NOT ALL SAINTS ARE CHRIST’S!!

NOT ALL SAINTS ARE CHRIST’S!!

Do I have your attention? Good now that I do let me explain my statement before y’all accuse me of being a heretic.

You see, some saints haven’t given THEMSELVES to Him
Romans 12:1-2 KJV
“1.I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

But those who have given themselves to Him are sanctified
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 KJV
“3.For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4.That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;”

You see, at this point the saint has reckoned the old man to be “dead indeed unto sin” (Romans 6:11). They are walking “in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25), and so have crucified the flesh (outward sanctification) with the affections and lusts (inward sanctification) II Corinthians 7:1

So knowing all of this the question I would pose to you and me is this, ARE WE (THE CHILDREN OF GOD) CHRIST’S? Have we given our lives wholly and completely to Him? Matthew 16:24 talks about the Christian taking up his cross and following Him. In order to do this we MUST “deny himself” – die to self and the world, in order to live unto Christ. God bless you all.

Adapted from the book ‘The just shall live by faith’ by Dr M.H. Tabb

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Christians, REFOCUS!!

I may be wrong but it seems that our eyes are the gateway to many of the sins in our lives. Each individual is different but human nature is pretty much the same across the board. This began way back in the garden of Eden when Eve looked at the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:6).
So my question is, how do we avoid this calamity in our lives? I think the answer is relatively simple. We must change the things we ‘look’ at. 

#1. Heb 12:2 KJV “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Looking unto Jesus as our example would truly make dramatic changes in our daily lives.

#2. Titus 2:13 KJV “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

Anytime the Bible talks about the ‘blessed hope’ it is referring to the soon return of Jesus. If we lived our lives as if Jesus might reurn tomorrow I can guarantee we would change quite a few things. 

#3. Phil 2:4 KJV “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

This has got to be the most selfish generation that has ever existed. Everything is centered around self/instant gratification. Imagine the difference it would make if we woke up in the morning and prayed to God that he would allow someone to cross our path whom we could help. 

#4. II Cor 4:18 KJV “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

We are consumed with temporal things. If we would shift that focus to eternal/spiritual things I truly believe our eyes wouldn’t get us in so much stinking trouble. 

I hope that this encourages you in some small way. Temptation is part of our sin nature and is extremely difficult to deal with, especially without the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. By changing our focus we can stop feeding the pleasures of the flesh. May God bless and keep you all.

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Shall we continue in sin?

My dearly beloved fellow Christians (all those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior). This simple message is for you. I’d like to direct, very briefly, your attention to

Romans 6:1-2 KJV 
1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

My (actually God’s) message tonight is very simple. If we are ‘dead to sin’, why do we keep trying to live in sin?

I Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV

9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

This list is who we were…..not what we are now. Now we are ‘new creatures’. I suggest we start living like it.

God bless you all. Have a wonderful week!!

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what controls me?

I have been doing a really good study in the mornings before work with my wife. This has been a wonderful time of growth spiritually for both of us and also a time where we can draw closer to the Lord together. Well, this week we did a brief re-visitation of the story of Abraham and Isaac and the events that transpired on Mt Moriah. If you’d like to read it for yourself, the reference is Gen 22:1-18. If you haven’t read or heard it, this is the time God asked Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him. The faith of both men amazes me every time I read this story. How could a father willingly sacrifice his son and on the flip side of that coin, how could a son allow himself to be done thus so by his father? I believe that Isaac knew what was transpiring even as they made their way up to the mountain he questioned his father, “where is the sacrifice?” to which his father replied “God will provide Himself a lamb”. The eventuality is that God did indeed provide the sacrifice needed without having to harm Isaac.

As my wife and I shared some thoughts from this passage and we pondered on  the goodness of the Lord I had another thought. My thought was, “what controls me?”, what do I serve, what drives me every day? How did you get this from the story of Abraham and Isaac you may ask? Well, give me a bit and you’ll understand. Last year beginning of December I decided to take a long needed break from Twitter. This may not seem important to you but that’s because you don’t spend the time hollering about politics on twitter like I do. The goal was simple….take a couple weeks off and focus on God and family instead. During the first couple of weeks I had enrolled in school and gotten some other much needed things done. Optest sat….I am officially finished with letting twitter control my life and if it ever interferes with my life again I will simply delete the accounts. Twitter is something that was sidelining my relationship with God and was in turn affecting my marriage and family, it had become an idol.

