Category Archives: faith

True disciples

TRUE DISCIPLES

John 8/31:-
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Christ Jesus is The Word – we must invite Him into our innermost person if we are to abide in Him, – His words abide in us, – and His life giving Holy Spirit is to occupy our innermost being.

So abide in the Word. Best to – read it consistently and often – for that ‘abiding in’ to take place.

Abide in the Word – better stay focussed on this word in order to live it. Allowing it to determine our thoughts, words, and deeds, that too is abiding in it.

Meditate on (not just read) – by so doing the word becomes inwardly digested and gives spiritual strength.

Disciple means learner. Keep reading/meditating, and by so doing, become enabled to- keep learning.

Not just a learner-disciple, but INDEED a true disciple – the real thing. A disciple indeed!

Learning the truth in the word we are abiding in – and the result of all of this – we get to know the truth and that truth sets us free.

A true learner who finds truth and true freedom in Christ the Word.

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.

 

 

You search…

You search…

Someone shared a story with me, some time ago. I will probably get the details wrong, but remember one part of the story. I’m sure someone out there could relate the actual story better than I.

To summarise – it went something like this: Someone bought a piece of land and spent a number of years drilling for oil. All to no avail. So they gave up and sold the land.

A new owner, not long after the purchase, drilled once more and struck black gold, immediately.

Preacher’s could use the story to teach us to ‘never give up’. Others could tell us ‘anything worthwhile takes time and effort’. Yet another could bring out the truth ‘that we need to get below the surface and the obvious – to find the true riches of truth buried in the bible’.

I like that one best.

Proverbs 23/23: Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

The amplified version of the bible gives us this helpful footnote:

The ancient rabbis routinely assumed “truth” to refer to the Torah (Law), and they interpreted the first part of this command to mean that a student should pay a teacher to teach him the Torah if he can find no one to teach him for free. As for the second part, they said that if the student had to pay to learn, he should not view this as grounds to charge for teaching others, but should teach the Torah for free.

But it is possible to be taught the truth and ‘entertain’ it in our lives on a superficial level, rather than giving ourselves – to it – in prayerful meditation, so that we do not fit the category of those described by The Lord Jesus: 

John 5:38-40 King James Version (KJV)

39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Such students find all kinds of truth on some level, but fail to realise that all scripture points to Jesus Christ as the Son of God – to be believed and received as the personification and embodiment of all of God’s truth, and indeed the Saviour of The World.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

All scripture points to the author who revealed it to the hearts of chosen men, who in turn penned it under God’s special visitation and influence.

But also it has the redemptive thread throughout it’s pages from Genesis to Revelation. And to search these books and fail to discover by a living encounter, that Christ is The Living Word, and the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – is to search and miss eternal life. 

Again Jesus said: You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;…’

The point being that this is not enough. But the true searching of the scriptures as God intended – is to encounter Christ:

‘and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

We must come to Him and not just the pages of the book to find eternal life – in/through the pages of the book.

Human effort

HUMAN EFFORT

As human beings our lives consist of three things:

Things we think, things we say, and things we do.

I don’t know of any others – do you? Things we see, hear and smell – yes.

But these – activate the mind or open the mouth or cause the response of action.

As we look back at our lives – have we thought some good thoughts, said some good things, or carried out some good deeds?

In my self-analysis mode – I’m afraid if it were left to me to judge my ‘performance’ in this, it would be of miniscule achievement. Judging by my perceived standard of ‘good’ that is.

‘Don’t be too hard on yourself.’ I hear that empathetic person say.

No? I’m not being too hard on myself. It’s just that the standard I have in mind I have only seen in one person. And I always fall short of His example. Fall short because I am still trying to give way to Him. I’m still learning how to let His life reign in me.

How much harder must it be for those who have not invited Him to be their friend and mentor.

Most who have glanced at this blog, know of whom I speak.

Here’s what He tells me: 

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

This completeness is achieved by accepting the gift of Himself. Free fellowship in spirit and truth.

I am complete, not because my thoughts, words and deeds satisfy, but because I have believed in the One who satisfies my desire to know His goodness and mercy. They shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in God’s house forever.

(Psalm 23/6)

Here and elsewhere

Here and elsewhere

Jesus the personification of all truth – assured his people that He was ‘going to prepare a place for them’. That place would be where He is. So they would ever be with The Lord. (John 14/2)

But where is He now? Well He is in heaven at the right hand of His Father. (Ephesians 1/20)

The other Person of the godhead – The Holy Spirit of God – is still working and moving on the earth. He is here to carry out God’s will and fulfil His promises.

