Immigrants And Their Children


Still another view to bring us closer together in God’s Kingdom

THEY WERE STRANGERS

TWS art 49

I had taken a vacation from the news for a couple weeks, but I couldn’t help but notice all the discussion in my Facebook feed about immigrants being separated from their children. Everybody seems to have weighed in by now, an executive order has been signed, and in reality most have people had made their decisions beforehand.

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Rats, I missed! (It might have been on purpose)


In coming to battle against Goliath, David took five smooth stones with him for his sling.  No one really knows why he took five stones rather than just one, but the fact is he took more than one.

At least one can say that David was in for the long haul.  Had he missed on his first four attempts, he was going to be there for his 5th.

Sure, the other stones could have been there listed in 1st Samuel 17 for the other four brothers of Goliath, but it matters not.

Extra stones does not indicate doubt, but of resolution. The fact is:  David was determined and it’s clear too how he depended on God to help him aim his rocket to the target.

This makes me wonder how we are armed whenever we come into battle.  Are we prepared as David with an armament from God to defeat the enemy?

Examine our weapons:  Our rock or stone is Jesus.  The strength behind the rock is faith and as David was, our determination is indicative of our belief:  that we belief God will assist us to victory.

Now then, if we belief all of this the same as David there can only be one conclusion when we don’t win the faith battle.

That conclusion is that God did not ordain it to be victorious as we see it for it was NOT within His purposes or plan.

And that’s why sometimes we can throw ‘rock’ after rock after our problem and all fail to deliver a knockout punch.

All of this can go down only one of two ways. Either our victory will ensure or else we will fail.  And failure is really out of the question so then, we must trust God to work His will in place of our own.

This is a hard teaching.  No one who reads this is going to like this post, but I believe it is true.  We serve the sovereign God at His pleasure and not in reference to our will.

While David might have possessed the heart of God, Jesus controls the direction of His power.

That’s right and unlike David we will fight very unlike he did for we fight only with the weapons of faith produced by our Lord Jesus as He believes is fitting to the occasion.

Unfortunately, for the Christian our call is almost always the way of surrender rather than victory.  We might as well leave the five stones down at the brook and carry only the spiritual substance of faith.

And while our approach, our attack and existence is far different than in the days of David, we still incur the one feature that is constant.  That is to indwell faith and the love of God and His trust in all that we do.  And we are to perform this in the same light as Jesus.  It will all come down to a matter of giving and sacrifice.  That is the winning edge in a game that seeks only to forgive.

 

Selling Jesus as if He were a Used Car


We see this at times, don’t we?  We’ve witnessed some preachers who either push the punishment of Hell or the concept of Heaven to induce people to become a Christian.  Some take the ‘Come as you are, or Just the way you are” as the beginning and stopping point of conversion.

You see here in our zeal to convert and ‘make’ Christians we sell concepts that seem so good to others.  We promise comfort and forgiveness and other special counsel. The prosperity people promise wild and extreme wealth and riches.

Yet, to the followers of Jesus: Jesus promised that family members would rise up against us.  He indicated that since the world hated Him they would hate us as well.

The words of Jesus dictate that we need to repent and to forsake all and give all and to abide in Him and in His words.  In short, we are to

Surrender to God.

Moreover, we are to sacrifice our lives if necessary and to endure  suffering and pain and to bless and to give and to forgive over and over again.

This is no way to sell a car.

And when speaking of Jesus we are speaking of commitments and endurance and one going in for it for the long haul.  In other words, there is nothing really easy about being a Christian and nothing promising for being one either (I realize here you can argue that.)

So then, there is no real selling Jesus.  There is loving Jesus and His Father.  Yes, we have that and that is really the only true reason ever to become a Christian:  Possessing a love of the Son and of the Father.

Love then cancels the notion of selling and transcends beyond hope and shapes itself into truth.  No, Christianity is not a ‘package’ to be sold but one in which another adopts and integrates into one’s life.

Finally, Jesus is not ours to sell.  He belongs to the Father and His grace is given freely for those who accept Him and believe on Him and His name.  This all goes beyond the mere commodity of a car for our souls were bought and paid for by the very blood of the Son of the Living God.  He gives us life forever while He has already paid the price.  His cost to us is FREE.

 

When Numbers Don’t Count


It is easy to become discouraged when our numbers don’t add up as quickly or as much as what we would like.  We can recall that on the Day of Pentecost, a number of 3,000 saved were recorded and we might like to compare that to our own paltry efforts with far less success.