Exodus 20:3-5(KJV)

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

I made a little test I’d like y’all to perform entirely between you and God but answer truthfully or it’s kinda pointless.  WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU GRAB A HOLD OF IN THE MORNING??         For me the answer was simple #1 my phone #2 my can of snuff. Near as I can tell the first thing you grab is most likely the thing which controls you the most.

Psalm 24:3-5 (KJV)

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

If God doesn’t have the preeminent spot in our hearts and lives then we are kinda wasting our time just playing at religion. And if this is just a game to us then we are wasting valuable time. God says in Isaiah 42:8 that “My glory I will not give to another”. Our God is a jealous God. He is jealous for our time and affection. He is jealous for our worship and adoration. He is jealous for our service and commitment. Serving God is similar to being married, a man cannot share his heart with 2 women and leave both physically, mentally and emotionally satisfied. So I leave you with this simple thought…..WHAT CONTROLS YOU?

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My goodness parenting is tough.

Tonight I asked my son to give me a five step solution to resolve the lack of integrity in his life. And I ain’t throwing my son under the bus here cause in reality if my son has an issue with personal integrity then that falls directly on my fatherly shoulders. As he sits at the table and writes his solution I’m pondering what my my own solution might possibly be.  Where have I gone wrong and what could I possibly do to rectify this situation.

Disclaimer;  I am by no means any sort of profound PHD holding child psychologist.  I am a simple man trying to raise his son to walk in the footsteps of God.

1. The first question I must ask is ‘is it too late?’ (Establish a timeline)
Man that’s a doozie….but it’s a legit question, especially as a parent. Have you ever looked at your child and thought to yourself “it’s too late and I can no longer make a difference in his/her life?”.  And I believe the Biblical answer is a resounding NO! I know that in my life and through my journey that God has never given up on me and said it’s too late fer that one. And if God has the patience and understanding to deal with me and all of my faults then I need to pass that same love and patience on to the rearing of my son.

2. If it’s not to late then what’s my next step? (Realize my faults)

Well,  my problem is that I feel there’s a 5 step solution to darned near everything and there are some situations which can be resolved with sometimes a simple heart change. But in this case I reckon the next step since we’ve established that it’s never to late is to further establish that I am by nature a lazy person. You see I sometimes lack follow through. I begin projects with the absolute best of intentions and half way through I lose the drive and zeal unless it’s something I’m totally sold on. And as a parent shouldn’t this be something I’m completely sold out on? When one finds them self a parent this is a really crappy character trait (laziness) and one which needs to be immediately dissolved.

3. Now that I known I am by nature a lazy person what do I do next? (Visualize an objective)

Fer me this one is a no brainer. And is actually something I do at work on a daily basis. What I’m going to say here is really contradictory to my previous point. I am a hard worker.  I known that sounds crazy right after I said I am by nature a lazy person but hear me out fer just a minute. You see, I said “by nature”, if we were honest I think we’d all admit the same thing. I started working at a very young age because I discovered the value of U.S. currency. It was amazing. If I gave someone some of my time they would trade me m.o.n.e.y. and that’s something tangible that an 11 year old could understand. I also have the ability to work unsupervised.  I’m not bragging I’m just stating a fact. I’ve never held a job at which I didn’t excell. And in all practicality the same rule applies here. I need to get my butt in gear because the value of my son’s life is far greater than any money which I could possibly earn.

4. Now that my butt has been motivated what do I do? (Remain diligent)

I love training dogs. I’m not incredibly good at it but I know a few tricks. The most important thing when training any animal is consistency. Use the same methods and rewards over and over and eventually you will establish the action which you are trying to accomplish. My son certainly is no animal (well, he is on a football field :mrgreen:) but consistency is essential to the raising of him. I can’t be strict one day and lax the next. I can’t change the rules as I go along to fit the current situation….this could give my son reason to compromise later in life. If I ground him then I need to stick to my guns and follow through. I need to be just as willing to love and compliment him as I am to nurture and admonish him.

