Category Archives: Community

The Great Equalizer – Jesus Christ

October 2019

But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…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 3:25-26, 28 (KJV)

Many have heard the words that the ground is level at the foot of the cross whether written in an old gospel song or the thoughts expressed in the book of James:

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. Jas 1:9-10 (KJV)

There is no person higher or lower than another person in God’s eyes.  Everyone that comes to the cross of Christ is a sinner in need of a Savior.  Any good thing one may think to boast of is as filthy rags.  The rich man that comes is no better than the staggering drunk.  Jesus accepts all that come to salvation in repentance by His grace regardless of race, gender, nationality or past sin; and they are all accepted as children in the family of God.  As family, they are freely and abundantly loved by the Father; they no longer have to seek love through fame, material things or performance.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9(KJV)  

In the Old Testament, God showed preference for a specific group of people called Israel.  Everyone outside the family of Israel was considered as a heathen or dog (Mt 15:26).  There was a special love and place set aside only for Israel because of Abraham, the patriarch of Israel who chose to believe God.  This special love God bestowed on Abraham’s lineage alone throughout the pages of the Old Testament eventually brought God’s love to everyone through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament.

A world that was engulfed in oppression, bondage and obvious abuse of power toward the vulnerable was the normal way of life in nations before Jesus came.  The rich and powerful exploited the poor and vulnerable because no one dared defy their evil power.  The powerful had the ability to lift up men to places of authority, regardless of their lack of moral character, and bring humiliation and destruction to whomever they chose. God never approved of abusing the vulnerable but the wages for Adam and Eve’s sin brought a curse upon all men everywhere.  Jesus came to break the curse and end oppression.

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.   Joh 3:16-18 (KJV)

Jesus died to set all men free.  He left his disciples a commandment to announce throughout the world that now men could come back to God as His children.  Jesus proclaimed for all men that the truth would set them free.  It was not a difficult message and today we have the means to get the message to everyone.  Yet there are leaders ruling as tyrants in places where the first disciples taught about Jesus; and, in our nation, truth and freedom are often manipulated for the benefit of some one’s power. In America, we are seeing men with ill-gotten power change the rules and moral values of the nation while insisting on their right to do so because they are in charge.  Any tyrant or brute can take power from the weak but  righteous authority comes from God.  Righteousness is God’s standard and no leader has authority to change God’s standard. God’s moral law is backed up by His power and it will stand at long as God stands: for all eternity.

Without real Christian believers revealing the Living Christ of the gospel, words are without power to save.  Apostle Paul said:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:13-17 (KJV)

Spirit-filled believers who live and teach the word of God are necessary to persuade all men everywhere that Jesus yet lives. They must do it in the midst of a popular culture with a diluted message of Christ being preached to promote church size and finances.  Erroneous teaching may cause people to lose interest or become lukewarm but the gospel truth preached with power can draw souls back to God.  The gospel message is simple and effective when delivered properly.  The word of God is a transforming message that saves and delivers to set souls free from bondage.

Without faith in Christ our nation would return back to the pagan days of old where corrupt men lord over the people.  Jesus is still reaching out to save souls and save our world.  One believer can turn his world around for God like Paul did, like Daniel did and like Elijah did and, of course, like Abraham did because he believed.  Invested in every spirit filled believer is the same power that raised Jesus up from the grave.  Far too many believers underestimate the power Jesus has given them.

While men of influence are today trying to persuade people of their wisdom because of wealth or position, the believer must remember that all of God’s children are a royal priesthood and have within them the ability to move mountains.  We will all have to give an account for what we have done with our talents and God will require more of those to whom much has been given. Of the utmost importance is what we do with the message we heard about Christ.  That word developed a seed of faith on the inside of us that contains great hope.  The enemy of our soul sets up men of power and wickedness who use threats, fear and intimidation to  suppress righteousness, faith and hope; but the believer in Christ has a new place and source of power:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Eph 2:4-6 (KJV)

The believer in Christ as a child of the Great King with all its privileges and has become an heir of all that belongs to Christ.  This position is available to any person at any level of life who will believe the gospel.  We all must come in the same door through simple faith in Christ’s sacrifice. He died on the cross in your place and in my place and for the souls of the whole world of sinners.  It should have been us who died on that cross for all of our sins; but Christ who knew no sin, died in our place so we could go free.  What a wonderful Savior He is!

What Christ did on the cross leveled the ground for all men to come into equal position as brethren.  Christ, as God in the flesh, called disciples His “brethren.”  We observe in scripture that Christ came in a lowly estate and walked in humility and meekness while administering help to others.  Apostle Paul said: “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits (Rom 12:16).”  Our culture and worldly self always want to be exalted or rewarded for every deed but that is contrary to Christ’s way.  It is Christ who examines the life of His disciples and chooses to raise some to higher callings as he did with the first apostles, where they took on additional duties and risks for the kingdom.  Christ gives no place for any legitimate Christian leader to be proud, arrogant, abusive or demeaning. Those characteristics and others listed in Galatians 5:19-21 are traits that help us identify Satan’s servants who connive, bully and cause fear, intimidation or evil deeds to enforce their pretense of superior power.  The God of love backs up the strength of His people and they have the greater power because of son ship with their Great King. That power is not for self-exaltation over others; but we can, by His power, condescend to men of low estate.  The commandment to love our brethren should cause all of us to assist the less fortunate.  Jesus taught that those who desire to be first will be last and servant to all (Mk 9:35). Adherence to such Christian principles is what causes people to consider the needs of the poor and vulnerable of our community.

