The Best of Intentions, are not Good Enough!

Image result for regretI have recently been reminded, very loudly, that having the best of intentions in living for Christ, is of little value, if we do not properly execute those intentions. In 20 years of following Christ, I can say, that I have consistently done my best to live for Jesus according to His word and as led by His Spirit. In 20 years He has enabled me to live with others in mind before myself (huge miracle for I was totally selfish)–Jesus has enabled me to be aware of others who were in need of the truth of Christ, even when I was hurting or less than my best–by the Holy Spirit, when wrong, He has led me to do my best to make it right. This is not an illustration of my goodness, but in praise of Him, because He changed my heart. I have lived with the best of intentions, but alas, the best of intentions is not good enough.

(Hebrews 12:1) “therefore seeing you are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which easily entangles us, and run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…

This was one of the first passages I committed to memory when I began to meditate on God’s word. I have attempted to live its precepts with the best motive and intention for 20 years. Yet, I have failed, at times, forgetting the witnesses looking on–while getting tired by the weight I have not fully taken off–or tripping over the sin, I thought I had previously overcome. Though having the best of intentions, my lack of execution in the power of God’s Spirit is what has to often been seen. I wonder if you can equate?

Walking in this fashion a little or a lot gives poor testimony to Jesus, and allows others to disregard the truth we speak as gospel, no matter how much we lay it on them. Of course, those who will reject the truth based on another person’s poor testimony or sincere efforts which fall short are inclined to refuse it anyway; as they are looking for an excuse. Regardless of their disposition, when we fail we can  give the enemies of the Lord a reason to blaspheme. Yet also, though not wanting to admit it, there are times where our lack of execution hurts the least of these His brethren and that is a perilous thing indeed (Luke 17:2).

I am thankful, that God is merciful and forgives the truly repentant, yet we must understand that our lack of execution, even with the best of intentions, has far reaching ramifications. Let’s not forget king David, “a man after God’s own heart”. After an adulterous affair, where David was exposed by a prophet and repented, he still had to deal with the far reaching affects of his sin…

(2 Samuel 12:13-14) And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”

(2 Samuel 12:10-11) Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house;

David’s was a blessed life, but with regret, for the few things he lacked execution in concerning the will of the Lord. I have regret and you have regret. Most likely we have not committed murder or adultery as he did, but we have abused others with our tongue, practice spiritual adultery at times, refused to obey the word of God at other times, and been far too ignorant for far to long concerning strongholds and sin, which ought to be apparent. In short, we have had the best of intentions and sometimes been careless about execution, as God words declares we can an are to live.

Related image

Lets redouble our efforts in being led by the Holy Spirit, to avoid further regret. Let’s live with the best of intentions from God’s word–Refuse to give in to our flesh in moments of weakness and wait on Him for strength. Those who live for God with the best of intentions and blow the execution are forgiven, if they continue in the faith. But alas, they may live a life weighed down with regret, at the loss accrued because of their failures. Let us remember that He has given us all we need for live life and godliness, that we live free of regret.

Advertisements
Posted in II Samuel 12, regret, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blood Blessings #4 (Ephesians 1:7)

Thus far in this series on the power and blessing of Jesus’ blood, we have discovered why the only true God chose blood of the Messiah to deal with humanity’s sin and sought to understand the first of four Blood Blessings… We are BOUGHT with a Price. This first blood blessing comes in two parts, as we discovered in the last posting…

  1.  Our being freed from slavery and
  2. Our being bought as His possessions.

*(To review or read the two and three from this series please click here for Blood Blessings #3 or here for Blood Blessings #2).

Today we will dive into the refreshing stream of Blood Blessing #2… Being of the Hook for our sin (or forgiven).

(Ephesians 1:7) We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

forgiven

Forgiveness of sin is a serious and weighty matter, when considering the blood of Christ. The word of God proclaims “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”. We may not be familiar with the word “remission” or “remittance”, but no worries, as the words simply mean to have a receipt. A receipt, declares something to be paid in full, all charges are gone. This is important for the wages or charges of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23), compound more than a missed credit card payment; yet the payment for these charges is Christ’s shed blood. This was not a blood donation, but of a torturous payment for every criminal charge against us.

Christ’s shed blood was not only the price to purchase us and pay our sin debt, but also the punishment our sin required to be forgiven or receive “remission”. To get around this “squeamish” reality, we may without thought, seek to diminish the means by which the blood was shed. Jesus received the punishment we deserved. Let us consider the suffering we deserved.

Separation from God

We get a glimpse of this in Christ’s perfect humanity, as He cries out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” In that moment, Jesus suffered the collective weight of all humanities deserved punishment for sin. He felt the eternal separation all men deserve, so that we would not have to suffer the “second death” in the lake of fire for all eternity. The event of Christ’s blood shedding atonement was a transaction of transfer: our sins placed on His holy body, which caused the relational separation from the Father He felt: and His perfect righteousness applied to us, declaring us not guilty!!! We are off the hook! II Corinthians 5:21 states this truth wonderfully…

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

Hallelujah! This means Paid In Full, or the penalty of our sin was paid in real pain. Our receipt to this transaction is remarkable and sobering. Let us consider the word of God.

