Is This America?

But your iniquities have built barriers

between you and your God,

and your sins have made Him hide His face from you

so that He does not listen.

For your hands are defiled with blood

and your fingers, with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies,

and your tongues mutter injustice.

No one makes claims justly;

no one pleads honestly.

They trust in empty and worthless words;

they conceive trouble and give birth to iniquity.

They hatch viper’s eggs

and weave spider’s webs.

Whoever eats their eggs will die;

crack one open, and a viper is hatched.

Their webs cannot become clothing,

and they cannot cover themselves with their works.

Their works are sinful works,

and violent acts are in their hands.

Their feet run after evil,

and they rush to shed innocent blood.

Their thoughts are sinful thoughts;

ruin and wretchedness are in their paths.

They have not known the path of peace,

and there is no justice in their ways.

They have made their roads crooked;

no one who walks on them will know peace.

Therefore justice is far from us,

and righteousness does not reach us.

We hope for light, but there is darkness;

for brightness, but we live in the night.

We grope along a wall like the blind;

we grope like those without eyes.

We stumble at noon as though it were twilight;

we are like the dead among those who are healthy.

We all growl like bears

and moan like doves.

We hope for justice, but there is none;

for salvation, but it is far from us.

For our transgressions have multiplied before You,

and our sins testify against us.

For our transgressions are with us,

and we know our iniquities:

transgression and deception against the LORD,

turning away from following our God,

speaking oppression and revolt,

conceiving and uttering lying words from the heart.

Justice is turned back,

and righteousness stands far off.

For truth has stumbled in the public square,

and honesty cannot enter.

Truth is missing,

and whoever turns from evil is plundered.

The LORD saw that there was no justice,

and He was offended.

Today’s scripture reading is from Isaiah 59:2-15 HCSB

There is nothing left for me to say other than please read the entire chapter and then pause, and think about what it says.

May The Lord have mercy upon us and wash our hearts thoroughly with His Word, creating in us a desire to please Him, more than man!

What The Lord Hates!

What The Lord Hates!

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

Whenever people don’t want to hear or live truth, they always start justifying their behavior and when it comes to living according to The Word, many are quick to say, “Jesus just said love.” Well, He did talk about love because He is love and because He loves, He wants the very best for all who love Him. And He said, “If we love Him, we’ll keep His commandments”–to love–God and one another.

I guess if we ever stop looking at the Bible as a means of restricting or confining us, we’d understand that God’s Word is our protection against things in life in which we have no control. But the enemy has managed to manipulate and deceive people into thinking the Bible is just an ancient book of myths and that people should be able to live any way they want to live. We’ve always had that choice, but I can say without hesitation that I tried living without The Word and living with The Word guiding my life is so much better.

Living without The Word to guide us will blind our eyes to truth and allow the influence to influence heart and mind–letting us think that God does not see or hear the things we do. But He does and the seven things that He hates are what keep confusion and chaos reigning when people live without The Word.

Haughty Eyes–arrogance revealed in the eyes of those who think they are better than others and will do anything to make people feel inferior.

Lying Tongues–that little member that has no bones, but crushes the mighty and keeps the weak oppressed and suppressed.

Hands That Shed Innocent Blood–those who willfully take lives of innocent people who have never wronged them. The terrorists will discover on judgment day their sentence for taking the lives of innocent people simply because they refuse to accept the fact that people can choose what they believe and should not be subjected to the hatred and disdain of others. This is true of anyone who takes a life outside of war and self-defense.

A Heart That Devises Wicked Schemes–those who do nothing other than think about doing wicked things–those who plot to take lives and destroy hope. Don’t forget, the enemy’s job is to kill, steal and destroy–all who God loves.

Feet That Are Quick To Rush Into Evil–those who hover and linger around others, just waiting for a snippet of gossip so they can run and tell it. Of course along the way, they mangle truth into twisted lies to make what they have to say more important.

