While We Were Still Sinners

22 Aug , 2016  

March 3, 2013

But God proves His love for us in this:While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.   (Romans 5:8)

Pray as the Holy Spirit Leads You

First, we will pray for those we love. And then we will glorify God and present ourselves humbly before Him.

Personal Prayer

These are the words of The Revelation to St. John and the word of God.

The four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

And when the living creatures shall give glory and honor and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders shall fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and shall worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and shall cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they are, and were created”.   (Revelation 4:8-11)


“And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a great voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might and honor, and glory, and blessing’.

And every created thing which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things are in them, heard I saying, ‘Unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion, for ever and ever’.    (Revelation 5:11-13)


“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunders, saying, ‘Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth.  Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready’.

And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

And he saith unto me, ‘Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he saith unto me, ‘These are true words of God’.”   (Revelation 19:6-9)

All creation proclaims Your glory.  Seraphim, Cherubim, Archangels, Angels, Patriarchs, Martyrs and myriads of the Redeemed all join in a host of praise.

Almighty Lord God we are like the centurion, who desired You to heal his servant, but declared, “I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, speak Your word only and my servant shall be healed.”

We are not worthy to join that host in giving You glory. We are lost in sin. Our lives are too much our own because we have not loved you with our whole hearts, souls and bodies. We have too often closed our eyes to sin to pursue our own pleasures. We like Isaiah, if we were honest with ourselves, would cry out in Your Holy Presence, “Woe is me! I am undone! I have unclean lips and I live in a society of unclean lips!”

Prayer of Contrition

Now we will glorify God and present ourselves humbly before Him.

Personal Prayer

Nevertheless, our Savior, Your love for us exceeds all other love and breaks all bonds. While we were yet sinners you died for us. You shed Your precious blood to cleanse us from sin and all unrighteousness. You wiped the slate clean for all of us. And not being content with that, You imputed Your Righteousness to us. Now when the Father’s holy eyes fall upon us they see not our nakedness, but the righteousness of Christ. We are accepted in the beloved. We are adopted into Your family–sons and daughters of Yahweh Elohim Sabaoth, The Lord God of Hosts.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Personal Prayer

Because of Your love and sacrifice, You have declared us worthy to join that magnificent throng. And having been cleansed, like Isaiah, You confront us with a call to ministry. Make us not of blind eyes, nor of deaf ears, nor of tongue-tied speech, but instead give us quick-hearing hearts and instantly obedient spirits and loud, clear voices to proclaim Your truth. Recognizing we are unworthy to carry Your glorious message, give us holy boldness to make Your name known to our world.

Personal Prayer

As we join together in the prayer our Lord taught us, let us reconsecrate our hearts to His service.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.




Live with Faith in Jesus

18 Aug , 2016  

Jesus IS the Messiah

  Matthew 16:13-28

But he turned, and said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art and offence to me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”   Matthew 16:23

“Hey, Jesus! Cut him some slack.” Peter understands. He gets it–Jesus IS the Messiah, and more. He is born of God, the Son of God. Jesus has been calling himself the “Son of man”, but that’s just to identify himself with other men. Peter has discovered that a man or woman must see beyond his manhood, to fully know Jesus.

When Peter confessed his understanding and proclaimed this truth, Jesus blessed him. “Peter you have stopped looking with your eyes. You have stopped operating out of the motivation of your soul. You have listened to the voice of God. You are seeing with spiritual eyes, and are being motivated by the Holy Spirit.”

All Who Confess Jesus

Then He further honored Peter. Jesus stated that the revelation Peter proclaimed, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God!”, will be the foundation of Christ’s Church. All who confess this, all who submit to Jesus as God will be members of Christ’s church. Without this proclamation, there is no foundation and no Church.

Jesus bestowed two gifts on the Disciples. He gave them entry into heaven and the method to allow others to enter.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)

Then, Jesus gave them and all disciples authority on earth and in heaven.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven  (Matthew 16:19)

The holder of keys has the right to lock and unlock doors. He has the authority to allow or disallow entry. Jesus has entrusted that high honor to the Disciples and to all disciples who follow.

