Nothing Has Changed!

Nothing Has Changed!

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD. “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior. “So then, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.” Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words. The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the LORD. “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the LORD. “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked.The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. Jeremiah 23:1-22 NIV (Read it all)

The Word of The Lord–Always Speaks Truth and Never Lies!

His thoughts about leaders is constant no matter what title or term is used–when those in leadership lie and mislead God’s people, there are consequences all will feel until those who lied are utterly destroyed.

When Leaders Mislead!

When Leaders Mislead!

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.  “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the LORD. “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the LORD Jeremiah 23:1-4, 11,12. NIV

When I finally understood God’s calling upon my life, this passage of scripture took on a life of its own, rising up in me every time I opened my mouth to speak. It is a constant reminder that when I teach God’s Word, I teach what He says, rightly dividing, analyzing and explaining for the benefit of all who belong to Him. This keeps me honest before Him in all that I do because I am an ambassador of Truth, not seeking to make my name great, but to make His name great.

As an ambassador of Truth (God’s truth, not mine or man’s), I know I must hear Him speak to me before I speak to others. I also know that many will disagree with what I say, but God has reminded me time and time again, it is not me they are rejecting or disagreeing with, but Him. If I taught my opinion, then I would be in a position to receive the just punishment for ignoring God. “Woe” would be my destiny.

But since I do not teach my opinion (and I certainly have one) as it relates to living a righteous life, I have no fear of what destiny holds for me, for my destination is heaven and I will not allow anyone to become an obstacle in reaching my destination–either by believing a lie or teaching one.

Observing what other “leaders” in the Body of Christ are doing–I can only hang my head in shame–for them–for they will receive the just punishment for misleading God’s children. Whenever man (mankind) gets beyond himself and thinks that man is right and God is wrong, there is only thing we can expect–desolation in the land. And when we deliberately mislead others in order to gain favor or control of others–then “woe” is all we can expect.

I claim no greatness when it comes to teaching God’s Word, but I diligently study and seek understanding from Him and I know when He speaks to my heart. That is my claim to greatness–hearing Him speak and obeying. I am a watchman–and as such, I must sound the alarm when danger approaches and when I do–my job is done. Either people will heed the warning or they will not. Whatever they do–is not my responsibility–as long as I know–I’ve completed the task given to me. Therefore, I thank Him daily, that I do not have to worry about the end because He is my beginning, and I can do absolutely nothing worthwhile without Him.

It is to You O Lord, I give the glory! It is to You I give the praise. For You have done so much for me and I will bless Your Holy Name. It is to You, Holy Father, and no one else I give Honor, and all the days of my life–I will bless Your Name!

Which Part Of The Body Are You?

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. I Corinthians 12:27, 28 NIV

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV

When we realize that the gifts–spiritual gifts and natural gifts are given to us to help build the Kingdom and act like it–we’ll see a difference in the world and how people relate to those of us who Believe. Until then, we have a problem.

The problem with those who don’t believe God is those of us who say we do–don’t act any differently from those who don’t. How confusing is that?

If we are the Body of Christ–we have responsibility to act the way He directs us to act. If not, the Body of Christ is looked upon with derision and most see us as hypocrites and from recent observations, I’d guess many of them would be right.

I recently accepted “Friend Requests” from a husband and wife who are leaders in a church. At least he calls himself a pastor, but now I’m wondering what he’s teaching his congregation. Between the two of them, they have posted some of the most vulgar pictures and phrases–shared from other sites, but still distasteful and left me shaking my head. I finally posted that it was shame for them to share such posts and that I would not tolerate that type of thing on my page.

In response–they did not respond–someone else told me that they had cautioned them about the nature of their posts and received no reply. I thought they had been hacked, but I was assured that was not the case. What they posted, came from them.

Now, I ask again, how can we convince the world of anything good about being a Believer when the church leaders are doing everything the world is doing? Is it because we do not know which part of the body we are? Do we understand that when we proclaim the name of Jesus–accepting Him as our Lord and Savior that we misrepresent who He is when we don’t know how to act as church leaders?

When the people–the congregation of a church–looks upon its leadership with disdain, how can we build the kingdom of God? Satan is surely sitting in the pulpit laughing his behind off with the antics he sees and this is how people are never victorious–Satan is leading them down a merry path of destruction.

I urge every Believer to take some time and seriously meditate upon the role in the church they have and glean understanding from God as to what part of the Body of Christ they are.

Church Leaders–Pay Attention!

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:1, 11 NIV)

There is so much that can be said about this entire chapter of Jeremiah–if I spent time expounding on each verse, it would take me over a month to complete it. But when I woke up this morning before 6:00 a.m., these are the verses of scripture that were playing over and over in my head and in particular, verse one.

