As our world grows ever smaller – we hear of it more often these days. Another person goes missing, a child, a woman, a man. It gives me a sense of helplessness. I pray and ask God “Where is she my Lord?” “Who would take a defenseless child?” “Why have they not found her, or him?” It’s heartbreaking. It’s as if the ground opened up and swallowed up these people. I pray and ask God for understanding. Is there an answer? Not one that I can comprehend. Truly, answers is not what we want. We want our loved one home.
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)”
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)”
“The eyes of the Lordare in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)”
“The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. (Psalm 14:2)”
Only our Father in heaven knows… And all – will be held accountable for the deeds done in the flesh. No one will escape judgment. Pity the fool that says and believes otherwise. The man who thinks “No one sees me.” Yes. Someone sees – all. He is God.
Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good.
Job 34:21 “For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps.
Psalm 33:14 “From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth…”
“Jeremiah 16:17 “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.”
Oh Lord, that You would reveal the whereabouts of the missing here. That You would shake the ground…
Guard Your children, my Lord, those near and those far to us. In the name of Jesus.
A woman I’ve known for many years posted this on Facebook. She has a teaching ministry for people that struggle (in and out of marriage) with abusive relationships.
“I will tell the Lord …I do regret one thing …in staying in an abusive relationship…and keeping my children in that environment…use to tell father, we are setting our children for failure! He didn’t listen! Forgive me my children again! Children get it too..PTSD!!!! The post was accompanied with a quote on how emotional abuse can cause PTSD.
That’s one “plus” to Facebook – people only post what they want others to hear. I am a victim of abuse ~or~ I am an adulterous woman. Which would you post? (I wish she was the only woman I’ve known who was, or is in an adulterous relationship with an abusive man.) Granted she was simply acknowledging her responsibility for her children’s emotional struggles. But her post brought to mind the destruction she caused by taking up with a married man. In thinking about it…two marriages were destroyed, a church was divided, the abuse this man inflicted on his wife at the time – was transferred to her and the children that came out of that relationship. She claimed she had been seduced by the pastor, so she was just another victim – for ten years and two children – and subsequent divorce and remarriage. At any point she could have put a stop to it.
So when we get a peek into the lives of others via social media – you get to see information specially selected for public viewing – good or bad. It’s manipulation at its finest.
I have to admit I was troubled by her post, because I knew her history. How do you tell a Christian woman that has suffered at the hands of an abusive man that her experience was the result of outright rebellion against God? Or do you? Do you say anything? We can try to help and support victims of abuse, but surely, as Christians we should examine ourselves when we enter into all relationships. We should be honest, if not with others, with our self. In her own words, she was a victim of physical and emotional abuse. The fact that she had an affair with a married man – is irrelevant. In the years that I’ve known her she has never confessed that she did anything wrong (by taking up with a married man).
Psalm 44:21“Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
Getting honest… I wondered if the “…” meant other than the fact that her children were conceived in an adulterous relationship. I wondered if she had repented of her obvious sin. Had she been honest with her children about her twisted – stinking thinking in getting involved with a married man. He was the pastor of the church. She paraded around church, Bible studies and social gatherings – married to one man and sleeping with another.
I wanted to desperately tell this woman that her experience, her children, their subsequent experiences were direct consequences of her adulterous relationship. Yes. She had an affair with the pastor of the church we attended. This was happening back in the 80’s and early 90’s. In later years, the pastor’s ex-wife was my friend – through more than twenty years of suffering in silence, never-ending various abuse, infidelity, and other sins of the pastor she never lost faith in God. When she cried out for help – her family and friends advised her to suck it up. I believed her because that was the same advise I received in trying to deal with my ex. (And let me tell you, God gave her grace beyond measure to accept this woman as a friend – to forgive her and her ex-husband. After all was said and done…she listened to her (this woman) as she shared her horrid stories of the abuse she she endured at the hands of this man …)The otherwoman continued her adulterous behavior. Oh my! The details here are very sordid.
This woman had a ten year affair with this pastor, had two children by him while she was still married and living with her husband – and tried to pass the children of as her husband’s.
My friend shared her story of abuse, before she married, and after. Years later – she still recalled certain events with vivid detail. She lived in feared for many years. My ex and I were out of the country when the scandal broke at our little church. I held back the tears, the horror and anger as she shared many disturbing details. I asked my friend if this woman had ever asked for her forgiveness. I was shocked when she said – never. She did say that her ex did eventually seek her forgiveness.
How do we as believers, wrong somebody, and subsequently exposed – never seek forgiveness of those we wronged? Something is wrong with this picture.
And I guess it’s easy to ignore the sin of adultery and shift the focus to the subsequent effects, because even a promising relationship can have bad consequences – as was the case for this woman. She was taken by surprise when her husband began the abuse. As believers in Christ if we learn anything – we learn that God hates adultery. We also learn the consequences of sin and still we react in utter disbelief when we suffer.
