Category Archives: change

Trade-in Exchange

TRADE-IN EXCHANGE

There are many people who cannot see themselves being at all religious.

It just doesn’t ‘float their boat’.

They have a mental concept of what being religious means, and it just doesn’t appeal.

They haven’t taken the time to find out what true, pure religion is.

James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

James tells us (as above) what true, pure religion is.

But this is one verse in the bible – we must incorporate all of scripture in any conclusions we come to – on a given subject. That’s why we must search and study it.

A short post in a blog is unable to do this.

Religion is not a favourite word of mine, as it can mean all kinds of things that has nothing to do with the true meaning.

But true Christianity begins with a trade-in experience.

We exchange our life for – Christ’s Living tangible Presence, – that we experience when He comes to dwell in us.

John 14

17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

God is a Spirit and He is omnipresent. He is everywhere. But He is not with or in everyone  in a relationship sense.

He must be invited into your life and mine if such a relationship is to start and continue.

He must be invited in.

Those who have invited Him in – in the Person of The Lord Jesus Christ – now must live their life by inviting Him also into every part of their thinking, and invite Him into their circumstances good or bad.

Our part of the deal is to trade-in our selfish, sinful nature and ask Him into our lives to live His divine nature in us.

This calls for a giving-up and a giving-in.

Prayer is where the transaction takes place.

Talk to God. Invite Him in. Ask Him to take the nature that causes all your pain, and replace it with Himself.

Acts 3

19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,…

Not getting through

NOT GETTING THROUGH

Now there ain’t much extra I can say

Cause I’ve been talking since the beginning of May

You’re a mystery and I can’t catch the full picture anyway

At least that’s – what I now feel to say

 

The other full picture is far far away beyond the clouds

The clouds of more than night and day

And as I mystically stand to pray

You are out the door – hurriedly on your way

 

And when we meet up again you don’t engage

When I speak – you say:

 “I don’t wish to know that – kindly leave the stage”

I’m – taken aback by your coldness – I feel under siege

 

You want to say destructive things

While a posy of peace is what I bring

You don’t hear a word of my attempt to assuage

The anger you are dishing out like some kind of plague

 

Your human heart is seized-up and bound

All packed together and hard as the dusty ground

To disentangle the fishing line – best to start in your prime

All confused and fussed-up and breaking down

 

Try to get some help as you let out another yelp

And I dash for your shoulders to keep you on your feet

I knew there was a purpose in my words as we meet

Eventually you have to listen –

you think my spoken words are deep

 

At least we have become half-friends

We might never meet again

I give you a piece of paper with some kind of message

Plus my address – email – telephone –

but still you won’t let me – meet your need

 

I put my arm around you one more time

Look you in the eye and see everything’s still not fine

You half heard all I had to say

There’s love waiting when you get back

I hope you find peace and get on the right spiritual track

You ran well…

You ran well…

Galatians 5:7-9 (NKJV)

7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Paul the apostle is addressing the believers in Galatia.

‘You ran well’ he reminds them.

Followers of Christ have a personal relationship with Him – through prayer.

And all Christians at some point in their experience will fail to ‘run well’.

Shortcomings will ‘take over’, to hinder the race they are called to run.

The conscientious, must quickly return to their advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the righteous. (I John 2/1)

The whole epistle to the Galatians should be greatly appreciated by all believers. As it warns us of the dangers of falling into legalism and dead religion.

In a nutshell the problem is that the believer ends up with their eyes totally on themselves and no longer on The Lord Jesus.

I’ve been there, and can smell – a mile away – the grave clothes of legalism resulting in morbid introspection, a sense of constant failure, and the curse of the law. (Gal. 3/10-13)

In my early Christian walk, I too went through a period of bewitchment (Gal. 3/1). But Jesus set me free again!

Paul talks here of ‘persuasion’.

They, the Galatians, were persuaded and drawn-away from the true gospel. They had a form of godliness, but where not experiencing the presence of The Holy Spirit as they should.

That’s why, Paul asks them this question in a later chapter: 

Galatians 3:2

This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

God wants us to simply believe and act on our belief, in humility and adoration of the King of kings.

Always returning to communion with the lover of our souls.

I suppose we all run our race, at a different pace than fellow Christians.

At times we all become spiritually lethargic and need a fresh spiritual impetus.