God’s promises are many and varied. But the one I have in mind is this:

Lo I am with you always even to the end of the world. (Matthew 28/20)

So Christ is both with us and somewhere else, because of the incomprehensible unity and working of the Godhead.

I say incomprehensible with a smile, when the lesser examination of the myriad of planets and stars in the outer space universe is enough to affirm His incomprehensibility, before we even begin to examine the invisible kingdom of heaven. (Colossians 1/16)

Salvation is simple when boiled down – the world is under the dominion of another spirit – not of God’s nature. Despite this, Christ is willing to come to you – but on His terms. Terms that establish in your life the acceptance of His divine holy and pure nature.

So that you too with other believers, will have a place prepared by Him, prepared where He is, in His Father’s ‘house’ where there will be many dwelling places (heaven).

At the same time He promises to come to those, where they are, who call upon His name in sincerity and truth.

With us (the Holy Spirit) and at the same time, away from us (in his Glorified form as the King of kings), at the right hand of His Father.

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.

Perception…

PERCEPTION…

Faith is not feelings. How often have we heard this in Christian circles?

We often hear the saying that feelings follow faith. And thus it is so.

Its a bit of a paradoxical statement though.

 (Dict.: A paradox is a logical statement that seems to contradict itself).

Because sometimes an overwhelming spiritual experience e.g. the appearance of an angel can be ‘felt’/‘experienced’ and faith follows.

The whole idea however, of spiritual experience, or experiences involving some kind of sensory perception is open to all kinds of interpretation and we can find it hard to convey or communicate these perceptions. So that others will know exactly what we mean.

We must fall back on:

“Unless you too experience what I’m talking about – it will be foreign to you.”

Regarding ‘sensory perception’ the ‘experts’ tell us:

(This processing happens to be done through the organ, usually called “the senses” like hearing, vision, taste, smell, and touch. The sensory perception involves detecting stimuli and subsequently recognizing and characterizing it)

But what about ‘spiritual sensory perception’? 

This, if it is to take place, may initially involve the natural senses – but only in-as-much as when we hear with our ears  a message, or see a miracle take place (thus our natural hearing/seeing perception used) pre-empts the spiritual experience.

It is the spiritual senses that sense spiritual matters and reality. It is the human spirit that experiences the spiritual perceptions I speak of. This also involves the human mind.

But there are so many possible experiences pseudo or otherwise it is possible to ‘stray’ Into – that only God Himself can keep us on track.

Enter the word of God. Thank God that all ‘experiences’ must be weighed in the balance and subjected to the light – found in The Bible.

That’s why we are called to, and God is looking for, those who will worship Him in spirit, but also in truth. (John 4/23)

So let’s give ourselves to the Bible message, and seek all God has for us in His Presence.

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!

Unbelief

UNBELIEF

Do you want God to change you

Is change the order of the day?

Do you think God is amused by you

Amused in any way?

Is He deeply disappointed

At your distracted mind?

Does He see your knotted head?

Do you turn to prayer instead?

Pray once – pray twice

Have another go – a cloud

The size of a man’s hand

comes into view and let’s you know

That prayer works when you persist

Don’t strike it from your ‘to do’ list

The blogger said – “no point in prayer”

He prefers his own despair

So he tries to pull down others

Knock them from their perch

He sees their faith as a rickety post

On which they commit to stand

‘Balancing’ – or so it seems to him –

Precariously –

But he doesn’t understand

His mindset needs a debrief

As his prayer gets nowhere

in his resolute unbelief

Wisdom responses

(see John 4)

WISDOM RESPONSES

It’s an interesting study to note Jesus’ response to various situations and scenarios.

We see Him speaking to a Samaritan woman at a well. Not the done thing – as 

…Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

So He cut across the socially accepted norms and prophetically gave insight into this woman’s life

She was never the same again – so accurate was the information He gave her. We are not told all that He said to her. Did He in fact give a comprehensive history of her life – so much so that she exclaimed?: 

“Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

Was she so overwhelmed by what He said regarding her lack of marital status – that it seemed He had insight into everything to do with her life? (And of course He had – as He has with regard to our lives).

Was she so astounded – she exaggerated her message? She would not be the first person to be astounded by what Christ did for her. I too am in that company of people.

40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

Notice the Samaritans response to this demonstration of supernatural knowledge, that could not have been known, any other way – it started them on their quest to find out more.

Then having heard Christ preach – they became believers in The Son of God, The Messiah, themselves.

They wanted Jesus to stay with them. So He stayed another two days.

On another occasion the disciples went to prepare a place for Jesus as a stopover on a fuller journey. A stopover place amongst the Samaritans. But these Samaritans refused to receive Him.

