Archive | October 2011

Jesus weeps over Jerusalem Luke 19:41-44

I was reading this passage today:

Luke 19:41-44

[41]Now as He drew near, He saw the city [Jerusalem] and wept over it.  [42] Saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!  But now they are hidden from your eyes.  [43]For days will come upon when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surrounding you and closing you in on every side, [44] and level you, and your children within you, to the ground:  and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

This passage really moved me because Jesus wept not only for Himself, but He knew what was going to happen to them [in Jerusalem] throughout history after He left, that they were going to be killed in genocide like what happened in World War II, and what is happening right now.  They couldn’t see what they were doing, and He wept for them.  This really shows the compassion of Him because even though He is coming as a judge, He also feels their pain.  Many people ask that if there was a God then why did a thing like the Holocaust have to happen, and the answer lies in these verses.  They had their chance to accept Him and they rejected Him.  It is likewise for people today.  God is crying out for the souls to accept Him, but because of the stubborn will of people, they reject Him, not knowing what kind of danger they are putting themselves into.

There was a blog posting I put up called the Call to Obey, and there was a video in which the person speaking talking about Achan and the city of Ai that was punished for one man’s rebellion.  If we rebel against God and don’t choose to accept Him, He has every right to punish us as He sees fit.  He loves us, but even as we love our children, if your kids don’t do what you say, and do things that are bad for them, don’t you punish them?  Maybe not with kids, but with dogs and cats, if they chew up stuff and run the house a muck, don’t you discipline them?

In the story of Achan, he did not destroy all the gold, but he kept the best as a sacrifice, and that’s where the whole city was punished.  As I think about this passage today, I am reminded about what happened at Ercis, Turkey today, the 7.2 earthquake, where even children were destroyed.  I know that God is weeping for them as well.  He didn’t want to have to allow this to happen, but in justice and fairness, and in a plan that we humans cannot understand, He had to do something.  I am guessing and just only guessing, that it had something to do with Israel, and maybe God will repair the relationship with Israel and Turkey, but this was a symbolic act of God, like are many devestations that happen in the world.  Many people ask that why do bad things have to happen to good people, and that’s usually because of the sin that happened in their generations or the generations before it, and maybe not always the case.  Sometimes we cannot tell because we are only human, and God is a God that is above our understanding to an extent, but He has given us clues to His nature and character when we read the Word of God.

Let us not be like Jerusalem during the time of Jesus and reject Him, but let us embrace Him and welcome Him with open arms.  Let us also pray for the peace of Jerusalem, because they did not know at what cost their peace would come and we don’t want that cost to go in vain.  To the Jewish people, the LORD loves you, and He wants you to turn to His Son Jesus and accept Him.  Are you ready to walk into your destiny as God’s chosen people?  The Bible says, “Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.”  You don’t have to become Christian, you can still be Jews, all you have to do is recognize the Messiah that came for you.  Shalom.

 

The Choice is Yours: A message for believers and nonbelievers alike

This week I have been examining my life and my own salvation, and coming to the terms that what the Bible says is not easy sometimes, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit we are able to bear the task of obeying the commandments.  In Luke 7 Jesus gives a parable to Peter and makes a comment to the woman who poured oil on his feet:

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins,which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

After hearing a sermon on the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, I had to seriously ask myself am I truly saved, or am I just going through the motions.  Am I like wheat or am I like a tare that is going to be burned in the fire?  I had to seriously seek God in this matter because how much I love Jesus I don’t want to be cast into the fire, and have Him tell me He never knew me.  I had questions like do I really have a relationship with Jesus or am I like a tare?  This time around reading the Gospels – I started to notice the parables even more and trying to find the hidden messages.  Sometimes I think Jesus is trying to say something and give me a rhema Word, and it turns out to be something totally different than what everyone else thinks.  Before I read the passage about the woman in Luke, I thought that if I have enough faith that I know my God and He knows me, then that should be alone well enough to justify my concerns of salvation.  I prayed to receive Rhema from the Word regarding this issue about salvation, and I came up with Luke 7:50.  So then I realized that God had answered my prayer and that He does talk to me and that I do hear His voice.

The other part of the sermon I heard it talked about if we as Christians, or believers, once being sure of our salvation do not reach out to nonbelievers, or wicked, or other sinners, then their blood will be on our hands.  I heard another preacher say this as well which lead me to this passage in Ezekiel 3:

16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 
20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.

 

I want to break this apart a little bit – the first part the LORD is talking about the wicked – He has told the wicked (meaning anyone that does not believe in the LORD GOD) that when He tells them that they will die for their wickedness, and the watchman who is Ezekiel, but also represents believers in the body of Christ, to save his life, that person will die in their iniquity, but God will require their blood at our hands, and our souls will be paying the price for that, but if we do tell them and they do not turn from their wicked ways, we will not be held responsible for that.

