Category Archives: Holiday

A CONTROVERSIAL JESUS!

December 2016

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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6

At this time when we are celebrating the coming of Baby Jesus, we must remember: He is not a baby anymore. Jesus entered the earth as a vulnerable human infant, lived a normal human life, was guided by humans for 30 years but yet this baby came for a crucial life and death mission on behalf of God, the Father. Yes, this little baby boy came to die on the cross for your salvation and mine.

Many people express great love for this little baby at Christmas who will not accept this same baby in His adulthood. The story of Baby Jesus is so full of joy, hope, love and the magic of Christmas as if it was a fairy tale to be told to starry eyed children once a year. It does illustrate the great love of God and it was a gift to bring joy and hope to a troubled world. Much more than a fairy tale to be recited to children once a year though, it was an introductory to a new life for all mankind who would receive Him. Even in His infancy, there were those that set out to take his life.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the miracle of His birth and the mission of His Father were not important to the religious leaders of the temple. Though heralded in hope by the people as a King their hearts were soon turned to shout: “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” They were now rejecting the King of King and Lord of Lords that the Father had sent to be King of the Jews. He was controversial Savior. Those that were the governmental authority, Roman Government, had no need of a peasant king. Those that were religious leaders were well established in their religious positions and did not welcome Him or His new doctrine. Those that had experienced His miracles and healing in an instant turned their backs on Him. He was a controversial Jesus.

Jesus did not come to say that all was well and continue to live in peace and hope. Jesus came to turn things upside down. He came to be a messenger for the Father and to say that God was not pleased with their ways. God had called His children to be a royal priesthood in the land and an instrument of change but they had compromised with the people and become idolatrous. God had called them to set the captive free but they had instead extorted and imprisoned them. They had not obeyed the voice of the Father, nor had they welcomed the Savior of the World into their midst. They found him to be a stranger among them. They found him to be an interference with their ways. They found him to be an enemy because He did not agree with the religious system they had set up. Jesus came to do the will of the Father and some changes had to be made. He came to be a light for those that sat in darkness and their oppressors would not be happy about it.

This little baby had come to be a light and truth at a time when darkness was preferred and falsehood was accepted as the truth. He came to pull down the lie and to establish the truth of the Father. So he was not received by the leaders when he rode into Jerusalem, Though welcomed for a moment by some, He was rejected and cast out. We must remember the reason Jesus came: to deliver us from darkness. And we must remember the words that He spoke: the Kingdom of God is come upon you.

In this time when Christianity has become known to everyone and many assume they are living in the Christian way, we must remember Jesus came at a similar time when the Jews thought they were living according to the Father. But somehow they had allowed the truth to be counterfeited and they had established a religious way that was accepted by all but in error.

When we celebrate the coming of the Savior into the world we must remember He is not a baby anymore and that He came to turn this world upside down. Are we accepting of the message that this baby has come to bring? Are we accepting of the changes He want to bring to our lives? Are we willing to accept the baby but not the Savior He would become? Do we accept Him fully from the miracle birth to the horror of the cross? Do we accept only His beauty but shone His shame? Are we willing to embrace His entrance into our lives to turn it upside down for God?

Jesus is no longer a baby in the crib. He is a controversial Jesus that many do not want to receive as their Lord and Master. He said He did not come to bring peace but a sword (Mat 10:34). Can we welcome this controversial Jesus? Have we accepted this controversial Jesus in our hearts? Is He welcome to come into our homes to correct that which is wrong and establish a new throne dedicated to the Father? Do we welcome this Jesus who will destroy evil and bring in its place truth, love and well being? Do we welcome this controversial Jesus who has come to set the captive free or do we want merely to worship the Baby Jesus as a symbol love and peace?

Jesus is no longer a baby in a manger; He is a controversial Jesus. Not all people welcome His message or receive His love because they do not want to change. He is not an ornament; He came to work in our hearts. From the very beginning, He represented truth and He is still demanding truth today. So, let’s celebrate Christmas as the birth of the Savior in the true spirit of love the Father showed us. He gave us the best gift: His only begotten Son. Let’s celebrate Christmas with right hearts and truth. This is a time to celebrate the miracle that God gave us. This is a time when all hearts are soften to receive the baby so it is a wonderful time to remember that He came to save us and allow our hearts to be changed. While we are experiencing peace within ourselves and expressing it toward others, let’s remember that this is a time of hope that life can be improved and we can receive the liberty that Jesus came to give us. Jesus came to save the whole world and even those that do not look like us, talk like us, live like us are welcomed into His love. Yes, Christ has come. Yes, He is the Savior of the World. Yes, He is love. He is all that and more. Let’s embrace Him fully for who He is and the message He came to bring. If we can receive Him into our hearts and then live out His message to the world, then there can be: “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” He is not a baby anymore; He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Why America Must Go Through the Fire

July 2016

There are many people coming from professional, religious, political and social backgrounds who predict trouble ahead for the nation of America and that it is destined to be devastating. Some have dared say that America is being judged for past and present sins against God. Our nation has rejected the title of “Christian Nation” and has chosen to throw off all supreme guidance by God. The religious community is in disarray, decline and confusion over what to do because of its failure to stay in alignment with God. No one seems to dispute that trouble is ahead and some are assuming the reigns of power to plot an overcoming path according to their own values.

