The legalist, the child and Jesus

At that [a]time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him [b]before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you [c]are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it [d]would be better for him to have a [e]heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Mathew 18:1-6

The legalist:

Ever heard the phrase “some people are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good“? (Oliver Holmes) There are those who have hidden Gods word so deeply into their hearts that they forget about their own relationship with the Lord. I read a tweet that said, “the more “knowledge” we gain about God, the less we potentially seek to feel God…Therefore we encounter Him less”

First, “You must be converted, you must be of another mind, and in another frame and temper, must have other thoughts, both of yourselves and of the kingdom of heaven, before you be fit for a place in it. The pride, ambition, and affectation of honour and dominion, which appear in you, must be repented of, mortified, and reformed, and you must come to yourselves.”-Matthew Henry

A friend of mine had it right, “Legalism is more dangerous than preaching the prosperity gospel”. I know I will get flack for this but, what is being said here is that we get so “by the book” we forget to see the big picture of what God is truly trying to say or do in that passage or that verse. We nit pick it to death and assume “this is what God is saying”. Then we preach it, debate it and tell others they are wrong if they don’t listen to our knowledge of the scriptures. We go from commentator to commentator, seeking mans knowledge on a passage. In the process, we lose who our focus should be, lose our guide and lose who should council us. The one who authored the bible. God himself. I am not saying that the commentators are not hearing from God. But, part of having relationship with God is seeking HIM. Seeking Him about what His word means and what He is trying to say.  Who told us we couldn’t go to God for interpretation of scripture? Satan likes to twist things and man is easily swayed to his forked tongue!

“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.” Proverbs 8:17

The child:

As a child we come to things with eyes wide open. We ask questions. There is an innocents and bluntness when a child ask. Though a child may not be mature enough to fully understand things, they also do not go picking at what was said. They listen and let it sit in.They will ask another question if they feel they didn’t understand or get the answer that makes sense. They accept what is told to them as well. This is where, as an adult, we are always questioning things. Somethings are not meant to be understood. But, God is asking us to “just believe”.

I am reminded of the story of Nicodemus. He was a man who “knew ” God word. He was a pharisee.

Nicodemus said to Him,“How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.  If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? John 3:9-12

As a child, our mind is not clouded with such “deep” things. I suppose. A child does not think “too hard” on things. They take it as it is. Always learning. I think that is where Jesus is saying “come as a child”

Some scripture does not need to be so torn apart. It is what it is. And we are to simply just take what it is saying and apply it. Again, Satan likes to take Gods word and twist it.He likes to get us thinking over it more than what it should be. Then we argue with each other over it and we benefit no one. Then because of our debating, we are not going out and furthering Gods kingdom.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” Hebrews 11:6

Jesus:

He is saying simply come as a child. That is it. Believe in Him. Believe His word. Seek Him not man. Yes, He speaks through man/woman to us. NO question there. But, He wants a personal relationship with us. The more the “things of man” is put into our thinking the further away from God we may go. Even the godliest of men/woman can fail us. Or teach wrong things. No one is perfect. In our flesh, we can compromise or justify things as we teach them. Not that we are purposely trying to mislead someone. The point is, Gods word…on its own can teach us. Only, IF, we are seeking Him as a child does. It is less complicated when we go to the One who created us. After all He knows what He is trying to say to us.

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My point:

I am not saying that all theologians are bad. I am not saying do not trust your pastor or priest. I am simply saying, go to God as a child. Seek Him in spirit and in truth.

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is [e]spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

What is wrong with us!?

“You stick to your truths, I’ll stick to mine”

I heard this today and I thought to myself, “NO! I want you to know my truth and believe in it, because it will save YOU!!”For far too long Christians have been “turning the other cheek” when it comes to standing up for God, sharing the gospel, and speaking out against sin.

What is wrong with us!?

Why have we become so complacent? Why have we compromised our morals to elect people in charge that do not represent us? I had someone say to me, “I do not vote on the person based on my faith” WHAT!!?? Why not? If we don’t elect leaders that are godly our nation will crumble. If we know anything about scripture, we know that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” Psalms 33:12 It applied for Israel, yes. But, God says that to all. Why wouldn’t he bless those that serve him? That would be inconsistent with his character and his word.

Have you not noticed the rise in teen pregnancies? I have in my small community. Have you not noticed how homosexuality is a normal thing now? Teen and gang crime is higher. Our country has lost its moral compass. If you need sources for any of this…look out your window. Get up from under your rock.

Who is to blame for the moral decline? Spiritually, Satan. Yes. He seeks out whom he can devour. But, in my opinion, it is also the Christians who are to blame. I am too.

