Sunday, August 31, 2014

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Injecting God Artificially?

Recently, I was criticized for injecting God into a conversation artificially when it was deemed inappropriate and irrelevant. I try to receive criticism as if it were a kindness, possibly delivered unto me to provoke a needed correction or instruction. Therefore, I’m presently on a quest to gain further understanding and insight from the Lord. First of all, I do not deny that I do think and talk a lot about God. Secondly, I can understand how this might be irritating and even offensive to some. Thirdly, I don’t require that anyone has to agree with what I think or believe, not in my way of speaking or that which I write about. In fact, one of my most frequently made statements is, “Don’t take my word for anything. Check it out with the truth of the Word of God.”
My question to the Lord is, “Can anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord really insert God into anything ‘artificially?’ As I grow in the Lord and seek to draw nearer to Him, His promise to “never leave me or forsake me” seems to grow stronger in the fullness of its reality and truth. The constant presence of the Holy Spirit is no longer just a biblical concept, but has been made alive within me. The realization of the meaning of words that I must decrease and He must increase is just as real to me as it was to John the Baptist when He prepared the way for Jesus the Messiah.
I don’t want to seem as though I’m trying to jam Jesus down anyone’s throat. Yet, it’s increasingly hard for me to express my thoughts without a reference to God. I know I often say things like, “Thank God for….,” whether the topic is seemingly insignificant or of great importance. I am well aware that the mention of the name of Jesus in today’s secularized world is considered grossly politically incorrect. However, to my way of thinking, that is a problem in the worldly view, not from a biblical world view. The latter world view is the one I happen to live in by choice, even though it may not be popular in the eyes of this present world.
For me, speaking about God in my general conversation is just a natural part of me because His Holy Spirit is alive within me. I don’t ever want to go anywhere without Him. I am well aware that I don’t always let the will of God reign within me, for I often find myself doing that which I shouldn’t, and not doing that which I should. Yes, I’m a believer with many flaws, and thank God, He’s still working on me, in me, and through me. Through His Holy Spirit living within me, He is making me more and more into His Image. As He does, I see more, but still as if “through a mirror darkly” less of me and more of Him, and I look forward to the time when He will give me a glorified body that I may know the reality totally of “being in Him and Him in me.”

My God is Big. He knows everything there is to know about me and everything and everyone. He’s never so busy with all the big events and problems in the world that He doesn’t have time for me and even the little seemingly insignificant things of my life. When Jesus was resurrected and ascended into Heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to live within me. Because He is alive in me, I can sit and talk with Him about anything – small or large. I don’t have to wait in line, or be put on hold, till He’s finished handling all the big things in the world. He is greater than we could possibly imagine. Because His Holy Spirit lives in me, I have a constant, never ceasing, personal relationship with Him. We can walk through a garden together. I can sit with Him and just learn from Him through His Word while His Holy Spirit reveals the truth of His word. He sits with me and I feel His presence while I’m doing my crocheting. He is always right there by my side to guide and lead me in His way. The only time He’s not there is if I walk away from Him and ignore His presence. There is no greater blessing than resting in the warmth of His loving and caring arms. All the while He’s with me, He’s also within every other believer and still stretching His arm out to every unbeliever. Our God reigns and He is in control of all things. Like the law of gravity, which He created, He exists and is in control of all things whether anyone believes in Him or not. Our life depends of Him; His life does not depend on us.
So, I ask once again, since He is alive in me, how can it be possible for me to inject God into anything ‘artificially?’ There is nothing made that was not made by Him. It is in and through Him that I have my being. I can not help but acknowledge Him for who He is, for without Him, my life is in vain. He alone is worthy of glory and honor. May I praise Him with all of my being while I have breath! Inserting God into things artificially? Yes, I can understand why that may seem true to some. I don’t criticize anyone or blame them for feeling that way. for If roles were reversed, I’d probably feel the same way. However, for me NOT to insert God into every part of my life by thought, word, and deed, that would definitely seem artificial and unfamiliar to me. I can only admit that it is not my desire to please others by speaking less and less of the Lord in my life, while my greatest desire is to learn, more and more, how to think, speak, and do only that which pleases my Lord. Jesus said that He did only that which His Father in Heaven told Him and showed Him to do. He was perfect in all His ways, and never conformed to the ways of the world. He was God incarnate. He is the Word made alive. I will gladly choose to appear artificial in the eyes of the world; but may I never cease to speak of the wondrous works of my glorious and magnificent Lord as long as I have my being! Thank you God! Praise the Lord for all Thy many blessings!

Monday, August 25, 2014

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Primary and Secondary Education

          Faith based schools have been replaced by faith based schools.  The secular humanist faith has replaced the Judeo/Christian faith of our founding fathers, and 73% of our present population who are professing Christians.  This figure is down from 86% in 1990 and 98% at the time of our founding.[1] The shocking revelation, as voiced by our children, is that the Bible can't be trusted because it was written by men; ignoring the input and inspiration of God, through His Holy Spirit.  This is the abominable deception espoused by the secular humanists.  Removing the knowledge of the Creator of the world is the fundamental desire and the foundation of the secular humanists.  This removal is directly accountable for the degeneration of our educational system.  One need only research the literacy rate of students today versus the literacy rate of past generations.  The lack of instilling the moral values, and even the basic rudimentary skills of reading, writing and mathematics is providing us with a generation of unemployables. 

          Fundamental illiteracy and lack of faith based morals has produced a generation of children who can't even make change for a customer at McDonalds.  The minimum wage could be elevated if the minimum education of those employed, could be raised to a standard acceptable to those who would employ our children.  Our crime rates would diminish and value of the lives of others would increase if basic morality was instilled in our children.  We need the kind of morality centered education that flourished in our country for the first two hundred and fifty years of our nation's history.   Parents, who care about the future of their children, need to rebel against the present education system imposed on them. 

