Thanksgiving to Jesus

Worthy of all Praise
Thanksgiving to Jesus

November 2017

Thanksgiving to God for all He has done for us. For making it down through a year of challenges, we owe God all the praise. God gives us all good things to enjoy and expects us to give Him the praise for providing it to us. God gave us Jesus so we could have a right to receive the inheritance that rightfully belonged to Jesus but was willed to us for accepting the sacrifice of God’s Son. He loves to provide good things to us and freely invites believers to: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Mat 7:7).” He just asks us to remember that He provided it and give Him praise.

This holiday was originally set up to remember with thankfulness the survival of the early settlers of America during very difficult times. They survived some dangerous years while establishing a new country; and we have come into enjoyment and privilege because of their efforts. The early colonists remembered their thankfulness with annual Harvest Feasts, now recognized as Thanksgiving Day. Every phase of the present country was built on the backs of the forerunners who laid the foundation. America’s tradition celebrates those who fled oppression to enjoy their God-given unalienable right to liberty of conscience and service to the True God without the infringement of oppressive government.

At times of memorial celebrations, we should always revisit the original purpose of the forerunners whose foundations we build on and make sure we are moving forward with that purpose. They wanted freedom of life and worship of God. While we are revisiting their original purpose and examining our work to move forward in the nation, God asks us to remember that He was the originator of it all and give Him His due thanks.

But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. Deu 8:18

As Americans celebrate and remember God with thankfulness, He is pleased with our remembrance and allows us to continue enjoying His goodness.

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

 
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; Ec 12:1

Thanks be to God for all His goodness!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Ps 100:4

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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There is Nothing Wrong with Christianity – There IS Something Wrong with Today’s Christian

November 2017

The religions of the world are formed based on certain beliefs, principles or idol gods; and there is no end of religions that govern people’s mindset or life. Religions bring people together in unity and establish civilizations. Religions can work for good or evil depending on the motivation on which they were founded. Of the five most popular religions of the world (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism), Christianity and Islam are the two most popular religions. The roots of Christianity can be traced back to the beginning of time where the founding principles were established by Creator God. The religion of Islam was established based on the visions of a human founder born long after the birth of Christ.

 

Of all the world religions, Christianity alone is founded solely on the words of Creator God and those inspired by His Holy Spirit. This God, who describes Himself as perfect in all His ways, a God of truth without iniquity (Deu 32:4); has given us a religion that is designed to bring man in line with His perfection. Christian preachers often preach, and it is true, that Christianity is the only religion with a Living God and a Savior who is not in the grave. He ever lives to intercede on behalf of those who trust in Him and He freely provides for the believer everything that pertains to life.
Since Christianity was given by a perfect God, perfect Savior, perfect Messenger of a perfect salvation; it cannot be wrong. If there are faults with the religion of Christianity, it cannot be the fault of our God. The fault has to lie within those that practice this perfect faith but who have not yet envisioned or matured to that perfection.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Gal 3:1

Apostle Paul had been as avid student of the law before conversion to faith in Christ and had spent his Christian journey denouncing Jewish legalism, teaching the ways of Christ and bringing souls to the knowledge of the Savior. He was aghast that these well-taught Christians in Galatia would now turn back from a religion of faith to one of works. He scorned them for being removed from grace and accepting another religion which he explained was not really another religion but a perverted gospel. Paul marveled that the Christians had allowed themselves to be removed from the simplicity of the gospel of faith and declined to a religion of ceremony and rites. He had warned his son, Timothy,  and us this would happen in the latter days:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2 Ti 4:3

The nation of America has allowed itself to lose the advantage of the simplicity of the gospel of faith. It has gone on to build a religious system that God never thought or imagined for His people. Christians have gone from simple faith in Christ to a mega-religion of extravagance and theatrics. The poor, sick, orphans and widows are an offense and a bother to the business of church. The poor lost soul had better get in line or be run over. The gospel message has become so complicated that one could hire a tutor for help and still not understand it. Worst of all, some of today’s churches have gotten so big that it manage businesses and exploits the people of God for profit. Whoever thought that the simplicity of the gospel could be distorted to become such a monster!