We do not teach our daughters to dress modestly. But, it is okay to dress like that because, “we want you to fit in with your peers.” We do not teach our sons to respect women. Or teach our young people to have responsibility for their actions. We don’t offer hope to people like we should. We don’t offer a better way. Because frankly, we are not living the “better way” ourselves.

Yes, we are to be meek, we are to avoid quarrels, live at peace etc. But, we CAN stand up for what is right and godly. In this country we have had the right to do that. Yet, we have failed.  We have remained silent. For what? For the sake of “fitting in”. For not “offending” everyone. The gospel message will offend. Jesus said, For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who [m]are perishing…” 1 Corinthians 1:18 We will offend.  “Christians are suppose to love everyone.” Have you heard that one? We are to love, yes…but …we are loving them to HELL! We have to say something if we truly love them and care for their soul.

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Many know this quote well, if you are an informed individual. That is the problem too. Many Christians are NOT informed. Whether in world affairs, politics..or the bible. They just live life unaware of the world around them. “What doesn’t hurt me” “I’ll keep my truth to myself” “I don’t need to share the gospel, God chooses who will get saved or not anyways” They live their quiet lives, not caring that their neighbor is hurting. That their are those who are going to hell because they don’t want to “cause problems”. We will be held accountable for our actions or lack of actions too.

Think about this: “whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:20

What will you do as a christian? Will you continue to sit idly by? Just live life as usual? God has so much more for us! Can’t you feel that He does!? He wants us to make our move. He wants to use us to reach out to others. He created you for such a purpose.

What will you do?

I don’t want to be silent anymore!

“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

 

 

 

Moonlight Sonata

“Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
    your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?”

Psalm 89:5-6

Last night I decided that I needed to go out and enjoy the night. Usually when it gets warmer at nights I will go out and enjoy my Lords presence. I stare at the stars and the moon and think on Him. So last night I did this.

I decided to go out because I felt my heart was racing a bit.(Every once in awhile I get minor heart palpitations) I am not sure if it was a little anxiety or just something wrong with my heart. It has been a bit of a crazy couple weeks. Everyone in the house has been sick and I had a major event I had been planning for. Don’t get me wrong I have people in my life that help me through. They are gems to me. They bring peace to my sanity. But, I knew last night I just needed that moment. No distractions, no phone, no social media…just God.

That morning, in a devotion, I read how Jesus had to have moments alone with the Father to recoup, re-energize, or get restored. We can only receive those things with God. So, I went outside…stood on the back porch….and looked up.

It had been forever, it seemed, since I had gone out into the quiet of the night to just be alone.I looked up and drank in all the stars. I got lost in Him. I noticed the noise of the town but it didn’t seem to distract me. My town is small, there was a bit of a commotion on the busy street that is just a block away. Yet, through the noise I could still hear my Lord whisper, “come away with me”.

A flock of geese went flying by. The lights of the town on their bellies.(“wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings”– from, My Favorite Things) Even in the darkness they still flew together. Tight in more of a “u” shape then a “v” but still together. I could hear them honk and I said “it is the nature that I can see you and praise you”.

Songs of worship started flooding in. Quietly I stood there and whisperly began to sing to my Creator.

The stars seemed so bright. Brighter than they usually are during the summer nights. I suppose because the atmosphere is thinner this time of the year. But, it helped me reflect on him even more. I thought of a video by Francis Chan, showing his congregation how small we really are in comparison with the Universe. And yet, God loves us anyways. We are a vapor. How small one can feel when looking into the deep dark spans of the night sky. It is a humbling moment. Every time.

I thought of songs lyrics like, “Lord, you are, more beautiful than diamonds and nothing I desire compare with you”, ” This is my desire to honor you,Lord with all my heart, I worship you”, “when the music fades and all is stripped away and I simply come”,  and this song popped into my head,

Need You Now. By Plumb (video)

Though that song is an intense song. This is a song of someone one in a desperate situation. I wasn’t really feeling desperate last night, I just needed a desperate moment with my Savior. Through this moment I stood there, I found peace. A calm. “Rest in me” are His whispers. My heart calmed down. I stood there listening and enjoying Him.

Free stock photo of sky, person, night, silhouette

I wanted to share this moment with you to encourage you. Take time to be with God. We can get so busy with life we forget to take those quiet moments just the two of us. Sit in your car quietly, on the porch, go to the lake or park, whatever is your place of solitude. Reflect on Him. Don’t read. Just talk to him. Take him in.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy” Psalms 19:1-5

 

Will you take me as I am?

