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Why America is in danger of Judgement and the different levels of sin

 

This video does a clear explanation of sin, trespass, transgression, and iniquity and how as a nation we are following into a dangerous pattern and if we don’t turn around and repent, then we will see the natural disasters increasing.  From the Bible it clearly explains what the cup of iniquity is and how when the cup of iniquity is full God can pour out His Judgment upon a nation.

I believe that the Church should take this standing in these last days –

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.”

 

Jeremiah 18:7-9 says –

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

 

So for the person and the nation when they sin, there is hope, and ultimately it’s hope remains in Jesus Christ, and turning away from the iniquity and repenting and living an honest and decent life before God.  When God gives people over to a reprobate mind, then He has no reason to spare the nation from violent natural disasters much worse than what we saw in Japan’s earthquake, and they were prepared for the worst case scenario.  This isn’t meant to scare you, but to caution you to get your heart right before God, and I know we all make mistakes and do things wrong before God, at times because we are not perfect people.  But as a nation – wouldn’t you like to see less people dying and being killed everywhere?   It would make the President’s job – whoever is easier, it would make the Senate and Congressmen’s job easier, and people would be getting along better if we just followed with this nation was founded on instead of going against the divine order of God.
Once again I’d like to thank Perry Stone for putting into clear perspective this teaching on the dangers of Judgment upon America and the different levels of sin and for now putting his broadcasts on youtube, and to God for allowing our voices to be heard so that we can share the Good News of the Gospel, then we are living a repentant life before God, then we can experience the grace, favor, and mercy of God resting upon our lives.

Thank the Lord that He provides through the programs for the poor and needy through the government, but at the same time, the Government has to do what’s right and follow a sense of ethics and pass laws based on wise decision making, instead of following the crowd and delighting in the demands of the people when they are not the best decisions to make.

 

Successful Strategy for Liberty and Prosperous Nation

 

Today I watched a documentary called:  Monumental:  In Search of America’s National Treasure.  In this documentary Kirk Cameron takes an adventure across the country to find out how the founding fathers had to fight and what we had to go through  to be where we are today.

In this documentary there was a little known about statue called theMatrix of Liberty built about 130 years ago.

This statue represents the only successful strategy for liberty and a prosperous nation.

There are some parts that are key and essential to for liberty and a prosperous nation:

1)  Faith – where in the statue was pointing to Heaven – in the God of the Bible and there was an Open Bible in the statue

2)  Character – inward liberty or moral transformation of the heart – as opposed to a top down morality where they had back under the monarchy before the Puritans came over.  You could still be a church, where someone would tell you what to do and what not to do, but true character started with an inward morality. This inward transformation of the heart required an Evangelist.

3)  Evangelist- would teach the Great Gospel of Jesus Christ what it means to transform the heart and how to do it according to the Bible

4)  Civil Law – (which is based on the Bible) – It dealt with mercy and equity that the Law based on the Bible with and a mercy and equity for all man kind

5)  Justice – an important thing to remember is that Justice and Equity is also dependent upon Mercy and Grace

6)  Youth – It was the parent’s responsibility to educate –  This nation was originally founded not on doing whatever the government says as far as education goes to parent’s and grandparent’s responsibility to teach the kids the Ten Commandments the Bible or how the world works from a Biblical Perspective instead of lining up to the governing authorities because their worldview was different.

7) Liberty – fruit the result of the matrix – was a man called liberty who had broken chains and had the lion of tyranny smashed under his feet which at that time represented the tyranny of the Lion of England.

Other interesting facts:

In 1647 the Library of Congress Printed the the Bible to be used for Schools according to David Barton who has one of the largest and/or oldest collection of Bibles in U.S.

