Recognizing The Foolish!

Recognizing The Foolish!

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated. Proverbs 14:6-9, 16, 17 NIV

What is a mocker? A person who makes fun of others–appearances, values, and beliefs. They attempt to humiliate at every turn, thinking themselves to be superior to others.

One example of a mocker is the atheist who makes fun of other Believers. They say things like: our praying to an invisible God may as well as be praying to a spaghetti monster. Another example of a mocker is someone who makes fun of another person’s disabilities by exaggerating facial expressions, voice tones, or movements. And then these mockers think–they are wise in their own sight.

The “wise in their own sight” are often looked upon as being foolish because they never listen to others when people attempt to admonish them because of their attitudes or behavior. We see this every day–those who think they know something when they don’t.

I  (and many others) am extremely offended by the latest attempts of Donald Trump to “reach out to African Americans” on a number of levels. First of all, he’s not reaching out to a group of people when none of them are in his immediate presence. Secondly, if he wants to “reach” people, he might want to start off with more factual information about who they are rather than statistics that are easily debunked. Using a broad stroke of overgeneralization to describe any group of people is insensitive and negates the accomplishments or achievements of others within that group. What he said was racist and derogatory. Not all Black Americans are living in poverty; not all Black Americas are ignorant or stupid (the underlying meaning of his saying, “your schools are no good”), and most of the young people–the teens (his 58%) are high school students who are concentrating on avenues that will earn them scholarships for college.

His entire speech about reaching out to African Americans was mocking.  “What do you have to lose taking a chance on Trump?” Considering the ethnic persuasion of the audience he was addressing at his rally, he wasn’t talking to Black Americans. His campaign manager, Kellyann states, “all his rallies are open to the public and African Americans can attend.” This is particularly interesting when a man–with brown skin–of Native American heritage was removed from one of his rallies.

Reiterating his approach, “What the hell do you have to lose?” We lose the hell altogether that a Trump presidency represents and keep reaching for heaven–knowing there are no racists there. In recent news–a white man–claiming to belong to racist group–admitted to stabbing a black man when saw the man kissing a white woman. Not that their relationship was any of his business, but he took upon himself to try to kill a man simply because of his skin color. That’s what the foolish evoke in others–that’s what Trump ideology is creating in a society in which many of us had hoped was behind us. So, no–we don’t want Trump’s brand of anything and that will ring loud and clear on November 8th.

And this is how we recognize the foolish–when they do really stupid things–in a public forum and think they are believable. Love trumps hate and mockery!

Where Are They?

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first .After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV

If we truly want to comfort others when they lose a loved one–we should use God’s Word–instead of our traditional responses that are not based upon truth.

Yesterday, someone told me (in a response to something I said about my deceased mother) our moms are watching over us. Now, I know this is a common response used by people to comfort others or themselves and if I did not know The Word, I’d buy into it. However, since I do know The Word and I know that, “the dead know nothing” I cannot promote an untruth, based upon God’s Word–not my opinion.

When I reminded the person about God’s Word, I was told, “everyone has their own opinion and her mom was watching over her.”

Here’s the thing–everyone does have an opinion about so many things, but when it comes to the things of God–shouldn’t we say what God says and not espouse our opinions? I am, and will, to the best of my ability always say what God says, even when it seems that I’m aloof or a bit cold. I am neither. I’m simply trying to do what I’m told–by God in His Word–and I’m breaking the chains of tradition wherever I find them. If people want to be misled and shackled to traditions–that’s their option. I choose not to do so.

So, while I cannot put anyone in heaven who has gone before me–I cannot say with certainty where anyone is. I know–because of The Word–that when we die, our spirits go back to God who gave them, our bodies return to the dust from which it came and our soul awaits judgment (Ecclesiastes 12)–when Christ returns. I don’t know when we’ll rise after He returns or when we’ll be judged, but I do know–when He returns–those who died in Christ–knowing Him–will rise first and we’ll be taken up with them. Whether I’m alive here or not when Christ returns remains to be seen. I am assured of this one thing and so can others be–my mansion in heaven is reserved and one day–I shall inhabit it as promised in The Word.

I’m praying that soon we’ll be able to tell people the truth and stop lying to them when a loved one dies. We cannot put them in heaven or hell–that’s a judgment call that we cannot make for them–only God can–based upon their relationship (or none) with Him. As much as I’d like to believe my mother is watching over us–I know she’s not and I’m okay with that. I hold her memories in my heart and soon in what I write. Whether I’ll know her or not when we all get to heaven is not as important as knowing we’ll be there–at the same time.

