Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Irony. Being all Ironical.




In my studies and researches and biblical goings on, and my emphasis of the living in the manner of Christ...
I underscore the points of God's eternal and holy law, as it is called in scripture.


Now a point of irony has dawned on me,

In my research of God's law and its role in the life of the believer...


I've been called a Pharisee .

Can you believe that? For having a heart for God, and desiring obedience to his word... A pharisee.

Now the Irony that I may not have been aware of or by God's grace for my heart, I've forgotten...

I was reading this passage among a handful of others, in a study of Honor when I came across this passage again..

This is the REBUKE for the Pharisees....


Matthew 23

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.


The text in the King James says

28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.


Defining iniquity

Greek: Anomia

1) the condition of without law
    a) because ignorant of it
    b) because of violating it
2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness


Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for not keeping the Law of God

.... and When I say to my brothers and sisters in Christ, Hey guys, this Law of God is important...

I sometimes am labeled as a Pharisee.


Am I the only one who thinks that is kinda funny?


This same word, iniquity, meaning lawlessness is used some other places.

Matt 7


21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Matt 24

9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.


Matt 13
    Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us       the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.


Titus 2
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Monday, May 13, 2013

You don't want God.

God said something like that to me one day.

I was sitting in a chair praying a normal Christian formula prayer.

I said  with a dry and calloused heart " God, I want to know more of you"


I had tried praying, and things felt stagnant. I knew I had some sin that I wasn't dealing with.
But I prayed, because that is what Christians do. They pray.

So, out those words came.

I don't know why I didn't expect such a blunt response when he replied
"No you don't. You don't want to know more of me. If you wanted to know more of me, you would seek me."

I felt something penetrate my wall of numb emotion. I felt a stirring. 

I searched my heart, and my soul decided to be honest with GOD, who knew when every I was lying anyway.

"You're right " I said, like he didn't know that already " But... I want, to want you more. "

Yeah, I desired the desire to desire him.
God is real, I knew that. God is powerful, I knew that too.  Why is it that I didn't want to chase him?
He saved my soul and I remembered how in the very beginning that I latched on to him. I clung to him fervently. Now, I treated him... well, .... like a thing.

" That, I can work with that" He said to my second request. I'm sure I have told you guys this story in other posts....


But that is what is on my mind.


Who is God in your life?

Who is he?

Really?


I'm not asking you to recite a few passages, or off the top of your head tout some greek-hebrew title.

No.

Who is HE.  ....and do you know Him?

 Do you read the book of John and say

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.


This... THIS is my God... HE is grace upon grace upon grace.



.... and nothing else.





Is that it? Don't get me wrong, that is HUGE..... but.... that is one verse.
There are thousands of verses in the book.


Is he your provider?


but just the provider?



Is he he your redeemer who redeemed you from sin...



..... just so you can keep on sinning?

How much do you love sin?

Certain sins?

That one specific sin?

Do we love that one more than God?

Do we tear out the part of the bible where God told us that one sin isn't okay.


....or do we say, no, God says its fine. MY god says its fine.


We've all done it.
Many of us still do it.
MY god would never tell me that, because this thing that I like... well, I like it. God wants me to be happy. He wants me to be rich and He wants to give me all the stuff that I want...right?


^ take a look at who is really sitting on the throne there.


God wants your heart.  He wants you to surrender.  He wants you to serve Him. He wants your repentance and your confession that YOUR ways are not HIS ways.

He wants you to be free, and the ONLY way to be free is if you let him free you.



.....but He has to be God.  You can't be.
I can't be.

 Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.


All those moments where we say, I AM GOING TO DO THIS!!!!!!!!for god.
and I WILL DO THAT!!!!!my way.


How big is He?/


It's a whole different story when He says "Listen, move, now, go, do this as I have commanded you!"



I know personally, I want Him in my life. Not just because He gives me stuff and feeds me.  

He isn't just that.

I want Him in my life because HE is so much better than I am. He is so much greater than I have ever been.
He is Holy. He listens. He cares. HE is Just. HE is so so SO much smarter than I can even imagine.
I want Him in my life because He is.

.... and He says to me, If you want to be like me, I will help you walk like me, and talk like me, and I will give you My words, and I will break your chains, and I will show you my power,


I sometimes am reminded how God is so much bigger than we allow Him to be in our lives.


and He is jealous to reveal Himself to us.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thinking About Gay Stuff.

It's 5:03 in the morning.
I was just laying in bed, about to sleep and feeling tired finally after a nights work and mental stimulation.
I was comfortable and I was ready to sleep.
However, I couldn't stop thinking about a conversation that I had with someone while at work tonight.


I was on patrol and an acquaintance sought to have me weigh in on the discussion that she was having with her co-worker.


 "Do you go to church?"  She asked me.

"Yep. Why, would you like to come? " I replied.

"I have a question, and you can answer honestly, please answer honestly..."

By the tonal fluctuations in her voice I could tell that she was sincere and was about to ask me a very personal question.

" Am I going to hell for being gay?"

I'm going to be honest here, when she asked it, a part of my own heart instantly hurt with her.

" Are you afraid of going to Hell because you are gay?" I asked.

She told me how in her relationship, her significant other is starting to become increasingly fearful of the end times, and in that, she is afraid that they're going to hell for being gay.

There were many things that I wanted to say. Many responses that I wanted to give... and all of them were focused on the truth, and the heart that was seeking it.

I started off by telling her that I am not qualified to judge who goes to hell and who doesn't. I personally am far to faulty for that... plus, the job is taken by a qualified applicant.... Jesus. I mean he passed the bar, I failed half the exams.

To respond to her question I stated the fact that the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin.

The more important fact that I really tried to emphasize, is that God loves her/us/you/me.

HE does. IF you are reading this, know that God loves you. If you are gay, and you are reading this, Know that God loves you.

A lot of churches like to quote verses from the Bible in a pointed context to stab folks with it.
IT is almost as if they get a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction from it.

Westbro Baptist Church is a prominent face out there holding up signs that "GOD HATES FAGS" or "GOD HATES GAY PEOPLE"

Some of them will  quote Leviticus 18: 22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

I'm not sure.... maybe its me.... but I didn't read anywhere in that text that God hates people who deal with homosexuality.

I confessed to her that there are things that I struggle with as a heterosexual man. Are these sins of mine any less offensive? Is lust any less lustful for a man than for a woman?

... Am I defined by this one thing?
... is my struggle with this sin, the summation of who I am as a person?

Hell no. ( I said it)

John 3:16
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.


God so loved the world...
 God, LOVED, WORLD.

Even gay people.  Are you defined by the fact that you're attracted to someone.... or are you defined by the fact that you are created by God, in His image, Knit together in the womb?


Deuteronomy 14:3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing

Proverbs 16. 5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

Jerimiah 13: 27 “As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, The lewdness of your prostitution On the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will you remain unclean?”

Homosexuality is a sin. Eating pork, shellfish, snake, owl and other things God said aren't food ... is a sin. Being proud in the heart is a sin. Lusting is a sin.

My friend isn't less human for the sin. Jesus died for her too.
Repentance is a huge part of the salvation process, and it is important for all believers to exercise grace and patience with all people.

I gave my friend one of the cards I carry for church. I hope she comes and enters into the House of God, as the gentiles did in Acts 15... I hope that she comes and hears and applies the word to her life.


I hope that for a lot of us out there.