Sitting In Darkness!

Sitting In Darkness!

This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. Isaiah 42:5-8 NIV

Darkness–a void–without light or hope

Understanding only what is told–to fear,

Keeping the scales in place over eyes,

Undermining what was once held dear.

Darkness has no power to drive out light,

But light reveals what’s held in darkness,

Whether it attitudes or skeletons in closets,

When light is shown upon self, then others,

Or others shining light for all to see–

What really are the hidden discrepancies,

Keeping us from seeing, knowing Truth.

While in darkness we once walked,

Committing sin, living ungodly lives,

When The Light entered our hearts,

He changed our minds and how we talked.

The Light, the Bright Morning Star,

Looked down through the years and saw

Our struggles in life with sin, He determined,

Thinking back and from afar, that love and light,

Expels darkness and sinful desires, beating flesh

Into submission, igniting faith and desire to please

Him and only Him, so darkness would not prevail.

Come out of the darkness–that dark hold of despair,

Into The Marvelous Light and do what Jesus does,

Love and in His Love, there is none who compare.

Drop The Rocks!

Drop The Rocks!

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:3-11 NIV

Sin is sin–no matter what act a person commits and the Bible is very specific about the acts of sin–any deliberate act that opposes God’s Word.

Being stupid or “extremely careless” is not a crime. If being stupid was a crime, there wouldn’t be enough room in Texas, Florida, or California to hold all the stupid people. In fact, there would probably be more people locked up than free and then what would happen to our economy and military?

We tend to cry foul about some things because we want to draw attention to ourselves–especially those running for elected positions. How many times have we seen and heard–public outcry from politicians about the behavior of one and then have the tides turned upon them and all the cameras were facing them–for the same judgment–the same thing they were quick to condemn others for? I could take the time to list them, but it would be pointless–and their misdeeds are a matter of public record so anyone can search for them.

The point to all of this is–the FBI cleared Clinton of any criminal intent–saying she was “extremely careless” (which amounts to being stupid), but had not committed any crimes. Therefore, all those crying foul–should be silent a moment and think about their own lives and see if they, too should be indicted for being stupid.

Not one person reading this blog–unless they had access to all the facts–is in a position to judge the situation–not the director’s decision or Clinton’s actions. Anything and everything we say–including her opponents in this election cycle–is a matter of speculation and opinion and our opinions matter not–when facts are more important.

Of course, the media won’t let this rest because it’s a matter of ratings–who can be more sensational than another station or newspaper. I don’t care what anyone else says, “extremely careless” is not a condemnation, but a reprimand and there is a difference in the definition of the words. But we understand–the stronger the language used–the more abhorrent the act seems–and everybody is picking up their rocks to throw.

Think about it–if you’ve ever done anything stupid, or were “extremely careless” about a decision or act–negligent if you will–drop your rocks. I can guarantee that anyone crying foul and wants to see her indicted, will soon have the cameras on them–facing possible indictments for real crimes–not imagined ones. History–always repeats itself–and when we don’t learn from history–we keep making the same foolish decisions.

Drop your rocks and think about your own life and then determine within yourself–that you will seek wisdom before speaking–or judging another with opinions and not facts.

Without God in The Midst!

Without God in The Midst!

“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the LORD, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace. Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes, everyone will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace.” Isaiah 30: 1-5 NIV

Seeking understanding to explain what’s happening in our society today, we see in The Word, there is truly nothing new under the sun.

Then, as now, whenever people sought “other people or places” as a means to change things for the better–without God, they inevitably made a mess of things and people ended up in worse shape than they were in from the beginning.

Looking at Pharaoh–the iconic symbol for government–one in a position of ruling the government and Egypt as the seat of government--we see the parallels that exist in our system of government–supposedly a democracy, but its foundation of lies and hypocrisy leads us to where we are today.

If we seek salvation from a president–we delude ourselves; especially if that person does not know God and cannot make decisions for us based upon The Word. If we seek deliverance from all the woes we see–economic distress, political unrest, and a general lack of respect for others–we waste our time expecting relief or change from a place–namely Washington, DC–the seat of government.

Without consulting God–we can do nothing worthwhile and we are like the proverbial ship without a sail and doomed to fail at all we do.

Without consulting God–Supreme Court Justices openly defy and alter God’s plan for mankind–making a mockery of the first institution established by God–marriage.

Without consulting God–legislators decided to remove prayer and kick God out of the schools, leaving the door open for the devil to create havoc and chaos for all.

Without consulting God–our current President endorses predatory behavior by claiming that anyone can use any bathroom–“whatever they feel like they are.”

Without consulting God–we the people–by popular proclamation–are considering electing people who have not consulted God–to benefit the people.

