This post is written by a friend, Paula at "Along a Narrow Way". I wanted to share it with you because I am convinced the Lord is clearly speaking through Paula; and I thought this one would speak to your heart, as it has mine. Give Paula a visit at http://alonganarrowway.blogspot.com/2010/08/churning-part-1.html She has many other Godly inspired messages. Enjoy ... Bob
For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. - John 5:2
I have always loved this particular image - the picture of the angel of the Lord reaching down and quite literally stirring things up on behalf of the people who were in need. It's such a wonderful reminder that God is always willing to actively involve himself in the circumstances of our lives in order to see us blessed. He has never once forgotten the work that needs to be completed, the promises that need to be fulfilled, or the wounds that need to be healed in our lives.
But recently I've been spending time meditating on what that image really entails. Because while the mental picture of of an angel stirring up a pool is very pretty in theory, the actual experience that we go through when the waters of our lives begin to swirl around us can be a completely unsettling and uncomfortable experience. I know that there have been so many times when I have found myself in the midst of what felt like a chaotic swirl, where suddenly everything was up in the air and stability seemed like a thing of the past. At times like that it can be easy to look around and wonder why God would let things get to such a point.
After all, when the waters are still things are much easier. There is a certain comfort in knowing that things will be the same tomorrow as they were today. There's a security and peace that comes with the familiar. Still waters are calm waters, and who doesn't want smooth sailing? But when things get stirred up, when everything around us becomes uprooted and starts to change, it can be a frightening experience. So why would God do that to us? Why are his answers so often worked out in the midst of a swirl of uncertainty?
One of the first things that God showed me when I asked him about this was that churning waters will bring to the surface things that may have settled to the bottom. A lot of times we allow old issues, habits, wounds, or fears to remain in our lives because they are no longer in the forefront of our minds and hearts. They're still there, but we don't see or feel them every day, and it can be very easy to ignore them. But even though we aren't dealing with these issues on a day-to-day basis, they're still there underneath the surface.
I know that there were many issues in my life that I spent years ignoring no matter how long God tried to speak to me about changing them. He would speak to me about something that I needed to correct, and I would think "Oh, I'm not that bad. That's hardly an problem for me anymore." It's not that I didn't want to deal with them, but they were no longer on the surface of my life, and so I was able to pretend they weren't there. But God doesn't want us to be half-healed or kind-of-restored. He wants to finish the work he began in us! And sometimes the only way he can get us to deal with the mud and sludge in the background of our lives is to bring it back to the surface!
It all came to a head for me one day when I found myself acting like a nasty jerk because someone else was getting on my nerves. I sat back and thought: "I'm not normally like this! Why is it that when someone's bothering me I act like a completely different person?" What God showed me was that the other person's actions weren't causing me to do anything that wasn't already in me to do. They were merely stirring the pot a little bit, and as a result, all of these behaviors that I thought I'd dealt with were coming back to the surface. What he told me was that I needed to allow him to remove them from my life once and for all. I asked "How will I know when it's done?" and he told me I would know I was free of all of those old issues when no amount of aggravation could bring them out of me any more.
The process wasn't easy. It took time, it was uncomfortable, and it seemed like every day I was faced with another situation that churned up the waters. But I recognized the hand of God in what was happening, and when I came out the other side, I was a different person. God had stirred up the waters in my life, and as a result I was made well. http://alonganarrowway.blogspot.com/2010/08/churning-part-1.html
I think this post is a great example of what happens when a believer meditates on the Word. God will often say things to them that are profound. Things that you or I might not have remotely considered. They are unique to the individual believer, but clearly true for all of us to learn and grow from. Why don't we all meditate on God's Word, every day? He has commanded us and given us promises, if we do or don't. Meditate on the Word, my friends. God may well have plans for you, or I ... to be the next Joshua. One thing we can be sure of ... there is a lot of churning that needs to be done.