Jesus Died for Us

Next, the Messiah offered something even more precious. He shared with them His mind and the intention of Almighty God. Jesus began to reveal to the Disciples the mystery, the hidden truth, that Jesus must die for the Sin of mankind; that He will be in the grave for three days; and that God will raise Him up (v. 21).

Peter was stunned! Here he was basking in the glow of Jesus blessing and praise. Likely, Peter was only half listening as Jesus continued speaking. Maybe he was caught up in a vision of Christ’s Church. Maybe Peter saw himself, as one of Christ’s inner circle, bestowing grace upon thousands. Perhaps his heart was overflowing with love for this wonderful, special Man.

Suddenly he returned to the present. “What did he Say!? He’s going to be murdered – And by the chief priests!? That can’t be! He just said He’s going to found a new Church. The chief priests had been grumbling against Jesus, but murder Him? NEVER! Not on my watch!” Jesus wasn’t making sense.

Shadow of Death

Peter was yanked from the glow of a mountain top experience and plunged into the valley of the shadow of death. Peter’s extravagant love for Jesus, his absolute loyalty to the mission as Peter saw it, made him forget his position. He was a disciple at the feet of the Teacher. His heart overcame his head. Peter’s protective impulse, while noble in the abstract was inappropriate due to his ignorance. Peter leapt out to shield his Master from folly. Where immediately before, Peter had responded to the Holy Spirit; now he was controlled by fleshly emotions. Peter would die before he allowed anyone to harm Jesus – even Jesus Himself!

Blind to everything, but his fear of the danger Jesus was intentionally walking into, Peter rebuked Jesus, “Don’t be a fool! If the priests will endanger you, don’t go to Jerusalem. Have you lost your mind! I won’t let you! I’ll save You from Yourself”

Get Thee Behind Me, Satan!

Just when Peter thought there could be nothing lower than this valley he had plunged into, His beloved Master turned on him. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” “He called me Satan!” Peter must have been crushed. Here he was, just trying to save Jesus, and Jesus calls Peter a tool of the devil. Confused, humiliated, dejected, Peter felt lower than a whale’s belly, scratching on the seabed.

Jesus said Peter was hindering Him, obstructing His mission, interfering with Jesus plans, undermining his purpose. Jesus was saying, “You are living limited and unthinking, controlled by your emotions. Whereas just before you were listening to the voice of God, now your emotions have blinded you to the mind of God. Now you are allowing your emotions to crowd Him out.”

You see, Peter couldn’t yet get beyond death as finality. His emotions, while noble – love for Jesus and desire to protect Him – and ignoble – fear of death, fear of the loss of a dream – overcame his understanding that Jesus is God! Peter lost track of the fact that God knows everything, that He can raise the dead (He’d seen it several times), and that Jesus is not limited to man’s resources.

We are Like Peter

Truth be told, we are much like Peter. You and I, too often, operate in the realm of emotions, rather then the realm of the Holy Spirit. If a loved one or a dear friend becomes gravely ill, so that we fear for his life, we become desperate. The movie, John Q, explores this. The hero’s child needed an immediate organ transplant to save his life. Insurance wouldn’t pay for it. John Q and his family didn’t have the resources to pay for it. In desperation, his wife railed at him to do something. So, our hero took hostages and threatened the lives of many people to force the hospital to perform the transplant for his child. He is shown to be operating out of the best of motives–love for his child and willingness to make any personal sacrifice, even prison, to save his child.

Isn’t this is noble? Can’t we all identify this as moral high ground? The end of saving this child’s life justifies John Q’s desperate and life-threatening behavior.

Or does it?

God is Always Here

Let’s speculate on God’s view of this situation. He is left out of the movie in any real way, but in real situations He is always here. God is well aware of the suffering that sickness and death puts people through. He suffers, too. He knows the heartbreak of losing a child to death. God experienced both sides of it–as Himself and as the Son. We are not dealing with an esoteric, unfeeling God. In the Gospels, we see that Jesus hates death. The Rev. Canon Dennis Bennett said, “Jesus broke up every funeral He attended.” When He arrived at Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus’ spirit was deeply grieved. He groaned under the burden of mourning. He wept (John 11:33-35) in sorrow along with Mary and Martha and the Jews. Even though Jesus knew He would be raising Lazarus from the dead, He wept. He hates death. That’s why God took on death nose to nose, toe to toe–and defeated it!!

Jesus Victory over Death

Jesus’ victory has transformed death from an irretrievable dead end to but a threshold to enlarged life. We can’t conceive of all that means. Perhaps, that is why the Bible gives such a sketchy view of life beyond the grave. Jesus knows that death, even in the most dire and hopeless and despairing situations, is not certain. God has the power to intervene. God can deliver from the jaws of death; He can stay the progress of disease; He can even turn death to life. If you and I will look to Him with our whole hearts, He will replace fear with trust, grief with joy – in the midst of loss.

Trust in God’s Help

Thus, to John Q, to Peter, and to us, God says, “Trust in me, follow me, submit to me, and your life will be full. Trust me to bring your circumstances out of the valley into the light. Follow me through the darkness of confusion and sorrow and I will lead you into assurance of life everlasting. Submit to my command to love me and love others. Don’t limit your life to your own understanding. You will be given the victory over dire situations. I will uphold you by my Almighty Hand. And I will fill you with abundant joy.”

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.   (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Peter’s emotions conquered his trust in Jesus, conquered his obedience to his Master, and conquered his will to follow Jesus anywhere Jesus would lead. As a result, Peter became the tool of Satan. Peter had not grown enough in the spirit to require his emotions to submit. The Disciple tempted the Master to turn aside from the God-ordained path.

Do You Trust Jesus?

Do you identify with John Q? Do you feel he was justified in the extreme measures he took to save his child?

  • Many are saying after “9/11”, our lives have changed and will never be the same.
    • NOT SO! The world is the same fallen world as it was before. Our God is just as much God as He was before. As Christians, we have the authority of Jesus in the same measure as before. In Christ’s name, we can change the world.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  (Colossians 11:17)

  • Many live in fear of burglars breaking in, being attacked in the street, losing jobs or homes or family, of getting sick, or becoming destitute. Fear is natural, so it is acceptable for Christians to live in fear.
    • NOT SO! God is our fortress and high tower, a certain bulwark in time of trouble. God is our provider of food, clothing, shelter – yes, but so much more! He provides love, eternal life, new life fresh every morning, and God’s acceptance that completely overwhelms all shame.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me.

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. The waves of death swirled about me: the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. (2 Samuel 22:2-7)

  • Many are infirm, disabled, sick, and suffering. This is the natural progress of life. This is the cross we must bear.
    • NOT SO! “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jesus tells us. This means He has won the victory and presented us with a fete accompli, an accomplished fact. He has won the victory over sickness, addiction, infirmity, disability, poverty, and death. And more wonderful still, Jesus has given that victory to His adopted brothers and sisters – you and I who love Christ and long for his appearing.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Hope in Time of Trouble

When you feel you are walking in Peter’s footsteps,

  • “Jesus you can’t do that!”
  • “Lord I can’t bear it any more!”
  • “The Lord’s not doing anything, I’ll have to do something myself.”
  • “After what has happened between us, I can’t love that person any more.”
  • “I’ll never get out of the hole I’m in”

That’s the flesh talking, and it’s precisely the time to tune your spiritual ears to the Savior. Embrace and learn from His rebuke, “You are an offense to me, because you are clinging to the habits of men and forsaking your inheritance with God; an inheritance I bought for you with my blood!

Receive Comfort

Recognize your emotions for what they are. Recognize that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Face your emotions. Don’t hide from them or deny them. Just don’t allow them to dominate your spirit and dictate your actions.

You are a princess of the Almighty King.

You are a prince of the Lord God.

Do not be led astray by emotion. Instead, lead your emotions into the light of Christ and let the Refiner’s Fire purify them.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matthew 16:25-26)

I hear you thinking, “Easy for you to say.” On the contrary, no change in life habit comes easily. They are hardly won. Change begins with a step.

The most dangerous step is out the door. You never know where it will lead.  (Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien)

Because change is hard and dangerous, most choose to sit by the fire. That causes us to turn our backs on the offerings of Christ. It leads to ignoring the call of the Holy Spirit. It results in rebellion against God.

