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Ah, Perfection At Last!!

Ah, Perfection At Last!!

 
Read 1 John Chapter 3
 
1Jn 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
 
Are you unhappy because you are not allowed to pursue a same-sex relationship? Are you miserable because you want to sin but God has spoken against your right to do as you please? Are you ashamed of your past sinfulness in the realm of homosexuality? Are you troubled because you are tempted to disobey God? Good! That means that the Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart and has given you an insight that most of the world does not have. It is a beautiful thing to realize our Savior will not allow His children to remain entrenched in sin.
 
You and I may hold our pity parties over the fact that we are not allowed to get our way, but actually, we are blessed. Rather than moan and groan because God doesn’t allow us to stray, we should instead be bemoaning in behalf of those who have thrown off all the restraints of their Creator. We should be grieving over those who are happily skipping down that trail which leads to eternal loss. If our earthly parents had any tiny resemblance to ideal parenthood, they warned us against those things which are potentially harmful to us. We may have pouted because we were not allowed to have our way, but it was for our good that we were not permitted to do so. A parent who does not place restraints upon his children is a poor parent indeed.
 
We have the perfect Parent. We are guided by One who knows what is best for us and gives us instructions that can and will save our lives. Even if we don’t understand His parenting, we must listen to and heed His wisdom. We will regret any direction we take which is contrary to His will. There will be a time when we come running back to Him for forgiveness, solace, comfort, and healing. No good parent allows his child to run unrestrained, living his life under a continual cloud of peril. Our Heavenly Father, because He is perfect, reins us in eventually, just as depicted in the parable of the prodigal son.  We are not allowed to become spoiled brats, going our own way to and fro, because He loves us too much.
 
Ps 119:176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commands.
 
Lk 15:3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home.
 
Ps 121:3 He will not let your foot slip— He who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
 
Dt 8:5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
 
Heb 12:6 because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.
 
We are among the most fortunate peoples of the whole world. We have a Father who will not allow us to stay entrenched in sinful behavior. He child-trains us for all of our lives because He personally desires to dwell with us in eternity. Thank You, Lord!
 
Prayer: Just as I disobeyed my parents, and suffered for it, I have disobeyed You many times and suffered as a result. All thanks to You, because You did not desert me when I was fully engaged in a gay life. All thanks to You for not allowing me to believe the lie which I so desperately wanted to believe. You are indeed the perfect Father!
 
 
 
 
 

Our Greatest Enemy

Our Greatest Enemy

 
Read 1 John Chapter 4
 
1Jn 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
 
We live in perilous times, but perhaps not for the reasons you might first think. There are people in the world who wish to kill all Christians and others who do not believe as they do. However, that threat is of little consequence in comparison to the most dangerous threat of our time. A far more serious concern today is that the world is leading mankind away from God and His Son, Jesus Christ. One danger kills the body; the other kills the soul. There is little in our world today which does not pose a danger to the truth from God’s word.
 
The truth will forever remain truth, but our world does all it can to ignore, diminish, dismiss, and minimize God’s word. Christianity has always been under attack, and for that reason many have fallen away and been deceived. Today’s world has one major distinction from those times in the past. The communications technology of today has given the world new and broader ways of spreading its lies to the peoples of the world. 
 
Let me give you an example. As a young man growing up in south Arkansas, I had no way of knowing that there existed those within the U. S. a group of people who believed homosexuality was a normal way of life; an acceptable lifestyle in society. Had I known there were those who believe that, it is possible I might have sought out that fringe group of the world and joined them in believing that deception. Fortunately, God did not allow me to know that and He had a different plan for my life.
 
But today, there is little chance that a young man or woman could not be aware of and find companionship and comfort from who do not know and believe the truth. Our world is doing all it can possibly do to lead men and women away from God and truth. We live in extremely perilous and dangerous times. Sin is no longer called sin, and what is despicable in the eyes of God is now celebrated and revered.
 
John’s words are very much applicable to our world today. The world is our enemy. Its viewpoints are more often than not contrary to God’s word. Men and women like what the world is saying, and is readily falling victim to its message. The only message that can save and deliver man today is the message that comes from God. Here are some things to think about as we ponder our current relationship with the world.
 