Narrator:

Would who she was,
who she really was, be enough?
There was no magic
to help her this time.
This is perhaps the greatest risk
that any of us will take.
To be seen as we truly are.

Prince:

Who are you?

Cinderella:

I am Cinderella.
Your Majesty,
I’m no princess.
I have no carriage,
no parents,
and no dowry.
I do not even know
if that beautiful slipper will fit.
But if it does,
will you take me as I am?
An honest country girl who loves you.

Prince: Of course I will.

This beautiful scene from Cinderella (2015) by Disney, Is a story we are all too familiar with. But this last scene, The Prince discovers that Cinderella is not a Princess. But, she is a servant in her own home. But, he doesn’t care. He has seen her heart. He fell in love with who she is, not what she is. This is something that is so powerful and moving, as we parallel this with us, Christians.

He asks us to come as we are. It is his word that says what we are. The Prince, now King, had the authority to decided if she was acceptable or not.

She, Cinderella, came before him humbled, exposed for who she really was, and asked, “will you take me?” Saying essentially, “I am nothing, I have nothing to give to you but all of me”. And he having the power, and knowing her true nature and and her heart, says, “of course I will” in essence saying, “I know you, I know your heart and I know what you say you are. But I accept you because of who I am. I love you no matter what!”

What a beautiful Savior To save a sinner such as I!

As the movie ends, Cinderella having been “forgiven” of her sin from the One she cherished, was able to offer forgiveness to the one that hurt her all those years. Her step mother.

A beautiful thing we see here. Cinderella experienced forgiveness and love for herself and was able to give it to others. That is what we too can experience. We know what Christ has done for us. So, we are able to offer that to others. We know his love and are able to give his love to others.

“And Ella continued to see
the world not as it is,
but as it could be”

-Disney’s Cinderella (2015)

Image result for cinderella will you take me 2015

 

 

My thoughts on Daniel (pt 12)

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above;[a] and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

What excitement to read this now, as a believer. Because now we know what all this means. We know in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17:

15By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. 17After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.…”

Could these two passages be related to the other? It appears. But, lets look at Daniel. He is talking about a time of trouble then they will be delivered. So we turn to Matthew 24. We see here a “time of trouble”, then the Lord comes. Perhaps, this “time of trouble” is the time before the Great Tribulation? Things to ponder.

Never the less, when the Lord comes, those who are dead in Christ will rise and then those who are alive then will. And in the very end all will be judged according to whether or not their names are written in the book of life. This can be a scary thought for some. Especially if they do not know if their name is in the book of life.

How can one find their name in the book of life?For further reading click here> Book of Life information

Of course we see this last part of the Daniel in verse 4, “knowledge will increase”. If the world is ever informed before, it is now. With google, computers, social media, news, live access to whatever…etc. No one should say, “I don’t know?” Since we are seeing that now, we should be ever more alert of the Lords return.

I just read this first part of Daniel today and couldn’t get past it. I felt encouraged by it. I wanted to share it with you all.

So, what do you think? Comments welcomed!

My Love

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My Love, what you are to me…

Your love is like the ocean

So wide and so deep

I pour my heart to you.

You share yours with mine

We are connected by love so divine.

Your voice it is like the sweetest melody.

Every word, like a note and a rhyme to me

 Such sweet poetry.

I love you so.

The way you look at me

That slight smile you give.

You are a beautiful memory

One I will cherish for eternity

You whisper “I love you”

my heart melts and I confess,

“There is no one but us.

I am yours and you are mine”

My Love, that’s what you are to me.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

 

 

Where have you been?

The last week or so, i have been dealing with sickness in the house. I am not sure if anyone ever eagerly waits for my next blog. But, that is why I haven’t blog for awhile. Or as often.

Maybe it is just me, but do you, fellow bloggers, ever wonder if you are even making a difference in the world with your blog? If these are even getting to someone and is impacting their world? Never the less, we plug away because we have things to share. And truthfully, I just really like to write.

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Today, I am going to take a break from the book of Daniel and just be random. Random, because it is my personality to be goofy. I love to laugh. I like to do spur of the moment type stuff too.

Often times, growing up, our family would come to the close of the week and all of a sudden decide, “hey lets go camping” so we pack up everything really quick and go to our favorite site. Or we would decide, “today would be a good day to take a drive”. Now, don’t get me wrong I do like to have things planned out. But, I do like being spontaneous. Makes life fun. In my opinion. I like random change from the mundane everyday in and out way of life.

Not many can do this. Some, prefer to have a plan and a weeks notice before doing things. And that is okay. I know on certain things I am the same way. Never wrong to have a plan. Because then it is well thought out and often times if you do random  you might find out that restaurant or store or park is closed and you drove all that way for nothing.

