Monday, March 1, 2010
In the middle of reading the book of Daniel, I am realizing just how hopelessly human kind is locked in a vicious circle of self imposed circumstance due to sin. In chapter 8, Daniel recounts to us his vision of the Ram and the Goat.
The ram living in the east has great power, until the “goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came flying from the west crossing the whole earth without touching the ground.” Dan. 8:5 Sound like anything recent to you? Now the book on Daniel is supposed to be closed for the most part, but remember none of the books are truly closed until the end of the end.
The reason for this is that man is destined to repeat his actions because he is helplessly trapped in the maze of sin. Remember Jesus said, just as in the days of Noah, they will be “… marrying and given in marriage.” Drinking, celebrating, living and going about their business as if Christ won’t be coming back.
In the same way we recently crossed the whole earth from the west to make war in far off places eastward. No, I’m not speaking to the right or wrong of these actions just to the nature of man to do such things. Reading on we learn that God is sovereign over all life, and though mans’ boastfulness and pride will give God trouble, it’s not outside of His sovereignty to handle it.
God being God, He will let us have our way for a time, even if it’s to our own detriment. This is His way. Shame on us. In the end of the end, God is I AM and He along is victorious. And those who serve Him throughout these things though they will also suffer, will in the end of the end also be victorious.
So if we are near the end we must ask ourselves, will we stand with God our Father in the power of the Holy Spirit through the work of the cross in Christ Jesus? Or will we act like Christ isn’t coming, and get caught in the trap of man’s cycle of sin?
Saturday, February 6, 2010
God always knows how to up and stretch the "WOW" factor. After taking on the job I learned that I would be responsible for marketing the blog as well. Wow!
But that comes with it and I have some old fashioned training for it. Then I was given some learning materials to "get up to speed." Wow! I still haven't gone through it all. But here's where the rubber meets the road.
In all this is, I have learned where I am deficient Christ’s' grace is sufficient. Wow! I am already wowed by His ability to make the task one that drives me closer to Him.
This is where Christ excels and where our faithfulness is both tested and His presence proven. Some of my tweetie birds know and I have said, as believers we are no longer to look for Christ in signs and wonders, of miracles and the parting of seas.
Our path now that we have accepted Christ as our Savior is one of faithfulness to the path we have chosen. But this doesn't mean Christ doesn't want to prove Himself to us as we travel in Him, He does!
Just as a father wants to bring presents to his children, and hug them and hold them to show his love, God through Christ wishes to reveal Himself to us to show us how much he loves us. But as we become adults we do not always get hugs and presents from our dads. Do they love us any less? No way! But our fathers pay us the respect of adults and the hugs sometimes get shorter but nevertheless the same feelings are still there.
As adults fathers may call their children up and want to meet for coffee. If in a jam, a father may want to help out his adult child. Even if the child outwardly swears they can handle it, but inside really welcomes the aid. The adult child feels loved by the father.
In the same way God reveals Himself to us as we grow in Christ. And I could not feel more honored, and though I feel the weight of the responsiblity I also sense the presence of God our Father in a much greater way and wow, am I glad He is in my life. Two things come with this position (well, much more but these are the two things I want to point out now).
One, I am grateful for this opportunity. And two, as I grow closer to Christ in this endeavor, so too will Worldprayr's blog with all hope become greater in it's reach and effectiveness. And all this, not by my ability alone, no way!
Truly, it will be by God's power and grace and all the contributors and everyone working together at Worldprayr! This is how the Kingdom will function once the body is united forever! Wow!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
So the pressure of keeping up with the fashion of today can and in some cases is, an essential part of getting on well at the battleground of school, work, and social groups. Being neglectful in these areas can even hold one back from advancing. But this is not without consequence. Referring first back to the parties.
Monday, January 11, 2010
This weekend I took my son and this time my bride also came with us to partake in the event of watching Avatar.While some have said the message is "liberal" I couldn't disagree more. It was a good story with great brand new cutting edge graphics. Some conservatives have said it diminishes or even casts aspersions on our military and our efforts in the Middle East. Ridiculous!
But what cannot be in dispute is our (mankind) treatment of this earth and some of its people. Ideology is an opinion if the instances have very little basis in truth. And this issue is replete with actual occurences and indeed is not far off our own history.
