Rich Mullins – Let Mercy Lead`

As believers and followers of Jesus Christ we can only lead others to the saving knowledge of our Savior. The rest we must leave up to God to work out (some sow, some water, others reap)That’s what I gleaned from last night’s reading. Also, from Ezekiel…The scriptures are filled with the many times the Lord has been angry with Israel for their rebelliousness, but somehow it seems as though He is terribly, terribly angry when He speaks through Ezekiel. His anger jumps of the pages without mercy. I know that this book speaks of the end times…still…if this is an indication of what’s to come…pity the idolater that refuses to repent.

These days, and more so because of social media…rebellion, wickedness, violence, especially against the weak and vulnerable… seems rampant, or rather seems to be going viral. It comes at you from every source. Every time I turn on any media outlet…there it is again…another crime…and usually against the weak. I’ve told myself I am just going to unsubscribe to all these news networks, but is that going to make the problem disappear? Of course not. I will be like millions of other Americans that do not want to hear… that can’t be good either. The news can be so depressing! These are the days in which we live.

Ezekiel 14: 12 The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.

15 “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.

17 “Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, ‘Sword, go through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it, 18 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered.

19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

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Don’t Judge Me! Who are you to Judge Me? Christians shouldn’t judge! Better arrows from a friend, then kisses from an enemy.

Have you heard those comments before, or something to that effect? Just about everyone has been subjected to finger pointing at some point, especially if you are a believer. But what about when the person ordained mishandles the Word of God, especially those that draw crowds by the thousands? Those who claim to have been called by God to preach the Gospel? Do we just allow them to pervert the Word of God? We should know the people of God by their fruits, but instead we see them as in the old days of the priests. We don’t see, or call many of these lovely preachers, teachers, pastors, or prophets – false prophets. We call them anything but that, and we don’t even try to steer fellow believers away from such as these. I recall the apostle Paul calling out a couple of them. This one topic, that of false teaching, false prophets and such is always a great lesson for believers, well…for me anyway.

I ask the question again, do we cut them any slack? Well, this incident with the Osteen’s has certainly brought this question to the forefront. The incident has disturbed the slumber of some believers and nonbelievers. However, there were some believers that were watchful and now they are being criticized for criticizing the powerful and great Osteen ministry. We can expect criticism from the typical anti-God groups, that is not troubling, if anything expected, but what is troubling is that many believers, especially new believers, babes in Christ may be getting the wrong idea of what the Christian faith, believing in a living God, and the message of the cross is all about. And it’s not just her remarks that trouble me, it’s her response and that of some of their followers, many of which may be new believers.

I ask God, is there resolve in this matter, as in the case of ISIS according to the fella from DD, is it one of two choices: repent, or ignore God and suffer the consequences.  Or as believers, do we just let it slide? Knowing of course that the Lord will deal with His own. We can know with confidence that the Osteen’s will not repent, because repentance connotes wrong doing. And Osteen has pretty much admitted no wrong doing. I am surprise that she did not use scripture to support her remarks. I am confident that anyone at all concerned about this has already forgotten about it, or put it in God’s hands, which is what I would have done, but for some reason…I can’t, so I am just going to address it this last time and put it in God’s faithful hands. He alone knows the heart of every man. Praise God!

Matthew 18:6 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. The bible warns repeatedly to watch out for the false prophet.

Well, the hour is at hand.

Last night I had this image in my mind. In the garden of Eden, Eve took the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. She handed it to Adam. Adam took the fruit and ate of it. So, here comes God, walking in the garden, calls Adam. Adam admits he is hiding because he is naked. Why, God asks Adam do you think you are naked? Well, you know the story. Eve handed Adam her belief that the fruit of the tree that God told them not to eat from was a better choice…and you know the rest of the story. God dealt with both, but let’s face it, Adam got all the blame. He went along with Eve, but not without consequences. I had to discuss this image in my brain with a friend before I completely understood what the Lord was showing me.

Why I am I even compelled to put this argument on paper, I don’t know, but God knows. Let the reader have ears to hear.

The Hour is at Hand…

In her words…

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God we’re not doing it for God — I mean that’s one way to look at it (That’s the only way to look at it.),” she said from the pulpit. “We’re doing it for yourself, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning … just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy.”

With boldness, she reiterates her statement… rather than clarifying the awkwardness of the statement she had just made. This was her opportunity to acknowledge God, but instead chose to please the flesh. She might have gone into more detail with her church, or elsewhere, but no where that I found.

She added, “When you come to church when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God, really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.”

Her defense or reasoning whichever way you want to see it… Read more

Should we cut the false teachers, preachers, prophets any slack?