  1. We are from God, and we have the Spirit within us that allows us to overcome the world.
  2. The One within us is greater than the one who is in this world.
  3. We recognize the error of today’s worldview.
  4. Those who know God will listen to the truth and will reject the world’s views.
  5. Whoever listens to God will be our friend. 
  6. Those who know God will agree with our views about homosexuality.
 
The last point is too important to gloss over with only a number and a short sentence. We who are struggling to overcome same-sex attractions are on the right side of this spiritual battle. No matter how discouraged you may be at this moment, you are among those who know the difference between truth and falsehood. You may even not like what you know and believe, but you haven’t abandoned the truth and gone over to the other side to join the world. You are still convinced that God is right and the world is wrong. For that reason, you have reason to rejoice today, no matter how you feel about your struggles. Hang tough, my dear brother and sister in Christ. We are the victors.
 
Prayer: Lord, continue to protect us from this world, controlled by Your enemy. Give all who read this the strength and determination to continue their spiritual battles for the remainder of their lives.

That Day Is Coming

That Day Is Coming

 
Read Luke Chapter 21
 
Lk 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
 
I hope you don’t mind if we continue with yesterday’s subject. These are also words from Jesus, as were yesterday’s passage. In this passage, He warns His listeners to be on guard. There is coming a day when it will be too late to repent. Judgment is a sure thing, out there somewhere in the future, and it will not go well for many. Jesus told the listeners to be careful. This fallen world is full of traps which threaten to take our attention away from things above. Those things can lure us away from the truth of God’s word.
 
He warns us against:
 
  1. Dissipation – The King James shows this word as “surfeiting.” It is defined as “the giddiness and headache resulting from excessive wine-bibbing, a drunken nausea” (Vines’s Complete Expository Dictionary). When a man has too much wine, he doesn’t think correctly. When we are thinking in our right minds, we will not let down our guard against false teachings. We will hold on to truth.
  2. Drunkenness – While this is basically the same as dissipation, I can see it as being the catalyst that leads us to dissipation. In order to avoid the muddled mind of dissipation, we must avoid those things which cause us to have muddled minds. There are many things which can lead us to think incorrectly. Let’s define that as “thinking like the world.” If we begin to seriously consider the musings of our current society, our minds will become cloudy, which can cause us to slowly take us away from God’s truth in His word.
  3. The anxieties of life – Man, this one hits home. I am often a worrier. Worrying can cause us to doubt God’s word and His faithfulness. As I watch my children and grandchildren negotiate this evil world, I am subject to worrying about their future. Lord, help me to trust You more, and know that You are watching over my children and grandchildren. There are many other problems of life which can cause us to doubt God and His promises.
 
We must constantly be on guard against these things which can take us away from God’s will and His purpose for our lives. All three things Jesus listed here can cause us to seek relief from our distress, and most of us will be more vulnerable to same-sex attractions if we do not think clearly, if we do things which bring about that kind of thinking, or if we get weighed down by the anxieties of life.
 
At the end of time, when we face God, none of the earthly things we have trusted in can give us aid and comfort. The only One who can do that is Jesus Christ, as He says to the Father, “This one belongs to Me.” There will be no Supreme Court, ACLU, governor, president, congress, to turn to for our help. Our sex partners will not be there to plead our case. The false teachers who are filling the pulpits of our churches today will provide no help. We can only rely upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If our trust  is in Him and His work upon the cross, we will “escape all that is about to happen,” and we will be “able to stand before the Son of Man.”
 
Prayer: Thank You for the sure promise of eternal life with You. Thank You that we have come to rely upon You and You alone, when the end comes about. We place our trust and faith on You, and turn away from this world’s false promises.
 
 
 
 

Modern Day Walls Of Jericho

Modern Day Walls Of Jericho

 
Read Luke Chapter 19
 
Lk 19:41 As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
 
The sad reality is this: there is coming a time when the “walls” behind which man hides are going to come down. The Lord has graciously provided mankind with a way to bridge the gap between Him and fallen man. There is no other way, no other route to eternal life. The way out is freely offered to anyone who will take shelter under the wings of God. Yet, mankind hides behind the walls he has built on his own, believing or hoping that they will provide them with the safety and protection they need. Disappointment awaits them, sooner or later, because there is nothing or anyone other than God who can provide.
 
