The Truth’s in Your Heart (And You Still Don’t Believe)


God has spoken to you again and again and then we turn and demand that God speak to us when we are in need.

All those times when God was there, saving you from the perils of this world, from the evil that they do.  So many times He was there and we had no reckoning, no knowledge of our Creator that loves us.

When you have that low down rotten feeling in your stomach and you know that you should change.  When pain, the lack of sleep overcomes you and you know that it is He who calls you to be who you should be.

The truth’s in your heart.

When you see evidence of our Father in Heaven in all that He does.  When you see children crying over the woes that come by them via adults.

Sin, and harm and disease and pestilence.  You blame all that on God when it came by the hand of man.

The truth’s in your heart and still you don’t believe.

What does it take to wake you up?  To know that your salvation came by the blood of an innocent man?  What does it take to know that the Jesus you have heard about died a criminal’s death?

That gentle man died for you so that you may live forever. Died innocent at the hands of men.

It could have been either you or me for we would have killed him the same as them.  The truth was also in their hearts and still, they didn’t believe.

And on our dying breath we proclaim, the faith in our fathers and in our Jesus:  though you turn away, the truth’s in your heart:

And still you don’t believe.

You Shall Know Them By Their Fruit


Mathew 7:16 and then again in Luke 6:43 tells us that the world will recognize Christians by their fruit.

Jesus warns us of false prophets and those would devour us with their words and misdeeds.  Truly, it seems that God knows and judges us through our words and through our heart, 1 Samuel 16:7 and in Psalms and Proverbs and elsewhere.

Words to Man can be deceptive and not only plentiful, but cheap.

How often does the world view a Christian except by the fact perhaps their hand is in their back pocket?  How often do we hear how much a Christian loves you only to see no separation between a Christian and anyone else in the world?

In viewing a Christian and a person of the world there should be a large differentiation. Jesus tells us to judge according to the fruit for by the fruit, “You shall know them.”

And what is this fruit?  By all means, the first example should be exemplified by love. This love should be transparent, real and pervasive. Sure we love to shout out the word, Agape love, but love by any other name is still love.  No fancy words need to imbue what is real or what is not.

Paul gives perhaps one of the finest definitions of love (charity) in 1st Corinthians 13:13

 

Here we see the expressions of an activity, not simply counting heartbeats or mere feelings.

We see illustrated the fruits of: Patience, Hope, long-suffering, forgiveness, gentleness, one not seeing its own way and much more. In other words, the fruit is a good fruit.

The fruit for the most part is SELFLESS. It is directed toward people and fails to discriminate to anyone.

The example of love is none other than the very life of Christ Himself for his entire life was one that possessed a concern for others.

The truth be known about us of course is a mixed bag.  We are only human subject to grave error.

However, our task as Christians is to push for that mark of the high calling of our Christ.  As impossible as it may be, our fruit is to be a good fruit and one that is proud to be a witness to the world.

Moreover, aside from our evidence of our Spirit as a fruit.  We are to make every attempt to be as Christ-like as possible.  In that we fail, we look to our Lord then to judge our heart.  Words alone will not suffice empty promises to be who we are.  To that effect, we are who we are either as a good fruit or as one that is rotten and spoiled.  Keep the good fight of our Lord Jesus and press

Our Holographic Lord


By any means, God is indivisible in nature, yet possesses the ability to impart his spirit into billions of His believers.  This indwelling of spirit is manifested through the entire body of His church through Christians who are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.

No matter how much the body might be broken down into various parts, they are always whole and complete in themselves.  You might think that as a work of creation then, His spirit can grow, is never in danger of waning or becoming less that what it was at the beginning.

Thus, the nature of a Holographic God.  Though a holograph may be consisted of glass and shatter, each individual part is whole and complete within itself.  The full image remains inscribed on each shard in totality.

In this sense what we examine is a sense of replication, an expansion of the original but nothing that would suggest it was divisible.

What remains are in fact, entire, complete images that have done nothing really but multiplied and increased in that identical image.

We might liken this to Jesus’ church.  Each member is then a complete entity of itself with Christ sitting at the head at God’s Throne.  We who are God’s children are those holographic puzzle pieces that are separate in one way but fashion together to complete a full image in itself.

We are told bees sees the world very much in the say way.  Whereas they see total pictures in each of the hundreds of eyes it houses, the bee nonetheless views the world as one large precept or entity, one mass.