The power men use to rule over others is power that ultimately comes from God and every tyrant in history has ultimately fallen under the power of God.  Powerful names such as Alexander, Napoleon, Caesar, Hitler, Stalin and others are only a whisper from our past. We are all like pieces on the chest board that are set up and moved at God’s command.  Our very next breath is at the pleasure of God.  Psalms 24:1 states:  “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”  Though mankind may be reluctant to acknowledge God’s sovereignty, He, nevertheless, will have the final word; and He will use His authority to pull down all forms of evil.  The glory that some men have taken for themselves belongs to God and He has said of Himself that He is jealous over His people and that He will not give His glory to another (2Co. 11:2; Is. 48:11).  Knowing that the All-Powerful God demands His glory and is jealous over His people, who would in foolishness dare take upon himself the glory that belongs only to God or harm the vulnerable that is “the apple of God’s eye” that He protects?  Fear of God helps one to stay in a place of humility and obedience because God puts down oppressors and lifts up the meek while He judges the earth and defends His word.  The wise will hear the word of God and believe in God’s power while the unbelieving may choose to learn the sovereignty of God the hard way through experiencing His anger.  The love of God allows everyone the opportunity of choosing to be an equal partaker of His grace.

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren…Heb 2:9-11 (KJV)

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Mat 23:8 (KJV)

—O—

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We Hold These Truths…

August 2019

Pursuit of Power

The intrigue of mankind has caused it to make many great discoveries in the earth but among the greatest is that of the atom that has promoted use for both good and evil.   Still a mystery to some is the question of what great power created the atom.  Surely a greater power than the atom must have created it.  Search for such power has driven men to far shores, extraordinary and dangerous efforts seeking a way to harness such power for advantage over other men.  Explorers have dived into the unknown and gone to the ends of the earth to find out how things work.  They seek an elusive power that is above them and that they have no ability to control.   Men throughout history have sought and claimed the power of an unknown god while some have dared to take on divinity for themselves.  Search for power has driven some men mad as they have sought to manipulate power for personal advantage.  Great power still beacons man because he knows he has a potential for greatness.  But greatness without discipline is very destructive as has been proven through the power of the atom.

Exposure of Illicit Power

The news media in America is reporting at this hour on abusive power by men who have position, influence and wealth above average and who use it to engage in illegal and lascivious acts against the most vulnerable in our society. These men are discovering too that their undisciplined desires have the ability to disrupt their position of power.  And while they should be held accountable for their actions; their position, wealth and power provides them a shield and means of escape from being held accountable to those they consider beneath their status.   Their attempt of a god-like cover of their actions assumes that there is no God watching and measuring their deeds. The media has unveiled for us the illicit sexual exploitation by the hierarchy of the Catholic, Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Mormon churches.  From the Bernie Madoff and Enron financial debacles to those of present day business leaders, we have seen business leaders corrupt with power and wealth exceed the boundaries of decency and morality.  American government leaders are being exposed daily for corrupt use of government power for personal advancement.  Men of corrupt minds have not only been found to cause unwilling women to submit to their undisciplined sexual desires but the Jeffrey Epstein prosecution reveals that they have gone on to organize hidden groups of the rich and famous where they cause innocent children to submit their deprave desires.  Corruption is so pervasive until these leaders are establishing their own exploits as normal while casting off the guardrails of integrity and truth on which the nation set as its standard.  World history is replete with stories of great military, religious and civil leaders who ruled the world and yet it all tumbled down through abuse of power.  Biblical Moses warned tribes of Israel that if they disobeyed God their sins would find them out (Nu. 32:23).  In the New Testament, Matthew tells us that when one is cleansed of evil but goes back into sin, the repercussions of evil reaped is seven times worse than before(Mt. 12:45).  America is seeing a depravity in leadership because God is exposing it and because America is now imitating the type of sinful autocrats who ruled over peasants in Europe.  America should be moving forward, not backward.  The accumulation of wealth in business, religion and government has caused callousness toward everyday citizens who have little recourse against tyrannical rule, reminisce of European rule over peasants.

Foundation of American Power

The colonists to America and their forefathers had seen tyrannical abuse played out in their lives and were sick of the oppression of overlords who pillaged the poor to fuel their extravagance.  They sought a better life in the New World away from the ruthless power of European kings and kingdoms.  They realized that absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Like most things, power can be used for good or evil.  Some European religious believers had caught a glimpse of true greatness in their encounter with God and were willing to pursue it at all cost. (Ps. 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.)  They risked their lives to pursue something greater than the corrupt power of their nation.  They imagined a life where God reigned and where a liberty and freedom they had never experienced could be enjoyed.  While enlightened with this pursuit, they penned these words:

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

The United States of America was established with very noble ideas derived from scriptural convictions and oppressive European experiences.  They had seen the ability of even Christian governments ruled by totalitarian leaders corrupt the very best of intentions by greed.  They, therefore, thought to bind themselves to an agreement where citizens could rise up in protest, denounce and remove corrupt leaders.   It must have been beyond their imagination to foresee a time where a free people would strive to return to the sick society they had fled.  The sorrow of our nation of America is that having found the comfort of this nation, few men will peril their lives like the original colonists who risked life and limb to resist corruption and pursue righteousness at all costs.  Americans believe they have an inherited right to a life of ease, freedom and wealth because their forefathers fought for it, yet Christianity and the law both make us aware of those who would subvert the rights and privileges of others for their own benefits.

Corrupt Power

While men of power in the nation use their position, wealth and authority to overwhelm the rights of everyday citizens, it is true that both the American legal system and Christianity grant liberties to the individual citizen to protest solo or with others and remove corrupt leaders.  The legal system authorizes it and the bible compels it.  The only question that remains is whether or not Americans still have the will to fight against evil.  It appears the seeking of gold has corrupted even the most disciplined mind.  America above every other nation has the tools necessary to insist on truth and integrity in its government, church and business communities; and we must not allow men of power to suppress that right.  God will stand with us if we stand with Him.  Our nation has the witness of corruption in other nations, people and times throughout history as a lesson to avoid the same destructive path.  No other nation has had the opportunity, liberty and knowledge that Americans possess to maintain its freedom as a people.

With a wealth of advantages, Americans have, nevertheless, slipped back into the worse sins of their European predecessors.  That is why the Europeans can look on America with such disdain, because there is no excuse for falling into the same sins.  Britain had already fought wars for the right to be Christian, welcomed ethnic groups and had denounced slavery.  Their great sin was aristocracy, maintaining wealth and privilege for only the few, is the current snare of American elites.