We must never forget and always act upon God’s offered acceptance and forgiveness in The Saviour.

He is exactly what He says He is. And His mercy endures forever.

To arrest an advertising slogan – (God is) and does exactly what it says on the tin.

Be encouraged to take Him at His word and act upon it!

John 6:37

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

 

The Great Exchange

THE GREAT EXCHANGE

There is a saying: God wants us to be spiritually natural and naturally spiritual.

Now that can be open to different interpretations.

But what I believe it should mean is:

God wants us to be spiritual without being weird. God wants us to walk close to Him in spiritual union – but we are free to enjoy life and the things that go with every day living.

Maybe a list of what I mean would be an idea?

Walking in nature, enjoying a well prepared meal, enjoying music, good humour (that is not at the expense of a friend), literature of a wholesome kind, family life, your own idea of what fits the hobby category (although I always think the word hobby is a poor description of something we really enjoy).

But in all of these things we are called by God to – ‘seek first His kingdom…’.

To put the spiritual side of life – first. When we do, we will, with peace of mind and conscience be then free to enjoy the natural things.

Certain ones in past generations had dwindled spirituality down to rigid rules.

In my culture if you didn’t drink alcohol, sleep around, go to the cinema, gamble and if you refrain from washing the car on Sunday – you had made it.

Failing to realise that you hadn’t started. God wanting us to change inside first, not outside first.

I am so thankful that the Christian’s life is all about EXCHANGE – exchanging our life for His.

As He comes to the welcoming heart – we yield ourselves to Him.

I like the old saying: ‘I can’t – but you can – thank you that you will’.

Christ in us the hope of glory.

Paul tells us – he died daily. Meaning the great exchange takes place every time we pray. Exchanging our life for His.

31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Faith says “I can’t do this Lord, please take over and supply your Life-giving Spirit and live your life in and through me…”

1 Corinthians 15:45

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a lifegiving spirit.

 

Matter of Life and Death

Matter of Life and Death

It’s a matter of life and death

We are bereft of life and know death

If we do not move from our present position

Death reigns in us – if life we forsake

When all calamity encompasses us round about

We are left struggling in despair and doubt

Faith will arise only when the gift is given

Not faith in our surmise

But faith when we are forgiven

The gift is in the fog of our own reason

Seeking to find us amidst our armed resistance

We totter on the brink of further despair

We do not know where we err

We go about in stedfast iron-curtain mode

Can’t find the door through reasons-wall

But the gift is offered: faith in the One to come

Faith in the Messiah – faith in the Only Begotten Son

Questions answered

QUESTIONS ANSWERED

The answers to all the questions a person might have, regarding Christianity, can be found in The Bible.

A lot of questions are answered directly, but if not, then indirectly.

Because of one particular truth, we can have insight into another.

Life is full of questions, especially about the hereafter. The answers are either crystal clear in the Bible, or shrouded in mystery.

Some questions are difficult to answer, others simple.

A lot of us get stumped regarding such hereafter questions, and indeed questions on how to behave and what to believe in – in this life – never mind the one to come.

Then also, people’s spiritual experiences differ from person to person. Differ, either in kind, or in intensity.

Many are either confused or open to everything and anything under the ‘spiritual’ label, going astray in their desperate quest for the right and real thing. The real McCoy as we say.

Some gullible, fall prey to evil disguised as good, attaching themselves to some ‘ulterior motive-type’ cult.

We need to exercise great caution about what we ‘sign up to’ spiritually.

Yet we can close ourselves – out of hand – to anything ‘spiritual’, without due consideration and proper search/research.

Perhaps one of the most common reasons that non-Christian folks do not entertain the gospel message, is because of the failure of it’s adherents.

All sincere Christians who are found confessing Christ as their Saviour, wish that it were true, that they lived as perfectly as others expect them too, because of the profession and confession they are often heard verbalising to others, in the hope that they too might become followers.

Christians with their imperfections and shortcomings, are a hindrance to others believing in Christ. The reasoning of the unbelievers can go something like this:

“You call yourself a Christian, but you are clearly a hypocrite, that doesn’t practice what you preach and yet lay on others…”

In response to this reasoning, we can say that there is sincere failure, and hypocritical failure.

But the whole good news premise of the gospel is that: yes we will fail daily, but we find forgiveness and acceptance through genuine confession of sin.