Instead of lying to people (and telling them someone has gone on to glory is a lie), let’s comfort and encourage people with God’s Word. “Though they sleep in death right now, when Christ returns, they shall rise first and we who are yet live shall join them.”And while we wait for that glorious day, let’s keep their memories alive in our hearts to enjoy them any time we want.

 

 

The First Death Is Just The Beginning!

“Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Unless Jesus returns before we take our final breath, we will die (or fall asleep) and our end will only be for the earthly measurement of time. The heavenly measurement of time begins when He returns and all the dead in Him (those who died believing Him to be their Savior) shall rise at the sound at the trumpet and they shall be judged first.

It is not the first death that we need to concern ourselves while we live. It is the second death–the assignment of eternal resting place–in heaven reigning with Jesus or in the lake of fire, being tormenting continually for eternity.

While I know there are those who do not believe in heaven or hell, according to God’s Truth they do exist and in the end, we’ll all discover their existence. But while we wait for the end to come, we must know that our final resting place for eternity is determined by what we do while we have breath to live. Notice what John says, about who ends up in the lake of fire.

“The cowardly–those who are always fearful because they do not know that love casts out fear. The fearful do not know love for it they did, they would not fear. The unbelieving–those who refuse to accept God’s existence so they can do whatever their flesh dictates. The vile–those who do every imaginable evil thing they can without concern about how their actions impact others. The murderers–those who have no respect for life and consistently are responsible for the deaths of others. The sexually immoral–those who use sex as a tool for pleasure with anybody and everybody without discrimination or adherence to God’s plan for sex. Those who practice magic--misusing gifts of discernment and abilities given by God for monetary gain or fame. The idolators--those who worship things made by the hands of man or people–holding the things and people in higher esteem than God. The liars–those who twist and malign truth (especially God’s Truth) for their own personal agendas in order to influence others into doing what is pleasing in their own sight–totally ignoring God’s plan for man.” All these–when they have chosen to do these things–will end up in the lake of fire, unless they choose to live as God desires before the first death.

No person–can send another to hell and God won’t either. The eternal resting place in which we end up is determined by what we do when we are alive, having the ability to choose and choose wrongly. Every person–believer and unbeliever–chooses their final destination and they have no one to blame but themselves.

No matter how our end comes the first time–illness, accident, war, acts of violence or old age, our greatest concern should be the second death.

The Penalty for Lying!

“A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape.” (Proverbs 9:5 NKJV)

I’m praying for any and everyone who lives to lie and cause harm to others–simply to gain monetary benefit or center stage with all lights on them.

The problem for liars is that God has already addressed their final outcome–they will thrown into the lake of fire–no escape route possible. There–with hell and Satan and all the other demonic forces-they shall be for all eternity.

I remember some years ago when I was teaching Bible Study at my home and a little boy asked me about hell. I asked him if he had ever burned himself on something hot and he had. So, I told him to imagine that hell–is 1000 x 1000 x 1000 x 1000 x 1000 x hotter than anything he had experienced. His eyes bucked and he made a decision right then–he did not want to go to hell.

Many people don’t believe hell is real because they don’t believe God is real and they certainly won’t pay any attention to anything in the Bible. That is so sad. If they understood the love God has for us and He does not desire to see anyone He loves thrown in the lake of fire, they would do better. That’s His desire–but we all make choices–to do what is right or to do what is wrong.

Remember this–Satan is the father of liars and his job is to kill, steal, and destroy–he has no problem influencing others to do his bidding so he can sit back at laugh at their folly.

Liars–all of them whether pathological or convenient or systematic–always create problems for the innocent. They gather to themselves false witnesses and those who proclaim to know a matter when they don’t, are also destined to be thrown in the lake of fire because they too–are lying.

If we only spent our time doing what is right, we’d never have to worry about doing what is wrong–for us or anyone else.

“The Truth shall make us free” from the penalty of being in the lake of fire, so let’s determine to always tell the truth, no matter how much it may hurt us, or cause us to lose that temporary monetary gain or fame. Integrity is still a valued virtue and I’d rather maintain my integrity in all things that lose it for money or fame. I belong to Jesus and I will proclaim truth as He reveals it and I will not become part of gangland mentality in destroying the lives of others. Satan is not my father and I will not give him that place of honor–by lying.

Everything we do has a consequence–we will either be rewarded or penalized–what is your choice today?

Blessed to Bless!

“Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10:6 NIV)

The righteous–those living in right standing with God--will always have what they need–food for themselves and plenty to share with others.