There is the motto of Harvard which is found behind a tree and a fire hydrant that says “Christ and the Church”  and underneath that it says “Truth”

We as a nation have been given a model based on the Bible on how to maintain freedom and liberty in a nation.  When the Mayflower Compact was signed it was signed as a covenant between God and this Nation so that we may have the Liberty that God has so graciously bestowed upon us.  During those times when things were hard and oppressive for the Puritan’s and Pilgrims they did not give up and say it was the end of the age and God will just come and rescue us.  They fought against tyranny and secured the place for the future.  Now that is not saying that we have to ignore the signs of the End times and the signs of the age as they were in the days of Noah.  We can be ignorant of these things as well.  But we as Christians have been given tremendous liberties all across this nation and if it weren’t for these people, and what began in here then the Gospel would not be preached to the nations across the world through the missionaries that have been sent across the world.  They had to struggle through difficult times, and sacrifice their very lives and their families so they could impact nations.  They to fight against persecution which is going on in so many countries right now.  Maybe that’s why we’re not seeing persecution in America too that great extent because we’ve had our share of persecution from the beginning of the nation and as Solomon said that “there is nothing new under the sun” meaning that basically history repeats itself.  I am just amazed at the character of the people who were pastored by Pastor John Robinson of the Puritan movement and what they had to go through during those days.  There was a time of intense struggle and difficulty and it was all for a cause.  They too had to meet in underground Churches and they had to read the Bible in secret and they didn’t have internet, or electricity, air conditioning.  They had to sleep on ice, and snow, some of them were dying and sick, but they fought to secure a place for future generations.  It took tremendous character which through technology has been severely lost.  But thank God for the blessings which he has bestowed upon us because of these people’s sacrifice.  We have so much to be thankful for and as Solomon also said in Ecclesiastes after everything – all the books you read, movies you watch, and all the “chasing after the wind” what’s more important is fearing God and obeying the commandments.  Sometimes we have oversimplified the Gospel to just love, and that’s good to love, and out of the seed of love which Jesus had commanded, he gave us the means to follow the Ten Commandments through the inner transformation of heart which shows Christ’s nature through the people in the world and in the Church.

1 Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a]but have not love, it profits me nothing.

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

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

Does not neglect :

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words, saying:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 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, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

It is just a means of the how to of fulfillment.  The latter is guidelines for a society and a set of principles and precepts to obey and follow, and the former is the analysis of character within a believer’s inner man pouring forth outward to see the inner transformation of Christ poured forth.

The law of liberty has its cost but it’s definitely worth fighting for and Thank God for the Blessings bestowed upon this nation and across the world because of some people who had a vision and purpose to fight instead of giving up to slavery.

To summarize Kirk Cameron’s statement – “Each person can make a difference!” How are you trying to make a difference?

 

 

 

 

Glory, Freedom, and the Ultimate Battle

In Middle School we watched the movie of the Civil War in the United States, which was called Glory. It took place during the Civil War, and showed, if I remember correctly the Northern point of view, as opposed to the Southern point of view, which Gone With the Wind seems to portray.  When I was watching this movie I was asked to define what the word “glory” actually meant.  I had difficulty coming up with an answer.  While the definition has many terms in implication in the Jewish root, and basically identifying God’s glory as the glory of the Presence of the Son – I want to take you through a journey as the Holy Spirit compels me and enables me to do so on the aspect of Glory, Freedom, and the Ultimate Battle, and the parallels between the Bible and the Civil War.

In the Bible – particularly in the Old Testament, the Israelites cried about their slavery and God heard them –

23 However, after a long time [nearly forty years] the king of Egypt died; and the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God.

24 And God heard their sighing and groaning and [earnestly] remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. – Exodus 2:23-24

It took them a long time of trials and trusting in God to get to their Promised Land, but yet they still didn’t have freedom.

