God's Truth In Love

Archive for the ‘Holy Spirit’ Category

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 10 – Abuse and The Church (Spiritual and Psychological Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Apostasy, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Evil, Exhortation, Holy Spirit, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on September 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

One of the worst forms of abuse, in my belief, is spiritual abuse. This is when someone uses the things of God to control, manipulate, abuse, use, degrade, etc. other people. This has been done in extreme forms such as, ‘If I do not get X amount of money from my people God will take my life, close our church, etc.’ ‘If you do not read your Bible daily, God will not have fellowship with you.’ ‘If you are not in church each time the doors are open you are not a committed Christian.’ On and one we could go. I am sure each of you has your own example. The examples provided are damaging forms of spiritual and psychological abuse pure and simple.

A desire for a leader to obtain unquestionable dedication, which is free from accountability to the ones asked to give said dedication, is spiritual abuse. Does the Word of God call us to submit to the authorities He has placed in our lives? Yes. Who are those authorities however, and do we submit regardless? We do not submit regardless. We are accountable to God first, then to other people. We submit to our spiritual leaders when they are following the Will of God as found in God’s Word. We do not submit to sin or follow a leader into sin. How many cults, which started out with religious undertones, ended in disaster? Too many to recall. Why? Because people followed, even in the face of sin, because they believed they were to submit to authority without questioning authority.

A more hideous form of spiritual abuse is to distort and misuse the Word of God in order to get what one wants or justify one’s actions. So many people sit in church with their Bibles closed looking at an overhead screen trusting that the text on that screen matches what is actually in God’s Written Word. It only takes subtle and slight changes to God’s Word to distort its entire meaning and purpose. No matter how long you have known someone and no matter how much you trust them, you should have your Bibles out and open when they are speaking or teaching so that you can confirm that they are rightly dividing the Word of God. Especially grievous to the heart of God is this form of spiritual abuse that uses the Word of God, and God will deal with this abuse quite harshly.

When a person uses another person’s love for God to advance their own cause, regardless of what that cause might be, to get their way, to attempt to mislead or deceive the heart that trust in God both people are in danger. The abuser’s target is in danger of being spiritually and psychologically abused resulting in spiritual and perhaps psychological damage, and the perpetrator is in danger of the wrath of God that does come upon those individuals who use spiritual things to hurt God’s children.

Abuse in the Body of Christ, in all its forms, can stop when we become willing to both speak up and be spoken to when necessary. Accountability is a responsibly not an option. It is the basic fabric that holds the cloth of Christ’s Body together. Without the courage to question our leaders, we will find ourselves impotent and frustrated. Without the willingness to be questioned, we will find ourselves isolated and insolent.

This concludes the addressing of this difficult subject of abuse found within the church and how that abuse effects the growth of individual congregations as well as the universal church, which is the Body of Christ. We will continue to reflect on reasons why churches are not growing from various angles aside from the abuse angle.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:5-9 – Wisdom and The Ornament of Grace

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on August 29, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

It certainly appears that God, through King Solomon, makes it a point to repeat over and over in Proverbs the need for obtaining and applying godly wisdom. How easily we must forget this important aspect of life, otherwise, God would not have seen the need to mention it so often within just one of His books of the Bible, not to mention all the other books of the Bible He saw fit to bring the subject up in (verse 5).

Wisdom, the gathering of godly knowledge, godly understanding, godly insight, learning from your experiences with God, learning about God, His character, His expectations of us, and the application of all of these rolled into one, wisdom, will dramatically change your life for the better if you stick with the practice. Here are just some of the things God has stated in these verses that it will do for you.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definitions of the word or phrases found in the verses we are examining.

If you continue in that practice mentioned earlier of obtaining godly wisdom and applying godly wisdom and understanding, it will preserve and keep your life. Meaning according to the Hebrew language it will place a “hedge of thrones about” you that will “guard, protect, and attend to” the care and preservation of your life, from the forces without and the forces within that would seek to harm or destroy you (verse 6).

It is easy to understand that godly wisdom applied to a person’s life will enable God’s divine protection from evil forces and the evil actions of other people but understanding how it protects us from ourselves is a bit more difficult to understand.

When we seek, obtain, and apply godly wisdom, and it must be godly wisdom, not the wisdom of the world or man, it instills in us an alarm that sounds via the Holy Spirit when we should “beware” or ‘be circumspect” or “take heed to ourselves” or be cautious to “keep ourselves” on the “narrow path” being ever so careful to “observe” our motives, desires, and actions to ensure we are walking in wisdom. We are required by God to be our own “watchman” with the aide of the Holy Spirit, to see to it that we are walking in the Wisdom of God. To “obey” God and His godly wisdom is to allow Him to “keep” us by His Wisdom. This is what it is to be preserved and kept by wisdom (verse 6).

Verse seven makes it clear that in order to walk in that care and protection a person must make godly wisdom “principal” in their life. For something to be principal means it holds the highest of rank, according to the Hebrew “the first, in place, in time, order or rank – among our firstfruits.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines principal as, “a matter or thing of primary importance.”

Godly wisdom must take priority over our own ideas, our own desires, our own thoughts about what is best, worldly wisdom, ideas or principles set down by man regardless of how worthy those principles might be, and godly wisdom must take priority regardless of what other people think is best for us. In order for godly wisdom to preserve and keep you properly it must be your number one source of instruction for how you will choose to live your life and make your decisions (verse 7).

Once we have truly embraced godly wisdom and are applying it consistently to our life, we can expect to see the benefits that God has ordained for those who listen to Him and apply His Wisdom. Wisdom will bring promotion and honor to the life that embraces living by its principles (verse 8).

The Hebrew language makes it clear that to be promoted by Wisdom through God is to “rise and be raised in a variety of application both literally and figuratively – to bring up and exalt, to extol honor.” That “honour,” honor that comes from God as a result of applying wisdom will “bring a weighty richness” to life that results in God’s ‘glory being able to shine through your life’(verses 8 and 9).