There has always been a temptation and problem of strong and powerful leaders abusing the most vulnerable but the American establishment of democracy for the exercise true liberty and faith in Christ was supposed to change that.  God allowed European peasants to catch a vision of Him, liberty, and a place of freedom but it has quickly been returned to the mire of the past oppression.  Without discipline, a close relationship and adherence to the Lord, freedom turns into lasciviousness.  We saw it displayed at the foot of the Mount Sinai when Moses went up to commune with God.  As soon as Moses was gone, the children began to play and choose other gods.  And now that America has chosen to push God to the background, to serve money and pleasure rather than God, the leaders have decided to give the people a new god and rules like Aaron did for the children of Israel.  But God, who is in covenant with the people of America through signed declarations and prayers, will have the last word.  God directed Prophet Elijah to denounce the false god called Baal who the people had set up as their new god (1Ki 18).  In a test of truth, God was proven All-powerful and all the false prophets were humiliated and killed.  Baal was an ancient god of the biblical Canaanites.  This false god was thought to be a god of fertility and the people offered gifts to Baal to prosper in areas of lack. They did animal and human sacrifice to prosper rather than depending on God for their supply.  Much like today, people are sinning and choosing to serve other gods because they want things God has not yet given them.  The Israelites would choose a false god or gods to satisfy their greed for things and even Christians today are choosing a god of wealth and material things over the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  The name of this new god is called prosperity; new name, same god.  The new Aarons have set up gods to please the people’s lust.  It’s an old story with a familiar ending.  A lot of lives were lost before the people of Israel returned to the True God.  Christ has come so that every individual can be a child of God and inherit the wealth of Father God, their King (Jo. 3:16).  We can expect God to pull down the foundation of lies in America that has tried to take the place of truth and we can expect God to pull down the false god of money that America has become ensnared with.   God has not changed His First Commandment that we should have no other God but Him or bow down to worship other gods.  How long will it take and how many lives will be lost before America returns to her God?

Encouragement to Stay the Course

It is important for America to remember:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? Heb 12:6-7 (KJV)

It is our lust for things God has not yet given us that tempts us to exceed the boundaries of God’s provision but if we obey and wait on the Lord’s timing we can have His favor and those things too.  May God’s mercy and compassion remain with our nation until we willingly return to His grace!

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

Why America is in Confusion?

March 2019

The nation of America had a good start and great opportunities to be the first nation to have a truly free people.  The blueprint was fair and just for all people but Americans strayed from the blueprint. The blueprint established freedom, justice and equality for all citizens.  The blueprint was based on the bible that America no longer wants to follow.  The blueprint put forth the standards of Jesus Christ, who illustrated and set up a plan for us to share love with every person regardless of gender, race, culture or past mistakes.  God, as Creator, upholds His own standard of love and truth and He cares for every individual made in His image.

The Europeans who came to America were from a people who fought religious wars, resisted aristocracy and religious authoritarianism and evolved into a people of liberty.  These immigrants escaped European rule and won freedom to practice a new liberty where they followed the bible and their own conscious without the heavy hand of government or church.  With this new freedom, they chose to put themselves under the rule of God and be guided by the values learned from scripture to provide equal opportunity and justice for all citizens.

After Christian evangelism hit Europe and persuaded its citizen of the cruelty of slavery and abolished it (1833); the colonists to America, nevertheless, used scriptures to justify enslavement and used the bible and African slaves to build the new society brick by brick.  European Christian evangelists came to evangelize America against slavery but it took the Civil War (1865) to finally deliver Africans from American slavery.  After abolition of slavery in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, American legislators and hate mongers found new ways to enslave blacks through laws, taxes, social practices, clan activity, miseducation, and religious deception.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 granted blacks’ freedom from discriminatory legal practices but the same racist practices still continue to the day enhanced by voter suppression and gerrymandering to diminish black empowerment. Various ethnic American citizens have suffered injustice by white Americans and have had their complaints settled by court suits or financial reparations while white America refuses to atone for their most egregious sin: cruelty and stolen labor from African slaves who built this nation.

White Americans, descendants of those delivered from European religious and governmental bondage, refuse to recognize their hypocritical reverse treatment toward black people captured and enslaved for profit.  The nation that promised to give every citizen the right to pursue liberty and justice under an oath to God has lied to God and non-white citizens. Their Sunday ceremonial worship and praise cannot alleviate this error.  The long journeys of European explorers and exploiters who travelled distant lands and did mental search of divinity have settled on the opinion of past researchers:  that they are the supreme beings of the universe.   White American citizens, legislators, judges and ministers still justify their discriminatory practices toward black American citizens and make no apology or effort to fulfill their covenant promise to the God that allowed them possession of this land.  In the mist of religious, political, social and economic turmoil; American whites cannot figure out what is wrong.  One news panelist trying to uphold old standards recently said in disappointment, “No one is coming to help us.”  How sad!  Someone already came and they crucified Him! 

The nation of American was set up on Christian values and prayers but now refuses to conform to the requirements of the God of the bible or His revealed Son, Jesus Christ.  Their Christian journey seems to have hit a snag and reverted back to the ways of their European forefathers, before they repented of slavery.  This original sin has tainted the religious faith of white Christians. Many of these “Christians” have made a mockery of the word “Christian” in their practice of Christianity because Christianity is based on love of neighbor as one loves himself; and a practice of racial supremacy by white America reveals proof of hatred against neighbors who do not look like them.  How can they represent Christ, who is love, and finish their Christian journey while hating those He died for?  Has Christ given them an exception from the love clause?  Their faith is found to be fraudulent and their covenant void. Their “god” who lords over hatred is trying to force the nation to serve him and those he has appointed as his leader, cabinet, and false ministers to carry out his plan of false leadership and religion, imitating Christ and His church.  Christ taught much about the last day’s deception using a false church of which true believers should beware. 

