Judging Righteously.

To make sure I was correct, that I was reading scripture correctly, I asked a Pastor, with whom we are ordained, a question: Can Christians ‘judge’?

Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment,” (John 7:24).

MyLifeasAChristian3Christians take ‘judge righteously’ out of context, definitely making their own rules as they judge along. But remember that the Bible does give us ‘rules’ to judge by. For instance: homosexuality, abortion, idol worship, adultery, to name a few. As Christians, we are to ‘judge righteously’ THE SIN, not the sinner. Unfortunately, the opposite is the usual ‘norm’.

As a sinner, before salvation, I made many mistakes that were evil and should have been judged with righteous judgement. And in a perfect scenario, the person who called out my sin would lovingly follow up with the Gospel and leading me to the Lord. My conversion did not happen that way, but it should have. Judging without having Biblical precedence leads the sinner to see a wagging finger, not a loving gesture.

To answer the question I gave my Pastor, YES, we can and should judge, or discern, righteously especially to the brethren, the House of God, and the sinner. BUT it has to be the intention to set the sinner free, and to give the brethren correction if they sway from the Truth.

We are all accountable to a Holy God, saved or not.

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1Peter 4:17)

Mary Believed.

Unimaginable. To think that a young girl, barely marriageable, was chosen to be the vessel God would use for the birth our Savior, Jesus Christ. And even more unimaginable is her Faith in whom she heard this Good News!

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

The New Testament reflects what the Prophet Isaiah said regarding the birth of The Redeemer:

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet [Is 7:14], saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

Why was Mary so special to God for Him to choose her? It has to be assumed that Mary’s heart to some degree, while yet a sinner by nature through the fall of Adam, had a level of receptive purity toward God. This would fulfill the sovereign Plan of God.

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

While Mary’s lineage went back to King David, the Bible doesn’t say who her parents were. However, the Scriptures do tell us her husband’s lineage [Luke 3:23, Matthew 1:16], both Mary and Joseph being descendants of David [Romans 1:3]. They seemed ‘common’, but they were chosen.

Though Mary was chosen by God, she still needed to answer the Call. Mary believed, through Faith alone, that her sacrifice would change the world.

Unimaginable…but Mary believed.

Authority & the Cult Christian

Do Christians believe in cults? Do they participate in cults? But do they believe they are involved in cults?

A cult isn’t always obvious…in fact, they are usually sneaky, which makes sense considering the source. ‘Strange Fire’ was addressed early in the Scriptures [Lev 10:1-3] to let the reader/believer know that bringing anything before the Lord that isn’t holy [false doctrine] will not be recognized by Him. The work of one’s hands is not of Faith, it is worthy of damnation.

The flesh is an ugly thing; God addressed this in Leviticus essentially saying that nothing unholy can be in His presence:

“Aaron therefore went to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, whichwas for himself. Then the sons of Aaron brought the blood to him. And he dipped his finger in the blood, put it on the horns of the altar, and poured the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat, the kidneys, and the fatty lobe from the liver of the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord had commanded Moses. The flesh and the hide he burned with fire outside the camp.” [Lev 9:8-11]

The Prescribed Order of Victory, Christ’s finished Work, does NOT include or allow:

  • Perverting the Truth [2Pet 3:17-18, Acts 13:10]
  • Faith turned into law [Gal 1:6-7]
  • Arrogance, personal agenda, pride or self righteouness [1Tim 6:3-4, Neh 9:16]
  • Ignorance [2Tim 2:22-23]

Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Too many Christians are tempted to add to or subtract from Christ’s Finished Work. It is tempting to abuse our authority in Him to exalt ourselves, but we are called to ‘watch and pray’ rather than divide and conquer.

There are Christians that believe in the Prosperity ‘Gospel’, Calvinism, Mormonism, keeping the Sabbath, etc. But what they are really saying is that what Christ did at the Cross was NOT ENOUGH. They have to add to it to suit themselves, they bring outside authority to it rather than the Godly authority we have in HIM.

Why do Christians add to or take away from the Finished Work of Christ? Even Christians who sit under correct teaching sometimes stir in their own personal authority – or superiority – to what they are being taught, unbeknownst to the teacher/preacher who purports Truth. The teacher/preacher cannot control what the Christians thinks they hear from the pulpit.

Do we have authority or a false sense of authority regarding the word of God? Then, do we abuse the knowledge of the Finished work of Christ by adding our own salt? This why many Christians don’t have or walk in victory.

Christians have authority in the name of Jesus and believing in His Finished Work at the Cross. We do not have authority in changing His Word to suit our agenda. We cannot put our Faith in anything but the Finished Work of Christ or we add salt to an already Perfect Truth.

