Revisiting December Gardens
Beautiful flowers in December can bloom among bare trees, as those that are alive in Christ can live among those dead in their sin. Scripture tells that we are in the world, but we are not of this world. I am no horticulturist, but even I can say that not all flowers bloom in December, in all places. Certain flowers may. However, certain requirements must be present, such as specific soil, amount of light, etc. Likewise, Christians have requirements to meet to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). Our light should shine before others, that they may see our good deeds in this dark world and glorify our Father in heaven. Does anyone know what the requirements are?
If you give people the real Jesus and not some commercialized, homogenized version, then there is no greater gift, because He knows all our needs before we do. He knows what we need-to be the man or woman of God He needs/wants us to be. From birth, humans have great need. Of all those needs…love is fundamental. Though I cite no sources, research has shown that infants need love to thrive. And in my opinion, of all human desires, love is the most misunderstood, exploited, abused, neglected and destructive. The Scripture says..
1Cor. 4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
that’s all Jesus.
What a shame that Christianity has been so watered down we can’t recognize the real Jesus. When did the our need for prosperity supersede our need for the gospel? Was prosperity ever the focus of Jesus’s ministry? Was Paul’s? We are hard-pressed to recognize genuine love. How can we possibly recognize the true gospel of Jesus Christ?
The Word tells us that there are false teachers, preachers, prophets in this world of ours and that we should be on the alert. And folks, it’s only going to get worse. It has become ever so difficult to discern the truth. And not just in the church.
Of one thing, we can be certain, God’s children hear His voice. If I do a quick online search I could probably find more than a few minds to which the Lord has revealed that there is a widespread acceptance of deceptive teaching among today’s evangelicals. For me it’s not about agreeing, or disagreeing with them, its that I can tune into church television and have my own mind blown away by the gymnastics in twisting and bending God’s word to fit a speaker’s agenda. Man, I almost want to believe big – You promised the desires of my heart. I have been faithful. I want to win the Powerball jackpot! Receive big! Sounds like I can have whatever I want in this world if I just follow their plan. I actually have a friend who believed that God was going to bless her with the perfect husband. Perfect body, prefect credit score, great lover, etc. She traveled here and there dating and sampling. I tried to tell her that God didn’t work that way, but she claimed He did (that’s another post).
The false prophet/teacher/preacher seek each other out. They praise the works of one another. Speak out against one-and you face the wrath of their following. The false prophets pimp the lusts of the world into the mind that has no discernment in the things of God.
There was a time in my past where I believed that I could claim my promises, just by verbalizing my desires. But, the Lord said that’s not how it works. All things work -only-according to God’s will. You can pray for healing and God will still take your loved one. Harsh. I know, but I experienced it. You can pray for your husband, but what good will it do if you don’t know he’s addicted to porn? You can pray for God to heal your marriage and still wind up in divorce court. I wish it would just have been me to learn this lesson, but it wasn’t. The awful truth is that church leaders may not hold each other accountable when they are caught in sin. Shocker?! Not these days, right?
The Word tells us that in the last days, itching ears will desire the word that fits their lifestyle (2nd Timothy 4:3-4). And the charismatic man/woman, the man/woman that can sling bull like no other makes a great pastor. We all know, or have known one or two of this sort. But praise God, that He will be revealed to all His true children and will expose every false teacher, preacher, etc.
It doesn’t seem right that not all who call themselves Christian will accept the truth when it’s finally presented. If it is contrary to what they’ve been taught, regardless of scriptural soundness, they may reject the real gospel. More than likely, they will see it as a matter of interpretation. I would imagine most would seek the opinion of a favorite pastor or favorite teacher before sifting their beliefs on their own. Rarely will they seek God, as the Word says, “no man seeks after Him (Romans 3:10-12)”. There will be some “soul searching” for the true believer. And while a few Christians may search the scriptures for answers, I pray they will ask God to search their hearts (Psalm 139)?
In His perfect time and perfect will, God will bring everyone’s deeds to the light. Meanwhile, He said not to worry because when it comes time for the harvest, He will order the separating (Mathew 13).
Only God knows the heart of any man. We can only identify fellow believers by their fruits and as the Holy Spirit gives discernment. But let’s face it there’s so much fake fruit, spoiled rotten, stinky fruit that passes as real fruit of the Spirit. And it looks so pretty too. First impressions can be deceiving. That being said, how can we truly know the fruits of those on television, in print, on the radio – when we don’t know them? Writers, editing, makeup, and the right lighting makes everything look and sound good on television. There’s groups our there specializing in planting new churches, how to grow bigger congregations, etc. It’s a windfall for these people.
As humans, we have an innate desire to identify with someone or something. We are innately attracted to certain personalities, etc. hence, why some individuals, with particular talents, abilities, and such can draw people by the hordes. And as humans, we quickly follow, even to our demise. It can become a bittersweet relationship. It’s the rare person that can stand alone, whose only influence is God Almighty, and who calls only on Jesus.
Mat.:7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)
The time and place to expose false teachers, preachers, prophets, apostles and such is on God’s calendar, and we don’t have access to it. He alone with expose their deeds. I believe our job is to be ready as 1 Peter 3:15 says:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Seems that Revelation 3:15-17 always applies. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
I know that I don’t want to be me, or anyone that I know. If I can only implore fellow believers to do a spiritual check – that’s what I will do.
To God be the glory!