Application of wisdom results in living a “noble” life where you “prevail” thanks to God’s “ornament of grace” that He has placed upon you because you have chosen to “obey” Him in obtaining and applying godly wisdom (verses 6, 7, 8, and 9).

An “ornament of grace” how splendid! Grace become “attached to” a person who embraces godly wisdom and applies godly wisdom (verse 9).

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 8 – Abuse and The Church (Physical Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Compassion, Confusion, Courage, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Masculinity, Mercy, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Physical abuse also takes place within the walls of our congregations. I have personally read outlines for physical disciple of wives. I have heard the stories of children being physically abused under the guidelines of church discipline. There is no place within the church for the physical abuse of another human being.

In an outline for how to discipline your wife, it was stated that if a woman would not submit to her husband then a certain amount of physical discipline could be used. You could inflict pain but where not to bring about too much bruising, no lacerations, and you were not to break bones. This physical abuse would be increased in nature until the woman “repented” and submitted regardless of how long it took or how many sessions of discipline were necessary to bring about the woman’s change of attitude. These sessions could not however result in broken bones or cuts on the woman’s body.

How horrid that a person would believe that they had the right to inflict physical pain on a woman until she agreed to agree with them! How could one possibly believe that this is real submission? Conformity maybe, submission no.

I once counseled a woman who would not enter a church building. When we started our relationship, she hated the church and all its members. When we were done she still had not entered a church building but was willing to give God another try and Christians a second glance.

Why did this woman have such a hard attitude? She had loved God very dearly and was an extremely dedicated church member, as was her husband who was an elder in their local church. Each Sunday they went to church, worshipped God, and serviced in their congregation. Each Sunday after church they went home where her husband proceeded to beat her. Like clockwork every Sunday after church he would beat her that way she would be healed up enough by the following Sunday to attend church and play the role of his faithful wife always at his side.

My heart broke when she told her story. It was obviously true and very difficult for her to disclose to me, yet, she found the courage to do so. As time went on this woman’s pain eased and her understanding that not all Christians were this way increased.

At a conference once, a woman was struggling with guilt. She felt inside herself that she had allowed her child to be abused but she was wrestling with the biblical principle that she was to submit to her spiritual leaders. In her church children were brought up to the front, next to the pulpit, and physically struck with a belt by the pastor for various infractions at both church and home. The number of licks they received from the belt depended on the degree of their offense. This woman was riddled with confusion and guilt, this was after all how their congregation handled discipline. Everyone else did it and everyone was afraid to question their Christian spiritual leader since this might be viewed as be rebellious or as a refusal to submit. The church and local congregations should play no role in the physical discipline of children.

It takes courage to speak up when we know physical abuse is going on in our congregations. It is easier to tell ourselves it is not our business. How can that be true however? Do we not carry a certain amount of Christian responsibility and accountability with our brothers and sisters? According to Scripture we do. We are required to hold each other accountable for our actions. There must have been someone at some point who suspected this woman was being abused or even knew firsthand she was being mistreated. Many people sat in the pews on those days when the children were humiliated and physically abused in the name of God and correction. There had to some of people who knew in their spirits that this behavior was wrong, yet, they remained silent. We cannot do such, we must speak up! We cannot allow leaders to go off the rails because we are concerned other Christians will think us out of line or rebellious. Our responsibility is to Truth and too upholding the principles of Scripture not to uphold man or man’s ideas.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Revival – Church Growth – Move of God – Step 2

In Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Church Growth, Holy Spirit, Prophecy, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Truth, Uncategorized on June 27, 2018 at 8:50 am

As part of our series on Church Growth God has placed it on my heart that we deviate, temporarily for two more week and stick with the topic of “REVIVAL” within the Body of Christ, after which we will return to alternating between the Church Growth and Proverbs postings.

In the introduction to these revival postings I posed the following question. Do you long for revival? If you do not, search your heart and find out why.

An individual who truly loves God, loves God’s people, desires to grow in the knowledge of God, and desires that the Body of Christ continue to grow in the knowledge of God’s Will, God’s Desires, and God’s Purposes will long for the revival of God’s people. There is a hunger to know, ‘What is next God?’

We need to begin to pray for revival in us as individuals, in our congregation, in our spiritual square (community), and in the Body of Christ. We need to pray together, we need to pray openly, and we need anyone and everyone who feels the burden to pray, to pray. Prayer is a mighty force, prayer brings the Will of God into the reality of man.

7 Perfect Verses for American Reform and Revival

The Reforms of Asa  – 2 Chronicles 15:1-7 NKJV

1Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”

Reform means according to Webster’s Dictionary:

transitive verb

1 a : to put or change into an improved form or condition b : to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses

2 : to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action

3 : to induce or cause to abandon evil ways

noun

1 : amendment of what is defective, vicious, corrupt, or depraved

2 : a removal or correction of an abuse, a wrong, or errors

American society needs reform, the American church needs some forms of reform. We need to turn back to what God, and what following God, is all about – piety, dedication, commitment – purity of faith.

The following three statements will end each posting, I hunger for your feedback on all three.

Father…

"Complete the reformation."

I want to hear your thoughts on the above statement. What comes to your spirit, your heart, your mind, when you hear the words, “Complete the Reformation” – what does it mean to you?

Son…

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “revival” in one way as, “restoration of force, validity, or effect (as to a contract).”

That is exactly what God wants to do, restore the force that Christianity once was in America, making it a viable leading force in America again thus restoring its validity, and use that force and validity to effect His change on this Great Nation. God has a contract with every Believer upon which He will not falter. God had, and has, a contract with this Nation, “One Nation Under God” a nation formed under the guidance of God, a contract that He intends to see to it is upheld.

Holy Ghost…

This what I hear God saying to His Body, Revival will come through a purity of faith.”

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:21-26 – Cure for Fear

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Confusion, Courage, Decision Making, Depression, Discretion, Encouragement, Fear, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Insomnia, Peace, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on May 23, 2018 at 6:08 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Cure for Fear

When a person acts with wisdom and discretion consistently in their life fear as less of an opportunity to grip their mind, heart, and soul. Likewise, when an individual conducts their life with an absence of wisdom and discretion fear tends to follow them wherever they go.