It is an abuse of power and authority that can make a cult out of truth! Adding your own salt is an improper authority called PRIDE & SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS. We humans are so imperfect that we continue to follow paths that Cain followed. Improper authority killed Abel, improper authority cast out and marked Cain [Gen 4:8-15].

“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” [James 2:20]. AND works without Faith is empty and has no power, only a presumed authority that is not of God.

WE HAVE TO DIE TO SELF [Romans 6], ‘allowing’ Jesus to do what He was called to do by the Father, dying for a people who abhorred Him, spat on Him, abandoned Him. How can anyone add one extra grain of salt to that? How is that NOT enough?

IT IS FINISHED. Once and for all, forever and ever.

 

*EMPHASIS MINE.

The Christian Public Witness

My husband and I were having a conversation about being a public witness. What I mean by ‘public’ is sidewalk ministry at the abortion facility or street ministry at strip clubs, bars, for example. Public means what and where is legal. Public means public, anyone can be there…even the opposition. TRUSTJESUS

In public ministry people love to battle, to justify sin, to embed their superiority. But the truth is they know they’re living a lie out loud, they know way deep down that this lie they live is getting harder and harder to keep up with.

When I remember who I used to be before Christ, I had to keep my justifications in absolute order so that I wouldn’t seem WRONG or in error of a badly lived life…after all, who’s life is it anyway? I thought it was mine alone.

GETTING TO THE POINT: There was not one time that I was ever confronted with a public witness for Christ, not at the abortion facility where my mother forced me to go to OR at the local night life clubs/bars I used to frequent.

Do we know we are a sinner? Yes. Even if we have one shred of ‘morality’, we know that we are failing God and slowly losing our life to sin.

A public witness does what Christ told us to do, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature”. Being a public witness for Christ is not a comfortable thing to do, people don’t like being confronted with a jealous God.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25, NKJV

Most people are caught up in a worldly web of deception, a web of discontent…a web they feel they cannot be free of. And like most people, I wanted someone to come along and save me from this horrible life…was I worth more than a glass of vodka and a pack of cigarettes? As I sat in that bar every day….I mean EVERY DAY….I wished for that great guy to come along and save me. And one day He did. But it wasn’t who I expected.

I didn’t believe in the supernatural, I saw only in disparity, what was around me. Never was I told I was better than the next cocktail, the next guy, the next party. I HATED to look at myself in the mirror, I HATED what I saw, I HATED ME. And the reason I hated me was because I allowed it.

Much like the woman at the well [John 4], I gave up. This life is what it is, I can’t change it, my family left me, my children left me, my dignity left me. All I had left to do was die.

But then Jesus came, He didn’t say I feel like going to Samaria or say maybe I’ll go through Samaria…Jesus said He NEEDED to go through Samaria. He met her where she was, at the well. This was her divine appointment with her Savior.

Street preachers and ministers meet people where they are to preach a loving Jesus who wants to save them from this existence of stacking sin in a neat pile. We are all the same, we need a Savior to be saved from this life….we have enough ‘friends’ to help us out with sin.

There is no judgement, just “Go and sin no more”. One day your accusers will go away, one at a time. And Jesus will be there for you. That’s the Jesus I know and that’s the Jesus we preach.

“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11

Street preachers/ministers are Christian Public Witnesses, just like the Apostles. Christianity hasn’t changed – we’ve changed it. We keep putting Jesus in a nicely decorated box called the Church. Church was NEVER a building but a concept and a reality since the first century.

Churches are full of people and Pastors that are hearers only. The street affords nothing but the purity of the Word and the intent behind it because I did not get saved in a church, I was presented with the Gospel by a man who was led by God to tell me about Jesus. You see, He came to where I was – at work and hungover.

Thank  you God for bringing Him to me.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 26

Many years ago I was forced to leave the area in which I was born to begin a new life. I had to leave my family because of my now ex-husband to do it. My ex, who was raised by hard working never-in-debt church-going family-oriented people, was an adult kid that had a drug, alcohol and gambling problem [that led to domestic violence] which eventually became my problem. I remember so vividly my EX-mother-in-law saying, “You knew him when you married him“. NOT true, I did not know these things…but that really isn’t the point. The point is that SHE knew he had addictions and did not warn me; it was as if she was passing him off to me so she didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Some of us, who never exhibited addiction, have children who may eventually have an addiction. But should a parent just pass them off? When did they stop being a parent? I have a myriad of cousins that are grandparents already, and they are still battling alcohol, meth, crack, etc. At least half of them are still living with their parents. I know their mothers, not one of them is an addict of any kind.

Dear Mom & Dad: Your children’s poor choices are not your fault. But enabling them to continue their ‘choices’, is. Don’t clean up their messes, pray over them – they need restoration.