          A type of voucher system is the only way our values of right and wrong can be instilled over the mindless robotic system that has taken over our nation's public education.  Competition, in the education industry, is the only hope for its salvation.  Financial stimulus may give us schools that reflect what we consider adequate education of our children.

           The decline of our educational system began sometime between the thirties and fifties.  If you can get a copy of a history book from this era, and compare it to what is being taught in our present system, you would be amazed, and probably horrified at the revisionism extant in today's teaching.  The goal of the secular humanists is to remove all vestige of the religious basis in the foundation of our nation. 

          An example of the current faith based education our children are exposed to is the following: a child who had lived in the Michigan peninsula was familiar with the area, so when a distortion of the facts was presented in class he attempted to correct the mistake. The teacher and the textbook were wrong, however the correct answer on a test would be what the teacher and book said.  The secular humanists faith is not deterred by facts.

          The "far right" or "religious right" are in direct conflict with the "far left" or "non religious left".  Our students are being taught by amoral barbarians, replacing God's moral values with situational ethics.  This has resulted in the students becoming cultural barbarians.  The Center for Public Education and the designers of Common Core are distorting our history to the point that our country couldn't be recognized.

          How far will the evolutionist/secular humanists take their theories?  In a recent program, on the H2 channel[2], the hypothesis of our evolution from ape to man was influenced by alien intervention.  Our development from ape to man had gotten to the point of Bigfoot; however, through this alien intervention, we are what we are today.  I, personally, wish to thank the alien who snuck across the border from Mexico and affected this change.  I am glad that I am not nine feet tall and covered with fur. 

           Our history has been blurred to the point of unrecognizeablility, and  much of the science taught is based on totally unproven theories.  Even the methods of teaching math are less understandable than the methods used in the past. Is 2 plus 2 four or is it 22?  'Man forbid', that the Bible would be introduced back into the system to correct the errors.  That would acknowledge the existence of God, and that is totally unacceptable to the secular humanists.  How, though, can you understand how the universe works, if you don't understand how the Inventor of the universe works?

          In an interview about the movie "The Rapture" (A blasphemous attack against the God of the Bible), Michael Talkin (author and director) stated that the film was not 'anti-religion' but 'anti-God'.  Religion has been deemed 'the opiate of the masses', while God is the Saviour of the world.  As I have stated many times, 'religions are clubs invented by man', while God offers a personal relationship between a person and Himself.  It is not religion that the secular humanists war against; it is the personal relationship with God.  Other movies, like 'The Last Temptation of Christ' and lately 'Noah', have continued the attacks on Christianity and the Bible.  Lately, some cable TV shows are injecting "God damn", whether it fits in the plot and script or not.  I consider this a blatant assault on my beliefs and senses.  How many assaults on the 10 commandments do the producers expect the moral public to put up with?  A glimmer of light is the introduction of movies like "Heaven is for Real", The "Left Behind" series and "God's Not Dead".


          Only a fool would deny that the entertainment industry is simply another extension of the anti-God movement in our schools.  Only the least informed would deny that Satanic influences are behind the anti-God assault on our children, and our constitutional republic.  The promotion of anti-God, anti-morality, and the denial of there being absolutes of right and wrong, can only fall into the category of evil and sin.  Who would be responsible for these things?  We know that there are only two forces at work in the world: good and evil.  We can see where these evil influences originate. 

          Even in the political realm, immorality is winked at.  Good examples of this are presidents Kennedy and Clinton.  Does anyone really believe that someone who habitually cheats on his wife would hesitate to cheat on his duties in political office?  We are currently enduring the most anti-Christian, anti-Israel president in our history.  If a politician doesn't respect God, how can we expect him to respect us, or our values?  Sin is sin, and should be shunned individually, as well as nationally. 

          "Over 98% of our founding citizenry were professing Christians.  Even today, 76% of our citizens are professing Christians.  The percentage of professing Christians has dropped substantially since 1960.  This drop in percentage corresponds directly with the current surge of progressive political activity such as political correctness and multiculturalism.  Because of our heritage of Christianity and our founding Christian principles, those who espouse other religions are allowed to worship as they please.  Despite some of our earlier laws, even those who are anti religious are allowed in our midst.  Anyone who doubts these facts is grossly uneducated."[3]  “Tolerance was an American Christian contribution to the world.  Just as you drop a pebble in the pond, the ripples go out, there was tolerance first for Puritans and then Protestants, the Catholics, then liberal Christians, and then it went out completely to Jews. Then in the early 1900’s tolerance went out to anybody of any faith, monotheistic or polytheistic. Finally, within the last generation, tolerance went out to the Atheist, the secular humanist and the anti-religious.  And the last ones in the boat decided it was too crowded and decided to push the first ones out.   So now we have a unique situation in America, where everybody’s tolerated except for the ones that came up with the idea.  And so when people say Christians are intolerant, we really need to correct them and say, ‘No, we’re the ones that came up with the idea of tolerance.”[4] 

          How can we expect our children to reflect our Judeo/Christian values  when they are bombarded, day and night, with anti-Christian values through their schools and entertainment outlets?  The first person shooter video games are just another assault; dulling the senses of our children to the value of life.  How can we expect our children to adopt our values if we don't take a stand against the onslaught of the immoral values they are exposed to by our government, our educators and the entertainment industry?  Lastly, how can we expect our children to respect our values when they see us scoffing at  abuses of those values?  The Bible tells us that, in the end times, there will be a falling away from the true Gospel. We can see that happening in our churches today.  There are many ministers today who have no relationship with whom they are preaching about.

