Thursday, December 24, 2015

Dec. 20-26 Thought of the Week

Christmas is so much more than the giving of gifts and time spent with family and friends, although that is very important! It is more than the mere celebration of the birth of a good man long ago. It is more than even the celebration of Jesus, Gods Son. Christmas celebrates so much that it leaves me in awe. Celebrating this Holiday is celebrating the humbling of God's Son, celebrating salvation for each of us through the work of Christ, celebrating God's mercy to us, celebrating His love for us and so much more that all was fulfilled in the greatest gift ever given -- God sending His only begotten Son into this world entering as a babe to complete God's plan of redemption!

I have thrown together a somewhat chronological collage of Christmas Song lyrics that touch on all the amazing facets that come about from the birth of Christ. Read these words and take in all their meaning, I hope these words have as great an impact on you as they have me! We should be left in awe of the full meaning of Christmas!

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King.
Christ the Savior is born,
Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild.
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Mary did you know.. Mary did you know
The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.
What mercy was revealed
What selflessness and peace
My fate was surely sealed
Until He rescued me
His pardon for my sin
His bounty for my need
From slavery and shame
I am redeemed
And Heaven can't contain
The glory of the Son
Jesus is the Christ, the saving One
His love has made a way
The grave is overcome
Jesus is the Christ, the saving One
Go, Tell It On The Mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Let us remember that Christmas should also remind us that we must go tell the world of the redemption that can be found in Christ alone!

Merry Christmas to you all!!! 
I hope it is one that grows your love and fear of God, as well, as allows you to make many good memories that you can remember and cherish for many years!

Go celebrate the birth of our Savior and King!...and as always keep thinking:)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa. 9:6

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. John 3:16-17

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dec. 13-19 Thought of the Week

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, 
but the companion of fools will suffer harm  
Prov. 13:20 (ESV)
This week's thought comes right out of the Book of Proverbs. Here it teaches us that those we choose to let influence us and who we let become our friends or those we spend time with will shape our character. This is a simple concept, but it is so very important and we must grasp it! Also, we must continually be reminded of this principle and so we can be vigilant in protecting ourselves from bad influences. The Bible is abundant and clear in it's teaching on this subject, another example would be 1 Corinthians 15:33 which says, "Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals". It is imperative that we take this to heart if we wish to lead Godly lives!

George Washington, who was a devout Christian and great leader, understood this principle very well. He even went so far as to say, "Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company". I believe that because Washington was disciplined and governed himself by Biblical principles, such as this one, he was a great warrior for Christ in his time and was able to influenced a nation and culture that endures to this day! are who you hang out with...and as always...keep thinking!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dec. 6-12 Thought of the Week

"Here is the great secret of success. Work with all your might; but trust not in the least in your work. Pray with all your might for the blessing of God; but work, at the same time, with all diligence, with all patience, with all perseverance. Pray then, and work. Work and pray. And still again pray, and then work. And so on all the days of your life. The result will surely be, abundant blessing. Whether you see much fruit or little fruit, such kind of service will be blessed... Speak also for the Lord, as if everything depended on your exertions; yet trust not the least in your exertions, but in the Lord, who alone can cause your efforts to be made effectual, to the benefit of your fellow men or fellow believers. Remember, also, that God delights to bestow blessing, but, generally, as the result of earnest, believing prayer." - George Muller

We live in a culture in which everyone seeks success. Here Mr. Muller tells us the secret to success, however this success is far from what people seek today. People of our culture want fame, status, money and power. This is not what we as Christians should seek, we should seek to please our King and do His will while in continual prayer! Only in doing this can we find true success and real blessing!

It is not the treasures that we store up here on earth, but it is those that we store in Heaven that are eternally valuable!

During this week, remember to work for our God and to pray to our God and pray and work!

As always...keep thinking...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Rest of the Story

In the first blog, I drew upon Genesis 3 and highlighted on the section in which God says to the Serpent, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”. Out of this passage I presented the idea that there is a Cosmic War that began here and rages on to this day. Although this is a great truth, I; however, did not tell you the whole story. I addressed the first part of this passage, but did not speak to the second part: “it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”. In this short phrase, God gives us one of the most wonderful promises of all time and since I found it so very significant, I thought it would be appropriate to explore this section in a separate blog.

In these few words spoken by God, there is an abundance of things that we can learn.

First, it is imperative to understand that the seed of the woman here is Jesus Christ himself. God would send His only Son, the One who does His will perfectly, to destroy the Devil. Jesus was the seed of Eve through genealogy, but more importantly He also was born into the world by a virgin woman a true seed of the woman. (Gal. 4:4- “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”) Here in Genesis, after sin has just entered the world, God reveals His perfect solution to redeem His creation. This is the very first presentation of the Gospel—the Good News of salvation from death.

