How We Know God’s Choices!

How We Know God’s Choices!

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?  Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? James 1:1-10, 14 NIV

The role of any educator is to create an environment in which they expect those they are instructing to think–developing critical thinking skills and the best way to conduct that exercise is by asking questions of the questions until a logical conclusion is reached.

I would suggest–for the sake of clarity–that the entire letter be read to really understand the totality of what James is saying and remember–he is writing to the church leaders.

As a foundation to frame what’s being said about how God chooses, I reference the first king the Children of Israel chose for themselves.

Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel: “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.” When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.” I Samuel 9:15-17 NIV

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”  So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah. Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. I Samuel 16:10-14 NIV

What do we see in how God chose Saul to be king?  He had a heart for God before He was chosen.

What do we see in how God chose David? He was a man after God’s own heart–not flawless, but quick to repent.

When the Spirit of God is no longer on a person’s life, how do we know?

If a person has never demonstrated having a heart for God and understanding of His Word, would God choose them to govern a nation?

Why do we see through God’s Word that every person God uses, is willing to be used by God?

What happens on a broader level to people when God is pleased with what we do?

Does God hold us accountable for what people do or for what we as individuals do?

What is blasphemy and how do we commit blasphemy against God? When we say something is of God when it is actually the spirit of the devil influencing what we say or do, who are we really honoring?

In the beginning, God created all that was ever created and without Him, nothing was created and He did it without any input from us. Why is that? He is a sovereign God, totally self-existent without need of people to do anything, yet He uses who is willing to be used–those who have a desire to serve Him.

Now, since God is sovereign–existing by His own will and dependent upon no one–can any mere mortal oppose Him or interfere with His plans? If they can, they become more powerful than God and since I know that no mere mortal is a god, I would say anything thinking along these lines is foolish.

Is not God all-knowing–omnipotent and omnipresent and omniscient? Does He not see all there is to see and hear all there is to hear?

Since He came down from heaven, lived among men in the person of Jesus Christ, protested the religious leaders and taught the Truth, betrayed by Judas, crucified, died, and rose again and after returning to heaven, sent His Spirit back to dwell within those who received Him, why do we need “mere mortals” telling us anything God says?

Since God knows more than we do and since He is God and does not change, I can only conclude that His method of choosing people to govern nations, has not changed. He also does not force us to obey Him, but allows our choices in order to get our attention.

People have chosen to elect a person who does not know God, has not demonstrated any knowledge of God in his actions or speaking, and yet the religious leaders are claiming Our Sovereign God–the God who existed before any of us–by His own will–could not find any person who knows Him and has a desire to serve so He chose--a bottom-feeder who has no respect for anyone other than himself, has demonstrated multiple personality disorders with his misogynistic, narcissistic, megalomaniac, racist and bigoted behavior and has done nothing but promote fear and hate. You mean–Our Sovereign God had no one else but this person He to choose? If that’s true, what does that say about the rest of us?

In order to believe that lie–a person would have to be totally void of any type of relationship with God or understanding of His Word. Where is the love for others? Where is the sense of unity espoused in God’s Word? Where is the wisdom of God operating in this situation?

I have drawn my own conclusions about the matter and they do not concur with the Evangelical leadership who have lied to their congregations in order to control people. I am praying the veil will soon be lifted and they will repent of misleading God’s people into the chaos we are about to experience. May God have mercy upon their souls!

 

To Whom Do We Owe Loyalty?

To Whom Do We Owe Loyalty?

Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days, and on the third day He will raise us up so we can live in His presence. Let us strive to know the LORD. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land. What am I going to do with you, Ephraim? What am I going to do with you, Judah? Your loyalty is like the morning mist and like the early dew that vanishes. This is why I have used the prophets to cut them down; I have killed them with the words of My mouth. My judgment strikes like lightning. For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:1-6 HCSB

Today, as most days, I seek The Lord for what I should say. And I must admit, that with a heart that is saddened by those who think they have a right to “control” what I say, on my blog, I will hate to see you go your way, but my loyalty is to the God of Heaven and I will not allow another to persuade me otherwise.

God in His infinite wisdom, has given us who choose to serve Him, access to His wisdom and with His Wisdom, we can be confident in saying what He says, no matter what the opposition thinks. I’m reminded of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were religious, but did not have a right relationship with God. They were more concerned with holding people to the letter of The Law (which is no longer our guide since we have Holy Spirit), than in the spirit of The Law, they did not uphold themselves.

This is where we understand the hypocrisy of those in the temple.They were not concerned about the people, but in their control of the people and thought the people should be loyal to them. Their stance is what moved them to arrange to silence Jesus! They did not understand His purpose on earth and thought He was simply trying to wrest control from them. That’s what religious people do–they want to control people because they have no trust in God.

