Monday, December 24, 2012

A Child Is Born

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Wonderful Counselor
When everything around us seems upside down and we have no earthly wisdom, we have a Wonderful Counselor born as one of us who has experienced what we have and more. 
It is His council that we seek in  times of confusion.

Mighty God,  
God who spoke our very being into existence. 
A God who knit us together in our mothers womb,
knows the number of hairs on our head. 
This same God, born unto us as a child.

Everlasting Father, 
continuing indefinitely. 
No matter when, no matter where,
no matter what He is there. 
He is our Father.

Prince of Peace.  
With all that has hit us this year, this month and even this week, the world is searching for peace. 
Yet, many are afraid to turn to the Prince of Peace,
the very one that is the giver of all peace.

And the Government will be on his shoulders. 
ALL authority is His.  No matter what we see in the natural, God still holds all authority.  We are his hands planting the seeds, but He is the one that brings the results for His purpose.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Unstable in ALL his ways.....

James 1:8--A double minded man is unstable in ALL his ways.  This is one of my favorite scriptures to describe what I see going on in our culture today, particularly in the body of Christ, which believes they can waiver between two opinions.  The proper translation bears me out on this.

A double minded man
- The word here used, δίψυχος dipsuchos occurs only here and in James 4:8. It means, properly, one who has two souls; then one who is wavering or inconstant. It is applicable to a man who has no settled principles; who is controlled by passion; who is influenced by popular feeling; who is now inclined to one opinion or course of conduct, and now to another.

Is unstable in all his ways
- That is, not merely in regard to prayer, the point particularly under discussion, but in respect to everything. From the instability which the wavering must evince in regard to prayer, the apostle takes occasion to make the general remark concerning such a man, that stability and firmness could be expected on no subject. The hesitancy which manifested on that one subject would extend to all; and we might expect to find such a man irresolute and undetermined in all things. This is always true. If we find a man who takes hold of the promises of God with firmness; who feels the deepest assurance when he prays that God will hear prayer; who always goes to him without hesitation in his perplexities and trials, never wavering, we shall find one who is firm in his principles, steady in his integrity, settled in his determinations, and steadfast in his plans of life - a man whose character we shall feel that we understand, and in whom we can confide. Such a man eminently was Luther; and the spirit which is thus evinced by taking firmly hold of the promises of God is the best kind of religion.

The "Body of Christ" has become so captivated by the trappings of the world that they have come to believe they can participate in the things of the world with no consequence.  Where did that come from?  When did the Disciples of Christ begin to believe that what they do, where they go, and what they watch and listen to has no effect on them?  Do you remember that little song we used to sing as kids, "Oh be careful little eyes what you see....?  As children we were trained, and then trained our children, that what you put into your soul makes a difference on who you are and on your testimony.  Jesus warns us in Luke 12:1 to be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, He calls it hypocrisy. 

If we are to have influence in this world we must "come out from among them".  No, that doesn't necessarily mean move to a mountain top in Tennessee and cut off all connection with the outside world.  It does mean, however, don't do what they do, don't feed your soul what they feed their soul, and don't trust in whatever they trust in.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What Just Happened. . . .

Did you wake up Wednesday morning, Nov 7th asking yourself that question?  I will tell you, I did.  We spent the last year praying for our country, we registered new voters, we visited churches, we made phone calls, we knocked on doors, and we expected a win.  I expected to win.  Nevertheless, it seemed clear, early in the night of the sixth that we came up short.  We can look at all the numbers, listen to all the analysts, and try to figure out how it happened, but here is the bottom line, in my opinion, "Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?"  More generically, does the "church" really believe what they say they believe?  Do we really believe that the founding of America was God ordained?  Do we really believe that our creator endows our rights?  For that matter, do we really believe God ordained our own creation, on purpose?  Do we believe that the word of God is true and remains relevant today?  If we, God's people, really believe those things, it will be evident in our actions.  We will stand defiant in the face of the enemy's lies and defend the Truth of God's word in daily lives.  If we separate God's truth from all areas of life and relegate it to Sunday morning between 9:00 a.m. and noon, we will never see a thriving America again, we will never win another election.  With all of the hard work, I mentioned above, we did move the needle in turn out.  Nationally, we had the highest level of participation of evangelicals in the process that we have ever had.  However, our county, including the church, is so currently divided regarding Truth that we did not see the results we were looking for.  The future of our country depends not only on God's people voting, but also on God's people transforming the culture around us.  We must realize His Truth in every area, applying it to our actions, and begin bringing freedom to the captive culture.