A False Witness Who Pours Out Lies–those who will lie as a witness against someone else in order to benefit from the lie. These are those who knowingly attempt to deflect truth from themselves. And we see this time and time again when silly females lie about being raped simply because someone rejected them. We cannot forget all those who were false witnesses against Jesus Christ, but then we must also understand it was all part of God’s plan for our salvation.

A Person Who Stirs Up Conflict In A Community–those who “are always stirring up trouble where no trouble exists.” I have heard them called, “pot stirrers” and they will twist truth in order to inflame those listening in order to make themselves appear superior. One of the political candidates seems to be really good at stirring up conflict within many cultural communities and he thinks people are stupid enough to buy into his nonsense. I’m praying that wisdom will envelop all when they head to the voting polls and show this character that not everyone is as stupid as he thinks they are.

All of these seven things warrant a separate post, but I thought about the world’s condition and as I was reading this passage today, I was reminded that God does indeed hate–liars in particular–those who claim He didn’t mean what He said, stirring up conflict in communities (their place has already been prepared), and those who kill for no reason.

As a Believer–one called by God to teach His Word–I cannot ignore expansion of those things that are designed to destroy mankind by just expanding on the “good stuff” in God’s Word in my posts. Teaching Truth–God’s Truth–not mine because I don’t have any truth to teach is what I will continue to do, no matter what people think of me. Fortunately for me, I know they have nothing to do with my place in eternity and I will not be deterred from teaching God’s Truth simply because they “hate” because I Believe.

 

 

 

God Inspired Purpose of Scripture!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV)

What I have found amazing in the past few days is the number of people who claim not to believe “in an ancient book of myths written by men” but will use it, “cherry-picking” to support and condone their stance in opposition to God’s Word. Now, think about it–isn’t that just like Satan to try to use God’s Word to convince Jesus to act in opposition to God’s Word?

The same God, who inspired men to write down the words they heard God speak to their hearts, is the same God is who is yet inspiring people to write today. That “ancient book of myths” has held its own for centuries and will still be used as a guide by the remnant that God promises to save to Himself.

I don’t have a problem with people not believing the bible because at one time, I had challenged those who believed in it. However, when my relationship with God changed, allowing me to hear Him speak to me, I understood and accepted the love He has for me–a love so great–that He inspired men to write down how He wanted me to live. Notice, the personalization of what I’m saying with the use of the pronoun–I. Being in relationship with God is an individual, personal, choice. If no one else ever understands this, I’ll stand on God’s Word alone.

You see, many unbelievers are now trying to quote the Bible. “Jesus just said, love.”  “God said don’t judge.” And one woman yesterday tried to make a case for her condoning sin by saying, “Adam and Eve were not married and had children out of wedlock.” She didn’t understand that God performed the first marriage and had she continued reading Genesis, she would have known God’s definition of marriage. I really wanted to respond, but Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow me to do so. For the Word also says, “For them that be ignorant, let them be ignorant.” Marriage did not come after Christianity; marriage was established in the Garden with the creation of mankind. Too many people confuse religious concepts with Christianity to the point they want to negate all God did in the beginning. Understanding can only come through reading and opening one’s heart to hear God explain Himself.

In the passage of Scripture used as a foundation for my blog today, Paul reminds Timothy that “all” (nothing left out of all) Scripture is God-breathed or inspired. Therefore, we should not get overly indignant when people don’t understand and only select the passages they want to use. The fact that they use Scripture at all, puts them into greater risk of being judged by God since they chose to misuse it for ungodly purposes. If a person claims they don’t believe in the Bible, they shouldn’t try quoting it when they have no idea what it means when comprehension of it is only achieved by understanding the “totality” of The Word, not bits and pieces.

I don’t have a problem with people who claim they don’t believe in God. Their very confession of unbelief is a contradiction to their behavior since they generally spend an inordinate amount of time talking about a God they don’t believe in to convince those who do believe that we’re foolish. Well, the Bible states, “the fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” Since I am not a fool and know right well that–GOD exists–their unbelief won’t hinder my relationship with God.