It is wonderful and comforting to know that God’s spirit showers us with completeness.  We know this through God’s Comforter, the Holy Spirit, a spirit that is omnipresent, complete and full in itself.  As Christians we share in this divine right of indivisibility.  In that way, as believers we look forward to eternity and as a body that will never be broken down.  We will always be a glorious part of our creator, Our God through His Son, Jesus the Christ.

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When God Speaks (Can You Hear Me Now?)


An apparent idiosyncrasy of Christians, whenever speaking of God’s voice is that it is a very quiet still voice. Indeed there are scriptures which support this, but other scriptures describe another voice that is more distinct and loud.

We see in Exodus, beginning in Chapter 19 where God spoke with fire, filling Mt. Sinai with smoke that blanketed the area with thunder and lightning bolts.  The book of Hebrews describes the time as an event that shook the entire mountain—so much with the tremulous power of God.

In other instances we see where God spoke at the baptismal of Jesus, loud and clear and still at another time at the transfiguration event. No, we don’t witness a quiet, silent God, but one so powerful that no one is really even able to approach him face-to-face.

This all changed with the advent of Jesus.  Whereas today, as Christians, anyone can approach the Father through His Son, Jesus, this is a major change from olden times in the Old Testament where one could only find God through a High Priest or Prophet.

As much as we say we want God to speak to us, we already possess His precious words in His Holy Scriptures and fail to heed them.  Yet, we want more.

Somehow as people we believe and think that our great Creator should appeal directly to us one-on-one.

In truth, our Lord has already given us the tools that we need:  the rest lies on us and it must be performed in faith.

More to the truth is not that God fails to communicate to us, but we as Christians fail to communicate to Him.

It is not a matter of us hearing God so much as we must listen to ourselves? True enough God has spoken over and over again and still does.  Job describes the times when God speaks again and again to men in our dreams to save us from the pit.

Thus, it is not that God fails to speak loud enough for us to hear, but in his speaking we must have ears that are willing to listen.

Evidence of listening is to be active in our faith.  Evidence of listening is the demonstration that indeed we are His children and where He is the Sheppard. Jesus tells us that his sheep know his voice for they belong to Him.

Rest assured that when we pray, God listens.  In listening to God all we really need to examine is the manifestation of what we do out of obedience.  When we fail to find an answer, it is generally because we are doing it all wrong.

 

Wisdom is Justified By Her Children


Luke 7:34-35

34The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at this glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and of sinners!’ 35But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

For the present day experts of today in childrearing and personal growth and metrication, we can examine the results in day to day living.

On one hand we can witness Jesus as they did in His day and time and refer to him as a glutton and drunker.

In another light we can follow the example of Jesus and the Bible and once again, reflect on the results.

One only needs to go back in history to the 1950s and characterize the differences.

Despite how bad some things were in the 50s, three institutions were in harmony duplicating values of exactness.  We see the church, the schools and family attested to moral duty and virtues.

In like manner even the state through our government harmonized with the other existing institutions.

At that time, children were corrected and received corporal discipline.

A person didn’t steal, not because of fear of getting caught, but because it was wrong.

Sexual immorality was not endorsed, but frowned upon.  This was true among families, the schools and even most often in films and most songs.

Detailing today’s behaviors among kids and adults we see almost the exact opposite in reference to virtue.

We see a flood tide of drugs, sex, robbery, murders, insurrection among communities: drive by shootings, total anarchy within the classroom, unwed mothers, self-inflicted poverty, lawlessness and nothing but excuses made for those who commit crimes.

Where is the wisdom in all of this?  Where are the results except those which are bad and ruinous?

Comparing a nation that followed God in the 50s to this modern world is like night and day.

Truly wisdom is justified by her children.

In accepting Jesus we also toss aside the wisdom of this world.  At this point we are free to choose who we will follow.

Perhaps the greatest example came from Joshua in the Bible. Joshua 24:15

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 

Joshua stated there was a choice involved.  Our choice today is even far better and greater than in the days of Moses and Joshua for now we have Christ as the Head of God’s church to direct and guide us by his promise of the Holy Spirit.

In searching the miracle and wonders of Jesus we find that all His children were good.  Their fruit was one of godliness even after the true spirit of God, His Father.

This process is shortened for there are only among two choices to make.  We can either follow the dictates of this ungodly world, or the tenets of God as reveal in His

Who Do You Say That I Am?


While Moses was at the burning bush, God told Moses when asked that he was simply, I Am.

Probably the most succinct words in the bible that are recorded are connected with this:  Before Abraham was I am.

In fact, during this period, God’s name was forbidden to be spoken.  His name was unpronounceable. Any image or engraved image of God was also forbidden. Moreover, until the advent of Jesus, God was completely elusive to most men.  Either a High Priest or a prophet alone had access to the Creator.

