Thursday, September 20, 2012

What a week it has been.....There seems to be a whole lot stirring in my spirit.  All the while I'm praying "Come quickly Lord."  Each day is a little more disheartening as you allow yourself to be beat up by an angry and bitter world.

These are some of the headlines I've scanned this week:

and last but not least today's announcement of Chickfila....

I'm thankful I have spiritual truths to lay back on, a foundation, a rock, a savior, a deliverer.

When I look at these headlines and scan each one I find a lot of half truths.  I'm sorry I didn't post any from different sources.  I chose Fox News and posted some of the headlines. You can research the stories as you see fit.  The point with all these different headlines is to say that our world lives in a state of chaos. 
We once had a former terrorist( now found Jesus) speaker at our church.  He said "when you look at the middle east you see...MESS"  Who is usually in the midst of mess....

Author of confusion, author of hate, author of pride, author of sin. 

We can get caught up in this mess. I know I find myself discouraged in this mess. We certainly live in a world that rejects God's truths.

Here is a bit of God's truths we have been studying in a Wed night Spiritual growth seminar. 

The Beatitudes

3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,t
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4 God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,t
for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about yout and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.
12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the

Teaching about Salt and Light

13You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Teaching about the Law

17 Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.
19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Teaching about Anger

21You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’t
22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone,t you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,t you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,t you are in danger of the fires of hell.t23 “So if you are presenting a sacrificet at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,
24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.25 “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison.

I absolutely love the teaching here.  As our Pastor Mike explains, Moses gave us the ten commandments and those are to live by but Jesus came to give this purpose. (meaning) The Beatitudes is an extension of the Ten Commandments. 

Under teaching about Anger is says your ancestors (Moses) said we must not murder but Jesus took it a bit further and says if you commit it in your heart you are guilty of committing it.

(sorry for copy paste of bible...lots of extra t's)

I skip down to verse 43....

Teaching about Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’t and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies!t Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.47 If you are kind only to your friends,t how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Maybe the point of this blog. Love those who wrong you, those you see as enemies, those you see as people who want nothing but destruction brought down upon you.  We are to be kind and loving towards them. They are hurting.
I tell my daughter this all the time.  If kids are calling you names, saying something hateful, it's usually because they are hurting and miserable inside.  They want you to suffer alongside of them and be just as miserable. But it's our job to remain calm, have Jesus take over and speak in love or turn the other cheek.  They will never understand it and maybe they will inquire and want what you have and find Jesus.
Remember if there are those you are arguing with over politics, over a job that's available, over peace in your own home. Love them. Jesus says pray for those who persecute you. Be different than the world. Don't follow the world's ways of doing things. It leads to destruction.
When you follow his ways peace will come. But don't discount the hardships for they build your character.  Whatever you want and struggle with God will make a way when there is no way. You have to believe it.
Remember love those who may not be that lovable!  We all need a little hope.
God's word is truth. Find your truth there.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Speak the truth in love.

Ever have those people in your lives that tell you that Christians are closed minded bigots?  I often wonder how they get off saying that without realizing the very nature of that statement is indicating the same of themselves.

So I decided to type in "Truth" in my iPhone bible app.  I was looking to do a little bible reading and study about some more truths.

Ephesians 4:15 popped up.
"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ,who is the head of his body, the church. "

That directed me to read more in this chapter.  I continued on to the next verse.  "With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused." (v18) "Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him." 

Though many Christians come across wrong. I think they lack the motivation of delivering the message correctly.  As Ephesians states it says to speak the truth in love.  I often forget this. When hearing these things it offends my flesh. But my spirit is screaming "DO IT IN LOVE!" 

Through different messages, and coming into conflict of people who have forgotten God's word.  He is teaching me.  He is teaching me with each word spoken, with each post, that the purpose behind it is to deliver the message in love.

God will use our words to deliver the message straight to their hearts and the words will be heard. He will empower our words. 

The chapter goes on to talk about no longer living as the Gentiles do. Meaning no longer living according to the world's ways. Or living in such a way that our motivations, our thoughts, our words and our actions are now different from the world.
It says in v18 about their minds being full of darkness, and wandering far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.  The world has completely closed their minds to anything of God.

v19- It talks of the world having no sense of shame, lust, pleasure, and practice every kind of impurity with eagerness.  v20 but that is NOT what we have learned about Christ and since you heart about Jesus and learned the truth comes from HIM. v22 trade your old ways (ways of this world) for Christ's way.  Our ways are full of lust, sin, destruction, deception...Christ can renew these worldly ways and make us into something new and something with better thoughts and attitudes.

You can read through the end of that chapter yourself.  He ends it with being kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving, just as God through Christ forgave us.

So, when your flesh is offended. When someone comes against you.  Think about how you could respond. Respond with the purpose he gave. To spread love. To Empower our words with his truth and his love.  Not everyone will receive it. But the seed of love will be planted.