Since God is not being consulted–for any number of things–we open ourselves to the consequences of sin–heaped upon sin.

Any time, people–from times past to the present–have proceeded to plan anything without God being in the midst--we leave ourselves prey to all the evil the enemy has planned and then we wonder why–things are falling apart all around us. It is no mystery that the world is headed in the wrong direction, for we’re looking for deliverance from people, and not God.

It’s time for us to head in the right direction, but that can only happen when we allow God’s plans to unfold in our lives. And the only way we can know God’s Plans is to get into His Word, seek His Wisdom, and do things–His Way!

Wickedness and Strange Weather!

Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. Proverbs 14:9 NIV

The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. Proverbs 14:11 NIV

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 NIV

The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs. Proverbs 14:14 NIV

The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. Proverbs 14:16 NIV

Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction. Proverbs 17:19 NIV

No matter how many times or how many ways we see in God’s Word the warnings about sin, some still tend to ignore the consequences.

In fact, our society has become mockers of sin because they do not believe that sin has consequences simply because they don’t believe God. The truth is about to overtake us and many will see what sin achieves.

God is not blind, deaf or forgetful. He does not change His Word or His intent for mankind simply to appease the whim of men’s thinking. Everything He called sin, is still sin and no matter what men and women do–sin in God’s sight is still sin.

The problem is people tend to mistake lust for love and think God is fooled. God is love and He knows better than any of us what love does and what love does not do. Love is not lust and lust is not love.

Love only wants the best for all involved yet lust only wants to satisfy a feeling for the moment.

Love steers people onto the path of doing the right thing at all times.

Lust steers emotion and physical need along the path of satisfaction at any cost.

The bottom line that many may not want to acknowledge is that in the end, God has the last word and when we refuse to accept correction and get back on the path of righteousness, He removes His hand of protection and we get what we get.

The unusual weather is simply a sign of God’s displeasure with our behavior and greed. When making money is more important than preserving resources, we have problems as we see with the effects of global warming.

The disregard for the safety for the vulnerable is about to explode and the courts will be filled with lawsuits, but lives will be changed forever because of a few who chose not to see the danger of not thinking or seeking the wisdom of God.

Whenever we choose to ignore God and do what we want to do, subscribing to that old adage, “If it feels good, do it,” we open the door to the evil that is constantly lurking on the other side.

How do we avoid the consequences of sin? That’s easy. We seek God and obey His Word and promote His goodness to others. It’s not rocket science; it is simply living by faith in His Word.

Choosing Truth!

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15,15 NIV

Making choices is a daily task and having an opportunity to choose didn’t begin with us, but continues with us.

How many choices do we make on a daily basis? For some, too many to count and for others, too few to matter –they would think. We choose what we’re wearing, how we start our day (acknowledging God or not), we choose to either breakfast or not, we choose to be good and kind or not, we choose to be helpful and compassionate or not. We choose to live a life that’s pleasing to God or not. We choose–not God!

Everything that we “DO” is a choice! We can choose to live righteously or in opposition to God’s Word–it is a choice–as is all active, deliberate behavior.

Now, some naysayers would say there are some things that are not a choice and they are right. None of us has ever chosen our parents. None of us has ever chosen the race or ethnicity into which we were born. None of us has ever chosen our intellectual ability at birth (many choose to enhance with education). None of us has ever chosen our gender at birth (though some are not choosing to rearrange God’s perfection).

But now notice–what said earlier “ALL ACTIVE, DELIBERATE BEHAVIOR” is a choice and no one can deny that truth.  All sexual behavior on the part of the adult who is supposed to know better is a choice. Engaging children in sexual behavior is criminal and the choice of sick-minded deviants. Whether straight, gay, bi-sexual or whatever label a person chooses--any sexual activity in opposition to God’s Word is SIN and it is a choice people make.

However, while this blog post is not about sexual sin, explicitly–it is about choosing Truth. We can choose to follow God and obey or not. It is our choice. What we have to remember is the consequences of our choices and they are not all good. Even when we obey, bad things happen to good people, but if God has designed it–the results will be good. But when people disobey God, they only have coming to them what’s due for disobedience. Though man may attempt to change God’s Truth in order to pacify the masses, those responsible for making Truth a lie will reap the consequences of their choices.

As we are reminded in Revelation about the lake of fire–while we yet live we have a choice to make and any who choose not to serve The Lord will reap their place in the lake of fire. Take a minute to reflect upon what has been said today–if you know The Lord, serve Him with gladness and know your reward awaits you. If you know others who don’t know The Lord, please share this post with them so they will have time to make an intelligent choice that will save them from the lake of fire. Choosing Truth is the only way to live without regret.

