan, though the father of lies, will declare the most important truths, when he can thereby serve his purposes. But much mischief is done to the real servants of Christ, by unholy and false preachers of the gospel, who are confounded with them by careless observers.’

Watch with your spiritual eyes. Discern with your spiritual ears. Be the Watchman – Ezekiel 33:7 says, ‘So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.’