Suggested follow up reading -

The Real George Washington

 by Jay Parry and Andrew Allison

The Real Thomas Jefferson

 by Andrew Allison

The Light and The Glory

 by Peter Marshall and David Manuel

Godly America

The Purpose of Education

Pastors and Politics

cost ot founders

Early Teachings of Our Nation

Why Expose False Teaching?

[2] In Search of Aliens, Searching for Bigfoot
[4] Bill Federer, Coral Ridge Ministries 2005 (One Nation Under God)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Delight Thyself in the Lord

          What does it mean to delight thyself in the Lord?   Perhaps it could best be expressed by the following scripture: “Thou shalt love The Lord Thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.” (Mark 12: 30)  The image placed in my heart and mind by this scripture is one who loves God so much that he desires with all his being to learn how to put God first, to love, follow, and obey Him?  In order to do that, one can not just be satisfied with a one time experience with God.  Instead, I suggest that one would need to have within himself a burning desire to draw close to the Lord with an unquenchable hungering and thirsting, to know, love, and serve Him with every fiber of his being.  That in itself takes a commitment of ones time and interest just as it does to cultivate a friendship and personal relationship between two people here on earth.  To get to know someone, you have to draw near to them; you can not be walking away, running away, or simply ignoring them.  And so it is with God; if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.  Jesus came in the flesh, not only to redeem us, but that through Him we might know our Heavenly Father.  The Father is in Him and He is in the Father. It is He who sends the Holy Spirit to live in us when we receive Him into our heart to be our Savior and Lord. 

          In our daily walk with God, there is no such thing as standing still in a stage of neutrality.  Putting God first is characterized by making time to be with Him.  Anytime we let other things become our first priority, whether it be family, career, education, or pleasure, we are, at the least straying from Him, or at the most abandoning Him.  Loving God enough to always put Him and His ways first must become our first priority if we are to truly know what it is to delight in the Lord. Secondly, if we are married, our next priorities should be our spouse, then our children and others.  Getting any of these out of order, whether through thought, word, or deed, puts us in the precarious situation of contributing to the act of diminishing the influence and power of God in our lives; thereby, creating an idol in our own hearts.  If we are desirous of receiving God's blessings, then we must also desire to follow, obey and do that which is pleasing in His sight.  Learning to put God first is a life long process which requires our cooperation with and in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, God made active and alive within us.  Because of our human frailties, and the battle against our flesh, the world, and the powers and principalities of the darkness of this world, our successfulness in this lifelong endeavor is always dependent upon our diligence and commitment in putting our own will under subjugation to the will of God.  This process is carried out through the power of the Holy Spirit, as He continues that good work begun within us when we first received Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.       
     There is a scripture that is too often used incorrectly.  Any perversion or distortion of the word of God always leads to deception and a detour which will draw us away from God and His ways.   "Delight thyself in The Lord; and He will give thee the desires of thine heart."(Psalm 37: 4). Unfortunately, we are prone to putting the emphasis on the second part of the scripture, instead of fully understanding and applying the first part. Look at the disastrous result of that distortion.  What happens if I put "He will give me the desires of my heart" first? What have I in effect done to both God and myself?  I have given 'Me, Myself, and I’ top priority; thereby, reducing God to the status of a personal genie in a bottle. In arrogance and pride, I have just entered the ranks of Satan.  In making self the focal point and elevating this present temporal life to the foremost position of importance, I have thus reduced eternal life and the kingdom of God to a secondary or even lower status.  In effect, just like in the story of Aladdin's Lamp, we try to place God in the lamp, making Him into the genie that is to come out at our beck and call to do our bidding.  In so doing, we have told God that He does not know, or do, that which is best for us.  We have not put our trust in Him, but rather we have trusted in our own intellect, reasoning abilities, and opinions.  We have turned "Thy will be done" into "My will be done."  One of the keys to understanding the scripture, “He will give us the desires of our heart,” is to realize that we must first willingly submit our will to His, for He alone knows what is best for us.  We often forget the importance of that concept; thus, we fall into the trap of following our own heart, not realizing that we can easily be deceived by our own heart.  

          God gave us a free will.  He does not wish for any to perish (die in their sins), but that all would come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are given the liberty to use our free will to choose to go our own way without Him.  We can choose not to acknowledge His right to have authority over us.  In so doing though, we must understand that we rob ourselves of all the benefits of being His children and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  God wants us to choose to follow Him and stay within His instructions for our protection, security, and well being.  Yet He will allow to chose to turn our backs on Him to go our own way.  Why is it so hard for us to understand that the choice is in our own hands; therefore, the consequences of our choices are also in our own hands?  God doesn’t make us do anything.  The responsibility for the consequences of our own choices can not be blamed on God or anyone else. 

          On an earthly level, we should be able to look at the family unit, as it was designed to be in this temporal world, to understand what it means to have the blessings which are available to members of a properly functioning family.  The child, who recognizes and accepts the right of his parents to have authority over him, will then receive the benefits of all the love and protection that his parents willingly and diligently pour out towards him.  They love him enough to teach him the way he should go, disciplining him, caring for and providing for all his needs, giving correction, instruction, and protecting him from harm to the best of their ability.  However, all of these benefits and blessings are vastly dependent upon the child’s willingness to cooperate with his parents by recognizing his parents’ right to have and exercise authority over him.  Harm to him is multiplied in direct correlation to how self willed and rebellious he is to their authority.  Our jails today are proof of that, for they are filled with people who never learned how to accept the right of anyone to exercise any authority over them, neither God, parents, authorities in the work place, governmental authorities, or any other source except for ‘self.’  In so doing, they created a world that was centered on themselves as the only god in their life.  If a child does not recognize the right of his parents, who he can see, to have authority over him, it is doubtful that he will learn to accept the right of God, who he can’t see, to have authority over him.  Thus, he has made himself a ‘bastard.’  Excuse the language, but that’s exactly the term used in the Bible, for it signifies one who is illegitimate and therefore is not legally qualified to be a partaker of the benefits and blessings which would ordinarily be given him as a legitimate and recognized member of the family. 