 

Jesus did not want Christians to be ignorant of the devil’s tricks.  He taught and warned believers about religious error and false teachers. However the Christian church today seems afraid to give this warning. The true church is set up by Christ to be the head, not the tail.  The church has been given everything it needs to be victorious at this hour.  Paul loved the Galatians people so much that even in his shock, he was willing to teach them again, love them again, and birth in them again the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian leaders must maintain the simplicity of the gospel to save the lost, help the poor and needy as well as watch over the souls of the people to lead them back to God when they go astray. The church must be whole in order to be a preserver in the earth.  Believers must stand fearlessly for the truth, knowing that Christ is with them.  Jesus was depending on the Christian Church to preserve the faith and the land. How do we lead American Christians back to true religion in a climate where multi-million and billions of dollars are spent publicizing a false gospel and where pride has set in with the leaders. Each Christian must seek earnestly for the truth.  Jeremiah, the prophet, prophesied this dilemma:

A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Jer 5:30-31

For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? Jer 5:26-29

History often repeats itself and this once-Christian nation is sinking in apostasy, like biblical Israel, while mega ministries are busy preaching day and night a gospel that has left the truth of Jesus Christ to establish their own gospel. It has happened before and it continues to happen because of the carnality of men, not because of any weakness in God, Christianity or Christ. Because so many churches have left their first love, the nation’s morals have fallen victim and this once-Christian nation is in great jeopardy. Righteousness has been overthrown for false religion and the goal of prosperity. Paul warned Timothy about the temptation for the love of money (1Ti 6:10) and that the love of money was the root of all evil. In America, everything is judged by prosperity, even the gospel, though Christians are taught the just would live by faith. Those that have lost faith in Christ are betting on a good life now in hope that there will be no God to judge them in the end. Some leaders are deceived and lead others into their deception. While Satan’s deception has led many of the religious into his anti-Christ system, there will still be those that seek diligently the truth. The apostasy of the some will not prevent the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ from prevailing. God is not mocked. The truth shall forever stand though Satan spins his lies. While some follow the broad way and miss heaven as home, God will still have His number. In the midst of the world’s corruption and political discord; the church will yet be perfected and made ready. Christ will have His bride. Jesus foretold:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mat 16:18

Re-post from 2013: The Restrained Nature of Men

October 23, 2017

You may have followed the on-going discussions of sexual harassment in the news and wondered at the overwhelming flood of occurrences and wondered if they are really true.  You also may have read the headline article like I did from today’s “The Hill.” If you have not read it, please scan it and then read my re-post below written in October 2013 as a response .

In state capitols, women see rampant sexual harassment

http://click1.news.thehill.com/ViewMessage.do?m=pdyhhlqy&r=bgjjzfjj&s=scplwzjfpbbgzgbcmppllpjhbjbddkpfzsh&q=1508760000&a=view

The Unrestrained Nature of Man

The Unrestrained Nature of Man

by Joyce Reba Payne

October 15, 2013

History records that men unrestrained by civilization, proper leadership and rules are a very dangerous force as demonstrated by some armies who have ravaged villages and cities in certain cultures around the world. This is not a pleasant realization but it is proven through past and current events. For this reason God has established civilized societies with laws to give men leadership, legal authority over groups of people and wives. All of these components in a man’s life help to restrain his natural instincts to satisfy himself at any cost. Given the opportunity though, men will throw off these restraints and still try to satisfy their natural instincts to the full.

Men in Government

In our nation recently, we have seen examples of men in politics and business determined that they can have it all: as much as they want, whenever they want and where they want. We have seen men with the reins of wealth and power who tried to force themselves and their will upon our nation without restraint. Who was supposed to restrain them? The answer is you and me! We are a nation governed by the people that put the average man or woman in charge of these leaders to check their power and restrain their natural instincts to have their own way. And when we do not speak up, power can go astray and unchecked. That is when anarchy can take over. One voice standing up against a tank might get run over but it will still cause people to consider that maybe something is wrong or worth the fight.

Nations like the past Rome or Greek empires, and others more recent, were formed because of the brute strength of some conquerors. Those empires were also overthrown because of the unrestrained power of men on the inside of the walls while a greater power of men from outside invaded them during their chaos. This is a history lesson we all should know too well.