I wonder when reading of the exploits of Gideon if this same truism would hold water.  I wonder:  didn’t God constantly REDUCE numbers in order to ensure that victory was from the hands of the Lord and Lord only?

Don’t we read where in Mark, Jesus while in His hometown was unable to do any real great deeds because of the unbelief of His town’s people?

And if even Christ Himself were unable to persuade many people at times, where do we think we fit into all of this?

ANSWER

This is not for us, the believer to answer.  Clearly, we see where Jesus taught that 99 sheep were forsaken in order to retrieve the one.  And while this is only an allegory, we still should see the importance of one.

That one person who is saved may not be important unless it is YOU.

If we were to stand before the executioner’s chopping block and at the last moment, we were granted a reprieve, then indeed, we would consider the intervention to be extremely important.

We might feel identical if the same scenario were imposed upon our wife or kids or loved ones or neighbors. Likewise we realize the importance of the spinoffs as it relates to those who matter to us, one by one into a collective unit.

And so then, we see the vast POWER OF ONE.

Too, we should come to recognize that it is our task, our responsibility to preach and to proclaim the good news, but is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict.  In this way, the power of God is not really in our hands, per se, but lies within Christ who is head of His church.

Thus, I encourage you.  Do not grumble or become trampled with despair. As God’s warrior remain in position as you are and continue the good fight for the salvation of God’s people.

Remember in the end, where numbers don’t count—the power and usefulness of your personality does count.  You count to Christ, to His church and to who come in contact with you.  In reference to that:  Christ and His purpose is the only true virtue that does in fact count.

All We Can see are with our Eyes


Matthew 16:17 Flesh and Blood Did Not Reveal It

I don’t imagine it is much different now than in the day when Jesus roamed the earth as a man.  There were some who eyes who could see and ears that could hear.  Many today are in the identical situation.

In this sense to be as Simon Peter in Matthew 16:17 we must have spiritual eyes and ears.  Too, we can also learn from the above passage that we don’t really learn it on our own, but just as Peter, we learn as a result of God Almighty who reveals it to us.

And yes, I do think it’s a little different with a Christian.  I believe this as we have the indwelling Holy Spirit in us:  we have the comforter who was sent by Jesus to instruct us in all things.

This goes way beyond reading scripture for even the unbelievers can read the same as you and I.  The matter here is to receive understanding.

We can see too that what is learned is not about us.  No, it is about HIM, our Jesus of whom, if we love Him will abide in us just as we are to abide in Him.

And what do we know?  We know that in Jesus that he is pure love.  We know him in reference to forgiveness, patience, faith, truth, long suffering, forbearance, and one with a gentle spirit.

And what is that to us?

Among other things, we are to reflect who HE is.  We are to bear that image we see in Jesus to others so that those who are blind can see and repent.

And to that effect, it is not so much about what we say:  it is about who we are in HIM.

So then, we see the power first as a gift from God and by God as He is the source of all power.  He is the source of our witness for Him.

And while we give testimony about what grants us in His secret ways, our open declaration and acts are available for all to see and to test and to judge as pure.

In so doing, we are performing a good thing for we are revealing to the World of Whom we say He is.  And from that we didn’t learn from Flesh and Blood either, but from the very lips of God.

He, She, Him or it (Attacking toxic masculinity)


For the social engineers there is never a topic wasted for them to explore modifications to their liking.  Aside from pushing the concept of white privilege, the push on gender differences rages across the nation.  For the more immediate the push is to deprogram young male children; discrediting past programs of toxic masculinity.

This is to say that the built-in aggression witnessed by young males and the models therein should succumb to a process of total social emasculation.

My take on this:

Many of today’s citizens are extremely confused over gender and gender identification. Much of this is due to children being raised mostly by single parents in a more complex environment and with changing gender roles.  The net effect, as a whole has not been favorable.

The Christian faces a huge struggle: one in which one might compare child behavior from the past to today.  For example, examine child behavior in the 40s, 50s and early 60s.  Where would we perceive that children were not only better off, but more disciplined, educated and focused.  Then only real difference here other than time has been the fact that so-called experts have superseded past traditional family values with those of their own.  The end result is what we have today.

Thus, the Christian family is stuck with either compliance or with resistance.  Many have chosen home school, but Christians as a whole have to date failed to weigh in on their views and stances.