(Colossians 2:14-15) having wiped out the handwriting of requirements against us (the penalty of death owed for our sin… parentheses added mine), which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Our Indictment Taken out of the Way

having nailed it to the cross” is quite a remarkable statement, for there was no paper nailed to the cross. There was only of the Savior Jesus Christ. May the following truth floor us all in awe and reverence of our God.

what-was-nailed-to-the-cross-jk-mckee

Colossians 2:14-15 refers to a literal legal document we know as an “indictment”. An indictment is a piece of paper, which lists the charges against a criminal and the punishment that fits the crime. These legal documents carry the fate of the person who’s name is on them. When a person is found guilty this document declares the criminal’s punishment. All men are guilty before God’s bar of justice. Humanity’s indictment was written by being scratched, beaten, torn into and tortured into the Savior, over the course of His death. When He was nailed to the cross, and the last drop of blood necessary was shed, Jesus declared “It is finished”. This is when our “Indictment nailed to the cross” was “taken out of the way”.

Let us not look at this truth as a past tense act, for whenever a soul turns to Christ in faith and repentance, this miracle of power is repeated, in addition to this truth, Jesus’ blood continues to reverse the curse, especially in the redeemed. Not only do we experience the clearing of the account from the moment we receive Christ by faith, but He practically cleanses our life actions, when we “miss the mark”, Because Jesus is ministering His shed blood even now for us.

(Hebrews 9:11-12) …Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place, once for all, having obtained eternal redemption…

(Hebrews 8:1-2) We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

(Hebrews 7:25) Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

(Hebrews 2:18) For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

(I John 1:7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

(I John 1:9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Even now for when we “miss the mark” (meaning we are trying to live Jesus’ way, do Jesus things and do Jesus’ will) and sin, should we continue in fellowship and confess the sin, we are forgiven (I John 1:7. 9); for the blood will never lose its power. But understand this is not a license to sin (Romans 6:1). In fact this powerful blood blessing, concerning forgiveness, can be hijacked into merely getting our ticket punched for entrance to heaven.

Image result for Salvation is not a ticket to heaven

Salvation is not a ticket to heaven, but this is the predominant view in America, in my opinion. Here is an overview of this warped teaching: Jesus died so you can be forgiven and henceforth, upon death or rapture, you receive a mansion on the hilltop, or more contemporaneous to the “Jefferson’s” “A DE-LUX apartment in the SKY-Y-Y”. Let us remember salvation is not about our entrance into heaven, or seeing your dearly departed loved ones when you arrive (as great as that will be). Salvation is a person, “The Lord is my light and my Salvation” (Psalm 27:1).

The message of the cross is the power of God unto salvation, because we are saved to enjoy the presence of the One who is SALVATION: Yeshua Hamashiach. In this life now, this means Christ in us the “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). In the eternal life to come, this means seeing Him face to face (I John 3:1-3). Salvation is not about “Move’in on Up”,

Why is this error so prevalent? Keith Lungaard deals with this in His book “The Enemy Within”. The author outlines the problem as choosing to receive the remedy of grace, while ignoring the design of grace. The remedy of grace is the blessing of being forgiven, where we are able to attain the design of grace, which is to be made holy.

(Titus 2:11-12) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

When we focus on the remedy of grace, and look to heaven’s golden streets and mansions of our pleasure, we miss the design of grace and the purpose of Heaven: being with Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness is a powerful blood blessing for us to live in, so long as we keep it tethered to the reason for forgiveness, which is Christ’s holy presence with us, in order to make us holy.

Posted in Colossians 2:14-15, Ephesians 1:7, The blessed hope, the blood of Jesus, The Blood of the Cross, the Lamb of God, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blood Blessing (Ephesians 1:7) #3

(Ephesians 1:7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Image result for redeemed by His blood

Over the course of two postings we considered the “why” of the Messiah’s shed blood. Knowing the mind of God in the “why” of the blood of Christ is necessary in diving in to the blessings attained, through Christ’s shed blood. It must be stated from the outset, that these “Blood Blessings” are wonderful indeed, yet each one will challenge the independent self-will of the “old man” still attached to every born again soul (Romans 7:24). That being said, let us begin with “In Him we have redemption through His blood…”

The word “redemption” means to pay the purchase price of a slave, for the purchase of owning them or setting them free”. Concerning redemption, Jesus blood, redemption deals with…

  1. Our being freed from slavery and
  2. Our being bought as His possessions.

THE SIN DEBT MAKING US SLAVES IS PAID

In the first place, let us understand that all men, regardless of race, creed or economic status, and sex are born into the slavery of sin, as the scripture declares we are all “carnal sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). The former quote refers to Adam’s choice to disobey God’s command; a choice which sold the entire human race to sin.  In this sin slavery we were chained by and subservient to sin and its evil desire raging in our humanity. In this slavery we are born with a raging internal cancer; one which drags us away from the good and holy desires of the God that created us. This sin-slavery keeps us from freely serving God by faith and walking in true righteousness. It also leads to our death (sin, sickness) physically, and forever in the second death.