Men in Society

In civilized society where men have wives, the female counterpart is often a voice of reason and restraint to bring man back into remembrance of more acceptable behavior. May God help us if the wives of strong men keep silent! Equal balances for society are women in leadership positions that help restrain or give a voice to sounder methods. May God help us if women leaders become silent or as bad as unrestrained men! God made the nature of women different for a reason. Women are usually more domiciled than men. Women care about domestic life: homes, children, well being of others and the development of society. But most men by nature will try to prevent women from sharing power for that very reason: so they can have unrestrained power to do what they want, when they want. Thank God for Jesus, who as perfect man, honored his mother, accepted women co-laborers and established a new system that would allow women to have an equal role in society and in the church. Jesus knew that men needed women to help restrain the natural instinct of men to satisfy self.

Men in the Faith

The Holy Ghost said through Paul, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel (1Co 4:15).” In many churches, we have given one man control of the church family. Those possessing the Holy Ghost should already be subdued under the power of the Holy Spirit’s guidance to lead them in righteous ways. But those men that do not have the Holy Ghost or proper knowledge from God as their guide and restraint are more apt to use their natural guidance as they lead the church to submit to their authority. We have seen many examples of what can happen when male church leaders are not restrained by the Holy Ghost: they have consumed finances unlawfully, sexually abused women or men and established their own laws to satisfy their personal desires. For this reason God empowered and authorized church leaders that He called apostles and prophets who would receive holy guidance in establishing and correcting His church. However, not all men have a relationship with God or are restrained by the Holy Ghost. Some male leaders in church and society have reasoned together to give consent to authenticate without protest what God has not authorized.

Apostle Paul had an authority given by God to guide establishment of the church. Paul defended his authority when questioned and dealt with the behavior of a confused and immature church. He reminded the church that he was as a father to them and then gave instruction for correction.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1Co 3:3

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1Co 4:15

Paul did not say he was king, Caesar or Emperor, but “father.” Paul had legitimate authority as demonstrated by his spiritual gifting and power to guide the church. A real father ordained by God will guide and protect his family because of his love for them. Paul was a single man that possessed maturity, strength, discipline and love toward the churches under his authority as he imitated the Lord. Paul was willing to suffer personally for the well being of these churches. Men led by the Holy Spirit possess strength for protection, nurturing and loving the church family like their Heavenly Father and as demonstrated by Jesus Christ in earthly ministry. This bible example has been established for men in our generation to be the best possible men as husband, father, brother, businessman, preacher, justice, or politician. It is not enough to be classified as a man but men must come up to a higher level of being righteous, mature and responsible men, who qualify to be husbands, fathers and leaders in society. Where men have not submitted themselves to the restraint of the Holy Ghost, we need even more the restraint of laws, protests from the people and the intervention of wives to check the natural instinct of men that are prone to demanding satisfaction of personal desires.

Current Events in American Politics

We have seen the natural instinct of men portrayed in our nation’s capitol recently. Unrestrained men, both politicians and businessmen, insisted they would have their way even after a law they disfavored was upheld and validated. They were not satisfied with the established process to protest the new law; but they purposed to use brute strength to overthrow it. These efforts bypassed the restraint of civil rule, the Holy Spirit, leadership control and evidently any restraint of their wives and the people. These leaders also threw off the examples of their forefathers who established these guidelines for government rule. The Republican Party insisted that they would have their way regardless of all the restraints that should have persuaded them their desire was denied. Whether the new Health Care law be morally right or wrong, it has been examined and confirmed as the law of the land. This political party refused to accept the rule of man’s law that had been confirmed and God’s law that required all men to submit to authority. They had gone beyond the restraint of the law into lawlessness because they stepped outside the American law which provided for legitimate methods of protest that had been exercised and lost. And the guidance of God’s law counsels “….in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Mt 18:16).

