How's that working for you?

I can’t count the times that I have wished that Paul or one of the other new testament writers would have spelled things out so clearly that there would never be any room for misunderstanding/misinterpretation.  I feel similarly about the creators of the constitution of the United States of America.  

We are living in an age in America where owning guns, any type of guns, no matter their deadly force, has taken on an almost religious status.  I’m certain that the creators of our constitution never intended that.  At the time of the writing of our constitution, we were a brand new country, and without proper organization could be vulnerable to attack.  At that time, our primary weapon would be hard-pressed to shoot one bullet every minute or two.  Hence, as a country, we needed a well regulated militia in every state to ensure our country was unified and safe.  We needed an adequate deterrent that showed the world that we couldn’t and wouldn’t be easily over-thrown by outside forces.  If you come after us, you do so at your own peril.  What some gun owners are forgetting is one thing…this type of deterrent needs to be WELL REGULATED.  You have to be able to work together seamlessly, even between states, otherwise you have chaos.  In reality, it seems the creators of our constitution explained it pretty well but some people MISS the obvious.  For instance, as a gun owner, are you meant to be part of a well regulated militia?   Are you part of the national guard?  Yeah…you probably aren’t.  You are much more likely to be an individual that loves your guns more than just about anything and has somehow made gun ownership part of your patriotic religion.  In case you haven’t noticed, at this point in time, we have a very well regulated/organized militia in every state, and a federal military that defines the very picture of deterrent. At the time, the creators of the constitution didn’t have the vision to know how advanced we would become when it related to weapons and their killing power.  My goodness, as we’ve mentioned, they were still using muskets!  The founding fathers just didn’t know the future.  Now people hang on words they don’t fully understand in the context they were given and then assign their own meaning to them.  Hence, in ignorance they think it’s their patriotic duty and right to buy the most devastating weapons that they can.   I’ll never believe that was our founding fathers vision.   If the founding fathers knew a time was coming when just one numbskull, one malcontent, could easily and legally purchase a weapon that could kill/wound a hundred innocent people in a moment or two, I’m most certain they would have edited whatever they were thinking of saying and said something far more limiting and defined.  Yeah, as a current/typical gun owner, are you part of a well regulated militia, or are you just someone that thinks owning the most devastating weapons on earth at this time is a fun hobby and confirms you as a patriot?

But what if some extremists out there are right?  What if it wasn't really about a militia at all?  What if the creators of the constitution, were, in actuality, so worried about their own integrity, as well as the integrity of any government official that followed, decided (under pressure - amendment) to allow the masses to be armed as a check on their own government's power?  What if they decided that allowing the masses to possess/accumulate weapons was the answer to governing the government?   Yeah, the only problem with that line of reasoning is that the constitution doesn't say that.

How’s that working for you? 

Betting on mercy...

Like Noah, I'm betting on mercy.  Unlike Noah, I'm celebrating it.  Keep up the mercy oh LORD.

What to choose?

When you tell your beloved 85 year old grandmother that they look great in their Easter outfit, that's one thing.  When you manage to rise to a high level in government and then you stand before a hundred or more cameras ready to broadcast your comments worldwide and you lie through your teeth, that's quite another thing entirely.  A whole lot of politicians stand on that precipice...a win today, but eternal destruction tomorrow?  What to choose?

Revelation 21:8..."But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

Are you watching?

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Though nothing will stop the downward spiral,  Jesus told us to 'watch' so that we are not caught unaware.  Are you watching?

Step One..

GOD’s way is THE way.  I’m not at all sorry that we don’t get a vote. :-)  GOD is love.  GOD is light, and there in no darkness in HIM.  Any vote we might offer would be degradation.  As anyone that knows scripture would tell you, we (humans) have all fallen short of HIS glory.  There are no human beings that are truly righteous, no not one.  Our righteousness is like filthy rags (self serving).  And then here comes JESUS!  The FATHER designates Him as the way, the truth, and the life.  What does that mean?  For one, He is the only way to get to the FATHER, to access the FATHER, and ultimately, to get to heaven.  Why?, because, in HIS perfect wisdom, the FATHER said so...period, end of story.  That Bible tells us that whoever has the Son has the FATHER also.  Whoever doesn’t have the Son, though, doesn’t have the FATHER either.  Hence, the Son is essential to salvation.  Why?  Because the FATHER said so, period, end of story.  Heard of humility?  Yeah, what that means is YOU and I don’t get to decide how it works (thank GOD!).  GOD alone does.  Are you willing to humble yourself before GOD and accept HIS way of doing things?  After all, HE is love and light and has no darkness in HIM, and HE is the one in charge of how things work (thank you GOD!).  There is really only one way to eternal life…ie…JESUS.  Still, it’s your choice.  Live eternally in heaven with unspeakable joy, or throw yourself off the cliff and into the lake of fire because you’d rather rebel than be humble before the creator of the universe?  If after GOD has given you a lifetime or more of infinite opportunities to choose life, and instead, you choose death, isn’t that on your own head?  You chose death.  GOD offered you life in Jesus.  