Like the inherited physical looks, mannerisms, and tendencies, we inherit from our parents, so we all inherit the look, mannerisms and tendencies of sin slavery; with the chains that enslave us to choose our will, rather than God’s. The only way this power is broken, is by the power of Christ’s shed blood and resurrection from the dead. This was the outcry Paul voiced for those seeking freedom from this slavery in Romans 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Christ Jesus our Lord!”  It is also the truth behind the rate of exchange on the payment (or redemption price) for our sin, in Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Image result for jesus paid my sin debt

The only way for the chains to be broken, is the debt being paid in full by death, through the shedding of sufficient blood.  The blood of Jesus the Christ was the only sufficient currency to pay our sin debt. Until the time this payment is applied by our faith in Christ, no matter how good or religious we think we are, we are under God’s wrath. Many in error regarding this truth will attempt to pay their debt by works and partaking in religious sacraments, which have value in displaying our faith, but no value in paying our sin debt, or being a channel of grace. They forget a vital truth, the truth revealing why Christ’s blood was all sufficient for our debt.

(Philippians 2:5-9)Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus came in the likeness of men, as a bond servant for the purpose of living the life we could not. Therefore, each drop of Christ’s shed blood at the cross was like a gold coin falling into a treasury and sounds the chorus of our freedom in heaven. His blood was overly abundant in paying our debt, that we might no longer be slaves to sin. This is no past tense act, but present as Jesus is The Savior of all men, especially those who believe (I Timothy 4:10).

Only those who come in faith and repentance have their account cleared forever of the debt to sin they owe. Jesus’ blood alone, being perfectly righteous, pays the sin debt, opens the fountain of grace unreservedly, and brings about the second part of blood blessing #1

REDMEPTION MEANS WE BECOME HIS PURCHASE

Let us not gloss over the exquisite pain of Jesus bloodletting on our behalf and why He did it in light of the terror of that passion. Crucifixion is one of the most heinous and inhumane ways to kill a person made in the image of God. Without rehearsing details we have all heard, let us consider that Jesus’ scourging alone should have killed Him, yet He persisted through 18 hours of torture altogether. He would not let go of life, until every ounce of righteous blood needing to be shed, was shed. Only then did He declare “it is finished”. Let us remember that He WILLINGLY did this as THE act of God’s love

(Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us.

The Messiah finished the work necessary also for the sake of JOY.

(Hebrews 12:2) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has set down at the right hand of God

Image result for for the joy set before him

What was this joy? Certainly rising from the dead, defeating the devil and being reunited on the third day with His doubting disciples, as well as ascending into heaven and being reunited with the glory of heaven, He shared before the foundation of the world. Yet, these wonderful realities were not the only source of His joy. You and I no longer being slaves to sin, filled Him with joy. I believe this for a very biblical reason… The word redemption, which means to pay the price required to purchase a slave. The joy that kept Jesus keep ‘in on in His crucifixion, was because of those who would by faith, becomes His very own possessions.

(Titus 2:11-14) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works”.

Here is the part of redemption we often overlook or ignore to our own detriment. Blood Blessing #1 is that we become Christ’s possession, plain and simple. As Jesus had no will of His own, but that of His Father, we, as His possessions are to have no will other than that of Jesus. We are to pursue His will for the sake of love, as He pursued His Father’s will, for the sake of love. From another angle, He bought us with His own blood to set us free from the dominion of sin, but for the purpose of our becoming His bond-slaves to righteousness. The N.T. is very clear about this end of redemption…

(I Corinthians 6:19-20) Or do you not know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

To miss this truth and live as if we are His possession, yet “kings and queens” over our own lives, is to count the blood of Christ a common thing.

Let me ask a few questions:

When was the last time you witnessed the owner of a horse, being commanded by his horse, to allow the horse to ride its owner?

When was the last time, your automobile commanded you to push it to such and such a location?

When was the last time you heard of a house servant sitting in his master’s chair and demands his master serve him dinner?

Image result for I am a slave to christ

The reason we probably have not heard of these scenarios is that possessions don’t demand from their owner, nor are the purchased for any other reason, than to serve at the pleasure of their owner. Why do so many of us behave as if God is our servant, where we instruct Him in what He must do for us? Why do we get frustrated when He does not do in our lives what we think is necessary? Often we are grateful for forgiveness and heaven when we die, but are we grateful for being His possessions, those set apart for Him alone? Are we grateful for the blood of Jesus and being His possession or are we treating  His blood as a necessary means to our own religious ends?

