THE GLORY OF AMERICA

July 4, 2020

Where Is Glory Due?

Every entity has an opportunity to bring glory to its creator. Great paintings are put on display for all to admire the work of its creator, the painter.  Birds chirp and sing glory to the One who provides them with food, life and purpose.  Every great work brings glory to its maker.

When we look at history and the people of nations, past and present, we see that in their glorious stages, they too gave glory.  In its greatest hour; the Greek honored Zeus.  The Romans at the height of their empire gave honor to Caesar.  Some European nations honored their kings with praise as gods.  The Germans honored Hitler.  In its greatest hour of wealth, power and dominance in the earth, who has America honored?  After reaching great wealth, power and esteem from around the world, America selected an American representative of wealth and pride in the person of Donald Trump as its president, who is representative and a culmination of America’s religious belief in a prosperity gospel and where wealth and white superiority is held up as the golden standard for the nation.   We see in his attitude toward history and culture an ideology of “whiteness” that typifies the attitude of the nation’s majority class who finds glory in themselves and their accomplishments.  Their greed, selfishness, prejudices and pride drive them to seek a superiority that mirrors that of Germany’s Hitler and his egotistical reign. Their blind drive prevents them from realizing their identical pattern of the evil of the past.  Men without God’s approval and glory seek to bring glory to themselves because their failure to recognize, honor and give glory to God leaves them naked.

Learning Reverence

The bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Pro 22:6).  It declares: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Pro 29:15).    If we did a search of the worst world leaders and the chaos they caused, we would find things went wrong in their childhood.  People without good parenting lack balance and respect for authority.  Few, if any, of us have had a perfect childhood but it would take a terribly demented childhood or mind to become a brutal, murdering monster seeking to destroy multitudes like the actions of Stalin, Idi Amin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Lenin and others. 

What has happened to America that the nation has become before the whole world a wild, untrained degenerate?  The nation started out in religious discipline, respect for God, naming Him in founding documents, on dollar bills and offering Him prayer in gatherings.  How has it come to the place where its people now believe that they, themselves, are gods; like the Romans and Greeks?  What happened to the humility of its people?  There was always a wild strand running through the nation from the Wild West with its carousing, saloons, bank robberies, gambling and public spitting; but there was always a law and enforcement to bring them back into check. A bounty would be offered to bring the outlaws down and society would shun the lawless.  However, today people want to invest in the outlaws and get in on the looting of others.

The wild, Wild West was tamed in part by women in society who stood up against their husband’s bad manners in saloons, with liquor and their omission from the vote.  Traveling ministers worked the circuit to bring moral values to the west that needed literacy and moral guidance.  All of American society grew more cultural and shame came to the lawless. In America’s more recent history it became popular again to be the rabble-rouser, a Burt Reynold’s “Smokey and the Bandit,” James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause,” Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” or today’s  “Oceans” crowd.  Ministers today are silenced by the donation plate and fail to rein in lawlessness. The ministers, themselves, have taken a center stage now and seek their own glory rather than bringing all due glory to the God they purport to represent.  Society and ministry that used to stop the degradation of society in America’s past have now turned its resources to the pursuit of wealth at the expense of morality.

Practice of Reverence

What happens when the lawful no longer wants to invest in bringing down the lawless?  We get Trumped!  Every family has its wild card, a drunken idiot, greedy scoundrel, or rebel rouser that brings shame to the whole family.  Honorable families refuse to be defined by such persons and will condemn the person or refuse fellowship with the rebel.  Yet we see in every nation and through the ages persons who managed to overthrow all familiar boundaries to rise to power and abuse multitudes.  Only the outcry of the oppressed rising to the surface and piercing the conscience of a leader or the masses has been able to deliver a captive population. The righteous whether a single person or a group must always challenge evil’s attempt to silence what’s right.  America has honored the rights of the individual to make his or her voice known. No other nation has given the individual such privileges to criticize leadership and America would do an injustice to its founding creed to oppose that right.

Ungodly leaders will always try to overthrow good as long as there is something to gain and a people willing to be silenced. The oppressors of every nation and ethnicity have proven that they will stop at nothing and no amount of cruelty to glorify themselves in power and riches.  If America, with its divided power and freedom granted to the people, cannot stand against ruthless oppression; it is doubtful that any people could.  It may indeed take a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to overthrow a tyrant.  America is made up of a union of states but it also takes the union of its people to keep fighting for its freedom. If the majority keeps silent against wicked governance, then its liberty will be lost like that of so many other nations.

Has America forgotten its former stance?

America the Beautiful

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

The God that America has sworn allegiance to and vowed to love has reason to be disappointed of what the nation has become:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mar 12:30  

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  Rev 2:4 

The God to whom America has sworn its love and devotion has also taught us how He wants to be honored.  Scriptures teach that God is a jealous God and will cause false gods to bow down before Him.  Yet America that used to believe those words is now defying His guidance for its own self-glory but the position of God is well documented:

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Mal 1:6 

For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.  1Co10:26 

The fate of Jezebel and Ahab attest to the fact that the highest leaders in the land have not power to prevail against the Creator of the world.  The prophecy had already been spoken that their fate was to be devoured by dogs and the prophecy came to pass.  From the least to the greatest, we all owe our respect to God and He alone deserves the glory for all He has done for the nation of America.  A nation that honors God receives His favor but those that dishonor Him receive His dishonor.  America’s strength has always been in honoring the God that has blessed her.  May America remember her God!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Ps 33:12 

What Is God Saying Through the Worldwide Pandemic?

June 2, 2020

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men… 2Sa 7:14 

We were all birthed in a parental environment and most people can identify with the scenario of a good parent who disciplines a child.  The parent wants to teach the child a lesson from the disciplinary experience on how to become a better person and grow into a mature adult.  We also can probably imagine what the child is seeking from this ordeal: how never to do that again!  If God is sending discipline into all the earth over His anger and disappointment with His children, what might the lesson be?  It is not difficult to figure out the lesson because we have merely to go back to His original intent and instructions.  Discipline comes when the child breaks the rules or instructions given by the parent.  God’s intent was that man and woman would live in a place where they could grow and mature while having fellowship with the Father.  He wanted them to be fruitful and replenish the earth as a loving family and community that supported each other under the loving authority of their Heavenly Father.  He supplied all their resources and their responsibility was to duplicate His authority in the earth, enjoy life and be thankful. 

When we look at God’s intent and then at the results we have produced, it is not difficult to see why God might be upset with His creation.  We live with warfare in our homes, community and world, and are facing the breakdown of our world even while distressed over the very air we breathe.  Mankind has brought our world to the point of collapse.  Of course, those people who do not recognize or accept God as author and Sovereign ruler over the earth will not be able to see this dichotomy.  When we recognize that a parent is angry over our behavior, there is an expectancy of discipline.  Discipline is not enjoyable to us but the parent is in control and calls the shots, just as we know God is in control over mankind.  The best thing the child can do is to humble himself, plead for mercy and admit to the wrong.  God, of course, is much more loving than the average parent and has already built into His discipline provision for mercy.

With the understanding of parental discipline, we have the tools necessary to understand what God is doing in the earth.  Who could possibly put a check on the world system that would bring every single person to a halt with fear for his very next breath?  Who could possibly make the whole world to focus on something as intangible as the air in front of our faces.  There have been sicknesses for which man has found a cure and there have been storms that man has learned to maneuver safely.  Mankind has developed witty inventions and gadgets to make life safer and more comfortable for himself.  From the north to the south and from the east to the west mankind has majored in finding his enjoyment and comfort. 

While man has enjoyed his comfort even at the expense of others, the Father from heaven has had a front row seat looking into the earth and watching mankind. Imagine the view from heaven as the Father sees men frolicking and enjoying all the pleasures and benefits of life that He has provided.  Imagine though when He turns His head a few degrees and sees hunger, disease, slavery, abuse, idol worship and a plea going out for help.  Surely He waits to see if someone will respond because He gave man authority to care for his family in the earth.  When there is no answer to assist the cry for help, God is moved to respond. “I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know (Gen. 18:21)”.