The gay world is busy building its walls of protection against the coming disasters. They live behind the walls of:
 
  1. There is no God; therefore, there are no rules. There is no authority to whom I must bow. I am autonomous.
  2. There is a God, but He understands my weakness. He realizes that I cannot live without same-sex satisfaction.
  3. His word has been misunderstood and mistranslated. God does not prohibit a man or woman from finding true love and companionship, which would include same-sex physical acts.
  4. There are many church leaders who assure me that I am okay. I can love and marry whomever I wish. The leaders have spoken.
 
This passage from Luke, repeating the words of Jesus, spells doom for many men and women. First, Jesus wept. God was not happy that the majority of Jerusalem had rejected Him and the truth. He had done all He could do to reveal God’s plan for salvation. His sadness, His love for man, could not override the Father’s plan. His grief was real, and could not be abated. We should have that same sadness and grief for every man and woman who has rejected God’s word concerning homosexuality. It cannot and will not change. There is only one hope – that man repents and turns away from same-sex desires. A man’s heart must believe God’s word and have a heart’s desire to obey Him.
 
Next, Jesus foretold the disaster which awaits those who refused to believe in Him. The day will come when the safe walls will come tumbling down. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had not believed the truth. Not only had they built up their walls against truth, they had led the Israelite people astray. All that they believed in and relied upon would someday fail them. The same will happen to all who steadfastly refuse God’s word. The four “walls” we have looked at will not stand the test of time and reality. Again, that is so very sad. If only we could open the eyes of all SSA men and women, we would gladly do so. Jeremiah had a word about this.
 
Jer 6:14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. 12 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the LORD.
 
The religious leaders of his day had perverted the truth. Consequently, the people falsely believed they were in right-standing with God. They believed they had peace with Him. They were not ashamed of their conduct. They did not know how to blush with shame. Therefore they will be brought down. Their walls will not protect them.
 
While these thoughts seriously grieve us and cause us to pray more diligently for our friends who have been deceived, we must also make sure that we are not beginning to build some of the same walls our friends have constructed. We always must be diligent to stay true to the truth. Nothing we believe or wish to believe will alter God’s word.
 
Prayer: God, have mercy on our friends who are deceived. As You weep over their fate, please continue to expose them to truth. Lord, do not abandon them as hopeless.
 
 
 

I Just Want To Die!

I Just Want To Die!

 
Read John Chapter 11
 
Jn 11:7 Then He said to His disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone You, and yet You are going back there?”
 
Jn 11:16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
 
Verse 16 is a simple verse, but has a huge lesson for us. When the disciples heard Jesus say, “Let us go back to Judea,” they were dismayed. They questioned the wisdom of going to a place where people wanted to kill Him. As usual, they had no understanding that the plan all along was that He was destined to die in Jerusalem. But that’s beside the point. Thomas decided that he would rather die with Christ rather than consider any other options. He made a very important decision. He would rather NOT live than to live without Christ.
 
Isn’t that the choice which mankind must make at some time in his life? Isn’t that the choice we have made by attempting to abandon our SSA? What mankind doesn’t realize is that to choose not to die in Christ is really to die without Him. To die without Christ is the worst possible decision that any man can make. The sad part is that most men will not realize the dire consequences of their decision until the pass away and are face to face with God. No choose not to die with Jesus is to choose to die in the worst way possible. Our enemy leads men to believe that they can live only if they choose to not die with Christ.
 
As we continue to battle same-sex desires, this passage should give us reason to rejoice. We have chosen to follow Christ in death rather than to die without Christ. Our choice to follow Jesus actually has given us life, when death had its cold grip upon us. Our association with Christ has not taken life away from us. For, Jesus was resurrected, the first born among many. That means that as we follow Him in death, we too will be resurrected. Only those who follow Him in death will truly find life. If we had decided to find our life, we would have lost it.
 