          Being a legitimate child of God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, is the basis for understanding the concept that God doesn’t condemn us, but we condemn ourselves.  It is by our own refusal to accept His authority and plan for our salvation, both present and eternally, that we have chosen to remove ourselves from any legitimate right to all the benefits and blessings that He would have freely and willingly given unto us.  So why then is it so hard for us to understand why He has told us that we are to have “No other gods” before Him?  How many parents would be willing to have a child live under their roof that was not subject to their authority, but was subject to the authority, or lack of it, of the very worst kind of next door neighbor that you can imagine?  At the very least, all of us have witnessed/experienced first hand the chaos that ensues, and damage that is caused to every member of the family where the child is allowed to rule and reign without any constraints, instead of enjoying the benefits of the correct order of parent over child.  I do not refer to parental domination, but correct and godly authority that is meant to prevail in the structure of a godly family in order for peace and love to flow.  I can personally attest to trouble I caused in my own life and family, when I failed to be obedient to my earthly parents and my Heavenly Father.  Yet, somehow we can not see how these very same principles have to exist within the eternal family of God.  There can only be one God, if His benefits and blessings are to reign in our hearts and lives.           

          If you and I want to be a child of God, then through free will, we must make our personal choice to obey Him and let His will replace your own will.  As long as you and I have breath, and have not completely hardened our hearts to The Lord, it's not too late to go before The Lord to confess our sin, repent (turn from our wicked ways) and allow The Lord to change our hearts and set our feet back upon the straight and narrow path.  You and I continually have a war going on within us. Daily we struggle to put down our flesh and the old nature within which has not yet been totally renewed, for God is still continuing the process of making us more and more into His image.

      Let us undo the deception that is created by the perversion of the Word, and look at it with the correct order and intent of God.  God says what He means, and means what He says.  We get ourselves into trouble when we try to make God's word fit our opinions and what is convenient to us or to the world. 

     Let us revisit the original scripture, putting the emphasis back where it belongs.  It will make all the difference in the world, and can have a profound effect in our lives.  "Delight Thyself in The Lord."  If we did just that, in thought word, and deed, what kind of an impact could that have for you, me, and the whole world? God is a God of love, justice, order, peace, and liberty.  His word is given unto us that we might have a map, or book of instructions, meant to direct and keep us from harm.  Some people will try to portray as a bunch of needless rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts.  But God says that the Word is meant to be “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119: 105)  If we take time to reflect, we will be able to recall the myriad of times when we were kept from harm because we did follow His ways instead of going along with the ways of the crowd.  “Unless thy law had been my delights, I should have then perished in mine affliction.” (Psalm 119: 92)   “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.” (Psalm 119: 101)  As we choose to be led by the Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will receive the benefits and blessings of His love, order, peace, and liberty in our lives.  Obedience is not given in order to earn God’s favor, rather obedience is to be given out of reverence and respect for Him.  His love is not earned, but is freely given, and His blessings open doors of possibilities which are awesome and mind boggling.  As usual, I am amazed by this great love that God has towards us.  It is so great that we can never completely comprehend it as long as we are limited by our own finite minds.  Yet, He is always at work to broaden our understanding of Him.  God’s patience with me is unbelievable.  So many times I fail Him, and so many times He picks me up to help me start over once again.  I can only imagine that He must love us with a love that has no bounds, for He never gives up on us.  He never once says, “Okay Ginger, now that was the last straw, and from here on out you are on your own!”  When I think of my own ability to have patience, or rather the sheer lack of it, both with myself and others, it makes me wonder why in the world He ever puts up with me.  And then I am humbled, and so very thankful to know that He is not like me. He is God, the great I AM, and there is none other like Him.

          I ponder upon the magnitude of this great love that He has for you and me on the one hand, and yet, on the other hand, there is sadness within my soul.  Why sadness?  He has always had a design for your life and mine. And what do we do? Thinking that we know better than the Master Architect, we often go behind or before Him busily erasing, disrupting, or distorting His master plan, replacing it with our own inept and seriously flawed plans.  I think of the many times in my life when I have given Him cause to be disappointed in me.  If it were not for His great mercy, grace, and forgiveness, I would not be able to stand under the load of so great a guilt.   How many times have I pushed Him aside; thereby hindering, delaying, or preventing the greater plans He had first purposed for me?  I am continually reminded of the stark reality of the meaning of the scripture that teaches "all have fallen short of the mark."  Yet, He doesn’t use His word to beat me down, but rather to lift me up.  I am reminded that the fear of the Lord and experiencing God’s judgment is meant to be a good thing, not a bad thing in my life.  Its purpose is not meant for my destruction, but for my correction to call me back to Him and away from the path of destruction that I had been following.  To feel sorrow for our actions is a positive thing, when it is used to cause us to repent, to turn away from that which is not pleasing to the Lord.  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.” (II Cor. 7: 9)  Satan is the accuser; he will try to tell you that there is no returning and you are totally lost, destroyed, and without hope of redemption.  Anytime we hear such a voice, we can be assured it’s not the voice of Jesus.  The voice of Jesus gently encourages you and me; “Yes, it’s true.  You did veer from the path, and you’ve rather made a mess of things, but all is not lost.  Let’s determine to go on together.  Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may not come, but today is a new day and we can start anew.” To fear the Lord, that is to have such a great respect for Him that you sorrow unto repentance, because loving Him means you don’t ever want to purposely disappoint Him.  To fear the Lord is a good thing and serves to keep you and me under the cover and protection of the shadow of His Almighty wings.