You can read the parable of the farmer and the seed in Luke 8 starting with verse 4.  Jesus explains as you read the chapter that the seed is God's word.  There will be seeds that hear the message but let the devil steal it from them, there will be seeds that receive it with joy but don't have deep roots, they believe for a while then fall away when faced with temptation, then there are seeds the fall among the thorns that is represented of those who hear but allow his word to be crowded out by the cares and riches, and pleasures of this life and it never matures. 
Then there is seeds that fall on good soil which represent good hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently produce a good harvest.

We have the chance to choose what we will do with the seed.  We have a choice to spread the word in love.  It can be a struggle with all the bad we see in today's world. But don't let your heart be hardened. We have work to do.  We can help each other. Let's find someone to love and feed them God's word.

God's truth is not an opinion. It's his word.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Start of Spiritual Truths

This is the start of something the Lord has laid on my heart.  It is the beginning of something that can be read by others but a way to communicate truths of God's word to myself.  I can only start with the passion God has been stirring in me this election year.  It happens about every 4 years.  But the idea that is pushing me we really know God's truth? Do we recognize it in everyday living. In our nation? In our routines? Do we let it go when it doesn't align with our prideful ways?  Our selfish desires?  What is truth? WHERE is GOD's truth?

I've encountered some pretty NOT fun situations with people I like and love recently. Over what? Over the belief system people have.  They claim to believe one way but choose another path.  It's confusing to me and it got me to thinking. What is God's truth?  Am I wrong for believing innocent lives need to have a VOICE?  Am I wrong in believing the values of marriage are just between a man and a woman?    We are humans with hearts that can be easily deceived. So I fully believe we as humans can and are wrong.  But what is right according to God?

Jeremiah 17:9 speaks of our human heart.

"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?"
Surfing I found some of these articles.  I'm starting my blog with this posting from a pastor.  I really enjoyed reading it.  From a Pastor of a Victory Church in California. Name is Pastor Don Eldridge.

Voting Righteously Is a Christian Duty

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

I was raised in a family of Democrats whose roots were in the south -- southern Democrats.
They tend to vote more conservatively, but still lean liberal. When I got a little older I called myself
an independent, probably because I didn't know what to think. When I became born- again my
priorities, thinking, and philosophy changed. During this time Jimmy Carter became president. One
of the reasons he was elected was that Christians supported him because he was a born-again
Christian. During his first term, however, he did not split from the Democratic Party’s view of abortion, which some had
hoped he would. I voted in my first election in 1981 for Ronald Reagan who was conservative, pro-life, pro- traditional
family, anti-tax and strong military. A large percentage of Republicans today are evangelical Christians. There are also
plenty of Republicans who are not believers and there are many Christians who were raised Democrat and have stayed
loyal to that party.
A while back someone shared the political platform of the Democrat party when John F. Kennedy ran for president.
It is interesting that when read looks like the Republican party of today. The Democrat party of today has grown
progressively more liberal in the last 45 years. Another irony is that Republicans were responsible for the ending of slavery,
yet more black people are Democrats.

The two things we have been told not to talk about in public, co-workers or strangers is religion and politics. In truth,
if we want to maintain our liberties in this country, we had better talk about them. In our country we institute policy and laws
by a system of voting. By participating we provide a voice to our conscience and direction for our country.
Here is a link to the article.

We as believers have a morale obligation to get involved and not be lazy against the fights against our GOD.  It's called apathy. The bible says this about that.

"But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold. I will spit you out of my mouth!" Revelation 3:16

Remember this life is about Ephesians 6:12
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."

It's time to offend someone with the TRUTH...

Some truth verses to consider.

"Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following"
Acts 20:30
"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

"They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them." Romans 1:19

Romans 1:16-26 has been a favorite of mine recently.  It talks of truths and how we willfully deny it.  We willfully turn our backs on God. This is why we have the pain we experience.  We trade God's truths in for our own truths.

I'm starting with these truths....find it for yourself. Are you obligated to fight for God's word?  Are we the vessels he has put us on the earth to be?  We are called to be witnesses and to spread the gospel shouldn't we spread the truths of the lies being told?  The truths not being said? 

I believe the truth's our obligation to vote.  It may not be perfect. It may not be the person we would of wanted to vote for. But we are living in an imperfect world.  Continuing to go in the direction of GODLESS America that US CHRISTIANS have allowed by not wanting to offend someone.

Well it's time for some offense.  Cause the Bible says the truth is an OFFENSE.

Could you imagine if we didn't wallow in apathy and concern of what others think how different our country, our world could be? Instead we lie in the selfish desires the world gives us.  The bible says this about conforming to the world in Romans.

"Don't copy the behavior of customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

Spiritual truths. What is truth? Something I'm discovering over and over again....