There are some parents that have children and practically gift them the generational sin they have. How often have we seen a generational problem with alcohol and claim it’s in the DNA to justify it? Generational sin is passed on through mimicking what we see while we grow up. God has never created one single person that is an alcoholic or addict BUT they are born into sin with the propensity to sin [the sin nature] BECAUSE of the Fall of Adam:

“v1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. v2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

And then:

“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 12:2

The answer is that we NEVER stop being a parent. EVER. Ignoring or passing off a problem and acting unaware is just plain evil. However, I do realize we can’t make these kids do anything. But one thing we can do is PRAY and NEVER FLINCH.

Pray to be an open book to your children, not an open checkbook. They need to hear about Jesus incessantly, they are our ministry!

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 22

If you don’t know this about me, I also witness on the sidewalk of abortion facilities. Every day that place is open we see teenagers and young adults coming to abort their precious child. They usually don’t come alone; they are literally flanked with their own parents and sometimes grandparents to see that the child is aborted. As a parent, when I see parents giving their thumb’s up to kill their own grandchild, you really ‘get’ how these kids have gotten to where they are in life at such a young age.

Our adult kids and teenagers are children of this media age. They are coerced every day with constant media stimulation of one kind or another. Video games and online gaming has made real zombies of our kids. In the news recently, one dad smothered his infant son and another allowed his child to starve to death because of gaming. While these are extreme cases, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Our adult kids are still playing games and living in a fantasy world. My grandma always said television would ruin our eyes.

The basics of life are totally ignored. And we wonder why some of these kids can’t make it on their own and blame us for it? We teach them, they look at us like we’re some kind of monster. Because of this media age, they have all the answers, we’re idiots. We want to help them with a Godly hand, we’re told they hate God.

This is a sin problem; for them life is fantasy and selfish and never ending. A self professed ‘pastor’ said that his daughter can get an abortion because of free will. And that is true…but this ‘pastor’ and his daughter still have to answer to God for their flagrant use of His gift of free will. Again, this is a sin problem, not a chink in the armor.

 “I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the Lord.” Haggai 2:17

We will all eventually turn back to God. Being backslidden is a heavy bondage to carry.

Pray for the Damascus Road experience for these kids. Pray that the scales will fall from their eyes, “I was once blind but now I see”, [John 9:25].

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 17

My adult kids and I may have had our troubles, but ultimately my goal as their mother is to get them to the altar…of repentance.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

I am awakened nearly every night by God to pray. I pray for my children to have Heaven as their Eternal home. It paralyzes me to think they may not make it. If it’s by the fruit we judge, then I’m concerned.

Parents are not perfect; most far from it. I teach from my failure so that they will not know the grief I know. Leading that horse to water is hard enough, but trying to get it to drink is quite another. Because of ‘free will’ we sin…WE sin, not just me. Adult kids LOVE to point out our sin but it’s just a ploy to take the focus off them. However, as parents we want them to have what we could not; we sacrifice but they see us as selfish. Knowing that I cannot change what they think or do, I PRAY.

Prayer is what we should have been doing the entire time. How many times have we said ‘All we can do is pray’? It’s like a last-ditch effort to do what we should have been doing from the start. I may be old and slow, but I’m still teachable.

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

Pray for salvation, and if your kids are backslidden, pray like the devil is chasing you…because he is.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 10

Have they come to the end of themselves? Have our kids gotten to the point they HAVE to look to the Lord? I wish I knew the answer to that. I HATE that my adult kids have not learned that their way isn’t working. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

I see why God made parents the Pastor of the household, I understand the succession of authority and the learning curve. Your home isn’t just where you live, it’s also your church. But just because I see it plainly doesn’t mean they do or will or even care. As parents we are their support system that teaches them to support themselves financially AND spiritually….but are they listening? I promise you…they listen. That’s why they battle us.

All that being said, adult kids have misunderstood the hierarchy of family and take it upon themselves to disband…to ‘quit’ being our children and part of the family God created. It is a hardship, it is heartbreaking, it is NOT of God. But my dear parents, we can never lose hope!

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Are you the Pastor of your home? Are you like me, your kids have grown and left and still maintain a worldly lifestyle? In my house, my husband and I are still the Pastors of this home, of this family. We will not relinquish our Godly authority to anyone. It is our desire to teach our kids to pastor their own home.

Dear parents, PRAY and diligently seek Him no matter what! Our kids need us whether they say so or not.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 8

Have we paid for what we have done in our sinful past? Is there a time when we won’t have to be ridiculed and criticized? When do we have to stop paying for the awful things we have done? The answer is: If your faith is in Christ alone, your eternity is in Heaven and your sin will never be remembered by anyone ever again. BUT while you are on this earth, you will suffer the responsibility and the repercussions of that act of sin, whatever it was.