          We can all replay the many times in our lives the disastrous effects of having put “I” before the great “I Am.”  It’s those times that Satan would have us stay focused upon to keep us down and lost in the misery of the past sins of our lives.  Jesus always reminds us that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, liberty from the past, set free to go on into a future as if the past had never occurred.  Let us not dwell on the times that we “missed the mark,” but rather choose to learn from them that we may not be doomed to repeat them over and over again.  If we will let Him, God will take those things which Satan meant for our harm and turn them around to be for our good.  The memory of those times can serve as danger signs reminding us not to go down that same path again.  Memory of the past can serve to alert us to the deceptions of Satan, and, with the shield of faith in God and His word in our hearts, we are more fully equipped to stand against the fiery darts of the enemy.

          Are we now to walk in fear of what was or what is to come?  Absolutely not for “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.” (I John 4: 4)  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”(II Tim. 1: 7)  Therefore, if we are to truly delight ourselves in the Lord, then we must also truly delight ourselves in His love, His Word, His will, His wisdom and knowledge, and His plans for our life.  Let us look again at the scripture; "Delight thyself in The Lord; and He will give thee the desires of thine heart."(Psalm 37: 4). We have already considered the deception of viewing God as being a genie who is therefore supposed to give us the desires of “our heart.”  All of us can readily see how many times that attainment of the desires of our heart did nothing but lead us into utter disappointment and disaster.  Can we not, by our own past experience, attest to the validity of the scripture, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17: 9)  How many times have you prayed for a certain thing; however, after not receiving it, you were given the privilege to see the disaster that was averted in your life when God answered your prayer with a definite “No”?  That in itself gives us a glimpse into a better understanding of God giving us the desires of our heart.

           Tell me honestly, who do you think really knows what is best for you, God or your own self?  If your answer is God, then we can travel on together for a better understanding of the scripture concerning the desires of the heart.  Let us consider for a moment what is possibly another key to the whole matter of “delighting in the Lord”?  If you or I really had an all consuming love for someone, even in the natural, wouldn’t we want to spend as much time as possible to get to know them?  Wouldn’t we want to find out what they think, how they feel, what they believe, what they like or dislike, and what really pleases them?  After all, you wouldn’t want them to think that all you are interested in is what they can do for you, treating them as an object which was made for the purpose of serving your needs?  Wouldn’t it be awful to live out your life with someone who always treated you with the attitude of “What have you done for me lately?”  You would be forced to live on a starvation diet of crumbs of affection which they might choose to dole out every now and then, not because they loved you, but because they believed it might benefit them in some way.  Do we not treat God like that sometimes? 

          How do you and I treat God?  Do we seek to love, serve, and know Him, or do we seek for Him to know us and serve us?  If we really love Him, we will seek to know Him, to spend time in His word, not just to learn what is pleasing to Him, but that we would also yearn to do that which was pleasing unto Him. Don’t we want to do all that is within our power to please the one that we love on earth?  I think I can understand this part of it so well because I have a husband who has truly loved me in that way.  I hope I have done the same for him, but I have my suspicions that in some ways, he has done a much better job at that than I have.  That’s why I don’t argue with him when he says, “I love you more.”  I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has loved me first, for he redeemed me, bought and paid for me, by the shed blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  He has loved me first and He loves me more.  If we can grasp even a partial understanding of how much God loves us, then we might be able to grasp that He alone also knows and wants that which is for our best.  Shouldn’t that give to you and I an even greater desire to become all that He wants us to be?  If so, then we will seek to know Him so well that we want to place His desires in our hearts, to have them “written” on the tablets of our hearts, to apply them and live them out in our lives to the point that His desires will have become our desires.  There it is in a nutshell.  When we have removed our will, and placed Him and His will on the throne in our heart, then the desires of our heart that He gives unto us are the desires that He has placed there that all may go well for us.   Jesus always did just that, for He listened to and did only that which His Father in Heaven said and showed Him to do.  He was always about the business of His Heavenly Father; His Father’s desires were His desires and He delighted in doing them. 

          With you and me, delighting in the Lord is a process that is learned and worked out in our lives as we submit our will to following and obeying the will of God.  Therefore, IF we really want God’s best for us, it’s imperative that we: spend time with the one who has first loved us, learn from Him, let Him melt and mold us into His image, have our minds renewed by the washing of the water of the word, allow ourselves to be led and guided into all truth in His word through the power of Holy Spirit, and become transformed by the word and not conformed to the world.  Yes, learning to “delight ourselves in the Lord” is a life long process. The more we learn to delight ourselves in Him, the more of “His delight” will be reflected in our lives. 

          Let us each earnestly pray:  Teach me to delight myself in you Lord, to lay up your desires within my heart, that I may truly receive the desires of a newly created heart, now purposed to live out your plan as designed by you.  Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done –in my life- on earth, as it –will be done in my life- in Heaven.  Let us purposely choose to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind: and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10: 27)  To God be the glory, great things He has done.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.   

Psalm 37: 3 – 5, 23

Trust in the Lord, and do good;

So shalt thou dwell in the land,

And verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord:

and he shall give thee the desires

of thy heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord;

Trust also in Him;

And He shall bring it to pass.”

“The steps of a good man are ordered

by the Lord:

and he delighteth in his way.’

          Psalm 119 is one of my favorite among the Psalms.  I love to read it over and over again as its focus is on the importance of the word of God in our lives.  It is my belief that as we learn to “delight ourselves” in His word, we grow into a deeper and more personal relationship with the Lord.  Thus, we begin to experience the greater joys of “delight(ing) thyself in the Lord.”  You may even find yourself slipping away more often to spend more and more time with the One who has loved you first and who has written for you The Greatest Love Story ever told, the Bible.  As you delight yourself in His written word, the Holy Spirit will make it come alive within you.  You will feel within you that same feeling expressed by the men on the road to Emmaus, when the Lord appeared to them after His resurrection.  After they had walked and talked with Him, they uttered to one another: “Didn’t our heart not burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24: 32)  You and I need to go no further than the word of God to enjoy that same joy and the “opening of our eyes” as the Holy Spirit unfolds the revelation and meaning of the scriptures unto us.  As they did then, we too can know the joy of what it means to be on fire for the Lord and to hunger and thirst after Him, as we feed upon the Bread of Life and drink from the Living Waters.  As we learn to love Him first, He enables us to love one another more.  Catch the fire, and “DELIGHT THYSELF IN THE LORD!” 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Editing God’s Word

Editing God’s Word

(leads to delusion, doubt, unbelief and total destruction)

          In the beginning was the Word- established in Heaven. Jesus is the Living Word come down in the flesh. If we deny the truth of the Word, do we not crucify The Lord Jesus all over again? If we attempt to add or take away one 'jot or title,' do we not exalt ourselves to the position of "editor in chief" of God's Word, exalting our own wisdom and opinions high above the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit? The Bible devotes all of Psalm 119 to the subject of the benefits and truth of God's Word.  As those who profess to be believers in Christ as Savior and Lord, shouldn't we take extreme care not to deny the truth of God's Word? Or have we become so wise in our own eyes that we consider ourselves more intelligent than God?  Consider the following scripture: "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect (complete), thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Timothy 3: 16, 17)  If we have some doubt about some portion of scripture, doesn't it seem to be far more sensible to consider that the error is in our lack of understanding rather than an error in the truth of the Word of God?

          Should we not always defer to The Lord and depend upon His Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth, if we will only ask Him?  "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee."  "Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever."

God's word frees us to be what God has purposed and designed us to be. "And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."  "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth."  "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  "Blessed are they that keep His testimonies and that seek Him with the whole heart.  (verses from Psalm 119)

          The editing of God's Word can only lead to deception and ever increasing decadence doubt, unbelief, and eventually the destruction of one’s fellowship and walk with the Lord.  The practice of doing so leaves the word of God opened to self interpretation, with the final result being that each person involved in such practices perverts the word so as to make it mean whatever each individual wants it to mean.  The word of God is true and can not be changed to suit your agenda or mine.  Putting our own individual “twist” on the word of God is to distort and pervert it into another gospel, making it ‘not’ the true gospel.  “We have also a sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth into a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first that, no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Peter 1: 19- 21)  Until Christ, the day star, returns in His full glory, we have the word of God and His Holy Spirit to illuminate and reveal His glory unto us.  The word of God did not come to  as some creative work of men, but God inspired them so that His message to us is reliable and true and authentic, making Him the author and finisher of our faith.  If you doubt the ability of God to move men to write His thoughts, then you doubt the very existence of the Holy Spirit and His power, placing your own faith under suspicion as to whether you truly believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  In which case, I seriously urge you to go before the Lord and seek His face that you be not deceived and die in your sins.   

          We are taught that, in the last days, man will be drawn aside to follow teachings which "tickles the ears."  They will turn aside from sound doctrine which teaches of truth through instruction, correction, and rebuke which establishes personal responsibility, self discipline and acknowledgment of sin, and need of God for forgiveness of sin.  We will not want to seek God anymore, for that would mean that we would need to submit our will to His. Mankind, in like manner as Satan, is prideful. He doesn't want anyone telling him what he should or should not do.  He resents even the idea that he should obey anyone other than being led by his own desires and will.    

          My question is, “If following and being obedient unto God is my desire, then should any sacrifice on my part be too great?” At first glance, it may appear that submitting our will to the will of God may mean that we may have to change or give up a lot that we once thought we wanted or needed in our life.  When, in reality, anything that we might “give up or let go of” is always replaced by something else that God knows is far better for us.  The “rich young man” lost the gift of eternal life because his earthly riches were far more important to him.  He could not see beyond this present and temporary life.  It wasn’t that Jesus did not want the young man to have riches, but that He wanted to give him greater eternal riches than the young man could have ever imagined.  He doesn’t just give us life, but rather a far more abundant life.  At one time, Satan tried to lie to me by telling me that if I chose to put God first, it could mean that He would take my husband away from me.  At the time, my husband was not a believer.  Yet, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I realized that, no matter what happened; I had to choose to go on with the Lord.  Thank God that I did, for had I not, the rest of my life may have taken an entirely different path.  The blessings of the Lord are many.  Months later after I had made my decision to follow Jesus, I was blessed by being able to be a witness to my husband, my love, being reborn and receiving Jesus as his Lord and Savior.   We can never out give the Lord. Did He not leave all the glories of heaven to come to earth to sacrifice His life for us on the cross to pay for our sins?  Did He not suffer all kinds of hatred, persecutions, and beatings for our sakes?  Did He not suffer separation from His Heavenly Father that all of our sins might be placed on Him to pay the debt that we owed, but could not pay, for our redemption?  Knowing that, could we ever give up more than what He gave up for us?  Could we ever do more for Him than what He's done for you and me?