Though many would attempt to deny that what was said to the prophet Jeremiah applies to us today, they would be wrong. Since some of those same folks constantly reference Jeremiah 29:11 (including me), we must understand that we cannot selectively determine which passages are applicable whenever it’s convenient. ALL SCRIPTURE is there for our learning, good for reproof, and direction, if we would just seek God for understanding.

Yesterday, my husband and I witnessed (in a video) a pastor pouring bleach, water and detergent over the heads of people–“washing away their sins.” How abominably ignorant of him and his followers to risk physical injury to eyes, ears, or other regions of their bodies. We are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ–shed on the Cross–and nothing that man can do will ever wash away our sins.

In a number of churches, the church leaders are gay and promoting a lifestyle that is opposition to living according to the Word. In one such church, the pastor is a woman and her wife is the first lady. I’m praying for them to see the need for repentance and to stop misleading God’s flock. And herein lies the problem–many church leaders see their congregation as their flock, not God’s.

When people are not aware of their responsibility as a church leader or are just interested in the position as a status symbol, they veer away from the Word in order to make themselves special. They are special alright–in need of special prayer.

If God has ordained and anointed a person for leadership in a church–the development of the church is dependent upon God, not them. They should be in constant prayer, ready to hear God speak and ready to obey what He says. The people who come into the church do not belong to the pastor or church leader–they belong to God. When we abuse or misuse that which does not belong to us there is a penalty to pay and in this passage of Scripture (read all of it), we see God is not playing around with His proclamation against those who mislead His children.

In fact, most of the churches or religious institutions do not exist because God ordained them–they are cults, established by narcissistic persons who have a need to seen and thought important. They are encouraged in their own eyes by their ability to influence people into doing foolish things–we’ve seen the evidence in Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and in other places–where people died led by those narcissists. Jim Jones, David Koresh, and so many more. There are other cults around that have not reached notoriety as yet, but I’m sure we’ll see them soon.

How do we know a religious groups is a cult? They are easily identifiable; they esteem themselves more highly than the Word of God and in many cases, they go beyond the Word in their interpretation and begin to think they are equal to God. Whenever a person thinks they are a god, there is a problem. Whenever a person thinks they can foretell the date and hour of Jesus’ return, there is a problem. Whenever a person encourages and promotes living in opposition to God’s Word, there is a problem. God has already prepared their final dwelling for all eternity–the lake of fire, if they do not repent.

I’m sure there will be some who think I’m bashing preachers, but I’m not. I’m warning church leaders–everywhere–do not forget that God is the same–yesterday, today and forever. His purposes and intent for mankind have not changed, and when anyone changes what God has said for their own purposes–to mislead and encourage living in sin, they are going to judged by God, not me–for misleading God’s flock.

A Title Means Nothing If The Role Is Not Fulfilled!

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (I Peter 5:2,3 NIV)

What does a good shepherd or a good leader do?

Being a good shepherd and being a good leader–in anything–means that the people are more important than the title. There are many people in leadership positions in churches who hold titles–pastor, bishop, apostle–and few of them are actually shepherds. How do we recognize them?

The shepherd realizes that those in the congregation are “not his/her people” but they have been given the responsibility to watch over the flock–feed them God’s Word, correct them when they go astray, warn about impending dangers, and provide them direction and instruction they can use to teach others. How many church leaders are actually doing this? Many are more concerned about how “they can influence others with their sound or things they amass” and never take the time to get to know those in their congregation or what they need.

I remember being in a meeting that was not being held in a church when the man who was the pastor of the church I attended came in late, needing to be seen, and announced that he knew his flock. But he didn’t recognize me as a member. I didn’t say a word, but that struck a chord in me. He wasn’t interested in serving the needs of the people because he didn’t know what the people needed. Not long after that meeting, I left that church when bizarre behavior starting ruling.

The same is true for leaders of other non-church groups. Some people only want leadership positions because of a title. Titles mean absolutely nothing if the person holding the title is not fulfilling the duties. I’ve recently been involved with a parent-organization for the high school my grandson attends and discovered that the reigning president has not fulfilled their duties from the outset, but is now angry they were voted out of office. They were not interested in “doing the role” they obtained, but only in being a position they could use to bully others. What I don’t understand is why. Holding a title means nothing and impresses no one if people don’t do the job that goes with the title.

These have not been good examples for anyone; especially the children in knowing how to be a good leader and even more important in how to demonstrate good sportsmanship when losing–an election or a game. No character–no grace; no grace–no room for entitled personalities–who do nothing but create problems for others.

If what we do on any level is not done from pure motives–it will not succeed. God knows the heart and He watches all we do and He hears everything we say. We cannot hide from Him and when He exposes a person’s true character, they can no longer hide from people.