Come one, Come all


Sometimes, I think I’ve outlived my usefulness.  A doctor once told me that if a man lives long enough, he WILL get prostate cancer.  Not might…WILL.  The point being, at least to my mind, is that when you can no longer be a participant in reproducing a healthy human being, on a natural level at least, your mission here on earth is diminished greatly.  After all, reproduction seems to be central to the purpose of life (one of GOD’s earliest commandments…be fruitful and multiply).   Hence, it’s no surprise that at about the same time that your prostate may start giving you trouble, or you start to experience hot flashes, it’s pretty likely that you aren’t far from being on blood pressure and cholesterol meds as well (if you aren’t already).  Though these, and a myriad of other drugs may buy you some time, the question becomes ‘is that time really worth buying’, and is ‘buying’ time in any way GOD’s will, or for that matter, biblical?  I’ve found nothing positive biblically supporting increasing life span beyond the natural scheme of things.  If, though, you have children, an extended close-knit family, or some great friends, your personal answer could be “it is absolutely, positively worthwhile”.  If you think that, why you think that, is the big question.  Is it because you have an over-inflated sense of your own self-value, or is it because you have a ton of unconditional love to give that you think could/would make a measureable difference in the world, or is it just for fun?  Is your motive all about giving love, is it all about giving of your time and substance because of that love?   If that is the case, you might be on the right track.  If it’s anything else, I’m not so sure.  

If communication was, in any way, at least somewhat fruitful in a measurable way in this world, then it would be worthwhile to be here from the standpoint of bringing people to Christ.  Quite frankly, though, I’m not convinced the numbers would support that hypothesis.  I’ve, personally, concluded that GOD doesn’t need me in any way whatsoever.  Hence, I don’t know why I’m here in this world as far as me making a difference.  Hence, I must be here to learn something like everyone else.  How deflating.  Will ‘any’ flawed human being make any measurable difference in the big scheme of things?   If so, I have no doubt that GOD will be the one worthy of credit, and HE could have used a donkey instead of me or you.  

Yeah…it seems obvious that humility is surely a huge component of what this life is all about.  Satan, full of himself, rebelled and was cast out of heaven along with his minions.  Humans also didn’t accept GOD’s dictate(s), rebelled, and were cast out of Eden.  When will either get back in, if at all?  Yeah…most likely, when they have a change of heart about their self importance and take on the mantle of humility and submission. What does that mean?  Accepting GOD as your authority, and, subsequently, HIS provision.  Yes, you need GOD and HIS help, and that help is all wrapped up in JESUS CHRIST.  HE’s the gift of GOD.  You will never be redeemed by your own merits.  On the other hand, the merits of JESUS will redeem you if you accept it, accept HIM.  The question becomes, are you too proud to accept the gift of life that is found in JESUS CHRIST, and in JESUS CHRIST alone?  

Yes, JESUS is the answer.  You can't even get to the FATHER, get to heaven, without going through JESUS.  The Father made JESUS the way, the truth, and the life.  You aren't any of those things.  JESUS alone was appointed that status.  Yeah...it takes humility to accept that, too.  You willing?  You there yet?  Have you seen the light?  If so, choose life, choose GOD’s provision…choose JESUS CHRIST.  HE’s the anointed one. Yeah…that means you and I aren’t.  One of the great things about JESUS is that HE’s just like HIS dad…full of grace, mercy and forgiveness.  Come one…come all.  I believe HIS arms are wide open.

Is GOD communicating with you?

THROUGH HIS CREATION.

Psalms 19:1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

THROUGH THE WORD.

2ND Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

THROUGH HIS PROPHETS.

Numbers 12:6 he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.”

THROUGH VISIONS.

Genesis 46:2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, "Jacob! Jacob!" "Here I am," he replied.

Genesis 15:1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."

THROUGH DREAMS.

Numbers 12:6 he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.

1 Kings 3:5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

FACE TO FACE.

Numbers 12:8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

THROUGH JESUS.

Hebrews 1:1-2 ¶ In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

John 14:24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

THROUGH ANGELS.

Judges 2:4-5 When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD.

Matthew 2:13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

Revelation 22:6 The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."

THOUGH HIS PRESENCE.

Exodus 33:19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

BY VOICE ONLY.

Deuteronomy 4:12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.

Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Acts 10:13 Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

BY WAY OF A FLEECE.

Judges 6:36-40  Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing-floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said."  And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.  Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew."  That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

THROUGH ANIMALS.

Numbers 22:28 Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and it said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?

I’m certain my list can be added to, but I think this is a reasonable start. Though you never want to limit the LORD, you always want to ‘test’ everything. What are the parameters of ‘testing’? The Word. The Bible. The Truth. If it’s not matching up with those teachings, I’d be very, very careful. Always remember that there’s an enemy out there, and he’d love to ruin you.  We can also be enticed by our own desires and presumptuousness.

How's that working for you?

I can’t count the times that I have wished that Paul or one of the other new testament writers would have spelled things out so clear...