2022 Archives

God Bless?

  Those who have learned that dependence upon God is a fact of life rather than a sign of weakness, will generally take more seriously the matter of keeping themselves blessable.

  God is holy and cannot tolerate sin.  He is just and cannot ignore or overlook it—sin is therefore a natural barrier between the sinner and the blessings that God desires to confer upon His people.  By faith in the sufficiency of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, one can tear down that wall and be reconciled to God, making themselves eligible for God’s richest blessing.  At that point keeping one’s self blessable is a matter of daily confessing and forsaking any besetting sin—which God is faithful and just to forgive. (1John 1:9)

  One of the many major themes in the scripture is that God blesses the obedient and curses (punishes) the disobedient.  To etch this truth into their minds, a rather elaborate exercise was prescribed for God’s people, Israel, in Deuteronomy 27-28.  Moses told them, “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 28:2),” and then he informed them of twelve general types of blessing that could be theirs if they would simply obey.  Next, he told them, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: (Deuteronomy 28:15),” and then, a list of nineteen types of curses that would befall them if they disobeyed the Lord.

  God would cease to be God if He acted in a way that is contrary to His nature.  He cannot tolerate sin and cannot overlook it.  Whether it be a nation, a business, a church, a family or an individual, to enjoy the blessings of God we must be blessable, as prescribed in His Word.  Sadly, our global society has denied its dependence upon God and laid aside His moral absolutes and divine instruction.  We have spurned the grace of God and it appears that, in spite of the hardship and misery that it engenders, man is bent on sinning.

Mass Shootings

  Perhaps it is time for a renewed perspective of this issue of “Mass Shootings.”  While politicians and activists spar daily over the need for new laws vs. the sanctity of our Bill of Rights, more lives are lost.  To join in the political fray would be futile.  It would be exponentially more beneficial to address the obvious root of the problem and its equally obvious solution.

  It is really quite simple: People are what they have been becoming.  We are a society that boasts a diminishing estimation of the value of life, whether it is the unborn child, the terminally ill, or the ancient elder.  And then there are the innocent victims of amoral heroes or sly villains on the big screens of Hollywood, or the little screens of our personal devices with their myriads of murderous video games, plastered with the carnage of gross violence.  To many, in real life or in fantasy, taking a life has been reduced to easy money or points to top the high score.  Stimulation for the innate wickedness of man is always very near, and the results are painfully and shamefully obvious.

  But the sanctity of life is only part of the issue.  If the world were otherwise moral, the blackness of our obsession with death would stand out to all; warning flags would be flung from every direction, and society would expel the evil.  But it is hard to see just one aspect when the whole moral fabric of the civilized world is encompassed in the dark cancer of moral debauchery.  Perhaps the cause can be summed up in the simple old adage, “Garbage In—Garbage Out.”  Our society is producing thieves, rioters, adulterers, liars, etc. because we now call good evil and evil good.  We have made every man the captain of his own fate, and that, without moral compass.

  The solution can be stated in relatively few words.  They are found on the pages of the Holy Scriptures: 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. (2 Chronicles 7:14).  Perhaps most will not relinquish their command of life, but until we let God be God, sadly, there is no hope.

From God’s Perspective

  The value of an eyewitness is evident when convicting a criminal in the courtroom or gaining knowledge from some rare phenomena in the classroom.  We respect the testimony of one who has seen with his own eyes or heard with his own ears.  But experience has taught us that even in the case of an eyewitness, one’s vantage point is of utmost importance.  Two eyewitnesses might disagree on what has taken place simply because of the angle from which they observed the event.  We call it perspective, and one’s perspective shapes what he believes and how he might testify about what he has seen.

  Each of us is an eyewitness to the events that transpire in our daily routines.  Vantage point or perspective is no less important to us as we draw conclusions, act or react to events of life, whether they be pleasureful or dreadful.  You might be interested to know that because our point of view is often hampered by obstacles or clouds of emotion, God offers us a glimpse at life from His perspective—It changes everything.  For example, death, as perceived by natural man is dismal and permanent.  It is the powerful enemy of our souls, something to be dreaded and avoided at all cost.  But from God’s perspective, death is simply a door to more life.  Paul, the penman of much of the New Testament, said of death, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8)”  The Psalmists adds, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15).”  For a Christian, death need not be feared.

  Other examples include things like: sickness, unemployment, a lost election, a tightening economy, etc.  All of man’s problems are small to our omnipotent (all-powerful) God.  He promised to those who trust Him, “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5).”  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).  A look at life through the lens of scripture gives one the divine perspective!  God is waiting for you; first He offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and then He wants to show you your life from His perspective.

Abortion

  An article that I read recently reminded me that what we call Abortion, God defines as taking the life of a child while it is still in the mother’s womb. The life is not just a “fetus,” it is a child—an infant.  “And the children(twins) struggled together within her… (Genesis 25:22)”  “Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. (Job 3:16)”

  A baby is not an animal (or something less), he or she is a human life, made in the image of God.  “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)”  The little body within the womb is being formed by God.  “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13–16)”

  No word describes the unborn better than “innocence” and God forbids the shedding of innocent blood.  “That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee. (Deuteronomy 19:10–13)”  God required punishment of those who harmed the unborn—even accidentally.  “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, (Exodus 21:22–23)”

An unborn child does not belong to the mother, it belongs to the Creator “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)”

Change

   Remember when almost everyone allowed God to be God in their lives?  Remember when our nation was indeed one nation under God, and He had the final word?  Remember when people didn’t worship their stuff?  Remember when the name of God was considered sacred?  Remember when most people went to church on Sunday or at least were respectful of those who did?  Remember when it was honorable to be called Father or Mother?   Remember when taking a life was murder?  Remember when an intimate relationship with the opposite sex required marriage?  Remember when everyone agreed with God’s definition of family?   Remember when crimes like embezzlement, theft, and conspiracy did not pay?  Remember when lying was a bad thing to do and telling the truth even when it hurt was good?    Remember when it was wrong to make your neighbor’s success the measure of your own?  My, how times have changed—how quickly they are changing today.

  If you are rattled by the rate of change, take heart; God never changes:  “For I am the LORD, I change not… (Malachi 3:6)”  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)”  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)”

  God created mankind with the ability to choose so that man could, of his own volition, choose to love and worship Him.  Man not only chose to exclude God from his life, but has feverishly worked to eliminate His moral influence from the earth—hence all the change. But God has lovingly and faithfully built a Bridge by which sinful man could enter once again into His presence.  “Jesus saith… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)”

  God tells us that, at the right time, He will supernaturally enter again into the affairs of mankind and the crooked will be made straight.  For now He warns, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (Isaiah 55:6)”  “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)”