Mt 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
 
Jn 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
 
Jn 12:23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.
 
The truth is that living and dying for Christ is the only reason for living. To live without Him means that life has no purpose. Perhaps we should reconsider our propensity to moan and groan over the difficulties we face in our battle with SSA. Our pathway is one of eternal joy and peace. We will be alive forever, in Heaven, with Jesus and thousands and thousands of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s die.
 
Prayer: Father, this is so hard to remember when we are weary of our struggle. Help us keep these thoughts at the forefront of our minds, especially when we are vulnerable and weak.
 
 

Protected By His Yokes And Bonds

Protected By His Yokes And Bonds

 
Read Jeremiah Chapter 2
 
Jer 2:20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve You! ’Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute. 21 I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against Me into a corrupt, wild vine? 22 Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before Me,” declares the Sovereign LORD. 23“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals’? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, 24 a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving— in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her. 25 Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’
 
In this passage, the Lord is giving a message to the Israelites. Time and time again God had given them instructions and they failed to heed them. Each time, the Lord gave them opportunity to repent and more often than not they failed to turn back to Him. This particular passage is a description of Israel’s rebellion against God. They had broken off their bonds and declared that they will not serve God. They did so despite the fact that He had tenderly cared for them in the past.
 
That initial rebellion was enough to give God the impetus to punish them, but there is more. After their rebellion, they refused to admit they had rebelled. In verses 22-23 their behavior indicated that they served God in some superficial way, and declared that they were not defiled. How could they possibly believe that they were right with God? Had they followed God’s pathway? No. Had they remained true to Him? No. Somehow they had become blinded to truth.
 
We must be constantly on guard against being blinded to truth. If we fall prey to false teachings, we will be just like the Israelites in this passage. Here is how easily that can happen:
 
  1. Our first step would be to discover some aspect of the Christian life we don’t like and decide that it is a mistaken Christian tenet.
  2. Next we would attempt to find some way we can get around that biblical truth.
  3. Once we found an “acceptable” way of ignoring that truth, we would then “break off the yoke and tear off the bonds of that principle.
  4. The last step would be for us to see that our way of explaining away that truth is logical and reasonable. That would allow us to believe we are still right with God.
 
Is not that what is happening with many SSA men and women today? That is the basic pathway that the gay Christians and their churches have taken. Jeremiah would tell them that they have run after the Baals. He would also say that they are she-camels running here and there, easily finding safe haven for their beliefs and easily finding ways to satisfy their desires. They are indeed like wild donkeys sniffing around for opportunities to practice their ways of life.
 
That said, today’s topic is not meant for those described in the previous paragraph. It is for us. This kind of thinking is out there for the taking. It is easy pickings for anyone who desires to find a way out. We must never think that we are not vulnerable to believing falsely. It is likely that we all have spent time wishing that we could serve both our SSA desires and God. If we think about it too much, we will look for some way to get there. And, if we look for it, we will find it.
 
Let us stay firmly committed to staying true to God’s views on homosexual behavior. Our own well-being depends upon it. We will suffer greatly if we start running after our Baals again. God will call us to give account, just as He did the Israelites.
 
Prayer: Lord, I have gone after Baal more times than I would like to admit. Thank You for loving me, disciplining me, and leading me back into Your will. Remind me of all this the next time I am tempted to throw off Your yoke and Your bonds. Not a good idea at all!
 
 
 

It Should Not Be Happening

It Should Not Be Happening

 
Read Jeremiah Chapter 14
 
Jer 14:14 Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in My name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the prophets who are prophesying in My name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them or their wives, their sons or their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.
 
When the disciples were sent out from Jerusalem, after Christ’s ascension, they were commanded to go out into the world and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. They were to change the world so that it would more resemble God and His nature and character. That small handful of disciples did impact the world in a mighty way. Today, the gospel of Christ is told in every corner of the world because of their faithfulness.
 
