Saturday, December 15, 2012

Who Is The Enemy?


Are people our real enemies? No.


John 3 :16

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes...

1Thessalonians 5:9     

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.       

Galatians 5:19-24          

Now the works of the flesh are evident:...enmity, strife...fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions...and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ...   


Proverbs 17:14         

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out. 


Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.


Matthew 5: 39-48

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.



Who is our real enemy? As you see in the following verses, our real enemy is in the spiritual realm, not the physical. So trying to fight the devil's works with tangible weapons just gets us involved in the works of the flesh (Gal.5:19), we become a partner in the 'dance' the true enemy is trying to start.


He is all about destruction and the best thing he can do is to start a fire under our carnal nature, lie to us and get us involved in operating in the flesh and devouring one another...and keep us far from our primary task, which is to produce good carry-out the new commandment, so as to draw people to Christ.


As we can also see,  the fight is comprised of both offensive and defensive battle...and it is God, as we spend one on one time with Him, who will teach us to do this spiritual warfare. Our enemy loves to see our carnal nature show itself, and hates peace, faith, truth and of course the name of Jesus Christ.


Psalm 144:1   

Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;


Ephesians 6: 10-20

10A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.


13Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

17Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God 18Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should


John 4: 24

God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.





Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who Is This Jesus?


 The world has lots of heros. Who's yours? A little boys ask mommy to tie a long red scarf around his neck, then spreads his arms and 'flies' around the room to emulate his hero...swooping down to 'save the day!'. At school the next day a fireman visits, then this same little boy dreams of fighting fires someday.


How many little boys dream of being like Jesus someday? Caring about those who the world threw away? Actually touching people's hearts for God? Swooping in and rescuing everyone from the Pharisees??



Is Jesus your example as well as your Savior? Could you be the example for this little boy. The one who sparks his heart to want to be like Jesus someday? 



Well then, have you watched how Christ walked and talked with people? Have you read about the actual people that He took the time to stop and deeply care know, those that others would pass on by? Have you witnessed so many of the times when His love opened truth could make it's way in?



Oh, yes! Have you read about Pauls Hero?  Paul is so confident of His Hero Jesus, that He says that we can emulate him because He emulates Christ. 1 Cor. 11:1


 So the question is; is He a Hero that's strong enough to do anything and save matter how deep the sin?? Can you trust Him that much that you are willing to emulate Him by giving each step you take to Jesus? Cause you know -- He might just lead you to care about someone you might have otherwise overlooked! Are you willing?


But is this hard? Jesus said He'll lead and His burden is light...honestly, all we do is turn our eyes upon Jesus and trust Him to lead...every step...everyday. He is more than a Hero!


Heb. 3:1
"Therefore, holy brethren, sharers with others in a heavenly invitation, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest whose followers we profess to be."


"Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will

Grow strangely dim in the

Light of His glory and grace."


The song here is my all time favorite from the 70's. The person who recorded this on video also recorded a short excerpt of a sermon at the beginning...but it's apropos. The singer is Larry Norman, and the lyrics I thought were on the screen, are now below :).


Who was and is Jesus? Some say He was an outlaw.


 Some say he was an outlaw,

that he roamed across the land,
With a band of unschooled

ruffians and few old fishermen,
No one knew just where he came

from, or exactly what he'd done,
But they said it must be something

bad that kept him on the run.


Some say he was a poet, that

 he'd stand upon the hill
And  his voice could calm an angry

crowd and make the waves stand still,
And he spoke in many parables

 that few could understand,
But the people sat for hours

 just to listen to this man.



Some say a politician who

spoke of being free,
He was followed by the masses

 on the shores of Galilee,
He spoke out against corruption

 and he bowed to no decree,
And they feared his strength

 and power so they nailed him to a tree.



Some say he was a sorcerer, a man of mystery,
He could walk upon the water,

he could make a blind man see,
And he conjured wine at weddings

and did tricks with fish and bread,
That he talked of being born again

and raised people from the dead.


Some say he was the Son of God,

 a man above all men,
And he came to be a servant and

to set us free from sin,
And that's who I believe he was 

yes, that's what I believe,
And I think we should get ready

 cause it's time for us to leave


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If The World Was For Sale 'Finale'

Taste and see that the Lord is good!