When religious leaders promote loyalty to them rather than right relationship with God, we are bound to create hostile environments in the atmosphere when true Believers understand that our loyalty is to God, not people. And what the prophet Hosea is saying to us even now, is that our loyalty to man will cause us problems with God.

I’ve addressed a very personal situation with another blogger before and I must address again so everyone reading this will understand my position. NO ONE, and I mean no one will ever dictate what I write on my blog. Though I appreciate those reading it, I will not do the bidding of a mere mortal and forsake what I know God is speaking to me.

I will never support a person or a group of people who support those who promote racism and bigotry. God is love and nowhere in the bible do we find God advocating hatred–other than that of sin–not people, simply because they don’t look like us. If you believe God is a racist bigot–that’s on you. The God I serve promotes love–even when we don’t like what people have done or are doing–we still love them and pray for them. God will do what God does in their lives when they are ready to receive His bountiful blessings–not because we attempt to control others.

For those who feel they have to control the environment through denying a person’s right to choose–anything–they demonstrate their lack of trust in God. For if our trust is in God, we have to trust Him to be who He is in the lives of everyone. That’s demonstrating loyalty to God. Supporting a divisive person who’s only goal is to enrich himself at the expense of others and to belittle and humiliate people, is not a character trait that God would approve. This is loyalty to mortals and if people are more loyal to people than God, then they will get their just consequence.

I owe no loyalty to a mere mortal or a political party. My loyalty belongs to God and God alone and nothing mere mortals say or do will ever change that. Why is that? Mere mortals do not have a heaven or hell for me so what they think–is irrelevant–when what they think and promote–opposes the character of God.

But no one has to take my word for anything. We all have choices to make and I choose to Believe God, not religious people who want to control others.

The Desire To Control!

“Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the Gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No, We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:1,5, 7-11)

The tendency within mankind’s heart to control others has always been prevalent, but even more so in those who claim to know Jesus. This is one of the reasons why Believers–those who believe the work on the Cross and the Divinity of Jesus Christ–must know for themselves the plan of God for all men and women.

When we are in relationship with God and know and understand His Word–we won’t allow anyone to hogtie us to traditions and rituals that by themselves mean absolutely nothing. That is not to say that all traditions and rituals are worthless, but we must check our motivation for doing certain things, especially if we think they have any power to save us. We are saved by grace and that by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing we do–no observance of ritual or tradition–can save us–other than believing that Jesus rose from the dead, after being made the sacrifice for the atonement of sin. We repent of our sins–turn away from them and allowing them to control us–and allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. He does not “take control” of us; we must give Him control and when we do, we will see the blessings of God in our lives.

Notice how we are told that “certain people” started a campaign to control others and then how the Pharisees (those supposedly now Believers) also wanted to control the new converts. We are not told who the certain people were, but we can guess these were the “religious” sect that converted, but wanted to hold onto to the Law–not fully understanding “grace” because their hearts did not fully belong to God.

Peter reminds them–“God knows their hearts” referencing the Gentiles and He had no thought to keep them in bondage to a law that Jews could not and had not kept. Funny, how no one likes to be reminded of their shortcomings and they all became silent. This reminded me of those who wanted to stone the woman supposedly caught in the “act of adultery” but no man was brought to judgment with her. After Jesus reminded them that all had sinned, they dropped their rocks and left–not one stone being hurled at the woman.

But perhaps a more important lesson gleaned from this chapter of Acts is the fact that the Believers met to discuss what was going on and decided upon a course of action. No one person made a determination as to how they should proceed, but the group as a whole made the decision. “Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (call Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the Believers.” (Acts 15:22 NIV)

Are we choosing men and women who are leaders among us or are we simply allowing one or two people to control the masses and making messes of what should be an environment conducive to all to learn how to live, pleasing God, not man? Do we pray and ask God’s directions for all we do in the church or do we allow others to control what we do? Do we seek God’s directions to make decisions in our homes and everywhere else?

We ought to always pray and seek God’s directions in order to stay on the path He desires us to travel and never allow any one person–to control what we do. For when that happens, they become dictators and we become puppets–dancing to their dictates, instead of living our best lives–guided by Holy Spirit.

Let those with their religious spirits control themselves before trying to control others. Allow Holy Spirit to guide all matters and know that we cannot err when we do.