Any decent bible scholar could create an argument in defense of V. Osteen’s comments, however, is that what God expects of His true followers? Truly, anyone that can read the scriptures can create an argument. I found this argument rather interesting and of course had to add my thoughts on his defense.

defense http://theweek.com/article/index/267390/in-defense-of-the-prosperity-gospel
As all believers know, God hates the false prophets, false teachers and when they say “Lord, Lord did we not…” (Matthew 7:21-23) “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!’
Sure we are under grace and we should forgive all who trespass against us but Jeremiah the prophet did not quit at warning about these false teachers and serving other gods…Jer. 25:6-7, Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’ Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt..and really that’s the issue with these prosperity teachers (It’s all positive thinking theology which is not the same as having faith and trust in the living God.), that’s what Osteen is categorized under. They anger God because they deceive people. Their mantra was/is “name and claim it.” Recently, I heard it restated as, “see it, say it, seize it! Is there any difference, really?

Jeremiah 23: 16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.

NIV says it like this…“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.”

And while the true believer might be well versed on how God and prosperity can go hand in hand it may not always be as such with those that aren’t, as Paul told us that he learned to be content in all situations. Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Also, the idea that teachers, preachers, prophets… give their followers the notion that worship is anything else but unto the Lord is just a false truth.

Her comment:
“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” (I saw her partner at her side-that is her husband smiling-approving.) “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…” 
“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really (Yes, we do it all for the Lord, let God be true and every man a liar. She displays more confidence here). You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?” 
Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, (and we are men) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
We are to love others as we want to be loved, but where does it say that we worship God for ourselves? God takes pleasure when we are obedient…and being obedient is not always about us being happy. We surrender our will for the will of our heavenly Father. We love God, because He first loved us and it is nothing of ourselves. He does it all.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23).
“If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21).
“If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching” (John 14:23).
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:10).
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
“everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” will remain standing, while “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice” will fall with a great crash (Matthew 7:24-27).
“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent” (Revelation 3:3).

Rev. 4:11
“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
So according to VO our motivation to obey… “I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it…” VO, that’s the only way to look at it (Yes, many will say it’s splitting hairs, but again let God be true and every man a liar.). Do it all for the glory of God. Any other way is the flesh in control.

1 Corinthians 1:29-31 “that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Of four things I can be sure… that other believers made their own assessment, that Satan is having a heyday…that the agnostic remains a skeptic and that God will deal with the wolves in the church in His time. That’s just my take. Be Blessed.

Deep Waters? Trust in Jesus…

beach6There are times when my Christian walk feels like I am out in the middle of the ocean caught in a tumultuous storm, no boat, no floating device, just my body tossed to and fro by thrashing winds, waves crashing in on me, rain and thunder so loud I can’t even hear the sound of my own screams for help. But my God, He is so awesome! He opens my eyes and allows me to see His hand at work in my life-and He gives me peace. And the feeling passes. A momentary lapse of faith that comes when I focus on the circumstances in my life, and on my inability to change them… rather than trusting in the Living God… that He is working all things out for His purpose. It is not just a platitude. God really is working in the lives of those He has chosen, in those He knows by name. When I consider that God knows me and calls me by name…I am left speechless and in total awe that the Living God thinks about me all day long. Who am I, that the Living God would give me so much thought? I am no one special, but I am His child. I am the child of the King and if you are so blessed to be a child of the King…Praise God! Pity that Christian that sees a blessing only in material things, but rejoice with the one that finds contentment in the things of God.

There are many that call themselves Christians that He will turn away. The world mocks us because it refuses to believe in God, and rejects the love and salvation of Jesus. The things of God are foolishness to those that perish. I pray for those He calls by name, because…gosh…to be like Jesus and love like Jesus is not easy…but He never leaves us alone…Praise God!

Rich Mullins sang long ago…these lyrics…song titled “Elijah”

The Jordan is waiting for me to cross through
My heart is aging I can tell
So Lord, I’m begging
For one last favor from You
Here’s my heart take it where You will

This life has shown me how we’re mended
And how we’re torn
How it’s okay to be lonely as long as you’re free
Sometimes my ground was stoney
And sometimes covered up with thorns
And only You could make it what it had to be
And now that it’s done
Well, if they dressed me like a pauper
Or if they dined me like a prince
If they lay me with my fathers
Or if my ashes scatter on the wind
I don’t care…

This is one of my favorite Rich Mullins songs…Elijah.

 

Worshiping the Creation…

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Lord, I am so tired of trying to fit in!