When the African slaves were taken captive in American History, they cried and sang out and they had great heroes of faith like Harriet Tubman and they sang songs of Moses in the times of their slavery.  The Battle of the North and the South was particularly a battle of ideas, the idea that people should be enslaved to make riches for the higher class verses the idea that each individual has a right to be acknowledged to an individual and has the right to Freedom.  They fought out this war with a bloody fight and it was the bloodiest fight with Abraham Lincoln leading the way seeking God through this time, and he was President.  I had to do a study on Abraham Lincoln, and I heard he suffered from depression, or maybe that was his wife, I don’t remember, but the point being that he was a man who sought God to deliver the African people freedom from slavery in the Declaration of Emancipation.

So that was the ultimate battle and that is one many Christians still face today because Christ has purchased our freedom, but through the limits of this life we are still bound, and we need to be rescued.  The beautiful thing is that Christ rescues us over and over and over again, constantly redeeming us and bringing His purpose to pass through our lives even though we may not see it.  We still have this battle of ideas of slavery and bondage to the Law, and the Freedom that is inherited by Grace.

God not only brought the Israelites out of bondage of slavery from the Egyptians, but He also brought them out of bondage to the Babylonians, and Assyrians and many times over and over again.  They waited several years for total freedom which was going to only come through the Messiah, and when Jesus came, they thought he was going to physically free them from Roman captivity, but instead He freed them from the bondage of the Law.  He became a curse so they wouldn’t have to be bound any longer anymore and when Cleopas and his companion came across Him, they were mourning, and He had not revealed Himself to them, and He was actually pretending like He didn’t know what they were thinking.  They were expecting some great physical delivery or political delivery and freedom, but they didn’t realize how much power the freedom that they did have.

Luke 24:

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

So this glory encapsulates the freedom that He gives.  The freedom from the bondage of sin and death is what this freedom offers to mankind.  But people can go and take advantage of the freedom, and that’s where the issue comes up.  People can get so carried away with freedom, that they begin to live their licentious lives over again.  Look what’s happening right now in America.  The rights that were once considered valuable are now being trampled upon and the rights that are of no value to a human being are exalted and proclaimed over to the point where the rights of the people that instill values that reduce crime, and violence, are now being minimized.  So then freedom has bounds.  Bounds were set for protection, but not to bind if that makes sense.

Interestingly enough the word “boundary” comes from the word meaning “mark, or delimit” which brings up a very interesting conversation topic, the there is the Mark of God, and the Mark of the enemy.  So how does a believer know which mark is which?  When referring to the mark of the enemy, where one cannot buy or sell without the mark, it seems like it is delimiting and putting more and more control.  Whereas the Mark of God, freely grants you the right to ask from God whatever you desire, knowing that you have believed in Him, and have received.  We must remember that one of the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness and in that gentleness, Jesus is so gentle with you as to not force you into any direction, but as a loving shepherd He guides you by the still waters, but even the sheep have to go into the sheep gate so they don’t get attacked by wolves.

Getting back to the Civil War, which was anything but civil, we come again to the cost of freedom.  If you want to check out my previous post on Freedom, check out my blog on Freedom posted July 4, 2011.  Freedom means that someone has to die.  In the Christian walk, it means that Jesus has died for us.  He has set us free, and we are no longer captives.  We operate in a different kingdom, which is the Kingdom of Love and in that we find the freedom.  We find the Freedom to be able to love to the max, but through our own flaws and imperfections we fail to see what demand this love requires.  This love requires pain, emotionally, and sometimes even physically, but in the end it is Christ who frees us from the law of sin and death, and that is where the Ultimate Battle is won – on the Cross. So ask yourselves where in our lives have taken up the Cross?

From a greedy heart to a loving one

 

This has really been on my heart a while about the dangers of greed, and I wanted to share it earlier. In the process I changed my title.   I want to venture out and say that sin has different levels, and while I was preparing this message, the verse that someone commented on this blog became alive for me.  12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:11

Imagine running a race, when a 100 pound weight vest on.  That’s what people do on the Biggest Loser.  They sometimes run these races and they have these weights of all the weight they used to weigh and as they are running the race they drop off the weights in these containers.  Similarly, in the Christian walk, we all have weights that are called sin, which so easily ensnare us.  Yes Jesus Blood has cleansed us from sin, and removed all past sin from us, but we are still not perfect like Him, so then we have this sin that so easily ensnares us, and one of them I want to talk about today is greed. Greediness is tied into selfishness.