Long after the days of Adam or Abraham, a prophet named Isaiah gave us a window into what God was seeing:

Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!  And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?  Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. Isa 10:1-4 KJV

Because man has responded like he did not see the wrong and shown little or no concern for the weak and disabled, God is bringing the evil He sees directly in front of man’s eyes.  Every day on the news, we see a catastrophe that is happening in the earth brought before our eyes.  We cannot turn away because it comes over and over again in our news, social media, and conversations.  Every electronic device alerts us of the latest news.  Our response is either approval or disapproval.  The contrast that God sees He wants us to see, so He is putting us in a position where no one can claim ignorance and every individual will have to answer for his role.  As our God, He wanted to smell the sweet fragrance of our praise in worship service because of His goodness, but instead there was a stench from sin and evil. Through the Old Testament prophets, God spoke to the chosen people to let them know how He felt: 

Isa 1:4  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 

Isa 3:24  And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. 

Amo 4:10  I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

Isa 5:4  What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

In these scriptures and so many more in the bible, Father God has shown His displeasure with His people.  Because people have failed to understand the words of the bible through gospel preaching or from warnings sent through turbulent weather; God has allowed the judgment of Corona virus to touch the whole earth. It is as if He was saying surely someone will hear.  He is allowing us to experience the grief He feels when a stench comes to His nostrils rather than a sweet smelling savor.  We whine: “When will it be over?”  We see people at various levels trying to respond to the troubles we are experiencing but they have no understanding.  They can try to manage what God sends but they will have to admit they have no control. They try to use secular wisdom to solve problems that stem from spiritual disobedience. Spiritual leaders that should have led and guided people through these times chose instead to smooth over God’s warnings and place their emphasis on church enlargement and financial gain, making them incapable of solving the problems. They have been further silenced by their compromise with a secular government to protect their worldly resources.  In the absence of their righteous leadership, people are looking for leadership and have found none.  Imagine the heart of the Father who established righteous leadership under Christ authority as He watches our confusion and disobedience in the earth.

Because truth has fallen in the streets and cries are going unanswered, God has taken up the case against sin and oppression.  While people are wondering whether or not the pandemic would let up so they can go back to a normal life, God is observing whether or not mankind and particularly America will understand His complaint and fix the problems.  America is waiting for the problems to go away, but God is waiting to see if He will have to increase the trauma to get the nation of America and others to turn around.  America carries the greater guilt because she has been given the greater liberty to know the Father and His Son, Jesus.

All of the problems have been brought to the surface again and again and have been discussed and debated by groups that are religious, lawmakers, social media, law enforcements, news media and around our kitchen tables.  Talking has not resolved the problems, because hearts are unchanged. We have appointed leaders who will not take decisive action to lead the people into resolution and healing. Some people with greater power have assumed themselves safe because of their power and removal from the trauma being experienced by the  poor and vulnerable, but perhaps they have not realized that God owns them and their power.  We have had bad times before when the conscience of America would be pricked and new leaders came to the forefront to lead the nation into a better future.  Where are those that see the error of our way?  While God waits and the people are in distress, evil consequences disrupt our lives until we acknowledge our sin and rise up to confront evil.   

In the midst of this vacuum of human leadership, God has tried to turn people back toward Himself, His promises and His unfailing love.  Surely when we consider the crises of the hour, senseless loss of life to the pandemic, the hazard of the air we breathe, poor leadership, violence in the streets, and distress over daily provision; we will turn to the God who provides life, the breath of life, resources for sustenance and Divine guidance.  America is on trial and the case is being presented before us all.  The world is the jury and God will render the final verdict for America’s future.

God’s purpose in bringing seemingly unsolvable problems before us is to make people acknowledge their inability and turn to His Sovereignty.  The American Civil War fought over black slavery caused white people to stand up against other white people to oppose evil.  It was a battle between right and wrong and people took sides and stood up for righteous principles.  A lot of lives were lost but righteousness won against evil.  Unfortunately, the anger and hatred merely went underground for a time and has resurfaced over and over again in expressions of hatred that still threatens to destroy the nation.  This hatred today has found a place in the highest office of the land where it is serving as authentic government authority and is seeking to lead the nation backward into the rule of evil.  Where are those that will stand up on principle against the evil we all see?  Has Americans completely relinquished their authority in the land to a rule of evil dominance? Where are white Christians, a majority in this nation, that should be standing up in righteousness for Christ and truth?  Are they selecting majority rule to dominate in power over the choice of Christian virtue they have proclaimed?  America has had time to utilize all of its resources of religious guidance, mass media, government systems and finances to deal with the problems of racial hatred, greed and inequalities. The ploy of the enemy is the same as it has always been to make people bow down to his evil ways and serve him through evil acts in exchange for his temporary gifts of fifty lucre, power and fame.  It is the same temptation that came to Jesus after His wilderness journey.  Jesus showed us how to overcome the enemy’s temptations and serve God for pure and eternal blessings that are valued above gold.

 The beauty of the book of Isaiah is that it tells of the anger and wrath of God because of the evil in the land but continuously expresses the mercy of God:  “For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (Isa 9:12, 17).”  Isaiah also tells us of the birth of the Savior, Messiah and King that would come and Who has come to redeem every lost soul who will trust in Christ.  “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up (Hos 6:1)”.  God, the Father, has put it upon Jesus Christ to pay the price for all our sin through His crucifixion so that we can escape the penalty and punishment that we rightfully deserve.  Now the door is open for everyone to receive forgiveness and mercy through Christ and be transformed into the nature of Christ.

True faith and conversion will bring true peace to our community and world whereas hypocritical faith and false religion has brought disillusionment, poor leadership, division and chaos.  In the midst of all our sin, the Father is still willing to forgive, restore and guide us into His perfection and peace. He has given us the life of Jesus Christ as our example to imitate and follow.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Joh 3:16-17

Note: Join me on YouTube channel as Truth and Life Ministries with Joyce Reba Payne for more spiritual content and insight.

America Cannot Define “Equal”

May 7, 2020

Vulnerability of Empires

A popular phrase of past generations was: “The sun never sets on the empire”. It was used to describe the greatness of the British Empire and also described a few other past kingdoms. The phrase once included Great Britain’s possession of America, but today America is known as the greatest nation in the world. Some people have described America as an idea that birthed a nation, an idea of freedom and justice for all. America is thought to be a nation where anyone can come and find success. It is a wonderful concept that has inspired many foreigners to relocate to the nation.

A national news report recently described a very contrasting picture when a foreigner who frequently visits commented on America’s internal struggles and stated his nation and others pity America. Great nations come and great nations go. There have been many nations that believed no one would ever surpass their power or authority. Decline seldom occurs overnight but its withering away is best seen from without. History records many great nations throughout the ages that fell from within because of pride and corruption. Most people have heard of the greatness of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece Culture, or of Timbuktu in Africa around the 15th-16thth century, famous for its gold, salt, learning, and cultural centers that were a wonder in its day.  They all eventually went into decline and serve as lessons for nations that follow.  Of course, one has only to turn on the news to hear of current struggles in Great Britain and Brexit.

The 13 British colonies that formed America won independence from Great Britain through the American Revolutionary War (1775), a victory that started the present “greatest nation on earth”. The idea of free people, free to choose their own destiny and religion apart from a king was a novel idea. America has survived many internal and external struggles but has remained a beacon of hope for many nations and people who seek the liberty it exudes.

The Dirty Little Secret

The dirty little secret that America kept in the closet is that it does not really want freedom for everyone. There was a type of elitism in the nation at its beginning that never left. If one was to look carefully at the pictures of the original negotiations for the Declaration of Independence and the forming of the Constitution of the United States one thing might become apparent: all the participants were of one race and one gender. The signers and negotiators were all white and men. It would have been unconscionable at that time to include in those negotiations women, let alone black people. The coming of other immigrants later such as the Irish was despised. Immigrants from all over Europe and the world came to settle in America but white Americans of European descent had particular disparagement for immigrants from Japan, China, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Asia, etc. Black people fall into a whole different level of prejudice because of being brought to America in chains for slave labor. The noble speeches written in the founding documents regarding God, freedom, equality, and justice for all were the thoughts of European white men seeking a place to live out their idea of freedom that never fathomed women or African slaves as their equal.