From the Aramaic translation we get a more accurate picture of our life in conjunction with the earth and all its life and life being;
And God said, "Let the earth produce living souls in harmony with its nature, herds and four-legged animals and creatures of the earth, according to their kind," and it was so. And so God created the creatures of the earth according to their kind, and the herd animals according to their kind, and all the four-legged animals according to their kind, and God saw that they were beautiful. And God said, "We shall make the human being in the image of our likeness, and they shall have authority over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and the herds and all the creatures of the earth and all the four-legged animals that walk on the earth."
Yes, God gave us authority over the entire earth and it creatures but did that mean our sovereign right meant we could do irreparable harm to it? Remember the shrewd manager in Luke 16.
Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.' "The manager said to himself ‘what shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg—I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.' "So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' ”‘Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.' "Then he asked the second, 'and how much do you owe?' ”‘A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied.”He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.' "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Instead of getting all the money owed to his master from debtors. He lowered their bill so they could afford to pay the manager and in kind their debt to the master. The master commended the manager’s thinking. He not only got most of the debt paid but he made friends among the debtors. But unfortunately many do not do so with the clear authority we’ve been given by God over the earth. Instead many are driven to squeeze every last drop the earth and its inhabitants have to give to fill their own coffers. This is unwise.
This kind store up wealth here only, and in doing so they lose their treasure in heaven. How we treat this earth and its creatures of all kinds matter to God. Do not forget that in the original Aramaic text all living things have a soul! There needn’t be a question of this any longer. But the Native Americans and the Bison of that era were all decimated to make room for the nation we now call home. This is historical fact, not an opinion.
If anything, what I come away with from watching Avatar beyond just having a great movie experience is we should take care of our earth not in a liberal fashion but to balance all things. It’s our right to eat, build, and use the resources of this earth but to do so with the knowledge God wishes us to do so in harmony with its nature, Genesis 1:24. Sometimes taking less gains us so much more; this is not liberal, but good sense. It is authority used with stewardship and is no doubt pleasing to God, who is Master of all we have authority over.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
A new year is upon us and new challenges for sure. We serve a living God and therefore as imperfect beings we can expect that He is never done working on us. Paul reminds us of the strain we must undertake to reach greater depths in Christ, in his letter to the Philippians 3:12-14.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
We must always keep in mind we are a work never complete. "From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain, prophets and priest alike all practice deceit." Jeremiah 6:13
Now I'm not saying we are deceitful as individuals, or greedy. We do not all wrestle with all manner of sins, but of sin itself. And we do so not without struggle nor without the temptations of things we've never really dealt with from from arising or re-arising. This is the nature of things. So we fight without rest to make ourselves ready for the great rest in Christ Jesus! So too, must remember not to place so high a priority on the things of this world.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:20, 21
It used to be said, "God, family, country, in that order" But of late and in particular, on Twitter the many tweets are "country, country and country!" The argument is we must fight the evil in government. But we must beware, and let us not get caught in the devils trap!
This country, though I would not like to see it, will pass away. All countries, empires and kingdoms do. So too will this entire earth, it is written. But this country will go faster if we make it so much our fight that it becomes idolatry.
If at the end of the day we go to our beds angry about the status of this country, the line has been crossed. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26, 27. There is no wiggle room here! Neither our anger nor our country can become our god. For our God is a jealous God, and he will have no other gods before him.
I love my family so I will put my God first! I love my country so I will put my God first! 'Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40
Again, the argument will no doubt be "I am putting God first by taking on my government when it goes wrong. But Christ never said "fight your government."
He did say; "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." Mark 16:15-18
Yes the line is fine, just the way the devil drew it. God's line is not fine it's narrow. On one side it's love and life on the other it's hate and death. We must resist the temptation to spend too much time engaging in politics and rather work on our own salvation, with prayer and meditation in the word, learning how to love despite our natural instincts. And it's with saving individuals in our neighborhoods, and communities and beyond.
If we've told our leaders "be saved, go and sin no more," and they do not, move on. God will deal with them. Trust God! If we've said abortion is evil, and they do not change, God will deal with them and the government. In fact He already has.
But when preaching to people our tone should not be one of condemnation, but of love without condemnation. Saying and exemplifying that Christ came to save sinners from death out of love. Letting them know without question "believe, be baptized, love one another and go, sin no more." The good news is for individuals, not governments.
Trying to change government or the people working within that worldy principality, is like trying to fix a burned out light bulb. Yes, we must engage, but not so much that it takes up our time from preaching the good news and indeed BEING the good news, of the Agape love Christ to all we happen to meet.
