Sunday, July 5, 2015

I Confess.

As I am reading this book God is opening my eyes to what probably is my greatest failing as a believer. It isn't that I do not evangelize enough, or do not read my scriptures enough, or pray enough... which admittedly I believe we most all could do these things more as a body. No, that is not my greatest failure.

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that my biggest failure is that when the Savior calls to me in life situations and said "Come deny yourself and follow me, crucify your flesh" in actions I often reply, " I will not yield"
Now this is not something that I could see outright as the flesh of a man has it's own sense of self preservation. Pride will disguise itself as a sense of righteousness, and justification. Wrongs inflicted and injustices will cause men to slander demons and Satan and ego will elevate a man higher in his own eyes to wage wars against them by his own strength. I've been that man a time or two. This is a public confession. I do not embrace pain and crucifixion the way that my Savior did. I do not bear the weight of mockery with the grace that He does. In many of those moments my flesh gets the better of me and I lose the battle before I recognize how to fight.  God has been working on this issue for many years with me, and there has been much progress and much left to be done. There are times, To His Glory more frequently, where the self-defense and heated exchange of insults is mitigated by God having fixed my eyes on compassion for the one I am in the exchange with. I do not want to make them hurt the way they hurt me, I do not want to make them suffer so that they understand not to mess with me, and that I am clever and that I am tactical. I want them to know that I love them because God is changing my heart and when I was one way, it was pain and pride. Giving pride for pride does not heal. It does not love. It does not cure.
It is not the way of self-denial. It is not sacrifice of the Savior.  It is not carrying the Cross.

I am reading this book about healing. In it explains that crucifixion comes from God with a purpose. All those people that you're mad at are just the delivery system for something which God has prescribed.
"Pick up your cross and follow me"
We see the message in churches now days that the thrust of the Christian walk, the apex of the gospels is happiness.
I am not seeing that from the text that says

Matthew 10

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20 For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

23 “But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

OOOOoooooooh-y does the sound of that tickle you and make you smile ear to ear! Probably not. Do you get overwhelmed with happiness that following the Savior is going to result in being hated, betrayed, beaten, killed, and cause you to flee your homes!!! I doubt it.
I don't really seeing that one making it on the Osteen sermon rolodex.
" Deliverance from a crucifixion is an escape from pain. It is also a deliverance from change... change which God desires. "
-Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians 
I don't do well with change. I resist it. I often times fight it.  That is one of the revelations that God has allowed me to see. God has authorized difficult situations in my life to 1) get me to focus on him
2) help change something wrong in my behavior or thinking 3) MAKE ME A BETTER PERSON BECAUSE HE LOVES ME

When I think about the goodness of the Savior, and how I want to be like Him, I usually think about His peace and the way He is the epitome of pleasing to the Father. I do not think about His suffering.

When most believers say "God make me more like you" or "Jesus help me follow in your ways" or "God I want your will in my life" they are usually not aware that they have asked God to bring about circumstances that are so very unpleasing to the flesh, in order to help destroy its control.

More excerpts from this book:
" If you embrace a crucifixion? You will lose a great number of enemies and a large number of bitter memories. You will also see the death of a portion of your dark side"- Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians

Embracing the Crucifixion? In my May post I wrote about an experience that I have had, and certain things to caution people in churches everywhere to be aware of in regards to spiritual abuses. In many of the aspects that I detailed there, it was some of the most painful business of my entire life. In the moments that I was going through them I  wanted to plead my case, but it often didn't get anywhere. The parts that were wrong, I wanted people to understand and the parts where I felt that I was justified, were and honestly in some aspects still feel justified in.... are at their CORE, irrelevant.

"It is not God's intention to allow a crucifixion to become a platform for self defense. A crucifixion has one purpose, to destroy elements in you that need to be crucified"
- Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians

That is something that brought me to the point of tears....
That one of the most painstaking aspects that I have ever gone through, that brought me to the point where I almost gave up EVERYTHING...
... was now not defined by me, my suffering, my justification.... but INSTEAD it was defined by HIS GLORY AND HIS BEAUTY!!!

God allowed me great suffering because HE loved me enough to GRANT ME PERMISSION to conform my CHARACTER closer to HIS.

Anyone who follows the Messiah is called to Crucifixion, but not all allow the resurrection of a better self from the ashes... more of Christ living in you.

"A crucifixion, properly embraced, will ultimately make you far more than what you were. Improperly embraced, it leaves you less than you were. It is your choice. You will either be spiritually destroyed or you will grow in Christ beyond previous boundaries!"- Gene Edwards, Crucified by Christians

I'm pretty awful at dying, much to my shame. I have a better awareness of an issue here and by God's Holy Spirit I decrease as He increases.

I confess my weakness and that often my ways are not His ways. Forgive me.

Friday, July 3, 2015

It's a Sin my friend.

Unless you've been under a rock or in some sort of secret underground bunker that doesn't get news or reception or something, you know that Gay marriage is the hot button issue right now.
Since the supreme court ruling there were a several things that turned my stomach and grieved me , but it wasn't so much the gay marriage ruling. The ruling disappointed me. It didn't disgust me. It didn't cause hate or bigotry to rise up in me. It was just disappointing to see the way our culture is turning.

 I see people coming out of the woodwork that profess an allegiance to the God of Abraham Issac and Jacob. YHVH, The creator of heaven and earth as revealed  in the Biblical scriptures. They say that they are Christians, and that they support gay marriage. I read an article that took it a step further and stated that the Holy Spirit is for Gay marriage.
1)  Leviticus 20:13 says
If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act (H8441); they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

That "Detestable act", that is the word is the Hebrew word for Abomination. As in:

The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination H8441 to the LORD your God. - Deut 7
Furthermore, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful following all the abominations H8441 of the nations; and they defiled the house of the LORD which He had sanctified in Jerusalem.- 1 Cron 36

2) God didn't change. He doesn't do that. He hated sin from the start and He hates sin now. He loves people. He cares for people who identify themselves as homosexual.He DID NOT MAKE SIN NOT A SIN.

1 Samuel-15:29
 Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”
Psalm 89:34
“My covenant I will not violate,
Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.

To say that God went against His word and changed His mind is to say that God changed His Character. That God, is not the God of the Bible.

I read an article with 40 questions for Christians waving rainbow flags and it's pretty spot on.
To openly endorse a sin is contrary to the call of the Savior when he says in Matthew 16:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

If following the Savior is the continual work to crucify the lusts of the flesh and deny ones self, then one cannot do this while celebrating the things that His unchanging word says are an abomination to Him.
Following Christ is to put to death the flesh.
I am bad at it...
... but I don't pretend that my flaws are Biblically ordained by God.

To preach that God has made a Sin Holy is at it's core telling God that His Son died for nothing and everything that HE is is not what you really want.

It's blasphemy.  Listen to the warning from the Scripture about these things

 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming,defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.
- Jude

John 16:1-3 These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2 They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. 3 These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

This is starting to happen. There are fights breaking out just for holding signs. There is hate .

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. - 2 thes 2

If you struggle with homosexuality, and you're trying to crucify the flesh I commend you.
If you preach that the things that God has said are an abomination are pleasing to Him, I worry for you.
It's a sin my friend.. Repent.