The wicked–those who ignore God and His Word--are overcome with violent thinking which leads to violent behavior and will result in the death of them and others.

The righteous are not perfect, but are always trying to please God and are quick to repent when they mess up.

The wicked never acknowledge they are wrong and hate to be corrected.

The righteous are more apt to see the world differently–they see the possibilities for all to succeed in righteousness.

The wicked only see through the eyes of evil–always thinking about how they can obtain what does not belong to them.

The righteous hear God when He speaks and say what He says to all who will listen.

The wicked are carnal and only listen to the dictates of their flesh to determine what they do.

The righteous care for the poor and the needy and will defend their rights before God and man.

The wicked are only concerned about their rights and will violate the rights of others to get what they want and do what they want to do.

God sees the righteous and the wicked and when it rains–it rains on both. When tragedy overcomes the land, both feel the disastrous results. When there seems to be no way out of danger–the righteous seek God, while the wicked seek more wicked. Both have reservations for the end of the matter–at the end of life’s journey–heaven is reserved for the righteous and the lake of fire reserved for the wicked.

The righteous are blessed to be a blessing to others and the wicked–are cursed and cause others who follow them to be cursed as well. Which would you rather be–blessed to bless or caused to cursed?

Search Me, O Lord!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139: 23,24 NLT)

How many people are willing to submit to microscopic inspection by anyone? Probably not too many. The greater issue is that God knows all and sees all and when He tells us what He sees–are we willing to listen and adjust?

In our society, many people are more concerned about what people think of them and as a result–they adjust–their opinions, what they say and what they do–to win the favor of people! They do not consider–God and His thoughts towards them; nor do they hear Him when He speaks and they certainly do not make adjustments to please Him because after all–He’s God–He’s not that important to them. That’s the impression we get from the actions of “some people.” What our attitude should be towards God is to please Him, not people, because people are too fickle and unstable. And then–people–do not have a heaven or hell for us–therefore, people should be the least of our concerns.

And this is why we hear the psalmist say, “Search me, O God…and point out anything in me that offends you.” If we want to get living right for God–we have to be willing for Him to point out areas in our lives that need work and then we must be willing to hear and adjust. It is the hearing and adjusting that many simply do not want to do because any adjustment on their part would mean not giving into fleshly desire.

Who is God that we should listen to Him?

Every individual needs to answer this question for themselves. As for me and my house–we will serve Him, and listen and adjust to please Him–since He is the only wise God, Creator of all that was ever created, the One who loves me in spite of me, and has a place prepared for me–for all eternity–to be with Him–where peace and love abide. So, cut away O Lord, everything in me that is not of You and offends You, that I might live my life, pleasing You!

Dare–to ask God to search you, point out areas that need work and then listen and adjust. Move pride aside and submit to His inspection in order to please Him and watch how He works things out in your life.

And What Are You?

“Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:7,8 NIV).

Are you victorious? That is–you have victory in all situations through Jesus Christ–because He is the greater One in you. Or do you fall into the second category–the cowardly, unbelieving…?

Only you can determine what your end will be. Are you victorious or cowardly and unbelieving? Only you–not me, not God, only you can determine what and who you are.

If you’re not sure, now would be a good time to get into The Word (any good translation will do), meditate, reflect, and open your heart to receive the best God has for you. A relationship with Him is better than relationship with any “religious affiliation” or religion. It is having that relationship with Him, that assures reception of all His many benefits. Do it now–and know who you are and what your end will be!

Surrounded With His Favor!

“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12 NIV)

The fact that being in right-standing with God puts one in position to be a recipient of His favor should not surprise or amaze anyone. Everyone wants to walk in His favor, but how many are willing to do what is right in order to be in right-standing with God? The amazing fact is that so many either do not have a clue as to what it means to be in right-standing with God or they do not care and refuse to do what is right.

Let’s face it–there are a lot of people who believe they are in right-standing with God because of their own “self-righteousness.” These are the people who take it upon themselves to judge (unjustly) everyone else who is not living according to their standards. For some reason, they feel they have the right to set standards for others when in fact–their own relationship with God is non-existent–they have a relationship with religion, not with God. The real problem is–they do not know the difference.

When people are in right-standing with God and have an established, maintained relationship with God–not only do they know and understand The Word–they live it. They are loving, forgiving, full of mercy and compassion and yet they tell people the Truth about God’s Word without condemning them. When people only know how to spew The Word at others because of what “they see” they are extremely judgmental and quick to send people to hell, without realizing the danger which they put themselves of ending up there.