The great news is, if we are not getting it right God will not destroy us. We are not under condemnation! Rather, it's just something we need to work on to become more perfect as He is perfect. And make no mistake it is something we need to work on. (I am speaking to myself as well friends).
Yet, it's just one more thing in a list of things we must strain toward the better of in reaching for the prize. So let's have a mind of preparation for change, because God is the unchanging changer. He has no need of changing, but we do.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
HOW LITTLE SCIENCE CAN WE ACCEPT IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR FAITH?
I can only answer that question for myself. But it is something I wonder about regarding the greater family of God. I'm not speaking of fringe groups of radical people, I mean my people. You know, you the chosen of God, the true body of the Living Lord.
The question is framed poetically for the title but the true question goes a little something like this: Is there a point at which you would disregard faith for science? Or, are science and faith mutually exclusive to each other? Do you think science and faith having nothing to do with each other?
Your answer may be defined by how your faith grows, or not, in Christ. Now of course the question of science and faith is not the only definer of your faith. One's personal experiences, the way one was raised, the environment one grew up in, the way one chooses to believe based on current/past traumatic or blessed experiences-- all these help shape one's faith, too.
Just as meaningful to the base code of our faith is our fundamental belief in the place of science and faith. Jesus said we need only faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains, to heal the sick, make the blind see, lame walk...and so on. But I'm not reaching for so lofty a position of faith. I'm talking about the faith that keeps one in faith to God instead of slipping away because of unbelief.
I recently read an article in one of the country's oldest and largest newspapers. The title (though I can't remember it now) was something relating to God and science so I took a gander. It describes why science GREAT and AWESOME as it is, does away with the notion of God a Supreme Intellect in favor of the PURITY OF RANDOMNESS within our universe. How by cosmic accident we are all here. But the most telling aspect of the article was its chief reason for the disbelief in GOD. I found it quite telling, not just about those who believe there is no God, but about the writer herself.
First the superficial reason: Randomness, cosmic accident, evolution, proof of the theory of evolution like cells turning into fish and fish into monkeys and monkeys into humanoids and humanoids into human beings, Added in are all scientific terminologies and presto change-o after a 5 billion years humans. But even with all this "proof" the main reason comes down to something only humans can experience in so profound a way. And that is human loss.
As I got the end of the article, the writer described that if you have gone on this journey with her and come away feeling the way she does, others will most certainly call you an atheist, and they would be right. She did a magnificent job cloaked in science, pushing her belief. So then the point of the article was finally revealed only at the very end.
But greatest portion of her theoretical proof was, why if the God "WE" created was so kind and benevolent, why wars, why murders, why senseless violence? Randomness puts this neatly in a box. But God cannot fit, she surmised.
A benevolent Benefactor would not... indeed - could not - allow such horrors to befell humans. It sounds like someone needs a hug and an education in the spirit by the Spirit. I'm not playing this for a joke. I really felt the pain of the writer attempting to; with only the world's knowledge to come up with a reason for why God isn't... couldn't be. How could He let such things happen? Who hasn't been there? I felt she was truly searching for someone to overcome her and her staunchly held beliefs and to please tell me where He is and how may I find and have peace in Him?
Scientist or not, she fully reveals she's no pure scientist. A scientist cannot tell you there is no God because there is no proof of the absence of God by a long shot! For scientists this must be thoroughly proven before any such a prognostication can be made.
In fact they would tell you through their work at the LHC or Large Hadron Collider in France they are looking for the "God particle" the smallest particle in all of life so full of energy and power that when split it would have causes such a massive and magnificent explosion it would have created the very universe we currently live in today. In other words the source for the Big Bang! Einstein's Theory and the closest of all science related explanations to what the word says did actually happened - In the beginning.
Could an intelligent Being have used such knowledge to make the Heavens, scientists wonder? Or was by accident? But more questions arise when you leave it to chaos. Less when you begin to put an intelligent Designer at the end of it all. Or should I say at the beginning of it all? How about both?
Scientists do not presuppose. They question. Some scientists at large, and at the LHC have found Christ because of their research. Some still have no idea. But here is the point I've been heading toward. While reading the writer's article (before I found out she was an atheist), did her revelations shudder my faith? No. And here is why.
My faith in God is not based on what the world finds out or not through science. I do not fear science. Faith and science can belong together if you have enough faith in what you believe. My faith is based on GOD's Word through the Spirit of the Living Lord. It is by grace I receive the ability to have faith and through that faith I believe and confess Jesus as my Lord, Savior the Son of God sent by ABBA for remission of mine and all peoples sins.