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Mat 24:24 

False Christs want us to believe that everything is okay with the church and we are all in line with the Lord but racial hatred and superiority rants expose this lie.   Christ came and exposed a hypocritical church and false leaders.  He pulled the cover off hypocrisy and exposed their evil in order to protect true believers.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Joh 8:42-44

America, who fought a civil war over racial prejudice, is now fighting a spiritual war based on the lie of racial superiority and is willing to bow to the father of lies to prevail in power. White America needs to remember that it was a non-church attending 16th U.S. President during the Civil War who settled the debate but, nevertheless, surmised that maybe both sides claiming to be doing the will of God were in error. They must have been because the debate continues.  Is God satisfied with the continuing debate?  Americans must individually choose to stand for truth and reject the liar and his lies.  Changing gods or denouncing the True God and His ways mean warfare and we are experiencing the turmoil of this change.  Even the devil wants a peaceful entrance into power and he uses deception and subtlety until he is ready to reveal himself in authority. God prevents this evil unveiling while His people remain in the earth.  The reason the public is confused about determining the right from wrong path is the interference of evil oversight.  The evil one is a chameleon, changing to suit the occasion.  God withdraws His hand when His guidance is refused and evil’s influence is strengthened. Compromise of truth eases us more and more into the way of error.  Jesus has declared though that “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18) so the real church will hold the line by the power of the Holy Ghost until Jesus says it is enough. The masquerading of evil as light must not deceive the church.  Every individual has free will to choose what god to serve, but the True God will judge every decision at His throne.  The best thing the nation can do is to choose wisely by rejecting the god of confusion while upholding truth by serving the True God of Creation, Jehovah God.

For more discussion on this subject, read my book:  Christianity and Ethnicity:  Is Christ Concerned About Race? ISBN: 9781387188253; (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christianity-and-ethnicity-joyce-reba-payne/1127151207

Posted to website: joycerebapayneministries.com – March 25, 2019

LEARNING THE LESSON

March 2019

While our memories are fresh we should pause as Americans to see what we have learned from our recent political discourse.  But you say, “It is not over yet!”  The ordeal might not be over but the lesson is apparent and ready to be learned.  It is amazing that with the multitudes of professions, spiritual intuition and educational knowledge available in our nation; it was the American media that saved the day.  They called out lies that the politicians, church and government would not.  They were a little slow calling a lie a lie but they finally got there.  Their reluctance in calling false statements as lies was probably due to their professional relationship with morality, whose guidelines for truth is rooted in biblical scriptures.  America has had its debate with truth and truth was tossed out on its ear in favor of public opinion.  Truth does exist, however, even though few public leaders want to validate the importance of truth derived from religious faith as the standard and foundation of our society.  Religious wars were fought and settled in nations before America was established as a God-honoring nation.  America must re-establish this baseline truth. We cannot re-fight religious wars within our borders.  Some things, like math, are universally accepted truths across nations and so must be the truth about God, which America had the most liberty to expound across the world.  Has America come to an epiphany about God and yet reverted back to pagan discourse?  Has the church failed at practicing what it has preached?

Chasing After “Shiny Things”

The media unearthed a truth that revealed people were running around in circles. “Shiny things” was a phrase that was repeated over and over by one media outlet who discovered the enemy was hiding the truth by causing the public to chase after “shining things.”  Little children love shiny things and will chase after them and amuse themselves in play with them all day long.  They can easily be distracted by shiny things.  The media found that they were being pulled off topic and off the scent of their journalistic search by shiny things introduced to lead them astray.  They caught on to the game, called it out and decided to stop allowing these traps to ruin their efforts in exposing real problems.  Would to God we all would learn this lesson and stop running after “shiny things.”

The real question is how we ever got into the mess our political system has fallen into.  It’s appropriate to consider: America loves shiny things!  We love the flashy, the bigness, the loudest, the richest and the most visible things.  We love our stars!  If there is a selection to be made, we want the “most-est” of the bunch.  We are Americans and we want nothing less than the best! So we chase after shiny things because they stand out and must represent the best.  We were groomed to seek after movie stars, celebrity preachers and greatness in leaders. Everything shiny is not the best!  Sometimes it’s just greased up.

Choosing Wisely

What am I talking about?  We, as Americans, must learn from our present situation, while the experience is still fresh in our minds, how to make proper decisions from a wide selection of options.  New elections are on the way!  We will have an opportunity to do it again and leaders can and have been proven to lead the masses astray with smoke, mirrors and flashes of light.  Did we learn the lesson?  If we have not learned the lesson, we are bound to repeat it.  I dare say some are reporting, we are already repeating our previous bad history.  The best leader is not always the best looking, tallest, wealthiest, most smooth-talking, charismatic, renowned person we can find.  Abraham Lincoln is believed to have been one of our best presidents yet his success as the 16th President of the United States was not based on popular criteria.

The best source for guidance in selecting true leadership is found in the Word of God.  If we refuse this sound guidance, we will continue to have more of what we are already seeing.  The devil does not need new tricks; the old ones work just fine.  Church instruction was supposed to teach us how to make right choices.  Our first great leaders were chosen by God and He gave mankind guidelines for selecting good leaders.  Here is some biblical instruction:

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Act 6:3

 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tensEx. 18:21 

 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment. 1Ki 3:28

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Pro 2:6 

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Pro 15:33 

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Deu 18:18 

The scriptures above reveal God’s guidance for selection of a leader:

  • One from among us (someone we know and his ways)
  • One of honest report, fears God, Spirit-filled,
  • One who has judgment, wisdom, truth
  • And one who hates covetousness.

Inner-Struggle of Nation

Our nation started out as a God-fearing nation but now mostly choose to disavow God and shun His ways in favor of worldly leadership.  We have compromised our values for the sake of getting along.  The fact that none of us are perfect should not disqualify the guidebook that identifies our shortcomings.  We can see clearly where that has gotten us and we can look back at the list above and realize there is a lack of virtuous traits in our present leadership.  We should not settle for lest of men because we cannot find a perfect human.  We also should not look to man as God, which is idolatry or demagoguery (Suggested audio/video on demagoguery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IaGHbyWf7c.  This is the right time to look back over the last several years to see how far we have gone from God’s original instructions that the founders valued and we should each determine why we find ourselves in this present state.   Some would say we are doing that.  Unfortunately and as previously explained, the expertise of the media cannot produce repentance, which is God granted.  When America chose to refuse the Christian standard, it also refused godly leadership. Without God’s guidance and Christian values, we no longer have a standard on which to judge righteousness or the proper course for the nation.  When biblical Israel became corrupt both leaders and the people were in darkness.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2Co 10:12

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Pro 26:12 

The very definition of right and wrong has been publicly challenged and debated with vigor while the “Judge” over the debate has been muzzled.  We can continue on the wrong course and become worse and worse or we can stop now, acknowledge we went off course, check the guide book to see our error and be corrected.  It is time to seriously evaluate our experience and extract the lesson.  Without a vision the people will perish (Pro 29:18) and the vision of our nation was God’s direction for the nation.