When I agree with God, I confirm on a daily basis that my relationship with Him is intact and I have not conformed to the world’s perception and beliefs of anything that contradict Him, but I have been transformed by the renewing of my mind in Christ Jesus. I have the mind of Christ–discovered in God’s Word–and use God’s Word to teach, rebuke, correct and train others to know how to respond to the enemy’s attacks. I am thoroughly equipped to accomplish every good work assigned to me. No matter what the government does, the Supreme Court does or anyone else does or say, I will agree with God in all things and in the end, when I stand before Him, I will have no shame about the things I’ve done and I can expect to hear, “Well done, daughter!”

Getting Back to The Foundation of His Truth!

“But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”(I Corinthians 7:2 NIV)

No matter how hard we try–at least some of us–we cannot get away from the fact that the bible addresses every aspect of our living right before God. Through Paul, God’s purpose for us is emphasized in a number of chapters–how husbands and wives should treat each other, how to raise children, how to conduct ourselves in worship services, and how to establish order in the church. Whatever question we could possibly have, the answer–is in there.

The problem for many in accepting what is in there is the fact that whenever a person or persons choose to dispute the information or instruction in the bible, they do so selectively, without understanding, totally missing what is being said because they choose to take things out of context. This verse of scripture is one of those people “prefer to ignore” because Paul said and not Jesus (it’s not written in red).

It’s amazing how people can “discount” the value of what is being said based upon who said it. They do so because they did not read further–“all scripture is written by inspiration of God” no matter who He uses to say it.

Moving along–when the early churches had questions regarding behaviors that were once considered “okay” based upon the environment in which one found themselves, Paul addressed them. There had been “temple prostitutes” and many other unsavory behaviors operating because of unbelief. Adultery and fornication were the status quo and because some dared to seek truth, Paul spoke it as it pertains to sexual activity. Here it is very clear--sexual activity should be reserved for those who are married and then the married should have only sex with their “own husbands” and “their own wives.”

When we choose to ignore righteous instruction because of fleshly dictates, we set ourselves for disaster and until we can right the wrong, nothing will change the devastating course of events that will be the result of sin. If we claim to accept one part of the bible as God’s truth, then we must claim it all–with understanding and keeping all of it in context of God’s purposes for mankind.

This is not the only passage of scripture that is often refuted in the church world. Many in the church have disputed women’s roles within the church because they overlooked what Joel said. Many have claimed that people of color are the result of the curse on Ham, lacking understanding that the first man, Adam–was a man of color–a fact simply deduced by looking at where God formed him and how. People use the bible to promote hatred and superiority because of a lack of understanding. God has no respect of persons and He sees us all as equals–no male or female, Jew or Gentile, all one in Christ Jesus.

But we don’t see us as God sees us and as a result, we tend to overlook passages that go against our flesh. This is why there is confusion, hate, and unrest in the land–we allow our flesh to dictate what we want and when others don’t agree, we rise up and promote hatred–either with the bible or refuting it. Either way–God is not pleased and when He is not pleased, none of us has peace.

The sooner we see things the way God sees them (and we can if we truly develop a relationship with Him), the sooner we’ll see peace in the land. We have no excuse–His written instructions–given to and by all who desired to please Him–provide us the foundation of His Truth. It’s time we got back to that foundation, rather than attempting to build one that is bound to crumble and fall.

True Witnesses!

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.”(Isaiah 43:10 NIV)

How is it that people make things–either themselves or buy what others have made–and worship them? If the things are made by man’s hand, how do we give them more power and honor than the one who made them? If then, we are worshipping things, can we be a true witness for what God does?

A true witness does not prevaricate, does not manipulate truth, does not quibble truth (nitpicking it selectively)–they will only speak about those events they actually see or participate in with others. If we Believe The Word, then we can be true witnesses for all God has said when we have hidden the Word in our hearts and have participated in the works of spreading the Gospel.