The American Civil War (1861-1865) did not, unfortunately, settle the issue of white hatred against the rights of black people in America. Neither did black uprisings, demonstrations or civil rights laws persuade white men to willingly allow blacks into the inner sanctum of American society as equals. The election of the first black president did not signify the end of black prejudice as some had hoped. The women’s rights marches and the progressive movement of white and black women into politics in 2018 seemed to have done more to ignite the inner rage of American white men than subdue it. To be fair black men and other races also deny equality of women with them, so some issues are inherent in the male ego.

The Problem of Arrogance and Elitism

The arrogance and elitism of American white men have long roots that reach all the way back through the pride shown in the likes of Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, some European Kings, and up to today’s American President. From the error of Adam in the Garden of Eden to the madness of Adolf Hitler (whose ideas were inspired by American racism) to the lawlessness of America today, we have seen the pride of men blossom out of control. And yet with all the history and its consequences behind us, men today still do not seem to comprehend the flaw of male pride or the God who subdues it. The arrogance of men defies submission to Divine authority greater than him but yet, as present American politics proves, men willingly submit under male leadership they consider unreasonable or weaker than them when it promotes male dominance. The bible that predates all the men aforementioned clearly states that: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Pro 16:18). Just as Lucifer continues his attempts to disprove God’s sovereignty, so man continues his attempts to prove his superior power. The Lord who has already defeated Satan laughs at man’s attempts (Pro 1:26). God spoke His conclusion on the matter of pride before the campaigns of Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, tyrant European Kings or Trump. Yet each man dared to believe he was different or would have different results. Men keep challenging the Lordship of God and God keeps overthrowing man’s arrogance because he refuses to stay in proper alignment.

Greatness has been granted to men who recognize first the greatness of God, walk in humility, and practice respect for others. God gives us a biblical history of great men, their power and successes as well as their failures for the purpose of our learning and to prevent the futility of experiencing the same falls others suffered. It is the fool that does not learn from history, but God gives us examples of right and wrong ways and then advises us to choose the right way. What could be clearer? God has shown men what authority looks like in Himself. He has revealed Himself as a warrior in battle, tender and compassionate, willing to listen and make an agreement with subordinates, willing to show meekness and vulnerability in the flesh, kindness and patience with children, having a readiness to defend the weak, knowledgeable and wise in decisions, equal with counterparts, a good provider, husbandman and Father. Out of all the characteristics God has revealed as examples of leadership and authority, many men have only learned ruthlessness toward others and greed for more power. Those are the characteristics we see in American male leadership today and that is the reason why America is failing as a leader.

America has prospered while mistreating people because of race, gender, nationality, and economic status but the only learned lesson appears to be: do it again and with greater zeal. White hatred of other ethnicities and the abuse of their children show that America’s arrogance and elitism continues to the present. Regardless of the lessons from other nations who oppressed the vulnerable for wealth; the elite of America think: why not. Regardless of the past repercussions of oppression and slavery, the lessons learned seem to be: do it again. Regardless of the ultimate overthrow of many arrogant tyrants of the past, American elitists see only the wealth and power yet to be won. News reporting and public rebuke along with protests appear to be the only hindrance that prevents the repeat of past atrocities. Poor leadership ruins people from the top because leaders set the pattern that people follow. Past economic downfalls resulting from misuse and abuse seem to have taught this elite generation nothing. Everything that has a beginning also has an end, and the end of good things always seems to come too soon. A bible story tells of a man who had too much grain to store that he decided to pull down his barn and build a bigger one. God saw and despised his pride so much that He declared: “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Lk 12:20)” The lessons God teaches us through the bible and history are to keep us from being greedy fools, but America’s fatal flaw seems to be greed for more wealth (“For the love of money is the root of all evil…,” 1Ti 6:10). The fact that other nations are expressing pity rather than admiration for America reveals a nation in decline from greatness and becoming a fool.

The arrogance of America is not a new practice but the same as other nations led to ruin and downfall. When decline starts, inertia makes it difficult to stop. The culture of America is derived from a history of aristocracy and nations who suffered decline from similar issues. The best of kingdoms who impoverished and enslaved people were subject to destruction from internal and external forces because God stands against oppression. King Solomon taught us about the futility of seeking pleasures that lead one’s heart astray: “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied (Pro 27:20)”. The lust for money and power brings its own downfall because its thirst  cannot be quenched.

Equality Defined

The words “equal” and “equality” denote a sharing or dividing with others the comparable opportunities and privileges of life that are freely provided by the Heavenly Father. If God “…maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust (Mt 5:45)” who is a man to make a distinction. God does not withhold His bounty because of race, nationality, or gender. The scriptures states:

But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Act 10:35

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:28

It is clear from scripture that every nation and person who accepts God and does right is acceptable as an heir of God. It is man’s greed and prejudice that goes against God’s will to provide equally for all His children and it is God who pulls down a man and his systems that perverts God’s plan for equality. The gospel reveals protection for the poor and vulnerable through human leaders but when they fail, God brings His own justice.

He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways: …So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. Job 34:24. 27-28

At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee. Deu 24:15

The cry of the oppressed and the abuse of a wife are also attended by God:

And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. Mal 2:15

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 1Pe 3:7

The submission of a woman to her husband is backed up by the strength of God when a man uses his power to abuse her. The scriptures above reveal that misbehavior of any man in authority against the vulnerable should be judged by man’s authority but if not, God will in due time administer His judgment. When men insist on ruling this nation alone, they carry the responsibility alone for its failure. God originally gave authority over the earth to both male and female and that authority has been restored in Christ Jesus, but even Christian men refute it. Nations deteriorate when God has to come in to judge leadership who dishonor Him by manifesting a wrong image of authority that brings no glory to God, the Father. If America cannot learn and walk out its promise of equality and justice for all men under God as promised, then the nation makes void its purpose for existing because that was its primary distinction from other nations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Ps. 33:12

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pro 1:7

Judgment on Leadership

But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. Ps 75:7

March 2020

The sovereignty of God and His role as Father requires His discipline for those under His authority.  Judgment is one of the ways God disciplines, cleanses and reorders His people.  It is a serious time where believers should seek His face for understanding. God judged the people at the Towel of Babel who attempted a building to reach heaven and the whole world was impacted and disrupted by their choices (Gen 11:9).   When judgment falls upon a nation, it is because God has seen evil on a scale that the whole nation is corrupted and ripens for destruction, but His mercy appeals first to the leaders who instruct and guide the people.  Ministers are those that should know the heart of God to help keep people in obedience to the word, but prophets are those God will speak through when He sends word to the people of His displeasure. God puts leaders in authority to take care of His people.  They are in office only for the purpose of caring for them in God’s stead.  If they do not take care of the people the way that God wills, they are no longer needed and God is the one who promotes and demotes.  So God’s first appeal is to leaders to remind them of their duty to provide for the people.  A corrupt nation is one where disobedience is in leadership and people.  Remember King David had authority over God’s people as King.  He ruled over their provision, discipline, and defense during war.  King David brought great wealth to his kingdom and curses when he disobeyed (2Sa 24:12).  King David recognized and honored God and God blessed David and the people.  The wealth and wellbeing of a nation is a reflection of God’s favor (Ps 33:12).

When leaders are corrupt, the people become corrupted as a result and the leaders may misuse or abuse the people until they cry out to God for help.  People are responsible for and blessed by praying for their leaders, but God responds to the cry of the people because of neglect. He comes to the leadership to inquire why the people are hurting.  Caring for His people was their responsibility and the leader answers to God, who provides the resources.  The Old Testament taught us that God sends the rain and sunshine to grow the crops that feed and enriches the farmer to care for his family.  When resources fail, it is usually because of sin or misuse by leaders at the top mishandling resources that God sends.  Matthew 25:14 shows what happens when God comes to see what is going on.  Those we call our leaders are actually those God calls His servants who work to care for His people.  The story tells how a man was traveling to a far country and gave his servants resources to take care of his property.  When the man returns, he checks on his servants and their care for his property.  While being examined for their care of the people, one servant was found to have been negligent.  The servants were each rewarded for their labor according to their work and ability to handle their assignments.  The one servant that had handled God’s property with disregard was rebuked, stripped of his resources and cast into outer darkness where he would be punished.  We have actually seen politicians leave office in a day in humiliation and go subsequently to prison for abuse of office.  However, our politicians may not acknowledge God’s hand that touched their position of authority because they also do not acknowledge Him as Lord.  In Mt 21:33, Jesus told a similar story of a householder who gave charge to his husbandmen to care for His vineyard.  The husbandmen mistreated the householder’s servants sent to receive fruit from the vineyard.  The story ends with punishment to be extended to the misusers of the householder’s property.