It is often true that the most difficult person to forgive is oneself.

In a particular incident the very thing that Christ’s audience accused Him of and rejected Him for – was the very thing He did for the wholeness of mankind. (Matthew 9):

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”

And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”

But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.

So God being willing to forgive was shunned. God in Christ standing before them was unrecognised and rejected.

So the true Christian, very much aware of his own sins, has come to Christ and asked for forgiveness. Christ Jesus is faithful and willing to forgive, regardless of how many times we drop the ball, whether in a major or minor way.

But because we profess to Follow Jesus Christ, – others simply want to reject us because something is missing in our ‘performance’, in their eyes.

We don’t conform exactly to their expectations. We may have idiosyncrasies, not necessarily to do with morality, we may worship in a manner not appealing to them. We may have made a real mistake and are post-forgiveness, but they will never forget it, and hold it against us. They may hear of something in our pre-Christian believing life, and they hold this against us still.

Others pick on minor faults that we still have, to justify themselves in their rejection of Christ and His message.

Christians availing themselves of God’s unmerited favour and finding forgiveness when they fail – and yes sometimes though failing miserably – need to know in whom they have believed. And realise that:

Romans 8:31

[ God’s Everlasting Love ] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

If God the supreme judge of the universe is willing to forgive us, we can with Paul humbly say:

1 Corinthians 4:2-4 King James Version (KJV)

2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

There is a time when we must stand in the confidence of sins forgiven and in God’s promises, regardless of what others might think of us or hold against us.

This privilege have those who truly and sincerely give their lives over to the God-man Christ Jesus, who will ever – be lovingly correcting us, but has totally accepted us – when we accept Him as Lord of our lives.

Proverbs 24/16

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,

But the wicked stumble in time of disaster and collapse.

 

 

The Cross

The Cross 

Matthew 10/34

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,

    a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

36 

    a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

Taken on face value this statement by The Lord Jesus Christ – is strange.

It might be wrongly concluded that He is a divider of families and friends. Out to break up homes and marriages etc.

But of course the sword referred to here, has to be the Word of God.

Hebrews 4/12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The dividing that takes place is the dividing of the spiritual from the natural. Those who want God’s right ways, and who stand on His Word – will find opposition from those who prefer the natural realm only. The realm of their own ways, rather than the Way of The Lord.

It is firstly a challenge to those who have already decided to go God’s spiritual way – when they encounter their own natural ways within themselves to begin with – and struggle with themselves never mind relatives.

The Sword of The Spirit of God pierces our own lives to cause us to turn to and embrace God’s superior ways.

But in the course of doing so – and increasingly so on the earth at this time – we will rub shoulders daily with those who prefer their own ways. Even amongst our families and closest relatives we will find them opposing this Word of God.

Consequently Jesus warns us beforehand that division will result.

Not because He is the author of such division – but as the author of all truth – the conflict arises and the division occurs because others will disagree with His ways, and therefore oppose those who stand for it.

How we need to be united as families. How we need to care for our families. The family unit is paramount in society, and it is being eroded constantly by the powers of darkness.

Nevertheless good versus evil, truth versus lies, and so on – and the call goes out: “who is on The Lord’s side…” (cpr. Joshua 24/15)

It will be that families will be divided by the differences in whom we choose to serve.

In the middle of what Paul is saying in Galatians chapter 5 – we pick out a short statement:

…Then the offence of the cross has ceased….

The cross is an offence to those who don’t want to know what it all means, choosing their own thinking above the Word of God.

Because they take offence at the preaching of the cross – they stand in opposition to it, and consequently to those who believe the message of the cross.

The message of the cross and all that it means, is the only salvation for mankind.

Peace

PEACE 

ROMANS 10/

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,

Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

My feet I think it’s safe to say – are not beautiful. Nevertheless my hammer-toes feet can take me to a place where people worship, or the highways and by-ways where I can share the gospel. My feet suddenly are saw to be beautiful if I share the gospel.

In previous posts I hope I say it like it is. Say it like it is – concerning this old world we are living in.

Affirming that we do not need to look far to see the mess.

But what do we read here (above)?

…the gospel of peace,

Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Gospel means good news. The Gospel is a message. A good news message.

A good news message offering peace. We have all heard the saying: “Peace be with you”.

And of course there is no peace without the peace-giver. No spiritual peace that is.