The Truth Leaves Us Naked!

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Hebrews 10:26,27 NIV

Going back to the garden of Eden, when Satan manipulated Eve with deception, twisting God’s Truth, both Adam and Eve were left aware of their nakedness because of sin. Before the fall, they were naked but not aware of their nakedness because of their obedience–they were pure in heart.

Truth exposes lies–no matter who’s telling the lie–when the truth is known–the lie is exposed and they are left feeling naked without their cloak–the lie intentionally meant to cover up truth.

There is no excuse for someone lying to cover up truth–eventually–truth will find its way to the surface and all lies are exposed for all to see. So why bother to lie in the first place?

Many people lie to hide something or to avoid something. The problem–avoidance causes more problems and lies are always uncovered. The Word tells us that Satan is the father of lies, so every time we lie–we proclaim Satan is our father. Who really wants to claim Satan as their spiritual father? Only those who are so deeply influenced by him that they fail to see truth.

Who has been persuaded or influenced by Satan’s lies? Anyone who claims that sin is no longer sin lies and the truth is not in them. Anyone who encourages people to live in opposition to God’s Word is a liar and they demonstrate the influence of their father. Anyone who lies to make themselves to be something they are not or to promote themselves when they are nothing, demonstrates their lack of integrity and who their father is.

If  a person does not know truth, that’s one thing. But when we know truth and continue to perpetuate a lie, we have made a mockery of the Work on the Cross. Jesus is coming back one day, but not to sacrifice Himself again for our sins. When we continue in sin after knowing truth, we have condemned ourselves and we know the penalty of sin–death–first spiritually and then naturally, spending eternity in the lake of fire, prepared for liars.

We who have experienced God for ourselves know Truth and everything we do should demonstrate our knowledge of Truth. We cannot condone lying for any reason nor should we attempt to hide truth with lies perpetuated by others. When we lack integrity–and liars lack integrity–why would anyone trust us for any reason? If people don’t trust us, why would they listen to us? If they won’t listen to us, how can we convince them of God’s goodness? Lying has its consequences and none of it is good.

Instead lying about things, let’s just expose ourselves by telling the truth and then the world will know, we can be trusted and heard because we are living examples of Truth and God’s Word.

On The Journey–RESH!

Consider my affliction and deliver me,
For I do not forget Your law.

Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.

Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.

Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD;
Revive me according to Your judgments.

Many are my persecutors and my enemies,
Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies.

I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,
Because they do not keep Your word.

Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.

The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:153-160 NKJV

The 20th letter and stanza–continued recognition of the need to keep God’s Word and awareness of how others fare when they don’t.

When we have the Word hidden in our hearts and have a desire to please God, things change on the inside of us--we are forever mindful of our need for God in our lives and we should be disgusted with the ways of those who live in opposition with God’s Word. Now, “disgusted” is a little strong, but the intent serves a purpose.

Every Believer should be disgusted with sin–when we see it in others and in ourselves. We should hate sin with enough diligence to want to see it eradicated–never to be seen again; but we should never hate the sinner.

How do we separate the sin from the sinner? Sin is an act or action that is contrary to God’s Word; the sinner is the person committing the act. God hates sin and so should we; but He loves the sinner and so should we.

If God hated sinners–where would we be? Lost in our sin–hated and tainted by others. It is God’s mercy, and enduring kindness that has brought us into a knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live–not that we were so good, but that we all–at one time–were headed in the wrong direction. But His love–sees beyond our faults and brings us to a place where we are able to realize our potential–the purpose He has for our lives.

Throughout this Psalm, the writer refers to himself–always in need of God’s direction and grateful for His statues and precepts–understanding His purpose in our lives. And though it appears that the writer is scornful of the wicked, he also intercedes on their behalf when he points out their shortcomings and acknowledges God’s lovingkindness.

What we should not miss is that no matter how many times or ways others tried to destroy him, persecuted him, and taunted him for keeping God’s Word, he stood firm.

Can we say the same? Or do we allow the enemy to entangle us with the deeds of the wicked by responding in kind when we are mistreated? Are we able to rise above the fray in the midst of a torrent of hatefulness directed at us and say, “Lord, I love to keep Your Word?”

I am reminded of the current political climate in which we see more kindergarten attitudes than maturity in the mudslinging. I am so tired of politicians who have no platform–nothing to say about their own strengths, but are always in “attack mode.” If this is the best we can do, Heaven help us all!

And while we wait for His glorious return-we pray-and continue to praise God for His goodness and for loving us enough to bring us into the knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live.

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?

Forewarned Accountability!