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? … (1 Cor. 6:9-10)
Isn’t thou shall not commit adultery a commandment? (Exodus 20:13)
It’s been bothering me. I guess because as Christians we tend to roar when it comes to certain atrocities – like abortion. Yet we stand idly by – silent – as we watch fellow believers being pulled down into the abyss. Into total darkness they go in their rebellion. Liars, cheaters, abusers, lovers of evil – those attributes – well, we prefer to turn a blind eye rather than confront a brother or sister in Christ.
My friend had spoken to this woman often about her lifestyle choices. My friend told me that she was convinced that God was directing her steps. God had given her a peace about being in a relationship with a married man. I cannot describe his vileness without soiling your soul.
I was only twenty-two years old when all this happen in my little church. I was a new Christian. I too got caught up in a bad relationship, despite warnings. Yes – in my rebellion, which was easily rationalized – I was young and stupid – ignorant of the things of God. Sure. But how long can we claim ignorance?
There are many published authors, writers, bloggers, some well known, others not so much, many more writing in obscurity just like us here – that share stories of faith and insight into the things of God. They share their interpretations of Scripture. Some we trust, others we take with a grain of salt. Still others we can confidently say pervert the gospel of Christ for personal gain. They are men and women, young and old.
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28
These days there is so much information out there to be found about how to live the blessed Christian life, how to name it and claim it, and how God will give you the desires of your heart if you seek Him first – tons of topics – with everyone being some kind of authority on the topic. So, how important is it to know Scripture? Extremely important!
There are too many Pied Pipers out there trying to seduce weak minds to follow the path that leads to destruction.
Even as believers, many of us are hard-pressed to believe that sin has consequences. And here I only refer to the obvious sin of adultery and entering into a wrong relationship. But sin comes in many flavors, big, little, bold or subtle with varying degrees of consequences, but consequences nonetheless. Sin reaches into the deepest part of the soul. It hides in the recesses of the mind.
Isn’t the Lord so merciful… to reach deep down into the abyss to pull out the soul that cries out for forgiveness…
Yes, woman…sin has consequences. For me, it’s about considering my role in the body of Christ and act, respond – by faith – in meekness – in total surrender to the One that calls me by name. It’s about recognizing sin – when it crouches at the door. Calling it what it is – sin- rebellion against God.
Matthew 7:5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
It’s time to learn about the God that sacrificed His only Son for our sin. Jesus, who loved us and died for us – that went to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us. We are His.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim 3:1-7
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24: 5-8
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. Matthew 24: 23-28
In these last days seems the world, this great nation of ours, it becomes increasingly difficult to find truth in this saturated market of televangelists, churches on every corner, and everyone is a Christian of sorts, (except for those that aren’t) but our society grows ever so wicked. It’s like the Mcdonalization of Christianity. Remember the Burger King jingle, Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us… all we ask is that you let us serve it your way… anyway you think is proper…have it your way.
Our minds are daily bombarded with images of all sorts of degeneracy. If I believed in evolution, from the previews of new television shows, I would surmise that mankind has surely regressed to it’s more animalistic state. Yet, as a Christian it’s clear that biblical prophesy is playing out right in front of our eyes, everyday.
I can’t imagine what in the world is going on in Hollywood? But not just in Hollywood. I get alerts on my phone of yet another missing child, or woman. There was a woman that disappeared here a few weeks ago and her body has yet to be found. Even though evidence seemed to point to her husband doing “something” they could not accuse him of anything. Where is his wife? Did she take off on her own? No one seems to know and her husband knows nothing. It is a sad state of affairs… Am I waiting for some great awakening, some great revival, nope. I am only waiting for the Lord’s return.
My greatest concern is for the state of the church, not the physical church, but the Body of Christ. Where is the Body of Christ? Is God in the Baptist church? Is God in the non-denominational churches? Is He is the AOG churches? The Lord said in …
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
That’s where the Lord is… so, He might be in the church building, or He might be in the house next door where Christ believers meet for worship. He might be in both. So, I ask myself “Where am I?” Am I being deceived? How would I know? Today, as a woman, and wife am I submitting to my husband’s authority? Is my husband submitting to God’s authority?
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Matthew 24
When I was single I was told that I needed to commit to a church, to a pastor’s authority. I needed to prove myself to the leadership that I was a committed woman of God. They had a laundry list of must do’s for me to follow before I was considered worthy, or godly enough to join their ranks. And I thought, I am committed to God and the things of God. Why do I need to commit to a church? The physical church is not “the church.” So I struggled with my identity in Christ. And instead of church, the Lord took me on a journey. He set me aside where I was totally dependent on Him. I soaked in His word. I prayed. I wrote down everything the Lord revealed to me. I had two friends on this journey that encouraged me, and listened to me as I tried to understand all that the Lord was doing in my life. That was an amazing experience.
The first thing the Lord worked on was my identity. As believers in Christ, it is so important to know who we are. Our walk with God rests with our willingness to identify with Christ.
Where are we know… in these last days?
In the beginning…
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Adam had this knowledge – before Eve came in the picture. Did he share it with Eve?)
Wait for it… Genesis 3
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it,nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and a tree desirable to make one wise (pride of life), she tookof its fruit and she ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
In some form or fashion we are still falling for this line…“You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Could it be that Adam did not use his authority to prevent Eve from taking fruit off the tree? Wasn’t she under Adams authority? Nevertheless, she must have felt justified in exercising her right to partake of the forbidden tree – even though she knew better. (Although, God never said – nor shall you touch it. She added that on, perhaps for effect.) Is that not rebellion against God? In the beginning it was God, Adam and Eve, and that pesky serpent in the Garden of Eden.
Today, God is still here – the serpent is still deceiving Eve … and the planet Earth is the serpent’s playground. The serpent’s mission has not changed. He continues to deceive the woman – to rebel against God and against the authority of her husband. In today’s social climate it’s most difficult for a woman to submit to her husband, as an authority – yes – even for Christian women. The serpent has done an amazing work at convincing woman to question her man’s authority. She is woman – hear her roar! If mama ain’t happy – no one is happy. She wears the pants in the family.
As a woman that believes in God, in His word, in His Son… Jesus commanded me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind. And like it to love my neighbor as myself – to obey His voice. When the Lord sent me a man worthy of marriage, a man after God’s heart – I willingly accepted the command to submit to my husband’s authority. Because the Lord prefers obedience to sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22-24) and rebellion He likens to witchcraft. Submitting to a husband, is not easy – how much harder is it to submit to the living God?
Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; for I have transgressed the command of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
Let God be true and every man a liar. Romans 3:4
Christianity is not a cafeteria line where you say, “I’ll have a little salvation, but no Lordship right now. Adrian Rogers
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:6-8
Can you imagine a vacation getaway to Sodom & Gomorrah (S & G)? Unlike other destinations, this one offers an array of scintillating vices, absolutely wicked, to satisfy the most eccentric of desires, to fulfill every fanciful dream ever imagined, with satisfaction guaranteed, no questions asked. Sounds deliciously inviting if you are so inclined. So, if you take a trip there, stay there for a couple of weeks and return regularly, chances are you enjoy the instant gratification of those devilish desires. You will identify yourself as an avid fan of S&G, much like any other theme park, or other favorite destination. It’s not quite the same deal when you enjoy the not so family friendly vacation spots. When it comes to vacation destinations that cater to our most lustful urges, it’s not so much about how you identify yourself, but how others perceive you and, or the particular destinations.
“And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”…” Gen. 18:20
Most people won’t think negatively of people that visit Disneyland, or take cruises, safaris and such, but take a trip to a strip bar, a gentlemen’s club, or just go bar hopping, and observers, close (friend of foe) or from afar will automatically form an opinion, typically unfavorable and apply a negative label. Well, a vacation to S & G would no doubt raise the eyebrows of most conservatives. If you spend much of your leisure time in such low places what opinion have fellow believers formed of you, or you of them? More importantly, knowing God’s grace is sufficient, and His mercy never ends, what would God think of your choice of vacation spots?
Well, this is what I heard. If you hang in S & G… don’t be offended when others, whatever their spiritual state/or lack thereof, judge you for questionable behaviors, choice of life styles, etc. If the Lord tells us to come out and be separate…well…that’s what we should be doing, separating ourselves…not continuing to satisfy our carnal desires. Whatever they may be, or however innocent/harmless they may seem. More later.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Rom. 6:1-2
Therefore … “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 2 Cor. 6:17
These aren’t the best photographs taken of this event, but I was able to see it from my backyard and capture an event that will not reoccur until 2033. And that it happened on a clear night, before 10:00 pm only made it more special. Day, or night, I so enjoy watching the skies and taking in the awesomeness of the living God.
Act 2: 17-21….But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
It always seems as if the enemy is gaining in the war on sin. With every attack his only goal is to knock us down, to shake our foundation, to shatter our faith (steal, kill, destroy). When the unthinkable happens my first thought is..why, Lord?
I tell myself it’s not God that makes mistakes. It’s His children that make bad choices, that choose not to be obedient. I inevitably question my own walk, my own committment to the living God. Ultimately, I ask myself…”Did I not impress upon my loved ones the ways of God sufficiently to have avoided this horrible incident?”
(RM) “Sometimes my life makes no sense!” That’s what I say. When I read that
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:26-28).”
Hearing the news…I cry out, Lord, I don’t know what to pray.
The world does not know what it wants! It’s quite evident in the lives of many individuals. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the impenitent sin of the people, complete deviation. Our society is heading south very quickly and moral absolutes are no more.
Rich Mullins sang, “I am ready for the storm…” As I sit and listen to him sing this song, I am telling myself…”NO, I am not ready for this storm! Lord.
The storms of life can be devastating on so many levels. As believers we turn to our God knowing full well that the battle has already been won. The enemy has been destroyed. He may try to shake our foundation, but the Lord is our rock and He is not shaken. He is not moved.
We are in this world, but we are not of this world, and though we must confront the enemy we hold on to the promise of God that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. Still, we need to confess our doubts and fears, and our unbelief so that the Lord can minister to us, so the Lord can work in us and through us, so the Lord can meet us where we are and give us peace.
Oh Lord…guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
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