Wisdom breds life and is a fountain from which grace lows. Safety is found in the use of godly wisdom. Wisdom will keep a person from making mistakes that lead to failure.

Have trouble sleeping at night, check your heart and life for the use of or absence of the use of wisdom and discretion. When we make poor choices, ungodly choices, during the day, it makes sleep hard to come by at night. However, the opposite is also true. When we use discretion and godly wisdom in how we conduct ourselves during the day, when we lay our heads on our pillows at night we can rest, we can sleep with a peaceful heart and mind.

For those people who honor God with their lives, who are devoted to a life that is committed to Christ and the use of godly wisdom and godly discretion, they need not fear what people might do to them or not do for them, because they have a lion on their side. Verse twenty-five states not to be afraid when “sudden fear” or “the desolation of the wicked” “cometh” our way. Note the Scripture does not say if it comes your way, the verse says, “when it cometh.” There are things that will prompt those feeling of sudden fear in us, there are wicked people in the world who will rise up against us in an attempt ot harm us in some form, but if we are a person given to honoring God with our life and using His wisdom and discretion to conduct our lives, we can have faith, confidence, that God is on our side and is going to protect us.

In the Hebrew language one of the definitions used for the term “shall be thy confidence” is “lion”- imagine God as our lion fully prepared to devour anyone He must in order to protect us. What a thought! Honor God, use wisdom, use discretion, thus allowing God an open door in your life to be your lion.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 4 – Personal Repentance

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Learning, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Remnant, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on May 2, 2018 at 6:12 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

To follow the will of God is to prosper; to rebel against the will of God is to be destroyed. – Mencius

Again, this will be challenging but it is what God wants said, THE CHURCH MUST REPENT, which means individuals must personally repent!

Each day when we arise, we make a choice within our spirits regarding whom we will follow. As the days turn to years the choices are many and the reasons for our choices varies but nevertheless they are our choices. Either we will follow our own will, the Will of God, the will of another person, or we will drift aimlessly through our days with no sense of direction or purpose. Whom we chose to follow, as well as choosing not to follow anyone and just drifting through life, affects and effects both other people affects and effects the Body of Christ as a whole.

Much like ripples on a pond our choices are ripples through life, ripples which begin with our personal choices, then reach out to our spouse and/or family members, from there out to our local congregations, next the Body of Christ, and ultimately to the world as a whole multiplying as they go. One wrong or selfish choice can affect the lives of a dozen people or more. Yet, do we look at each choice that way. Do we consider this truth when we are deciding whom we will follow each morning when we open our eyes to greet the new day? We should, and we can.

Joy has slipped from the lives of individual Christians and from the Church as a whole because for too long we have chosen to do things our way instead of choosing to do things God’s Way. We have awakened morning after morning choosing to do our own will, the will of another, or even the will of Satan himself instead of doing the Will of God. That choice day after day has drained the joy from our lives and that draining of joy has extended much like those ripples on a pond, to the entire Body of Christ to some degree. Where we were once excited about fellowship with Jesus and fellowship with each other now we are lifeless and somewhat empty. That can all change.

We as individuals have an option to repent, repent from self-will and once again make God number one in our lives. Our joy can be restored through our repentance. Once our joy is resorted we can begin to see the ripples on the pond extend to our spouse and family, our local congregation, and then to the overall Body of Christ.

We as a group, the Body of Christ, also need to extend that repentance to our local congregations, in respect to how we have done things, how we have neglected people or even mistreated them at times. Then we will begin to feel the impact of that repentance on the overall Body of Christ. Once that has taken place we will begin to see people once again attracted to the Church and attracted to what God has to offer their lives.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 3 – Church Repentance

In Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, End Times, God's Voice, Holy Spirit, Prophecy, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 18, 2018 at 3:15 pm

I have been waiting on God to ready the message and the messenger.

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

This will be challenging but it is what God wants said at this time, THE CHURCH MUST REPENT!

The church has so compromised the Principles of God, the Ways of God, the Purposes of God, and the Will of God, that for most God has grown remote and silent. Religion has replaced sincere godly spirituality. Program has replaced the moving of the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 2:1–3 (NKJV)

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

The church has treated people, the lost and its own, in such a poor manner that the passion of God, the passion for God has been drained from its walls. A shallowness in love and intimacy sits side by side with cold love and events or programs meant to serve those individuals holding them instead of those individuals in attendance.

Matthew 24:9–12 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

The church is filled with leaders who are filled with selfish ambition and are ministering to meet their own needs instead of being servant leaders there to meet the needs of a dying world and decaying church. The leaders serve those individuals within their congregations with influence, money, or both often afraid to speak God’s Truth boldly for fear of offending their congregation and losing members. Of these leaders that I speak they are hirelings.

Ephesians 4:11–16 (NKJV)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

John 10:12 (NKJV) – Jesus speaking

12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.

Philippians 1:15–16 (NKJV)

15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains;

There is good news however, great news, God is a merciful God who will forgive the church and restore its influence on society if only the church will repent. Revival does not come without repentance. Repentance is the match that lights the flame in the heart to which revival comes. Repent!

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 2 – Motive

In Apostasy, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Exhortation, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Prophecy, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Truth, Uncategorized on March 24, 2018 at 2:46 pm

This blog will alternate weekly between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Always remember however low you set the bar in life you will come in yet lower, just below that bar; so you might as well set it very high, at least then, you will make it eighty-five percent of the way.

I will start out by making it plain that this blog topic is not meant to tear down The Church but instead to build up The Church through an honest call to repentance and change. If The Church refuses to look honestly at itself then it will not be capable of turning back to what Jesus intended it to be at its conception. An honest appraisal and review will go a long way toward restoring our, meaning the Body of Christ’s, reputation with the world and our own members. Refusal to assess where we are at is a call to march toward death. The Church is hemorrhaging now from its wounds and we must be willing to stop the bleeding in order that we might survive, and even thrive.