We know the world has greed and it can be seen anywhere, the stock market, George Fontenellis, said “operates on fear and greed”.  The world does not know any better.  Whether Christians should invest in the stock market, is not the purpose of this post.  But we as Christians should be set apart and act differently, than the world, and sadly, we don’t see that within the body of believers.  Sometimes we pray for stuff and then we get it and then the next day it’s something else, and something else.  It is also tied to not having a grateful heart or a heart full of thanksgiving.  We are always wanting more and more and more to the point that we are not satisfied.  We are always asking this and that from God, and sometimes forgetting to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

We can also be greedy about love.  We want to have all the love to ourselves, and not want to share it.  We are in turn being selfish, and while God does know us, He wants us to recognize that we do have this area to work on.  The first step in problem solving is to identify the problem.  The Holy Spirit works with you to recognize the problem, and then He helps remove this weights of sin off our lives, if we let Him.  If we don’t let Him, then He can’t work in our lives.  We all have problems, and they need to be fixed, and Jesus is the Master of fixing problems, but often times He does not do it in the way we expect.  For example when He came to Israel, they expected Him, to become King and dismantle the political system and save the Jews from oppression by the Romans, but that was not what He was there to do.  He was there for a bigger purpose.  He had to commission His Kingdom, and set the process of transformation of lives to begin with.

Many people can have spiritual gifts and anointing, ministries, and the like, but unless they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and remove the things that are keeping us from the glory to be revealed in us as it says in Romans 8, then all of that is in vain.  Unconditional love or Agape is the reason that Jesus died for us, and not just for our families, friends, and acquaintances, but for the whole world.  When we have this selfish greed in our heart it is keeping us from operating in the fullness of this Agape love, but since there are certain levels of greed operating in our lives, then we have to lay this sin upon the cross daily, and start renew and cultivate the love of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.

What gets to me is when Paul says, “To be able to know what is the depth, and the height and the breadth of love, which surpasses all understanding”  We need to have more of this kind of love.  Greed is what makes people steal.  In 2 Kings 5:20 they talked about Gehazi who had greed, and the leprosy of Namaan clung to Gehazi.  Why?  Because He was not operating out of love.

This post is really not about tithing, or about money, or about possessions, but it’s about the character of God developing in you.  When you have this greed, or any sin, for that matter, it is like grime and it weighs you down so that you can’t run the race.  When you pray and you run to God to release the burden of the sin onto Him, and cast your cares onto Him, He allows it to work in your life, but you first have to surrender.

Many people think that once your saved, that’s it that you don’t have to change in anyway and that you can still be the same person, and that you cannot remove the old nature and to take on the new nature, but they don’t realize that this is all a process and a journey with many mountains and valleys, ups and downs.  Jesus is there to guide you through it all, and Thank God, for He is patient, kind, slow to anger, and merciful.  If it wasn’t for God’s mercy, we really would not be able to get away with all the stuff that we’ve gotten away with.

The power of redemption is to know what a sinner you were before, and to realize exactly what Jesus has done for you, so does that mean that once you have accepted you can continue to live in that way?  When you have redemption, not only has Jesus paid the price for your sin, but there is a transforming work inside of you that brings you from glory to glory so that you can be the shining example of victory that God has promised in your life.  Repentance, is not really just about saying I’m sorry, but like I said before, it’s about feeling remorse, and then turning, but as you turn it’s usually hard.  It’s where your faith comes in, and says if Jesus says that I can do it, then “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and in this context is where the verse is properly applied because the context is about knowing that whether abased or abound, you can be content.