Joshua 1:8-9 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
My research defines the “abundant or great mercy” in this verse as: special and immediate regard to the misery which is the consequence of sins which is God’s free grace and gift as displayed in the forgiveness of sins as extended to men in their guilt. Isn’t that amazing, God has special and instant regard for your misery when you sin. All you must do is turn your eyes upon Christ and his Word. He will give you relief from the misery you have created. Now let’s look at this phrase “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled.” Some would have us believe that when we sin as born again believers, we can lose our salvation. I contend that this verse and many others refutes this unbiblical teaching. The inheritance here as described in my Greek dictionary is defined: “kieronomia: Devine salvation, considered both as promised and as already bestowed is designated an inheritance in the N.T. so far as man the heir obtains possession of it” … incorruptible,: the inheritance of the believer is called Apthartos, incorruptible not like the body that is going to be done away with, It is something that the believer receives in this life and will continue to have after this life is over. It is not subject to the same kind of deterioration as the present body in which the believer suffers. Amiantos: undefiled … That which has nothing to do in it that defiles; unpolluted; not capable of fading.
Well, that pretty much says it all … we are heirs to eternal life. Our inheritance is already bestowed, we already possess eternal life. Future sins cannot cause us to lose our inheritance. Our eternal life in heaven is undefiled and incorruptible. Nothing we can do, or not do, will change God’s promised inheritance for us. Unlike mere men, such as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, our heavenly father cannot change his mind, or lose our inheritance through foolishness, or through the cycles and problems of the world that normal men are subject to. Our Heavenly Father has secured our inheritance eternally on the cross at Calvary … once for all sin, and for ALL eternity. Does that mean there are no consequences for sin? I did not say that … God has also promised rewards in Heaven, which can be lost as a result of sin. Also, as we all know … here and now sin brings negative consequences. But even more worse than that God has promised that to defile His temple will bring His wrath. And worst of all, sin results in separation from God and a loss of the fellowship and guidance from the Holy Spirit. But the good news is that no matter what, we can never, ever, (no way ... no how) lose our inheritance: ETERNAL LIFE WITH CHRIST IN HEAVEN! Praise be to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Why would anyone ever reject such an amazing offer of Jesus Christ's free gift of eternal life in heaven? Pride and ignorance. They have been blinded by the god of this world, and his teachings. These are the only answers that I can come up with. Do you still struggle with areas of sin in your life? I know some might say no … but most likely they will lie about other things as well. Now is as good of a time as any to take a good look at yourself from God’s perspective. Why not start here: Jesus is talking directly to you.
Have you ever thought about what God sees when he looks at you?
He does not see what you or I most likely see. He no longer sees the old you who died along with Christ on the cross of Calvary. Our heavenly father sees each of us as completely new in Christ. And he wants us to see ourselves in that exact same light ... the light of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. The old life is not changed but rather exchanged for that which is altogether new. When God looks at our old man now he sees a man whose sins past, present and future ... have been washed away by the blood of Jesus, shed for each of us, on the cross at Calvary.
He wants us to keep our eyes focused on the redeemer … not on our weaknesses and failings. As long as we look upon the righteousness of Christ, we can have victory over the evil one who wants to bring us down. The forces of evil have no power over us when we stand firm with our vision focused on Christ and His Holy Word. We must surrender our hearts and minds to the leading of the Holy Spirit as he leads us to a path of righteousness.
Would you like to have victory over Satan and his demons every time he tempts or attacks you? We can always win over the prince of the world. We are promised “A Certain Victory" each and every time we come up against the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As Jesus did in the wilderness, we must reject the evil tempter. Again, boldly, confidently, and with courage, we must use the "Sword of the Spirit" the Word of Truth, call out your enemies as Jesus did 2000 years ago. He faced Satan in the wilderness as an example for all of us to follow. The battle plan; sequence of events; and victory is clear:
stand and confront; refute the lies; use the Sword of the Spirit; Satan will retreat; and angels will come to minister to you.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD. Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE. Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST. Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”. Mathew 4:1-11
We face exactly the same temptations today as Jesus did. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the sinful pride of life. all of the attacks we will face can be categorized in under these three areas. And we are to use exactly the same defense against our enemies as Jesus did. When you are tempted by lust or pride, follow the Holy Spirit. Get ready … memorize the word; meditate on it. And when the evil one comes to tempt or attack you, call him out … repeat or read God’s truth to the tempter and Satan and his demons will flee from you every time ...