          Maybe you are ensnared in a life style that you think is a part of you and there is no way out of it.  Maybe you’ve been trapped in addictions.  I don’t pretend to submit that receiving Jesus is just going to remove all adversities from life.  Miracles can and do happen, but also the fight to overcome that which would try to separate us from God, may be a battle which takes a great commitment of time, patience, and perseverance in prayer, and help from the power of the Holy Spirit, to set us free from the grip of strongholds.  We must keep in mind that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6: 12)  With perseverance in the Lord, we can overcome all the fiery darts of the enemy for “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.” (I John 4: 4)  To stand against the enemy we must put on the full armor of God, and never give up the fight. (Eph. 6: 10 – 20) 

     Romans 1 says: there is no excuse for man not to know God. Also, editing God's word and replacing the truth with compromise and self interpretation (giving it whatever meaning that is pleasing in your own sight, or depending upon one's own interpretation as to what should be taken out, left in, changed, or ignored all together) can only lead to confusion, doubt, unbelief, and eventual removal of any standard to discern right and wrong.  If there is any doubt, always choose to believe that it is not an error in God’s word, but rather an error or lack of understanding on your part.  Remember, God’s wisdom and knowledge is always greater than yours or that of any thought of mankind.  When we doubt God or try to second guess Him, we make ourselves subject to deception through our own flesh, the world, Satan, and his demons.  Yes, the powers of Satan are real, and he is a foe that we must be equipped and prepared to fight against, in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the truth of the word of God.  Always test the spirits; if anything is contrary to the word of God give no adherence to it. Give not appearance of evil and give no place to the devil. (I Thess. 5:22 and Eph. 4: 27 – 32)  Run from it, and run into the arms of the Lord.  Remember, the battle is won “not by might, and not by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 4: 6)

          Today, so many pastors are leading the people astray by teaching the feel good ideas that all Christians are to be healthy and wealthy and if you aren’t there is something lacking in your faith.  This is a man centered gospel instead of the God centered gospel of the Bible.  Teaching God’s people that God is going to miraculously remove us from all suffering and adversity, and that neither was ever meant to be a part of our life, is an absolute falsehood and completely unscriptural.  Try telling that to the Christians in the Middle East today who are suffering poverty, persecution, and even death simply because they refuse to deny their faith in Jesus Christ.  This kind of false teaching only causes us to focus on the here and now with a kind of faith that is self centered and self serving.  It does not teach us to live our lives in the here and now as servants of God, but rather as if God is our personal genie in the jar whose job it is to make us happy, healthy, wealthy, successful, and prosperous.

          In the end, it all boils down to the fact that mankind doesn't want to acknowledge that he has any responsibility to anything or anyone but himself. By rejecting the truth of God's Word, or rejecting the knowledge of God and His right of authority over us as Creator God, we are then enabled to become our own god, or to create for ourselves images of any false god(s) that happen to suit our own vain imaginations. We think that in doing so, we have made ourselves free to do and be anything that is pleasing unto ourselves. "A man's ways are pleasing in his own eyes." Living by this view can only produce a society that lives by the mantra of "If it feels good, do it, for there is no right or wrong."  We become no different than the pagan people who worshipped Ishtar, the goddess of sexual immorality and Molech, the god of death (abortion- shedding of innocent blood, and euthanasia), or Baal.  We may not have altars built to them, but nonetheless, we are still worshipping them.  There are even those who are still baking bread for the Queen of heaven, (Jer. 7: 18, and 44: 19) even though the warning is given that this idolatry can only lead to provoking the wrath of God against those who indulge in such practices.  The idols that we worship today may not be called by these same ancient names, but they are still the same today.  Anything that we place before God is a false god, or idol, whether it takes the form of career, pleasure, fame, worldly riches, and on and on. Neither can we dabble in a little bit of other religions and still say that we serve the One True God, for then we have become no different than prostitutes who go after (strange men) or other gods in this case.  What part of “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” do we not understand?  

          The editing of God’s word, or just blatantly denying the truth of God’s word, may seem as though we are 'freeing' ourselves from any responsibility to God, who alone truly loves us and knows what is best for us.  Like it or not, God is still God whether one believes in Him or not.  In reality, by turning our back on Him, we have merely enslaved ourselves to the "wages of sin and death."  Alcohol will rule the alcoholic to his death.  Homosexuality will rule with increasing confusion over the homosexual.  The habitual liar becomes so entrapped by his own practice of lying that he begins to believe his own lies, and is unable to know or recognize what is truth in his own life, or in the world around him. The glutton will forever be ruled by his own appetite and, without repentance, is doomed to be forever out of control.  The sin that we practice, to live out, will enslave and control every aspect of our life.

           The statement that “there are many paths to God,” can only be true if we do one thing.  That one thing is to change the word God to god.  There are many paths to 'god,' for there are many false gods and the 'paths' to them are wide and there are many that go therein.  However, as the word tells us, there is but one path to the one true God: "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt 7: 14)  Wow, did you see that?  It said, “and few there be that find it.”  That’s not just alarming; it’s down right sad.

God has made the pathway available to all, but few will choose to follow Him.  Well, if I am wrong about God and His word, then I have lost nothing.  But if I am right in trusting and believing in God and His plan of salvation, then I have gained His love, forgiveness and a home in the new Heaven and new earth with Him for all eternity.  I choose to believe Him, and not mankind.

          The society that is involved in the practice of marginalizing and editing the Word of God, will be one that becomes increasingly secularized until, eventually, it forgets God altogether and becomes increasingly wicked and lawless. 