When the irate father rebukes his child and shouts: “Give my head peace!”, and the child subsequently remains silent. You could say the father’s head has found peace.

But of course this is not a true description of Peace.

There are other glad tidings mixed in with this message of peace. The Christian gospel is a message carried by beautiful feet to those who will listen, i.e. to those who realise there is a problem and the message is sent to cure it. Otherwise the feet of the message carriers, have an aroma of death…

16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.

Those desiring true spiritual life welcome the refreshing message of sins forgiven to all receivers of Christ. Sweet sounding feet indeed.

 There are many ways to try and acquire peace of mind, peace of spirit but only Christ supplies true peace – He gives peace to the human heart.

We are made that way, i.e. made to need this peace. It is a peace that is difficult to describe to those who are in turmoil and have not as yet experienced it – and that’s because it is a PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING’ –

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This peace comes when the conscience comes into line with Christ’s forgiveness, and by faith we take Him at His word, receiving His peace for the forgiveness of confessed sin.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

This gospel of peace brings news of this peace that passes understanding. But it is to be experienced to be fully appreciated, as it is not just the understanding of it’s existence that confirms it – but actually allowing God to impart it to us.

Sin destroys and is synonymous with death. It can be pleasurable, but only for a short time, as the conscience will raise it’s objections to it, and there is only one way to silence those objections – through the forgiveness of God offered to us all, if we will turn away from sin and turn to Christ.

The conscience can operate instantly before we misbehave or with delayed reaction, after we have sinned, if ignored in exchange for the pleasure of sin for a season, it will return and smite us.

I know what it is to be ‘smitten’ for my mistakes many times, but after failing – I have turned to Christ and He has imparted His peace again, to the satisfaction of my inner need.

If we ignore Christ speaking to our conscience, we can eventually end up fitting this description:

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

But the conscience (if not seared) can also lie dormant until awakened by Jesus Christ.

With a dormant conscience, folks either don’t see there is a problem – or set about solving the problem by telling themselves “I’m a good person”.

What they mean is their intentions would be – to be good.

Other folks quickly find fault with them, find things that are not so good, and there is a vice-versa reciprocation in such exercises, and suddenly it isn’t enough to want to be a good person.

God says ‘There is none good but God…’

We are told to worship God ‘in the beauty of holiness’.

And holiness is of The Lord.

Holiness never gets a mention in the vocabulary of post-modernism. There is largely never talk of becoming more holy, except when comedians or playwrights want (as they seem to always want) to mock ‘Holier than thou’ Pharisaism. So that becomes their total perception of what Christianity is.

In order to find Christian Peace – we need to recognise where the cause of all disturbance in the human frame comes from.

It comes from that mysterious ‘virus’ called sin.

The reason that the feet of those who carry the gospel message are beautiful is [to quote scripture again]:-

Ephesians. 6/15

…and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

It is the good news of the gospel of peace to all who will receive it and it’s author – Christ Jesus Himself.

Therefore my desire is that all would know…

Ephesians 1/2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Out of the frying pan…

Out of the frying pan…

I recently listened to four individuals on YouTube sharing their stories publicly in front of an audience.

Two shared their unrelated stories about being in – and leaving – a cult

The other two shared about addiction. One guy was addicted to pornography. The other girl suffered from bulimia, alcoholism and drug abuse.

One common denominator characterised the four, they each confessed/related how they had left…

Left the cult or the habitual dependence.

One thing I noticed was that they did not spend time telling us what they had found to replace what they had left.

Just the very fact of leaving behind their situation or lifestyle, seemed to be enough to celebrate.

If someone has worn handcuffs for months – there is bound to be a great sense of relief and freedom when those handcuffs are removed. There is nothing to take the place of the handcuffs – except the freedom of release. And surely it is enough.

What they do with their free hands is now the anticipated ongoing story.

Two of these victims of cult abuse, found freedom from what they unfortunately referred to as Evangelical fundamentalist Christianity.

Why unfortunately you might ask? Well because the label blackens the true meanings of the words.

How quickly we can throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to labels.

To hear their stories produces empathetic responses from any right minded ‘common sense’ endued public – listening to such stories.

They elicited readily a similar response from me.

But there was no mention of the ‘real thing’ – true biblical Christianity.

Cults can rise from all religions, where misrepresentation of said religions can run rampant.