 

 

Posted in Ephesians 1:7, redemption through His blood, The blessed hope, the blood of Jesus, The Blood of the Cross, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blood Blessing (Ephesians 1:7) #2

(Ephesians 1:7) We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Image result for without the shedding of blood there is no remission

In understanding the why of the “through His blood” we need to look at the phrase “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin”. This phrase is quoted in Hebrews 9:22 in reference to the blood of Jesus Christ, but first appears in Leviticus 17:11, although differently worded. Why did God require the shedding of blood in order to remit sin? Because of the value of blood it was necessary to clean what was tainted by sin. The value of blood is determined by what God has contained in blood.

(If you have not read Blood Blessings #1″ please click the following link… https://4rs4thechurch.com/2018/05/17/blood-blessings-ephesians-17/)

Leviticus 17:11 reveals that the life of man is in His blood. This means that the physical principal of life is contained in the blood. Given common medical knowledge and as previously stated, blood carries all that is necessary for our physical life to every part of the body. The Hebrew phrasing reveals further, that the very soul of man, or that which makes him an individual made in the image of God, is contained in the blood. Therefore, not only is blood a physical reality, but it is also an essential spiritual reality.

From medicine we understand that as blood leaves the body, so does life ebb out of that body, because God placed the principal of life in the blood. This is instructive, for Adam’s sin introduced into the blood (physical/spiritual life) the destructive power of sin, which then flowed throughout the whole spirit, soul, and body. In lieu of this reality let us consider that to God the value of the blood is tallied by the value of the life, if righteous or unrighteous. Therefore, for those born after Adam and with his passed down sin nature, we can understand the truth of Rom. 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

For this reason Christ’s shed blood has preeminent value for dealing with the sin of all men. Therefore, when God foresaw our fall into unrighteousness (before creation), in the fullness of time brought forth Christ (Galatians 4:4-7), whose perfect life and blood is of perfect value to atone for sin.

God did this “in the fullness of time”, because His plan needed to unfold—as men needed to grasp their sinful state and their desperate need for the blood sufficient to cleanse their account before the Holy God. We see a form of blood sacrifice for sin offering as far back as Genesis 4 (Genesis 3:21 if we count the coats of skin from God). Job, the oldest dated O.T. book begins with the protagonist, making sin offering not only for himself, but his entire family. When encountering Abraham in Genesis 22, where he was called upon to sacrifice his only son, we understand this was the sin offering.

Related image

Later on, in exodus, YWHW institutionalized the blood sacrifice for the atonement on sin, through the law of God. The law revealed to men their sin (Romans 7:7). It also revealed their need for blood to cover their sin. In considering God’s eternal plan for Christ’s blood, and how from the fall he instituted blood sacrifice to atone for sin, we can understand why most world religions have some half-baked way to atone for sins, with and without a form of blood. As all men from Cain, they want to appease God their way, but He only accepts Jesus’ blood.

Therefore, even the spotless blood of an animal could be sufficient for all the damage of sin. This is why the Jews, who rejected Christ, missed the point.

(Hebrews 10:4) For it is not possible that blood of bulls and goats could take away sin.

The O.T. sacrifices were to point to the one who would come to not only remove sin, guilt and its effects, but use the blood as a means to purchase us as special possessions. If they had only regarded Job who lived before the law was written, and sacrificed by faith in the One who would come.

(Job 19:25-27) For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at the last day on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me.

Job’s faith was not in the blood of the animals He sacrificed, being the element to deal with his sin, it was in the One the animal blood pointed to and what His blood would accomplish.

(Hebrews 9:11-12)But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

79c0a649b38f0a9f59249b2a32db11e2

The Most Holy Place is in reference to the Holy of Holies, in the temple of god, but not the temple of God built with human hands. Christ entered the Most Holy Place in heaven, of which the earthbound temple was a mere type. He went in, with His own blood, blood sufficient for the task—blood representing only perfectly righteous Human life—blood first spilled on the alter God chose before the foundation of the world—the cursed tree, the Roman cross. Marvel with me at the eternality of the shed blood of Christ and the alter God chose and prophesied about over 900 years before Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection (Psalm 22:6-8, 16-18).

But I am a worm and no man; a reproach of men and despised of the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake their head, saying, “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him”

For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet. I can count all my bones. They look at Me and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and cast lots for My clothing.

How could David have know about Jesus’ blood flowing from pierced hands, not to mention the exact words of the mockers, as well as the condition of the bloodletting, which was emaciation through blood loss “I can count all my bones”. Yet David begins another eternal prophetic revelation in verse 14.

“I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint’ My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me”.

When considering this passage in light of John 19:33-34 and 36-37, we can worship God with greater awe and hearts full of faith.