All of this leaves us with a choice.  We can either become pro-active and guide our own families, or capitulate as the masses have and continued our downward path of moral values.  It all comes down to a matter of character.  Character is built upon values and through moral instruction on a personal level.  This is where we should be first as Christians.  Our responsibility is to weigh in and tow the line with values we believe are worthwhile.  In the meanwhile and with the absence of our voices, we can expect to see more programming to rid our society of what they define as white privilege and male/masculine toxicity.

The Bragging Rights of Born Again Christians


Much is said today of Born Again Christians.  This is said as if we had at least two types of Christians:  Born Again and Non-Born again.  What other types are there but born again?

Of course, I believe I can argue quite effectively that no Christian becomes born again until the resurrection. That’s a new born experience that thus far only Jesus as experienced, but to brag about being born again, this is I think rather a fundamentalist proclamation.

Thus, converting to Christian as a Born Again Christian takes on a power all its own and is something to be treasured, so we are to believe.  Yet, I find all of this silly.

Either a person is a Christian or they are not.  I don’t read of any Christian possessing status over another.  And while we can argue over what constitutes baptism, how are we going to ‘prove’ this born again claim?

While I realize this post is not going to settle the matter, I at least think we should begin discussion on the matter.  It seems to me we as Christians are all in this process, this journey on earth together and should therefore be working hand in hand in performing the Great Commission.

In that sense, as brothers and sisters, no one is greater than the other and there is no separation or real bragging rights that one Christian is saved by one methodology and another differently.  Certainly Christians are not separated by mechanisms that grant bragging rights for those who are ‘Born Again.’  I believe that ALL Christians are Born Again or at least in the process of renewal.  In actuality, the real bragging should never be on the person, but for all rights, on Christ and Christ alone.

The rest of us as Christians can await for that great day when we are all called home together.  And in that day, it matters not what stage of birth we are at—only that our new birth will be received among the angels and within God’s Heavenly Kingdom.  And at least on that day, we can clearly say we have all been born again.

The Truth is in the … (separating families)


Considering all of the American people in Prison and separated by children, I wonder…

For those who feel this is so bad, and it is…how many Christians are looking after those of whom they say they care so much?

For those on the border…how many Christians are intervening and proclaiming the righteousness or wrongness of the deeds of America?

It seems when it comes to addressing the policies of our country, it is easy to assess the sins of our government.  When it comes to the absence of Christians and our work…where are the words?

Heck, we can’t even get many to assume the rightful responsibilities for the homeless, how can we expect more, more insomuch we go beyond our American homeless population of which we neglect so we can neglect even another population.  I don’t know.  It just makes me wonder about all the indignation.

Calling into Question: The Sinner’s Prayer


I can really think of nothing more innocent than a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ to salvation.  Yeah, I know already someone is going to throw in a plug that we are saved by grace and there is nothing we can do to assist that along.

Sure, yeah.  Right.  Acceptance is one thing we can do and it is also a requirement.  And yes, I also know what Calvin had to say about it, but then again, Calvin is not the beginning of Christianity nor the end.  He’s a good guy, alright, but not the final word.

And whereas more or less the Sinner’s prayer began with Moody and then later spilled over to Billy Graham, there is nothing but virtue for a sinner to ask for atonement through His prayer.  And from here we can argue until the cows come home that a person is not ‘saved’ until he is baptized.  Even that isn’t enough for some Christians as we can also argue about what consists of baptism. Okay, so let’s say we go beyond all of that…. I’m saying there is nothing wrong with a sinner on his kneels asking God for forgiveness.

If nothing else, this is a good starting place for a sinner and one in which a person might ‘meet’ God through His son, Jesus.

Too, I think for those who oppose the ‘sinner’s prayer’ one should be cautioned about slipping into a fatal legalism.  Somehow, I just don’t think common people have to adopt the vocation of a lawyer in order to understand the rudiments of being a Christian.  As far as I can read it, over and over again, it requires belief in Jesus and in His name. And while there would probably be some around who know and understand the Latin and the Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic and whatever else scriptures there are, this is how I see it. So then, until I am much wiser than what I am now, I’ll continue to encourage lost sinners into God’s kingdom with the lowly but effective, ‘Sinners Prayer.”

Rwandan Prophecy — Fat Beggars School of Prophets


Originally posted on Fat Beggars School of Prophets: In his book Mere Discipleship, Lee Camp tells us that at the time of the Rwandan genocide (1994), Rwanda was “‘the most Christian country in Africa,’ with as much as 90 percent of the population claiming some Christian church affiliation.” This is particularly shocking when you consider…

via Rwandan Prophecy — Fat Beggars School of Prophets