Is God in Control? If So, Who Then Can Divert His Ultimate Plan for the Nation?

There is no doubt that the nation of America was founded by men of faith who sought to be free from the tyranny of a domineering church and government that prohibited man’s personal liberty to follow God and conscience. The personal writings of the framers of the Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America testify of their faith in God as Creator. Christopher Columbus, a discoverer of America, and George Washington, general and first president of America, were men of faith. Devoted leaders of many Christian religions entered the land and dedicated it to God. The name of God and Christ was called upon by men such as General George Washington during distress in war and by many others since who saw miracles wrought by God on behalf of the nation. Washington was known to have received a divine visitation and prophesy for the new nation.

Not only is God sovereign and in control; but we, as Americans, made a covenant and promise to Him to walk in obedience to His word and submit to His will. When we were weak and humble in infancy, we declared our allegiance to God in public gatherings, on our monuments, public buildings and money. Now in our strength and prosperity, we have dared to tell God how things are done.

If Americans Made an Oath To God and He Accepted It, Who Then Can Break That Bond?

The bible is our guidebook for obedience with God. The bible is written in such a manner that it tells us of our creation as humans, God’s purpose for us, our journey with Him, and the end of all things. There is no point in our lives as individuals or nation where we cannot find direction or solace in the scriptures. We are always counseled to call upon God in times of need. If we walk contrary to God, the path of our demise is also written in the pages of the bible. We are given two paths: to walk with God and live or walk in disobedience and die. Blood covenants, like ours sealed with the blood of Jesus, are only broken by the death of one of the parties; and God, of course, cannot die. God’s will for us is to live in obedience and prosper. America has seen great prosperity through many difficulties and trials because she continued to pursue God. However, now our great leaders do not want to continue the practice of pledging our allegiance to God. Great wealth and prosperity often leads one to a spirit of pride and arrogance against God and that spirit has taken forefront in the leadership of America.

How Will God Respond to America’s Rebellion?

The answer to that question is also written in the pages of the bible. America is not the first nation to start out in faith and turn its back on God. Other deteriorating and some long destroyed or forgotten nations have followed this path. World history and the bible show clearly the path ahead if our nation continues its present path of defying the God that made it great.

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? Lk 12:49

The uniqueness of America is its origin and foundation rooted in faith in God and Jesus Christ. No other nation has had this unique experience of being formed and led by God, except the nation of Israel. Therefore, the story of Israel is a lesson that America can examine and see its claim to the protection of God, its punishment for disobedience and its destiny.

How Does God Respond to Broken Covenant?

God declared He was married to Israel but also called her a backsliding whore when she went into disobedience and prostituted herself with other gods. We see in scriptures the sufferings of Israel as she rebelled again and again while pledging allegiance to false gods. We see in scripture and history the sufferings of the Jewish people even to this day. Yet the wisdom of American leaders has led the nation down this same path.

The difference between biblical Israel and America is Jesus Christ. America as a nation from its beginning acknowledged Jesus Christ as Savior. That is something Israel never did, even to this day. Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior puts one on the mercy and grace side of God and He counts the suffering of Jesus Christ as payment for disobedience when we repent. That is the different path that Christians follow through Jesus Christ to reach God, the Father. God walks with us every step on our path if we follow His directions. Even our disobedience is a part of that path. Jesus said He learned obedience through the things He suffered, though He was never disobedient to the Father. We all fall into sin’s temptations from time to time but we also have an opportunity to learn from those mistakes. Disobedience does not automatically bring destruction if one repents through the mercy of God in Christ.

The Old Testament described how things dedicated to God had to be first purified. Animal sacrifices were burnt in the fire as a dedication to God. Anything God accepts must be purified from its evil state. Jesus is our pure sacrifice today so that we can be dedicated to God but there is still a purification process that we, as Christians, must go through as well. When we sin, we must come back to God through repentance and confession of sin and God works out the cleaning process in us. People can be cleansed of sin with little suffering through the mercy and grace of God. But disobedience and rebellion requires that God take us through a delivering process where through suffering we relinquish the rebellious spirit of sin embedded in the soul. It can be a very painful process to be cleansed this way and it is not God’s preference for His children. Stubbornness and rebellion took Israel into much suffering and is still a source of much pain today to those who still do not acknowledge Jesus as Savior. If our nation continues to take the path of stubbornness and rebellion, it too will see much suffering and pain.

Where many are prophesying the destruction of the nation of America as God’s judgment, God has no desire to destroy America. God loves America as His own inheritance. He has accepted our covenant with Him and will not renege of His pledge to us. God’s will is for America to learn obedience in its maturity and return to His bosom. This can happen through confession of sin and returning to obedience or by going through the fire. The fire will be extremely hot and painful as it burns up the chaff but cleanses and preserves the wheat. No one but God is able to see the depth of our sin. The cleansing fire will burn up idol worship as it did in Israel. It will be set to burn up our pride, prejudice, covetousness, sexual immorality, religious traditions, self dependence, rebellion, selfishness and hypocrisy.