That said let me be the first to say as a Child of God, Christian Writer, Christian Spiritual Leader, and fellow member of the Body of Christ; I have made MANY mistakes in my forty plus years of Christian life and service that have reflected poorly on The Church, God, my family, my fellow Christians, and myself. I am the first to say, ‘I have failed many times to live up to Christ’s ideals.’ Yet, my failure to live up to those ideals does not make those ideals, God’s Standards, any less true, any less God’s Principles, or any less the real ideals of our Savior, the Christ, Jesus.

Therefore, since none of us are without sin, without failings, let us approach this issue within the Church and Body of Christ with humility and hold fast to the truth that we are to have mercy over judgment. We are only to use this blog discussion to make us, as the Body of Christ, better not condemn or judge the Body of Christ or any member therein, in an ungodly way. Never forget how much mercy your Heavenly Father has shown you. We as a Body of Believers can discern the truth, face the truth, and tell the truth without crossing that line into condemning or judging. That is all this blog seeks to do and all I want it to exhort others to do. Do you love people? Do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? I love people so I need to “speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” – James 2:12

The stories and examples given in future blog entries are real accounts which have been witnessed by me, told to me by the person it happened to, happened to me personally, and/or told to me through a third party or anonymously. No names or actual locations will be noted in the examples. Therefore, the privacy or confidentiality of no persons, including myself, will be violated in anyway.

Let this blog discussion be a tool in the hands of the Master Craftsman so that His Church might arise once again and be an example to the society in which they live.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:9-10 – Give to God

In Advice, Agape Love, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, Decision Making, Encouragement, Exhortation, Fear, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Jesus, Learning, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on March 18, 2018 at 9:11 am

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Give to God

The word “honour” in the Hebrew language gives the sense of in good times or bad times, during plenty and during lack, when it is a burden or when it is easy we are to honour God with what we have to give, with “thy substance.”

“and with the firstfruits” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

7225. רֵאשִׁית ˒shı̂yth, ray-sheeth’; from the same as 7218; the first, in place, time, order or rank (spec. a firstfruit):— beginning, chief (-est), first (-fruits, part, time), principal thing.

“of all thine increase” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

8393. תְּבוּאָה tebûw˒âh, teb-oo-aw’; from 935; income, i.e. produce (lit. or fig.):— fruit, gain, increase, revenue.

“with plenty” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

7647. שָׂבָע sâbâ˓, saw-baw’; from 7646; copiousness:— abundance, plenteous (-ness, -ly).

7646. שָׂבַע sâba˓, saw-bah’; or

שָׂבֵעַ sâbêa˓, saw-bay’-ah; a prim. root; to sate, i.e. fill to satisfaction (lit. or fig.): — have enough, fill (full, self, with), be (to the) full (of), have plenty of, be satiate, satisfy (with), suffice, be weary of.

If you are giving to truly honor God you will be fully satisfied with what you have, you will not crave and want things beyond God’s plan for you. If you are giving to get from God, then you hunger and crave for more and more without finding lasting contentment or satisfaction.

Prosperity, copiousness, is not just about money, it is about quality of life and satisfaction of life.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:7-8 – Evil Destroys Health

In Abuse, Advice, Anger, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Birth, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Decision Making, Depression, Devotional, Discretion, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Health, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Illness, Peace, Proverbs, Prudence, Sickness, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 9, 2018 at 2:59 pm

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Evil Destroys Health

These two verses seem very straight forward. Evil will damage or even destroy your heath, physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. However, the verses stand as a warning by giving wise guidance for the cure. The approach of the writer is how to become healthy or recover one’s health not a list of health risk.

To indulge evil is to invite poor health. The person who constantly stays in a state of worry and anxiety instead of casting their concerns on God to take care of ends up with stress related health problems, emotional upheaval, and mental anxieties they can no longer control. The person who overworks themselves ends up with a heart attack. The person who constantly focuses on revenge, vengeance, hurting people, murders, killings, etc. is sure to develop a psychotic personality. The person who does not balance their eating habits but instead indulges excess in the areas of sugar or fat can end up with diabetes. The person who drinks too much, too often, can destroy their liver. The person who uses drugs can damage their heart and liver. A person who only focuses on what is wrong in life to the exclusion of what is good will become depressed, and if that state is continued in long enough will damage the brain chemistry in their mind. The person who smokes can end up with lung cancer. The person who is lazy and never exercises their body can end up with heart problems. A person who continues in habitual sin or anger toward God will slowly but surely spiritually die. The person who eats too much and is obese can develop heart problems or have a heart attack. The list could go on and on, but my point is made.

I am a firm believer that health can be recovered through repentance and change of one’s habits. After all is that not the first think thing a doctor tells someone to do. Stop doings A, B, and C and start doing X, Y, and Z.

The word “health” in the Hebrew language actually means “a cure, to mend (by stitching), cause to heal, repair, × thoroughly, make whole.” Therefore, departing from evil and undertaking God’s godly way[s] of doing things will bring healing to a person’s life.

“to thy navel” in the Hebrew language means “(specifically) the umbilical cord (also figuratively as the center of strength).” The core of our strength is found in departing from evil and instead turning toward God’s Way of living, this brings wholeness and healing to all areas of a person’s life. Therefore, it is wisdom to choose godliness over indulgence, to choose righteous living over sin.

It is not up to us to decide for ourselves what is right or good for us, God has already determined that in His Word. Being wise in our own eyes will end in only what we can accomplish for our health and wellbeing but having enough godly fear and respect for God to do things God’s Way will place us in a state of Divine health and healing.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:5-6 – Deep Waters of Trust

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, Decision Making, Discretion, Encouragement, Exhortation, Fear, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Learning, Peace, Renewal, Revival, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 2, 2018 at 10:29 am

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Deep Waters of Trust

Books could and have been written on these two verses. There is so much that I could share about what it means to fully trust God and allow Him to direct your life with His Wisdom and grace. However, I will constrain myself a bit. This will be a long section, but manageable.

