Archive for » February, 2013 «

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 | Author:

“1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,

And arise from the dead,

And Christ will shine on you.”
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 5:1-21 NASB

Isn’t this an amazing passage of Scripture? God lays it out in simple and profound clarity so that there is no ambiguity about it. Note the words and phrases that I highlighted for emphasis. He gives multiple COMMANDS here, not suggestions, for His followers.

I find it amazing to listen to people who profess to know the LORD, use trashy language so freely. What is it about this that attracts them to do this? It is repulsive to the ears of God. His children are to be pure and wholesome in their lives in conduct and speech. Others take sexual immorality as normal. The condoning of homosexuality and heterosexuals living together and thinking that God is OK with it is amazing! All one has to do is to just READ the Scripture above to know that God is NOT OK with any of this worldly behavior.

The greatest tragedy will be when that person dies and think that they will go to heaven but, like the verses that say, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ” Matthew 7:22-23 NASB

It cannot be any clearer than that, can it? We live in a world today that is the most immoral and self-centered that I have ever seen in my entire life. The greatest tragedy is that it has infiltrated into the Christian church. Whole denominations have replaced biblical correctness with political correctness. How can they possibly justify ordaining practicing homosexuals to the pulpit or knowingly have a pastor or evangelist who is living an immoral lifestyle.

Well, I am just grieved and deeply troubled by what I see today. I hope you are too! I also hope that if you find yourself convicted by this article that you will repent and return to pleasing the LORD with your whole life. We must present our bodies to Christ as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him, as per Romans 12:1-2.

Love you all!!!

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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 | Author:

“19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”                                   Galatians 5:19-26 NASB

This is one of those passages that need little or no explanation for any of us. It is quite clear just as it is written. There are two ways to conduct our lives, by the flesh or by the Spirit. The consequences and rewards are evident to all.

Our lives are controlled by our choices. To choose to follow Jesus is one that reaps great reward. The choice to satisfy our fleshly lusts will cost a high price. I cannot imagine what it will be like for those who reject God in favor of the fleshly desires offered to us in our immoral world. To close our eyes in death and to open them up in Torments is beyond my imagination. We have the story, NOT A PARABLE, of the rich man and Lazarus to explain just part of what it must be like. It is found in Luke.

19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”                                                                                Luke 16:19-31 NASB

This story is very interesting since it gives us a rare glimpse of where the lost people go when they die. This story is not about being good or bad but about making our choice which life we will follow. Will we follow God’s plan for life or will we do it our way? This is the clear choice for ALL human beings. Lazarus chose to do it God’s way while the rich man trusted in his riches and thumb his nose at God.

“Now, therefore, fear (reverence) the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”                  Joshua 24:14-15 NASB

The Amorites worshiped their pagan gods in immoral rituals and this attracted the base nature of many of the Sons of Israel. Joshua gave them a choice, since man is a free moral agent and has free will, as to which lifestyle they would choose for themselves and their families. Many chose the flesh, but for those who chose to worship and serve YHWH there was great reward.

We too have a choice. Today there is a trend in Christianity to tolerate morally degrading lifestyles and to be told by apostate preachers that they are still going to heaven when they die. THIS IS A LIE from the lips of Satan himself. As the passage earlier tells us that those who practice these life choices WILL NOT INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE.

So, choose for yourselves today how you will live your life. Will you make God the ruler of your life or will you sit on your own throne? Choices have eternal consequences so choose wisely.

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Thursday, February 14th, 2013 | Author:

“16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, (literally: is being disabled) yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NASB

Now, more on those momentary light afflictions…

22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?” 2 Corinthians 11:22-29 NASB

Seems pretty light in the afflictions category, right? Don’t believe it!

Here are a few more…

And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— 2 for He says,

“At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.”

“Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”— 3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 NASB

My point? The Apostle Paul suffered more than most of us ever will, yet he had God’s perspective on it all. The word tells us:

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB

I could preach a whole sermon on this marvelous passage, but suffice it to say that Jesus endured the worst suffering of any human being, both physically and especially spiritually, when He was crucified and bore the world’s sins in His own body. The term FIXING better translates taking our eyes off one thing and fixing them on another. Note the target of our eyes: Jesus. When we lift up our eyes to the LORD, He helps us endure anything we face. All we have to do is to read Fox’s Book Of Martyrs to get the reality of myriads of saints who suffered brutally, yet kept their gaze on Jesus.

One more note on this passage is needed. When it says, “who for the joy set before Him,” better translated reads, “who instead of His ever-present joy endured the cross.” He lived in perfect joy until the cross when the Father and Spirit had to forsake Him as He bore the sins of the world. Wow! What a Savior. Yet He gave us an example of how to face horrific suffering yet endure to the end with our faith intact.

If you are suffering today I hope that this little study will encourage you and help you keep your eyes on Jesus and the prize set before you …. ETERNAL LIFE.

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Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 | Author:

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 NASB

WOW! WHAT A PASSAGE for those who suffer. God lays it out clearly how we can turn our suffering into our ministry to others who are just now beginning or are in the long haul of suffering with the same kind of suffering we endured ourselves. Isn’t God wonderful? It makes our trials have meaning and purpose. It even relays to us the intense suffering that one of God’s most useful servants, Paul, had to go through horrific hardship and suffering for the benefit of folks like the Corinthians and even us today. It tells us that the preaching of some TV evangelists is wrong when they tell us to come to Christ and your life will be trouble-free. Christians suffer just like other folks, but WE have an inexhaustible supply of comfort and mercy to help us in it or through it. I cannot imagine suffering without Christ in my life. It is so hopeless! Not knowing where you are going when you die has to be overwhelming. This is why we can use our suffering experiences to lead others to Christ by our witness to them. Emptiness is what drove me to Christ originally. When I let go I found an explosion of freedom and joy. It has remained with me for thirty-eight years now and only gets sweeter with age. I long to be in His eternal presence and worship Him forever. I especially like the passage that says that there will be no more pain or sorrow, tears or death. The old things have passed away. HALLELUJAH! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!

I have found that I have had far greater effect in counseling hurting people when I have gone through it myself and now sit on the other side of the trial or help them to endure it as I myself have been able to endure it through the grace of God.

Don’t you love those titles for God? The Father of mercies and The God of all comfort are such reassuring titles.They just breathe hope into our present situation. I hope that these words bring comfort and the mercy of the Father to you today if you are now suffering. Please note: IF YOU ARE NOT NOW SUFFERING, YOU WILL EVENTUALLY. Hide these words away for that time of great trial. Have a wonderful day, my dear friends.

PS: Happy 13th! There is no such thing as luck or bad luck. God is on His throne and very much under His control. The possible origin of the bad luck idea of 13 was when Judas was in the upper room with Jesus and the disciples, Judas made the 13th person and he betrayed Jesus.

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 | Author:

“For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has ABOLISHED all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put ALL His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.”                                                                                                                                                             1 Corinthians 15:21-26 NASB

Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Just think about history when evil men and women rode roughshod over people. The devil is behind each one of them, but they were willing vessels. From the Pharaoh to Ahab to Athaliah to Nebuchadnezzar to Alexander the Great to Attila the Hun to Napoleon to Adolf Hitler to Stalin to Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Ladin to current world leaders, they have or will be dethroned by the hand of God. The only ruler that rules forever is OUR Lord Jesus Christ/Adonai Yeshua haMashiach. His kingdom is from everlasting to everlasting and He ALLOWS us to be a part of it when we make Him our Lord and Savior. WOW and double WOW!!! Isn’t that amazing? Just think of what it was like to live under these brutal dictators-rulers and how the rejoicing broke out at their removal.

The words of Martin Luther King ring true here. “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Folks, no matter what we see around us, we are to keep our eyes on our LORD and NEVER forget Who it is who is the ultimate ruler and ALL the others will be removed, judged and cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of time, along with the Devil and all his minions.