These stories record how the Caretaker of our world, Father God, deals with those who abuse the authority He gives.  Prophet Isaiah tells the story of how God feels about a disobedient nation. Chapter 1 of Isaiah tells how God sent storms or troubles to alert the people of His disfavor but they ignored him anyway. God expressed through Isaiah how even an ox knows his owner but how His people did not know Him.  He asks why they should be stricken (punished) any more when they will not listen (Is 1:3).  The prophet is a messenger sent by God to plead for the people to return.  The book of Isaiah goes on to tell how God is upset with disrespect of His authority and the punishment that He will send. God tries to talk to the leaders but many leaders disregard Him in order to do what they want with their place of authority until God proves His sovereignty, often in devastation.

In Isaiah Chapter 28, we get a picture of how leaders respond to judgment:

Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.   Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge (plague) shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:   Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.   Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.   And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge (plague) shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.   From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.   For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.   For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption (plague), even determined upon the whole earth.  Isa 28:14-22KJV

The response of the political leaders above shows they told lies to hide, used a cover-up, and forged alliances with other powers to protect themselves from the sufferings coming on the people.  God speaks up and says when the disaster comes they will not be protected, their hiding place shall be flooded, the covenant they made would be broken, and that they would fall victim to the same disaster the people experience. We hear the Lord going on to say in Is 29:13 “the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” The leaders will become dumbfounded, with no knowledge of how to fix the problems. The book of Isaiah goes on to speak “woes” to the people and more disaster to fall for disobedience.

No other nation has had the advantage of free speech and liberty that America enjoys in comparison to the hopelessness citizens of other nations have felt because of poor leadership.  We have had the advantage of God’s blessings upon our nation and the people’s access to leaders through speech, prayers, and intercession to encourage them to work for the benefit of the people.  We are all in this together and God is expecting anyone that can hear and understand to do their part to save the nation.

The president does not appear to be well suited for the job he is charged with since he shows bias to his own personal wealth, those of greedy businessmen, megachurch leaders and the “one-percenters”.  Most nations are run by the powerful who take advantage of the vulnerable for their profit. Jesus came to change that system, restore power to the people for their wellbeing and to set up servant-leaders that would serve the people rather than exploit them. He reordered our Christian homes, churches and government to be established for fair treatment of people but it only works if we all insist on equity and resist exploitation.  All of us have influence with our political leaders because they need our votes to stay in office.  Another strength citizens have to influence the president is through their spiritual leaders.  The president stated recently that the pastors were called in.  Pastors as leaders over large groups of people and can heavily influence politicians and the president. Pastors, who should have the best interest of their people at heart, have an influence upon votes that politicians depend on.  Pastors should use their influence to lead politicians to a moral point of view and remind them of God’s judgment.  All of our leaders are dependent on power, influence, and money and it is the people that give it to them.  We the people are empowered to take away our leaders’ power, influence, and money; and we should do it when they jeopardize rather than promote the lives of the American people.  Every person sitting home wondering what happens next should utilize their personal power for prayer, godly wisdom, connection with peer groups and affect society with our voices.  Business professionals have the ear of the president behind closed doors to protect their own interests and we should make sure our interests are advanced as well.  Our leaders have the ability to bring good or evil upon our heads but God has given citizens and believers the opportunity to appeal by vote and in prayer for removal bad leaders and replacement with godly ones. Good leaders should lead us from one mountaintop to the next because of their vision, but poor leaders suppress our potential.  We have to get beyond the place where we submit to any male leadership over us because of respect and start evaluating qualifications and rights to lead.  Leadership authority should not be based on gender but on the God-given ability to use His authority for the exercise of His rule in the earth.  God shares His wisdom and guidance with His leaders for the good of the people.  When believers and citizens cry out to God, arise for change, and are willing to put feet to their prayers, we can expect God to move because it is His desire to help us.

Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry.  Ex 22:22-23

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God Hit the “RESET” Button

March 2020

Have you ever been using the hairdryer to dry your hair and the power just stopped?  I have and I had to wait for the dryer to cool down before hitting the “reset button” to finish drying my hair.  Many of you had that experience within the last week or so.  Everything changed.  Many of you could not go to work; your children could not go to school.  There was no fast food ready for your instant consumption.  Suddenly you became the cook, the house cleaner, the teacher, a real mate and 24-7 entertainment for your children. Life changed seemingly overnight. What happened…God hit the reset button.  You may have thought your life was great, but God saw something different.  What if you designed something to operate a certain way and it was seldom if ever operating the way you designed it.  You’d be pretty upset.  That’s not what you designed!  Well, God designed you and me and we have not been operating the way He designed; so,…He hit the reset button.  Everything stopped…the Whole thing.  Our lives may not return to what it used to be. I believe God said, “Let’s try this in a different way.”

Some people are old enough to remember when we actually cooked all our own meals, washed our own clothes, drove to school or work with the kids in the car, talked to our neighbors, picked up the newspaper at the stoop, worked side by side with our coworker and talked about life, had sit-down meals with the family and played games or maybe watched television together.  Many of you will be doing similar things now because life has changed almost overnight.  You will have a chance to get to know your partner, children or parents better as a result, whether you desired it or not.  And let’s try to be loving and patient while we go through this; life has changed.

You might have been satisfied with your life the way it was, but was it going the right way?  Today you might be dealing with life and death issues because of the Coronavirus.  Are you going to be sick?  Do you unknowingly have the virus?  What if your mate or children have it and what would you do?  What would life be like without them?  If you have never prayed before perhaps this will be your first time to call upon the God of the Universe.  Every day, whether you knew it or not, life and death were before you. Driving your car, eating food, children at school, your health or your mate’s health were all in God’s hands and He decided between sickness, life or death.  Now you are aware of how real that prospect is when you touch another person or a surface or eat food handled by someone else.  Perhaps you always took things for granted, that it would always be the same.  While God managed your life and kept things running smoothly, you perhaps never considered it or thought to say thanks to the God that watched over you and your family.  Perhaps now you realize for the first time that life is not in your hands, but God’s.

God hit the reset button to help us recognize Him and the things that are important.  You and your mate walking the dog might be a new experience.  Talking and laughing with the children might be new to you if you were a workaholic.  Smelling lawn grass and hearing birds sing while you walk might be amazing for the first time.  While your mind might wander off and worry but what about the bills or what about work or some other thing; God has it all in His hands just like He always did. You just did not know it.  He always wanted you to awake and talk to Him about your day, your concerns and then put it all in His hands.  He was always the one controlling everything anyway.

We needed a reset. Life had gotten out of control.  Parents spent little time with their children; children were being raised by teachers who were underpaid.  Kindergarteners were being taught about homosexuality. Little children in our nation were being caged, killed or sexually abused. What about school shootings?  Things were going from bad to worst. Some cities were without clean drinking water, poor housing or no housing and it seemed no one cared.    The President of the United States is cussing and using profanity in prime time before your children.  It was time to hit the alarm!

When the preachers and priests cannot be trusted around your children, let alone preach a competent sermon, something is majorly wrong.  Everyone was asking who can do anything?  Who is responsible for this?  Everyone was looking to the government but the president is cussing and swearing.   We found out how much he cared when he kept saying everything will be alright and it will all just disappear, while people were dying.  What do you do when the top person who is supposed to be in charge is freaking out?  Who is actually in charge of this thing?  Well, the “One Who is in Charge” is responding in a way no one wanted.  Judgment is not pretty but that is one of the ways God responds when He is being ignored.  We are learning that death can come from a touch, a kiss or sneeze.  That is pretty severe.  It is the kind of thing that makes one pray, “Lord, keep me.”  It was always up to God to keep us, but many people seldom asked or thanked Him for keeping them safe.  The “One Who Is In Charge” is now standing up and making His voice heard loud and clear.  The president is caught off guard, does not care or will not respond properly because it is out of his control.  This is a God-thing.  Now, what will we do?  It is time to pray, “Father, help us.”

Father God has always wanted to help us with our day and He gave us guidance from the beginning that we have ignored.  Our problems have come as a result of ignoring God.  There were always consequences for ignoring God and doing wickedly on the earth.  Every bill comes due at some point and our bill is now due.  Each and every one of us needs to realize we have to respond to God about the status of our life and problems.

Now that God has gotten our attention, is there something you would like to discuss with Him.  He is willing to listen, but be sure to approach Him lovingly because we are the ones who messed up.  How your life proceeds forward depends on your relationship with God.  You can talk to Him like you would a friend, but remember He has infinite power.  Talk to Him about your concerns about your family, job, faith, health, etc.  These were always areas you needed to address with Him.  Now that your whole world is at stake, it might be a good time to thank God for all He has already given you and then ask your desires for the future.  Don’t take anything for granted anymore because God controls the future.  Realize that what occurs moving forward is really between you and your God.

When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.   Deu 4:30-31

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Psa 95:7

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Is Your Church the “Real” Church?

March 2020

And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Act 11:26

Diverse Doctrine

People of many different kinds of churches believe their church is the real church and often think they are the only ones destined for heaven.  Truth be told, many churches only operate in a portion of the gospel.  The church has crossed two millenniums and multiple changes since the original upper room,  spirit-filled church was birthed. Even then the early believers had different levels of understanding as Paul discovered among the Ephesus believers who had not yet received the Holy Spirit (Act 19:1).  They went on to grow in knowledge and power and we should be continuing in our growth.  With the benefit of seeing the model church, we can compare our worship experience with theirs to determine if our church experience is authentic. Some church leaders may say the upper room experience was unique and no church should expect that type of experience today.  Actually, that is not true. The Christian church today is part of that same church.  The Holy Spirit is still falling from on high to birth new churches.  People are still hungry for God and God is still willing and waiting to infill believers.  Miracles, signs, and wonders still occur.  The only problem is whether or not we today have the same type of expectation as that first church that got on one accord and waited for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.

You will recall from scripture that Jesus had disciples that followed Him day and night.  They trusted and believed what He preached because they experienced His miraculous power and saw the results of faith.  He told them to go to the upper chamber and wait on the Holy Ghost that would come upon them.  They obeyed, believed and then received their expectation:  the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit.  After they received God’s power, they went out and began to witness to other people and shared the good news of the gospel.  They began to act just like Jesus did when He was on the earth.  They preached, healed, delivered and empowered others.  Over a period of time, the first church reproduced itself among other nations and overspread the world with the good news of Christ’s resurrection.

It’s true that believers are of that same church; but if we are not seeing the miracles, healings or even the empowerment in the midst of our people like they did, we have cause to wonder.  Even though some churches may be experiencing healing and deliverance in their services, they may be missing other aspects of the church.  Spirit-filled churches should also be experiencing the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  So, many churches may be experiencing only a portion of what the first church experienced and yet they may be satisfied with their experience when there is so much more available to them.  A half-protected warrior is a poor defense against an enemy seeking to overthrow him; and why would we choose to be only a limb if we can be the body?  We live in a time where many churches do not have the same experience or expectations as the first believers.  Their gospel message may have been changed or watered down but the real gospel message brings real power.  So, many people today are willing to come together, sing songs and pray with little or no empowerment and call it the Christian church.

Is Jesus in the Midst

Jesus stated that where two or three believers come together in His name, He would be in the midst (Mt18:20).  Could Jesus be happy to come among those of low expectations, let alone pour out His spirit upon an unbelieving congregation?  All the things of God come by faith and the scripture states that the just shall live by faith. He is faithful to those that believe, but many of us have seen believers come into the church and over time begin to adjust to the atmosphere of the house.  If the church is usually sedate then they learn to be sedate; and where the church is “on fire for the Lord,” newcomers adjust to that temperature as well.  So a church can become comfortable with its church atmosphere and begin to accept their level of experience as complete and normal.  We should have a constant hunger for more of Jesus.

How should the church behave at this hour?   Jesus is Lord over the church and rules as Lord over the earth.  As Lord over His own church, Jesus is in charge and sets the atmosphere for a believing church.  He has shown us the liberty and power of the church in scripture.  The Holy Spirit came among believers in the upper room and saturated the believers with a praise and worship experience that overflowed their hearts and changed their community. The believing church should be alive and excelling in power, authority, and growth.  It should be maturing into a rapturous state. The most important thing to remember is what Jesus spoke:

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.  Mar  9:23 

The very word that Jesus spoke lets us know that God has given unlimited power to the Christian church to operate in the earth in His name.  The true church consists of born-again believers who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.  There is no problem in the earth that God is not able and willing to handle when the people of God ask in prayer.

A Church Empowered

In the midst of the Coronavirus that America is now contending with, there are many opportunities for the church to represent the Lord.  First of all, the spiritual church has power with God to know and pray about problems before they occur.  The church has been given the ability to be in the know of what God is doing because the church partners with God to do His work in the earth.  The power of God comes down from heaven to rule in the earth and everything on earth must bow in submission. Healing and deliverance power belongs to the church and yet some churches are denying this truth.    A failure in the American church is that it has been willing to relinquish the authority of God and come under the rule of a secular government.  The secular government has become a type of idol to some people but it will never be supreme to the real Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is universal and multi-ethnic.  Some groups have tried to use their beliefs to rule over the church and government but this action is patterned after that of the antichrist.  Jesus, Himself, still rules over His church and the real church is submitted in love and looks like Christ because it is His body.  He came to give every believer direct contact with Him; so He is still there for us even when church or government authority fails.  Jesus’ authority can rest upon the least of mankind of any class, ethnic background or location and the Spirit of prophecy can be activated by Christ through any person He chooses to use at any time.  He has revealed this in scripture over and over.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. 1Co 1:26-29

Father God purposely anointed and used vessels most people would consider unworthy of such power in order to show that it is His power not the wisdom of man that does the work.  Times, like we are experiencing right now, are times when the real church should shine, but we are seeing religious leaders who are dumbfounded or silent.  The church was to represent His arm in the earth in times of trouble to teach truth and correct wrong, but the church has repurposed itself to seek worldly wealth and control.  Such a church has made itself ripe for the antichrist’s rule.  God cannot allow it because He is God and He sent Jesus to set mankind free.  Some things God will personally correct, but there is much that righteous people will have to rise up and correct like Gideon or evil will take control.  The word of God is our instruction book for guidance in troubled times.

A Jealous God

People in places of high visibility expect special treatment because of their position but God hates man’s pride.  It is a fatal mistake for churches to lift the man or woman pastor to the place of God because we have a jealous God whose wrath falls as a result of idolatry. It is in fact already falling.  Some churches have agreed to remove their leaders for misconduct but other congregations are fearful of approaching the religious leader for cause, even though God will back up righteousness with His power.  God showed the church through the examples of Moses, the tabernacle high priests, David, other Israelite Kings and Judas that sin at high levels should be dealt with lest we all be defiled.

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God… Exo 34:14

We saw in scripture that Paul and Barnabas refused to accept the praise of men.

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:  Act 14:11-15

The mighty men and women of God called patriarchs were people who had a godly fear or respect for God and we should permit no leadership that will not respect our God.  There is a place we reserve for God that no one has a right to hold in our hearts and lives.  When we put someone or thing in that place, they become an idol and provokes the anger of God upon us. Our modern churches have not been as devoted as Paul and Barnabas were in refusing to accept the glory that rightly belongs only to God.  Many of our ministers have celebrity status and live like stars, being envied by the people that supply their wealth.  When this idol worship happens, the church can expect to see the Spirit of God depart from their midst.  The Holy Spirit is very sensitive and we should make sure not to offend Him.  The church size and wealth may grow while the Spirit departs.