A list of  worldly characteristics to judge the best candidates are usually: strong vision for the nation; ability to put the times in historical perspective; effective communicator; courage to make unpopular decisions; crisis management skills; character and skills (www.ushistory.org/gov).  Careful evaluation reveals the list was derived from biblical examples but it purposely leaves out God’s Spirit as the source of guidance.  We cannot use God’s wisdom while failing to acknowledge Him as the source and expect to be successful.  Kings, prophets and wise men have acknowledged God as the source of their abilities, whereas modern intellectuals show shame. The very nature of God and His commandments refuse to be ignored and demands recognition for who He is.  If we fail to acknowledge Him, He has vowed to deny us.  We are seeing the results of this denial without realizing the cause as forsaking God.  The nation that denies God subsequently goes into decline before experiencing bondage or destruction.

Many mainline Christian churches surely failed us when they showed a stubbornness toward accepting the spiritual gifts God sent to empower the church at the Azusa Street revival, resisted cross-race fellowship that led spiritually-hungry believers to enticement by celebrity preachers who beguiled seekers with false gifts, false doctrine, pursuit of wealth, abandonment of righteous standards in lieu of worldly fellowship and surrender to political leadership without God.

The first appointed leader over the children of Israel was a man led by God, named Moses.  Moses was given the authority to assign public leaders over the Israelites for service as priests, discipline, judge, worship leaders and social care.  All of these positions are part of our present society that we call community, church and government for the people and they are all derived from the original Lawmaker and Sovereign God, who set up foundation standards for the lives of His people and society.  Where we varied from that direction is the point where we went astray. We cannot allow arrogance due to our wealth, modernization, or intellect to cause us to deny the God who made us. The founders (well-versed in law, science and theology) acknowledged God and established, to the best of their abilities, the pattern they thought their descendants would follow and improve on any shortsightedness.  Rather than improve on what the founders did, America has flipped the script and gone all the way backward, ready to return to authoritarianism, monarchy, church dominance, over-taxation and class-rule.

Correcting the Path

It would be ideal to assume that America has learned the lesson from recent and still on-going errors, but there is still that fascination for stars.  We love our stars!  We want a star in the pulpit and as head of our government. Did we learn nothing from King James I of England, who considered his rule divine and unanswerable to men? Fascination with stars assumes that someone else is better than we, whereas Jesus came to disprove that theory and reveal great potential and the Creator’s power in each of us.  We must learn to look for signs of God’s selection of a leader in those who possess maturity, wisdom, integrity, humility, fear of God, honesty and a servant-spirit.  Those are godly characteristics that protect us from charlatans like those being charged in today’s news cycles. Christian ministers were supposed to teach us to resist looking for the glory of man but rather to give glory to Christ. Many instead taught us to glorify them and look for god in man.  The uniqueness of America is a God who gave a Savior and Lord in human flesh whom we as Americans are free to know, follow and emulate

It is so easy to chase after “shiny things” like children.  We must be more studious in our undertaking for leaders because what we do will affect our destiny, the next generation and the world watching us.  We should not miss the purpose of our faith which was to show forth Christ in all that we say and do.  If our present spiritual, political, and community leaders have failed us; we must not give up on the right path but rather return to the original guide book and pattern.  Once we can see the pattern and have the right model, we can pick up where they left off and continue on course, like Joshua.  No leader is to be set up higher than or instead of Christ. Misguided leadership does not have to be the end. God gave us Jesus walking an earthly path as our example to follow and He warned us of making gods of men.  We all have within us the same potential for greatness because we are all made in the image of the Creator.  We have not yet reached our highest national potential and we can still reject the trap of the enemy.  We have a long way to go still if we straighten out our course and reject tyranny. The enemy of our nation, his plan and false way has been fully exposed in plain sight in a time of weakness but we can still denounce the evil choice.  God has given us mercy at the crossroad of grace and destruction so we should learn the lesson and make the right choice. Let’s choose to reject the wrong path and press toward a better future!

America – Ready To Be Judged!

October 2018

Whether Americans believe there is a Creator or not does not really matter to the existence of an All-Knowing, All-Powerful Creator God, who reigns in heaven and who is the Maker of all things and final judge of us all. What we know about the Creator is much like what we know about parental authority:  they were before us, they make all the rules and will render the final decision of our behavior to us.  The wisdom of King Solomon of the bible (Son of King David, a man after God’s own heart) told us: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted… (Ec. 3:1-2).”

We all are familiar with the cycle of life that includes birth pains, birth, maturity and death.  Solomon identified many seasons and cycles within life but mostly, he expressed the beginning and the end of all things.  It is important to know that everything under the sun that has  beginning also has a predetermined end.   Solomon went on to declare, “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work (Ec. 3:17).”  King Solomon’s wisdom, which was a gift from God, explored the purposes of all things and concluded that it is all vanity in the end. The man who had the highest position in the land and more wealth than all men, paused to consider those that were without any.

“So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.  Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive (Ec. 4:1-2).”

After examining the power of the mighty and the lack of power for the oppressed, he determined that death was better than life.  During his lifetime he had opportunity and wisdom above any man to evaluate every aspect of life and he came to a conclusion:

For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. Ec. 5:7-8

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ec. 7:7-8

It behooves us all to take wisdom from someone who has had the best of wealth and wisdom and reap his lessons because few, if any, of us will ever gain his abundance  of wealth nor ever gain his wisdom.  How does Solomon sum up his exploration of life?  Here are some excerpts:

All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. Ec. 7:15

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ec. 12:13-14

We see in this book of wisdom that God gave to the highest position of His chosen people the best of wealth and ability to consider all matters pertaining to life and then allowed him to relay it to all mankind in this book.  Even King Solomon, who had the ability to understand life, had to live it out and be judged for his actions in the end.  But wisdom’s road map is revealed by God for all to follow.  He shows us the right path and advises us to take it.  The lesson is that despite the highest abilities and greatest wealth that we all strive for; our work, soul and intents will be judged by God at a set time.