First, let us spend a few minutes examining what it really means for God to direct our paths in life. Then we will look at how to obtain that direction from God through trust in Him and acknowledgement of Him. My comments will follow the Hebrew definitions.

If we look into the Hebrew language shall direct, trust, and acknowledge are defined as follows:

“shall direct” =

3474. rv’y: yaÆshar, yaw-shar’; a prim. root; to be straight or even; figuratively to be (cause to make) right, pleasant, prosperous: —) bring (look, make, take the) straight (way), be upright (-ly)

God Himself will make the road we travel in life “straight or even” and we can be assured that we are headed in the right direction in life if He is at the helm of guiding our path. We will know that what we are doing is “right” for us and/or God will “cause to make” our situation right for us. By following God’s Will we can expect both “pleasant” and “prosperous” things in life, but not only pleasant and prosperous things. In following God’s Will we will be living in an “upright” manner and “be upright” in God’s eyes. Most importantly we can know that our purpose in life is being fulfilled by following God’s directions for “the straight way” is the only way in which a Holy God would lead a person.

“Trust” =

982. בָּטַח ach, baw-takh’; a prim. root; prop. to hide for refuge [but not so precipitately as 2620]; fig. to trust, be confident or sure:— be bold (confident, secure, sure), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

In order to allow ourselves to be directed in the manner that I described above we must have “trust” in God. Trust in God grows as we mature spiritually. Therefore, do not expect ot trust God today the way you will a decade from now. When we trust God, we are willing “to hide for refuge” in Him when things go wrong or when we are mistreated knowing that He will take care of the situation. To trust God means that we are “confident or sure” that He loves us and that He is directing our paths in the way that is best for us regardless of what we might see at the moment in our circumstances. There is a sense of walking with God that exemplifies that we are “bold, confident, sure, and secure” in what we are doing and the choices we are making because in truth God is making the choices for us, we are just following. Walking like this instills a profound sense of “hope” for life that nothing else can give us.

“acknowledge” =

3045. יָדַע yâda˓, yaw-dah’; a prim. root; to know (prop. to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, fig., lit., euphem. and infer. (incl. observation, care, recognition; and caus. instruction, designation, punishment, etc.) [as follow]:— acknowledge, acquaintance (-ted with), advise, answer, appoint, comprehend, consider

In order to walk with God directing our paths this way our trust must be willing to submit aka to “acknowledge” God in everything. People quickly find imbalance and an uneven road before them when they half-heartedly acknowledge God, meaning they acknowledge Him in some areas and follow His directions yet in other areas of their life they do things their way – hence, their life is unbalanced and lacks stability and order. Acknowledgement of God runs deep into every area of our lives and being. We are to “observe” how God works. We are to “care” about what matters to Him, and “recognize” His authority in our lives. We are to submit to His “instructions, designation, punishment” aka authority and correction, where necessary. We are to be “acquainted” with God’s character and ways so that we can recognize when something is not of God but perhaps instead the influence of another or of our own desires. We are to allow God to “advise” us, providing us with the “answer” we need when we have question. We are to allow Him to “appoint” our task and assignments in life, directing all that we are doing. We are to “comprehend and consider” His Will, His desire, and His Purpose for us specifically, as well as for mankind, as we make each choice and decision life.

Acknowledging God in all our ways so He can direct our paths is huge undertaking, but it makes life so restful and fulfilling when we have the wisdom to make this practice a habitual part of our life.

In 2003 God spoke to a congregation, including myself, where I was ministering regarding trust and love. The following is what The Spirit said to the congregation.

“To trust Me is to love Me. No person will trust Me who does not first love Me. Through that love, they come to understand the depth of My trustworthiness. For I am not man – man who is without integrity and honor, I am the Lord your God and I am forever trustworthy. My love for you and your love for Me will seal the leaking areas of insecurity that lead to your lack of trust in Me. Live your life as a life given to Me and My purposes, as well as being walked out in righteous living, and I will take care of you. So, you can put your trust in My faithfulness to you as you live before Me righteously. People suffer at times from lack of righteous living and that causes them harm; then they wonder where I was and why I did not protect them. I cannot protect those who will not listen to Me and follow My counsel. Trust requires, at times, that you do not always get to understand everything; if you did, it would not require trust. To walk with Me in power and mighty requires forsaking some of your human understanding and reasoning, then choosing to trust Me at times when things appear to make no sense. They will all come together in the end and you will see the glory of your Lord. When you are walking with Me in righteousness and trust there is no room in your life for fear. Fear is useless because I will be there to deliver you from the snares; I will be and am your salvation in all things.”

When it comes to trust, you know that you have come to a place of complete trust in an Almighty God when you can pray a prayer like the following from your heart and truly mean it not just say the words.

Heavenly Father,

Take my heart and remake it into what You want it to be. Remove from me each and every desire, idea, motive, plan and longing that is not in line with Your will. I want what You want for me, no matter what that might be. Give me a love for Your desires, ideas, plans and will for me and remove love for anything that does not fit into Your plan. For I know Your plan is far better for my life than anything I could ever understand. Make Your passions for me my passions, make them burn within my heart until that is all I want in life. Make my Spirit agree with your Spirit in all matters. I freely give You my heart now and ask You to begin to purify it and turn it so that I am as excited about Your plan for me as You are. I love You and I trust You with my life, my happiness, my fulfillment and yes, my heart.

I ask it all in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen and Amen!

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:1-2 – Longevity Found in Wisdom

In Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Peace, Renewal, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on January 18, 2018 at 4:39 pm

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Longevity Found in Wisdom

What part does wisdom play in how long a person lives? I personally believe the principle found here in Proverbs 3:1-2, that the use of wisdom does in fact have a direct impact one’s longevity.

Does this Truth negate the Truth that our days are numbered by the Lord as Psalm 139:16 and Job 14:5 informs us they are? Not at all. Our lives are much like a movie that God has already viewed before we were ever born. God is surprised by nothing, He knows every choice we will make in our lifetime – He does not control them, but He knows what they will be. Therefore, our choices are able to influence the overall longevity of our lives despite the Truth that God knows our last day of life before our first day of life begins.

In keeping the commandments of wisdom, we both improve the quality of our lives, and we are also playing a part in how long our life will be.

Through the use of godly wisdom, we will spend more of that life living in a state of peace. The form of “peace” written about in verse two is described in the Hebrew language as follows: “safe, i.e. (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, i.e. health, prosperity, peace: —prosper (-ity, -ous), rest, safe (-ty), to be safe (in mind, body or estate); figuratively to be (cause or make) completed; by implication to be friendly; by extension to reciprocate (in various applications).”

I do not know about you, but I certainly covet (in a godly way) a life filled with that type of peace.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 2:10-22 – Death or Life – A Choice

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, Decision Making, Devotional, Discretion, Exhortation, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Jesus, Learning, Peace, Proverbs, Prudence, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on January 12, 2018 at 1:15 pm

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: 16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; 17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. 18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. 19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. 20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Death or Life – A Choice

The willingness to walk in wisdom is a heart matter. It is a matter of choice. We either desire a life filled with life, godliness, and wisdom or we do not. If we do desire life, godliness, and wisdom then we embrace the knowledge of wisdom for it is through wisdom we shall make room for Jesus to bring about all three in our existence. (v.10)

Discretion in action in daily life will keep us from the snares of life, and keep us on the path of righteousness in Christ. Our intellect needs to be a part of that process as we use our mind to think and reflect upon choices and our spirit to discern the proper course of action. (v.11)

Wisdom, discretion, and godly understanding will help us discern evil people thus avoiding evil people and the actions that come with them. Evil man’s “forward” ways are filled with perversity and fraud, which is the meaning of the word “forward” in verse twelve. There are ways that man devises that are evil. They leave what God considers good (uprightness) and pursue what God considers evil (darkness). Godly people avoid such ways. (v.12-13)

Not only does evil man leave the paths of God and pursue evil, he enjoys the pursuit of evil. This can be difficult for godly people to believe, that people would actually enjoy doing evil, but they in fact do enjoy their evil deeds. Reasoning with someone consumed in their evil ways is almost impossible. (v.14)

There is no way someone like this can be trusted in any capacity. They are not honest and will use words to manipulate individuals. Being naively trusting is not being godly. We can love people, help people, respect people, and guide people while extending trust wisely. (v.15-16)

We may be dealing with an individual we knew when we, and they, were young, but they are now living an ungodly life. They may not be the same person you once knew. Their choices may have carried them far from the godly instruction that you know they once received as a youth. Wisdom makes the choice to pray for them, deal with them as they are now, and wait for God to bring them back into the fold. (v.17)

The ways of evil only lead to death. The houses of evil are filled with death and no place for a godly person. Evil brings death in all forms, literal, figurative, spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical, intellectually, etc. Evil leaves a trail of loss and heartache wherever it goes. The small pleasures evil “appears” to bring are only for a fleeting moment and then the bill comes in the form of some brand of death, loss, destruction, etc. Avoidance of evil is the best plan of action, as breaking free evil once it has you in its grip is extremely difficult. (v.18-20)

The wise godly person is able to stand firm in their life, dwelling safely in the land/life that God has provided for them. It is only “the perfect” individuals who can remain in this type of life. In the Hebrew language “the perfect” are those individuals who have by means of choice and practice developed “literal, figurative, and moral integrity” based on “truth and sincerity” those living an “upright” life before God – all of which requires daily choices, multiple choices, over and over and over again – choices that please God and are inline with His Word. (v.20-21)

The life of the wicked evil person on average is very short, unproductive, and unfruitful. It is not a life of quality and substance but instead a life of shallowness that never quite satisfy them. (v.22)

We can choose a real life, or we can choose a life of death, it is our choice. We need to choose well and allow God to grant us the wisdom to do so.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Church Shooting – Questions about Compassion and Evil

In Agape Love, Anger, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Compassion, Confusion, Demon, Demon Possession, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Persecution, Suffering, Truth, Wicca, witchcraft on December 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click the comment link below. I will continue to address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

To address some additional thoughts and questions…

Compassion for Perpetrators

Yes, if we are unable to find compassion, which is an aspect of agape love, for those individuals who are so wounded or damaged that they wound and damage other people we are no different than the world. Scripture makes it clear that it is easy to love those who love us but not so easy to love those who mistreat us.

Luke 6:32–36 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

I was wounded just recently by someone I care a great for, wounded more than they most likely realize. However, I have chosen to trust God to deal with the matter and not retaliate. I realize that the individual can only treat me with the spiritual, mental, and emotional maturity they currently possess despite what my heart might desire.

Evil

Yes, evil does exist! It is a powerful spiritual force that can destroy individuals and lives. Evil is a byproduct of the fall of both Satan and the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. If we had to trace goodness back to one source that source would be God. Likewise, if we had to trace evil back to one source that source would be Satan. Evil and its father, Satan, are a very powerful force second only to God and not one to be taken lightly.

Please understand this point. Without God man is completely powerless over evil. Whether you are a child of God through the rebirth of your spirit or a child of God through creation who has yet to recognize God as their Father you would not be able resist evil without God’s help. Without God this entire world would be consumed with evil. The world is Satan’s playground, his domain in some manners and therefore we are not to be naïve when it comes to the evil that surrounds us in our society.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The issue of labeling evil as demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, or consensual evil is in all honesty an extremely difficult thing to do. People like to place labels on things or actions but in order to truly label almost any action or behavior a person would require so much information that gathering said information would be almost impossible. This is why I find it difficult to respect people who place labels. Yes, we can offer insights and possible reasons for why someone will say or do something but to say, “we know” without doubt and place a label on that person is in my belief almost impossible – it also borders on condemning a person, the worse form of judging another person. Most people do not even talk to people enough to get a good understanding of what they think, believe, or to understand why they took certain actions much less gathering enough information to slap a label on them. Therefore, I would exhort you to be very careful before deciding what type of evil might be presence in a situation.