So we have shown in scripture that God is willing to do anything for His people and also that people can disrespect God and cause His power to be withdrawn so that they become powerless.  A powerless church is a mockery to God and becomes a haven for the enemy.  Many of the problems experienced in our churches and our communities are because churches have compromised power and effectiveness to become more like the world and seekers of God have become religious groupies.  While believers could complain about the behavior of our political leadership, it would be a waste of time as long as church members continue to allow their religious leaders to do the same things.  The behavior of our political leaders is simply a duplication of the behavior of many pastors and, therefore, pastors would mock themselves by protesting politicians’ immoral behavior.  Since pastors lord over, abuse and defraud the people, live a life of excess, greed and ungodly conduct; how can they say politicians are guilty of the same.  The media has reported and we have seen overbearing religious leaders who do not yield to Christ.  That is why believers should cautiously consider the appointment of leaders, be responsible to pray for them and check the word they preach to verify the truth.  In His mercy, God has pulled the cover off some leaders to reveal error to protect the sheep.

It was never God’s will to have His church submit to solely the rule of a singular person over the hearts and souls of the church and that is not the model we find in scripture.  Ephesians 4 and I Corinthian 12 teach that the church is established with a multiple-layer leadership that guides the church and operates through various gifts, all subject to the will and agreement of the Holy Spirit.  Apostle Paul as a leader made us aware that he was totally dependent on the Lord.  He said: “And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned…(2Co 12:21).”  Ministers are vessels that the Spirit operates through to speak to the people of God, but He can speak through any vessel He chooses. Christ is the Lord and everyone is called to bow and submit to His power.  It is unconscionable that pastors would abuse their power and make believers subject themselves to a pastor’s carnal will rather than to Christ, but it happens and is an offense to our God.  As long as the church permitted this dishonor of God, it was predictable that the world and Satan would show up to take this power over men’s hearts and souls because he is always at the center of chaos. If leaders would listen to the gentle rebuke from the home or in their peer group, they would be less likely to suffer public rebuke.  While we are expected to respect leadership as authority from God, we saw Christ rebuke false leaders and warn believers about them. If one has surrendered the heart and soul to a false leader or church, the only response is to repent and cry out to God. Repentance is not an ugly word but a cleansing force. God longs to hear us say, “Lord, I am sorry; please forgive and help me.” He will perform a cleansing of the heart and restoration for a person or a church.

God clearly spoke to the Israelites:  Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exo 20:3).  People in America put a high value on material things, self, job, celebrities, religious leaders, money and sometimes unknowingly place them above God.  We must reject false leadership and idols because they supplant God’s place in our hearts.  We are seeing problems in our homes, country, and world because of disobedience to the word of God; but the real church is correctable, committed to God and will yield to the truth. When our hearts turn fully back to Christ, He will change us and our world.  He is even now pulling the cover off false leaders so the believer can escape the lie and walk in truth because the gates of hell will not prevail against the real church.  To be sure, God will prevail, the truth will prevail and God will have His way. He is shining His light to bring all hearts into the knowledge that He alone is Lord, Master, and King!

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Repentance

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8

March 2020

Time for Reflection

Many people recognize this time as the season of Lent (Feb. 26-April 9, 2020).  It is a time when some people, particularly of the Catholic faith, will spend this time in reflection with fasting as they prepare for the celebration of Easter.  Various religions have their own rites for celebration at this time but every nation knows the story of Jesus Christ and His crucifixion on the cross.  Christians recognize Resurrection Sunday because Jesus died on the cross in our place for sins we committed.  Now our sins are forgiven through His death because we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  However we choose to celebrate or recognize this time, it is a historic occasion, worthy of us taking note.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  Joh 3:16-19

Christians, in particular, know that their sins are already forgiven through Christ’s death and they may take this time lightly, feeling as if they are ready for the season.  Worldwide we are seeing the devastation of the Coronavirus as it takes the lives of mostly the elderly, whose bodies are too weak to resist the devastating virus.  That alone is a reason to begin to pray and seek God for ourselves and others.  We are reminded in scripture that the death angel passed over the Israelites in Egypt when God came in to destroy the Egyptians.  All the first-born in the land of the stubborn Egyptian pharaoh died while the Israelites went unharmed.  God protects His faithful ones.

God knows us one by one and the very sequence of our DNA.  He made us and knows all about each one of us.  We may think we know where we stand with God, but he alone has our scorecard and our accounting is written in His book.  Many people may confess their sins daily but we still cannot imagine all that is on our record.  God is a forgiving God and the blood of Jesus Christ was given to atone for all our sins and Christ still intercedes lovingly on our behalf.

My writings have been online for the past seven years and I have always written that we need to repent.  As Christians and Americans, there is a lot to repent of as a nation.  While I have realized our nation needs to repent, I did not forget about my own soul. I know about others in part only because God has shown me myself and I am thankful.   It is encouraging when the Holy Spirit brings to my attention things I need to correct while I read and study the word.  I readily welcome His correction and work toward eliminating my faults, of which there have been many.  There are some areas that I know of and have struggled with.  Two particular areas God brought to my attention very recently; and I am not claiming I have only two issues, but I recognized them immediately.  I have been through several trials over a problem area and then realized that in the end, I had repeated the same error.  I had not sufficiently learned the lesson.

It is important to stop here and explain that God is a good Father and He loves His children. He is always teaching us so we can do better and be better to do more for Him in the earth.  We know He is patient because He has put up with a lot in us.  It is also important to know that He is willing to teach us again if we are pliable under His hand.  That means we have to acknowledge that we messed up.  Remember David; he messed up a lot but God forgave him, brushed him off and put him back on the throne.  God will do the same thing for us if we repent. Yes, there may still be consequences, but God will see us through them.

Men! Men!

The sad thing is that a lot of people, mostly men, will not say I was wrong and I am sorry.  There is something about men that makes them want to believe that because they are men and in charge, they can do things and not confess to sin.  Bear in mind again that KING David messed up a lot and God forgave him. God called him a man after His own heart (1Sa13:14).  We should take a moment and meditate on that.  That is the kind of child God wants.  Yes, a Man-Child that knows how to go to the Father and repent.  He will forgive us and cleanse us of our sins (1Jn 1:9).  Then He will help us by teaching us principles to live by.  He is loving enough to help us in private, one on one, within the veil.

I want to take a moment as a prophet of God to explain something.  Many people have said God put Donald Trump in office as president. Surely there nothing going on that God did not allow, but everything going on is not necessarily God’s perfect will.  I, like many, was being tempted by the enemy to express hatred rather than love. We all agree His behavior is outrageous.  So why did God allow such a horrible behaving person to become president?  As I struggled with strong emotions about him, God began to show me why he behaves the way he does and my strong dislike of him began to mellow out to the place where I was able to pray for him.  I still have to minimize my time listening to him speak but I don’t hate him.  My sins are just as egregious to the holiness of God.

My understanding of the purpose of Trump in office is that he is there, in all his outrageous behavior, to show us ourselves.  He is in the most visible position to show us what an egotistical fleshly man looks like.  He has been described as arrogant, a liar, a thief, an adulterer, hard-headed, boastful, ignorant, a poor leader, disloyal, untrustworthy, impatient, unsympathetic, and a narcissist.  The list is incomplete but every man can find himself in Trump’s outrageous behavior.  Actually, women can find their personality there too, but men need to see themselves personally and up close in Trump because men do not like to receive correction.  People either love or hate Trump when they see themselves in him.  That may help to explain why our emotions are so strong about him and why the Republican congress stands by him.  How can one deny himself?  He is their mirror and many people are seeing their reflection in him as strength, wealth and power. God is exposing and pulling down the strong men that have exalted themselves through sin.

God as Teacher

Some things we are smart enough to know better, but cannot seem to comply when called upon.  I recognized my sin and I repented being remorseful that God had to bring it to my attention again.  God is so good!  When we fail the test, it is time for more teaching.  So God is taking me through the lesson principles again. None of us are perfect.  We have all sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).  Most of our failures are love failures as are mine.  How do we love like Jesus loves?  He has put love in our heart by His Spirit and His Word, but we still must be converted in our mind and soul and then walk it out.  All the while there is an enemy tempting us to fail.  God said no weapon formed against us shall prosper, so it has to come down (Isa 54:17).  It is defeated in Jesus’ name.

