Becoming Overcomers

Jesus overcame Satan by the shedding of His blood, and thereby defeated death for us.

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SatanIn today’s sophisticated, deluded culture, the devil is either a cartoon character, a suave charlatan that can give you everything you desire (for a price), or an incredibly powerful and evil being depicted in fictional venues as virtually unstoppable.

Christians need to understand that Satan is a real, yet created being. His powers are no greater than ours, just far more focused. He is not omnipresent, e.g. he can only be in one place at one time. He has an enormous number of demonic beings who do his bidding. These demons exercise great power because they know the Scriptures far better than most Christians. It is only natural that a soldier learn as much as possible about the enemy he faces in battle.

“You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe — and they shudder.” [James 2:19 HCSB]

The devil’s ability to delude so many in our culture rests in his careful reading of our strengths and weaknesses.

The devil’s ability to delude so many in our culture rests in his careful reading of our strengths and weaknesses. He works to move us to distraction, tempts us to seek personal satisfaction through things and stuff. The child of God who is committed to the Scripture and prayer will find the way to stay the course – with a life committed to serving our Master.

“For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.” [2 Corinthians 10:3-5 HCSB]

Jesus overcame Satan by the shedding of His blood, and thereby defeated death for us. He gave His life for you and I.

Jesus overcame Satan by the shedding of His blood, and thereby defeated death for us. He gave His life for you and I. Can we not rally to, at the least, defeat Satan’s attempts to destroy our lives and those of our families? Our nation’s future depends on a reawakening to the truth of God’s Word and the simple fact that we have been bought with a price.

I would ask you to consider these words and, please, read the Bible passages. Then ask the Spirit of God to guide you in every endeavor with the wisdom of our Creator!

Read Psalm 81:13-14

“We must realize that it is not Satan who defeats us; it is our openness to him. To perfectly subdue the devil we must walk in the “shelter of the Most High” (Psalm 91:1). Satan is tolerated for one purpose: the warfare between the devil and God’s saints thrusts us into Christlikeness, where the nature of Christ becomes our only place of rest and security. God allows warfare to facilitate His eternal plan, which is to make man in His image.”

Francis Frangipane, ‘The Three Battlegrounds

God created everything. Even my furnace of affliction was created for His purposes!

Read Psalm 91:1-10

Read Psalm 92:14-15

God created everything. Even my furnace of affliction was created for His purposes!

“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.” [Isaiah 54:17 NIV]

“In the battles of life, your peace is actually a weapon. Indeed, your confidence declares that you are not falling for the lies of the devil. You see, the first step toward having spiritual authority over the adversary is having peace in spite of our circumstances. When Jesus confronted the devil, He did not confront Satan with His emotions or in fear. Knowing that the devil was a liar, He simply refused to be influenced by any other voice than God’s. His peace overwhelmed Satan, His authority then shattered the lie, which sent demons fleeing.”

Francis Frangipane, ‘The Three Battlegrounds

“”To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”” [Revelation 3:21-22 NKJV]

“Let us recall that the Lord delivered the ancient Hebrews out of Egypt so He could bring them into the Promised Land. Likewise, we are delivered out of sin, not that we might live for ourselves, but that we might come into Christlikeness. Our goals must align with God’s, for if our nature does not change, we will invariably find ourselves in the same problems that caused our difficulties in the first place.”

Francis Frangipane, ‘The Three Battlegrounds’

Read 1 John 3:8-9

Satan is not an equal power with God; he is a vanquished foe.

“Spiritual authority is not a tug-of-war on a horizontal plane; it is a vertical chain of command. Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He’s at the top. He has given His authority and power to His servants to be exercised in His name (Luke 10:17); we’re underneath Him. And Satan and his demons? They’re at the bottom, subject to the authority Christ has invested in us. They have no more right to rule your life than a buck private has to order a general to clean the latrine. Why, then, does the kingdom of darkness exert such negative influence in the world and in the lives of Christians? In a word, the lie.

Satan is not an equal power with God; he is a vanquished foe. But if he can deceive you into believing that he has more power and authority than you do, you will live as if he does!”

Neil Anderson, ‘The Bondage Breaker

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Read Psalm 33:20-22

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful Jesus Returnsand True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.” [Revelation 19:11-16 NIV]

‘Our Posterity,’ To Be or Not To Be?