Anyone adhering to what is commonly referred to as a ‘religion’, will usually be very slow to doubt their ‘fundamental’ beliefs – all ‘religions’ have these foundational doctrines.

So any word can either be heard for what it really refers to  or can be heard through the biased sieve of those to whom that word means something else.

The something else being certain behaviour that they associate immediately with that word, without giving the word a second thought, and accepting that it may in fact mean something else in a different context.

Thus out goes the baby with the bathwater, and everyone is tarred with the same  brush, the brush that ‘they’ associate with a given word.

I’m thinking of such words as ‘evangelical’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘christianity’, which happen to be the words used by those who were telling of their escape from a particular cult.

The immediate impression given (without them trying to present an alternative) is that all of Christianity is a cult, or that ‘evangelical’ is synonymous with manipulation cruelty and control. The things that they experienced in the cult.

Whereas nothing could be further from the truth in real Christianity. In fact true evangelicals are the first in line to empathise with what these folks experienced in the cult that gives Christianity a bad name.

Truth is – these cults were Christianity without Christ.

Without Christ, because they were ‘religious’ in the Pharisaical bad sense of the word. They corrupted the word of God – by making it whatever served their selfish ends.

The result is Christianity without Christ Jesus, and the Bible without God in it.

Rules made-up by man adding to the Word of God. Adding to it in order to corrupt it. And imposing their perverted rules in order to dominate the ‘flock’ – i.e. members of the cult.

The following Scripture must be taken in context, but I simply quote it, to emphasise that man can/does corrupt the bible, especially it is the case – in these abhorrent cults.

Revelation 22/

18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Often in these cults – The application of the bible to try to control people’s behaviour or allegiances, is done so without proper understanding of the great balance of truth found in scripture (to say the least).

Cults operate under the influence of a demonic spirit – but all in the name of Christianity.

What’s the result? Many turn-off from even considering the real thing, by virtue of it’s mis-representation by those who lead cults and have no right to call themselves Christian.

These cult leaders misrepresent Christ Jesus manifest by the fruit of their living.

People – bound by the manipulation and control of these pseudo shepherds with their own private, invented, perverted Christianity, – when they get ‘free’ – can allow (if unwise) their pendulum to swing in the opposite direction, understandably I hasten to add. But caution should be exercised that they don’t come out of the frying pan into the fire. Do not shed one set of shackles for another kind.

Don’t celebrate your freedom with a mouthful of swear words because you are now free to say what you like.

Swearing is an interesting subject. It is censored on television until a certain time of the day, yet is freely indulged in afterwards.

So it’s not right for our children to hear – but it’s ok for us to use. (Sounds like hypocrisy to me).

Swearing some will tell us is just ‘words’. But normally someone out to put down, victimise, belittle, reject, dump their anger and threats upon others, look for words suitably appropriate to describe their disgust for their fellow-man, and therefore seek the assistance of expletives. But then tell us they are just words?

Anyway – getting off the subject I realise.

My encouragement to all is to soberly consider the claims of Christ by searching the scriptures for yourself.

Realise there is the false and true in every sphere of life. Don’t settle for anything that falls short of 100% authenticity.

It may take time I know. But seek and you will find!

The Wheat from the Chaff

THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF

The wheat will be sorted from the chaff.

There is coming a day when God will sort out the wheat from the chaff – big style!

But because for many ‘this is pie in the sky bye and bye’ there is no sense of the weightiness of this statement.

They think – 

‘’After all what has changed? Tomorrow I will do this and tomorrow I will do that. God doesn’t bother me and I don’t bother him. Some future judgement – who knows?’’

And so it’s ‘water off a duck’s back’ when someone like me suggests to you that the evil – with participation in the evil remaining unabated, – will some day be judged.

‘Well that’s what you say ‘preacher man’. You are not one of those hell-type people are you?’

Firstly I prefer to be Mr. Logical.

We still have courts and prisons, law enforcement, we mostly are aghast at the crimes being committed, fuelled by greed and corruption. But most folks see the need for punishment regarding the crimes in society – do they not?

And of course ‘most folks’ is not the justification for justice. Justice speaks for itself in a right-minded world. 

Justice and compassion. Stating the obvious – no one can keep the balance in this – better than The Lord Jesus Christ, as He often demonstrated.