We are given the same instructions today. Our responsibility is to go out into the world and change it by introducing the world to the truth. Christians haven’t done a very good job lately. Do you see what is happening? Instead of our changing the world to look like Jesus, the world has infiltrated the church and is changing the church to look like the world. One by one, our churches and denominations are falling from the truth of God’s word. One by one they are preaching a watered down gospel; a false gospel which requires no repentance and a gospel which does not recognize the preponderance of sin within their congregations. In fact, churches are applauding sinfulness by “legalizing” sin.
 
That kind of thing apparently runs in cycles. Even in Jeremiah’s day, the religious leaders had allowed the world to infiltrate the circles of the prophets and spiritual leaders. The Lord said of them, “they are prophesying lies, false visions, divinations, idolatries, and delusions.” The results would be that calamity would overtake them. It gets worse. Not only were the false prophets going to suffer, those who listened to them and followed their teachers were going to suffer as well.
 
We are going to see the same thing happen. Our Lord will not continue to allow false prophets to preach lies from the pulpits of our modern day churches. There is coming a day when calamity will strike. The cycle we mentioned has repeated itself over and over throughout biblical times, and even in the 2,000 years since Christ. God cannot and will not allow His truth to be distorted and twisted for long periods of time.
 
It is extremely important that we stand firm in God’s truth about homosexuality. There must be a remnant left to carry on and pronounce real truth the next time God brings disaster upon the religious community. We must not allow ourselves to become a part of the problem. We must remain firmly planted in truth and become a part of the solution. No matter what happens in our lifetimes, we must be ready to spread God’s words, truth recorded in God’s word. Let’s not wait until calamity strikes. Let’s speak truth now and every day for the remainder of our lives.
 
Jer 2:8 The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know Me; the leaders rebelled against Me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.
 
Jer 11:15 “What is my beloved doing in My temple as she works out her evil schemes with many? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice.’
 
But before we close today’s thoughts, I must confess that I haven’t always been true to our Lord. I have “taught lies” every time I have engaged in unholy acts with other men. Simply by my acting like the world, I have prevented those men from receiving real truth. I could have been a witness for truth. Instead, I was being a witness to a lie. God forgive me.
 
Prayer: Lord, give us the strength and ability to be true to You and Your word. Forgive all of us for our failure to change our world. Forgive us for spreading untruth through our actions. Give us many chances to reverse and repair any damage we have done. And Lord, we pray for our churches and the many pastors who have accepted homosexuality as a legitimate way of life. And especially, we pray for all the men and women who are being led astray by the words of false prophets. God have mercy!!
 
 
 

Walking The Tightrope, (Again)

Walking The Tightrope, (Again)

 
Read Isaiah Chapter 66
 
Isa 66:1 This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house you will build for Me? Where will My resting place be? 2 Has not My hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My word.”
 
I think it is impossible for any of us to have much of an understanding of just who God is and how majestic He is. Our minds simply cannot comprehend the greatness of the Creator and all the thoughts about Him which that entails. Mankind in general, and even Christians sometimes, treat Him much too lightly. It’s nice to know that we are reconciled to God through belief in Christ, but even as we accept that truth and follow Him, we don’t really know just what a chasm we have crossed. The difference between sinful man and our Creator/Savior is enormous. Actually, that is a monstrous understatement. The two are actually incomparable.
 
The image put before us from this passage can get us a little bit closer to understanding. Imagine if you will a visual image of God sitting in Heaven, and at the same time resting His feet on the earth. That’s a powerful image. He is even more majestic than that, but at least it gives us a general idea of His greatness.
 
Despite all this, He has provided us a way of being reconciled to Him through Christ. However, that reconciliation can only come as we recognize at least to some extent just how far away from God we are without Christ. The latter part of verse 2 is awesome! Despite the lofty position God holds in comparison to us, He is willing to ESTEEM us!! He is willing to reveal Himself to us and bring us unto Himself if we are “humble and contrite in spirit, and tremble at His word.”
 
What has mankind attempted to do? He has attempted to come to God without any thought of being humble, contrite in spirit, or trembling at His word. The gulf which separates us from our Creator cannot be crossed by some feeble attempt to think we are in any way equal to God. The pompous and arrogant of our world somehow have gotten the idea that they have this “God” thing figured out. “He wouldn’t send anyone to Hell. He is a God of love, so He just wouldn’t do that.”
 