PS, In a further thought on a different topic: MAN IS NOT A BEAST! He may sometimes act like a beast but man is the only creature created in the image of God, spiritually that is. Our bodies are different from His since He is Spirit. Jesus had to become LIKE man when he was born into the world. We hear evolutionary scientists say that man is an animal. Note the following verse.

“All flesh is not the same, but there is a flesh of men, and another of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.” 1 Corinthians 15:39 NASB

The next time you hear this evolutionary lie, take a moment and erase this falsehood from your mind and replace it with this passage from the accurate account of man’s true nature.

Have a wonderful day in the LORD.

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Thursday, February 07th, 2013 | Author:

12 1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:1-21 NASB

This passage does not need much explanation. I have made bold key ideas in the text. May the Holy Spirit bring all of us to live out this powerful challenge to us as believers in Jesus.

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Tuesday, February 05th, 2013 | Author:

For an old timer like me who has seen the good old days when when more people had dignity, honor, respect, purity, virginity till the wedding night, modesty, reverence for God and many other true Christian virtues, I stand astounded at times as I see what Christianity has descended into. For sure, there are still many who hold these values and purity is an essential quality to their lives in Christ. Thank God for each one of you!
The things that I have been aware of in Christian schools, colleges and universities of late, I am outright shocked at what I see.

In Christian junior highs and high schools, the level of immorality and profanity is shocking!
Our local Christian university has a lesbian club on campus and all freshmen had to recently attend a lecture by a pro-homosexual rights, gay marriage etc. lecture. It was given by a woman whose son was a homosexual and had been murdered by two horrible men, or can we call them men? She had gone from being a loving mother of a gay man to a rabid promoter of all things homosexual. She even told the students that they needed to call home and tell their parents that they were homosexuals as well, not leaving open the option of counseling, since she openly said that they COULD NOT CHANGE and that they were BORN that way, both of which were open lies. NO ONE is born gay! There is NO gay gene! And, thousands of people in this chosen lifestyle HAVE come out and now enjoy a marriage with children. She left no option for leaving the lifestyle.

What shocked me most was the large majority of people in the large crowd who repeatedly clapped in agreement with the speaker. She was openly pushing the homosexual agenda and these so-called Christians were applauding her doing so. I am as much for human dignity and freedom as anyone else, but to applaud a sin that God calls an abomination is just wrong.

At the end of chapter one of Romans, we see this as an admonition to avoid this.

“…an although they KNOW the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:32 NASB

I highlighted the word KNOW in the verse to make another point. Today, in the Feel Good preaching mindset of most preachers, I really wonder if these people have ever been told that this is a sin. I read a report the other day where they say that 45% of professing Christians do not see homosexuality as a sin. Do you see the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of preaching the WHOLE Bible to the whole congregation? How can they know if their pastor does not tell them? To neglect this is SIN! Some pastors try to dodge this topic by saying that it is a political issue. HOGWASH! It is as biblical as creation and the flood. What will it take to get these pastors and teachers to speak the truth in love?

As I sat there I wondered what the parents of children and teens who had been brutally raped and even murdered by homosexual attackers would think of her agenda. Her son had been murdered by two hate filled men because he was homosexual. I do not in any way agree that homosexuals should be attacked or harmed. They have free will to choose their lifestyle. I also believe that we should have the freedom of speech to tell them that they are heading for eternal banishment in the lake of fire if they do not repent and turn to Jesus in TRUE faith.

Even good old Baptist universities are caving in to having homosexuals in their student body and that some professors make their students read and perform outright filth as part of their education. Profanity is rampant in these universities and schools with little being said to curb it.

What ever happened to, “If you attend our school, you WILL conduct yourselves in a Christ honoring manner at all times or you will be expelled,” kind of language? I guess they are afraid of losing their big numbers. Far too many pastors today are making compromises in order to keep the NUMBERS.

What we desperately need today is a Heaven Sent Revival to restore morality and purity to the body of Christ again. The eternal souls of those in this lifestyle are in our hands.

“When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.” Ezekiel 33:8 NASB

This issue is truly as serious as a heart attack! May God find us faithful.

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