Romans 1: 24-25 “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

As I sat flipping through pages of some terribly over priced magazine I could not help but notice how obsessed we are with the body human. As God’s ultimate creation we pour all our energy into bringing our bodies into submission, forcing it to twist and bend to shape it as we desire, adorn it with fine clothing and jewelry and such…in effort to make it appealing to others. Most people work toward that end goal. Albeit, there has always been a segment of our society that has worshiped the human body. We don’t need any extensive or elaborate study to prove this point. Just look at what comes out of Hollywood. Nevertheless, we spend tons of money, and time to carve out an image that appeals to others and that conveys a very specific message about our personality, attitude and such. We start at a young age and by age 14 we are so obsessed with our appearance that we look down on others that don’t look like us.

In these last days, …as Christians we are just as guilty on focusing so much attention on our physical appearance.

1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)

“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

We should know better. It’s one thing to eat healthy and exercise to stay fit and such…it’s another thing to measure the worth of God’s creation by mere appearance.

Matthew 23:25-26 (NKJV)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee,first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

James 2:3 (NKJV)

“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

The Depravity of our Mind

Read with caution and in the name of Jesus, let the Spirit of the Lord give you understanding. This is not being presented as a judgment against these people, but as an example of the depths of depravity, even for the elect, to which man can sink.

Just a little disclaimer: This example in no way advocates for women to remain in abusive relationships, or deny the seriousness of mental illness. 

It has been over 30 years, but I know a woman who left her husband for another man, a married man, a married man that served as pastor at my church.

Before leaving her husband she had maintained an affair with my pastor for over 10 years and had two kids by him.

This same pastor beat his wife, daily, often times forcing his two boys to sit and watch. He beat his boys. He raped most women that he came into his home. He lied. He lied to his flock.

His wife dealt with his abuse for the sake of her boys. She suspected he was involved with other women, but it was a practice he continually denied.

The pastor’s wife broke down one day and left her abusive husband, and never looked back.  Regrettably, because of her mental state she had no choice but to leave her boys behind.

The woman involved in the affair, well…the pastor’s wife filed for divorce, so he married the adulterous woman. As you can imagine, the pastor did not change. He was an abusive man.

After 20 years of abuse, she too broke down one day, and walked away from her marriage. The only difference, the pastor had developed a brain disorder a few years earlier and he wound up losing much of his mobility, and his mental faculties. So, the abused, became the abuser. No, not physical abuse, but neglect. He needed a lot of personal care and many times she did not attend to his needs and often times left him alone for much of the day. And she cussed at him like a sailor.  I know because she shared during the bible studies, she taught,  that I attended.  Total disbelieve. And no matter what others said, she refused to accept anyone’s judgments. This woman, believe or not, was supposed to be best friend’s with the pastor’s wife. When the affair came to the attention of the church, the pastor’s wife warned this woman about her husband’s abuse. She refused to heed the warnings. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Today, she is not divorced yet, but she gladly takes part of his SSI check, but in the pastor’s state of mind, he gladly gives it to her. Worse, she lives with an illegal immigrant that she claims loves her, yet she complains of his need for “women of the evening” if you get my drift. He will gladly take any money she brings in. And, when she visits the home of one of his friends (which is frequented by these woman) she has no problem associating with these sorted woman, thus she claims herself as a “classy” woman compared to them. She is tiring of him, so she says there is another man that interests her. Oh and the man, the lover, was a man that her daughter was visiting with to maintain her habit (if you get my drift).

Also, I know a 39 year old man that lives like a squatter, if not worse, because he had no place to go. He refused to humble himself and seek his wife’s forgiveness. I can’t even describe his living conditions without it hurting my very soul. His situation reminded me of the prodigal son.

The people in this story are real. The people in this story are Christian. They go to church and have and do teach bible studies.

In these last days, reading the bible will be most crucial, so as to learn how to live for Christ and not for self. Judgment will start with the house of God. God have mercy on our soul. sunrise3

How do I wrapped my head around this, I ask God. These are Christians that are living like they have no accountability, only to themselves. Where is God in all this? …
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Well, God is working. And He wants us to rest in Him. Sometimes, I find it difficult to understand how Christians can live without conscious for the things of God, but then God shows me…that is the world without God. And it is… that even with the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we as humans regress to worldly passions and desires and depravity when we choose to seek the things of the world. But if we seek God, He reveals the truth and nothing but the truth, and if we ask with a sincere heart, which God can recognize in a heartbeat, He can pull us out of our depravity and give us peace. Search me and know me Lord.

So, then what is being taught in today’s churches, I wonder? Tickling stuff, no doubt. Stayed tuned.

Does God still talk through a burning bush? Stay tuned.

Be blessed.