No matter how saved I am, no matter how much I go to church, no matter how much I read my Bible and pray, I will always be known for who I WAS. This is the lesson we try to teach our children; they mess up, they will suffer the responsibility of it. Then the question is: Have you forgiven YOURSELF: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more“, [Heb 8:12].

To understand mercy…to receive mercy, you have to GIVE mercy.

King David suffered the consequence of what he did with Bathsheba and Uriah, “v10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me“:

“v13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. v14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” v15 Then Nathan departed to his house.” 2Samuel 12:13-15

When our kids are forlorn with the consequences of sin, we have to gird them up with prayer and love. Because we have been shown mercy in our times of trouble, we have to show them mercy. With mercy comes grace, with grace comes peace and freedom. I am not intimidated with pointed fingers anymore because I am a child of God, not the world. When our kids get their mind back – much like Nebuchadnezzar – they will be restored:

“v34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
v35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

v36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. v37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” Daniel 4:34-37

Pray for you children and grandchildren today, pray for understanding and restoration.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: QUESTIONABLE THINGS, part 2

We are continuing a three part series regarding ‘Questionable Things‘. To summarize part one, the ‘questionable thing’ is defined:

What is the ‘questionable thing’? I’ve always said if you have to ask, you ought NOT to do ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is. Somehow, it’s not that easy for some of my Christian brothers and sisters. Much like parents telling you to be a good example to your little brothers and sisters, we have to be a better example…a better Christian to those that are weak or struggling: “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.” 1Corinthians 8:9

What ARE the questionable things? Every decision we make has consequences, good or bad. We either allow OR participate in these ‘questionable things’. Maybe you didn’t drink any alcohol, but did you have the party?

“v14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. v15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ v16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” [Romans 8:14-16]

What does God say?

4. Is the ‘questionable thing’ by the leading of the Holy Spirit? I can’t imagine a Holy God that would condone any sin of any kind at any time. BUT we justify our actions by labeling God by our own system of checks and balances. GOD does NOT need our help, I assure you! And conversely, the Holy Spirit guides us to righteousness, not to sin. Ever.

  • Does allowing or participating in the ‘questionable thing’ bear witness to you? If you think it does, then you do not know God OR you are ignoring Him.
  • Are we ‘floating’ God? Remember the days of floating a check? The intent is there to pay that bill but the funds weren’t available. The same is with God; the heart-intent is there to not sin but the flesh-intent isn’t available.
  • Do we ‘hear’ God? We hear AND see Him through supernatural manifestations, healings, the Word of God [study] and other Christians [counsel]: “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” [1Kings 19:11-12]

5. Does the ‘questionable thing’ PLEASE God? Is the ‘questionable thing’ a besetting sin? Simply, is this sin that you question the reason why you can’t fully come to Christ? Are you an adulterer…then STOP. Are you a smoker…then STOP. Are you an addict…then STOP; you get the idea. But this ‘questionable thing’…is it that one last thing that holds you onto the world?

  • How can God fully use you if you will not give up the ‘questionable thing’: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” [Hebrews 12:1]
  • Are you keeping His commandments, “v37 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. v38 This is the first and great commandment. v39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ v40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:37-40]

BELOVED, keep His commandments and you’ll see miracles: “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” [1Jn 3:22]

6. Can you do the ‘questionable thing’ in the name of Jesus? Oh, indeed…we are a woeful people that continue to use and abuse His precious name in vain! Ponder His name(s) listed in the Book of Revelation:

  1. Son of God (2:18)
  2. Son of Man (1:13)
  3. King of kings (19:16)
  4. Lord of lords (19:16)
  5. Alpha and Omega (22:13)
  6. Beginning and the End (22:13)
  7. First and the Last (1:17)
  8. Shepherd (7:17)
  9. Lamb (5:6)
  10. Lion of Judah (5:5)
  11. Heir to Davids throne (5:5)
  12. Faithful and True (19:11)
  13. Faithful and true Witness (3:14)
  14. Christ (12:10)
  15. The Living One (1:18)
  16. The Word of God (19:13)
  17. The bright morning star (22:16)

7. Can you give God thanks for the ‘questionable thing’? MANY DO, sadly. But is it biblical or right? Of course not. If we did then we would be saying that God is NOT God:

 “v24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons’. v25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. v26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?'”

8. Does the ‘questionable thing’ bring God Glory? Our sins were never to bring any glory to God; He is grieved by our unfaithfulness and disobedience. “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” [Isaiah 43:7]

We can only gain victory over sins and ‘questionable things’ through Jesus Christ: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1Corinthians 15:57]

BELOVED, we are given, yes GIVEN, a new day everyday to say yes to Christ and NO to sin! The ‘questionable thing’ is there to keep you tied to the world and not to Him, but tomorrow is another day:

“v22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. v23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. v24 ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!'” [Lam 3:22-24]