5. Once consistency has been put into practice what can I do next? (Vigilance is key)

Children are constantly changing. Sometimes I look at my son and I don’t recognize the person he has become. That’s not to say I don’t pay attention to my son it’s just the reality of being a parent. It’s almost as if he’s a different person from day to day. They are forever developing new character traits and life habits. As a parent it is my responsibility to remain vigilant and aware of these changes happening within my son’s heart and life. Some of the changes may need to be addressed as potential threats to his well being and some need to be nurtured and developed. And that’s really the rewarding part of being a parent. You get to watch a child become a man. Sometimes it’s scarey because the man he will become is entirely on my shoulders, and I am VERY aware that one day I will answer to God for the decisions that he makes.

These five steps are off the cuff and just some thoughts that I wanted to jot down. Really to help myself more than anything. But thought if share with y’all and perhaps you could give me some feedback. After all I’ve only been a parent once. Oh and FYI. I totally missed the first step. GO TO GOD IN PRAYER AND SEEK HIS FACE FOR WISDOM!!

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WHAT GOD CAN DO!!

I’ve only been around for about 35 years and quite honestly I don’t remember the first 4-5 years of my existence. But in my short life time I have tried quite a few things the majority of which as I’ve gotten older I have been successful at. The reason I say, as I’ve gotten older, is because I have learned my limitations and won’t attempt something that I know I can’t accomplish. That being said, when I was younger, there were a multitude of things that I didn’t complete and some that were miserable failures. For instance, I once tried to dig a hole to China. There was no particular reason to dig to China, I just felt obliged to try. And while it was a magnificent hole it fell very short of its intended goal. I don’t think I even made it 10 feet from Florida to China. And the punishment I received wasn’t really worth the effort  I put forth.

I once tried to swan dive off of a cliff in Italy. I had the whole thing worked out in my head, the run and leap, the form and agility. And as I neared the edge of the cliff I imagined how glorious I was going to look to all the bystanders on the beach nearby. I could feel the wind in my hair and watched in abject horror as the water approached my face a little faster than originally anticipated….darn you gravity. As I belly flopped into the ocean from a considerable height I realized that this was most likely something that should be left to the professionals or at least some other crazed teenager seeking a thrill.

And while stories like this are funny they are more importantly, LIFE LESSONS. These are the things we do that shape us into the adults of tomorrow. For some, the failures will cause them to seek a different path. For others the failures will challenge them to try harder. I’m typically the sort who is stubborn and will try harder. Sometimes this is a good thing….other times it’s really idiotic and has a tendency to create complications in my life.  

 

That being said as I have gotten older I have also realized there are some things that are impossible for any human to accomplish. In fact there are some things that I don’t think the human mind can even begin to comprehend. There will always be a Creator. Try as it may science will never disprove God’s existence. There will always be the one true God who accomplishes things with His very Word and breath that are amazing, awesome, splendid, fearful and glorious. In all of our fleshly “glory” we could never come close to nor dare compare ourselves to God. And this my friends is the subject of my simple lesson.

 

WHAT GOD CAN DO!!

 

#1 GOD CREATED HUMAN LIFE FROM ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

 

Genesis 1

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Genesis 2

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

 

Scientist’s have been attempting to recreate life in laboratories for many years. And while they have been successful at some procedures such as invitro fertilization they haven’t been able to create life from nothing. I’m not going to bore you with the details but here is a link that you are welcome to look at.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/h/human_cloning.htm

 

Science simply takes what God has already ordained and recreating what He has already established. And try as they will….they will NEVER be able to create life much less give something a living soul. You see this is a power that only God possesses. And let me tell you what. He is down right good at it, matter of fact I would say, perfect.

 

Psalms 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

 

With all of your worldly wisdom I would challenge you to try to explain or rationalize exactly how and why the God of the universe would or could create human existence? Science will tell you that matter as we know it can be neither created nor destroyed, only converted. And yet the Creator of the Universe absolutely destroys this law of science. Perhaps that’s why a lot of scientists are atheistic? Or ever greater still, perhaps science does all it can to discredit God and His existence. But that’s another study for another day.

 

 

#2  GOD MADE A PLAN TO RECONCILE HIS CREATION.

 

I don’t reckon I need to go through the entire story of the garden of Eden. This is something that we’ve heard about since we were old enough to understand words. Even those of us who weren’t raised in a church have heard about how Satan tempted Eve with the fruit of the tree in the garden of Eden. What most folks don’t know or perhaps fail to recognize is that God never intended mankind to be separated from Him, and even in our moment of failure God already had a plan for reconciliation.