“But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out… for these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones would be broken.’ And again another Scripture says “They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced’.  

hqdefault

The second prophecy was written in Zechariah 12:10, and John’s description of the water and blood is a bonafide medical condition called pericardial effusion—His heart became like wax, and melted within the midst of Him. Therefore the last sight of the Christ was water and blood. Be assured every drop of His holy all sufficient blood was counted on our behalf. Next time, we will consider the blessing of the blood in “We have redemption, through His blood…”. Until then, worship the LORD as you marvel in the eternal power of His blood.

Posted in Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:11-12, Hebrews 9:22, Leviticus 17:11, the blood of Jesus, The Blood of the Cross, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blood Blessings (Ephesians 1:7)

(Ephesians 1:7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Image result for demons hate the blood of Jesus

With the phrase “through His blood”, we discover the key to unlocking the manifold blessing of the cross of Christ. Far too often, although we sing about Jesus shed blood and “plead the blood” in prayer, we miss the depth of its ongoing power as a means of revelation and grace. The shedding of Christ’s blood was necessary for the atonement of the sins of fallen man, but is the element all heaven, earth, and creation has waited for since the fall of man in the Garden (read Romans 8:21-23). The blood of Jesus is the most beautiful thing in this universe outside of the presence of God Himself, among His redeemed children.

Blood is a marvelous creation, concerning its purpose and manner in the body, because it carries ever needed things to all parts of the body. With great amazement we could spend hours speaking of its properties and qualities as it flows through the body. But let it become visible through an open wound and many a man gets SQUEAMISH at its dark red flow. This is because blood belongs in the body, not outside of it. Blood seen means there is a problem and one that can lead to death.

Related image

It is quite similar when dealing with the blood of Jesus. Many an unbeliever will discuss the merits of Jesus’ teaching, even pronouncing His life and actions as singularly unique; but begin to discuss Christ’s shed blood and many will become spiritually squeamish. The reason for their “squeamish” response is that they find Jesus’ blood was shed to deal with their sin and that led to His death. Their squeamishness comes from a very uncomfortable grief, and sadly even in many professing Christians who know their sins against God, were the blows making every sector of Jesus’ holy frame weep red and swell purple with bruises unbroken.

In addition to the “squeamish” crowd, there are many who get “SCREAMISH” at the mention of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. These men love their darkness and worldliness rather than light. They love the pleasure of sin and the temporary relief of drinking in worldly escapes, rather than to deal with the sin that separates them from God.  Mentioning the blood of Jesus to these lost men is like the unwelcome awakening of a person from a drug induced haze, where the reality of their life and pain comes rushing back. Talk of the blood of Jesus reveals the practice and thinking of those separated from Christ, as warped. The blood of Christ also reveals God’s righteous judgment coming upon their souls.

The “SCREAMISH” will attempt to stifle blood talk, as they would rather pretend there is no judgment, sin and sing “go in’ down, party time, my friends are gonna be their too”, from AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”; as they turn eternal punishment into some desirable pagan party spot. God have mercy on them.

Image result for Jesus blood and demons

The “SCREAMISH” are not only lost men who violently opposed talk of Christ’s blood. The SCREAMISH are also those fallen angels and demonic minions who inspire the lost to hate the blood of Christ. To these malevolent rebellors, the blood of the cross of Christ signifies their own approaching end in the lake of fire. The blood of Christ also proclaims the end of their stolen dominion over humanity. This is why they fight against preaching concerning the blood of Jesus, and scatter to the four winds when the blood of Christ is spoken of in the power of the Spirit of God.

The blood of Jesus is the necessary element God chose to right the wrong perpetrated in the fall of mankind and was His plan before the foundation of the world (I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 13:8). Through the blood of Jesus, we attain four wonderful blessings in Christ

  1. We are bought
  2. We are off the Hook
  3. We attain true peace
  4. We are brought.

We will find that the four above blood blessings are the foundation and power of our sanctified life, as we follow Jesus Christ, but why did God choose blood in the first place? This question we will explore in my next post.

Related image

Posted in Ephesians 1:7, the blood of Jesus, The Blood of the Cross, through His blood, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why Walk on Eggshells with the Wicked?

Image result for walking on eggshellsI am not one to use this platform to argue political view points, as I do not believe that is the calling of men of God, or Christians in general. Yet, men of God and Christians are supposed to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). In light of this truth, let me attempt to do just that. I only request the reader refuse knee jerk reactions to what I have written, and deny the impulse to paint me as one who does not understand the world of geopolitical things.

More than I care to admit, I do understand that dark plane of humanity. Despite geopolitical realities, followers of Christ must refuse to justify fellowship with political entities within that dark plane. We must refuse hope, that those forces will represent our interests according to our world view. Consider the cohort of American pastors privy to the president as “spirutual advisers”.