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 3:17-19 NIV

The role of watchman–to warn people to change before they are consumed by their own acts–is the same today as it was then. God is yet speaking to people, warning them to tell others to “change course” and seek Him and when we do not speak as God speaks, He will hold us accountable for what happens to others. When we do speak what He speaks and people ignore us, they are responsible and held accountable for their actions, not us for forewarning them.

When loving parents instruct, guide, and set boundaries for their children, it is to keep them safe from harm. But if the children ignore the instructions and do what they want to do, they are responsible for the consequences of their actions. However, if children come to harm and parents have never provided them with any guidance, it is the parents who are responsible and should be held accountable for their negligence.

For it is negligent–on the part of anyone–to see a dangerous situation and not warn others. It is negligent to know that ignoring instruction and rules could lead to other problems. It is negligent to know truth and allow people to believe a lie, without warning them of the consequences of their actions.

We live in a society where many are afraid to speak truth–about any situation–because they do not want to offend others or get on their wrong side. That’s amazing to me. People are more concerned about offending mere mortals than they are about offending God. When we do wrong, no matter what the wrong is–we must be willing to accept the consequences for our actions. Whether it is the president of the United States or the president of another entity; whether it is the justices of the Supreme Court or the judges in the lower courts; whether it is the pastor of the church or the congregants of the church–wrong is wrong–and God makes no distinctions between sin or those who commit the sin.

Lying is sin. Circumventing authority is sin. Being a pot-stirrer–always trying to stir up emotions in people in a negative way is sin. Having respect of persons is sin. We tend to pay more attention to sexual sin than other sin, but sin is sin and there are consequences for it all.

If we only concerned with pleasing God, the likelihood of our being held accountable for what others do significantly decreases, but their accountability remains the same. We are accountable for what we do and don’t do–especially when we are forewarned and refuse to speak what God tells us to say.

Reading some of my fellow-bloggers lets me know that they understand the role of accountability and I count it a joy to be found in that number–a watchman not afraid to speak God’s Truth as He reveals it to me. I pray more people will realize the importance of speaking God’s Truth instead of trying to promote our own as it pertains the end results for all. I certainly don’t want the blood of anyone else on my hands.

Is It Time, Yet?

“Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. I said to myself, God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” (Ecclesiastes 3:15,17 NIV)

Most Believers who actually study The Word know the beginning of this chapter–a time for everything–and we often quote it in the midst of things we don’t understand, but know that God has a purpose in allowing everything we experience to happen. But when we become familiar with certain passages of scripture, do we keep reading and wondering what was on Solomon’s mind or for that matter, any of the others to whom God spoke?

God–who is without beginning or end–infinite in mercy and grace–who created all things knows that since the beginning of time–people would continue to do what has already been done–for there is truly nothing new–about the character of human beings–that God has not seen. We–who have only been around for a specified amount of time–have been allowed to see some things–some which amaze us and some which appall us, but we see them nonetheless.

We are amazed with the technological advances of men–whose minds have been ignited and imaginations fueled into creation of things not seen before by us, but where were we when God inspired those of ancient times to build irrigation systems and engineer buildings that are yet standing? The same God who inspired the ancients will inspire any and all who are willing to hear Him and for those who have never understood that inspiration–we will continue to be amazed.

We are appalled at the violence and societal decay that leaves such a stench that many of us can hardly breathe without inhaling the malodorous aura of a civilization rotting from the core of its being. This is nothing new! Civilizations have time after time–created havoc with God’s plan and He allowed it so they would see the devastation they wreaked upon themselves. We have but to look at history–and how men who seek power over others because of greed–always decimate the masses and themselves in their folly.

Many people were (and still are) up-in-arms about the decision of the Supreme Court Justices who apparently have no understanding of history repeating itself and certainly do not demonstrate having a relationship with God. None of what we experience is new to God–He’s seen it all before and in His timing–He has dealt with all of it. Most of those who choose to live in opposition to God’s Word do not like the reference to Sodom and Gomorrah, but the truth of the matter is–they were not the only cities destroyed because of sexual sin, or any other sins and neither will they be–the only cities/regions destroyed because of sin.

When we choose to sin and then blatantly flaunt sin–we set ourselves up for judgment here on earth--and then comes the determination of our eternity–at the throne of God. At any given time–we will see the consequences of our actions–before Jesus returns. And if we see with spiritual insight as He reveals it to us–we see it now.

So, in His timing–the world–people from all walks of life, who operate in various roles and practice numerous religions–all will see God’s wrath poured upon the earth and some–as in times past–will remain to share the experience with others for not all will perish–God must have a witness until it is time for His return to exact the final judgment upon the righteous and sinner alike. The question we must ask ourselves–is it time, yet?