 America’s History Lessons

Unlike many other nations around the world, America said that it would be guided by spiritual laws, natural laws, the people and God. America is unique in this commitment. Many other nations are run by emperors, tyrants or group rule without God.  America uniquely decided to allow God to rule over her leaders and people with respect for the laws of God and man. However, this decision is ineffective without the will of the people to insist that the Holy Spirit, the laws of God and man and yes, even wives still be used to restrain the natural instincts of men to force their way upon the multitudes. When all of these restraints have failed, righteous indignation or the move of the Holy Spirit in citizens must arise. If all else fails, God will arise and set things aright. But He has given us the help we need through the Holy Spirit, laws of the land, relationships and the righteous church to resolve our differences. When man has used his power to override all of these as is the case in America today, righteous indignation and the move of the Holy Spirit in people must arise to denounce and quash anarchy. Someone dared to say that maybe we needed the power of the armed forces to settle the pending issue! If America becomes lawless, God will use some means of force for restraint because God is still the Sovereign Power in the earth whether America wants to acknowledge it or not.

Where Do We Go From Here?

How often will we allow ourselves to come to the edge of the cliff or the anarchy we have seen in other nations before we come to our senses? We have merely to look at some of our neighboring nations to see where we are headed: nations that have denied morality and God to establish self rule. Once a people refuse to go forward with God, they automatically begin to go backward or into decline. Will we allow monarchical rule, ravaging of women and children, financial collapse, mob rule, or overthrow from enemies without? America is beginning to get a clearer picture of what happens when a nation decides that she no longer needs God. Sane minds should dictate that we restore proper leadership in our homes, churches and government while we can. Husbands do need their wives for proper balance. Churches do need the guidance of the Holy Spirit and proper leadership authority, including the voices of women to balance the power of men. Government cannot run properly in our nation without allowing the voices of women, the voting public and the church to call it into balance, lest it become as other nations that ravage the people. While we have tried to be a world leader and restrain the behavior of other nations, we have displayed the type of brute strength and immaturity that should cause us to be ashamed. Such an internal crisis should give us the motivation we need to bring about proper change before anarchy does occur. Righteousness should arise in our people to demand that the right choices be made. The present disaster in our homes, churches and politics is our wake up call. But will we wake up?▉

What are your thoughts on this subject?

The Unrestrained Nature of Man

October 15, 2013

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Understanding the Confusion of This Hour

October 2017

It goes without saying that these are some distressful and confusing times for all of us. And what makes it so difficult for many is not being able to understand what is going on nor have the power to control it. The “wise men” of our times cannot explain it and religious men are also dumbfounded. Something is happening in our world that man cannot remedy. Some have ventured to suspect aliens or some kind or supernatural force is at work. Could it be supernatural forces? Well, men are wise to suspect evil forces are working and to look upward for answers.

There is a supernatural force that is greater than man who has the power to circumvent man’s best efforts. From the beginning a Supernatural Being, who declared Himself to be Jehovah-Creator-God of the universe, promised that He would intervene in man’s affairs if man did not honor Him. Without a doubt, many no longer reverence Creator God or His Son, Jesus. We have seen it in science, medicine, government, religion, marriage, births, and all modes of interactions between mankind. God declared in the first commandment we should have no other god before Him but that precious commandment has been broken over and over in everyday life without much thought.

Even though Creator God has not chosen to show Himself in a visible form in our day to day life (as in statutes of Buddha or other false gods), He has declared that He is always present and knows all about us. Because of this lack of visibility to mankind, some people have decided that God does not exist and have excluded Him in their plans for life. God is not mocked by this exclusion but has rather foretold us how He would respond if we chose this path. He is first of all merciful and kind, teaching us the right way; but there comes a time when man chooses his path, whether right or wrong.

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Confusion was the outcome for those who sought to build a tower that would reach unto heaven to prevent the very thing God had instructed them; to multiply across the earth and replenish it. They decided instead to show rebellion and venture into the heavens. There are some similar efforts being performed today by world scientists. Do you think God has noticed it? Past efforts to circumvent God’s instructions have been concluded as disobedience and punished as so. Those at the tower of Babel had their language confused so they were unable to communicate with each other. They were unable to finish their building project and were scattered across the earth. God was not mocked. Today man’s efforts are diminishing the population by aborting babies in the womb, producing killing agents in food, air, water, through drugs, genocide, guns and weapons of mass destruction. Man is still disobeying God’s instructions by killing rather than restoring.

Over the course of history in America and some other nations, we saw knowledge and inventions multiply as God gave man favor to establish technology that made life less strenuous for the body and mind. Ideas multiplied and inventions were brought forth that made life more enjoyable for every person. We blessed God and God blessed us. Blessings can change people though. As people began to spend more time with the blessings and less time with God, hearts were changed and hardened. Religion and false teachings sprung up that taught tolerance rather than reproof. Man slowed moved away from God until rebellion became normalcy.

God tells us in Deuteronomy 28 that He will respond to us according to our honor or dishonor of Him. Dishonor of God automatically brings evil consequences of sickness, lack, disaster, death, war, and every kind of failure.

Deu 28:1 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 28:15 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:

When man forgets God and His word, he becomes ignorant of the reasons that evil consequences affect his life. He is confounded through his internal darkness. God intends for man to humble himself at this time and seek answers from above but often man simply tries to improve on the evil circumstances rather than turn his face in repentance toward God.

Jer 5:19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours. Jer 5:20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, Jer 5:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: Jer 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? Jer 5:23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Jer 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Jer 5:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. Jer 5:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. Jer 5:27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.

People often ask in times of confusion and trouble, particularly during disasters: where was God? But He is the same God that spoke before the trouble and that warned of the consequences of disobedience.

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. Isa 45:15-16

God is merciful and just so He always sends warning before He judges man. Even wicked Nineveh had a prophet named Jonah sent to them. The word has declared that God will do nothing until He reveals it to His prophets. So God, in His love and mercy, does warn of judgment before it falls even though people choose unbelief or refuse to hear. America has long been beholding to the wisdom of rich, eldely white men who held the reins of power for the nation; but many in the hierarchy are being exposed for stealth, pedophilia, and sexual abuse of women, racial hatred, neglect of duty, prejudicial policies, infidelity, pornography, hypocrisy, and other unfaithful acts. Believers were always to place their trust in God.
I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. Jer 5:5
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1Co 1:21

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 1Co 1:27-31

Jer 4:9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.

The marvel of this hour is that the wise men of our society cannot tell us how to get out of our present problems; their knowledge is limited and their eyes have been darkened. But those that trust in their God have access into infinite knowledge. God has chosen in this hour to use the foolish to teach the wise even though the proud prefer answers from their peers. God, however, resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (1Pe 5:5). God is always speaking and He is still bidding us to draw near and hear.
We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God. Jer 3:25
Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God. Jer 3:22

The above scriptures reveal the heart of God, the Father, who never changes, however, the blood atonement of Christ causes some people to believe that the Father will not allow any devastation of His people. Unfortunately, there are many people who have made a profession of Christ but who do not obey His voice. True believers are those who choose to walk in both love and obedience. Paul carefully explained in Roman 9 that not all of those of Israel were indeed Israelites. Nicodemus found out that salvation was a matter of a changed heart (Jo 3:6), not so much a birth right or profession of allegiance. God knows those that are His and He will preserve them in times of trouble. Those with a true heart for God are not in ignorance of these times because they enjoy fellowship with the Lord. Shame of face and confusion belong to the lost but even they can be saved through making Jesus Christ their Savior. The good news is still Jesus saves.

A Prayer: The People of Israel, Past and Present, Confess Sin

By Prophetess Joyce Reba Payne

July 9, 2017

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Isa 45:20

Neh 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God. 4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God forever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. 7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; 8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous: 9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea; 10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. 11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. 13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: 14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: 15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. 18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; 19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. 20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. 21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. 22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. 26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. 27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies; 29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands. 31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee that hath come upon us… (KJV)

We pray…

 Father God, we see the troubles that have come upon our churches and preachers, on our political leaders, on our homes, and that which have fallen upon our sons and daughters as you have foretold to us (Jer 16) and as it is this day. Our forefathers and mothers were brought to this land in chains and put into slavery as you warned us through the prophets (Is 45:14). Our people have suffered hardship and bondage because our forefathers and mothers sinned and we, their seed, have sinned. Yet you heard the cry of our elders in their suffering as you have heard our cry and have sent us deliverance through your servants whom you led to speak for you and on our behalf. We thank you, Father, that you have brought us out of hard bondage and many of our people have received blessings as you promised and have flourished in this land. But our hearts have not stayed faithful and we have begun to walk away from you because of the wonderful things you have given us. You forewarned us of the consequences we would experience if we walked away from you. We have begun to see the deterioration of the blessings we received and oppressors appointed to us because of our disobedience.

We confess that we, as all of our people, have sinned and have broken covenant with you by not obeying your word and voice. We do this day acknowledge our sin and that we deserve your displeasure in us because of our disobedience. But Father, we remember your great mercy which you have shown throughout the generations toward our people and we are mindful of the prayer by King Solomon (1Ki 8:47-51) and the prophets that followed, to whom you promised to forgive our sins even in the latter days if we would repent, turn from our wicked ways and call upon you (2Ch 7:14). You promised to remember us, be merciful and forgive us. Father God, we are not righteous of ourselves or without sin as we call upon you but we are mindful of your great mercy shown toward the people of your heart in your sending an Intercessor for our sins and His pleasing sacrifice on our behalf. Because of the great favor you found in your only begotten, Son, Jesus Christ, we call upon you to have mercy upon us as we repent and turn our hearts back to you. Father, remember us and forgive us, our churches, our families, our political leaders, our descendants, our land and our homes as we call upon you. Father, we pray that you would bless us and deliver us from all bondage and servitude we have experienced in this place and from all the places you have scattered us (Deu 4:27) because of our disobedience. We pray that you would bring us into your bounty and bless us as you have promised. We ask that you restore us to a place of obedience. Perfect our hearts toward you and give us a greater love for your word and fellowship with you. Help us to love our neighbors and our enemies as you commanded (Mat 19:19; Mat 5:44). We need a cleansing and healing Father that only you can perform. We fall upon your mercy and call upon your grace to forgive, heal and restore us. We reject and throw off all false deities and renew our covenant with you. We acknowledge that you alone are our God and we are dependent upon you alone for our life. Reveal to us what you would have us to do. Hear this, our prayer we pray in Jesus name, Heavenly Father, as we wait upon you. Amen.

 

By the mercy of God and the grace we receive through Jesus Christ, the truth has been revealed to our people and now it behooves us to acknowledge that we have missed God’s perfect will for us and confess our waywardness to Him, asking for forgiveness and healing. The pride of the biblical people and their refusal to obey God led them to Babylonian captivity. Like the religious leaders of biblical Jerusalem, people can assume today because God has been with them that He will continue to be with them even though they wallow in sin. Jesus cried over Jerusalem and suffered for them, but they would not be turned from their sin and they, in stubbornness, continued to believe they were in the will of God. Jesus challenged the religious leaders to search the scriptures and see that it foretold of Him and that very moment (John 5:39). The scriptures are a mirror to reveal to us our own heart and truth for any stage of our life. The time that we are presently living in is described in scriptures. Though some hearts obey it does not preclude God dealing with us as a people. Let’s pray, seek the mercy and favor of God through Jesus Christ and turn our hearts fully back to Him.

        But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. Isa 45:17

THE RACE FOR LIBERTY: IS IT STILL WORTH IT?

By Joyce Reba Payne

June 13, 2017

Most everyone across the nation of America has discovered by now that the founders of this nation were flawed individuals. We have had a chance to look at their ideas compared to their lives and have found they did not always practice what they preached. Some founding fathers debated the morality issue of slavery and yet continued their slave plantations. One of them, Thomas Jefferson, had conflicting opinions of slavery even though he owned slave plantations, worked on ways to free the slaves and had a second family with his black mistress, whom many believed he loved. There is so much controversy and conflict with the ideas of the nation when we examine American history. The nation has been great in comparison to other nations in many ways but it has not been perfect.

There is one thing we can say about the founding fathers even though they were not perfect or perfect examples for their descendants and that is they esteemed the perfect example of a perfect God whom they honored in the nation’s founding documents. Nor can we, as individuals, claim perfection but there is something so right about our hearts when we strive toward perfect ways. That is the quality that propelled this nation above so many others.

The founding fathers had seen nations with great governing authority, great military prowess as well as great minds and wealth on display.   But what they sought for in America was a nation that could be great and yet just toward its people. They had never seen that before but they sought it!

The founders did not borrow ideas of greatness from the philosophy of Socrates, the political strategies of Napoleon, the military expertise of Alexander the Great or the ruling example of previous European Kings. They did not set out to put royalty over each state. Nor did they organize exploitive campaigns to attack the wealth of other nations to be divided among their elites or poor settlers. No, what they did do was look at a great God who had outlined ways that every man, woman and child could be provided for and come to greatness in God’s eyes. They chose to use the book God provided as their guide to establish their laws that could be later examined and expanded by descendants to lead the nation into what God had in mind. They did not complete the work; they only started the process and others would have an opportunity to develop the nation into the full plan of God using the model they set forth.

Where the nation of America went astray was by taking its eyes off both the model and God; and they began to establish their own plan and set up their own gods of wealth, pleasure, lust, physical perfection and mental superiority. Previously Americans sought her leadership in men who possessed integrity, humility, wisdom and a servant attitude; but now America seeks leadership from those that have fame, worldly success, wealth and arrogance. The great men of the bible like Abraham (the father of God’s chosen people), King David (a man after God’s own heart), Elijah (the prophet God took bodily to heaven in a fiery chariot) or Daniel (to whom God revealed His plan for future nations) were great men because they kept their eyes on God and followed His instructions. Men of America’s past like the first general and president of the nation, George Washington, were esteemed as great because they honored and sought out the mind of God. These men were smart enough to know that greatness came from their God and not their own fleshly mind or ability.

The founders of America referenced where they put their trust (in God) and seemingly expressed naivety in believing that their descendants would have the same wisdom to follow their guide rather than squander their heritage on greed and lust.

The Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution were only outlines of the principles, ideas and intent that the founders set up as a foundation for the nation. It was not and could never have been the whole plan for a developing nation that would represent life and freedom for a multitude of diverse people that no one had ever seen modeled. Only the bible itself and God, which they referenced, could walk us through the future steps to bring about the great freedoms the founders envisioned in the founding documents.

Every journey has a beginning, mid way point and an end. The intent to strive for the goal is expressed at the beginning and the destination is predetermined. Every runner in a race reaches a point in the race where it seems he cannot go any further, that his legs will buckle under him or that his lungs will explode under the pressure; but he continues to run because he made a decision at the beginning to reach the goal and that it was worth the toil of the race. He could give up in the middle of the race and announce to everyone that he had the honor of running in the great race for the goal, but no one would applaud or celebrate with him for failing to reach his destination. Even he would eventually feel the disappointment of not fulfilling his promise to himself of reaching the goal and obtaining the prize. There is no glory in going half way and stopping. The joy of the race comes from focusing on the goal and completing the course. God wants us to have the joy of finishing the race because there are other races yet to be run and prizes to be obtained. The struggle is not a sign we should give up, but it is just a sign that we must press beyond the present opposition to obtain our worthy goal.

America is not at the end; it is in the middle struggling with the decision of whether or not it will continue to run its race to reach the goal of liberty for all or turn back and be a copy of old European ways. Europe and other nations looked to us as a light to imitate and follow, not as one who would join them in the mire. In the middle is the time when runners must remember the enthusiasm they had at the beginning and envision the joy of obtaining the prize. The prize is still there and it is still worth obtaining, but we must keep up the enthusiasm and the effort. We must also envision in the audience those who ran before us and how they endangered and offered up their very lives for the vision of something we experience but they never had a chance to see in operation anywhere. They dared believe it was possible for men to live with freedom of worship, ideas and speech in harmony with others. There are still other races and goals to be obtained beyond this race of liberty. Life is a journey and only God know the ultimate and final destination.

America needs to have today men, women and children that will catch the vision the founders had and continue the journey to its conclusion. We must look again at their inspired words, purpose and the God they trusted to help them achieve their destination. Veering off the path leads to the confusion, weariness, disappointment and turmoil that we are seeing expressed in our society today. It is clear to most people that we have gotten off the path and few, if any, seem to know the way to get back on track. There is no leader who can get America out of the confusion it is in without renewing past covenants and following Divine direction. Modern men tend to believe they are more advanced than the people of the past but the foundation which America has stood on for over 200 years was built by those very men we discount from the past. There are mysteries that our ancestors understood that modern man is still wrestling to decipher. The same God that steered the first settlers over troubled waters is still available to help every citizen of America run the race for the home, city, state, organization or party that is so important to the larger race America’s must run to obtain the goal of true liberty for all. Run the race, America! Happy Anniversary!

                      Happy 4th of July

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!