We are made stronger through our trials.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.   And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;   And patience, experience; and experience, hope:   And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom 5:1-5 (KJV)

We may have overcome some things, but there is more.  We are being perfected in Christ and we shall come forth as pure gold.   Ideally, God wants us to see ourselves in the word when we read it to ourselves.  When we spend time in the word, God will show us our sin and then we can confess: “That’s me.”  When we acknowledge our sin, God is willing to remove it and we are continuously being cleansed through the word.  But the test will still come.  Jesus was tested and we will be tested.

Leaders Need To Imitate Christ

If men insist on being the leader over women and other people, then men must learn to be like Jesus.  We don’t need any help being like the other entity (Satan).  We already know that side, but we need some help in being like the Lord.  Men were to represent the authority of God.  If God cannot use you as a man to help make your wife and children be more like him, what is your purpose? Every man is first called to be head over his own home and only if he excels at that should he be promoted to higher positions. Pastors need to know that they are either the biggest aid or hindrance to the church seeing Christ; and it is time to discover which through seeking Christ.  In Christ and through grace, women can also represent the image and authority of Christ because in Him we are neither male nor female (Gal 3:28).

Ultimately, God is looking for us as His children to be transformed and made perfect or mature through the process He uses in our home, church, and environment to cleanse us of imperfections and be made like Christ, to enjoy life and spend eternity with Him in heaven.  Christ has come and died for every person and every sin to give us access to Father.  Apostle Paul stated: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Co 11:2).

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Eph 5:25-27

The Law Still Stands

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I 
am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till
heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass
from the law, till all be fulfilled. Mat 5:17-18

February 14, 2020

It has been a while and it seems that people have forgotten about a little boat called the Ark or its builder named Noah.  It has been a while and the stories of Moses and the Lawgiver are seldom recited.  It has been a while and people seem to have forgotten.  There was a city called Sodom and there was another city called Gomorrah but where are they today?  There was Someone who walked in the garden and talked with man.  He was an Instructor; One of wisdom, kindness, and compassion.  He gave man rule over the bounty of the earth and was a source for knowledge and endless wisdom that man could draw from.  Do people remember Him?  There are great stories that are told, some are dreams, some are fables drawn from someone’s imagination but then there are stories of old handed down from one generation to another to preserve a history and a people.

All the scenarios  mentioned can be found in a book, a best seller written by Father God, Creator of the whole world.  He is the Writer of the book and the stories above.  After giving man the lease for planet earth God simply expected in return love, obedience and respect from man.  The chaos we find in our world today is evidence that man has forgotten the most important lesson: to love and honor God.  Man was warned not to make idols of any man or entity, lest God’s wrath turn against man.  Creator God was and is the One who first instructed man with great wisdom and told man, no warned man, to never forget God or these stories that supply lessons of wisdom for eternity.

It was not long after man’s original instructions that he went astray but he had an excellent instructor who led him back to the right path.  How soon we forget!  Where are the ancestors who used to counsel their children and warn the youth?  Is the book of stories still guiding man or are men writing their own stories and fables for entertainment?  Does anyone remember anymore the way it used to be? 

This discourse started out asking if anyone remembered the story of Noah and his Ark because when people remembered there was a fear of its reoccurrence.  There was a godly fear of doing wrong.  We now live in a time of unjust laws and privilege for the wealthy and it becomes almost a moot point to talk about the Law, which is reserved only as restraint for the poor.

When one hears the story of Noah and the Ark it brings to remembrance that there is a God who gave man instructions and laws to follow and who will ultimately bring the penalty of His Law upon our entire world.  When we remember that judgment and destruction have fallen before on this entire world because of the disobedience of mankind, it should straighten all of our backs and put a godly fear in our hearts.  The absence of judgment has brought contempt for the Law; and, in America, justice delayed is considered justice denied because of demand for speedy trials.  With God, justice delayed is not justice denied.  Noah built the boat and preached for 120 years about a storm that was to come and a rain that no one had ever seen.  Because no one had ever heard of rain, they laughed at Noah’s story, his boat and his preaching.  Much time had passed since Noah first started telling his story so people forgot, but then came the rain.  It rained and it rained until the flood washed away all signs of the laughter and only eight people were spared.  The story had been true and the warning real.

It is interesting to read in scripture that the Lord repented of some judgments He rendered or thought to render (Ex. 32:14; 2 Sa 24;16; Jer 26:19; Jon 3:10), nevertheless, the Lord has given us a promise that the next worldwide destruction would be by the even more devastating and destructive instrument of fire.  Those that remember or consider this promise have cause to chasten their own conduct.  When the verbal instructions from the Master could no longer guide man, He wrote out guidelines called the Ten Commandments to instruct mankind in the right way.  First and most important of those Laws was the instruction for man to remember and not forget his God: “…thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deu 6:5).” 

The second part of the Law dealt with love for his fellow man.  God told Moses to put the book of the Law into the Ark of the Covenant.  The Law was God’s precious words on how man could please his God.  God was holding man accountable for his actions while he lived in the earth and gave a promise of judgment at the end of life for his eternal destination.  He was by no means allowing any man to escape punishment for evil under the old covenant or under the new covenant of grace.  Some punishment is dispensed by the Lord in ways that we cannot reckon while man lives in the earth but eternal punishment still awaits man after death. 

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:… 2Sa 7:14 

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment… Heb 9:27 

God is just in His rewarding of punishment for evil and blessing for good.  The Law was God’s word, a symbol of truth and justice backed up with His power.  The words that God speak have within them the ability to bring about its performance.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isa 55:11 

The book of John gives us a clearer understanding of what the word of God is:

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  Joh 1:1

John makes it clear that God who spoke the word embodies the word that He speaks which  reveals that the word can no more be destroyed than God can.  Now if God’s word is eternal and established law then there is no possibility of getting rid of God’s law.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Mat 5:17 -18

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  Luk 21:33 

Jesus said he did not condemn His accusers but the words that He spoke did.

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. Joh 12:47-:48 

New Testament saints are not under the law’s penalty because Jesus fulfilled the Law’s demand to punish believers for breaking the Law.  Unbelievers are not delivered, however, from the Law’s penalty. 

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine…1Ti 1:9-10 

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Joh 3:18-19

The law is not evil but good; the intent of the law was to bring men to consciousness of their sin and need for God.  Jesus explained that those who have not received Him and His deliverance from the penalty of sin are still under the condemnation of the Law.  The Law is still intact for the lawless and unbeliever and God still enacts and levies the wages of death as the penalty for sin.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:23 

The civil law in America is based on the tenets of the Ten Commandments that have been adjusted for modern practices but it is still part of the moral law God gave to Israel.  The New Testament commandments to love God and love his neighbor as himself encompasses all of the Ten Commandments into the two commandments Jesus gave to His disciples.  The New Commandments can be summed up as love; and every sin is a failure to love.  God fully expects us to fulfill His commandments and it is possible through the power of our Savior.  Christ’s  blood atones for our past sins and provides power to live for Christ.  Though there are people in positions of power to enforce the domestic and civil laws of the land, ultimately God oversees every authority and will judge every disobedience.  “…behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out (Num 32:23)”. 

We have seen in history, men of great power and authority who ruled in terror over and did great harm to multitudes of people but they were all eventually brought down in defeat or turned over to punishment of man and God.  Even though obedience to civil law or God’s Law is not recognized everywhere; God, as the Caretaker of this world, rules over every providence to bring all things under His submission.  Some people may believe that God is sleeping, taking vacation or stopped caring, but He determines the duration of  evil’s reign.  God has a purpose even in the disasters that happen.  Everything has a teachable moment.  He may seem to linger long with some transgressions, but we are assured every knee will bow and tongue confess to His Lordship.  While He tolerates or judge the wicked, He equally protects the righteous.  We have assurance that Christ watches over His church and our job is to keep our eyes turned toward the Lord.  The birth of the Son of God into the earth centuries after the prophecy is evidence that God keeps His promises.  He is stable and unmovable even when our world is shaking.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2Pe 3:8-9

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:23   

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Its Impact Today

January 20, 2020

There are times in our lives and in our nation where we come to clarity, enlightenment or a revelation because of the trial of past days.  It is a time when we understand why we left the peace, went into darkness and now have arrived at a point of resolution where we understand it all.  It was a journey we had to go through to come out enriched by a walk into a new wisdom.  Man had from the beginning marked these disruptions of time with markers to help us remember the discoveries of this time so that we would not have to go back through that trial again.