Can we still be thankful?  If you are looking back at the election, and perhaps ahead to what may come, and are tempted to "pass" on being thankful this year I urge you to look at our First Thanksgiving.   The Pilgrims had sought out America to obtain religious freedom.  They believed that their "relocation" was God ordained and were committed to the cause.  The captain of the Mayflower, Captain Jones, was supposed to drop and them off and return to England.  However, the conditions were so bad, and his concern so strong for them that he kept the Mayflower anchored off the coast, urging the Pilgrims to return with him, but they would  not.   That first winter 45 out of 102 died.  William Bradford, the new Governor of Plymouth, later wrote, "But these things did not dismay them (though they did sometimes trouble them) for their desires were set on the ways of God, and to enjoy His ordinances; but they rested on His Providence and knew whom they had believed."  

This Thanksgiving, 2012, I urge you, do not dismay, but rest on God's providence and know whom you have believed!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Fear Not--- Sunday, October 7th is Pulpit Freedom Sunday.  Pastors are encouraged to "preach like the wind" and not be intimidated by the IRS or varying political opinions of the congregation. I hope this will encourage you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Elijah was a man.....

Effective, Fervent, Prayer ---  What a heartbreaking week it has been for American.  We have seen an Embassy & Consulate attacked an ambassador and his staff murdered, and violence against U.S. interests spreading.  The President seems to take little interest and continues to devote his time to his campaign.  The most egregious thing the U.S. media can report on is Mitt Romney shining a light on the President's policies regarding these attacks.  The Federal Reserve made an open-ended commitment to spend 40 BILLION dollars a month buying mortgage-backed securities as an answer to our economic problems.  All of this and the country are more divided than ever.  I spoke to a woman last night where is terrified that the Republicans may win the White House.  She believes it will be all over for America, and particularly women, should that happen.  I read a post this morning that said, "These are Biblical Times...."  Moreover, they are, and that means they require a Biblical response.  I continue to go to James 5 regarding prayer.....if any of you are in trouble---PRAY, if any among you is sick----PRAY, confess your sins and pray because the fervent prayer of a righteous man is effective.  And then verses 17 & 18 give us the evidence----Jas 5:17-18  Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.  (18)  Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops."   Yes, these are Biblical times, and Biblical times require a Biblical response.  We must pray, pray continuously and pray fervently.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hope VS Hopelessness

 Four years ago, "hope" was the cliché of the day.  The Presidential election hinged on delivering it. (the new Webster's?)  defines hope this way: “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”.  The Bible uses the word as a source of expectation.  With the economy spiraling down and the country becoming increasingly divided, what was it the people wanted?  What did they expect?  We were told to expect change, change that would improve the economy and heal the divisiveness.  Now, 4 years later the rhetoric of hope and change are absent from the political conversation.  The economy is still struggling and the country is more divided than I have seen it in my lifetime.  What happened to all the hope and what happens to us individually, and as a nation, when what we hoped for does not come to pass?  When our expectations are not met? Are we met with only hopelessness? Proverbs 13:12 tells us that "...hope deferred makes the heart sick...".  Is it that what we hoped for did not come to pass or is that our hope is misplaced?  For centuries, America placed its hope in God.  God as our source, God as our inspiration who would deliver us from the snares and consequences of the enemy.  Gradually we have replaced our hope in God to hope in man and finally hope in government.  We have become "enlightened", turning to education, science and democracy for our hope and deliverance.   These gods of humanism have yet to give us any real cause for hope.  Solomon expressed this same feeling of hopelessness when he wrote "Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless..."  The only cure for a nation with a sick heart is repentance, a turning back to the things of God.  We must find out what Solomon found out.... Ecc 12:13  "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind."