Fractured World

Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God set in motion a plan for our salvation. God made the first sacrifice and covered Adam and Eve, then sent them into the world. He also made a promise.  

Genesis 3:15 (ESV)
15  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Here the promise is made that a redeemer will come to deliver man from the power of Satan. God provided a way for the fallen man to be saved. Christ is afflicted in our afflictions. Therefore His heel is bruised, but by Christ death on the cross, the final blow is delivered to the head of Satan and he is defeated.

Jesus Christ has defeated the kingdom of Satan, and we have nothing to fear, not even death. It is by dying that we are set free to be with the Father in heaven.

 

 

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How God Moves

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How many of you have ever had to move or relocate? It’s a daunting task to say the least. It’s not just the packing and unpacking that gets me. I always find myself asking this question, where did all this stuff come from? It’s like everything that you have ever lost in your life returns the moment the word move is spoken. Let’s not forget the utilities that must be turned off and turned on at your new home. The best thing that can happen is for everything to make the move safely and not get damaged or broken in the process.

All of this started me to thinking of Moses. I could not imagine the courage, will, determination, and pain that it took to move the entire nation of Israel out of Egypt. If we look deeper we will find that God started preparing Moses as a baby. Moses’ mother put him in a basket and floated it up the river to the one person she knew that would keep Moses safe, Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses grew up living as an Egyptian. He dressed, ate, thought, was educated just like all the Egyptians. Moses was like a second son to Pharaoh. Moses spent forty years living with the Egyptians. When it was finally revealed to Moses about his true heritage, everything started to change for Moses. He was now starting to sympathize with the Israelite’s. His feelings came to a culmination one day when a guard began to beat a slave in front of him. Moses became so enraged that he struck the guard and killed him. By killing the guard, Moses had no choice but to flee. Now, Moses would be a wanted man, never mind his status, murder was punishable by death no matter who you were.


One would not think it but God had Moses right where He wanted him. Moses was about to start the next training session for God’s plan. Moses needed to learn patience, and what a better way to learn than by spending the next forty years herding sheep in the wilderness. Moses met a man named Jethro, who just happened to have a single daughter, Zipporah. Moses and Zipporah were married and they had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. By now, Moses is probably thinking to himself, this is the life for me. Moses was finally ready for God to use him; he was now eighty years old and wise beyond his years. He just needed a push to get started. That push came one night on Mt. Sinai. God revealed Himself to Moses in the form of a burning bush. That very night God instructed Moses to go back to Egypt, with very specific instructions for Pharaoh.  Moses was to instruct Pharaoh to Let God’s People Go!

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God also told Moses that His words would fall on deaf ears and Pharaoh would harden his heart. God would begin to send plagues to punish the Egyptians. Ten total and the last would be the plague that would take the lives of every first-born male. God instructed the Israelite’s to mark their door with the blood of a lamb and the angle of death would Passover them. After this final plague Pharaoh told Moses to take Gods people and leave Egypt.


Moses lead the Israelite’s across the Red Sea and into the wilderness. For the next forty years God provided everything for His people. God gave them laws, food, clothing, water and shelter. All their needs were meet but they were seldom satisfied. God moved the people of Israel around until the first generation died out, it was now the people were ready to claim the lad that God had promised.  During this time Moses was tested beyond what any man could stand. It was Moses’ own anger that kept him from entering the promised land. God showed the land of Canaan to Moses and when he died God took Moses’ body.

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We easily forget how simple our lives really are when we compare the task of moving from one location to the next. Moses’ didn’t have Two Men and a Truck. He did however have something better, God and a plan that could not fail. If we will just give it to God and keep our eyes on Him, we will be ok!

What Christians Are Thinking

I was thinking today about a conversation that I had with my daughter a few weeks ago. She is nineteen and in collage. I wanted to get her view on how she felt in Church. What she told me was heartbreaking. I asked her how she felt about the elders in the Church? Her response was that she felt ignored, belittled, and unimportant. This seems to be the trend in most Churches according to a survey that I found in a book that I was reading. I wanted to dig deeper into this trend to see what I could find. I found that the majority of millennial’s leave the Church because of the view the Church hold’s on homosexuality. Churches that stands against homosexuality tend to have less young people in the pew’s.

In 2014, pewfourm.org conducted a study to measure where the Church in on many views. This is the results when asked about homosexuality:

Views about homosexuality among Christians    Now, keep in mind this is not just millennial’s chiming in, this is a survey of 25,000 plus people. But, as you can see the view is that homosexuality should be accepted. I’m sorry folks but if you are in a Church that teaches it’s okay to be gay, you’re in big trouble. The Bible and God are clear on this subject. If you don’t believe me ask the people of Sodom and Gomorrah when you get to Hell.

Now, let’s look at this question.Views about same-sex marriage among ChristiansWhat? It’s okay to be gay, you just can’t be married. Is it just me or can these people not make up their minds? I really dislike double standards. Anyway, the thing here is, we have to find away to reach the youth or the Church is going to die. I think it’s okay to lighten up and treat young people with respect and love. As times change, so must the Church. Just so long as the changes do not change the Biblical Standard set by God.

You can view the full survey @ this link:   http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/christians/christian/

Samson

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Samson was the eighth judge God chose to deliver Israel from the Palestine’s. Although Samson was chosen by God, doesn’t mean that he lived a Godly life. Samson, the strongest man to ever live, was selfish, prideful, arrogant, and lusted after women. The life that Samson lived would eventually be his demise.

The story of Samson start’s in the Valley of Sorek, with the tribe of Dan, where Samson’s parents lived. An Angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother explaining that Samson was to be a Nazarite. According to the Law that God gave to Moses’ in Numbers 6:1-21, a Nazarite is not allowed to shave his head, eat grapes or drink wine or eat dried grapes (raisins), and is not to touch anything unclean (dead).

Samson’s birth was a miracle because his mother was barren. After the angel of the Lord appeared to his mother, she was excited and went home to tell her husband the news. Manoah could not believe the news so he prayed to the Lord for the angel to appear once more so he could hear for himself the instructions that were given to his wife. God answered Manoah’s prayer, the angel appeared once again. This time Manoah’s wife ran to get him. Manoah asked the angel, how shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him (Judges 13:12)?  Samson’s parents did as the Angel of the Lord commanded. The bible tells us, “The Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan” (Judges 13:25 KJV). So, we see that even at a very early age God was with Samson. The story of Samson really begins to shine through when he is about twenty years old, where he frequently visits the Philistine town of Timnath. During one of these visits, Samson see a young Philistine girl and falls in lust after her. He then goes home and tells his parents to get her for him as his wife. Except for marriage, this must not have been the first time that Samson talked with his parents about women. The Bible tells us, “Then his father and his mother said unto him, “Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines” (Judges 14:3, KJV)? Unable to convince Samson, they head out for Timnath. On the way, there happened to be a vineyard. Keep in mind about the Law, No grapes. While there, a young lion attacked Samson and the Spirt of the Lord moved on him and he killed the lion. Why is the lion important? You see, after some time had passed, Samson returned to the same spot in the vineyard where he killed the lion and discovered that bees had made honey inside of the lion’s carcass. When Samson saw this, he ate of the honey. There he goes braking yet another Law. He then gives some of the honey to his parents but never reveals to them where the honey came from. Samson knew his parents would be devastated by this act. They arrive in Timnath and Samson basically throw’s a party, we all know what goes on at some parties. Samson probably indulges in some wine, he starts talking and issues a riddle to the Philistine men there.

So far, Sampson has lusted after women, touched an unclean beast, and drank wine. Samson has given in to every temptation that has been before him.

Now, back to the problem with the riddle. The Philistine men didn’t have an answer for Samson. They became so desperate, they threatened Samson’s new bride. The men told her get us the answer or we will burn down your father’s house with you inside. She begins to nag at Samson, this goes on for days. Finally, Samson gives in and tells her. She then returns to the Philistine men with the answer and when they tell Samson he knew right away where they got the information they needed to solve the riddle. Samson became angered and killed thirty men to pay his debt. He then returns home to his parents for a while but when he returns for his bride she has been given to the best man. Samson must have been very upset because of this. He goes out and finds three hundred foxes, ties their tails together by pairs, attaches torches to them, and turns them loose on the Philistines’ grain fields. He then destroyed the vineyards and olive groves. Because Samson did these things, the Philistines began to oppress Judah even more. So, three thousand men from Judah went to Samson and told him what was happening because of the vengeance he took out on the Philistines. Samson then agree to be delivered to the Philistines but only if his people agreed not to kill him. They agreed.

Jawbone

When Samson arrived in Lehi, he broke loose and killed one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (an unclean beast). Samson just kept making mistake after mistake. He even took the gates to Gaza. Samson had the strength to defeat these things that were before him, but it was a woman named Delilah that would be the end of him. Samson fell in love with Delilah, but she was a greedy person that loved money. When the Philistine men approached her about finding Samson’s strength all they had to do was offer her some money, and well, that was that. Delilah began to work on Samson to find out his secret. She would ask him over and over, each time with the hopes that this time would be the truth. Each time Samson would lie to her and make a mockery of her. She began to pout and tell Samson, you don’t love me. She nagged and nagged until finally one day Samson broke and told her the truth. It’s my hair Delilah. If my hair was to ever be cut I would be like any other man. She lured Samson to sleep and called in a man to cut Samson’s hair. Samson was then captured; his eyes were gouged out and he was taken to Gaza. One day he was put on display for the amusement of the Palestines. Samson was placed between two pillars which held up the roof.  After some time had passed, Samson prayed to God, “please strengthen me one last time”. God granted Samson this wish, and Samson brought the roof down, killing himself along with three thousand Philistines. With one act, Samson killed more Philistines than he had killed his entire life, but Samson was gone as well.

Samson lived a life that many of us have lived ourselves. We have all done things we are not proud of. Perhaps you like to chase the women, drink, or dabble in things that you knew were bad for you. Like Samson you probably never stopped to think about what the consequences or outcome would be. Just live for the moment. I sure have done that many times. Thank God it didn’t cost me my life or yours.

We as soldiers of God still must be on guard. We must keep a constant eye out for weakness and temptations. As we grow closer to God, our trials will get more difficult, they will be more frequent, and we will grow weary, just as Samson did. If the strongest man to ever lived struggled, why would we think we might be able to do better at resisting? We must pray daily, ask for repentance, and always give God the glory in our victories. Remember, God is with us always and if God is for us, then who can stand against us?!

Temptation

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One of the first things we learn about as Christians is the fall of man (Genesis Ch3). Scripture tells us that Eve was tempted by the serpent (satan) in the Garden of Eden. She also gave the fruit to Adam and and both of their eyes were opened. Therefore, sin and death entered the world.

Why bring this up?

I want people to understand how dangerous temptation is. I don’t think that we stop long enough to think about that. You know; what are the consequences of my actions? How will this affect those in my life? When temptation presents itself, most of the time it is spur of the moment. We get blindsided, satan’s main tactic. Satan will lay in wait just for us to come by when we are at our not expecting the great deceiver to show up. We know this of course but somehow he still sucks us into a situation where we know better.

But how do we prepare for temptation?

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In Mathew Ch4, we are given the best example. After Jesus fasted for 40 day’s and night’s, satan appeared to tempt Him. Jesus totally defeated satan with God’s Word. Satan thought that because Jesus had fasted and was weak from hunger, that he could step in and take advantage. Those 40 day’s and 40 night’s, Jesus was preparing. Fasting brings us closer to God. This is why, when we have some tall mountain that we feel is insurmountable, we should fast and bring it to God and let Him help us move the mountain. You see, Jesus was very prepared. In Mathew Ch 4 v. 4,7 and 10, Jesus used Scripture to move His mountain.

The Promise.

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1 Corinthians 10:13:  There hath no temptation taken ye but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

This Scripture tells us that we will be tempted, we will be able to take control, and that God loves us and will be there to see us through. God will never leave us alone. We (Christians) are His sheep. As long as we are a part of the flock, He will always be there to help, guide, and defend us. This is true because God cannot lie. For God to lie would mean that God is contradicting Himself. So, as Christians we believe God’s Word to be infallible, then we must have faith that God will stand true to His word. So, when you feel discouraged because temptation has set itself before you, remember the promise presented in  1 Corinthians 10:13. Be still, pray, and hold fast, for you are not alone. Our Father can move any mountain.

Brilliant is He

Brilliant  When you hear the word Brilliant, the first things that pop into many of our minds are descriptions such as bright, intellectual, smart, genius.  Many words that we often use to describe, or associate, with people.  Those such as Einstein, with his brilliant mind, Beethoven, a deaf composer and musician who had the ability to reach deep into our souls with his music, Leonardo da Vinci with his ability to bring life to canvas, presidents, authors, and so many more that have made it into the pages of history. This we might also apply to more everyday people, so to speak, such as doctors, those individuals who save lives everyday, even those who imagine and perfect these same life saving procedures.  But even greater than all these, is the One who creates life, gives life, and takes it away, God Himself, the Creator of all we behold.


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With a single glance around us, no matter where we might find ourselves, we are privy to God’s divine brilliance, the greatest mind of all.  Brilliance is not the Big Bang, or even how Earth came into being, if you choose to think of it in this scientific realm, but greater still is the brilliance of the one who placed these particles into being, time, space, and hung them into existence.  Science is not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong, it has made leaps and bounds for many of the luxuries a great number of us take for granted every day.  But keep in mind,  without brilliant minds science would be a mute point.  With this being said, let me remind you that we are created in God’s image.  Now stay with me just a minute longer. I have said all of this to say my idea of brilliant is simply faith in God.  Allow me to explain.  We all know that faith is the essence of believing in that which we cannot see.  Someone once told me that faith is like breathing across the arm of an individual.  You feel the air as it sweeps across the skin, and even though you can’t see it, you know it’s there because you have felt the effects of it. Faith basically works the same way.  Even those who consider themselves simple minded can comprehend the concept of what I have just described.  An individual of limited intelligence, or should I say education would be far more accurate, with his or her brilliant mind can brilliantly comprehend brilliant faith and brilliant life given to each of us, in the blink of an eye, by a loving, awesome, and brilliant Creator, Jehovah God, the great I Am, the author of all things brilliant.

Christian or Goody to Shoes

Sometimes I wonder about the answer to this question myself. Being a Christian, I feel that we all are Created equal. In God’s eyes none of us are any better or worse than the one next to us. There are however those that claim to be Christians that will look down on others because they come from a rich family, have a better education, and so on. I’m here to tell you that’s not the Christian way. Christians are to be One Family under God. Just because someone looks, dresses, talks, or even smells a little funny, don’t give Christians the right to judge. God said Judgement is His. I’m saying all of this because I want people to know that not all Christians and Churches are not the same.

Example

Just a few days ago I got a phone call form a young man asking me if I was a member of such and such Church. I was at one time and know plenty of their members. I told the young man that I could give him a phone number to call. The young man began telling me how he had been going to this Church and he was being evicted from where he was staying, he had to sell his truck and lost his job. I felt really bad for the young man. I told him that I wold pray for him and his situation. I gave him the number to the member of the Church. Did I mention that it was going to snow later that evening and the temperatures were unseasonably cold for South Carolina this time of year. We’ll I went on about my business, thinking all is well. About six hours later the young man calls me back and ask if I have talked to anyone. You see he did call and speak with the individual about his situation. Hmm. I said no I had not. Long story short, I got in my Jeep in the snow to go pickup this young man because the Church that he had been attending would not send anyone and they had given him the run around. Real Christian like. On the way to pickup this young man I prayed to God that this act of kindness would save this young man from leaving the Church all together. I could tell just talking with him that he was young in the spirit as well as years. What a shame to loose a young person over something like this. Once we met, he was very thankful and offered to pay me. I would not let him do that. I got him situated for the night with a local shelter. The next day he asked if I could take him to meet his girlfriend’s mother to pick him up. I was helping my wife with her work and was not sure if I would be able to. Once again I made some calls and got the same response, so I took care of him again. I told him that God has a plan for him and to not get discouraged. I dropped him off, shook his hand, told him I would pray for him and check on him tomorrow. I did as I promised and I told him to find a Church and to surround himself with Christians that could give him the strength that he needs right now..I later found out why he had been treated this way….It had been rumored that the girl he and his father were living with was involved with drugs, had been/ is under investigation for her husbands death, SLED had raided the home looking for drugs. At this point I just said wait, aren’t those the people we as Christians are supposed to reach out to? I mean the Apostle Paul was not sent to Club Med to look for sinner’s. He was sent to places were sinners lived. This is the problem with a lot of Church’s and  Christians.  Some not ALL think they can sit in their pew’s and just pray the World to Salvation. While it is great to have those Prayer Warriors going at it, the rest of us Christians need to get outside and talk to people and invite them to Church. We don’t have to go far perhaps just to the house next door. Now don’t go thinking I’m being judgemental, I’m not, just calling it like I see it. And I want people to know that not ALL Churches and Christians are the same. With that being said, if you are in a Church where the Holy Spirit is not showing up during service, you may want to look for a new Church.