Today is one of those markers.  We marked this day as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  We marked it as such because there was a dark place where many lived and it came to a disruption of time and a climatic death of a man who was a dreamer of better days for us all. He was one who had seen beyond the darkness of racial oppression to a day where there would be racial acceptance and harmony among us.  He tried to teach us and lead us into the vision he alone had seen.  We were divided in understanding of whether it was even possible.   There was resistance to progressing beyond the darkness so someone snuffed out that little light that was purposed to deliver us all.

In the darkness of the death of that light, we arrived at a time of enlightenment.  We were brought into a time where we reflected on what had happened.  We saw that there was a light for a brief moment that represented a hope and that gave us a glimpse of what was possible.  Then we cried at having lost the hope of that light.  We continued to cry for a period of time as even those who had not seen it before saw the hope diminished.  But some arose and said let’s not lose that hope but let’s plant a marker so that we will not forget what we have experienced.  Each year we are reminded of the great trial between darkness and light and how we must never again snuff out that light in anger.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was that marker.

Like in Egypt, there came a day when there was a generation that did not know Joseph (Martin) and the great work he had done and so the people returned  back to the times before Joseph’s (Martin’s) light.  Woodrow Wilson is quoted as saying: “The history of liberty is a history of resistance.”  Winston Churchill said: “Victory will never be found by taking the path of least resistance.”  When we rise up to resist the bad we must continue until the good is accomplished.  Dreamers know that they are only the light, not the candlestick.  The light is the brightest point at the top of the candlestick that supports it; and it is the candlestick that must continue to supply strength for that light.  Joseph knew he would not see the prophesied deliverance and he left a proclamation for his remains when deliverance came.  Even Dr. King stated he would not see the deliverance but he gave visions of hope that others would be the candlestick supplying oil to light the way for future generations until the dream was fulfilled.   Thomas Jefferson said: “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be kept alive.”  John F. Kennedy said: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”  Jesus said: “…Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth (Joh12:35 KJV)”.

Dreamers have hope that others will arise to carry forth the light until the dream is fulfilled but we have been those that have enjoyed the benefits of the light without catching a vision for ourselves.  We are therefore seeing the last glimmers of the light being diminished and leaving little hope for future generations.  We saw what happened to the biblical people of Israel.  Moses brought them to the mountain but few were able to hold on to that hope and enter into the Promise Land.

Joseph never lost sight of who he was even in a strange land and he foresaw even his bones traveling to the Promise Land.  Joseph made way for his family to survive even in his death and he did that by passing on to them a hope that lived beyond him.  He told them of the source of his hope: that Eternal Spirit that is the Light that never dies.  Our people have had the practice from ancestry of telling our history to the children.  When we stop telling the stories of our history, journey and its goal, then the light begins to diminish.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a minister and a prophet of his time and his people.  He took us as far as he could but we must continue the journey with the lessons and examples he left us.  He was not the light, as John the Baptist stated that he was not that light.  They were only a reflection of He who was that Light that lights the world.  We must follow the Lightgiver that Moses had, which was the Father.  Moses pointed the way to the True Light that is Jesus Christ.  Christ is that perfect Eternal Light that we can have intimacy with and follow all the way to the true Promise Land.  Let us now arise to stand in that light that has been shown us and catch our own vision of the Light and Truth that brings true liberty which man can never destroy.

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” – MLK

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And The Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulder

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Isa 9:6-7 

The Greater Carries the Lesser

The title and scripture above signifies someone with great power who carries something smaller than Himself.  It seem curious that the scripture starts out talking about a child who does this but it continues the description of a prince, a counselor, the mighty God,  and the everlasting Father which makes more sense to  us.  The mighty is able to carry the lesser and the matured Savior taught us the principle of the strong caring for the weak. 

The title suggests that there is a strong one who carries the government upon his shoulders.  That may be something of an enigma for this generation and in America, where government seems supreme. The scripture signifies that it is God who is supporting and upholding the government but America no longer thinks of God that way.  The nation of America and others declare the greatness of America and how powerful she is with strength above any other nations.  America’s weapons are so great that other nations fear its power of destruction.  America has excelled in knowledge, inventions and wealth above many nations.  We sing and boast of the greatness of America and yet there is someone greater than America who carries her.

It is not that America has a god but rather that God has America.  God who inspired and established this nation through the inspiration, knowledge and strength of various people from its beginning, is still the One who hold the reins that keeps the nation from falling apart. The nation is made up of people of various faiths but it was faith in the One True God and His Son, Jesus that guided the building and sustaining of this nation.  It is so that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance (Ps 33:12).”

People from various nations of the world have come to America to investigate and enjoy the greatness that is America and they have brought their own cultures with them.  But if their practices and ideologies ever overtake the faith that is the foundation of this nation, it will cease to be great.  Those that are descendants of the founders of the nation, who believed in an unseen God, must carry on the faith and traditions of a faithful people who loved a faithful God.  Modernization must never concede to the disruption of the true foundation upon which we all stand or we will all fail.

Loving parents always warn their children of potential dangers ahead to keep them safe and this they have learned from God, the Father, who has done this for his children:

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations Deu 7:9  …

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons… Deu 4:9 

Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. Deu 4:23

Loving parents also build barriers of love and protection of which their children are to live within the confines. They know that danger lurks without those confines and God knows the dangers that await us outside the barriers he has built for us.  Children will test the barriers set for them as we have often done as a people and nation; but discipline, if not danger, awaits the disobedient that breach those barriers.

It is a comfort to be carried by someone stronger than you and it is a comfort for a nation to know that there is a God big enough to carry us and all our concerns and needs.  God, the Father, foresaw all that the nation of America would encounter and require and He prepared a course of protection and provision for it as longs as it walks in obedience.  Just like children who reach an age where they want to rebel so does God’s people from time to time.  It is unwise to “kick against the pricks” as Jesus told Saul, the Pharisee that later became Apostle Paul. God taught us through Prophet Samuel that obedience is better than sacrifice.  Though God does forgive and restore, it is better not to test his restraints. God is carrying the nation of America on His shoulder through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our nation should never forget the sacrifice of our Lord or the sacrifice of those who died for our right to enjoy it. 

Christmas A Symbol of Love

The Christmas season is a time when the focus is on giving of gifts to loved ones. It is a time when we celebrate the love of the Father who gave us His only begotten Son to be born into a world of sin. We celebrate the birth of the baby and marvel at the story but we should also remember at this time the cross that he was born to die on to save us.  It is His love shown for us that has generated a love that we share with others.  That is the love Christ expects us to share year round with our neighbors as proof that He still lives because he is loving people through us.

Christ is big enough to love us and everyone around us and the more love He pours in us, the more love we have to share with others.  Love is not selfish. Love grows as we share it and it returns back to us in one form or another.  People often refuse to give because they do not want to lose what they have; but love is something that we can give and never run out because God replenishes shared love. 

The fact that Christ carries this nation upon his shoulders means that He is supplying our needs so that we can help captivate the whole world with the love He has given us.  We should be exporting the love he has given us so that he can pour on us more to give.  The fact that he carries us is proof that we need not worry about running out of anything as long as we choose to walk in obedience and keep him as our God and foundation.

This is a time of love and sharing and it is a time to remember that God is the source of love.  He sacrificed for us to prove His love and we should strive every day to imitate and be more like him.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (Jo 3:16). 

If we stop and focus on the true meaning of the season, it should help us to realign with the Father’s plan for us.  He planned for us to experience his love and then to share that love with others; and we can do it because He is carrying us.

Merry Christmas!

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