Second, many attributes of God's character are evident in this passage. We find that our God is a God of promises. And most importantly, as time has testified with the life, death and resurrection of Christ, we find that our God is a promise-keeping God. Next, God hates sin and those who entice others to rebel against Him and He takes punishment very seriously. God pronounced eternal damnation on Satan for his sin of tempting and indeed, God will have his head for his actions. This passage testifies to the total sovereignty of God as God shows His power over all his creation, even the prince of Darkness. We also see the power of God's spoken word. God commands this to come pass and in his perfect timing it does! That which God begins, he brings to completion. Finally, it is clear that God is merciful and gracious. Just after the crime is committed that brings the sentence of death upon mankind, He has mercy on His creation and reveals to them His gracious plan that would allow them life eternal.

The questions now remain: How does this apply to us? How did this affect the Cosmic War?

In discovering the answers to these questions, we will find the most important and exciting truths that we could ever find.

To answer the first, this applies to us on a very personal level! Christ came unto earth, born of a woman only and took on the whole humility of a human nature. The humiliation Jesus underwent when He willingly walked as a man, the tempting He was subjected to by Satan and the physical abuse He endured were all a part of his “heel” being bruised. However, it was in His death and resurrection that He crushed the head of the Devil and conquered the death penalty that all mankind faced for their sins. Heb. 2: 14 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”. It is in the fleeting breath and the death of Christ that we can individually find life from sin since Christ was a perfect man whose death was an acceptable offering to God. After Jesus was subject to death three days, God raised his Son out of death for it is Him alone that has complete control of the grave. This resurrection symbolizes the resurrecting work that God does in us as a new man is birthed in our life in Christ that is quickened by the Holy Spirit! Because of this amazing work of salvation done by our loving and merciful God, three persons in one, He no longer looks on us in our sinfulness but instead sees His pure, perfect, righteous and beautiful Son. This, my friends, is the rest of the story; the part that is so very important to each and every Christian! We would be damned to eternal death if it were not for Christ suffering and dying in our place.

To answer the second question, we must remember that the Cosmic War is a war between life and death. Now, here is the exciting part, the war has already been won! When Christ conquered the Devil and death, He won the war; however, that does not mean the fighting is over. It is our duty to fight for our Savior! Many people will hear this and think, “Well, I am not going to fight in this war because Jesus obviously doesn't need my help”. This, on the contrary, should be taken as a huge encouragement to us as soldiers in this war. If one really stops to think about it, “What more awesome privilege could one have than to be asked to fight on the side that has won?” Oh, how this knowledge should cause us to be ever so more bold a soldier because we know that it is a fight we will not lose! How amazing a promise!

Jesus is leading His army on a victory campaign, are you marching behind him?

Colossians 2:6-15 (ESV)
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Raging Cultural Battle

Recently we have been immersed in the media, headlines and debates surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court decision to “allow” same-sex “marriage” throughout America. I can say that I am truly saddened that our nation has embraced such sinfulness. However, what is even more heart-breaking and shocking is to see how many professing Christians have been indifferent to it and even more often than not, have supported this Court decision. Because of this, I feel compelled to share my thoughts, as well as, form a Biblical opinion on the subject.

Although most of America would probably disagree, I think the U.S. Supreme court decision is absolutely absurd. You may think that that is a strong position to hold, but I will do my best to show why this is true. First of all, this case was really no case, because it was built on a false premise. Those that brought the case claimed that they were being denied the right to marry, when in fact, they had all the right in the world to marry according to the definition of marriage. Therefore, the case was not legitimate and should never have even been heard by the Court. The real purpose of the lawsuit was an attempt to re-define marriage—an institution that the government did not create and thus cannot change. Also, we MUST realize that even though the Supreme Court and the media have presented the idea that this decision legalized same-sex marriage, this is completely false. The Judicial Branch of our national government is given NO power to make laws or to legalize anything, that power is completely reserved to the Legislative Branch in Congress. The scope of the power of the Court extends only to the distinct case it decides upon and does not have lawful force beyond that. Supreme Court Justice Scalia, in his dissenting opinion writes, “This is a naked judicial claim to legislative — indeed, super-legislative — power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government,” he goes on to say, “A system of government that makes the people subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.” This decision only carries lawful force when the other branches of Government comply and when we, as the governed, do not speak up and acquiesce to this unconstitutional act.