We know of America’s birth, the providence it experienced to be set aside for pursuit of life and liberty under God and all the declarations made to God by the founding fathers upon its inception: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  It is those declarations made to God by men that America will be judged by God to determine if it has complied with those vows.  Vows are very important to God:  “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay (Ec. 5:5).”  The declaration of unalienable rights for all men to enjoy life and liberty  within American borders in devotion to God are promises America swore to uphold and is what America will be judged for.  The nation made those vows and the whole world heard them, some of whom have sought to follow America’s example or crossed waters to enjoy them who will also sit in judgment against her treachery to those vows.  America’s actions against other nations and the immigrant prove that she has lost her way!

Creator God set out a plan and put it before His chosen people that He would bless the faithful with riches and wealth and America has received riches and wealth.  He also promised that the wicked would experience deterioration and horrible punishment before final destruction.  America is now somewhere in the process between punishment and final destruction.  The mercy and compassion of God cannot be overlooked.  Even in a sentence of destruction, God gives man time to consider his ways and change his mind. God actually fights for us and with us for preservation, not willing that any should perish.  Apostles Paul and John taught us about the loving forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelations, written more then two millenniums ago, reveal that the final judgment does not come without instruction, warnings, deliberations and then punishment poured out in sequential waves.  We are very familiar with the judgment of our courts but less aware of God’s judgment.  The judgments of our courts can be purchased and wrangled by wealthy men, but God cares for none of that.

At this hour where many have come to the rightful conclusion that the soul of America is being tried, there is still time to consider the nation’s sins and turn around.  “…What doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God (Mi 6:8)?  We saw that Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Amos were sent by God to warn and declare the punishment of nations.  Prophet Jeremiah was ordered by God to pronounce judgment against Judah, Israel, and the gentiles, Philistines, Moab, Ammonites and Babylon.  But before the heathen nations were to be destroyed, God first reasoned with and judged the people of promise.

The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews which dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,   Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein,  Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers.  Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.  Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day. Jer 44:1-6

Jeremiah prophesied and grieved over his own people when he saw them fall into desolation as God promised for their disobedience.  All of these things that transpired thousands of years ago is well-known history for America who was established from the reigns and lineage of many kings but set free from bondage to follow God with her whole heart.  How has this nation fallen into the same sin when there was so much knowledge and teaching about this past?  It is because the wicked nature of mankind is unchanged even though many leaders call themselves “Christians.” Christianity has risen to the forefront in the world, where it is no longer considered weak and inconsequential and even been recognized by the White House and its presidents, where it originally found sovereignty in America.  However, it has been soften and diluted until it now oppresses the poor, immigrant, widows and children.  Some profess hatred for the foreigner, fatherless, and prisoners.  Some ranks of it call out some sin as being more hideous than others, contrary to the teachings of Christ.  They profess God while disobeying God and declaring others must obey the letter of the law they teach, much like the Old Testament Pharisees and Sadducees who Jesus declared were hypocrites.

Jesus was upset with the ungodly Jewish leaders and denounced them.  It was a just system corrupted and perverted to favor greedy rulers, who failed to guide society into justice and morality.   They had perverted God’s way and deceived the people.  Jesus rebuked these leaders in Mt 23:13 for not wanting to enter into heaven nor allowing others to do so.  He went on to accuse religious leaders for devouring the poor and widows while establishing their own self-glory.  The Jewish leaders had uncontested control over the people in governing, benevolence and spiritual matters.  They led corruption in all aspects of righteous living for the purpose of self-gratification.  For all these sins and more which did not follow God or the founding fathers, God sits in judgment to declare His verdict upon a disobedient nation.

As America has sat in judgment over nations and people, now she must stand or fall before her “Judge”.  America has long been ruled by affluent old white men “white fisted” with power that have chosen to devalue the disadvantaged that God has valued and scorned the weak, women, children, the poor, immigrants and widows.  In America, the affluent, with or without Christianity, have made a pact to stand in power against the underclass and devour them for their resources.  This is the same power of the nations judged by God before America was formed and it is the same force that Jesus came to defend the poor and disadvantaged against.  In all this, God allows America time to repent and turn around before final judgment. He appeals to the highest and least that someone might intercede for a nation gone wrong.

We see individual people and organizations pleading for America’s soul and to be relieved of its leaders’ hardened hearts.  Some white women and weak Christians who were complicit now also cry in outrage.  The conundrum we face is that leaders are appointed over people according to their nature or simplified: people get the leaders they deserve.  This dilemma reveals the requirement for the whole nation to repent.  As the people contend for the heart of leaders to change, they must also repent and change.  We saw in the story of biblical Nineveh (Jon 3:3), the whole nation repented of sin and was spared.  Daniel prayed for his people but he, too, had to confess sin.  This problem involves all of us because all of us are party to its ways and will suffer the consequences of America’s sin.  Judgment is imminent unless we turn around.  Now that God has pulled the cover off of America’s long hidden sins of genocide, slavery, abortion, prostitution, rape, greed, corruption, authority abuse in religion and government, religious idolatry or apostasy, pride, racial hatred, treachery, aristocracy, gender bias, lies, etc., and exposed it to all American citizens and placed them before the cameras of the nation and world; none can claim ignorance and must all repent and turn to Christ for salvation and deliverance.  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (Jo 3:17).”   I pray that the nation of America will see her sin, as we all must do, and receive the conviction of sin that God grants to those that would repent in their season.  May God save America!

INEQUALITIES AND IMBALANCES

May 2018

With a focus on the purpose of Pentecost, it is important for us to remember that Jesus Christ came to set the captive free. He did not come to give us another religion or purpose for social gathering.  Those people who were hopelessly in bondage to oppressors were now going to have an opportunity for freedom through accepting Christ as their Savior.  Powerful men of stature had used their power to bring the average man into bondage to their authority through debt, illicit transactions or coercion.   Neither did Jesus come to make void all of those illegal agreements.  Prisoners and criminals did not get released immediately from jail when Jesus came to Jerusalem.  Some believers that actually were free went to jail for the sake of Christ.  Jesus made it known to the people that His kingdom was not to this world.  Yet Jesus did come to do something important about the bondage of people.

Jesus came to Jerusalem when men, women and children could be enslaved to others because of debt and they were brought into captivity by an oppressive conquering army.  He came for the purpose of  liberating the hearts and minds of all people from captivity to the evil one who causes fear and oppression.  People motivated by greed for money were bringing others under their power in many illegal ways.  Citizens and the religious were unable to deliver themselves from the oppressive and illegal practices of the strong.  To liberate these people, a stronger power had to come on the scene and Jesus brought the power of heaven and Father God against the devil and his followers.  The rein of wickedness was to be broken by the all-powerful rule of God.  The wicked were to learn that there was a power greater than theirs.

Diminishing Christian values

America was established as a nation under God and it promoted righteous laws governing the people after being delivered from the tyrannical aristocratic rule of European monarchs and a corrupt and oppressive religious system.  Christian values and expressions of liberty were prominent in the making of America’s laws because of the oppression experienced in their previous homelands.  So the righteous rein of God and deliverance from oppression were powerful considerations in setting up fair laws that declared all men equal under God with a right to personal liberties.  God’s law had provisions for the release of debtors from servitude after seven years and the restoration of property.  As long as Christian values prevail in a nation, righteousness prevails and the force of law protects citizen rights.

With today’s diminishing Christian values and putting away of the Ten Commandments as a guide for correct behavior in the nation, corrupt opinions are establishing unfair laws that aim at again oppressing people.  Much like the people who were under the monarchical rule in European nations, America is experiencing similar times where oppression and corruption are prevailing against the average citizen and there is again a need for true Christian values to stand up against injustice.  The once-Christian nation is now giving authority to a new god, where wealth and elite status prevails as power supreme.  European-style aristocracy which worked secretly underground is now arising to control the once Christian, democratic, free nation. Where church leaders fail to hold up the standard of righteousness, God’s authority is weakened and wickedness replaces it with coercion and fear.  Godly religious leaders were expected hold on to and progress the mantel of righteousness that they inherited from their forerunners.  They, however, became relaxed and comfortable in a land of  ease and allowed the enemy to get the upper hand.  But God is still expecting His Spirit-filled believers to make a difference in their spear of influence and reclaim righteousness wherever possible in the land.  Pentecost brought the power of God in earth to believers to stand against all forms of evil through faith in the preached word, prayer and the believer’s intervention.  The small band of early Christian followers made an eternal difference in the known world.  They upheld a Christian standard in difficult times and were a challenge to unjust laws.  Previous believers established systems that their heirs are merely asked to uphold and maintain.  Every believer will have to answer to God for his or her own role and responsibility in holding up the gospel light.

Preferential Treatment to Those of Power

Inequalities and imbalances prevail in the land when gender, social status and wealth are preferred and granted power at the expense of others.  These practices have been know to progress into iniquity that causes the oppressed to cry out to God because the powerful will not alleviate their pain or show mercy.  While the powerful increase their gain through corrupt and evil practices, the poor sinks into greater poverty with little hope of recovery.  The cries of the oppressed are always heard by God on High Who is the Defender of the poor and afflicted: Job 34:28 “So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. “  God hates unjust balances and we can expect His intervention when the wicked of the land seem to prevail.

Eze 45:9-10  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.  Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. 

Psa 12:5  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

Lev 19:35-36  Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.   Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. 

The Overthrow of Wicked Power

We have seen recently on the world stage notable men who have been overthrown or exposed for their insatiable appetites that consumed the weak.  Many have been amazed at these exposures without considering that it is the Hand of God that pulls down the mighty to spare the defenseless.  Those in authority have the means and advantage to conceal their misdeeds and maintain their estate but there is a God Who is higher than the most powerful men on earth, who sees what is done in the dark and has the ability to pull down powerful curtains, move mountains of oppression and unleash burdens of captivity.  When God decides to move and show His power, no man can withstand it.  He moves by His  sovereign power to cleanse the earth and release yokes of bondage.

The bible remarkably records for our learning the overthrow of many powerful leaders and tyrants.  Foremost of these examples is the Egyptian pharaoh who oppressed the poor Israelites that put their trust in the God of heaven.  They went through generation after generation of abuse but God did arise eventually to miraculously deliver them.  Because God is an unseen Entity and can seem slow to respond in some situations, some people tend to believe that He does not exist, does not care or will not respond.  They count the long-suffering and merciful nature of God as indifference or inability.  Holy scripture tells us that God is not willing that any person should perish but is long suffering for the benefit of man’s repentance.  He sends warnings to provoke mankind to repent of sin before releasing His wrath.  Divine warnings are being given today through notable incidents that are brought to national and international attention.  God is showing us gross sin and arrogance at the top levels so that we do not put our trust in man that will ultimately fail us.  We marvel at the things that are breaking out in the land but does it merely cause outrage or does it cause personal repentance as we remember God promised consequences for individual and national sin.  In what are we placing our hope?  Devastations are causing some to declare that God must surely be coming soon while others are merely enjoying their liberties!  One prophet wrote:

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. Lam 3:22

A Long-Suffering God

The long-suffering nature of God can cause the wicked to operate in assumption that there is no force capable of preventing their greedy pursuits.  This very nature of arrogance promotes the wrath of God to come even the sooner.  Prophecy tells us that times will continue as normal and men will be unsuspecting until Jesus comes:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:36-39 

The 23rd Psalm reveals the nature of God as a “Good Shepherd caring for the needs of His sheep.  Other scripture refer to Him sending rain on the just and unjust equally and being a caretaker of the birds of the air and the flower of the field.  God is known to be a loving and compassionate God but He also takes vengeance on wickedness to protect His inheritance in the land.  God will eventually judge the wicked for their offense against His word.  He is a just God when He blesses the righteous and when He brings wrath against the wicked.  Warnings that come to the believer and unbeliever gives mankind time to consider the consequences of their actions before wrath comes.  Arrogance and pride discounts even those warnings.  The long suffering and patience of God often causes the wicked to ignore God’s presence and power.  We are living in such days when wickedness is having free rein to do what it wants seemingly without repercussions.  These are the days that await the intervention and judgment of God to show up in defense of the weak because He is their Lord.  It is God who restores balance to the land and exercises His rule over all mankind.  Because God hates imbalance and unjust weighs, we can expect His intervention into the wickedness we see in the land.  But do we still have the ability to recognize when God is moving?  Evil ways have become so dominant that they are now being called normal and acceptable in our society.  Believers must make sure they are found doing the will of God when He comes rather than being caught in agreement with the wicked that are to be punished.  Remember Lot!