Every time man disagrees with God on any issue or premise, he is in effect saying that he is equal to God, or even worse, better than God. He is placing himself on the throne, attempting to explain away or change the truth about God and the truth from His word. What is the attitude of our “enlightened” church leaders today – the ones who have decided that God didn’t really mean what He said about homosexuality? Are they humble and contrite in spirit? Do they tremble at His word? Certainly not! They have decided that they know better than God and all the writers of scripture. It takes an extremely arrogant attitude for any man to believe that he has a better word than what is recorded in our bibles.
 
Your and my attitude must be different than that. As we search God’s word, its effect upon us should bring us to a state of extreme humility, a lowly and contrite heart, and a deeply humble respect of God’s word. As we take in His truth, there is nothing written which exalts ourselves. Even as we repeat what we have learned, relating it to others, our attitude must continue to show that we respect it, and tremble at its revelations. The real tricky part is that we must also boldly pronounce His truth to a lost and dying world. How in the world can we boldly tell others that they must repent of their gay lifestyle, and at the same time say it with a humble and contrite heart? 
 
We can only do so as we recognize how finite we are in comparison to God. We have no righteousness of our own. We deserve Hell. We have done nothing to earn or deserve our forgiveness. The bottomless chasm which we have crossed to be reconciled to God was in no way anything of our own doing. Knowing that we are so undeserving and lowly gives us more of a heart of love and understanding for anyone who has not accepted God’s word in regard to homosexual behaviors. I hope I do that. I certainly don’t ever intend to present myself as anything or anyone other than that of being unworthy of God’s love, grace, and mercy. But at the same time, I know what God said about homosexuality, and I tremble at His word. I cannot water it down just to be politically correct.
 
Prayer: Father, it is with the utmost humility and contriteness that we present ourselves to You today. We have trembled at Your word. We still do and plan to always do so. Give us the ability to tell others about You and Your word, and at the same time realize that we are no better than the worst of all sinners.
 
 
 

It’s ALL True – Not Just A Part Of It

It’s ALL True – Not Just A Part Of It

 
Read Isaiah Chapter 64
 
Isa 64:8 Yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all Your people. 10 Your sacred cities have become a desert; even Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and glorious temple, where our fathers praised You, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins. 12 After all this, O LORD, will You hold yourself back? Will You keep silent and punish us beyond measure?
 
There are some people who have an enormous amount of trouble accepting the forgiveness offered to us by our Heavenly Father. I used to be one of those people, and at times still wrestle with it. It is difficult for some to truly believe that they can be forgiven, and are forgiven, for past sins. I wish I could skillfully articulate why that is so. Part of it might be because of their upbringing – being under the authority of parents or guardians who were harsh and unforgiving. That is perhaps the main factor in my life which caused me great trouble.
 
Another reason could be because of the weightiness of one’s particular brand of transgressions. That too, I can identify with. When I was young, all I could see in the bible was the promises for those who were unbelievers. I could not see that any of the promises of forgiveness applied to me and my situation. Beyond these thoughts, the issue gets more complex than I could ever understand. So we will say no more in that regard, leaving our reasoning about that behind for today’s discussion. Our main point today will be on the good promises from this passage from Isaiah.
 
  1. You are our Father – He truly is the Father of all who believe in Him. He isn’t only the Father of those who never sin. He isn’t only the Father of those who rarely sin, or of those who have conquered their sinful weaknesses. He is also the Father of those who attempt to follow Him, and fail miserably time and time again. Study the life of Samson as an example.
  2. Do not be angry beyond measure – The only reason that Isaiah included this kind of language in his writings is because that God really can be angry at those who belong to Him. There would be no reason to pray this way if it were not true. When we feel that God is angry with us, that’s a good thing. That means He cares; He loves us.
  3. Do not remember our sins forever – Of course He will not. There are no scripture passages which show us that His anger permanently resides on any of His sons.
  4. Look again upon us – There are many scriptures which reveal His faithfulness to us. He will not look away from us permanently. It isn’t possible.
  5. Will You keep silent and punish us beyond measure – Of course not! Again, we see many examples in His word in which He did not discipline His children forever. There is always an end to His disciplines. The duration of those disciplines partly (maybe completely) depends upon how long it takes us to repent.
 
