Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Choose!

Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.... 

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you ... then choose for yourselves whom you will serve, whether the gods of your own imagination who let you live whatever way you want or the socially-acceptable gods who tell everyone what they want to hear.


But as for me and my household ...

WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!

(Joshua 24:14-15, paraphrased for today) 




Click here when you have time to listen.  To really listen.  You owe it to yourself, to your eternal soul, to listen to this song at least once and to really think about what it says.  What do you have to lose? 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Is God Drawing Lines in the Sand? (updated)


It’s amazing and disturbing how brazen our society is in attacking everything about God and everything He created:  marriage, monogamy, sex, family, sexuality, the scientific reality of gender, morality, modesty, the value of a person, the right to life, the existence of "right and wrong," the Bible, Jesus, and Absolute Truth.  Not to mention God Himself, His very existence. 
 

We are destroying everything associated with Him (except nature – we worship that), and then we call ourselves progressive.
 

But you know what I think about it all?
 

I think that God is letting it happen because He’s drawing lines in the sand.  Through all these divisive issues, God is saying “Pick a side!  I am forcing you to decide which side you want to be on ... because I am coming back soon to take My people out of here.  So I need you all to decide:  Me or the world?  Which do you choose?"

At least I hope that's why He's allowing all this breakdown to happen, all this conflict and divisiveness.  Because if He's not - if He's not coming back soon - then God help those of us who choose to be faithful to Him.  We're gonna need it! 


Isaiah's prophecy

The path of the righteous is level;
O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you;
your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.

My soul years for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.

Though grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in the land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and regard not the majesty of the Lord.

Oh Lord, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.

(Isaiah 26:7-11, 21)

Weak Jesus?

As we head into the Christmas season, let's take a look at Who it's really about. 

(And yes, I said it ... Christmas.  And I'll say it again ... Christmas.  Christmas.  I have no problem if others want to say "holidays," but let me say Christmas.  Everyone needs to stop making such a big stink about everything, trying to remove any reference to Jesus from the holiday season.  Our society likes to think it's so tolerant and all, but it can't even tolerate nativity scenes or someone saying "Merry Christmas."  The way people get all worked up about this stuff, you'd think it was the end of the world or something.  Saying "Merry Christmas" is not the end of the world.  Trust me, when it's the end of the world, you'll know!  And when you're standing before Christ Himself, being offended about "Christmas" will be the last thing on your mind.)  


            “When Jesus said this, one of the officials standing nearby struck him in the face. . . . Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.  The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. . . . And they struck him in the face.”  (John 18:22, 19:1-3)

            Jesus, our Lord and Savior, didn’t do what we would expect a Lord and Savior to do, like we expect to see things happen in the movies.  When the soldiers were coming at Him, He didn’t raise a hand and blow them back with some sort of force, knocking them down unconscious.  He didn’t use fancy martial arts moves to take down a whole room of soldiers, leaving only Himself standing in the middle while everyone else groaned in pain on the floor. 

            No.  Jesus - our Lord and Savior, God in the flesh, Creator and Sustainer of all – took a beating.  He let Himself be mocked and beaten and spit on and dragged away and crucified.  And He didn’t fight back.  The strongest person in that room made Himself the weakest.   
 

Stupidest Thing I Ever Heard!

I was talking one day with an atheist friend.  And we were challenging (in a friendly way) each other’s reasons for believing what we do.  She, of course, said that she believes that there is no God and no eternity.  That we all just die and disappear, and the only lasting part of us is the effect we have on our children. 

And challenging her to really consider the possibility that there might be a God, I asked her, “What if there really is a heaven and a hell?  What if you find out in the end that you’re wrong?”

And then she said the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life . . .

Mocking Pigs

            “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who were going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God! 

            In the same way the chief priest, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.  ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself!  He’s the King of Israel!  Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe him. . . .’”  (Matthew 27:39-42)

            Jesus was always misunderstood by people.  Mocked and discredited.


God would never do that! Or would He?

God would never send a famine or economic distress to get our attention.

God would never send disease to open our eyes to our bad choices and to call us to repentance.

God would never use wars or violence to cause us to cry out to Him.

God would never use a tornado, earthquake, or tsunami to draw our hearts back to Him.


God is not like that.  He is a soft, squishy, feeble, all-loving, ever-forgiving God who would never dream of punishing or disciplining or causing any kind of pain for us.  He’s all about catering to our requests and pouring out His goodness on us and allowing us to live life on our own terms, because we are the center of the universe, right?  We are the lords of our own lives.  Aren’t we?  

Surely, in this day and age of rampant sexual diseases, violent wars, economic recession, famines, natural disasters, devastating consequences of our choices, etc., none of this has been allowed by God in order to open our eyes to our need for Him. 

God would never do that!

Or would He? 


Most Terrifying Book of the Bible: Jeremiah

            Okay, there are other terrifying parts of the Bible, particularly when hell is talked about - being separated from God forever, eternal fire, weeping and gnashing of teeth.  But Jeremiah has got to be one of the most terrifying books there is.  Because it blows our Western idea of God’s unending love and patience out of the water. 

            Of course, we all know that God is love and that His love is unending.  And we know that He is incredibly patient, pursuing sinners over lifetimes and history so that He can draw as many people as possible to Him.  But we – especially in America – seem completely unaware of God’s justness.  We are all about His grace and mercy, yet we forget His wrath and discipline. 

 
             The thing is, we want to live the way we want to live, yet be able to call out to Him when things get too rough for us.  We want Him to step in at the last minute and save us, after we have had all the ungodly fun we can have.  We want to go our own way, but believe that He will spare us any negative consequences ... because, after all, He loves us. 

            And we think that this is really the way God works.  That because His love is so great, He will always step in when we call out to Him, regardless of how we live or how we treat Him. 



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Why We All Want There To Be A God!


I believe that - deep down - every normal decent person wants to believe in God.  They want there to be a God, no matter how much they might deny it.  And do you know why?
 
One word … justice.
 
 
Consider for a moment all the shootings that have been happening (and that’s just a tiny bit of the violence that is going on world-wide).  These men have shot up multiple people, killing many, injuring many more, ruining lives and destroying families. 
 
And then these cowards kill themselves or get shot by police.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Christian Polyamory?


It seems that there are “Christians” who are engaging in, supporting, and encouraging the idea of “Christian polyamory,” claiming that it’s ok to have multiple sexual relationships between consenting adults in a marriage.  And they point to the fact that famous biblical people had polygamous relationships as support for this view, while dismissing the biblical truth that marriage is to be between one man and one woman.
 

Hmm?  Sounds to me like a classic case of “Wouldn’t it be fun to read about the mistakes that other people made in the Bible … and then go out and make them myself, even though I read all about the problems and consequences it caused and even though I know that Jesus Himself said that marriage is between a man and a woman?”