Evil is a topic that is challenging to undertake in such a forum as the sheer volume of what could be written on the topic is enormous. I will address just a few matters here but in no way, will I even scratch the surface of what should or could be written on the matter. I will confine myself to the previously mentions aspects of evil – demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, and consensual evil.

Demon possession did exist during biblical times, and does exist to date. Evil spirits aka demons where sent upon King Saul (1 Sam. 16:14). Both Jesus (Luke 7:21) and Paul (Acts 19:11, 12) acknowledged demons and demon possession casting demons out of those afflicted. There are situations where people are labeled as being mentally ill, which I believe without much doubt are cases of “demon possession” yes, demon possession. With that said, I also believe some people have been considered possessed by a demon when they were legitimately mentally ill. Overall, I believe there are a great deal of things labeled as mental illness or mental disorders that are in truth a form of evil influence or a result of sin.

People are prompted to do evil by the demonic influences around them or around someone who has access to their life, such as was the case with Ahab (1 Kin. 22:1–23). Demonic “influence” is possible for all people including Christians. For this reason it is extremely important that we examine our every thought, feeling, action, and prompting against the Truth found in God’s Word. Every thought must be taken captive, so we do not fall prey to the insidious influences that find their way into our own hearts (these influences enter people’s hearts through various means which I will not go into here, but it is not always the person’s own fault.)

2 Corinthians 10:3–6 (NKJV)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Matthew 15:19 (NKJV) Jesus Speaking

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

Congenital evil has to do with those things we find that run in our families or as some would like to say, ‘are in our DNA.’ Evil can be passed on through families via the environmental influence that opens the spirit to such evil. There can also be evil in the heredity of a family, evil known as generational curses. However, through the power and blood of The Lord Jesus, The Christ, generational curses of all type can be broken whether physical curses, behavioral cures, or mental curses.

Exodus 34:6–7 (NKJV) – When Moses was being given the second set of Tablets in the Wilderness, after the Hebrew children of God had left Egypt.

6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Exodus 20:5 (NKJV) In relation to and inclusive in the Ten Commandments.

5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Restated in Deuteronomy 5:9 (NKJV)

9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

That leaves us the final form of evil we will address here, consensual evil. A person can become demon possessed through opening themselves up to evil in their actions. Through choices they have made to involve themselves in evil actions, in satanic activity, etc. Christian can open themselves up to evil influence in a greater degree by involving themselves in sinful behavior and even evil activities. There are those people who claim to be Christians yet partake in tarot cards, horoscopes, evil media, attempting to channel, consulting spiritualist or fortunetellers, etc. These are not actions God would have His people partaking in, He expects them to shun all evil and cling to goodness, godliness, and Truth. I exhort you not to think you can play or tamper with evil without getting burned – run from all forms of evil, run quickly and far!

Deuteronomy 18:10–12 (NKJV)

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

Romans 12:9 (NKJV)

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV)

Abstain from every form of evil.

John 17:15 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

Jesus’ prayer for his disciples is my prayer for each of you.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Church Shooting

In Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, Encouragement, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Jesus, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Peace, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Psychiatric Drugs, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm

This will be one of the longest pieces I have written for posting in a couple of years but if you will stick with it and read the whole thing you just may find it was well worth your time. Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click on the comment link below. I will address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

Since Sunday afternoon I have prayerfully contemplated how to address this matter, when to post this piece, and the content of this posting. Ignoring what happened in that congregation, to those members of the Body of Christ on Sunday morning during their time of worship was not an option but providing an answer to the “Why?” questions regarding why it happened was also not an option. Therefore, what to do, I asked God and myself. My answer, not to attempt to provide any answers or spiritual platitudes that hurt more than they help but instead to simple reflect on several insights provided throughout the week that should be reflected upon and considered in light of the tragic events of Sunday, November 5th, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas at the First Baptist Church.

Compassion, a word, or a choice.

It is my desire through this posting to allow God to use me to express some thoughts for reflection that might actually help us, us being the Body of Christ, really help us in due course and overall instead of just soothing us and placating us. The safest and simplest way to approach this topic would be to demonize the man who killed all of these people and move on. However, to handle the situation with that type of approach would be very spiritually short sided for a godly Christian spiritual leader. As Christians we like to say that we have compassion but how many of God’s people can find compassion for this man, this gunman, that killed their brothers and sisters in Christ? Compassion for what he must have been going through to turn to such a horrible and evil act. We, the Body of Christ, should have compassion for both, the victims, and the perpetrator.

The persecution of the American Church, the Body of Christ in America.

For far too long the Body of Christ has buried their heads in the sand when it came to persecution in America. The persecution, again, in America, does take another form now, then it did during the early church’s history, and a different form than it does in other countries. In America Christians have become targets of lawsuits for living out their beliefs. They have become targets for those who wish to use the legal system to try and silence Christians from expressing their beliefs in a public forum. Christians have become people targeted by a psychologized society that believes psychology has all the answers and that there is no place for God in the equation, a society that refused to accept absolutes or the individual who has firm beliefs and refuses to back down or be quite about them. Christian who still believe that talking about Jesus in their everyday lives at work, in businesses, and other public forums is a normal way to function and their God given, as well as constitutional right, are considered extremist that people avoid. And in the most extreme form of persecution we find our dear brothers and sisters of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who suffered a persecution unto death by someone who was so hurt, damaged, angry, and/or evil that he chose to express it through killing – just as nine of our brothers and sisters were persecuted, being killed by a gunman in June of 2015 in South Carolina at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Body must face that they are being persecuted in various forms in America and band together to resist such persecution while at the same time showing compassion for the spiritual blindness that causes their persecutors to act as they do.

It was once said to me when I expressed concerns over the fact that a congregation only had one race and culture represented, ‘Don’t you think it is simply because we all tend to stick to our own?’ Well, for the record, no I do not think that is why you find congregations with only one race or culture represented. Yet, when persecution happens to the Church the barriers of race, culture, education, and economics are quickly dropped to band together for a greater cause, Us, The Body of Christ. I was in Charleston, South Carolina shortly after the killings that took place there and every race, class, education level, culture, and economic group of Christians were represented at that church in a powerful show of unity and spiritual support. In those tragic times we can find the time to leave our congregations and reach out to other congregations or members of The Body of Christ in general, however, this should be a regular practice at all times. There is no doubt that the Bible teaches us, and the history of the Christian Church teaches us, that God uses persecution to grow and/or change His Church and people.