If we are concerned over our SSA sinfulness; if we believe that we are suffering disciplines at the hands of God, we should be filled with much hope and assurance. It should not cause us to despair; to believe that we are not His children. It should remind us that we ARE His children. It should not bring us to believe that we are beyond hope. More often than I would like to recount, I have had conversations with SSA men who believe their situation is beyond hope. Much too often men believe that they are not His children, simply because their SSA struggle is continuing, seemingly without remedy.
 
Look in God’s word for hope, not for hopelessness. Accept the truth of all the good promises from His word. Know that God does not and cannot lie. Don’t believe the truth of what He says about unbelievers, and at the same time refuse to believe what He says about the repentance and restoration which is a sure thing for believers. 
 
Prayer: Father, for way too many years I did that. I believed the horrors promised to unbelievers, and did not believe the unsearchable riches promised to those who seek You. For those who are still in that state, please help them to understand how merciful and forgiving You are. Do not let anyone continue to believe they are without hope. God have mercy!

Send The Light

Send The Light

 
Read Luke Chapter 11
 
Lk 11:33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”
 
What do we see when we find ourselves in the presence of an attractive person? As someone who does bible study and works puzzles at McDonalds most mornings, I have to make many choices every day as to how I view others. Being a people watcher also enters into the equation. I have seen it all – handsome men and women, not-so –handsome men and women, large and small ones, poor and rich, etc. all varieties. The choices I make as to how to see them can be good, or they can be bad.  Jesus said, in this passage, that “the eye is the lamp of your body.”
 
Our eyes are what open up our world to us. What we see enters into our minds and has an effect on us. It is difficult to get rid of an image, whether that image is pleasant, unpleasant, good, or bad. Only the indifferent images are not likely to stay with us. As we make our choices on how to see another person, it is always in our best interest to see that person as God sees him or her. If we do that, we are not likely to think badly toward that person. We are not likely to lust after that person or to consider him as unworthy of our attention. Here are some of the good choices we can make.
 
  1. We can see them as someone who needs God. Who doesn’t? Everyone needs God and Christ.
  2. We can choose to pray for them. Of course, we see many people every day. We cannot pray lengthy prayers for every one of them, but we can be open to the Spirit, allowing Him to nudge us when that is what we should do.
  3. We can be sensitive to any opportunity the Spirit gives us to witness, or to be of some benefit to them. Again, we won’t be able to do that with everyone we see. But God will surely let us know if we do.
  4. We can choose to not be judgmental. Most of us have some preconceived notions about the way people look. For example, we may view a tattooed person differently than we do a person who is well dressed and having no tattoos.
  5. We won’t be able to not see them as handsome or beautiful, if that is the case. That would we impossible. The image is there, and impossible to see. But we can decide to view them as God does, seeing the inner soul, the eternal spirit which resides within. We can concentrate on that aspect of the individual. On the other hand, the same is true for the person who isn’t handsome or beautiful. That person also has an eternal spirit.
 
You may be able to think of some other positive things to think of, which can help us avoid thinking wrongly about someone. If we take the images in the same way God would do, the promise from Luke will be applicable to us. “When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light.” These positive images we choose to take into our body will bring about good things, always. The opposite view is obvious. If we take in bad images, “your body also is full of darkness.”
 
We all know how destructive that can be. We’ve seen it and lived it. If we haven’t done so already, the time has come to look at others in the light of God and His word. We will be surprised how wonderful the light is when we take in the images in a way which the Lord wants us to do. It may take a lot of practice, trial and error, in order to do this regularly and without thinking. So let’s get going.
 
Ps 25:4 Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths; 5 guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.
 
Prayer: Lord, it’s still a problem. I don’t always see others the same way You do. Help me, and all of us, to “put on the mind of God,” that we will be full of Your light.
 
 
 
 
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