Do we understand that The God who has no form or origin, no beginning or end is truly The God of Heaven, all Creation and without Him, nothing was ever created; He is not “a god” as others say? Have we fine-tuned our relationship with Him so we know when we hear Him and will not listen to the lies of who speak against Him or oppose Him? Do we know that everything He did for His chosen, He will continue to do until He returns to take us to be with Him?

If we are going to be true witnesses of who He is, we must learn to model our behavior after Him. We should do what He does, according to what He has said. We love, we teach, we admonish and correct, and we forgive and move on. We know not everyone will hear us and that’s their choice; our job is to share the Gospel, not make people believe since we have no authority or ability to make anyone do anything.

We are told by Jesus if others will not hear us to shake the dust off our feet and keep going. In other words–keep it moving–we don’t have time to waste on those who are determined to allow Satan to rule their lives. We pray for them that they will see a need to turn to God, but we cannot make them. We allow them their choice and leave them to their consequences!

God has always allowed people to make choices–and what we actively and consciously do is a choice. He allowed Adam and Eve to make choices and left them to their consequences. He allowed Herod, and all the leaders of Egypt to make their choices and live with their consequences. He is the same God, using the same strategy to get us to Believe Him. He used the prophets and miracles and He’s yet using prophets and miracles and most of us are–miracles--we survived situations that should have killed us, but we are yet here–to testify of His goodness–as true witnesses!

True witnesses understand and believe everything The Word has said because they hear God speaking through Holy Spirit, confirming His Word and directing us in all things. All who believe Him (not man or men), and can act on His behalf are His true witnesses that will bring others into knowledge of Him.

Alive When Dead!

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4,5 NIV)

People have written books about the walking dead, made movies about the walking dead, the zombies who were dead brought back to life, the vampires who were immortalized though dead, and yet all these created terror in the hearts of those who knew they were dead.

When we were the walking dead because of our sins due to lack of knowledge, God’s love for us was so great, that He came and took upon Himself our spiritually dead lives and quickened us to become alive–not as a terror to people, but as a testimony of His grace and mercy. What a difference!

Most Believers should be able to make a distinction in their lives between what their lives were like Before Christ and what their lives are like After Christ. I call this my–BC time and my AC time. In my BC time, I thought I was living–doing what I wanted to do, without much regard or consideration to others–especially those who attempted to tell me anything about The Word. However, when I reached the bottom of the pit (my Damascus Road), and could no longer enjoy the simple things I loved to do–buying new books, I had no other book in my house but the Bible and my love of reading motivated me to read it, not a great desire to understand it was God’s Word.

I read on the bus going to work, during my breaks, on the way home and at home during my leisure time. The more I read, the more I felt something changing in my life. The more I felt the change, the more I wanted to change, until eventually, I reached the stage of my life where God could speak to my heart and I heard and understood and obeyed. Hallelujah! I had no idea that I had been the walking dead until I understood the life that God wanted me to live!

While I understand the reticence that some may have in accepting The Bible as God’s Word, I encourage all to re-think where their lives are and know that if there is even the slightest possibility that “you are the walking dead” because of a life lived in opposition to God, get into His Word and enjoy the newness of life that He has planned.

There is nothing like knowing “the better life” that God has for us. Know that provision has been made for us to be “alive when dead” with Christ Jesus because of God’s mercy and grace and now is the time for us to receive it and be glad!

I am so thankful for the BC time because it gives me greater appreciation for my AC time–living life with Christ in the midst is so much better than living without Him.

God With Us!

“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 1:21 NKJV)

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, remember it is not about the gifts we give to others, but about The Gift He gave to us. And we know that the 25th of December is not the day He was born and it really doesn’t matter. What’s important is that He was born, He lived, He died, He rose and now sits at the right hand of His Father–interceding for us, watching over us, empowering us with His Spirit to accomplish all things and live the abundant life He promised us! Let’s celebrate Him and be thankful for all we have in Him and through Him!

Happy Birthday Jesus Merry Christmas Everyone!