Not one of us walking on the face of the earth can “send anyone to hell.” If a person ends up in hell it is because of their choices, not our decisions. If those “hell-senders” really had a relationship with God and not religion, they would know that God doesn’t intend for anyone to be in hell other than Satan, but the provision was made for those who “choose” to follow Satan.

Okay–so there are consequences for our behavior–that determine where we spend eternity–heaven or hell. While I cannot speak for others, I can say with assurance that I am heaven-bound; not because of any righteousness that I have attained, but because of my relationship with God and being in right-standing with Him. I have received His love, know how to give love and to love all, forgive, have mercy and compassion for others and can and do teach the uncompromised Word of Truth. Whether people receive The Word of Truth is up to them–it is my responsibility to teach it, not to make others receive it and live it. That is being in right-standing with God.

Therefore, I am surrounded with His favor because of my willingness to be in right-standing with Him. Glory to God! I pray all get into the position to know–with assurance–what their standing is with God.

Getting into The Word for yourself puts you into good position to know and receive all God has for you!

Eyes On Me!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV).

There are so many eyes–looking upon everything we do–judging, evaluating, assessing, criticizing, not knowing who we really are or who is guiding us. Or do they?

If the Lord is giving us instruction, and teaching us how to get to the destination He has planned for us, and counseling us as we journey in life, we have no need to be concerned about what others see–for they will only see our willing obedience to God, doing what must be done to obtain the goal. However, whatever we do, whatever others see–will determine whether we need to be “controlled or forced” to do something.

In spite of what many think, our obedience to God is out of a desire to please Him, not because He forces us to do anything. If we have a heart for God and we are hearing Him, we know that He only wants the best for us and we only want to please Him.

For those who do not understand God’s love or His plans, His Word will seem harsh and brash and controlling. But God–never forces or controls us to do anything–He gives us freewill to choose and to accept the consequences of our actions. When we choose not to understand or hear Him, we are left with those entities that will control–demonic spirits that lead us down the opposite paths of those God wants us to travel.

On the path to hell (and it is real), everything glitters and has much more appeal to our senses–sight, smell, feel, taste, hearing–it all looks good, smells good, feels good, tastes good and sounds good, but is it–all good? NO! The enemy deliberately makes everything that opposes God look better than anything God wants us to have because he–the devil–wants us to be miserable and to hate God.

Not convinced of the devil’s controlling influence? Take a good look around at our society--at those who are influenced by greed, drugs, and all other lusts of the flesh. The gambling looked good–easy money–until it’s all gone and now people have to steal to support their habit. The same is true with drugs and alcohol–controlling substances. On a personal level–hygiene takes a backseat to fulfilling the desires and cravings of those things which control the mind and behavior. Feelings and cravings in the lower extremities of bodies control–making sexual appeal for anyone more desirable and pleasurable than doing things God’s way. Even food controls–for those who lack discipline and self-control, overeating–which leads to health problems and early deaths. Oh, yes–the enemy controls, but God instructs, teaches, and counsels and leaves it up to us to hear and obey.

Whose eyes are upon you, today–the loving eyes of the Lord or the gleaming eyes of the devil? They know and we should, too–just by looking at what we do!

No Way of Escape!

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26,27 ESV).

Under the law–animal sacrifices were made to atone for sin–the shedding of blood on an altar had to be made for the people–once a year.

Under grace–the blood sacrifice of The Lamb of God to atone for the sin of mankind–has been made on the cross–once for all times for all who receive the sacrifice on the altars of their heart.

If we understand the sacrifice made, the blood shed on the cross, the love of God for us in willingly taking on the likeness of flesh so we might be saved from ourselves, we would not deliberately sin–do all or any of those things that God says is sin. For if we deliberately sin–there won’t be another sacrifice made–only the assurance of a fearful fate of judgment by God.

If we have a relationship with God, we want to please Him and only do those things that are right in His sight, receiving His love and loving Him and others in return.

If we have a relationship with religion–rules and rituals created by man to control others in order to pacify men and justify doing anything they want to do (changing what God has said), we will not inherit the right to enter into heaven, but leave ourselves open to the judgment of Christ–with no escape.

If we have never acknowledged, or accepted the sacrifice Jesus made for us, we will be still be judged if God’s truth has been revealed to us and we simply refused to accept it.

There is only one way to achieve entrance into heaven and to shore up our eternal resting place–accept God’s Word–The Truth of the sacrifice made–and choose to live according to God’s directions and instructions–and not by the dictates of our flesh.  If we choose to ignore God and all whom He has used to warn and teach us, we have no escape from our deeds, but certain judgment awaits us, for the wages (the payment) for sin is death.