The long suffering of God in the preaching of Noah before the flood was intended to bring mankind into repentance but only eight people heard, believed and were saved from destruction. Too many of God’s ministers are failing to sound the alarm so we see God speaking through other medians of news reports, social media, unbelievers, the weather, economy, politics and challenging our own hearts to make a change.  God is showing His hand in the earth but many cannot distinguish the source of the power or know the reason because they do not know God’s word.  People heard and responded to John the Baptist’s plea for repentance and preparation for the coming King but in today’s society people hear and continue doing their sinful deeds because their ears are dull of hearing or hearts are hardened.

Care for the Weak

God is concerned about the needs of the poor, women, children,  immigrants, imprisoned, persecuted, widows and orphans. Because men are given authority over their home and lead in so many authoritative positions, they will have to answer for their use of authority, whether it is just or abusive.  They are given authority to defend the weak, not oppress them for personal gain or pleasure.  They are to represent the good shepherd practices revealed by the Father, who is to be their example.  They will have to answer for those that come under their authority:  Col 4:1  “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”

The overarching darkness and chaos of the earth caused God to create daylight and establish order in the earth before He made the first humans.  Shall the chaos of today’s earth escape God’s attention?  Jesus was sent to earth as an intercessor between God and mankind.  The love of God was so great for all mankind that He made a way of escape from sin and destruction through the atoning death of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  The price has been paid for the sin of every man, woman and child that will accept the sacrificial punishment placed upon Jesus Christ as payment for our sin.  Believing Christ delivers one from the wrath to come upon a wicked earth.  The love of God reaches out to every soul to say come into the ark of safety and receive His cleansing love.  The prophets of old declared that even in the last hour, God’s hand still would be out stretched for mankind to repent and come into the ark of safety.  God is the great equalizer and He will give balance to our life and bring it into conformity to His will. We are totally set free from bondage and captivity through our relationship with Him.  God is too good to let evil prevail and His righteousness demands justice.  It is a loving God that teaches us His ways and allows each of us the opportunity to willingly choose whom we will serve and how we want our life to be rewarded. Joshua declared: “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Resurrection Sunday: The Mercy of God

April 1, 2018

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. Joh 3:16

The eyes of the Lord are always upon the earth because He made the earth and cares for it.  What about man? God made man and says every soul is His. So imagine God looking at the earth in its present corrupt state and how He must feel in seeing everything He made for His glory and left in the hands of man as caretaker.  If you are thinking anger, you are wrong.   Before the foundations of the earth God had redemption in mind (Ep 1:4) for His creation.  Looking through the portals of time God knew what man would do and set out plans for a solution.  He even looks at you and me in a perfected state like He saw fearful Gideon and called him: “thou mighty man of valour.”

What is it about a parent that looks at a child and knows it has done wrong and still sees his own image in that child and shows compassion toward it.  Before the foundation of the earth God knew.  He saw man sin again and again and yet had devised a way out for him.  He sent preachers like Noah, prophets like Elijah and servants like David to show His everlasting love for mankind. When none of these could restore His people to righteousness, God was still not through.  Determined to save His lost ones, God decided He would send His final and best to save His creation.

God, Himself, decided He would pay the cost of man’s redemption. He would pay the price to redeem lost man.  We are told that His word became flesh and we came to know of the man named Jesus who would save His own.  We read that Jesus went to the cross and was willing to suffer, bleed and die an undeserved death for our sins.

God had asked Abraham for the life of his only son, sacrificed by his own hands. As difficult as that would be for any human to do, Abraham was willing to kill Isaac in obedience to his God.  But God must have thought how can I let this one that I love suffer such hurt and so much pain.  He chose that He would endure that suffering and gave Abraham instead a ram to offer as a substitute sacrifice.

Unwilling to let Abraham sacrifice his own son; God, Himself, endured that pain as His only begotten Son made the supreme sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the whole world.  “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”(Joh 3:16).  That scripture may have become too familiar for some people and lost its meaning because of its familiarity.  But just imagine if it was you asked to kill your only child.  Regardless of how or why it was done; it would bring unbearable pain. God’s love spared Abraham that suffering and He endured it Himself.  God did it for all of us.

Neither Abraham nor his son could pay the price of the world’s sin because they were sinners too.  Just like you and me, he had no sinless life or blood to offer for redemption.  Jesus shed His sinless blood to make a pure sacrifice that was acceptable to God as atonement for the sins of the world.

Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.  Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,  I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Ps 40:6-8

Not only does God command us to love but He has illustrated perfect love in His willingness to sacrifice Christ for a world full of sinners who were undeserving.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jo 15:13).  Now that He has paid the penalty for our sin, Christ only asks that we take His life and power to live in righteousness.  It is ours for the asking.

In this sacrifice is a valuable lesson for us: a lesson of sacrificial love.  If we only quote the scripture or celebrate the Easter holiday without meditating on what God did in Christ, we miss the whole purpose of Christ’s great sacrifice for us.  Not only that but we also miss the opportunity to help fulfill the work of Christ to restore mankind back to God.  Love is the weapon that defeated Satan at the cross and love is the weapon that defeats him in our lives as well.  When we look at the world and wonder where God is, remember that Christ died so that the Spirit of God could live in us.  It is now our job to dispel the darkness and bring God on the scene by letting Christ’s light shine through us.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!