Judgment Coming For Whom?

Judgment Coming For Whom?

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you. Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! James 5:1-9 NIV

On the surface it would appear that James has a problem with those who are rich. Since–we who Believe we are children of God–we know that can’t be the problem since James wrote as The Lord spoke to him. The issue here is not in the riches, but in those who are materially wealthy, but spiritually poor.

If our only pursuit in life was in attaining “things” to the point where the things have us, then we have a problem. The purpose of being blessed by God is so we can be a blessing to others. Now we know some are filthy rich and claim their achievement was because of what they did. This is an example of a spiritually poor person and if we look closely enough–we see these people all the time. We can’t help but see them if we pay attention to any media. They like to be seen and flaunt their material wealth and actually think, their material wealth entitles them to do anything they want to do. I could at this juncture provide a list of the those who think this way, but why bother. God knows who they are and in the end, He will have the last say over their lives.

However, the important take-away from this passage of scripture is in understanding that as brothers and sisters in The Lord, we should not condemn or belittle one another, but encourage one another to be patient while waiting for The Lord. God is not deaf or blind. He sees all the injustices and wrongs committed against those who are His and in His own timing, He will judge the matter.

Once again, a commenter on a thread called themselves chastising me–without knowing me or who I serve–by invoking the name of Jesus into the commentary. His attempt was to belittle me, while making a claim to follow Jesus. I had to remind him that his behavior was not a good example of an ambassador for Jesus–especially since he thought he was the only person who had a right to speak his mind and everyone else needed to “shut up.”

What I see–especially in this political cycle–is difficulty in determining who the Believers really are from those who say they are Christians. “Christians” are loudly proclaiming their desire to “execute” and put people on the “firing line” promoting the worst kind of hate! Is this what Christians truly believe and how they act towards others? If this is the new “Christian” mantra, then I respectfully decline from acknowledging myself as a “Christian” but loudly proclaim that I am a TRUE BELIEVER IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND ALL HE DESIRES US TO DO!

Now, judgment is coming for all–saved and sinner alike–and our eternal resting place will depend upon the judgment rendered by God–not people.

So, I’m distancing myself from those who proclaim to know God in His infinite mercy, goodness and grace and unconditional love and yet they are incapable of demonstrating it. It is not our place to fuel frenzied conduct by the masses, inciting hatred and bigotry and I will not participate in that arena.

I will continue to write as The Lord gives me direction and for any who choose to ignore or disagree, I respect that. But I will not tolerate anyone attempting to tell me that I should condemn anyone when I have been redeemed by a loving Savior.

Lord, I pray you’ll speak to hearts all over the land so violence will not erupt and leave this country mourning like we’ve never mourned before. In Jesus’ name I ask and thank You, Amen!

Let’s Be Honest!

Let’s Be Honest!

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:13-21 NIV

What the world needs now–is love–God’s love–overflowing the banks of our hearts, flooding our souls, saturating every fiber of our beings until all hate and fear is washed away.

But before that can happen, we must be honest with ourselves and everyone else.

There is brewing–just below the surface–a volcanic eruption of hate and when it spills over onto the masses, we will witness such carnage as we’ve never seen–unless we are honest about where we are–our attitudes–towards other human beings.

We cannot ignore the hatred that exists towards others: White people hating black people, hating Native Americans, Black people hating white people and black people, White people hating White people–all people hating anyone–red, yellow, brown, black or white it does not matter–what the color of our skin is–we are all precious in God’s sight!

Where there is hate–LOVE cannot reign in the hearts of people, for if we have not received His love, we have no love to give. And anyone–absolutely anyone–hiding behind any banner–Christian, KKK, law enforcement, mothers, fathers, grandparents–teachers, judges, politicians, political candidates–anyone who promotes hate is guilty of the blood flowing from inciting the masses. They are guilty and should be ashamed of themselves for their promotion of hatred–building walls of division instead of bridges for relationships–and for every person that is grieving the loss of a loved one because of someone else instigating the hatred–you, too should grieve–for you have grieved Holy Spirit by not obeying Him.