Now here’s the part that gets me – the same goes true for a righteous man, or other Christians.  So if a righteous man is still sinning, and we don’t warn him we will be held responsible for that.  It is a very heavy call asking a righteous man not to sin especially when you look at the 613 commandments in the Law.  That seems like a burden, but the Bible says, it is not burdensome or heavy to bear, if you have the Holy Spirit in 1 John 5.  But doesn’t the New Testament say that there is no righteous not even one?  And Jesus said that if our righteousness does not exceed those of the scribes and Pharisees, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  And Jesus also said that He did not come for the righteous, because the sick are in need of a Physician, not those that are well.

So what are the characteristics of the kingdom of heaven?  What do we really need?  The Bible says it best: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  Is this love based on emotion?  Or is it something else?

For that we need to go to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Amplified says:

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Try to replace love with your name and does that describe you?

Questions to answer yes to:

Do you endure long with screaming kids or heavy traffic jams and are patient and kind to your kids?

Questions to answer no to:

Do you ever want that dress, those shoes, that house, that car?  Do you brag about how many weights you lifted?  Do you think you are better than everyone else?

Do you act arrogantly or rudely?  Some people think being assertive is a form of arrogance.  Do you act unbecomingly or make inappropriately making immature comments?  I guess Frank Sinatra was not right, I like it My Way, is not the way we are supposed to think.  This can even happen in church – do you not like what the Pastor is preaching, what day the church is on, the music that they play, what time of day it is?  Do you get upset over little things, or do you worry a lot or hold grudges?  Would you ever want to sue anyone – even if they totalled your car and it was their fault?

Most of us can be on the right track with this one – Do we rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness or do we rejoice when righteousness and truth prevail?

Do we bear up under anything, and I mean anything that comes?

And the hardest one for most people in Bible prophecy – Do we believe the best of every person?  Anne Frank said in her diary, that she believed that deep down inside people are basically good at heart.  Can we say that for even the terrorists?

 

Are our hopes fadeless and do we endure everything and I mean everything without weakening?

 

So when we look at love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself – do we have this depth of love?  We all need the LORD’s Mercy to cover us in this area.

 

One thing I want to say about if we don’t tell the wicked “You shall surely die” – this stems from the Adam and Eve story in the Bible – In the Bible it said in Genesis that God told them that if they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they will surely die, and the serpent, that is Satan told Eve, surely you will not die, but you will be like God knowing good and evil.  This is the same trap we have had from the beginning of time.  People didn’t think they would die from not obeying God, but the truth is that we do die, but our death is not what we think.  Adam and Eve went from having a perfect life to seeding what are news headlines in today’s world.  Do we want to change the course of the path that we are on, whether believer or non-believer?  Do we want to be caught up in a blackhole with no return, where the pain there will be pain so immense that you can not bear it?  Or do we want to have peace of mind, security, peace, joy, knowing that when you die you can actually rest in peace.

I’ve been seeing this posting about Steve Jobs, that came as a joke, that the angels in heaven were welcoming Jobs when he came because God needed an app.   Was he really living by the fruits of the spirit, did he attain salvation?  The only fruit we know of is the Apple, and that what some say was the fruit that was not to be eaten in the Garden of Eden.   After a man knows he is going to die, you would think that he got his heart right with God.  We can judge, but only God knows.

Do you know the LORD as your personal Savior?  Have you asked Him into your heart?  Do you want to have your life turn around and be filled with love?  Time is now.  The Choice is Yours.  Vote now – Jesus or the devil?  Heaven or Hell?  Eternal Life or Eternal Death?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parable that “Blog-evangelism” feels like

In Mark 4:26-32, Jesus says a remarkable Parable that really spoke to me today.

And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.  For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.  But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

There’s something unique about blogging and the internet that appeals to me in way of relation to this Scripture.  We put our blog posts up and we don’t know how and somehow we get hits and people look at our blogs, and we don’t really know how many lives we’ve touched and how many people we have affected.  Our site stats may have a certain number of views, but we don’t know how many people’s lives have been changed by our blogs.  God reaches out through us as vessels through a dark and pained world to give out this light some of which have never known.  When we first started out we may not have that many people reading, but as time goes on we have more people reading, and whatever seed that we spread “the earth crops by itself”.  In essence we don’t really have to do anything.  We don’t have to do any forceful coaxing, or push anything down anyone’s throats.  It “crops by itself”.  Then the beautiful thing is that when the time is right we have people come running to us asking us how can they be saved. (That hasn’t happened to me yet, but I am hoping one day.)