The influence of evil.

I was interviewed a few years back for a book on a serial killer who had once tried to kill me along with about a dozen other people the early 1980’s. According to the author of the book I was the only person he could find to interview, most of the people were dead and a couple unlocatable. The interview was many hours long and during the course of this interview the author wanted to know how I could consistently express so much compassion for this serial killer knowing so much about his history and all the horrible things he had done, and how could I show no anger, bitterness, or resentment toward the man who had been the source of my physically body being damaged to the point that I still lived with the results causing difficulty and pain in daily life. These questions opened up the door to discuss the influence of evil. There was one profound thing that God over the years had helped me to understand, which helped me place the responsibility for evil acts where it lay – with Satan.

That truth was…

Evil causes psychological damage, and psychological damage opens the door to evil.

As long as the psychological community continues to disavow the spiritual side to mental and emotional problems we will continue to see people who never actually get better, change, or heal. As long as the Christian community continues to either, a) ignore the emotional and mental damage done through the wounding of people or b) allow themselves to become so psychologized they no longer make the spiritual connection to a wounded person’s emotional and mental problems, we will continue to see ourselves as a Body grow spiritually weaker and weaker as our biblical worldview becomes overshadowed or at least mixed with a secular worldview. We must find the balance that allows the Church and the mental health community to both realize that they have pieces of the puzzle that will help wounded people become whole again.

Church effectiveness and respect for Christianity within our society.

People do not respect the Christian community like they once did in America. This is our fault, the Body of Christ’s fault in general. There are so many reasons this has happened over the years there is no way to exhaustively address the reasons. However, just to address a few: 1 – We have become too much like the society in which we live. If you are no different than I am in your standards and practices why should I respect you. 2 – Our behavior whether it was intended to be or not “appeared” or “appears” hypocritical to people. We need more transparency that allows us to share our own struggles, yet still promote God’s Truths and His Standards for how we are to aspire to living our lives. 3 – The Body of Christ lacks backbone anymore. What might the zealous Peter and bold Paul say about the stands we take today for Truth or lack thereof, and the boldness we lack in expressing Truth as found in God’s Word.

We lack effectiveness in our society today as well. We lack effectiveness as Christians because we have either checked out of our society or we wish to avoid the ugly side of our society. We are barely able to allow ourselves the ability to remain in relationships long enough to allow ‘iron to sharpen iron’ much less invest ourselves relationally with those who might need our help. What happen to the need to show agape love for people, that love Jesus asked us to show, love that is displayed by our actions, our investment, and our involvement with people.

Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance (character) of his friend.

John 15:13 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Luke 6:35 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Matthew 5:44 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

In the early 2000’s two young boys barely in their teens living in the Pensacola, Florida area are convicted of killing their father and burning their family home down. Allegedly a result of years abuse and the influence of a child predator who also lived in the area. On the road leading up to their home, which was located in the 1,100 block, there were eight churches before the 1300 block and 4 churches within the 1070-1200 block. All of those churches in that community but how many of those congregations were “in that community” with their time, actions, involvement, and love – especially if some people in that community were tough to love.

Now back to this shooting at the Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The sheriff, Tackitt, in an interview stated that the pastor of this church, Frank Pomeroy, had stated in the past that he did not want the gunman, who had previously been involved in the congregation, in his church and asked the sheriff, “How do I run him away from my church?” – yet this was not the pastor present on the day when the gunman killed 26 of his congregation members (25 men, women, girls, boys, and 1 unborn child) and injured 20 more. The gunman’s mother and father-in-law were members of the church, also not present on the day of the shooting. Dare I pose the question, but I must, how might things have been different had that pastor reached out with love, invested his time, and attempted to help this damaged young man instead of searching for ways to ‘run him away from “his” church?’ Yes, pastors must protect the flock but protecting them does not have to involves ridding yourselves of all those you deem undesirable, it should instead involves helping those you see who are wounded or damaged by life.

Religion acceptable, true godliness is not – a hate breeder.

People are watching what the Christian Churches are doing to each other and to their own people. It is not just the churched that are affected when things are not handled in a godly manner, those looking from the outside or sidelines are also affected. Far too many godly people who love Jesus have left many church congregations and many have been incredibility wounded by their brush with religion. Religion seems to be very acceptable in most of today’s churches, but true godliness or aspirations to that end is not welcome. Sadly, in far too many congregation it is not acceptable to believe that God’s Truths are still a valid standard for living today. We live in an age where the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm churches (Rev. 2-3) reign and truly devout congregations aspiring to God’s Principles and acting with Jesus’ agape love are rare. Religion in every capacity has taken over and controls the leadership thus by extension the people. They do not hunger or thirst for Jesus and to grow in Christ, they do not long for revival to sweep across our land, they are just about the business of church. My biggest challenge and greatest heartache is dealing with the types of Christians, Spiritual Leaders, and churches found in Revelation 2 and 3- the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm.

These types of congregations and individuals have hurt so many people who truly love or loved God, desire or desired to be all God wanted them to be, and yearn or yearned to see the Body of Christ be all Jesus means for it to be. The religious people and congregations have caused wounds great enough that individuals have pulled back from the poison of religion without godly spirituality. Let us never forget that our LORD, our Saviour, Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, was persecuted, maligned, and His crucifixion brought about through the Religious Leaders of His day! If devout people can be affected by a religious society this way, how much more would a wounded or damaged person be affected by this type of treatment from people who are supposed to be “the best people on earth” – Christians? I have heard it said that this man who was the gunman in this attack on this small church was an atheist, and very vocal about his atheistic views. Atheist do not go to church, seekers, the confused, the agnostic goes to church in search of something – if religion is all we have to offer them, then I fear their hate for us will grow.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.