If this sounds like a rant–against hatred–so be it. I’m tired of so-called Christians supporting those who promote hatred and fear. I’m tired of so-called Christians, sitting idly by doing nothing, but quoting scriptures when they don’t apply them on a daily basis. I’m tired of so-called Christian leaders supporting fear-mongering instead of promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  We will never win people to Christ by creating an atmosphere of fear and hatred and the promotion of bigotry–it is love that overcomes the evil that pervades the land.

Can we honestly say–without hesitation or doubt–that we are capable of loving all people–no matter their circumstances or positions in life; no matter what color their skin or are we doomed to suffer the consequences of our inability to love–unconditionally?

Let’s be honest with ourselves and with others. God already knows the truth. Then, after we admit our shortcomings to live–promoting peace and harmony–let’s repent, get off our behinds and do something about it–show somebody who looks differently than we do, thinks differently than we do —and pour on the love. Can we do that?

Watch this–https://youtu.be/HrAvdqVFyjc –it’s about ten minutes–and think about what is being said and if you agree–that it’s time for a change–join me in promoting love of all people!

Why Looks Don’t Tell The Whole Story!

Why Looks Don’t Tell The Whole Story!

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. Proverbs 11:22 NIV

What purpose does it serve to waste a gold ring to put through a pig’s snout? Does the gold ring make the pig more desirable or more precious? When a man sees a beautiful woman who exercises no discretion at all–with everything exposed–does she become more desirable or more distasteful?

If all we have to offer anyone is our looks–then we are indeed in sad shape. Not everything that looks good–is good and by the same benchmark–not everything that is unappealing is bad. What should really matter is the inner person–their character–not their looks.

I’ve met some rather plain-looking people and some who were physically unattractive, but were the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. I’ve also met some really good-looking people–on the outside–but so hateful and full of themselves that I could hardly wait to get away from them.  That adage about not judging a book by its cover is applicable to much of what we do in life–especially in seeking a wife or husband.

But the truth of the matter is-no matter how a person dresses up their outside–with make-up, surgical procedures, etc. –if there is no character development on the inside they are still without much value. Dressing up the pig won’t change what it is–and neither will any other procedure change what a person really is.

I’ve been appalled by the number of stories I’ve read in which a person was brutally beaten or killed by another (usually a man) because the victim was masquerading as a woman and when the man discovered the true identity–they felt betrayed and humiliated and reacted to the situation without thinking. This happens far too often and the simplest solution is for people to stop trying to be something they are not–misleading with their looks–inviting anger directed at them.

There are some things we can realistically prevent–and I’m not promoting brutally for betrayal–I’m simply encouraging people to stop trying to fool people. When we parade ourselves as one thing when we’re another–we’re setting ourselves up to be attacked–physically and spiritually!

And so too are pretentious Christians–who carry their big bible, wear the biggest crosses, mouth more, “Hallelujahs” and “Praise The Lords” than most of us can count and yet–they’ll cuss someone out at the drop of a pin. They never pray for anyone and are always asking others to pray for them. They never help anyone and always expect someone to help them. They go to church, but not to hear a word, but to spout words against everyone who walks into the building–they are always complaining and never happy about anything.

On the other hand, the ones who quietly see to the needs of others even when they don’t have all of their needs met, always smiling encouragement, always have a hug or light touch trying to comfort others when they need to be comforted–this is the real Christian and they don’t have to shout it or try to parade it. Most of us know who they are.

So–what do our looks tell people? Do they tell our whole story or is it just a facade–and we’re hoping no one will ever see the real person behind the facade?

 

On The Journey-TSADDE!

Righteous are You, O LORD,
And upright are Your judgments.

Your testimonies, which You have commanded,
Are righteous and very faithful.

My zeal has consumed me,
Because my enemies have forgotten Your words

Your word is very pure;
Therefore Your servant loves it.

I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.

Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights.

The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live

The 18th letter and stanza of this acrostic expression of the writers deep-seated emotions about their circumstances.

When we do everything we can to do what is right, do we get tired when we see our efforts fall short?

This is what I’m getting out of this stanza–the writer knows that God’s laws are right, he’s trying to live by them, but all around them, people are living by their own standards and codes of righteousness. He’s getting tired–of being harassed because of his zeal to do things God’s way, instead of the way people consider to be just.

I’ve often felt that way myself. Not that I’m so perfect, but when I try to live according to God’s Word and then watch all those who don’t–appear to prosper–my flesh gets weak and I want to angry and want to tell people off. However, when Holy Spirit speaks to my heart, I calm down and continue to seek God’s Word, with my mind made up to do things God’s Way.

I know many Believers who have encountered some of the same things I have in this regard–we are criticized, ridiculed, and persecuted because we refuse to go along with the status quo–accept everything everyone does and ignore God. We won’t do it.

Our opposition–or at least mine–has come from two primary sources–those who don’t believe in God and those who promote living in opposition to God’s Word because it is politically expedient.

Though I get weary and spiritually weak in this continuing fight, I won’t give up. I won’t allow those who choose not to Believe, to deter me or dissuade me. They have a right to believe or not believe just as I do. When they choose to cite science as a standard, I know they have forgotten--if they ever knew–that God created all that was ever created and the goal of science is to try to explain–why–science does not create anything from nothing, which is why scientists are yet puzzled by Creation and are forever trying to discover–the how and why. That’s what they do–discover–not create.

On the other hand, I am appalled at Believers–those who proclaim to be Christians or at least know something about The Word–those who encourage living in opposition to God’s Word and promote ungodliness. It is this group that has the most to worry about when they stand before God on That Day. It is because of sin running rampant and approved by Supreme Court Justices and any other legislative body or persons–who refuse to see the benefit of God’s Word as His intent for mankind that the world is in the shape it is.

We must call sin–sin! Liars (and this covers most politicians) are sinners! Thieves–in high places and low places are sinners! All sexual behavior outside the parameters of marriage as God defines it–is sin! Having respect of person (giving people advantages over others for no reason other than association)–is sin! Allowing self-pride–in thinking we know more than we do to reign–is sin and usually leads to problems! When we don’t know something, we should own it, and seek to learn it.

This is what the writer has concluded–without God’s Word to guide him, there can be nothing but chaos and destruction. Have we reached that conclusion? Are we going with the status quo–anything goes? Are we cementing our relationship with the God of Heaven or the god of this world?

We have choices to make–if we haven’t already made them–and I choose to Believe God and live according to His Word--not the dictates of man. What about you?

Once Jews–Converted Christians!

“The Apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the Word of God. Now those who had been scattered in the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the Word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to The Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (Acts 11:1, 19-21, 25, 26 NIV)

Let me say at the outset of this post that I know and understand that Christianity–a label for those who followed Christ then began with the conversion of Jews. This post takes nothing from the fact the Jews were and are God’s chosen people and the rest of us who choose to Believe–the work on the Cross, the resurrection, and Divinity of Jesus are adopted into the family as an act of faith.

That being said, if we pay attention to the verses before the 26th verse–where people called those Jews who followed the teachings of Jesus–Christians, we will see that at first–they were simply–Believers–those who believed those who had walked with Jesus and in His purpose for coming down to earth.

Generally, what happens when we allow others to decide a label for us–we err in the teaching of truth. As with the label–Christian–we have come so far from the truth in teaching God’s Word and His love that we have become an object of ridicule. One of the reasons we are ridiculed for our faith is the fact that there are too many divisions–too many denominations and sects–all promoting their own version of truth and veered so far off the mark that many are considered cults.

I recently read a blog, by Fred, who thought he was a Christian because he became involved with the Seventh Day Adventist, and because he was disillusioned by what occurred within the religious group, he has since converted to becoming a Jew, apparently not understanding that all original Christians were converted Jews.