Jesus continues – “It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; But when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all the herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”

We bloggers are similar to the mustard seeds, most of us are people that don’t have a famous worldwide ministry, we don’t travel from country to country all over the world for the rest of our lives, and most of us are not like Mother Theresa giving food to the poor, but we in essence don’t seemed to get noticed much [except for maybe The Most Versatile Blogger Award ;)], but if we keep it long enough, and technology willing, the Word says that seeds like us, grow up, and become “greater than all the herbs, and shoot out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under [our shade]”.

There is something to be said for having humble beginnings.  For not striving to be well known, but just to have a way to reach out to the world, when you wonder, “Is God really using me to change anyone’s life?  or  is this all in vain?”  But we mustard seeds should keep on writing, and tagging, because we don’t know how many people’s lives we have affected, we don’t know how many smiles we have put on people’s faces, how many people have been encouraged because of what we write.  I don’t know if anyone else feels this way.  But when I created this blog I could have used a different name, but I was coming from a place of loss, but I knew I was going to glorify Jesus.  I was going to use this blog for my personal stuff, but the more I grew in the Lord, I realized that He had a different purpose for me.  I also realized how effective this venue for blogging was and I realized that this was a way I could have a chance to change people’s lives.  I am not a well known person, and in essence somewhat like a mustard seed, but I am hoping that God will expand the usage of me to where I can be a vessel that is “greater than all the herbs” and that He will shoot out large branches through me, so that the “birds of the air” may rest under whatever shade that God leads me to put forth.

I am not blogging for me, I am blogging for the Lord, and to sow seeds into the kingdom of God.  I don’t know how many people’s lives I have truly touched, and I have my own dreams and aspirations, but I am hoping that somehow someway lost souls can be affected by what I am doing.

 

 

In remembrance of Jamie Hubley

There was a young boy who committed suicide yesterday, and for some reason this really spoke to me.  I read his blog and he was just crying out for someone to love him.  Isn’t that what we as Christians are supposed to do?  To look for people to reach out to and love.  It doesn’t matter if they are gay or straight, rich or poor, fat or skinny, unattractive or attractive.  If they are different or leading a life of sin then that’s between them and God and we shouldn’t condemn them and show them love.  That’s how we win souls over to Christ.  Jesus ate with the tax collector and the adulteress, and why shouldn’t we be the same?  When there is someone out there who goes to psychologist after psychologist and takes anti-depressant to anti-depressant, cuts themselves, we know they are in pain, and we know they need someone to reach out to them.  It was like how LeRoy Dean was saying in Wordsmith’s desk, sometimes we have to go behind the door, and see what struggles others face, and when we are so wrapped up in our own lives that we refuse to see the pain that others are going through.  This boy was hugging other people and outwardly showing love, but he was dying so much on the inside, but on the inside the pain took him away.  There has to be some change.  We have to make it a mission not just to go to other countries and preach the Gospel to the poor, but to actually go and show love to the people, the very people who are dying on the inside and that don’t have any other way out.  We need to do this especially to the younger generation in which some people don’t have anyone to show them who to show the Gospel too.  We need to show them that Jesus loves them at all costs, and that they don’t have to die because someone died for them.  That someone died so that they don’t have to go through the pain anymore.  We need to step up Church.  We bloggers especially, branch out to other blogs like Tumbler, and take more time reading than posting.  I myself am guilty of this, thinking people will come to my blog to hear the Truth, but sometimes we have to go to them.  We have to venture out into dark waters and to show the light to them.  It is the only light that they can ever grasp.  We have to shine the light and the show the love in this dark and fallen world.

Just in case you are not a Christian and you stumbled upon this article and are thinking who does this person think she is saying all this?  I want to let you know that there shouldn’t have to be suicide among young people.  They shouldn’t feel like they have to take their lives.  They have a God that loves them and doesn’t want to see them die or in pain.  He wants to take the pain away, but you have to let yourself open up to Him.  If you don’t know how, just cry out to Him.  He’s not going to come and pick up the pieces unless you reach out and cry out to Him first.  You don’t have to be alone, you don’t have to think that no one understands because He does.  He wants to heal your wounds.  If you have the chance right now, pray this prayer –

Heavenly Father,

I am so lost without You, I am in so much pain and I feel like there is no way out.  I confess that I don’t always do things the right way, and that I can’t handle this situation alone and that it is too much to bear.  Take this burden away from me and give me some peace and rest for my soul.  I surrender my life to You and let You take control.  I can’t do it on my own and I need someone stronger.  I know that you died for me so that I can be free from this torment of daily life. Come into my life and save me.

In Jesus Name I pray.

If you have just prayed this prayer- then try to get to a Bible, if you want go to Bible.com, or biblegateway.com, and start reading from the book of John.  Try to find a Bible believing Church in your area and get connected with a Pastor.  There are also many prayer lines if you look.  If you need any help just let me know.