There can be no doubt that the Framers of the US Constitution, ratified in 1788, intended that document to be a fixed, foundational rock to guide and preserve this nation.

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The Preamble to the US Constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,  promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Preamble: “an introductory statement; especially :  the introductory part of a constitution or statute that usually states the reasons for and intent of the law.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

The word ‘oath’ and the phrase ‘I swear’ refer to a solemn vow.

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The President, Vice President, all Representatives and Senators, all Supreme Court and Federal Justices swear this oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

I know words can be cheap for those who do not take their oath of office seriously, or who arrogantly believe they have the right to rewrite the Constitution.. We have seen too many to name. And I understand the difference between blatantly breaking an oath and misinterpreting some action covered by the oath.

There can be no doubt that the Framers of the US Constitution, ratified in 1788, intended that document to be a fixed, foundational rock to guide this nation forward. They included methodology to amend it; but it is not subject to reinterpretation based on the values, wants, likes and dislikes of a particular generation of citizens of the USA.

“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, . . . So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” [Genesis 1:26-27 NIV]

The US Constitution is the ONLY document of its kind in the history of the world. It was written by men who acknowledged the weight of what they were creating, and they called upon Providence to guide them. The United States of America was created out of a revolution, throwing off the yoke of a repressive monarchy. It withstood a second attempt by Britain to enslave it. It stood under the horrors of a civil war, state against state, family against family, brother against brother; and, in the end the divided nation came back together, slowly, but stronger than ever. Racial slavery succumbed. At the dawn of the twentieth century this nation was becoming the most prosperous and strongest in the world. Owing to its irrefutable foundation on a Judeo-Christian Worldview, ours is the only nation in the history of the world insuring religious freedom to all who came to her shores.

Only as that foundation has begun to crack have the freedoms of the Constitution come under attack. As the people thriving under the protection of that Constitution began to crave

  • immoral lifestyles rather than honoring their Creator God;
  • affluence at the expense of their fellow Americans;
  • convenience rather than the blood, sweat and tears that built and kept this nation strong;
  • only then did it became expedient to modify and/or overlook the full meaning of the Constitution.

The Preamble to the Constitution of the USA is in plain English. The language therein does not contain words with meanings (definitions) that have drifted over the past 228 years.

There can be no doubt among people of reasonable sanity, that when the Framers of the Constitution wrote, “We the People of the United States,” they included everyone then living and all those who would follow.

I also believe that there is no doubt among people of reasonable sanity, that the phrase, “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves” was intended to mean the Framers and all those then living and all who would follow, and that by including the phrase “ and our Posterity” the Framers specifically meant it to protect all future generations..

.Therefore, how can those elected or appointed to provide leadership and/or adjudicate law, who swore an oath to defend the Constitution, so blatantly and radically deny the right of our Pre-Born citizens to “the Blessings of Liberty,” as guaranteed in the Constitution?baby-in-womb

Anyone reading this is included in the ‘posterity’ as mentioned in the Constitution, and are enjoying the fruit of its overarching protection.

Pre-Born children are the most innocent and vulnerable citizens in our nation!!

Is there some statement or amendment in the body of the Constitution that I have missed, that modifies ‘posterity’ to be only those who some appointed judge deems worthy of life?

Pre-Born children are the most innocent and vulnerable citizens in our nation!!

Have I missed the part of the Constitution the tells us that certain Pre-Born citizens, by virtue of race (over 30% of pregnancies of black women end in abortion) or physical disabilities, or the fact that they arrived unexpectedly (the most common reason for abortion is birth control), can be denied their right to live, and therefore be executed prior to the birthing process by the very women who invited them in?

Are we as a nation, pleased that over 55,000,000 (more than 1,000,000 each year) absolutely innocent US citizens

  • have been denied their lawful right to a defense,
  • have been denied due process, and
  • have been executed inside what formerly was the safest place on this planet – the womb?

Perhaps, if they think their argument is legal, Women’s Rights Advocates would certainly want to join the Legal Citizen’s Rights Advocates. Since illegal aliens clearly and absolutely do not meet the test of legality, we could evaluate that at their point of entry. Since they would surely be considered as non-citizen and unexpected (and therefore subject to citizen-birth control), we could summarily execute them on the spot! Does that argument hold water? Problem solved?

Many people fight to overturn the death penalty for those convicted of capital crimes, one of which is first degree murder. More people are murdered in the wombs of American women than in all the death camps of the Nazi’s from 1934 – 1945!

Women scream that they have the right of self-determination for their own bodies. The Constitution agrees with them. But, they then carry that one step further and scream that it therefore gives them the right to murder the little citizen who temporarily resides in their womb. That Pre-Born baby is not part of the woman’s body. The Constitution expressly denies that anyone has the right to murder an innocent Pre-Born child.

We are aghast when an adult, especially a parent, intentionally kills a ‘Post-Born’ child. And rightly so. Should we then, however, carrying the women’s rights movement one step further, in the case of the mother, agree there should be no recrimination? The point being, who gets to decide when the statute of limitations on women’s rights ends?

A majority of journalists and commentators write tirelessly to defend women’s rights, but then are hopelessly confused, thinking the Pre-Born child is a women’s health issue. Then again, maybe that’s just one of their methods with which they arrogantly believe they can befuddle the ignorant masses.

However, on a less serious note – these Pro-Death advocates and their uber-liberal journalists, newspapers and broadcast preachers who push abortion rights, are killing their own movement by murdering their progeny. So sad!

As a nation, we have created a culture of death.

As a nation, we have created a culture of death. And it just keeps growing. We are seeing more violence toward and abuse of children (and women, I might add) than ever in our history. We are seeing that life is cheap. The disabled and the aged are in the cross hairs as well. Personal convenience and economics rule over the Constitutional rights of the individual. EVERY human life is of supreme value.

In 1973, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the Roe vs Wade case. My belief is that the case was not in the purview of the Federal Courts. It has been proven that the whole case was fraudulent, and the acceptance in the Federal Court system and the acceptance by the US Supreme court was pre-planned with an assured majority of judges who see the Constitution as a malleable document. Then, seven mortal, fallible human beings denied God’s Holy Word and 5,000 years of human wisdom and understanding, as well as the rights guaranteed in the Constitution, and, shaking their collective fists in the face of Almighty God, ruled that a woman’s ‘right to privacy’ allowed her the right to murder her Pre-Born child, and, in addition, that a Pre-Born child was not, after all, human.

The Federal judiciary is out of control. They are accepting cases clearly outside their purview, and making law rather than adjudicating laws based on a strict adherence to the US Constitution. It is time for the US Legislature to gain some semblance of backbone (perhaps that is in place) and resume legislative leadership. Stop cowering under the skirts of the Supreme Court. And it is time for a US President (now in place) to take action to insure the rights of the Pre-Born citizens!

God, the One who creates all life, was clear about the Pre-Born child:

unborn recognizes jesus.png

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” [Psalm 139:13-16 NIV]

Whether you believe in God or not, only a blind fool would believe we are better off today with the stain of abortion across this land.

Science has finally achieved a better grasp of the intricacy of life with the discovery and growing understanding of DNA. DNA, unique for each and every human ever born, is present at conception.

“The word of the LORD came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; . . .”” [Jeremiah 1:4-5 NIV]

Whether you believe in God or not, only a blind fool would believe we are better off today with the stain of abortion across this land.

“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: . . ., hands that shed innocent blood,” [Proverbs 6:16 & 17 NIV]

It is time for all Americans to stand up for our Constitution and demand that Pre-Born citizens be given their right to life; thereby insuring that our Posterity exists, and not be harnessed with so great a burden of guilt and death!

“. . . in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

I’m convinced it is vitally important we understand this fundamental tenet of how we pray!

praying-man

Quite often we will say something out of habit, or rote, or perceived obligation. When we do that, it is likely the statement is bereft of meaning. For example, when someone sneezes we will say, “Bless you!” Or, more rarely nowadays, “God bless you!” Do we really mean that? Are we thinking about God blessing that individual? Or, has it become a habit we feel compelled to do?

The following article, written by the late M. R. De Haan II, from Radio Bible Class fame, speaks to that problem, and addresses the very nature of what we say in the way we pray.


“. . . in Jesus name. Amen.”

             By M. R. De Haan II      Published in the RBC Digest®; Vol. 3, No. 11; February 1979

Thot: The words “for Christ’s sake” too often become a profanity in the curses of sinners – and in the prayers of saints.

Most Christians are familiar with the fact that the Scriptures tell us to pray in the name of Jesus. And they promise that if we do, the Father will give us everything we ask for. Therefore, along with so many other Christians, I close my prayers in the name of Christ.

But here is the problem. I don’t get everything I ask for. You don’t either, do you? Even though we tag our prayers with the Blessed Name, it doesn’t always work.

I don’t mean to be profane about this. Nor do I regret that I haven’t gotten everything I’ve asked for. To be sure, much of what I’ve wanted would not have been in my best interests – nor God’s. And it’s only because of His loving wisdom that He refused to grant my selfish, shortsighted desires.

If God cannot lie, then why doesn’t He keep His promise when I ask in His Son’s name?

But that doesn’t solve our problem. If God cannot lie, then why doesn’t He keep His promise when I ask in His Son’s name?

Answer: Praying in the name of Jesus doesn’t mean praying with the right “tag.” Neither does it mean twisting the Arm of the Almighty by appealing to the authority of His Son. Praying in the name of Jesus means praying in accordance with His character.

Reason: In biblical times the idea of a “name “ meant much more than it does today. It often was descriptive of the character and work of the person who bore it. In the case of Christ that was especially true. He is revealed to us as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” “Lord” speaks of His authority. “Jesus” describes Him as Savior. “Christ” as God’s anointed one – in other words, the person to whom God gave His Spirit in order to fulfill His assignment.

Significance: What does all this mean? It means that my prayers, to be in the name of Christ, should conform to the character behind these descriptive titles. They are to be in the spirit of rescue (Jesus), in the spirit of fulfilling God’s purpose (Christ) and in the awareness that my authority can only be an extension of His authority (Lord).

We therefore are to pray, as His representatives, “for His sake,” in His place, in His Spirit, and with His purpose. This means that we must assume His character and by so doing receive whatever we ask for.

This realization isn’t quite so appealing is it? It’s easier to try to use the name of Christ as some magical formula. But to do so would be to diminish the name of Jesus to an instrument of our own flesh. The Lord of Glory can’t let that happen – for our sake – not for His.


Prayer is at the very heart of Christianity

Prayer is at the very heart of Christianity; because Christianity is NOT a religion, but the way of life for a follower of Jesus.

Since many of us are committed to praying for our nation and the first 100 days of this new Administration (in addition to every other aspect of our life), I think it is vitally important we understand this fundamental tenet of how we pray

“Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” [1 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB]

Prayers for the First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency

praying-hands-and-flag-2

As of 12:01 PM, EST, January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. Regardless of your religious, political or social leanings, he will be the President. It is incumbent upon us all, just as most Christians did on January 20, 2009, that we acknowledge his position and pray for him. The future of our nation, and of our children and grandchildren, depends on this country re-asserting its leadership position in the world.

Christians who read their Bible know that God establishes leaders in their positions.

President Trump and his transition team have set forward an aggressive plan to turn our nation around from the insanity of the previous eight years. The first 100 days of this Administration are extremely crucial in establishing his agenda.

President Trump and his administration need God’s Wisdom and blessings.

In other words – they need to hear from God!

In other words – we need to pray!

The following information is reprinted from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website: http://harvestprayer.com/resources/pray-for-america

Pray 100 Prayer Effort

A major effort to rally pray for our new president is underway, sponsored by dozens of prayer ministries. There are currently three place you can go to sign up for different aspects of this prayer initiative.

For a prayer to help you focus each day, go to a Facebook page: facebook.com/prayfirst100. Please click like or follow at this site to have the prayer posted to you. We recommend liking or sharing the prayers when the first ones come so Facebook will know that you are serious about wanting to see these posts.

facebook.com/prayfirst100

Most of the prayers here will be posted by Dr. David Butts, the chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee and the author of With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America.

If you would like a devotional each day to help you better focus, go to http://pray100.org. If you sign up, these devotionals, each written by a different leader, will be emailed to you each day.

Pray100

a-cross-at-sunset

It is not an option to sit in the grandstand. There are no spectators. God has heard our cries for our nation and granted His Mercy!! But He requires us to take up the standard in obedience to Him.

The Church must lead out in humbling ourselves before a Holy God, confessing our sins in abject humility, and asking Him to heal our land!

If that scares you, sounds too ‘religious’ for you, then you should know for sure God is convicting you; and you can know for sure the Devil, the arch enemy of the Church, is deceiving you!

Please make every effort to pray for the Church, for our country, for this new Administration, and especially for President Donald Trump.

Navigating True North, in a ‘Post-Truth’ World

sailing-ship

Post National . . . Post Modern . . . Post Christian . . . Post Toasties® (?!?)

And now, to make 2017 a truly delightful year – we embrace ‘post-truth’!!

“Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” as its 2016 international word of the year, reflecting what it called a “highly-charged” political 12 months.

“ . . . It is defined as an adjective relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.”  [BBC News; 16 November 2016; UK section]

“ . . . editors said that use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000% in 2016 compared to last year.

“ . . . (post-truth) had taken on the meaning of “belonging to a time in which the specified concept has become unimportant or irrelevant”.  [Guardian News and Media Limited; 15 November 2016]

A time where truth has become unimportant or irrelevant? Where objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals? The fact that we now acknowledge this, could, in fact, be a moral high-point; a splash of cold water in the face; a wake-up call. However, I fear that we, regardless of cultural, religious, ideological, geographical or national viewpoints, will blow right through this, quickly seeing it in the ‘rear-view mirror’ of our cultures, and simply accepting it as the way things are!

STOP!

Truth is important. Truth is relevant. Truth is absolute!

And, Truth is Infinite!!

That Intelligent Being who created everything – who has introduced Himself in the Holy Bible as the Almighty God – set forth Truth. It is seen in the foundation of everything in our modern world. And, by His very nature, God is Immutable – never changing.

As surely as 2 + 2 = 4 and ∏=3.141592653589793 . . . etc., God exists and His Truth is the foundation that enables a culture or civilization to survive and thrive’.

Truth is NOT relative. It does not change as a civilization or culture decides to redefine it. A post-truth world would be a morass of human failure. Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Jean-Paul Sartre, Margaret Sanger, Fidel Castro, and Mao Zedong – just a very few of the leaders who were convinced they could redefine truth, and left a wide path of social and/or human destruction in their wake.

In the USA, particularly over the past 18 months, truth has taken a beating! ‘Fake News,’ which is a term that soft-pedals the fact it is a lie, e.g. not truth, is being bandied about; and it seems to be taken lightly.

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”” [Isaiah 40:8 NIV]

As a leader in the rapid downward spiral of culture and morals, the USA continues to grovel after personalities and hedonistic lifestyles. In order to do so with an anesthetized conscience, it is necessary to deny that foundational truth exists.

We are clearly seeing how poorly we have chosen. No one in their right mind could posit an argument that we are morally or culturally better off today than even 50 years ago. Look at the news headlines. Our cities are war zones. Our out-going President and his former Attorney General actively sought to encourage lawlessness in order to advance a socialist agenda! All they accomplished is to create an environment where the law enforcement agencies are viewed as the bad guys. An admitted felon campaigns for President of the USA, and she nearly wins. Racial violence and prejudice is increasing. Persons flooding across our borders illegally are given more rights than citizens.  I could go on and on; but, does anyone care?!?

As a nation we spew this poison around the world. Where once stood a ‘shining city on a hill ‘ now lurks a specter of ‘post-truth’ relationships, abject immorality, back-stabbing of allies, elevation of evil regimes and two-faced diplomacy! We are like a ship whose anchor chain has broken, and it is moving to and fro, responding to whatever direction the wind blows.

Truth pre-existed what we know as the Creation, because God is Truth. He made it clear that Truth emanates from Him when He introduced Himself to Moses.

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” [Exodus 34:6 KJV]

As the people through which God would redeem the fallen world, the Jews were enlightened with this body of Truth through God’s revelation to the Prophets. And the Israelites were forewarned about the fatal consequences of rejecting His Truth, while scrambling after the lusts of the flesh and the pitiful efforts of mankind to redefine truth. They chose the wrong path, and God brought judgment on them!

” . . . LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?” The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart, whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;” [Psalm 15:1-3 NIV]

Mankind has always sought ways to justify their self-centered pursuits, their pride, and the familiar lust for money, power and unbridled sexual licentiousness. Our courts are making a mockery of justice. Journalism is lost in editorializing every subject to advance an agenda.  Money and ideological power are prostituting the system, corrupting our Constitution. God’s Word is clear; as it was 3000 years ago, so it is now!

“Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning.” Jeremiah 9:5

“There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.” Amos 5:10

“These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.” Zechariah 8:16

Historians have proven that societies and cultures based on a solid Judeo-Christian foundation have always prospered. Only as those cultures began to reject that foundation, for the express purpose of seeking to pursue an amoral lifestyle, have they begun to falter. God, who is infinitely Merciful, is also infinitely Righteous and Just. We are seeing His Judgment played out in our country today.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6 NIV]

The organized church has caved to the ravenous desires of the backslidden and the non-believer for entertainment and anti-biblical approval of their sinful lifestyles. The apostate church vehemently argues against God’s Truth, just as in the days of Noah!

There would be no turning back from an actual ‘post-truth’ culture. I don’t I believe we are there yet; nor do I even know what that would look like! But we are definitely on the downward side of that slippery slope.

Let us commit ourselves to telling the truth in love, in every circumstance. On an individual basis we will find our lives easier to navigate standing on a hard-rock foundation of Truth. Let us stand our ground for Truth, no matter the cost. God will honor such steadfast, unwavering pursuit of the truth.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [John 8:32 NIV]

 

A Father’s Heart

simbaDuring this time of year – the Christmas Season – Christians and some non-Christians focus on the birth of the baby Jesus and all that surrounds that special event. While even some Christians only pay lip service to the real ‘reason for the season,’ no one can deny it has been commercialized and over developed to the point of distraction.

The passage in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:26-2:52) is the most detail we have describing the actual events surrounding the coming of Immanuel (God With Us). Nearly everything else has been developed by story-tellers, with some of it based on stories handed down and much of it based on historical assumptions. But Luke got it straight from Mary, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit!

It is a most incredulous story – that an Eternal, Omnipresent God would, or even could, squeeze Himself into the body of a tiny Baby. But, that’s what happened.

What I have been considering this season, though, has been God the Father’s role in this. Spiritual extrapolation tells us that God developed this perfect plan before time began. Let me put some flesh on this. Here is God the Father and His only Son – a beloved Son, part of the Holy Trinity – whom He loves with an eternal, everlasting love.

The Omniscient God knows that created man will allow sin into his life.  But because of His infinite love He sets down a plan that will allow redemption. Only, the thing is, there is no finite, created being or thing that is a worthy sacrifice for sinful man to find infinite forgiveness. There must be a finite sacrifice that will enter the finite world and provide infinite cleansing for all who believe.

So God must send His only Son, out of a Glorious Undefiled Heaven into this sin darkened cesspool. And the ultimate plan is for His Son to offer Himself up as the blood sacrifice necessary to satisfy the Just and Righteous God.

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” [Romans 5:17 NIV]

As a finite man, a father, I cannot but believe that it broke the heart of God to send His Son on such a mission. And, how much more did it burden the heart of God that the very people His Son was sent to ransom, rejected Him and His message and violently murdered Him.

God loved the people of this world – you, me, Herod, Adolph Hitler – every human born since the Creation of Adam and Eve –  to such an extent that He was willing to sacrifice His Beloved Son for the singular purpose of redeeming mankind – to bring man back to his originally created status with God. If man would accept this gift from God.

He stood mute, the Righteous Judge, while His Son was nailed to a tree. He held back His Omnipotence, turned His back and placed all the sins of mankind on Him. We know and love that history. But let’s get back to The Nativity.

Once God had set this plan in place – before time – He was bound by His Eternal Perfection to complete it. The redemption of mankind, the salvation of all Creation, lay in the tiny hands of a vulnerable, peasant child in the care of a teenage peasant girl and a blue-collar builder from a nondescript rural village.

God the Father foretold this plan more than 700 years before the actual event -. His Father’s Heart, desiring to give peace and assurance to a troubled people!

How do you celebrate this most extraordinary event? Have you lost the significance of a new born baby’s cry in the village of Bethlehem, more than 2000 years ago? Is it lost in the screams of the vendors seeking to capitalize on a festival that has lost its meaning, or the cries of the wretched, deceived rabble who hearken to Satan’s lies that it is all a farce?

Get back to the Father! Re-read His Love Story to you in the Books of Isaiah, Micah, Matthew, Luke and John, and others. Mute out the noise and listen to that sweet baby’s cry in the night, the overwhelming joy of that new mother and father, and the exuberant wonder of those shepherds who were granted the first birth notice for Immanuel!

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:14 NIV]

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6 NIV]

“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” [Luke 1:38 NKJV]

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14 NIV]

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” [Luke 2:8-11 NIV]

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” [John 1:5 NIV]