In a word and in more ways in one, Jesus personified God. Appearing on this earth in the flesh and walking as a human, Christ provided direct evidence as to the actual characterization of God’s spirit.

Any honest Bible reader will denote that it appears that a different God was described in the Old Testament as opposed to the New Testament.

The Old Testament appears to illustrate an at times, irate God who zapped anyone who defied His decrees.

Jesus set our relationship with our creator straight:  “And a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you as you love one another.”

And in still another passage he tells us the greatest of all commandments, which we are to: “Love your God with all your heart all your strength and all your soul.”

Too, we witness with Christ a discipline in his message.  We are to love, forgive, to serve to strive for perfection: to do all the things He did while he was here on earth.

So then, we see a relationship between God and Man rather than one of mere rules of obedience.  This is also targeted as we learn our relationship with God is mostly one that concerns the matters of the Heart.

Insomuch we answer that Christ is the Son of the Living God in reply to His question:  Who do you say that I am?

The answer is different when it comes to us.

It is not so much as who we say WE are, it is who we say our neighbor is and how we treat them.  In other words, our relationship to our neighbor defines who we truly are, not merely who we say we are.

If as Christians we fail to love, then that is our true testament to the world and to Heaven and to our God that we serve through Jesus the Christ.

The essence of this is that our neighbors, our brothers are Christ’s church. We the single Christian cannot be greater than the sum of the whole. Only Jesus as High Priest of His church can qualify for that.

Our singular substance is proven, is substantiated only by our acts toward our neighbor. For you see our actions should not be for the concern of ourselves, but for them. I attest that this is the true nature of God for we are commanded to love one another.

No, this doesn’t eliminate our importance, but it does mark who we are in importance to the larger scheme and that agenda is one that includes as many as possible to be save unto salvation.

Following Jesus in this way indicates we are to submit to our brothers and to be servants to all.

Jesus, directly to his disciples said:  “And servants I don’t call you, for a servant knows not what his Master does, but friends, I call you.

Thus, as Jesus, we are His friend, but as he did accordingly, are servants to others. Consequently, being known for our love, when standing with Jesus as he awaits at the gap, once it is declared:  “Who do you say I am?”

The response of Jesus and his angels will be:  You are God’s Friend.

 

 

 

 

When We Forgive And Don’t Forget


The idea of tossing sin into the Sea of Forgetfulness is a comforting concept.  While I’m not sure who came up with this idiom, it’s a good one and more or less based on:

 Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Or another passage (and many others in the Bible)

Hebrews 8:12

For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.

This is the type of response we have come to know about and from our Lord, Jesus and our Heavenly Father.  When we confess our sins, we desire for them to be washed away, gone forever, never to be brought up again.

Yet, in common practice most of us are as such:  “Okay, I will forgive him, but I will not forget.”
Statements like that generate problems and yes, I know how very human it is to feel that way.  However, forgiving and not forgiving ferments deep bitter feelings.

 

Jesus said:

Mark 11:25

25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Now here is where we have to get real. Our hearts, our feelings are to become as God and we are to forgive the same as we want God to forgive us.  This is not possible without forgetting.

I will admit this is next to impossible, nonetheless this is a commandment of Jesus.  It is a truism and there is no escape from that.

Of course, if someone stole something from you, it is hard to trust that person again.  If one committed murder to someone in your family, who would want that murderer to live next to you?  And this is the reality.

Jesus offers us forgiveness for far greater crimes against his Father in Heaven and we are to do the same.

Common sense explains that some sins against you take time to get over.  Any person who has gone through a divorce realizes this.  In fact, I dare say most all sins against us take time, and in that process we should strive to be like Christ and Christ minded.

The truth of all of this:  is this easy?  Is this even possible?

None of this is possible on earthly terms.  Yet, Jesus said all was possible with God.  Resultantly, then, we are to strive in that direction, knowing we haven’t arrived on that plain of goodness, of purity reaching the Mark of our Savior, the Christ.

However, I affirm and attest that if we are comfortable with forgiving and not forgetting, we are in fact failing to obey the words of Christ. So when we pray, let us throw all the sin, theirs and ours into that great body of water we call the sea of forgetfulness.  In that way we are one more step in serving our Master, Jesus the Christ.

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright


Several popular tunes that I know of states that ‘Everything’s gonna be alright.”  God, I wish this was true.  More often than not, things are horrible.

The secular world would like you to believe is that all you have to do is sing a good movement tune, clap your hands and swag back and forth and then all is fine.