Why Jesus Said, “If You Were Blind, You Wouldn’t Be Guilty.”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (John 9:41 NIV)

Once again, because of a miracle on the Sabbath, Jesus healing a man who had been born blind, the religious group in their self-righteousness threw the man out the temple, because he dared to challenge them about who Jesus was. To keep this in context, we must understand the back-story (John 9:1-34). Whenever a person was healed, they were to go to the priests (the Pharisees in this case) to confirm their healing. In this particular miracle, when the Pharisees started questioning the blind man’s healing, they accused Jesus of being a sinner and certainly not from God. The man dared to refute what they said and he was prohibited from attending the temple. Now, let’s eavesdrop on the conversation between the healed man, some Pharisees and Jesus.

John 9:35-41

v. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out and when He found him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

v. 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in Him.”

v. 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen Him in fact, He is the one speaking with you.”

v. 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped Him.

v. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

v. 40 Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard Him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind, too?”

The entire point of this conversation was to let the Pharisees know, they were spiritually blinded–they claimed a belief in God, yet refused to accept what was right in front of them–God in the flesh–working miracles for the benefit of those who would believe.

The world hasn’t changed much in the last 2000 + years. There are still some–both religious leaders and carnal Christians–who are spiritually blind. They claim to know God, yet they refuse to obey God and have in essence, created even more religions that have no basis or foundation in Him who created all things and without Him, nothing was ever created. The religious group would rather adhere to their traditions than to allow Holy Spirit to lead and guide them–in all things. And since they are the leaders in the churches today, not many in their congregations ever witness miracles because their unbelief inhibits the movement of Holy Spirit.

If every church, in every city, all over the world, would allow Holy Spirit His rightful place in any service–people would be healed of cancer, blind eyes would be opened, the lame would walk, and all manner of diseases would dissipate for those who believe. For The Word says, “These signs shall accompany those who believe: In my name: they will drive out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands (to discard them) and when they drink deadly poison (not intentionally), it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:17,18 NIV)  Now, once again to keep this in context, Jesus said this-after He rose from the grave and was included in the instructions given to those who followed Him to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. And as in so many other places, we see the conditions or qualifiers if you will, under which the signs shall follow. “Whoever believes and is baptized and for those who don’t believe, they will be condemned.” (v.15, 16)

So, now the question for all to consider is, “Are we yet blind even though we say we Believe?” If we are spiritually blinded by the traditions of the world and political correctness and fleshly desires, will we ever truly Believe God and obey? If we remain spiritually blind, will we ever be able to accomplish all that Jesus said we would, for those who Believe?

Spiritual blindness opens the door for Satan and all the demonic forces he employs to deceive and manipulate. For this reason, sin abounds in the earth and all manner of sickness and disease run rampant because those who say they believe, don’t practice obedience and in operating in the Spiritual Gifts Holy Spirit has for each of us, to lay hands on the sick and watch them get well.

More about what Jesus said and why, next time.

Who Died For You?

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (I Corinthians 1:13 NIV)

In the never-ending battle over which religion or denomination is the most important, this question should actually end all discussion. Who died for you that you might have life and that more abundantly?

As great as some of the founders of various denominations may have been–none of them were appointed to die as atonement for man’s sins, but Jesus.

None of the separatists–those who pulled away from the original “doctrine that Jesus promoted” have been able to say, “through their death, mankind is saved” for all eternity.

If we look carefully at each of the “religious dogmas” we find error and confusion and reason to debate.

Peter could not have been the “rock” upon which Catholic doctrine (regarding non-marriage for priests) was established since he was married (Matthew 8:14). The doctrine was established out of need to control and an inability to comprehend what Paul was saying.

Martin Luther did not die for mankind’s sins.

Buddha did not die for mankind’s sins.

Mohammad did not die for mankind’s sins.

John Wesley did not die for mankind’s sins.

This list could go on and on, but the point here is–to make people aware that we must pay attention to who we reverence and why. God has always used “people” to accomplish His will, but that doesn’t mean we should give “the people” the place of honor that does not belong to them.

Though greatness is determined by those who affix the title–none of them–died that we might have life.

And this was the warning Paul was giving–though we have respect for those who do great things, we cannot give them the place of honor that only belongs to Jesus Christ. When we attempt to put “mere men” upon pedestals, chaos and confusion reign since those men (or women) are just as imperfect as the rest of us.

So, rather than argue and debate which religion is greater or which leader is the most revered, let’s focus on the One, True founder of our faith (if we say we are followers of Christ) and give Him the honor and reverence that is due Him and no one else. How can we say we believe in God and not believe that He came down from heaven in the person of Jesus Christ, clothed in flesh, like a mere man in order to save us from ourselves, with the ultimate sacrifice of His life on the cross?

He is the reason for this season–His birth, death, burial, and resurrection–all made possible by His love for us. Who else could make this claim?