Isn’t that all that we want?  To be content.  It is the true heart’s desire for us to be content and satisfied, but in essence we are always wanting more and more and we cannot seem to settle in one direction or another, but to have that steadfast contentment in our hearts, knowing that no matter what happens as long as we have Jesus, all is well.  I know it is hard, but we shouldn’t let others’ discontentment, which can lead to issues such as anger and greed get to us.  At the same time, we need to avoid being greedy and avoid all kinds of sin around us.  Yes Jesus has removed us from the guilt of sin, so we do not keep on needing to beat ourselves up about it, but we need to allow God to transform and change us by surrendering to Him, and it’s all a little by little.  The seed is there and we are going to change, if we have the right attitude about it, and are willing to change for God.  The problem comes when we think we have completely changed once we are saved, and then our minds don’t need constant renewing in the Word of God, or that our character needs to change to develop Christ-likeness.  Then we can appreciate the Grace of God that allows us to change into the image of God because He put that seed to love in our hearts.

Heavenly Father,

We know we are not perfect without You in our lives, and we thank You that You have given your precious saints, the ability to change and to become more like You.  Guard our hearts today from any kind of sin, which so easily ensnares us, and let us lay down any weight that keeps us from You Lord God.  Transform our hearts and make us into the pure likeness of Your Spirit, and guide us all into discernment Truth.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and I ask you Lord to renew our hearts daily so that we may become more like You.  Mold us, like the potter molds the clay, and make us conform to Your image Lord God.  Wherever there is violence or anger spewing in anyone’s heart, remove that and change into love, and compassion, and mercy, and forgiveness.  Teach people humility, and to be loving and giving of their time, resources, and the gifts and abilities You have given them so that they may know how they can reach out to others.  Thank You for this beautiful day for we know that whether it is sunny, or windy, or rainy, or snowy, or thundering, or shaking, You are still God and the midst of it all.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

Forgiving others and receiving forgiveness

Have you hurt someone and can’t seem to get past it?  Has someone hurt you and you can’t seem to get past it?  The Bible has very clear scriptures regarding forgiveness.  The longer you hold on to something the more bitter it becomes.  Sometimes life lessons are bitter, but if you learn to forgive others then it releases freedom to you.  It may take time for the wound to heal, but the more you allow yourself to let it go, the closer to God you become.  Colossians 3:13 has a very important message, “13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Once you do something wrong and ask God for forgiveness and to cleanse you with His blood, and try not to do it again, God does not hold on to it, and neither should you hold on to it.  If you do hold on to it, the enemy will just use it to manipulate you to feeling worse about yourself and/or that person then you already do.

That doesn’t mean you should go around trusting everyone all the time, and being naive when they have abused you, but you have to set boundaries.  Part of that is that whether the hurt was intentional or not trust that God is only trying to teach you something.  Because He is your Father He doesn’t want you to be hurt even more than you already are, and He is trying to protect you from future mistakes.  Romans says “there is no condemnation in Christ”, so if you have done something bad, really bad, the enemy will try to make you feel like you are a “Judas” and betraying Christ, when you are a “Peter” and even though you made that mistake, God is going to let you repent, learn, and fulfill your destiny.

The best thing to do is make peace with that person and not to hold on to grudges for very long.  Matthew 5:23-24 says, ” 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift”

Sometimes we have to learn things the hard way by not listening to the voice of God, and being obedient the first time, but God is patient with us, and He gives us the free will, and He knows what we will do so He has provided us a way out.  There is no temptation that is too hard to bear and God does not give you more than you can handle.  Sometimes the Lord uses situations to help be a blessing or to minister to others and when you have faced that situation yourself then you can be better equipped to provide insight to another person.  The key is to have a closer walk with God and that comes with the testings of patience and endurance.  Like my favorite verse in Hebrews 12, which God so graciously tries to put into my life, “No discipline or punishment or chastening is joyful, but is grievous and painful, but in the end produces fruits of righteousness”.