So law and order, justice and compassion and forgiveness, acceptable in this present world.

But then to suddenly not get’ punishment for people guilty of gross rebellion against God in the afterlife? For me that defies logic.

We might keep thinking if only they would increase the police force or ban all guns – then suddenly everything would right itself. Ban the guns, ban the bomb, ban racial prejudice, ban political incorrectness, ban drugs, and then see how right everything becomes (?).

Banning all these and things of a similar vein might improve the situation, but it doesn’t cure the ills of society.

We see our world in mental madness. Truth becomes the latest lie and the new definition of lying is when someone else holds another point of view, other than our own.

Presumption without due examination says: “We are right and they are wrong – so they must be liars. (giving us fake news)”

However when we lie – suddenly – there is no such thing as lying?

So Mr. Logical asks: “Do you see any of this?”

Do you see the mess?

When on one of those fair ground helter-skelter ‘contraptions’, nothing stands still – everything becomes a blur of motion, difficult to sort out in our mental comprehensions i.e. where are we going?

There are many analogies we could use to illustrate that ‘it’s a mad mad mad world…’

The average person just gets on with the things at hand. We all must survive. Earn a wage. Keep a house running. Love our kith and kin. Get our fair share of entertainment. Have that holiday once a year. Enjoy culture.

Spiritually speaking? Does it take a lot to move you there? There is so much hypocrisy and self-serving in guilt-ridden religion – right?

So how am I going to sort out the wheat from the chaff in all this?

It begins with an inner need that you and I have. It begins with a long sober look at the world. It begins with self-analysis. It begins with research into the Bible.

It begins with you….

I painted a somewhat unusual triptych painting.

First painting – it depicted someone buried alive – symbolic tears fell, we can imagine how awful that is – to be buried alive.

Next painting – a glimmer of hope as he realised it wasn’t all that deep and the lid of the box began to respond to his pushing up against the covering soil. 

Next painting – liberty – as he crawls out of his underground ‘dungeon’.

Can we apply this to the claustrophobic world of increasingly unbridled immorality – and can it motivate us to crawl out into the arms of The Son of God, as we open ourselves to Him, shedding the dust of sin?

Seeking help through those who already know Him.

There are many who really know Him, who blog on WordPress – talk to someone about getting to know Jesus.

God bless you in your endeavours.

Let’s allow God to sort out the wheat from the chaff in our individual lives.

Matthew 3/12

His winnowing fan (shovel, fork) is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out and clean His threshing floor and gather and store His wheat in His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.

II Peter 1/4

By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

Falling

FALLING

Unfortunately we hear of prominent and not so prominent Christians falling into sin.

We know of those on the front line, presenting themselves as leaders and wanting to please God in all things, who fall into sin. (usually sexual in nature).

Others who are depending on their leadership, are startled and disappointed and feel betrayed.

When this happens it creates the idea that in leadership, there seems to be no one to trust, no one living  according to God’s right way. There seems to be a dearth of victorious Christian Living, starting with leaders.

However we wrestle not against flesh and blood. And those in the front line are first to stand in the gun sights of the devil.

We must first therefore realise this fact, and cover them with prayer.

No one in leadership is any more ‘impenetrable’ than others. They are human and subject to the same like passions as anyone else.

Things of protocol must be put into place and the need to be covered with answerability to a plural leadership of their fellow eldership – lived out practically.

The wicked have drawn the sword

And have bent their bow,

To cast down the poor and needy,

To slay those who are of upright conduct.

We see from these verses who is in line for the ‘roaring lions’ attention – those of upright conduct. (I Peter 5/8)

Often before they fell they were men or women of upright conduct. We often forget quickly the character they have shown, and the good they have accomplished. The body of Christ (the church) killing their own wounded.

At the same time we must keep before us the standard God’s word clearly spells out. And not slide into moral laxity.

There is one paramount way to keep our hearts from the demands of the prince of the power of the air – and it is by having presence of mind to appropriate continuously what the Grace of God has provided.

Our God in calling us to forgive 70×7 per day – gives us a glimpse into the fact that He too will practice what He preaches. Plenteous in mercy and forgiveness.

He will not respond to pretenders however, who think to laughingly avail themselves of this promise of forgiveness, whilst they carry on sinning, as though it was acceptable to do so.

That’s called hypocrisy.

Grace is a revelation. It is a revelation not just for salvation – but that through the grace of God we can LIVE!

Always availing ourselves of His promises and His strength to maintain our hearts in good condition before Him.

Let’s pray for those who have fallen. And if they were in a position of leadership and injured others in their fall, let’s still allow them into fellowship with forgiving embrace – but only where we find the sincerity of humility and true repentance. Otherwise if they continue in sin, we become guilty of bidding them God’s-speed in their misdemeanours.

This calls for good discernment. The bible warns about wolves in sheep’s clothing:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

We shall (we are told) know them (the sincere men and women of God) by their fruits. The actions they take, the attitude they carry, the character they show, their speech, prayer life, fairness, empathy, and so on.

Prayer:

Lord help us to stand dependant on you alone. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

 

…is not tedious?

…is not tedious?

It might be true to say that most of us who write and publish posts, (I haven’t taken a survey to prove the point 😎 ) – forget what we have published and haven’t.

I guess most of us have writings (potential posts) – on stand-by – ready to be used. But if you are like me, you forget whether you posted what is on your desktop or not – and so have to check older posts.

Also – depending on our personalities as we try to objectively view our work – (again I’m surmising) – notice that we have a certain emphases – there are certain opinions or held beliefs we return to often.

This is usually because they are ingrained into our lifestyle and we have proven them to be true and/or are convinced of their importance and that therefore we do others a service by sharing them. 

In the case of Christian writing – there are certain truths that we find essential and foundational and important and we want to keep drawing the attention of others to these truths.

So although perhaps we ever change the angle we come at these truths from – we fundamentally want to say those things again!

I have noticed some of my emphases, just as I have noticed the tendencies/emphases of other writers/bloggers.

Sometimes the artist in me wants to act on the old saying: (it may have originated in some comic TV show, I’m not sure…) “And now for something completely different…”

Poetry allows me to discover, share and explore a wide range of subject matter, from the profound to the ridiculous.

However when it comes to exercising my gifting as a teacher of the Word of Truth – I do find myself returning to the same important truths again and again.

Paul writing to the Philippians says (PHILIPPIANS 3/1):

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 

 NKJV –

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.

He obviously wrote what he thought necessary for their spiritual health and wellbeing – and indeed God has to repeat Himself over and over to us as we are slow of heart to believe, slow at grasping spiritual realities.

But it is true that people look on the surface of things, and are happier with what is immediately ‘grasp-able’. 

Our mental or spiritual inertia slows us down from pursuing, – as though our very lives depended on it – the spiritual dimensions, God calls, all willing-persons into.

But it can be a thankless task to preach what people do not want to hear. Don’t want to hear because such preaching can highlight the need for change, and we can’t face change – “just at the moment thanks…”

People who have gone from one piece of misfortune to another, or who have gone through traumatic experiences or who have gone into the valley of despair, are often the most likely to look for something better, the most likely to desire life-changing answers.

Then there is the ‘God-factor’ (in preaching) the part that God plays in drawing people to Himself. One needs to come to a realisation that God is actually on your case, and wants you to fellowship with Him.

He has ordained that He will draw you to Himself, through preaching. We might (even rightly) conclude that He has chosen a very imperfect means of reaching mankind.

Because there is not a preacher on earth who doesn’t need to listen to preaching himself, in order to embrace change.

Preachers are imperfect persons, but sharing the Word of God as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is a mandate they have received from heaven.

But people easily turn-off, distracted in their minds and preferring something easier, something they are used to. 

Something that brings entertainment instead. It’s easier to hit the like button for things that interest us already or that ‘tickle our fancy’ in some non-threatening or non-challenging way.

There is no end of subject-matter in the scriptures, but there definitely are majorly-important truths that must be given priority.

It is the calling and requirement as ministers of reconciliation to preach the gospel message, and to delve into and share the truths God would have us all to walk in.

If I could partake of God’s unlimited insight and supreme knowledge, for a moment,  I think I would like to know, by receiving a list from His hand – everyone who is at that point in their lives where they are ready to transition from the ‘dead in sin’ state of existence to finding the righteousness of Christ through His life-giving Spirit.

Here’s how the word of God describes that transition, a post-salvation description:

13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Now is this (if you have got this far in the first place) where you now switch off – or will you look into these things, i.e. the things of the gospel of Jesus Christ for yourself to see what you will discover?