Of course, this is total nonsense.

Your kid is shot in the head.  This is horrible.  A divorce or death in the family is just as bad.  No, things are not going to be alright.  At times, things suck.

I lean more so to a tune a long time ago with Woody Guntrie with “We Ain’t Down Yet!”

Yes, we may get kicked aside, dejected, rejected and many, many, other things, but we ain’t dead.  No, we’re still here.

And in times like that when we cry out to our Father through Christ and say “Abba, help me.”

In times like these, we can rest assure that our Lord not only hears us, but will act.  In this way, though, it is not generally not the way of which we expect or even asked.

 Isaiah 55:8 
New International Version
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Most of the time, we attempt to either instruct God or ask something that has nothing to do with what we actually need.

Yet, it may be horrible how things come across to us.  More than likely, things will suck.

Again, as Christ taught, we are to live by faith. True enough, things may not be good and more or less will get worse.

However, in the long term, God has your back. And no, everything is not going to be alright.  Yet, trusting in God despite our circumstances, we will come out on top.  Hang in there:  have faith, and trust in your creator that He has a plan for you.  In His hands, everything will indeed be all right, but perhaps not in this universe.

So Times Are Hard


James 1:2-8

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

James exhorts us to endure and to be joyful.  Right.  Enduring is one thing, but it is another to count it joy until it is over.  When rent is due, car payments overdue, when a love one is sick or in general, nothing goes your way, it is almost impossible to be joyful.

My message, is that as tough as times are, they probably will get much worse.  The truth is:  there is no sugar-coating to make things better.

Not only did Christ die on a cross for our sins, but all of the apostles ended in a similar fate.

Our task, as difficult as it may be, is to endure to the end.

Of course, there are times when rewards will be reaped here on earth, but in the final analysis, the ultimate reward lies in Heaven with Our Father and His Glorious Son.
Matthew 10:22
You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

No, in an earthly way this is not joyful news at all.  In fact, it is not even encouraging. The only real encouragement get here will be in the hereafter, not in the here and now.

Matthew 22:32
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

As Jesus said as recorded by Luke and Matthew, God is the God of the living.  And in like manner, Jesus, as his son remains to represent us.

What that leaves us with is faith.  And in that faith we are to love and to possess expectations as children of God.

It is all fine and well that we know the scriptures and all the noble trails and deeds our progenitors endured.

As importantly, and perhaps more important, is our acknowledgment of that living spirit that provides testament to us here and now.

These testaments are to be provided by his church.  We his church and through our spirit we are to declare that same spirit of Christ that dwells in us.

So then, when things are hard:  it is not harder than when out Master suffered on a cross.  When times are difficult, impossible, we are to endure and to declare the ultimate Glory of our Father, He who sent our Lord, the Christ.  And through Him, he taught us that all things are possbile.
 

 

 

In The Absence of Answers


As denizens of Western society, we love answers.  In our quest for knowledge most of us simply can’t rest with the reply of ‘I don’t know.”  Indeed, we may not know, but this is not good enough for us as we have a hunger to know what is and what is not.

One of the major arsenals of knowledge is dual in nature.  One weaponry involves numbers and the other, mere words.

The accumulation of words can be a defining moment of persuasion.  In other words, if one were to speak the right words in just the right combination and inflection, we can convince people of our thoughts or favors.

Preachers utilize this tool for their net effect, yet we have examples of very nondescript preachings.  One that comes to mind is from the Apostle Paul:

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent words of wisdom, lest the cross of the Christ be emptied of its power.
And once more, we read again from Paul:

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent words of wisdom, lest the cross of the Christ be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 2:1
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.

1 Corinthians 2:13
And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

 

So then, we see that Paul spoke plainly with ‘trembling and with fear’ to the effect of the power as reveal through the Holy Spirit.

Thus, we see our mission is not one of words, but one of connection to our Lord for the expressed purpose of revealing God to a lost world through his power.

Naturally, you will add that you are not Paul and that the days of the Apostolate age is over with.

Even if I were to agree to this it certainly doesn’t stop the Christian from copying anything else Paul says.  Often, we cite Paul’s words as rules or commandments.

However, the idea here that I am attempting to express is that a person does not have to be a biblical scholar to understand the makeup of the Gospel.

The makeup is simple enough:  God sent His only son, Jesus to earth for people like you and me who are separated from God because of Sin.  Through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, his death and rise from the dead, through faith man can be saved.

That is the simplicity of the gospel and truthfully, all of the words in the world cannot match or equal what Jesus, the Christ has done for us.  All of this is far, far beyond mere words.