In a position of leadership–we must always question our motives for being there and when we are incapable of fulfilling the role of that position, we must leave it to those who are capable and will do.

Set Apart!

“Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.” (Psalm 4:3 NIV)

Believers–who are faithful to God–have been set apart to do His bidding in all manner of settings. Most think that it is the “church” who has been set apart and if we understand that the Body of Believers is “the church” then that would be true. However, many people confuse the Body of Believers with the “physical building” which can do nothing apart from those who work within.

But let’s beyond that. Every individual Believer has indeed been set apart by God to do a specific work and the work is different for everyone. Some have been set apart to be prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors or teachers. Some have been set apart to be worshippers. Some are set apart to be praisers. Some are set apart to show compassion and consideration to all. Some are set apart to serve–in whatever capacity there is a need. And some–have been set apart–to learn and live before others–their faith, without doubting.

We’ve all been set apart to do something that promotes the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No position within the building is more important than another and the sooner, church leaders understand this, the sooner we’ll see growth in attendance–when people know–all are important and respected.

We are not set apart to lord who we are over others. We are set apart to be the key used to bring them into the kingdom of God, not our own personal kingdoms where we reign and not God.

What have you been set apart to do? The calling on my life to pastor and teach His Word is ever-present, no matter where I go. I preach and teach online, as well as pray and counsel, and live my faith daily. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m open to hearing Holy Spirit when He speaks. I acknowledge my faults (impatience, primarily) and strive to do better. As long as He is working on me to get things right, I know I am loved and valued by Him.

I am set apart–to bring others into the knowledge of the Most High God, His great love for us, demonstrated by the work on the cross, and the hope we have in Him for all eternity.

Stand Firm (Part Three)

(Still in Ephesians 6)

Now think about this—membership into any entity means when you join—you agree to abide by the rules and policies. What makes you think a church should operate any differently? If you’re not a member—don’t expect to sing in the choir, serve on the usher board or to hold any other office or position in a church. If you’re not financially supporting the church “as a member” don’t expect to have any say-so in what the church does with the resources they have. When I read some of the asinine comments people make about “what a church or pastor should do” I know they are not supporting members anywhere. In fact, for those who claim to be Believers—I wonder if they even know what it means to be in relationship with God—not just the church or a religion.

And speaking of “religion” and how every negative comment regards it—get over it. Religious people seldom have a relationship with God. They are religious out of tradition, not knowledge—they don’t have a clue. I can tell from some of the comments being made that there are a number of people who say they have been turned off religion because of the actions of the pastor who cancelled the funeral. Good for them—they didn’t need religion to start with—they need Jesus. If all they’re seeking is religious involvement, they might as well not attend any church and they certainly need not condemn others who do not support their beliefs.

Another point of contention—for me. Why is it that every time a Believer says something is sin—everyone wants to jump down their throats? If you don’t want to believe a certain behavior or lifestyle is sin—whoopee! You don’t have to believe, but stop trying to tell us what we believe is wrong and expecting us to change our beliefs for you. You don’t have a heaven or hell for us, so why should we care what you believe? If you have a right to believe what you want to believe—so do we do—and I’m not suing anyone to make that point. The court systems should be ashamed of themselves for getting caught up in Satan’s web and deliberating promoting ungodliness. You can think what you want of this statement—in the end—God will judge its merits and everything else we do or say.

Finally, I must end this rant. I applaud every pastor and believing Christian who stands firm on the foundational beliefs of the Bible. The bible—regardless of version or translation—as long as the “intent of the Word is not compromised” is our foundation for what we believe. If people want to believe a stone has power—so be it. If people want to believe that a snake has power—so be it. If people want to believe that “any mortal being” has power—so be it. Believe whatever you want, but get off the backs of those who stand firm in their belief that God is right and every man a liar. So pastors—stand your ground and preach The Word—living The Word so all may see The Word come to life and be a standard by which God will judge us all. After all—these people did not call you to lead people to Christ—you owe them nothing, but your allegiance is to God and Him alone.

This message has been brought to you by one who not only understands the Written Word of God, but also has a relationship with Him and is not about to play doormat to those who want to step all over Believing Christians. God and God alone shall judge us all! Hallelujah to our Risen Savior! I approve this message!

Stand Firm! (Part Two)

(Still in Ephesians 6)

In spite of what most believe—where there is documentation that supports the foundational belief of a church (statements of faith) those foundational principles trump the opinions of those who know nothing about the bible.

Let’s deal with some facts about “church foundations.” Within the church’s constitution, a plan of action or procedures should be established. Within that plan—the role of the pastor, deacons, trustees, and whoever else is listed should be outlined. If a church “chooses” to make an exception—they are within their rights. And speaking of rights—every church has a right—a spiritual and moral obligation—to exercise biblical principles (unless they are a cult) without being influenced by those who think “being politically correct” is a mandate from God.

The same people who protest church beliefs about “just about anything” and claim justification for their beliefs because “certain words don’t appear” in the bible should be just as prone to censure about “political correctness” since it is a recent phrase used to justify sin and living ungodly by those who want to live ungodly lives.

As much as I’d like to see everyone saved and have the hope of eternal life—I cannot force anyone to believe Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to the world. People can and do believe what they want, but please, please, please—stop trying to get those who do believe to swallow the lies—which we know are influenced by Satan.

Getting back to churches—with membership—like anywhere else—there are privileges. Most churches have established protocols to handle weddings, funerals, baptisms, child dedications, counselling, and just about everything else. For people who are not members of a church—why are they expecting any privileges from the church? Attending a church is not the same as being an active, participating member of the church.

 

Part Three posted tomorrow!

Stand Firm!

“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” (Ephesians 6:13 NLT).

Very recently, a pastor of a church in Florida cancelled doing a funeral and the comments made inspired this commentary. It would appear that the masses making very negative statements about the pastor and Christianity are born out of a lack of knowledge about how God expects all to live. When the family of the deceased (a gay man) requested the funeral to be held at the church, they apparently forgot to inform the pastor of the man’s lifestyle and when the pastor discovered it in the media, he made a decision to stand on the principles of God’s Word and now most feel justified in attacking him and his beliefs. Some of the comments appear to have been made from little to no knowledge of the circumstances when one commenter posted, “I bet he (the pastor) didn’t have a problem taking his money every week.” My question is, “Was the deceased a member of the church or was it just “his family” who were members?

What does it mean to be a member of a church? Well, for some that answer would vary and for some—who attend regularly—they just go to be going. Most churches—whether part of a larger institution or they are independent—have by-law and a constitution by which the church is run. Granted, there are many churches who make exceptions in various situations, but that by no means should nullify the original intent of those by-laws whatever they are. And most certainly, having by-laws in place should not be a recent to make a spectacle of a pastor.
I don’t know about most of the Christian community, but I am really tired of the church being made out to be a monster simply because most of us have principles—based on the bible and tend to live our lives accordingly. For those who don’t have a clue—live your life any way you want, but when you die—go the funeral home and leave the churches out of the equation that negates life in Christ Jesus.

Not too long ago, a similar incident surfaced and had people embroiled in judgment against Marvin Winans. That scenario—the church’s refusal to dedicate a child who had been born out of wedlock brought out the worst in non-believers and even had me questioning what some of the so-called believers had to say. Very simply put—the media failed to say whether the woman in question was a member of the church (they simply stated she attended), and then failed to ask the woman why she refused the “private dedication service” that was offered. Of course, the general public seldom gets “accurate information from all parties involved,” we only get what the media wants to publish. I don’t which is worse—sensationalism hounds or those who are “so upset” with the pastors.

 

Part Two posted tomorrow!

Read, Expect, Pray!

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19 NLT).

Cancelled Funeral

For the next three days, I have scheduled a commentary on a recent event in which a pastor has been “demonized” because of a decision to cancel a funeral in Florida. The deceased–it was discovered–was a gay man, married to another man–which is opposition to the church’s beliefs and policies and that information was withheld from the pastor when they originally agreed to allow the funeral to be held in the church. Don’t judge a matter so quickly that you forget to get all the information! An opinion–without facts to support or document–is just that, an opinion and we all have one. However, in order to not promote ignorance of the role of the church and its leadership, I encourage everyone who usually reads my blog posts to read them in their entirety, expect to have feelings ignited, but pray before you determine anything about me or what I’ve said.  Meditate on The Word, Seek God, and know Truth from Him–not me.

If you feel as though I’m ranting, you’re probably right–but ranting with the intent to inform and negate all the negativity about pastors who actually attempt to do the right thing according to The Word of God, not political correctness or the influence of those who choose to live ungodly lives.

Just as I am encouraging pastors to stand firm in their belief in The Word and to live according to it, I am standing firm in the belief in The Word and in how God wants me to live. If anyone wants to live contrary to The Word–that’s their business and they will have to deal with the consequences–as will I. However, I will not compromise my beliefs simply to make others “feel” better about themselves. I am not a doormat and I will not act like one when it comes to standing on The Word.

Here’s a newsflash–God is not interested in our “feelings;” He’s interested in whether or not we’re living according to His Word and no one, absolutely no one can convince me to live contrary to God’s Word. Living for Him–is a choice–like everything else we do and I choose Jesus over all the “warm fuzzies” from being politically correct by people who don’t know God.

If there are some who think I’m wrong–they’re entitled to think whatever they wish–I’ll await God’s judgment for being on His side rather than theirs!

Love to love you–but I’ll stand firm on The Word!