One of the most vocal of the presidents supporters, declared a while ago he did not want a president that embodied the Sermon on the Mount. Wow! That statement is simply stupifyingly amazing! This pastor of a very large mega church does not want a president that is humble, mourns over sin, is meek (exercising power under God’s leading and control), who seeks to be righteous, is merciful, desires to be pure in heart, and has character producing peace. In other words, this pastor would rather have the spirit of Antichrist influencing the president.

quote-jesus-announced-a-great-reversal-of-values-in-his-sermon-on-the-mount-elevating-not-philip-yancey-141-15-63

Sorry if that seems harsh, but, alas it is true. Now I am not suggesting a president needs to be a walking, talking Jesus machine. But for a pastor to not desire a leader who is, at the very least, desiring the characteristics of Christ (as outlined in the Sermon on the Mount), is simply outrageous. Why is this man and others walking on eggshells with the wicked? Is it because he and others have proclaimed the president as converted and born again? Possibly, but where is the proverbial proof in the pudding (or more biblical, where is the fruit of repentance).

Just this last week the president admitted to knowing about a $130,000 payment to a porn actress, for the purpose of buying her silence concerning their “alleged affair”. His admission came after he “shucked and jived” concerning the affair and knowledge of the payment. Why is it that his grouping of “spiritual advisers” are not advising him to tell the truth, own up to his sin in true repentance and seek to work at building real trust with the American public he was elected to serve? Because those spiritual advisers care little for the man, so long as he gives them a bone or two, as they uncomfortably dance around his darkness and walk on eggshells with the wicked.

This is how men lose their anointing. Rather than being like Daniel, among pagan kings, speaking and living the truth without regard of consequence, they are simply another political lobby sucking up; looking for some possibility of favor. President Trump needs the Daniel model for his owns soul’s sake, as does our nation. Yet it most likely will continue as it is, while the voice of prophet is silenced among the corridors of power. But alas, this is the way of our government. I will include two examples of this below, not to cast aspersions, but to call you to prayer for true righteousness in each situation.

NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR TALKS

This past week brought about the release of three American citizens, of North Korean decent, being detained in that nation. It was relayed through the media, that the release of these men, was sort of a precondition of the up coming talks between Kim Jong Un and President Trump. In lieu of their release, which I rejoice in, what is the U. S. doing for the 30,000 (or more) North Korean Christians, still in captivity being tortured in the most barbaric ways? Why is not the most powerful nation on earth, demanding the release of them all, as a precondition? Are the president’s “spiritual advisers” suggesting their release as a precondition?

Related image

One might say my questions are naive, but are they really? Would not a brutal wicked regime, wanting to engender trust, by showing true change in their disposition, by releasing their own brutally tortured citizens? If they are truly interest and not playing games… Absolutely!

The greater questions is why would anyone trust this nation honor any new agreement, when they continue to wickedly oppress and starve their own citizens? The truth is they cannot be trusted, but the U.S. will walk on eggshells with the wicked, in order to hopefully accomplish some form of their goals. My hope is that the President’s “spiritual advisers”, will pray and suggest a condition that is on behalf of those being destroyed daily, by the warped ideology of the North Korean government.

We followers of Jesus ought to press the “spiritual advisers” to speak boldly and prophetically on behalf of all Christians, not just the ones who are U.S. citizens. This truth cannot be understated, for all Christian lives are precious, whether in the U.S or outside. Consider the case of American pastor Andrew Brunson, imprisoned in Turkey for over two years without a fair trial, for no other purpose than political capital. Why has he yet to be released? Because the U.S. NATO alliance with Turkey, is more expedient to the U.S. government, than the freedom of its own falsely accused citizens. Why can’t our nation secure the release of one of our own innocent civilians imprisoned in an ally nation?

Because the U.S. is dance with darkness and walking on eggshells with the wicked. America is protecting an Islamic cleric (Fethullah Gülen), who was believed to be part of a coup attempt, which led to the false imprisonment of Andrew Brunson (Turkish tit’ for tat’). Turkey wants an exchange, the U.S. refuses to turn this man over. Why? Because his views are more in line with U.S. political policy. Therefore, an American citizen is being falsely imprisoned, with little hope of being released. We must stop whitewashing ugly facts and seek and pray that these policies end, or the United States shows itself no better than the despots it seeks to work with and through.

POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY WITH PAKISTAN 

In another article found in the Christian post, we read of a most despicable crime against God and those created in His image. The link to the article follows (Hundreds of Dead Newborn Girls Dumped in Garbage Piles in Pakistan).

Over 300 dead baby girls were discovered on a trash heap in Pakistan, where boys are wanted more than girls. To a kill a baby girl is justified in this Muslim nation state. I literally wept when I read how two of these precious baby girls were killed and we can be sure that the number of babies slaughtered for the same reason numbers in the ten to hundred thousands in Pakistan; a brutal Muslim nation. Yet the U.S. dances with the darkness and walks on eggshells with the wicked. Should we expect anything less when in America hundreds of thousands of babies are killed each year, through government stipend abortions?

Related image

In addition, let us remember that Pakistan, imprisons tens of thousands of Christians, for simply practicing their faith. One of those still imprisoned is Asia Bibi imprisoned for nine years and sentenced to death, for merely drinking from a fountain reserved for Muslims only.  In addition, let us not forget the thousands of Christians martyred over the last year, by Muslim mobs, never prosecuted by the Pakistani government. Once more our national government dances with darkness, while walking on eggshells with the wicked. Is it possible, we Christians are beginning to see that the United States is like all nations; a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15).

Is it possible we will begin to entertain a more biblical worldview, that in the last days,all nations are aligned against God and His Christ (Psalm 2)? Is it possible we will see that our true nation is eternal in the heavens and coming with Christ upon His return (Hebrews 11:13-16; 12:18-24)?

Only when we choose those spiritual realites, can we walk as true servants of Christ, fit to “spiritually advise” the president. Until that time and when our true calling is displayed in the white house, those who are called “spiritual advisers” are at best a religious posse living off the prestige gained, by being around the powerful. At worst, they have sold their unction, for the purpose of gaining protection and provision, until another comes along making better promises.

Pray for those who have been given access to the corridors of power, that in trust of God, they will rise to the prophetic occasion of our day, regardless of the consequence.

Pray for our brothers and sisters in North Korea, as its more likely they will be left, forgotten and further tortured, after the “peace talks”  have concluded.

Pray for the beautiful bride of Christ in Pakistan, that God would endue her with power, love and endurance in the Holy Spirit, as persecution will only increase against their holy love for Christ. Pray for Asia Bibi; that our God and Father will strengthen her from within by His Spirit.

Pray that the United States would be truly remarkable and refuse to dance with darkness and walk on eggshells with the wicked for political expediency. Pray that president Trump will truly find godly sorrow, working repentance, leading to salvation (II Corinthians 7:10).

Pray and seek the Lord for yourself, for the purpose of preparing your heart for the times of persecution ordained for us (II Timothy 3:12). Pray that in those times to come, we will refuse the temptation to dance with darkness and walk on eggshells with the wicked.

Image result for all who live godly

Posted in dancing with the devil, Ephesians 5:11, II Timothy 3:12, persecution, Uncategorized, waling on eggshells | Leave a comment

“Hey Mountain, Get Outta My Way!” (#2)

Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Related image

Mark 11:22-24 reveals three critical elements in our walk of faith, concerning prayer. The first we discussed in my last post: that of having the faith of God. Simply put, this means we think, are moved and act, according to what God sees and declares through His word, rather than what we see with our eyes. For the Christian, this not a theological principal as much as a practical necessity, encountered as we live are led by the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:14; Galatians 2:20).

To have faith is to see our world and circumstances, from God’s point of view. Without His perspective, which is to “walk by faith and not by sight”, it is impossible to please God or receive anything from Him (Hebrews 11:6). If you have not read the first post in this series, please click the link below for further discussion on having “God’s faith”.

*https://4rs4thechurch.com/2018/04/25/hey-mountain-get-outta-my-way-1/

Not only is faith an essential characteristic in our relationship to God in prayer, so is refusing doubt.

HAVE GOD’S FAITH, BUT DO NOT DOUBT

In our physical life there are many things which can become debilitating to a person. This simply means to cause them such weakness that they cannot function as normal; to a certain degree their life becomes limited by the onset of some affliction. To the person of faith, doubt is dangerously debilitating. The reason doubt is so dangerous is that it is not unbelief, which by definition is to profess “I believe” while walking contrary to that profession. To understand unbelief better, prayerfully meditate on Hebrews 3:6 through Hebrews 4:7.

Unbelief is a terrible condition to remain in, yet doubt is more debilitating to the person who desires to walk in faith with Christ, because it takes no position at all, but rather tortures the individual into paralysis, rendering them unable to walk in faith or unbelief. Consider Jesus’ words following “have God’s faith”. In verse 23 Jesus declares “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart

Related image

The word doubt is a prevalent and powerful challenge to our faith, as it means “to judge between the two”, in the Greek language of the New Testament. Further this means judging or choosing between God’s will (As his word declares and He sees) or the natural impossibility which appears to hinder God’s will. This is a practical and heated battle. God’s will presents itself in a supernatural breakthrough, deliverance or provision from God’s treasury of love; guaranteed by the promises of His word.  Doubt, on the other hand presents itself in rational questions such as, “what if it does not come to pass”, or “these are the reasons it can not happen”, or “What if God has it in for me”, or “the obstacles are so massive”.

It is a battle, worthy of what Paul wrote in Galatians, where under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he penned, “walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh, for the flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit wars against the flesh; and these two are contrary to one another, so that you do not do what you want to do” (Galatians 5:16-17).