... and angels will come to minister to you. God Bless you my friends, Bob
Opposing Mosque Does Not Violate Freedom of Religion! The Islamic fanatics that we are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq are for sure in favor of this Mosque being built. And make no mistake Imam Rauk is not a moderate trying to build bridges. Listen to his own words: click here. The 80 million radical Muslims who are spread throughout the Muslim world will surely see this mosque as a world headquarters for their cause. We must all come to the conclusion ... there is a worldwide jihad to conquer the world for Islam. Now are American Muslims, with only .6% of our population followers of this Jihad? For the most part, obviously not. But you can estimate there are 50,000 followers already in America who would join the radicals against America if given the chance. The political goals, plans and Koranic instructions of worldwide Islam clearly make it different that all other religions, and as a result it should be treated differently. The jihad is an act of war and our enemies are using mosques as points of attack; and for planning and training of jihadists worldwide. Until we are able to come to grips with this reality, America and the world will never be safe from the dangers posed by Islam. If Christians were using churches as safe havens from which to plan and launch attacks on our citizens, I would be the first to say ... these fanatics must be stopped. I know this sounds crazy, because it is not happening here yet ... but view the clips on this post, and then tell me what you think. Watch the clips here:Two Islams
Posted: 24 Aug 2010 Liberty Juice ... begin The mosque at ground zero… It’s become one of those hot topics that most people feel very strongly about, no matter what side your opinion falls on. I’ve read article after article, listened to different pundits and taken into consideration all of the comments that I’ve read on the issue. However, there are a few arguments in favor of the mosque that keep circulating that baffle me because they are completely irrelevant, no matter how hard the liberals try to convince you of the opposite, to the real debate.
I’ve heard repeatedly that we should be supportive of this endeavor because America has the right to Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of Religion. Without delving too deeply into the hypocrisy of the left, who seeks to eliminate speech when they can’t debate it and win (see the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality) and who abhor and seek to diminish the intelligence of those who treasure their faith in this country (see the liberals applaud to Obama as he mocks those who “cling to their guns and religion”).
Liberals, on both of these issues, historically wave a very wobbly and unconvincing flag. They hold their nose when around people of faith, mock them behind their backs, and would eliminate both rights for all Americans as quickly as possible, given the slightest opportunity. So, I do find it quite hilarious and ironic that all of a sudden; the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion rights now have as some of it’s greatest champions and defenders, those very same people who constantly seek to destroy it outside of this incident.
For those of you who have been swayed by this argument, it’s because you have eaten up the sound bites without much thought or consideration to the debate. Let me be clear, nobody is attempting to do away with anyone’s right to speech or religion. Those amendments and clauses specifically mean that the government will not throw you in prison or retaliate if you practice your religion and/or engage in free speech, as long as you aren’t infringing on the rights or harming anyone else. Given that and the fact that nobody has threatened these people with prison or government retaliation, those arguments are completely irrelevant to the discussion. Freedom of speech is a two-way street and it doesn’t mean that your speech won‘t result in other other forms of consequences. For example, I have the right to insult whomever I wish, most likely without fearing prison time. Yet, I know the consequence of that may be that someone will choose to defend themselves and scream right back at me.
People in favor of the mosque essentially looming over our 9/11 cemetery are free to speak as loudly in favor of it as they wish. However, those of us who find it insulting, degrading, and heartbreaking have just as much of a right to protest in an equally passionate manner.
Nobody is saying these people cannot build a mosque!! The thousands of mosques that are throughout our country are testimony to the fact that we liberally apply and value our freedom of religion.
However, those who are in charge of this endeavor say they do so in order to “build ties.” Yet, when you know that at least 70% of Americans are not in favor of this and you realize that chaos, heartbreak and wounds that are being reopened as a result of this pursuit, why would you think that it would be at all successful in healing?
Certainly, not every Muslim is an extremist. We know this. Many of them have adopted the American culture and love this country. But the extremists within the Islamic community does run large and deep and they absolutely detest America. In fact, it consists of at least 7% of Muslims, which means there are about 80 million Muslim extremist worldwide. That being said, it’s an asinine point to try and compare this to a Timothy McVeigh incident or to a church being built near the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh was no Christian. In fact, it’s pretty well known that he was an atheist. But, for the sake of example, let’s pretend that he did this under the guise of Christianity and in the name of God. Christianity would be under fire, but most of the world and anyone with a shred of common sense would know that it was an anomaly…an exception to the rule. Because, Christians don’t go around blowing things up. But, extremist Muslims, and there are many of them, do.
The entire world has had to change the way it goes about traveling, airports are barely recognizable as they were pre-9/11, and countries all over the world are on constant vigilance against none other than radical Muslims. This is not so because of Christianity or other religions. Only because of Islam. So, let’s call a spade a spade and quit comparing this to an isolated incident with some mental wacko.
We must also take into consideration that historically Muslims build mosques in areas that they have conquered. The Koran (018:021) states: ’Build a building over them, their Lord knows best about them;’ and those who prevailed in their affair said, ’We will surely make a mosque over them.’ What message would this send echoing across the world and what kind of radicalism with this further inspire for the 80 Million extremists worldwide? It should be no surprise that there are a ton of religious and extremists implications to this entire business.
The bottom line is this… anybody attempting to unite, heal and build ties, as they claim is their intent, would not continue down what is clearly a provocative and painful road for not just New Yorkers, but Americans. They would not have resisted meetings with Governor Paterson, concerning a more logical, less painful place for their message- mere blocks away.
Charles Krauthammer said it best in his own take:
Just as the people of Japan today would not think of planting their flag at Pearl Harbor, despite the fact that no Japanese under the age of 85 has any possible responsibility for that infamy, representatives of contemporary Islam — the overwhelming majority of whose adherents are equally innocent of the infamy committed on 9/11 in their name — should exercise comparable respect for what even Obama calls hallowed ground and take up the governor’s offer. Posted: 24 Aug 2010 Liberty Juice ... end
Now think about this additional reality. The 80 million radical Muslims worldwide are on a quest or Jihad to conquer the world. They have already positioned themselves to control all of Europe within the next 30 years. When that happens, those European Muslims who are now moderate, will join with the radicals. How do I know this? Because if they don't ... they will be stoned to death. Also, the truth is that the radicals are following the teachings of the Koran which teaches that in any conquered nation ... sharia and the Koran will be the ruling law. Bibles, and Christian churches, and other religions will either be forbidden, or at best be allowed to exist as inferior citizens.
Do we want that reality from any religion in America? Even if it were Christianity? Based upon what I have been reading and listening to from the Christian leaders in America ... no thank you. I will keep my freedom of speech and my freedom of religion, just as they are. True Biblical Christianity has been distorted so much, that I won't be surprised to hear someone call themselves an atheist Christian in the near future. Why not, there are millions of atheists in America that call themselves Christians already while at the same time denying the Bible and denying that Jesus is anything more than a good teacher. Any religion, Christianity or otherwise that becomes the state religion will surely be perverted in the same ways our constitution has been twisted.
1 Corinthians 3:1-15 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as spiritual men, but as carnal, even as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine explained to me that he had noted on an application for a Christian school in Orange County for his children that he believed in “Free Grace” rather than “Lordship Salvation”. He then went on to explain that he was then advised by the principal of that school that his family would not be admitted to the school as a result of his "free grace" belief.
This saddens me because very Godly Christians stand firm on both sides of this issue. But one thing is certain; the school’s leadership was clearly showing where a legalistic viewpoint can easily end up. I am convinced this issue will not even exist in heaven. Jesus is and will be worshiped as Lord of all; and all who are there, will be there ONLY as a result of His sacrifice for us and His "Free Gift" of grace. I have previously stated my belief on this issue. The scripture above is one of many that strongly reinforces my "free grace" beliefs.
Lets begin here with the specific Greek words:Natural man 2:14 Psuchikos: this pertains to the natural, as distinguished from spiritual or glorified nature of man, driven by animal or fallen, sinful instincts of man. Carnal man 3:1 Sarkikos: has an affinity to natural sinful propensities. Affinity means: a natural liking or attraction; inherent likeness or close resemblance. Paul was clearly describing two different people. One (natural man) who could not receive the things of God, for they are foolishness to him … and another (carnal man) who did receive the things of God but who to a large degree appeared on the outside to live like the natural man. So the question is: Are they both lost spiritually and going to hell or, are carnal men saved and going to spend their lives with Christ in heaven? Lordship would teach that these carnal men are lacking of repentance, and therefore most likely never truly accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Beyond God and the individual person, how could someone else know that? Others have told me that these carnal Christians have a false hope, and have lost their salvation due to their sins. Without repentance they will be rejected by God, along with the goats singled out by God in yesterdays post. What do you think? Now, let’s look at the teaching that follows and see what Paul has to say. First Paul talks about his teaching to them. He fed them milk, not meat. He did not expect them to be mature in Christ at the time of their conversion. A carnal person is a spiritually immature Christian, a babe in Christ, but please note: Paul did refer to them as brothers in Christ. By placing their faith in Christ, they had been justified (past tense) … in contrast to the natural man, this is the key difference in their spiritual position. Although carnal and behaving like mere men, the babes were saved, as a result of Christ’s work on the cross.
Paul then points to the evidence of their carnality … envy, strife and division over the teachings of men, rather than a focus on Christ and his Word. Next Paul explains that men are only ministers who God has spoken to them through, and that it is God who gives the increase, and that he and Appollos are not important. Think about it. How many Christians in our society today are focused on a minister rather than God and His Holy Truth? How many have allowed a teacher to come between them and Jesus Christ? How many millions have spent their entire Christian life never going beyond this carnal state of spirituality ... many as pastors or church leaders?
How about you? If your pastor’s teaching was demonstrated to be unbiblical, would you stand with him or with the truth? What would you do? I have been researching the teachings of a number of national Christian leaders and what I am finding is not Biblically correct. You need to be a Berean. Is this you God is talking to? Are you trying to be tolerant and politically correct, and as a result, have you and your church become Laodiceans?
Next, the apostle explains that there will be rewards according to our labor, in Heaven. We are God’s building. The context here is “according to the grace of God” (Ephesians 2:8-10) Paul laid a foundation which is Jesus Christ. Once again, this is the key difference between the natural man and the carnal man. The natural man viewed this foundation as foolishness and instead … his building is built on sand. Now Paul speaks to each believer: “But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” What would Oprah say to that?
Or what about this false teaching of two world renowned Christians, who agreed about this heretical teaching, on national TV?: “what do you think is the future of Christianity?" “Everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not … they are members of the body of Christ. That is what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for his name, whether they come from the Muslim world or the Buddhist world or the Christian world or the non believing world … they are members of the body of Christ, because they have been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved and that they are going to be with us in heaven.” "Oh, I’m so thrilled to hear you say that … there’s a wideness in God’s mercy.” This is heresy. I greatly respect these men but their views here are contrary to the Bible. I have many more examples, but this should suffice for now. Our church is being led astray! We must be Bereans!
The day speaks of the time when Christ will judge the merits of His servant’s works … not whether they receive forgiveness of sin. The fire here does not refer to the eternal fire of damnation. Revelation 20:10. The warning is that we will each be erecting our house with different materials. Some pure works will stand the test of fire, and are compared to gold, silver, and precious stones. These Christians will receive rewards, according to their own labor. Other Christian’s efforts will be burned up, and they will suffer loss ... but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. We will be cleansed of our unworthiness by fire on this day. Does that mean I am teaching that Jesus is not my Lord? Never! NO! Never! It means that the Bible teaches that once I have accepted Christ's free gift of forgiveness and eternal life, I enter His protection eternally ... even if all my works are burned up … I will be saved like a man running from a "Burning House" in spite of myself. Not because of what I did; or did not do. I cannot earn my way to heaven. I can only have victory over my old self, as I abide in Christ and submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life. I can only be saved eternally because Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and when I trust in Him ... by His grace, I am justified, and redeemed, and eternally positioned with Jesus spiritually in Heaven ... NOW and forever, past tense ... my forgiveness and salvation is finished. When I fall and I am sure I will, Christ will always be there to save me, forever, ALWAYS … for eternity. Years ago, I was teaching this chapter in a bible study in my home. An atheist lady named Barbara was there and as I finished, she said; “that doesn’t make any sense. If that is true, then I can just pray to receive Christ and then do whatever I want” "Not a good Idea, Barbara, I said, ... read the next verse."
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Cor. 3:16-17.
Barbara read it out loud and then said; “I don’t get it.” I then asked; “which YOU will God destroy, Barbara?” She said; “huh?” I then explained; “God has already promised eternal life to the man running from the burning house, If the spiritual you is secure for eternity ... then, God must be talking about the physical you that will be destroyed." “Oh” she said; “I don’t want to go there.”
One Sunday Morning, an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn-out old hat and an equally worn, dog-eared Bible. The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and fine jewelry. As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all appalled by his appearance and did not attempt to hide it. As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. "Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be appropriate attire for worship in church." The old cowboy assured the preacher he would. The next Sunday, he showed back up for the services wearing the same ragged jeans,shirt, boots, and hat. Once again he was completely shunned and ignored. The preacher approached the cowboy and said, "I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church." "I did," replied the old cowboy.
"And what was his reply?" asked the preacher. "Well, sir, God told me that he didn't have a clue what I should wear. He said he'd never been in this church."
The Judgment of The Sheep and the Goats
Matthew 25:31-46 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Blessed are the Sheep ... God Bless you my friends, Bob
ANN COULTER JUSTICE BRENNAN'S FOOTNOTE GAVE US ANCHOR BABIES August 4, 2010
Democrats act as if the right to run across the border when you're 8 1/2 months pregnant, give birth in a U.S. hospital and then immediately start collecting welfare was exactly what our forebears had in mind, a sacred constitutional right, as old as the 14th Amendment itself.
The louder liberals talk about some ancient constitutional right, the surer you should be that it was invented in the last few decades.
In fact, this alleged right derives only from a footnote slyly slipped into a Supreme Court opinion by Justice Brennan in 1982. You might say it snuck in when no one was looking, and now we have to let it stay.
The 14th Amendment was added after the Civil War in order to overrule the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision, which had held that black slaves were not citizens of the United States. The precise purpose of the amendment was to stop sleazy Southern states from denying citizenship rights to newly freed slaves -- many of whom had roots in this country longer than a lot of white people.
The amendment guaranteed that freed slaves would have all the privileges of citizenship by providing: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
The drafters of the 14th amendment had no intention of conferring citizenship on the children of aliens who happened to be born in the U.S. (For my younger readers, back in those days, people cleaned their own houses and raised their own kids.)
Inasmuch as America was not the massive welfare state operating as a magnet for malingerers, frauds and cheats that it is today, it's amazing the drafters even considered the amendment's effect on the children of aliens.
But they did.
The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."
In the 1884 case Elk v. Wilkins, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians -- because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction.
For a hundred years, that was how it stood, with only one case adding the caveat that children born to legal permanent residents of the U.S., gainfully employed, and who were not employed by a foreign government would also be deemed citizens under the 14th Amendment. (United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 1898.)
And then, out of the blue in 1982, Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that "no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful." (Other than the part about one being lawful and the other not.)
Brennan's authority for this lunatic statement was that it appeared in a 1912 book written by Clement L. Bouve. (Yes, the Clement L. Bouve -- the one you've heard so much about over the years.) Bouve was not a senator, not an elected official, certainly not a judge -- just some guy who wrote a book.
So on one hand we have the history, the objective, the author's intent and 100 years of history of the 14th Amendment, which says that the 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship on children born to illegal immigrants.
On the other hand, we have a random outburst by some guy named Clement -- who, I'm guessing, was too cheap to hire an American housekeeper.
Any half-wit, including Clement L. Bouve, could conjure up a raft of such "plausible distinction(s)" before breakfast. Among them: Legal immigrants have been checked for subversive ties, contagious diseases, and have some qualification to be here other than "lives within walking distance."
But most important, Americans have a right to decide, as the people of other countries do, who becomes a citizen.
Combine Justice Brennan's footnote with America's ludicrously generous welfare policies, and you end up with a bankrupt country.
Consider the story of one family of illegal immigrants described in the Spring 2005 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons:
"Cristobal Silverio came illegally from Oxtotilan, Mexico, in 1997 and brought his wife Felipa, plus three children aged 19, 12 and 8. Felipa ... gave birth to a new daughter, her anchor baby, named Flor. Flor was premature, spent three months in the neonatal incubator, and cost San Joaquin Hospital more than $300,000. Meanwhile, (Felipa's 19-year-old daughter) Lourdes plus her illegal alien husband produced their own anchor baby, Esmeralda. Grandma Felipa created a second anchor baby, Cristian. ... The two Silverio anchor babies generate $1,000 per month in public welfare funding. Flor gets $600 per month for asthma. Healthy Cristian gets $400. Cristobal and Felipa last year earned $18,000 picking fruit. Flor and Cristian were paid $12,000 for being anchor babies."
In the Silverios' munificent new hometown of Stockton, Calif., 70 percent of the 2,300 babies born in 2003 in the San Joaquin General Hospital were anchor babies. As of this month, Stockton is $23 million in the hole.
It's bad enough to be governed by 5-4 decisions written by liberal judicial activists. In the case of "anchor babies," America is being governed by Brennan's 1982 footnote. By Ann Coulter
It doesn't matter what the issue is, or what their beliefs are politically, no judge or politician should ever have the ability to alter the law by inserting their views into the law. I would love for someone to demonstrate that this story is untrue, but whether you agree with her or not, Ann Coulter knows the law and legal issues as well as most. Obviously, there is only one exception that I would be in favor changing the law, in any event ... murdering innocent babies.
The Internet’s“Unholy Trinity” Posted: 04 Aug 2010 02:00 AM PDT Liberty Juice
As the Obama Administration continues the push to regulate your Internet service through Net neutrality, an “Unholy Trinity” of backroom players keeps emerging. Anyone concerned about our future freedom from federal control over the Internet should be concerned about what these people are doing.
First, there is the overtly socialist group, Free Press, funded (surprise!) in part by George Soros’ foundation. Established in 2002, Free Press has been led for most of the past decade by the leftist professor Robert McChesney. Two years ago, McChesney revealed his colors by saying, “Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”
Given this, no one should be surprised that: The Federal Communications Commission hired Free Press’ spokeswoman to be its mouthpiece to promote federal “neutrality” regulation. The FCC has repeatedly given Free Press a federally sponsored platform to promote its socialist agenda. Hillary Clinton’s State Department brought on a top Free Press official to help push her views globally. Free Press employees have been in multiple closed-door meetings with White House and federal officials, discussing Internet “neutrality” policy? Second, there is Google, whose motivation for federal control is clear. When you control more than 70 percent of America’s Internet searches and more than 40 percent of its video streams, you don’t want a pesky thing like competition interfering with your billions in profits.What better way to cement your dominance than by helping write the rules that will ensure it? Google employees and executives gave a whooping $803,000 to the Obama campaign. CEO Eric Schmidt actively stumped for candidate Obama and then (along with other Google executives) paid $25,000 each to fund the Obama inaugural.
The third part of the “Unholy Trinity” is former Google top lobbyist Andrew McLaughlin, who is helping write Administration policy on the Internet. (As Jay Leno might put it, “Well, what are the odds of THAT?!”) McLaughlin was reprimanded this year for improper contacts with Google officials. More troubling for the White House, Ken Boehm at the National Legal Policy Center just released White House emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act which show that even after this reprimand, McLaughlin was circumventing clear federal “transparency” rules to communicate with both Free Press and his former employer about Internet neutrality regulation.
The Internet has triumphed for 20 years because government at all levels has wisely held off regulating it. Even the Clinton Administration agreed with that policy in a famous 1997 report. It’s high time for light to shine on the Free Press/Google/McLaughlin charade on Internet policy. The Internet is too valuable to allow a monopoly company and a Marxist nonprofit drive federal policy.
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him … Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” The Pharisees then answered them, “You have not also been led astray, have you? “No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? “But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.” John 7:1
I have talked previously about Paul’s praise for the Bereans noting the verse: “these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11
The Bereans were standing on the belief that God’s word was pure never changing, never ending truth. They believed that God’s word is pure and therefore they should test the teachings of those that spoke to them to determine what to believe and what to reject. If the Bereans were alive today, they would they would be viewed as intolerant Christian fundamentalists.
This past week I heard a story that I feel is a good example of how Christians are to practice their faith, and to be a modern day Berean. My friend Lou is a police officer. His job is to investigate the facts of a crime with basically one purpose in mind: to discover the truth. When investigating a case, he has been trained that it is not his concern where the truth leads, but rather to discover the truth, regardless of where it leads. The truth is to be used by the defense or prosecution to prove either innocence or guilt.
Early in his career, Lou was being discipled by another police investigator who was a Christian. His friend showed Lou that he needed to look into the Bible more deeply because from a fellow investigator’s perspective, the evidence of truth and miracles were everywhere. A life foundation that begins with a book that outlines eternal truth is invaluable to an investigator seeking truth. Lou’s friend used the story in John 7 as compelling evidence that Jesus was more than just a good teacher and that God’s word is truth.
Let’s step back into the picture. In the time of Christ, there were two forms of police authority. The Romans had conquered Israel and set up the primary ruling authority much like federal government. But they had also allowed for the Israelites to maintain their religion and enforce their religious laws and authority, much like our state, county and city police. As a result, the secondary form of authority was the Chief Priests and the Pharisees and their police force was the palace guard. The Romans only needed to step in when their rules were violated, or if the palace guard was not able to maintain control. This allowed for the Romans to control the lands they had conquered from more of a distance.
One thing that we can be sure of during time period is that soldiers and guards obeyed the orders of their superiors. Penalties for not following orders were severe. The loss of their job was likely a certainty; and for negligence or insubordination, a Roman soldier could have been executed. The penalties are not clear regarding the Palace Guard, but to disregard direct orders from the chief priest would surely bring shame in them personally, and the likely loss of their valued career position.
In the above story, the Chief Priests gave a direct order to arrest Jesus and this is where the story takes on special meaning for my friend. As a policeman and investigator, it was clear to him that these palace guards acted outside of their normal character, and that there had to have been a compelling reason for them not to have arrested Jesus. The Chief Priests and religious leaders were seeking Jesus for reasons that they deemed worthy of death. What faithful temple guard would be foolish enough to disregard such an order without a very good reason?
Why were the Jewish leaders seeking to capture and kill Jesus? He was exposing their hypocrisy. He was a threat to them and their authority. He was talking with the authority of God’s Word; He turned water into wine; He had fed 5,000 with a five loaves and two fish; and He healed the lame, blind, and lepers; and He raised a young girl from the dead; and He cast out demons and performed many more miracles. When He told a man his sins were forgiven … that was the last straw, for the Jews that was blasphemy, worthy of death. The people were talking of making Him king and this brought great concern to the leaders who were concerned about a conflict with the Romans. They needed to neutralize this irritant to their authority and system of government.
Their greatest evidence that Christ was not the Messiah was “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” But what they did not know is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that He was a descendant of David. Unfortunately, their facts were limited to their human knowledge and perspective and they were the opposite of the truth They could have discovered the truth … if they had only searched for the truth. So they sent two of their best policemen, who faithfully went to arrest Jesus. They didn’t need a reason. They had already been given the order. Now, let’s try and walk in their shoes. The Chief Priest called them in and explained the urgency of the situation. This Galilean who had earlier had attacked numerous people in the temple was now inciting a riot and revolt amongst the people. Go and arrest Him at once. When these guards found Jesus, there was most likely a crowd that numbered in the thousands. But the guards saw miracles and listened to the truth spoken by the Lord and Savior of the world. Probably … much like Paul on the road to Damascus, their eyes were opened for the first time. When the guards were convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, and decided not to arrest Him … from a human viewpoint, what do you think the most intelligent explanation for going to the Chief Priest empty handed would have been? Certainly not, “we just couldn’t arrest him, he is a great orator … you should just hear the way he speaks.” The Jewish leaders already knew of Jesus amazing way with words. No … that would be a foolish reply to the leaders. And as expected, the priest’s answer to the guards was one of sarcasm. The wiser thing for them to say would have been: “we went to arrest him but there were just too many people there in his support … it would have incited a riot and we surely would have been attacked and overrun.” So why did they go back and speak of Jesus with awe and admiration? Because they had witnessed miracles, and listened to God speak to them. The same God that Pilate did not want to crucify, and the same God who the Centurion in charge of Jesus’ crucifixion identified when he said; “Surely he was the Son of God!”
So, why is this story important for Lou and for you and for me? Well, when my friend Lou considered this story, God spoke to him in a special way. He spoke to him through the eyes of a police investigator searching for the pure truth, and through the eyes of those two palace guards. God opened Lou’s eyes to the truth. No two police officers with an arrest warrant would come back empty handed; and if they did, they better have a very good reason; or suffer the end of their career, or worse. Yet they simply said, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” They just would not come back with this answer unless … they had just watched and listened to the living God walk and talk and perform miracles.The lesson for all of us is that when we search the pure word as the Bereans did, God will show us these deeper messages that he has placed throughout his word to strengthen our faith. And all of a sudden a light goes on and the truth becomes clear and a life is saved and secured for eternity. And like my friend Lou, “those who receive the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily” to discover the truth, many will find their life verse. On its face, it may be hidden where most would just read over, tucked away in the details of a story about religious leaders and the palace guard. Only a Berean would find it. One searching for truth, the Lord has placed it there for him to discover and marvel and share with the rest of us. Are you like the Bereans?
often contradict the wisdom of the world. Since we have been programmed by the world ... we have come to accept these worldly ideas as truth ... but when we consider God’s perspective ... we come to understand ... "the Lord's ways are not our ways"
Don't just read these writings ... meditate and pray over God's Word ... Listen to the Holy Spirit ... and be transformed by renewing your mind. He who died on our behalf wants you to ... allow the love of Christ to control you ... so that you might become ... the righteousness of God in Him.
Be an Ambassador of Christ ... with a ministry of reconciliation. Share God's eternal Truth and Love ... with everyone He brings into your path.