"Blessed is the nation whose God is The Lord; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance." (Psalm 33: 12)  At one time, the phrase, "In God we trust" meant something to most Americans. However, in more recent years, it has little or no meaning, and there are many who would have it erased entirely.  Remove belief and trust in the one true God and, by doing so, we remove God's hedge of protection from around our nation, making us subject to suffering judgment from The Lord. If we choose to be obedient, then we will receive favor and blessings.  If we choose to ignore and disobey Him, we have brought curses upon ourselves. Do we not understand that it is our own choice that brings ruin and destruction upon ourselves?  It is not God's desire for us, for He desires only that which is for our good.  We will suffer the consequences of our own actions as individuals and as a nation.  Only repentance and the choice to turn our hearts back to God can save us from the consequences of choosing to be a disobedient, stiff necked and rebellious people. Apart from God, man is doomed to become the victim of a selfish, self centered, and prideful sinful nature; thereby, unleashing total decadence and destruction upon ourselves.

     The Word of God says that if we refuse to believe in Him, and the truth of His Word, we will be given over to a reprobate mind.  “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved (reprobate) mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.  They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity (covenantbreakers), no love (without natural affection), no mercy.  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1: 28-32)

 If there is no standard of true right and wrong, then wickedness and lawlessness will soon be the norm.

          If we are to believe, according to man’s present opinion, that such things as abortion on demand, the practice of homosexuality, marriage between those of the same sex are no longer to be deemed as sin, then what else are we required to delete from the word of God?  Let us examine I Corinthians 6: 9, 10. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”  If we deem it right and good to delete one of the above, what is to keep us from deleting all of the above?  According to our newly formed idea that there is no standard of absolute right or wrong, but merely the varying “paths of light” determined by each individual, perhaps we may find, in the not too distant future, that all have been reclassified as good instead of evil.  At such a time, we may possibly find that the only and last vestige of morality still left standing is “Be thou not intolerant;” thus leaving us with a society bereft of any true morals or any semblance of a standard for right and wrong.  Oh yes, “A man’s ways are right in his own eyes.”    

          If we always put God first and hide his word in our heart (applying it in our life so that we are doers of the word and not just hearers), we are far less likely to fall into the pit of deception through ideas of appeasement, social justice, political correctness, or other venues that would try to manipulate and cause us to compromise the word of God.  Every decision involves the choice to either put God first or follow the path of the crowd, there is no in between.  We choose either to conform to the world, or to be transformed by the word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  If we choose to ignore, delete, or pervert any part of the word of God, how in the world can we hope to be followers of Christ?  If we do not read, hear, trust, and believe in the word of God, then we have believed in our own vain imaginations (opinions); we are lost and most greatly to be pitied.

          The editing of God’s word always leads to a distortion and perversion of who Jesus really is.  There are those today that say they believe in Jesus Christ, and yet they deny the truth of His Word.  They deny that He was born of the Virgin Mary, that He is God incarnate (God come down to earth in the flesh), deny that He is the Son of God, deny that He is the only path to eternal life with God the Father, deny that He alone redeemed us when He died on the cross, deny that He arose from the dead and is alive in Heaven, and deny the need or existence of the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  As a consequence, there is no knowledge of the meaning or importance of the necessity for the Fear of The Lord. In stead, too often, the fear of The Lord is presumed to be unnecessary, a waste of time, and counter productive.  No wonder faith in Jesus has become so marginalized today, when those proclaiming to believe in Him don't even know who He is, or that He is The Power of God. If this is the kind of Jesus that exists in the minds of many, they have stripped Him of all of His attributes that make Him God. That picture of Jesus is false and is not the Jesus preached in the Bible, so you might as well believe in the Wizard of Oz.  No power there for sure, and you are free to be your own god with no responsibilities to obey the One True God of the Bible.  Believing in Jesus Christ, But Not His Word? Then upon what foundation do you believe; perhaps your own ever changing opinions?  I pray that we would not choose to put more trust in our own intellect than we do in God, who is the Alpha and Omega and knows the beginning from the end, the Creator God of all that exists now and forevermore.


The Cross, God’s plan of Salvation


          Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. Jesus is the only way to Heaven, as He is the only one that shed His blood to save us from sin and death. He is the only one that arose from the dead after being crucified, dead, and buried.  Unless we put our trust in Him as Lord and Savior, we will die in our sin and will suffer eternal separation from God.  Faith in what Jesus Christ has done for us IS God's plan for our salvation from sin and eternal condemnation. It is not He who condemns us, but we ourselves. God does not desire that any should perish, but that all would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Do you truly know Him as your Lord and Savior, or are you still gambling with the destination of your eternal soul, knowing about Him perhaps, but never knowing and inviting Him to come into your heart to have a personal relationship with Him?  He has said that if you would but believe in Him, He will send His Holy Spirit to live in you and be your personal guide into all truth.  It is through the Holy Spirit in you that the word of God will be illuminated and come alive in you, enabling you to be a doer and not just a hearer of the word.  Before it’s too late, I pray that you will ask Jesus to come into your heart.  He never refuses anyone who seeks Him with all their heart.  Put your trust in Him and He will take you through this life and on into eternity with Him.  God is alive, and Heaven is for real!  God’s word is eternally true and is not open to editing in any way, shape, or form.
         If you seek to know the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to start your journey with Him by reading the Gospel of John.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you spiritual eyes to see, spiritual ears to hear (the voice of God through His word and His Spirit) and a heart of flesh (not a heart of stone), that you might grow in the Lord and be taught by His word, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Confess your sins, repent and choose to follow and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.  Seek out a Bible believing/teaching church to help you grow in the Lord.  Jesus said, “If you confess me before man, I will confess you before my Heavenly Father.”  May the Lord reign in your heart and in your life.  Invite Jesus to come into your heart today.