Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's All About the Love!

I have heard it again and again. Jesus is love. He wants us to love one another. He wants us to embrace each other and be all about the love.

Is this the 60’s all over again?

What about the time Jesus was angry and over turned the money tables in the temple? Should we remove that from the Bible?

If Jesus got so angry over money…over people cheating one another in His house, then I wonder how angry he is going to be over abortion? I have heard people justifying their voting because come on, let’s face it…we can’t change it. So, what’s the point? Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t use that argument cause I don’t think it’s going to fly standing face to face with God. Oh…what I am saying? I forgot…God is all about the love. Ooops. My bad.

See, I’m all about the love too. But I understand one important concept the world is forgetting about…and some Christians too…and that is, grace is dependent upon repentance. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more. He didn’t give her a hug and say, honey, I love you…just keep on keeping on. It’s all about the love!

I have heard the teaching, and I completely agree with it, that our actions elicit reactions from God. We sow…he produces the harvest. We work…he brings the increase. We trust, he provides. We repent, he forgives. But, if repentance is removed from the equation…then God has nothing to react to. Do you now see a problem with the current thinking and teaching in many churches today? We are not preaching repentance. It’s all about the love.

If it’s “all about the love” then what happens to these verses?

Luke 13:3: No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Acts 3:19: Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,

Acts 17:30: The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, (did you catch this one? There will be no excuses. How many people will look to you and say…but you said God loved me no matter what?)

How about Matthew 3:2: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Folks, these are all New Testament verses. I shudder to think how long this blog post would be if I included even half the verses from the new testament, let alone the old testament.

Are you getting this? Do you understand? Love by itself is just love. Love coupled with repentance…well that is another story! Many churches are going to stand before God and they won’t be able to do any fancy talking. See, it’s not all about the love. God even loves those people who choose to spend eternity in hell. See, the “love” isn’t going to save them. It’s repentance that leads to spending an eternity with our Father.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In a Fog

Last night I found myself sitting in the ER. The pain in my back was to the point I couldn’t move my head without a spasm ripping through the middle of my back. I have no idea what it is all about…I guess I need an MRI. That would mean a doctor visit with a referral. I’ll have to think about that.

Let’s get to the fog.

I was prescribed a narcotic to help with the back pain, a muscle relaxant and another type of pain pill similar to Ibuprofen.

My husband doled out the drugs with my supper last night (chicken and wild rice soup…man was it good!). He gave me the maximum pills I could take for each prescription. I was fighting to stay awake during the last few bites of my meal.

I slept from approximately 8:30 last night to 9:30 this morning. I kept waking up to drink water (one drug causes dry mouth) and to go the bathroom (from all the water!).

When I finally got up I was in a daze. I couldn’t see properly. I couldn’t function properly. My thoughts were skewed. My reaction time was slow. Basically, I was in a fog.

I was unable to accomplish the things I needed to accomplish because of the fog. My world had turned upside down, leaving me confused and wandering aimlessly. I didn’t like it.

I remembered giving the thumbs up to the doc when he told me he was going to hook me up with some good painkillers. I was pretty excited about that. I like being able to operate without pain. Now, after the first 24 hours of “relative comfort” (not all the pain was gone…although they did help tremendously), I wasn’t too sure masking the pain was the correct way to deal with the problem. I don’t like being in a fog.

This whole ordeal got me to thinking and thinking resulted in a series of questions. Here we go, you ready? (By the way, I exited my “fog” a couple of hours ago…so I am thinking straight again!)

Why are we Christians walking around like we are in a spiritual fog? Why are we wandering aimlessly from one “feel good” teaching to another? Why are we refusing to stand up boldly for our faith? Why do we feel like we have to walk around on eggshells so we do not offend anyone and everyone?

Are we embarrassed by our faith? Are we embarrassed of God or of His Word? How about Jesus, the lover of our Souls…you remember, God becoming man to die on a cross for us…are we embarrassed of Him? No? Then what is our problem?

You don’t know? I’ll tell you. In 2nd Corinthians 6:14 we are told “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

But…that doesn’t sound loving! We are supposed to love everyone!

And being bff with the world is loving it? Why are we so bent on having the world’s approval? Why do we care? In John chapter 15 Jesus tells us that the world will hate us just like it hated him.

I was called a bigot the other day because I said that homosexuality is wrong. Let’s see. Because I made this statement, I am by definition “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

Wow. That is pretty deranged thinking. And all because I had the audacity to speak the Word concerning sin. I’d say the hatred and intolerance was coming from the other side of the conversation.

Christians, it is time to roll back the fog and breath in some fresh air. We have a world dying and going to hell, all because we are afraid to speak truth. Do yourself a favor, better yet do someone else a favor and speak the truth into their lives!

John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The People's King

Yesterday we saw history in the making.

Yep, we saw a nation succumb to empty promises to appease their lust for themselves.

My thoughts immediately went to a land and a people from long ago, another people who wanted a deliverer. They wanted someone they could see and hear, someone they could depend on to lead them to prosperity and they unilaterally decided that someone would need to be human being, a king like every other nation had. God’s desire for them was that they would trust Him. But, they refused.

How like Israel are we?

Let’s begin in I Samuel 8:6-9. But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So, Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I have brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day-with which they have forsake Me and served other gods-so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

Do you see any parallels here?

God brought our founding fathers out of an oppressive land so they could be free to worship Him as He has ordained. He brought them out of bondage and led them into freedom. We have always had God’s hand of protection but have we gone too far? Have we forsaken the God who has given us everything? Have we turned our backs on Him? Have we rejected the King of Kings?

Beginning in verse 10 Samuel warns the people of all the horrors that this king will administer to the people. But did they listen? No. They listened to everything Samuel had to say yet they did not hear.

Does this sound familiar?

Today this warning might have sounded something like this:

If you choose this man as your king, then you will see the following. Your innocent children will be murdered. Your young men and women will live in sin going against everything that is natural and instead show affection one to another. The institute of a Godly defined marriage will be scoffed at and rebutted. Everything that you work for, everything that I have blessed you with will be laughed at and mocked. He will do his best to rob you of your blessing. You will in essence become his servants and all you work for will be at his disposal. No one shall be able to rein him in because those who worship him consider him a god. He will answer to no one and will do nothing but wreck havoc upon this nation he is entrusted with.

And possibly his greatest offense of all, the one that will destroy him and the very nation he is put over, is the fact that he will not stand by Israel as an ally, for his purpose is her destruction. And in that day all the land will cry out because of the oppression of this king they have chosen and the Lord will not hear their cries.

But did the people heed the warning?

No, they did not. They shouted from the rooftops, we want him for our king! The people could care less about the heart of God. They wanted what they wanted. Just like the people from long ago, the people of America have shouted and have received their answer. They got their “king.”

And as the people of Israel did so long ago, the people of America will cry out for relief and God will not hear their cries. Judgment is coming to this country. We will see God turn his back on this land. No longer will we be united under God, but we will be a disjointed nation, living in fear and trepidation of the days that will follow. We have come to this place of our own accord, at our own insistence.

Do not be mistaken; this was not God’s will, but the will of the people. His heart is broken by the actions of a selfish people.

As children of God we have not been given a spirit of fear, but we can rest in his promise that He is our deliverer and our fortress in times of trouble. Those that remain faithful to the end will see all God’s promises fulfilled. God is still on the throne, no matter whom the people elect as their “king.” No one can take that away from us!

May God have mercy!