Therefore, not only can doubt paralyze us into in-action, it also creates a growing insensitivity to our yielding to God’s faith by the Spirit, the longer we allow it to influence us. In this wavering, it feels as we are on the sea, one moment solidly trusting God, the next feeling as though head over-heels in a riptide (James 1:5-8). The reason doubt is so effective in debilitating us, is that it comes from rational though arising from what we see and being interpreted by what we have previously experienced. The problem is this “stink ‘in think ‘in”, specifically excludes what God has done to re-write our experience filter.

Related image

Therefore, doubt, which is tied to our natural cynicism, is often closer to our heart than we care to admit. The only way to have power in prayer, as well as in the practical and supernatural manner of our faith, is to “DENY’ ourselves our normal, rational and intellectual patterns of thought, in regard to being automatic. This must be done as a matter of regular practice, when we are not even walking through circumstances that appear as mountains of hindrance (Romans 12:2). Consider God’s practical instruction for Proverbs 3:5-7

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes…”

In order to overcome the festering nature of doubt, we must deny it when the going gets toughest, rather than wallow in wimpy, whiny, “pity party” behavior. In the moments or seasons (doubt can be heavy tool of temptation from the enemy of our souls); we must cling to faith (God’s sight), deny doubt, and also “believe”. Though it may seem a distinction without a difference between “faith” and “believe”, there is both a complimentary relationship, as well as a distinct difference.

FAITH’s GOAL COMPLETED W/ “BELIEVE”

(Mark 11:24) Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Now “faith” is to see things as God sees them. The word “believe” means to walk by what God sees. Faith is orientated in understanding God’s truth (what He sees) and affirming it with profession, the word “believe” means to take actions according to the faith of God in us. Further, “faith” is hearing and confirming it’s your truth, where “believe” declares, “because it’s my truth, I will walk toward the end of receiving it”. This means we refuse to give into doubt, and believe no matter how long the delay.

To “believe” is where we rely on what God says as the only possible solution, hold to it regardless, preparing for the time it is fulfilled. Having the faith of God in prayer takes both “faith” and “believe”, which should be no surprise (James 1:22). Perhaps an example is in order. Consider the life and manner of ministry of George Müller.

Related image

George Müller was a prolific evangelist and preached at Bethesda Chapel, in Bristol England, from 1832 until his death of 1898. In 1836, Müller and his wife began ministry to orphans, by bringing 30 orphaned girls into his home. Until His death, they opened five more orphan houses and took care of up to 2000 children a year; a total of over 10,000 in his life time. One might think that with such a financial burden, Müller’s evangelism efforts would have suffered, him needing to spend significant time in fundraising, yet that was never the case!  Our brother never once asked for aid, took an offering, or sought to secure a stream of income from anyone. Yet the orphans never went hungry or naked or without shelter, in fact no orphans were better cared for. Consider the impossibility of this provision.

The total cost for all the orphans needs in 1870 was £100,000 British pounds.  When calculating this expense, according to today’s economics, the amount equals £11,000,000 British pounds or $16,000,000 U.S dollars. To George Müller this amount was not a mountain but a promise from God. He believed that where God had called, God would provide, even if the amount is the size of Mt. Everest. He had God faith and refused to work, beg, or borrow to provide for what he believed God had ordained He minister. He trusted “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). He believed God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Müller and his team taught the orphan’s to trust God’s mercy and faithfulness, through teaching them to see situations as God sees them (God faith)—refuse doubt no matter how pressing or impossible the mountain—and by teaching them to believe by staying on their knees until God gave what was promised. How wonderful!!!

To even suggest we consider George Müller’s pattern in our day, which is the pattern of Mark 11:22-24, can bring the wrath of the American Christian world upon the speaker. Today we get serious about prayer after we attempt fundraising through newsletters, golf-outings, bake sales, coupon book pushing, bizarre’s, craft shows, arm twisting, badgering, pleading, and appealing through guilt. If we gain our goal, it must have been “God’s will” and if we don’t it must mean people are stingy. Sadly it reveals how far from the truth we have grown. It is quite sad how little we trust our Father to whom “nothing is too difficult” (Jeremiah 32:27).

Let us remember that Jesus’ words in our passage, where spoken in front of the Mt. of Olives, a literal mountain. Jesus was not speaking allegorically, but practically and miraculously. Our lives ought to have the fragrance of the miraculous, rather than stale air of human rationality and ingenuity. We don’t need better solutions, but more submission to “God faith”. We do not need rabbit trails around our mountains, but to walk right up to them believing they’ll move when we declare “Mountain, get out of my way”. In that moment we will understand, God’s power did the impossible, as we partnered with Him in belief.

Are we yielding to doubt or are we walking in belief, expecting to receive from God and holding on until we do? May we all learn to move mountains with God’s faith in us!!!

Posted in doubt, Faith, James 1:5-8, Mark 11:22-24, prayer and faith, Uncategorized | 1 Comment