Griswalds vacation

Funny movie (didn’t want to use longer version due to  language) Here they arrive at Wally World only to find out that it is closed. So, yes it is important to have a plan. Haha!

Other random stuff….

My go to movies when I am alone Austenland, Pride and Prejuidice, Galaxy Quest, Tron Legacy, any Narnia movie, You’ve Got mail, Meet Me in St Louis, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Star wars, or Lord of the Rings, Ferris Bueller, and Princess Bride. I know odd compilation. Plenty for any mood, sickness, and plenty to choose from.

Some more random….

Today it is snowing outside. It hasn’t really snowed here this winter. Living in Iowa as a kid, we use to get epic snow fall. I mean..blizzards. One time, when I was in 5th grade, it was a blizzard. I thought it would be nice of me to go shovel the sidewalk in said blizzard. Help my parents out before they got home. Yeah…..nope! I would shovel about two feet then the snow would pile back up. Note to self:never shovel till after the blizzard. Lesson learned. But, it was funny, I asked my parents if they noticed i shoveled…haha..they said no.

 

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And that will wrap up my randomness for now. Enjoy your day!!

 

My Thoughts on Daniel (pt 11)

“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done. 37 He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all. 38 He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these. A god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price.

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It is hard to imagine such a man would ever exists. Perhaps in our “sheltered” lives, here in America, we may not understand what it feels like to be under a dictatorship. So, reading something such as this …blows the mind.

I know some Americans feel that under a democrat leadership, it may have felt like our freedoms have been infringed upon. Or that they, that potus, was a dictator. But truly, we have no clue what that is like. And this man that is to come will be unlike any other in the worlds past. We thought Hitler was bad. This man of lawlessness (Not Obama as some may have called him) will be far worse.

People will be taken by him. Meaning, they will be in awe. We thought people blindly followed passed presidents, this man will be so persuasive. Deceitful. I pray  that the “elect” do NOT fall away during this time. If it be possible that they would or could. I pray that all believers would have eyes to see. That they would not be so wrapped up in debating doctrine, or defining the time when the Lord comes, but that they would be alert. That they would be concerned about leading others to the Lord, as the Lord leads them.

some say we are even closer to the Lords return. We will know the season after all. That is what Jesus said. So my prayers is we are alert. That we become more concerned about souls. Teaching them the truth. Sharing the salvation and hope we have in Jesus. That should be our concern. Let the Holy Spirit do his job…not you. Be willing to be used by the Lord. CEASE EVERY opportunity, as it is He, who is giving it to you to be a witness and ambassador of him to the world.  Do not get so wrapped up with trivial arguments. Live the truth, speak the truth. Seek God in all things. And we will see the harvest.

The tricky thing about losing your first love…

Good message

Pursuing Glory

…is you can do it without realizing it.

I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

-Jesus, Revelation 2:2-4

What I’m extremely aware of in this stage of my life is the fact that the Ephesians did everything right. Jesus has no complaint for the Ephesians about anything that they did or  didn’t do. No sin was mentioned and there was no rebuke for what was left undone. These guys worked hard, were patient, tested false apostles, endured persecution patiently for the name of Christ, and…

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My Thoughts on Daniel (pt 10)

“Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words”. Daniel 10:12

Daniel is visited by, what some feel, COULD be Jesus. I will leave that up to you to decide. But, he is visited by this man who tells Daniel of what is going to come. What I want to address is the above verse.

Daniel is told because he has “SET” his heart “to understand and humbled” himself before God, now God would answer Daniel.

Lets take a moment to pause and reflect on this. If we have a problem we are going through, if we have an obstacle, a trial, a heartache, a situation…whatever it may be..sometimes going to the Lord in just prayer is not the way to get the answer. Now bear with me. Jesus told his disciple that :

20 And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith [i]the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 21 [[j]But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”] Matthew 17:20-21

Some situation need different kind of prayer. Can’t God hear me no matter how I pray? He sure can. But I think what is being said here, is God wants to see how dedicated you are. How faithful we are to our God, how fervent in seeking him about a situation. Clearly, it is about the heart, as well. As in the case with the disciples perhaps. (my interpretation)

Daniel, was desperate for the answer from God. We read earlier that, I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. ” Daniel 10:2-3

He wanted the answer and he was willing to do whatever it took to have the Lord hear him. God looked upon the sincere genuineness of Daniels heart. So God replied.

Challenge to us

As our families, our nation, our world goes through various trials and situations, what are we willing to do to hear from God? To see “mountains” moved?

James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before God and He will exalt you”

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”