Now, with the legal reasoning out of the way, let us ask the question, “What does the Bible say about this?” The Bible is very clear on this subject, in Genesis 2, marriage is first introduced by God. After God had created Eve out of Adam's flesh, He said in verses 24-25, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” This tells us that marriage is clearly instituted by God to be one man (Adam) and one woman (Eve). This also shows that since God authored marriage then only He has the power to change or re-define it! We must not miss the immense significance of marriage and family, this is the very first institution created by God because He holds the family as the designed means for bringing new life to the earth and thus the foundation of all society. The Bible does not only address what marriage is to be positively, but it also addresses the sin of man's perverse forms of it in the negative sense, throughout. In the Old Testament, God completely destroys Sodom and Gomorrah for the perverse homosexual sins they were committing as a community (Genesis 18:17-19:29). Some have argued that these cities were destroyed for there inhospitable nature to the other cities, but Jude 7, which says, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” clearly shows that it was for their sexual sins that they were destroyed. The Holiness Code in Leviticus also plainly puts forth that homosexuality is a sin,--Lev. 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” and Lev. 20:13, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” In the New Testament, Paul continually addresses this issue; Romans 1:26-27, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” as well as I Cor. 6:9 and I Timothy 1:10 which all show God's abhorrence to homosexuality and anything done outside marriage. Further, it is necessary to realize that same-sex union explicitly violates God's first command to mankind that He declared in Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” God's command here is one of procreation to fill the earth with life. The homosexual lifestyle undermines God's first command, the family is the only design for new life to enter the world through the union of one man and one woman, instead, this lifestyle promotes a non-generational view of the world that leads to no new life and, therefore, death. Also I would like to point out that the whole Gospel message reflects the family as the Bible refers to salvation as the process of adoption into God's family. God's redemptive plan also illustrates a true marriage as Jesus, the groom, is reconciling and returning to claim His bride, the Church! A change to marriage destroys the principles upon which the Gospel rests.

So, out of love, I warn professing Christians who have supported this decision that they have completely gone against the principles of our government and our Constitution. And, more importantly, have opposed the Word of God, undermined their very belief system and are bringing judgment upon themselves just as Sodom and Gomorrah did.

And, out of love, I charge professing Christians who have not supported this Court decision to stop sitting around, but to get up and let their opinion be known, to speak up and to fight for God's design in our Country!

It is my hope and prayer that this blog post might prove to be truthful and in some way, even though quite inadequate, be used for God's purposes to all who read it, whether Christian or non-Christian. 

Isaiah 55:6-7
Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

CONTROL vs. KAOS: The Cosmic War

The 60s and 70s TV show “Get Smart” features a constant struggle between the secret spy organization called “CONTROL” and the international organization of evil, “KAOS”. CONTROL always defends justice while KAOS does all things for world domination or destruction through any means possible, whether right or wrong. And, of course, each episode ends with CONTROL being victorious no matter how difficult the task had been.

Now, if you are like me, you probably are thinking... “Ok, thats nice, but what does that have to do with anything?”

The plot of this old TV show appropriately illustrates the point I am presenting in this blog. That point is that there is a real and similar struggle going on in the world today. A struggle between good and evil, between justice and injustice that has been going on since almost the beginning of time. The beginning of this cosmic struggle, or more aptly called, this Cosmic War can be found in Genesis 3. After Eve ate the forbidden fruit, talking to the Serpent, God says, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Here starts the Cosmic War that wages around us this very minute. There is so much that can be gleaned about this war and the qualities of it, but I would like to discuss only a few.

First, we must realize that this is a very vicious battle as the word “enmity” implies. Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines enmity as, “The quality of being an enemy; the opposite of friendship; ill will; hatred; unfriendly dispositions; malevolence.” This is not simply a dislike or displeasure between the seed of the Woman and the seed of Satan, but it is actually hostile opposition comprised of active fighting between the two.

Second, this War is between two completely opposite armies. The forces of God, which promote complete order according to His design of the world that can only lead to life through HIS redemptive process, while the enemy is a force of rebels who wish to impose chaos that glorifies themselves and  can only lead to death.

Third, WE are warriors in this War whether we like it or not. In Matthew 12:30, Jesus tells us, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” We have two options, either we fight with and for Christ in this war or we fight without and against Him!

Finally, this War is composed of numerous battles and only by winning each battle can we then win the War!

With this in mind, hopefully it is apparent to you that we as Christians MUST do something since mere inactivity and apathy will work against the purposes of Christ and lead to death in chaos! I think there are various things that can and should be done, but I would like to propose that we need to first and foremost, take every thought into captivity unto Christ! Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 10 that when we do this it will allow us to harness the spiritual weapons we have been given, and not only that, but will cause us to bring down the strongholds of evil! Only when we have brought ourselves into subjection and obedience to Christ can we have revenge on the disobedience of others, as this passage presents, it is important to realize that we do not wage a war with physical weapon like guns or swords, but one that is unseen, intellectual and most of all spiritual. This molds into shape a true warrior of God who has put on his proper battle gear--the girdle of Truth, the breastplate of Righteousness, boots that are the preparation of the Gospel, the shield of Faith, the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit!

How do we align our thoughts to God's? The answer is simple really...we must converse with Him daily so we know what He truly thinks. We can do this through constant study of the Bible, which is His very words, and also through continual prayer with Him. This alone is the foundation for us to step foot into the battleground of this conflict fully prepared!

So, I leave you with this, the magnitude of this War is unimaginably great, it involves every individual and all the world. Therefore, its consequences are unimaginably large...the fate of every soul hinges on or death is determined by this Cosmic War!

I ask you, will YOU promote Godly order, truth and life? Will you take the steps to properly align your thoughts with God? ...or...will you find comfort in inactivity and oppose God?

Will you fight for life or death??

Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.