Some idolatry

In Ezekiel the [reasons] for Jerusalem’s sins were pride, an abundance of food and idleness.

When one doesn’t have an abundance of food, it can always be replaced with an abundance of things wanted or the distractions this world provides.

Idleness – what a wretched state. That is when a person has a greater chance of becoming a sluggard and a fool.

The sluggard and fool both spend too much time with their own thoughts and so they become wise in their own eyes.

I believe all sin comes down to three things:

The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

Eyes: Anything thing you can see or imagine.

Flesh: Feelings, attitudes, physical pleasure, desire for a great level of respect, power, money; an endless list of all sorts of things.

Pride: Anything that supplants God with ourselves.

I once heard a pastor say anything that hinders someone from being close to God is sinful.

I’ve thought about that over the years since I heard it. It’s SO true. We are warned time and again about being distracted by things of the world; distracted by cares and pleasures.

It is a fight against a person’s nature to forego pleasure and other things that distract in order to be wholly focused on God.

There is so much more I can say about this, but Lord willing, I’ll post a separate one with more details and personal thoughts.

 

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Honest worship through song

A dear friend of mine once told me she was at home doing housework and was singing a hymn as she worked.  She said the LORD rebuked her because she wasn’t singing as a matter of worship, but singing for the sake of singing.

I’ve thought about that recently from reading a post on Facebook about my mother’s generation being brought up singing hymns in church. It was said that [men] don’t sing in most churches today because the song part of the service is more like a concert. There are hardly any churches that sing hymns at all anymore.

Now, I was also brought up singing the “old time” hymns. I like some of them a lot. Some bring me to worship of the LORD. But in all honesty, there are a couple that annoyed me. One in particular still annoys me. “Bringing in the sheaves”.  Now, I don’t recall all of the words to it, but that song is one I would just sing because it is positive, but not as a song of worship per se.

I’ve been in a couple of churches that use the more “modern” format of a concert. Personally, I don’t like it. Not because I think it’s wrong, but because I can’t seem to actually worship through them.

When I was younger I was told I had a “lovely voice” and my grandmother would have me get up in our little church and record me singing hymns. Unsurprisingly, the hymns became a source of feeding my pride BECAUSE I was told I had a nice singing voice.

I know that we all have gifts from God and it was a gift. But instead of using it to glorify Him, I used it to glorify myself and receive compliments from others.

I’ve recently started listening to Messianic/Hebrew Roots music. For anyone who isn’t aware of them, they’re wonderful songs and most are actual Scriptures put to music. Some are in Hebrew, some are in both Hebrew/English and some are only in English.

The site I like to use is http://www.messianicradio.com

I still like the hymns, I like some of the more modern music and now I get to enjoy yet another type.

I even listen to this kind of music when I sleep. I figure if you’re going to have good things going through your subconscious when you’re asleep, it would be good to have holy music.

The bottom line to me is this. No matter what type of worship songs you sing if you aren’t glorifying God by singing them, you may want to examine just why that is.

Would you like fries with that embryo?

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsb1215894?query=genetics

Yes, the time has come where you can now place an order for a baby. In Los Angeles so far.

While this article from the New England Journal of Medicine throws out the token “moral dilemma” jargon, as usual they look to legislature to make this decision.

Embryos are used in research and it is horrifying, legal and an accepted norm in the scientific world.  Yet, amazingly, NEJM suggests that the proponents of “reproductive rights” might have an issue with the sale of embryos “as denigrating the value of reproduction”!  If they have no issue with killing them, why would anyone think they would have a problem with selling them?

I know things are supposed to get worse as this world comes to an end, but who could have ever foreseen how far and how fast morals here have dropped?

I believe that God judges nations. America, which began as the melting pot, has turned into the cesspool of the world. How long will it be before we’re destroyed? Definitely before this world ends.

All of the signs are present and accounted for. It’s just a matter of time.

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1st Thessalonians Chapter 5 –

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

 

 

John 11:4 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Many years ago, when I was a newborn Christian, God spoke to me through this verse.

If you know anything about childhood abuse, you know that the effects of it spread out like tentacles into every area of your life.  Given time and God’s grace, there is healing, but there is always a scar left behind.

I spent a lot of time trying to understand “why” certain things happened as they did. I’ve learned over the years there are many answers, not just the ones that are on the surface of human understanding.

At the time I read this Scripture I was at a point where I could see no end to the pain and effects of what I had lived through as a child.

God spoke to me through this verse to let me know that although what had happened caused a lot of damage, that it wouldn’t be the end of me. That if I allowed Him, He would use what I had endured as a way to help others and glorify Him.

Of course, the main point was “if I allowed Him”.  It’s easy to remain in “survival” mode and justify hurting others due to the effects of past harm done against us. To stagnate in self-absorption and end up being rebellious and stubborn against God.