So, why were we created in the 1st place? To delight the whims of a god? To be his plaything...or his experiment? To know and understand this answer takes faith, knowing and understanding scripture and more than anything, tasting and seeing for yourself that God is good.




Since God is good, then His intentions were good in creating us...and like a good and loving being, He can't just sit and stew in His own love. Love is just not made up that way. If love is all about self...then it is not love. But love, even if it is eros love (romantic/physical) or philo love (friendship), it still involves another person. 


Agape love - God's love, is however not centered on what I can get out of it like the other 'loves' are. It thinks of the other as much as it thinks of itself. If I am hungry, then it is very possible that you are hungry too. So, it centers on the other AS much as it thinks of itself. I cannot go on and be there for you if I don't nourish myself, but then after I am nourished, you are next.  


Agape, however, also goes one step further. As it will sacrifice itself for you if need be. So, it does have the ability to also think more about you than it does itself...although on an everyday basis, it has to think of itself too so it continues to exist so as to be able to serve.


We were created in God's image...and because Christ was the exact representation of God, observing and following how Jesus did things, will give us the perfect example of how to live so as to grow closer and closer to be what we were intended to be.


Ephesians 5:2
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.


1 Corinthians 11:1
And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.


Paul followed the example of Christ, which is why he could say in his letters to imitate him.  Being an island all on our own when doing anything in this Christian life will lead us in the wrong direction. Christ...His Example and His Spirit within us... has to always be our destination and the One we look to as our guide. A guide when reading and trying to understand scripture, a guide when figuring out how to minster to different kinds of people, a guide when learning how to love, a guide about anything!


Trying to do it on our own without Jesus, even with someone else's bible training under our belt, will still be endeavoring to decipher spiritual things with human thinking. God is alive and well, and must always have the last say. 

Here are the 1st three installments to this "finale" posting. ~

Monday, December 10, 2012

If The World Was For Sale Pt 3


As we talked about before...we can do nothing to save ourselves. No good deeds or good behaviors, nor ceasing of bad ones can save us. Eternal life in heaven is not only too expensive for us to ever be able do anything to warrant it, BUT it has also already been paid for by God Himself.



So, again, from what we talked about before, what does God want from us now that we are completely accepted by Him? If we cannot add one ounce to our salvation...then what does God want?



God says that He disciplines those He loves. Like a good parent, He wants the best for us and therefore wants us to keep learning and growing...and even to the point where he will allow us to come to the end of ourselves if we are so bull-headed that we won't learn any other way.  


Job was a man that did everything right...his behavior was impeccable. Yet God needed to get down into his heart and show him that being perfectly good is not the be all, and end all.  Job thought that he had attained...but God wanted to show him that as he preached right living, that the world and all it's inhabitants were passing him by.

Yes, because his knowledge of the law and his outward behaviors were perfect he felt as though he had attained, yet he knew very little about the life around him. God said to him in Job 38, "Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me since you know so much! Who decided on it's size? Certainly you would know that! And have you ever ordered the Morning, "Get up!", or told Dawn, "Get to work!"?



Earlier in Job 35, Elihu spoke to Job about relying on his impeccable behaviors, "Look up in the sky and see the clouds high above you. If you sin what do you accomplish against Him? If you never sin and are always good, is this some great gift to Him? What can you possibly give Him? "

Then God goes on to say to Job, that many people don't whine and complain about where God is when they are, why is he?


Maybe he is whining because he thinks he's someone that does not deserve compared to others? 


Even tho the peoples sins and how they were living were where Job's focus had always been...God's focus is always on the heart 1st. Therefore it is Job's heart that God is concerned about, and where his heart is towards all those hurting people...and not about how much better his behavior is than theirs. God is more interested in our heart condition then our exterior condition. What good is it if we are doing all the 'right' things on the outside, but still have a heart not softened and given completely over to God on the inside?


Psalm 51:17
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.


Joel 2:13  Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Finally, in Chap. 42, Job sees that as he lived and preached righteousness, that he was missing life and overlooking people...and was thinking that he was doing something extraordinary for God by being so good and doing all the 'right' things.

God is after our heart 1st and foremost. More then anything, that we see beyond our own nose...that we love as He commanded. Then our behaviors in time will begin to come in line with what love does and doesn't do ~ and then we are changed. God's love is powerful and begins changing both the lover and the lovee.