Science is merely man's way of figuring out how God did and does - what he did and does. The two; faith and science are not mutually exclusive. Science is a word. God created all things but, how do you suppose He did that? By what means or method? Is science a dirty word or is it just a word to try and describe God's means and method? Is it wrong to try figure that out? I do not believe so. Our Father gave us dominion over all life here - and by union with Christ over all life itself.
So, I do not believe it is wrong to be inquisitive. Even with our greatest understanding we will still only know in part. For He that lives is the One and Only to give perfect knowledge of all things because only He is perfect.
I do believe that letting science be exclusively in the hands of those without faith is dangerous. We must be everywhere. But if the phobia of faith precludes us from learning in the sciences we hurt ourselves and our offspring.
Preach the gospel in ALL THE WORLD. That most certainly includes the area of science. No matter what revelations there are to be found none will rock my faith because my faith is planted in the Rock who is the Christ, Son of the Living God who is all and through whom all things are held together. Amen! Not even the most noble of human wanderings of inquisitiveness can scale that Rock. But that's my faith.
The word says there are many universes existing all at once. When the world finds this to be true, if we have not understood the word, a fight will breakout between those whose faith will be shattered by this knowledge and those in the world who wish to further denounce God. But it's already in the word! And the word goes on to say that God is God of them all. And that Christ is Lord of them all!
But when it is finally revealed to be in the word if we aren't out in front of this, many will then say "oh, they're just trying to shape the word to fit their silly belief." And we will have given them the right to say so, by being absent from this area of humanity. Worse, many saints will fall away because of a lack of faith.
Science is the understanding of some of our faith. We should not dismiss it. Neither should we let atheists have a realm they can operate peacefully, where we do not oppose them with truth. Using the exact same knowledge but with greater eternal understand through our faith. Remember Galileo was a Christian.
But yet even he was ridiculed by those whose faith was lacking and held captive as a heretic for saying that the Earth was not the center of the universe. But the word of God that gave birth to his and his captors' faith already said thousands of years earlier, when I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, what you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
Do not place your faith in a box, to be held neatly there. The word says "test the spirits," "come let us reason together." Go and where you go "I will be there also, even to the end of the age."
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Now the Father gave us examples of just how expects us to be like him, in forgiving enemies. He does want us to indeed forget (throw away) the offense like it never happened. But by forgetting (throwing it away) however, the meaning is to forget (throw away) the anger and judgment the offense and the offender caused.
For us, when someone hurts us let’s say, in a vicious way, it often causes us to separate from that person because of our anger and inability to forgive by forgetting, though we may initially forgive.
Forgiveness is after all a followers’ duty we know this and there’s no margin for error. But being human beings we find a way to hide or hold on to the anger (we think) in not forgetting.
In many cases not forgetting is a way of keeping us protected from the person or persons that harmed us. We don’t trust that we’ll stay away from them if we truly forgive. But if we don’t forget we won’t return to them and we honor ourselves.
However, this works against us in that in some cases after the separation the pain grows deeper when we remember it further carving greater emotional craters in our lives as well as causing damage to our relationship with God and others.
This is where the Father teaches us how to forget (throw away) the offense because as humans when we forget we plunge right back in. “He who forgets history is destined to repeat it.”
God knows us so the example is:
Isa. 43:25 I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins… ”
Ps. 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us… “
Micah 7:19 “Once again you will have compassion on us.You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”
It is then we must remember; we forgave the offender and mustn’t give the devil place (legal – authority) to enter our hearts and cause us to separate from God in anger unchecked which is sin.
The Father does want us to be child-like in this way. “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” He will protect us, even if we forgive to the point we forget.
We may not ever again have a relationship with the person/persons who harmed us, but we can pray for them in love having truly forgotten the pain and anger that came about as result of their misdeed toward us. But this is much easier said than done.
Forgiveness to the point of forgetting (throwing away) is one of the greatest challenges we as believers will ever have before us. In fact in the Lord’s Prayer it is the only conditional part of the prayer; “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us…”
The implication in the word is clear, forgiving is impossible without forgetting (throwing away). Only when we forget-throw away all bitterness and anger with all malice can we enjoy the fruits true forgiveness can bring.
It is possible to with Christ’s help, remember the person/persons event/events and think to ones’ self, "I can’t remember how much that hurt..." right?
Thanks for the discussion Karen, it really helps.
Sean, Loving Believer in Christ