The disciples acting wrongly and ‘inspired’ by the devil – wanted the Samaritans destroyed in response to this refusal to receive The Messiah:

Luke 9/54

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

They had a scriptural precedent, (so they thought) to repeat history. But Jesus pointed out how wrong they were. Teaching us that it is not what we say – but the spirit by which we speak.

We must discern what is behind and inspiring religions, or cults. By their fruits we shall know them.

55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

It was all right for Elijah – why not them? Many twist the Word of God, and use it as the letter that kills, because they are moving in their unaided understanding or are demonically inspired to adulterate The Word of God.

Join with me in asking ourselves:

…what manner of spirit you (we) are of…?

On another occasion Jesus responded to a Samaritan woman and gave her what she requested even though…

John 4/22

22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

Mark 7:27-29

27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

If we pray, we trust that as we move wisely the Son of God will be impressed by our requests, as He was with this woman and we shall (believing) receive the answer to our prayers.

When the Samaritans refused Jesus although He would not sanction ‘the fire from heaven’ destruction of His rejectors. Nevertheless we note the weighty consequence, in contrast, to the Samaritans who responded to the woman at the well:

And they went to another village.

Jesus looks for one thing above all – our acceptance of Him into our lives. He must have a welcoming embrace from us. He will not force Himself into our lives. He will influence us, draw us, speak to us, work in our conscience, all to bring us to Himself.

But that’s it – unless we embrace Him wholeheartedly –

He will go…

to another village.

The Real Deal

THE REAL DEAL

There is either such a thing as sin – or there isn’t.

And quite clearly there is such a thing.

It’s as plain as the nose on your face. We can see the results of sin all around us. Often in epidemic proportions.

Sin is one of the most obvious phenomena on the planet. And yet it is explained away under many guises.

The problem for preachers is – they too are subject to and can be guilty of – sinning.

So how can they stand in pulpits and preach against what they themselves are engaged in? Or so the commonly held view is expressed, by some.

“Is this not hypocrisy?” reasons the person who tries to say – no one should ‘judge’ others.

They perceive preachers as hypocritical Pharisees who love to castigate everyone but themselves. Bringing people under their rule and control, as ‘holier than thou’ – potentates.

However, have you noticed that those who say: “we shouldn’t judge”, are also those who can lose their temper and hit out with swear words, at the unknown person whole stole their car? They wouldn’t be trying to ‘judge’ them would they?

Quite clearly proper judgement is necessary in life. Else why not close down all the courtrooms throughout the land, and allow anarchy to rule ok!

The fact that unjust judgements are made, and hypocrites can be found in places of moral responsibility, does not negate the need for proper, sound, just judgement.

Problem is, at a time of increasing moral decay – the hypocrites seem to ‘rule ok’ in responsible positions, rather than the sincere just-persons, who should take up these roles.

Those preachers, who have moral integrity, are automatically lambasted by those who don’t want their sins found out. They tar these preachers with the same brush,  branding them as hypocrites. Condemned usually without trial or examined evidence.

The result of accepting or listening to no-one – is confusion (and often every evil work).

So in societies – corrupt officials take bribes, and the unjust sinner goes free for the right price.

The almost automatic way to portray anyone of ‘the cloth’, in drama productions on television or cinema – is to create a character who has a snivelling, hypocritical, judgemental, narrow minded, self-centred cowardly personality. Such types find their way onto the playwright’s script  when a character is needed to ‘represent’ the church.

And the non-believing but ‘good’ villain who spares a dime for the beggar in the street – is the ‘real deal’. Even though he has killed and robbed.

So society relieves itself from any responsibility to take notice of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Cause after all ‘they are not hypocrites’, like those religious types.

They don’t ‘pretend’ to be good or religious, or better than others. And so in all of this they spend their lives missing completely the ‘real deal’ of the Gospel.

So who is going to tell us we are sinners when all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?

Well the answer is – God Himself.

The Holy Spirit’s job is to make me aware that I, who write this post – am a sinner.

And to be always talking about sin, without the rest of the message that makes the messenger’s feet beautiful (post on beautiful feet to appear later) is to get out of balance in presenting the whole gospel.

The whole gospel summed up is – we can have our mess (sins) removed. We can know God the Father through Jesus the Son, and we can know the ‘real deal’ of fellowship with God.

To be liberated inside – in a way you have never experienced before is the result of receiving and obeying the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve just summed it up briefly, (to accommodate the need for a short post).

REAL DEAL GOOD NEWS:

…Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

….Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

And so on….and so on…and so on….🙂