When God allows things to happen, it is not because he doesn’t love you, but it is because there is a lesson that he wants you to learn, but that lesson is not just for you, but it is a blessing for many people.  Like with Abraham, the lessons he learned with his walk of faith and learning from his mistakes to trust, we all have a walk with Jesus, and we must be willing to the learn the lesson because he is shaping our character.  We might agonize in pain, heartache, and disappointment, and even hate the way we feel or the circumstances, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t growing, or that we aren’t learning, or that we are falling away from God.

God doesn’t look down with a magnifying glass and say, “Who can I fry now?” or “Who can send to eternal hell and judgment now?”  He really wants us to seek Him because when we do seek Him, and we receive the fruits of righteousness that come from our suffering, we don’t know who that will impact down the road, and who will be impacted down the road.

If someone has hurt you yesterday, that hurt is in the past.  We shouldn’t keep holding on that pain forever, or looking at it so many ways.  It may be just something that you have to go through in life, and God will get you out of it.

You might say, “nobody understands what this person did to me”, but I guarantee you that someone either understands, or has gone through much worse, and Jesus has gone through that pain for you, so dear friends there is no need to hold on to your pain or your hurts.  The past is past, and yesterday is forgotten.

If the person hurt you today, don’t go around saying, “well it’s still today, so I am going to hold on to this hurt as long as possible.”  It may seem foolish and funny right now, but this is the way some of us act sometimes.  Because we can’t see or be objective.  This is why we pay therapists, and counselors, when God is right there, your Almighty Counselor, and He is ready to comfort you.  The first thing you should do when you have calmed down and say, “Look, this is how I feel, and I feel bad for what I did to you.”  This is whether to the other person or to God, and try to make amends if it is the person.  If the person doesn’t want to forgive you, then just wait and time heals all wounds.  But you can let the person know that you want to make peace with them and that you care about them.  Who knows, maybe they might say, “you don’t need to feel bad, I forgave you a long time ago.”

Another key thing to remember is not to go and talk bad about the person, and vent to other people.  Proverbs says “the foolish man vents all things, and the wise man keeps things to himself”.  It is not good to gossip, or talk bad about the person even if the person is your boss, your co-workers, people in ministry, or anyone else for that matter.  Gossip, backbiting, slander, and venting can all cause division among people and that is the last thing we want to do.   As much as we don’t like it, we want to restore harmony with each other, especially as believers and witnesses to Christ.  Take things that happen to you with a grain of salt, and let it just slide off your shoulders.  That is how you can become more content and realize the true stability that you have as believers in Christ.

 

 

 

Freedom

What is the meaning of Freedom?  As we celebrate the Fourth of July, or as it is known America as Independence day I wanted to shed light on the meaning of Freedom.  In the United States of America, we are blessed to have what is known as Freedom to this day.  Whether it is the same kind of Freedom our Founding Fathers were looking for is debatable.  But we know that Christ has given us some types of Freedom.

According to the etymology of the word, “free”, which came from “freo” in Old English, it means no longer being in bondage.  Other meanings are related to love, and also NOT being under “foreign rule and despotism” (Online Etymology Dictionary).

When talking about the first meaning of the word, Freedom – Christ has made us free from a bondage to sin and death.  Death here is not talking about physical death, but spiritual death, which is the suffering one must go through if he or she chooses not to accept Christ.