We are not Christians because of the church we join or hold special religious beliefs. We are Believers because we Believe The Word of God and that includes following the teachings of Jesus. No matter how carefully one inspects The Word–no denominations will be found. Man–in his desire to control others–created denominations based upon micro-selection of Scriptures. In every religious group–their foundation is based upon one or two verses of Scripture because they did not understand how all the scriptures align and none to be ignored. And in some cases, the religious group is named after the person who chose to remove themselves from the fray of religiosity–only to perpetuate more.

This is how we come to have the Baptists–who misunderstood John’s role–and his role was not his title. The Church of God–so named because someone misunderstood what Paul was saying in Acts 20 and in his letters to the church at Corinth. The Church of God in Christ–so named because someone had the bright idea to make a distinction to who they were by separating from The Church of God, but adding “in Christ” to the banner. Jehovah Witnesses–so named because they misunderstood that everyone who promoted the Gospel of Jesus Christ is His witness and the founders chose to re-write the bible to suit their purposes. This is important since they originally denied the divinity of Jesus and have for years, denied the virgin birth and so many other truths. The Methodists–so named after a person because of the method or strategy used to promote religion. The Lutherans–so named after Martin Luther–promoting a doctrine with some basis of truth, but not totally. And of course–The Catholic Church–who claims that Peter is their foundation, but deny priests to be married when Peter was married–all in an attempt to control others. And of course we cannot deny the horrors inflicted upon millions because they misunderstood The Word and warned others not to try to read it because it would confuse them. Religious persecution (forced conversions and beheading) did not begin with those in this century who are misguided, but with those who thought they were better than everyone else and chose to force their beliefs on others and killed any who resisted. 

There are so many other groups that it would take a book to discuss them at length and to point out how they have erred in their foundational beliefs. The truth is very simply this–for most Believers–we Believe The Word of God. We believe that mankind was so far from fulfilling God’s purpose for us, that He decided to come down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to demonstrate His love for us. He chose to be crucified, died, and rose again–redeeming us–giving us a chance to live with Him for all eternity, forgiving our sins and providing us with His presence at all times in the person of Holy Spirit. The inspired word of God, rightly interpreted and promoted by those in relationship with Him, is what Believers believe. Anything other than this is spawned by religious spirits that bear no truth and have no relationship with God.

I am yet a Believer with no religious hangups and my desire is to please God only. My choice–is made with information and relationship, and not coercion as some would have others think.

Forgive–And Be Forgiven!

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14 NKJV).

Right after Jesus taught His disciples “how” to pray (not what to pray), He reminded them of the things they should “do” in order to please God. The very first thing He said to them was, “forgive others so our Father will forgive us.”

There are so many people walking around with unforgiveness in their hearts that it changes their attitudes and even their facial expressions.  We have all seen these people. They are envious and jealous. They seldom smile because they think frowning and appearing to be mad makes them holier than others. They are far more likely to criticize others than to pray for them. They always “see” the shortcomings of others, but never acknowledge their own. They think because of where they live or whose religion they bought into makes them superior to other people. And then they think–they are pleasing God and the rest of us are–“simple Christians.”

When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to smile and laugh as well as pray and forgive others for their shortcomings and be thankful that God does not hold our shortcomings against us.

When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to speak a Word of Life, enjoining others to please God and to draw them into a knowledge of Christ with loving-kindness.

But then again–The Word tells us that God will use the foolish things to confound the wise (those that are wise in their own sight). We should be careful about the things we say with regards to others so that we will not stand in the position of being judged–more harshly–by God than the judgment we use against others.

We should make every effort to seek God first–in all things–before we open our mouths or allow our fingers to hit the keyboard of a computer (or typewriter) so that what we say or write, brings glory and honor to Him through us. We will never win people to Christ with an unforgiving heart, a harsh tongue, or unrelenting fingers that constantly accuse rather than praise or encourage.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to be more like You every day. Help us to open our spiritual ears and hear what You say. Guard our tongues and allow us to only speak what You would have us to say. Tangle our fingers until we are only to type what You would have us to type–with love in every letter–drawing others closer to You and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Change our attitudes so our hearts sing with praises and our faces shine with the acknowledgement that we know who You are and there is always a smile for others. These things we thank You for in Jesus’ name, Amen!

We are Forgiven when we forgive! Hallelujah!

Lip Service!

“The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught” (Isaiah 29:13 NIV).

How insightful is the Word of God that what was spoken hundreds of years ago, is still relevant today! Isaiah was speaking to the children of Israel in an attempt to get them to understand obeying God and hearing what God has to say was more important than what the men of tradition had been teaching them.

Are we “these people” who will hear, cannot understand, and only worship with our mouths?

We must be careful that we are not guilty of making the Word of God of no effect because we love our traditions more than we love living The Word.

It’s check-up time–for all to examine self. Are we fair-weather Christians–those who only talk about being a Christian, but have no idea how we’re supposed to be living, but we go to church on Sundays? Are we convenient Christians--we do only what Christians are supposed to do when others are paying attention. Are we bench-warmer Christians–those who go to church to keep a seat warm, but do nothing else?  Are we “look-at-me” Christians--those who do everything they can in church to draw attention to themselves? Are we still like the Israelites–saying all the right things–singing, shouting, and praying empty prayers, and yet have no room for God in our hearts since we do not know His Word? David said, “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You!” Do we have God’s Word hidden in our innermost parts so we won’t sin against Him?

If our hearts are right with God, our lips need not say much because our actions will speak for us!

Lord, search us and see if we are everything You need us to be. If we are not, give us a clean heart, a heart with room enough to receive all You have for us and to live a life that pleases You. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen!

 

 

Where Are the Real Christians?

Will the real followers of Christ—please stand up and speak out against ungodliness?

Church folks—those of you who just go to church because you think it impresses God or man—sit down and be quiet!  Pick up a bible and study to show yourself approved unto God (not man), a workman who knows how to rightly divide The Word!  From the looks of things in our society, I would have to say we have more church folks—pretending to have a relationship with God-than we do real followers of Christ—many of whom have become “secret agents” for the Lord because they don’t want to be persecuted by the masses of those who commit ungodliness and try to convince others that God doesn’t mind.

The secret agents live in isolation as it pertains to their faith in God.  God and they are the only ones who know about them.  The rest of the world is kept in the dark about who they really are because they refuse to speak up or speak out in support of what God says.  These agents feel that it is more important to not discuss anything that may create confusion or division.  This is why they say, “I was always told not to discuss politics or religion.”

Once again, they will not speak out about the corrupted political arena or the flaws of those who profess to be Christians who really are not.  Real Christians try to live the life that indicates they are followers of Christ.  They do not try to reinvent the Word to pacify their fluctuating beliefs.  They do not try to say God said one thing over another when He didn’t.  Real Christians understand that whatever God said is sin in The Word is still sin in the world.  Jesus did not come to change anything God said, but to bring us back into right relationship with the Father so we would have access to heaven as our eternal destination.

None who attempt to manipulate The Word or what God says will enter into the Kingdom for they do not know the Father and have no right to the inheritance as a joint-heir when they cannot be, as Christ is—totally subject to doing the will of the Father. Man-pleasers have no place in the inheritance for the Word says, we should please God for we cannot please man.  If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to acknowledge that truth since man changes the rules of living as they go along, in order to get along with everyone, and will at any time decide to change the rules as needed.  Is God happy with that?  I doubt it.  He said, “I am the Lord your God and I change not!”  So where does that leave us?  It should lead us to wanting to know how to please Him rather than man since man has no heaven or hell for anyone, but themselves. However, we do choose, by our actions, our appointed destination—heaven or hell.  Where will you spend eternity?