 

Ephesians 1 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

 

Our human minds have a hard time wrapping themselves around a concept like this, that the Creator of the Universe could love us so much that He orchestrated from the beginning of time that His only begotten Son full of grace and truth would shed His blood and die to pay for our sins. And until I had my own son the reality of what God accomplished was kind of lost on me. I accepted and believed but never really grasped the absolute depth of this sort of love.

 

1 John 3:1 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

 

To be called the sons of God? What manner of love indeed! I dare you to go to the hospital, or better yet maximum security prison, and find someone in need of a vital organ which would sustain their life and offer your only son to save theirs. Go and offer a murderer on death row your son in exchange for his life…yea, I wouldn’t either. Shoot, we hold grudges against family members for 20 years and have absolutely no reason why. I’ve heard tale of feuds which have lasted decades among families that can’t even be explained they just know that it was ordained that they should hate each other. This is the mindset of the human being. Not to reconcile, not to forget, not to mediate, not to understand and most certainly not to forgive. I dare you to love in the same manner as our Heavenly Father.

 

#3 GOD CONDEMNS SIN YET STILL PROVIDES A WAY TO ESCAPE.

 

I look at churches like Westboro (I hate using the word Baptist when referring to this church) and I see condemnation in everything they do. And don’t get me wrong I believe that sin is sin and shouldn’t be sugar coated. But God also forgives and I don’t see that message coming from Westboro Church. In their public displays I see plenty of condemnation yet I never once see a sign or placard explaining the message of salvation. God never intended us to be the ones responsible for holding sinners accountable for their actions. Matter of fact I think we have enough on our plates just keeping track of ourselves and our walk with God. When I stand before God on judgment day I will answer for myself and my family. I think 90% of the world can quote John 3:16 from memory but how many of us carry on to verse 17?

 

John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

 

Jesus mission on earth, which by the way is also the Christians, was the salvation of the world. Our sins have already condemned us to an eternity in Hell and we don’t need someone to tell us that. Our conscience bears witness to this fact already. I remember like it was yesterday when my son was old enough to understand what sin was. There is a marked difference when a child moves from right and wrong to understanding sin and its consequence. For me and my wife it was the day when he was embarrassed to be seen without clothes on. There was once a day when my son walked into the middle of the street and pulled his pants down to relieve himself of a bottle of water. Then there came the day when my wife walked into the bathroom while he was showering and he jumped and covered himself with a towel. Say what you want, I believe this was the day that he reached the age of accountability. I guess Romans 2 sums it up for us really well.

 

13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

You see, our mission is to evangelize. That doesn’t mean we should condone sin or allow it into our lives but it does mean that we should be spreading the Gospel every where we go. And what is the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that provides full and free deliverance from the power and penalty of sin according to the grace of God alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. This is our job, this is what we are called upon to do and this is the only thing that really matters when all is said and done.

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WHAT LIES BENEATH?

image H/T @andyoaklee for sharing this picture with me

My wife has been doing a study in the book of Hebrews lately with a group of ladies on Wednesday mornings and God has really been working in her heart. Well, last week the Lord laid a lesson on her heart to share with our youth group about the modern day Christian. But what really touched my heart as she spoke was this word “honesty”. You see, it seems that our churches are filled with what I refer to as, Sunday morning Christians. And as I pondered this predicament over the next few days God gave me a little something that I would like to share will y’all. So here goes…….my latest poem.

 

 

WHAT LIES BENEATH?

Gentle breeze blows calm, serene.

What lies beneath will soon detain.

Detain is say, what futures hold,

What lies beneath will soon unfold.

Unfold I say, the layers peel,

What lies beneath shall be revealed.

Revealed I say? What comes to light?

What lies beneath? IT’S ALL A LIE!!

You say your true, your faith so strong.

What lies beneath that surface calm?

The calm I say is just a farce.

What lies beneath that’s hidden, dark?

Dark I say, this poor lost soul.

What lies beneath will one day know.

Don’t say, “I’m God’s, my future sure.”

When what lies beneath is sin, impure.

Impure I say, yet not out of reach.

Let God’s love be….what lies beneath.

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