He gave us a Free will so that we can choose whether to love and accept Him or not.  Morgan Freeman, no pun intended, said in Bruce Almighty, while he was playing God in the role said to Bruce when he was asked how to make someone love someone else without affecting free will,  said, “When you find that one out, let me know?”  I thought about this even though it was a movie.  I came to realize that God loves us so much, and He even loved lucifer so much to give him the free will. He gave us the power to choose whether to love Him or not, which brings up an interesting point when discussing Romans.  Paul says that we are “slaves to Christ”, and that He has “chosen us”.  But this concept of being a slave brings up an interesting question – does being a slave negate your ability to have a free will?  Can it stop you from running away at any time?  No you still have the choice, and you have to live with consequences.  We are slaves to Christ, but He does not treat us like slaves or servants, He treats us like friends.   For people that went through slavery in this nation, sometimes the consequence was very painful, or even death.  As long as your mind is correctly working and you have the mental aptitude to make a choice then you have a free will.  If you are mentally insane, or have a disease like Alzheimer’s or Dementia, then you may not have free will or choice in what you think or believe or act.  In that case God is taking care of you, and He knows what is in your heart.

So going back to the concept of being free- another meaning of free is without cost.  But we were not free, we were very expensive so to say that we are slaves to Christ is not that accurate because He bought us with a very special price.  When He created the Earth and knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb, He went out and specifically chose us to see which of us were worth the price, and then we were given the special option of getting to choose who’s going to be our owner, God, or satan.  When I am thinking about this I get the image of Toy Story.  The Father is like the original owner of Woody in Toy Story 1, the boy who bought and loved Woody with all his heart.  By the time Toy Story 3 comes around, (sorry for spoiler), Woody and the toys belong to a new owner and that is a little girl, which could represent Jesus.  Theologically this doesn’t make that much sense and is a loose interpretation, but it gives the example of being bought with a price.  In Toy Story 3, Woody actually chooses to be with the girl.  The Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are by all means superior to the characters in Toy Story, so I want to emphasize that this was a metaphor to illustrate a point – that we essentially are not cheap, but we were bought with a price and we have the capability to choose our Master.  We were bought with a price so we could choose to be Kings and Preists for the Kingdom of God.

Christ also established us as free from the law.  What this really means is free from the consequences of not following the law legalistically and ritualistically, but we as Christians have to follow the Ten Commandments, or we have to face the consequences of not repenting from those sins.  In Galatians, it says that the Law was actually like a teacher, and once we have been taught, we don’t need them any more and what they have taught us should be written our hearts and minds.

In America we are blessed to have Freedom up to this point, which is essentially free from foreign rule or despotism, but even that was bought with a price.  Many people had to die so that we could experience the Freedom that we have today.  When God is going to do something great, there is usually some kind of cost, or trade off.  In Economics, we call this an Opportunity Cost,( the sacrifice related to the second best choice available to someone who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices) [Wikipedia].    I’m sure God has done His cost and benefit analysis when coming to terms with the Freedom He gave us as Americans, and also as He gave us as Christians.

Looking ahead to the future, are we always going to have Freedom in America?  Maybe, maybe not, no one really knows, and it would be a sad thing to see if it ever did occur that America lost it’s Freedom.  As Christians in America look at how many of the Ten Commandments we have broken:  1) No other gods before The Lord, 2) Do not make or worship graven images 3) Do not take the Lord’s name in vain or entertain or associate with someone who takes the Lord’s name in vain 4) Remember and observe the Sabbath (Saturday – if you are not sure – think of Spanish for Saturday, SABADO, 5) Honor your Father and Mother 6) Do not murder 7) Do not commit adultery 8 ) Do not Steal 9) Do not lie 10) Do not covet or desire something that belongs to someone else.

How many of those do we follow in America?  How many of those do we follow as Christians?  Even look at our Law makers and see how many of them follow all these Commandments.  But fortunately, Jesus gave us two Commandments, known as the Great Commandments, “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself”.

1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

If we really loved each other regardless of being Christian, or not being Christian, imagine what kind of revolution could take place.  But because there is an opponent out there trying to keep us from this kind of love in our lives, and it is only a love that can come from Christ and he wants to steal us of that love.

Let us celebrate that we have Freedom in America, and that we can enjoy the Freedom from the time being from severe persecution and slavery, and foreign rule and oppression as we take pride in the God that holds our nation together, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ.