So many today think that if they follow Jesus and be a Christian, they will not have any problems. I knew a co-worker who thought he would never be sick again in his life. So what happens when problems do befall on them? They, in their guilt, think God is mad at them. This is all wrong! Besides the desires of the Devil to impact, not those already in destruction, but those trying to live as Jesus taught, I blame television preachers proclaiming the so-called “gospel of health and wealth”. Another name for this false unbiblical teaching is “word of faith” (sounds so much better, easier to hook people); this preaching comes from the likes of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and many others. Sadly, many local churches have also fallen prey to this heresy.
Let’s look at the book of Mark chapter 6 for a great example. After the feeding of the 5,000 men plus women and children, Jesus in verse 45 tells the disciples to get in a boat and go ahead of Him to Bethsaida. In the middle of the sea, the disciples were struggling against a strong wind storm. They were in trouble and afraid BECAUSE they had obeyed Jesus!
So at their darkest hour (it is darkest before the dawn, see verse 48), Jesus comes to them and says “take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid” (verse 50). To be obedient does NOT mean you will be well with money in your pocket, and a fancy new car. To be obedient could kill you, as it did for 11 of the 12 disciples; obedience killed Jesus!
I pray we stand up and be obedient; stand for something greater than what the world offers. Christians, show that we are not of this world! Show the world we stand for something so much better than the world we currently live in! Be obedient to the words of Christ Jesus and get in your boat. Recognize the LORD, it is Jesus coming to you, our one and only Savior! Jesus will come to you at your time of need!
There is a Bible verse that has Jesus telling those around Him to let the children to come to Him (Matt 19:14); I believe that partly what Jesus was saying was for those [even the adults] to come to Him “as little children”. That is as persons who can believe without overthinking, and accepting things at face value. Jesus did many miracles, but this did not cause people to become believers (John 12:37). Pastor Alistair Begg says, “the main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things”. Why do we have to make things so difficult?
Is it because we want to be seen as being intellectual? The creation of the universe is easily shown to come from God but just look at the complicated arguments and the theories that arise on both sides! Do these arguments prove anything? Who is more intellectual than someone else? I am not so sure that is a good thing to be an intellectual; just look at nonsensical comments coming out of our universities these days. High brow comments tend to bring focus on the person and not the subject at hand. Children don’t do this; they accept things at face value. This Jesus knew full well, thus He calls the children! It is the adults that complicate things for the selfish manipulation of others.
Now we find ourselves in a post-modern situation where people don’t believe anything at face value anymore. Saint Thomas did not believe in the resurrected Christ until he could touch His side. Do you remember what Jesus said then? Blessed are those who believe but don’t see (John 20:29). This is faith! Faith as little children! Won’t you come to your only Savior, Jesus Christ at face value? Don’t wander off in the muck and mire of discussions like: “you cannot prove God exists or that God doesn’t exist”. For it is easy to prove God exists if you have eyes to see…the proof is all around you. Open your eyes as a child! This is why I wrote, I Am, the Great Creator God, to show people how to see…but sadly if you are not thinking as a child, you will never see.
Honesty…certainly not shown in politics, not shown in education, and not shown in business and advertising. I suppose there has never been a time where honesty was the norm. The snake was not honest, so Eve blamed the snake, and Adam blamed Eve…no one from the start takes responsibility for their own actions. Certainly, people have twisted truth and told lies to reach some benefit or just for the greed of power and influence.
We learn this form of deception early in life from role models, be they in Hollywood, politics, sports or at school. What happens when our teachers are dishonest and lie to suit their politics? A recent example, even the left-leaning NPR shared a very interesting exposure:
“Deeply flawed data published by the U.S. Department of Education was exposed by National Public Radio this week. NPR’s investigation found that more than two-thirds of school shootings reported to authorities between 2015-16 never happened.”
How many have run with the awful thought of their children at exaggerated risk at school due to dishonest reported data? How does this happen? Is this local reporting for attention and money? Is this the “federal mother ship” altering things for the greed of national money and political power?
…and we get mad when our children cheat on a test?
I wrote an article in 2008 entitled “Force Honesty”, I think it still applies…and sadly, maybe it always will. It is only one page, check it out at Mankin Christian Library.
So many today shouting to keep quiet; they say, “keep it to yourself”. How can a Christian share the good news of Jesus Christ, the only Savior available to people, if the culture rebukes our smallest reference? In California today, it is becoming hard to have a private in-home Bible study. A person can publically share Hinduism or Islam, even in public schools, but not anything to do with Christianity.
I am reminded of Mark 10:46-52, where the crowd was telling Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, to keep quiet as he asked Jesus to have mercy on him. You see, this blind man knew that Jesus was the Messiah, as he called Him “Son of David”; he knew more than the establishment did. Jesus called for him and healed him, saying “your faith has healed you”.
Today, who are the blind among us, and who are the large crowd saying to be quiet? The blind, with heightened senses, often know more than those with physical sight. As a searcher, they know they need a Savior as they lay waiting for an opportunity to present itself. What kind of person are you? Are you a searcher, looking for a Savior? Are you one to help restore the blind [I am not referring to physical sight, but spiritual sight] or are you going along with the crowd, yelling to be quiet? What kind of person are you really?
It is so sad to hear anyone say, “you cannot prove there is a God”. Even worse, is when clergy says it! Obviously, the focus then is all about having faith. Faith! Jesus told us in Holy Scripture that even those in the presence of a physical miracle will not believe. We also read about those in the physical presence of Jesus Christ, listening to Him speak and watching Him act; they walked away.
Through out history and today, people have and are walking away. What would make them “see” the LORD? I can introduce someone to Jesus, but I cannot “make” them believe; only the Holy Spirit can do that. So the question then becomes, how to introduce a person to see that there is indeed a God, the creator of all that is?
I contend that you can indeed prove there is a God; all you need are the eyes to see. This is why I wrote the book: I Am, the Great Creator God; it is a book that shows a person how to see, how to look at the created world differently and see the “Creator” in the creation. You must set aside your blocking agendas constructed from the day your were born, and allow a different perspective to be a possibility. It is like climbing a hill, reaching the top and seeing exposed in the distance, a glorious sight of a plain filled with wild flowers, a calm lake, and a beautiful rainbow! How magnificent…to be able to see a new view of reality you had not seen before! Yes, God is real and you too can see Him, just open your eyes to see beyond our present darkness and ask Jesus to enter your life.
Do you remember the 1982 movie “Blade Runner” directed by Ridley Scott, where Blade Runner Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford pursued “artificial humans” called replicants which had escaped and were now on the loose? The highly evolved replicants had a limited lifespan but had to be controlled; the last of four being tracked down by Deckard was Roy Batty played by Rutger Hauer. Near the end of the movie, Roy was dying yet had defeated Deckard and even had saved his life; as the two were sitting in the rain, Roy, holding a white dove, reflected on his life. He had seen amazing things and though artificial, he wished to live on…he had feelings and memory. He says he had seen things “you people” [humans] wouldn’t believe like “attack ships on fire off the shores of Orion” and “seabeams glittering in the dark at the Tenhauser Gate”. Moments lost in time, washed away [when he dies] like “tears in rain”. As Deckard looks on in wonderment and reflection, Roy says “time to die” and dies; he then releases the white dove.
The story makes you think about what is life, experiences, memories, value, enjoyment and contribution. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be created? I would push farther by asking, what does it mean to be created by God; the God who gave you your every breath, that created your heart to pump life blood through 90,000 miles of arteries and veins in your body; the God who created your brain to think, reason and love?
This first weekend in August, in gun-free Chicago, we have 10 or 11 killed and some 70 shot. How can that happen in a gun-free city? It is not racism. Maybe, the “bad guys” don’t follow the laws of the city. Well, obviously it is NOT about the gun…it is about the HEART.
There is an innate understanding in all of humanity of what is right and wrong, so that is not the problem. All the usual excuses are removed. So that only leaves one other thing…it MUST be about the heart. The more we remove God from the culture and shackle the way we can talk about the saving grace and mercy of our LORD Jesus the Christ, the more we will find evil stepping in to fill the void. We get what we sow.
I have been wondering how to get the truth out in a world that has conveniently decided there is NO absolute truth. This current generation has set up a great flexible system for itself; it is a system that anyone can believe whatever they wish and call it truth. That one person’s truth does not have to be another person’s truth…each can be different…whose to say? This easy system allows anyone to conveniently reject real truth by simply stating there is no real truth…that one can believe whatever they want.
Yes, they can believe whatever they want, but that doesn’t make it truth. For 2,000 years the history of those maintaining the actual real truth is well documented. Can that factual history really be erased in one generation?
The problem with the current insane position is that there will indeed be a judgement day, a separation of the wheat and the weeds, a separation of the sheep and the goats. Because Christians care for our follow humanity, we desire none to be lost, so there is the question. How to warn today’s people of a one-day eternal judgement?
There is indeed absolute truth. You can say all day, every day that there isn’t any absolutes, but that will not remove the real truth. That is putting your head in the sand. I suppose that if you are left-leaning, you wish for government to watch out for you…this trust will fail you!
For me? I cannot convict anybody; I can only make introduction. I pray the Holy Spirit will illuminate those blinded by the current world-view and show them there is a different and better course to follow…yes, I will pray in all humility for that to happen.
Peace and Grace!
When was the last time you read Psalm 118? Chances are great, it has been a while! The first four verses state “His [God] love endures forever”. Many Christians and Muslims will say these words often. But what about the days you suffer? What about those who see no hope and maybe don’t know that God loves?
Verse 5, “In my anguish I cried to the Lord”…have you ever been in anguish? What did you do? If you lashed out in anger to those around you, did that help? The last part of verse 5 tells us, “He [God] answered by setting me free.” My friends, the world binds you to it; it will never set you free! Only God and the love of Jesus Christ can and will set you free. Verse 6, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Verse 8, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”
How many people do you see each morning, dragging into work, tired, grumbling and without smiles? The only life available to us is only going to be found in the LORD Jesus. If you are reading this, then you are alive…that, my friends is a blessing! You have been given another day to do something good. If you already know Jesus, then be a blessing to someone else. If you do not know Jesus, then I invite you to think about the redeeming blood of Christ, poured out for you for the forgiveness of sin; whose love invites you to turn (repent) and invite Jesus into your heart. Verse 24, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
My Christian friends, do not look down on any non-Christians for we were once non-Christians too. We should be telling others of the love of Jesus Christ and that salvation is available to all if they would simply repent (turn from their sins by admitting they are a sinner) and receive the free love, forgiveness and mercy from the Lord Jesus who shed His own blood on the cross to redeem (pay the price) for the sinners (all of us) of the world.
If you desire to keep on sinning, then you are rejecting the free gift already handed out to you. What should a person do when they receive a gift (any gift)? Be thankful, of course! You have already been handed a free gift, what is going to be your response?