What if the only way a person would have a heart that was open to Him was to endure something painful? I’m not sure everyone can understand this because there is so much animosity toward Him and people try to justify lack of faith because they don’t know His character and the reason there is evil and suffering in the world.

There comes a time in a Christian’s life, if we are willing, that we have to let go of understanding and trust Him.

I’ve been blessed by Him with the hindsight to see how, and how often, He has used people to help me through my childhood years. Not only those years, but all of my years.

Learning never ends and we choose who we want to learn from. While I think psychiatrists and psychologists are a gift God uses to help us, the ultimate source is His grace and love for us.

We as humans cannot fathom the measure of His love, nor can we understand the whole picture of this life. So, we trust Him and know that any sickness will not lead to “death” if we accept His love and grace. We know that in the end He alone is worthy of all glory and will receive it.

So, we can be thankful for whatever happens in this life. Even going so far as to be thankful for the hurt and heartache because we know that it will all culminate in eternal life where there will be no tears, pain or death and we will have this everlasting love with no end.

Guilty or Not Guilty

When you go into a court of law, you get two pleas. Guilty or not guilty. You’re told to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Because we’re human and in a human court there is the “addition” of not guilty by reason of such and such. Guilty, but legally justified in the eyes of man.

However, with God there is no such thing as guilty but justified.

Jesus said that if you deny Him in front of man, He will deny you in front of the Father. In Revelation it says the saints confessed with their mouth and did not love their lives unto death.

With regard to confession and denial, they are the same as guilty or not guilty in the eyes of God.

To deny is to not confess, lie or lie by omission.

According to the definitions below there either is confession or denial.

It’s difficult sometimes as a Christian to confess this to someone if we know as soon as it’s said the person will discredit anything said thereafter. However, the Bible says specifically to confess. There is no account in the scriptures of someone who claimed to be a Christian going to teach about Jesus and not saying they were His follower. Anything less than full disclosure is lying. Worse yet, subterfuge. If we try to minister to, or share the Gospel with, someone and do not at the onset say we believe in Jesus as God, then we are being deceitful.

It sounds harsh, but God said no liars will inherit the Kingdom of God.  Neither will cowards, the vile, idolaters, those who are sexually immoral, etc.

We must be prepared to be rejected, especially because of Jesus. But if we believe in Jesus as God, then we live by His truth of not lying and will confess Him before man, even if it ends up the person(s) automatically discredits what we say.

con·fess

1.to acknowledge or avow by way of revelation.
2.to own or admit as true:
3.to declare or acknowledge (one’s sins), especially to God or a priest in order to obtain absolution.
4.(of a priest) to hear the confession of (a person).
5.to acknowledge one’s belief or faith in; declare adherence to.

de·ny

1.to state that (something declared or believed to be true) is not true: to deny an accusation.
2.to refuse to agree or accede to: to deny a petition.
3.to withhold the possession, use, or enjoyment of: to denyaccess to secret information.
4.to withhold something from, or refuse to grant a request of:
5.to refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disown; disavow;repudiate: to deny one’s gods.

Being right and being self-righteous

Everyone can’t be right, but everyone can be self-righteous.

This can be extremely hard to see in ourselves.  I know the only reason I can see it at all is because God shows it to me.

Pride is the reason for self-righteousness. Even God’s Truth can be used pridefully and there are many warnings in the Bible about it.

I think it’s the most insidious sin of all. It makes us an enemy of God. It’s distressing and irritating to see it in myself. There are so many ways to be prideful, even when appearing to be humble.

It’s like a virus that attacks your own body and spreads throughout your being. It affects your thoughts, feelings, words and behavior in every way. It contaminates others if they don’t have discernment and alienates us from God and others.

For instance, I could use this blog I created to spread my opinions and pat myself on the back when people agree with me.

It would be more beneficial to me to be rebuked than agreed with.

That last statement was right, but also self-righteous. You might not think so just looking at it, but anything based in false humility is self-righteous and only God would know I wrote that with the wrong attitude.

Aren’t blogs full of someone’s opinions self-righteous at the core?

A person’s opinions don’t matter, what matters is God’s truth. I’m not even sure I can do this without pride.

That’s not good. So, I have to be open to rebuke. I have to be willing to be humbled by God.

Most of all, God’s been showing me lately that I need to be quiet. So, who knows there may be very little posted here after all.

Jeremiah 17:19 – The human heart/mind

“Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear”.  That’s pretty good advice, I think. But what if ALL of what you see is wrong or incomplete?

Can anyone have wisdom without G-d? There is man’s futile circular thinking and then there is G-d’s Complete Wisdom.

I’ve heard the older you get the more you realize you don’t know.

I think that’s a pretty wise statement. I wonder if I would think that way if I didn’t know G-d?

Can a person’s mind play tricks on them? If so, thinking I’m wise would be the nastiest trick on myself.