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Mal 3:1-4 (KJV)

Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger. Zep 2:1-3

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. Lk 3:16-17

The nation of America has shown great wisdom and strength through the years as it has led and advised other nations in right paths. But today it is being thought of as a fool who cannot even handle trivial matters. While other nations are reverencing God, America is shunning the God that made it great. The pride of Jerusalem’s leaders would not allow them to escape the demise of their nation. Shall the great leader now lead others to destruction as well, as they follow in example? Many on the sidelines have a clearer vision of this nation’s journey to destruction and are choosing not to follow such as erroneous path.

Where God is looking for America to remain as an example for others to follow in Christian obedience; if it continues its present path, it could see the same fate of biblical Israel. Old Testament Israel was destroyed as a nation and its people scattered around the world to suffer pain and humiliation for generations. God broke its pride in a devastating way. There is no need to repeat the stories of Israel’s humiliation; they are known worldwide. Their story stands as a testimony and witness of God’s word. Others should heed this example and choose the right path instead. The nation of America can follow the same path and be a second witness of a nation shunning her God and suffering for disobedience; or she can choose the right path and show others the way to God’s best through serving Jesus Christ. God has long declared and laid out His plan for both the blessing and destruction of nations.

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

 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: Deu 28:1

 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Deu 28:15

 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Mic 6:8

 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Mat 22:37 -40

Twelve spies went into Canaan Land but only two saw the hope for the future and lived to enjoy it. Millions left out of Egypt was only two went into the Promised Land. The right road is often lonely and less traveled but it is still the right path to take. Many of America’s leaders and its people are taking the broad road on the wrong path but wisdom advised us to search out this path that others have taken to destruction and choose yet another path: to life.

Our national leaders are making choices for the nation but salvation, blessings and protection are individually provided to followers of Christ. We must each decide for ourselves what is right and who to follow for our own soul salvation. Christ died for this nation of believers but He claims us individually as we remain true to the faith. So there is yet good news for the believer in the midst of great trouble:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.   Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:   That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1Pe 1:3-9  

America has fought world wars and many men have died on the battlefield to preserve the right for citizens to make their individual moral or political choices. Personal liberty in the nation and in Christ allows one to examine the facts and make right choices for self. While the freedom remains, we should uphold that which is right and pray for political leaders, fellow citizens and Christian believers who may have been deceived and failed to discern truth from the lie. God is still with and for us because He has claimed this nation for Himself!

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. Joh 6:39

 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 2Jn 1:8

 MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!

 

RESURRECTION CELEBRATION

The Easter season that we celebrate as a holiday was not intended to be a celebration once a year as we do today. The true meaning of the season is resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; and it is a celebration that was to be realized every single day as a triumph of light over darkness. Darkness had invaded the earth and the Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus, into the earth to expel the darkness so that His children could again enjoy fellowship with God, their Father. It was to be the beginning of light coming back into the earth and a triumph of light’s power over darkness throughout the generations. Only light can expel the darkness. God empowered His children with enough power and knowledge through fellowship with Him to hold back the power of darkness. But they would only have this power as long as they held on the light, which comes from God.

As the evil one tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, he is still determined to make men doubt God’s purpose in His rule over them and draw men into his darkness. The temptation comes in suggesting to man that those things withheld and denied to man by God are more important and exciting than they are. The darkness of death is what God was withholding and denying man and what the evil one offered. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Pro 16:25, KJV).” Everything is revealed in the light and darkness cannot dwell there. The Heavenly Father freely gives His children knowledge and shared participation in all good things and the temptation of Satan is all a lie to entice man away from God.

If mankind would stay with God in the light of His love, provision and power; there would not be a need of anything else, just as there was nothing missing in the Garden. There is total fulfillment in God. As man looks for fulfillment in other places, he is drawn further into the darkness of Satan’s temptation.

We see our world today being pulled into the darkness by rejecting God’s way and accepting Satan’s enticements. That brings further darkness unless man rejects the way of darkness and return to God’s light. God created the light and dispelled darkness which had taken over the earth. The earth was in state of confusion, emptiness and a deep darkness (Gen 1:2) until God created light and brought the beauty of flowers, water brooks, sunny skies, singing birds and everything joyful and pleasant. Mankind is working vigorously through Satan’s temptations to take earth back into that past state of darkness by destruction of the earth’s beauty, corruption of mankind and threats of nuclear devastation.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Joh 10:10

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 3:19

God is still actively working in mankind and the universe to restore the beauty that was originally formed in the earth. Mankind is God’s helper in that process and Jesus has secured the way to restore man and the earth through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Joh 12:46

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Joh14:6

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Rom 8:21

Easter Sunday is more than just a time to put on our Sunday best and rejoice for one day; it is a time to realize that the Resurrected Son has brought resurrection power back to the earth to restore that which was lost to darkness. It is a celebration of man’s opportunity to be reborn.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Joh 3:3

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. Joh 3:7

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 tempter and temptations are still here but so is the choice to return to the light of God’s love. Every day we have the opportunity to come closer to the light of the Father through the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Happy Resurrection Celebration