Here is how it works

  1. Confess to God each time your emotions take charge
  2. Admit your own powerlessness
  3. Ask Jesus to apply His wisdom and strength to each situation
  4. Submit to what He tells you
  5. Thank Him for delivering you from the tyranny of your emotions
  • Now start praising God. Praise of God in the midst of difficulty and crisis is an act of faith, a sacrifice of praise (Jeremiah 33:11; Hebrews 13:15). God is always worthy of praise.
  • Build yourself up in the knowledge of the Word. Jesus resisted the tempter in the wilderness by quoting scripture. We can hold on to our trust in God through any situation bolstered by the Word of God.
  • Pray without ceasing. Paul adjures us (Romans 12:12), “…continuing instant in prayer:” This is the life of prayer to which God calls us.

Start New Each Day

A photo by dan carlson. fresh each day, and if necessary, each minute. The more we actively seek to live in the victory of Christ, the more we have the mind of Christ. The more we have the mind of Christ, the less we will be subject to the domination of the flesh. The less we are subject to the domination of the flesh, the freer we are in the spirit and the more the joy of the Lord will permeate our lives.

For Christ is the Victory!

, , ,


Faith is God’s Gift

7 Aug , 2016  

April 15, 2012

Faith in Jesus

After Jesus’ entry into Capernaum, a Captain came to Him, and entreated Him. “Sir,” he said, “my servant at home is lying ill with paralysis, and is suffering great pain.” “I will come and cure him,” said Jesus.

“Sir,” replied the Captain, “I am not a fit person to receive you under my roof: merely say the word, and my servant will be cured. For I myself am also under authority, and have soldiers under me. To one I say ‘Go,’ and he goes, to another ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this or that,’ and he does it.”

Jesus listened to this reply, and was astonished, and said to the people following Him, “I solemnly tell you that in no Israelite have I found faith as great as this. And I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west and will recline at table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of the Heavens, while the natural heirs of the Kingdom will be driven out into the darkness outside: there will be the weeping aloud and the gnashing of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the Captain, “Go, and just as you have believed, so be it for you.” And the servant recovered precisely at that time.  (Matthew 8:5-13) (MSNT)

Prayer for Faith

Holy Father, It is eye opening to realize that faith is both a manifestation within our hearts of the Holy Spirit and it is a fruit that grows within us by Your Spirit.

Precious Jesus, You imparted faith to each one of us and sent the Holy Spirit to quicken in us the faith to believe that not only are You real, but You love us.

Holy Spirit, no one of us can believe in Your reality, except by the faith that You instilled in our hearts to respond to Your invitation to love You.

Gracious God, our desire is to show Your glory to the world, to give people a taste of what Your faith can do in and through a believer, so that those who witness our lives will hunger and thirst after You.

Loving Savior, fill us with a holy covetousness to yearn for more of You, and expect by faith to be empowered in serving You and those who need You.

Spirit of God, embolden us to have faith to believe that we can do greater things than Jesus did so that we can be markedly different from those who are worldly.

Hallelujah, What a glorious God we serve!

Now stir up Your faith in our hearts as we pray for those in need in our Fellowship and among our families and friends.


Faith Offerings

In faith, LORD, we present You with our offerings. We fully acknowledge that this money comes from you. Without Your generosity to us we would have nothing to tithe; therefore in gratitude for the faith to believe and for Your grace given to us we present this portion of Your bounty.

In the name of our Gracious Savior we pray.


Glad Tidings

GT—Volume 13 Issue 8

5 Aug , 2016  

Rose-Colored Glasses

Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil

“Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil” is an unrealistic stance in life. The truth is that evil prospers when good men do nothing!

I started a book, “What the World Needs is More Martyrs”, citing the need to stand up for Christianity and morality, despite the cost of loss of jobs and friends and in the face of judicial penalties. That was several years ago when a wedding photographer was sued for refusing to photograph a homosexual uniting ceremony. While the book has been in process, the climate has gotten more hostile to morality and Christianity. We have seen punitive actions taken against a wedding cake baker and a florist for holding to their moral scruples against homosexual ceremonies.

Our state, Washington, has declared all bathrooms and shower rooms free for all. Now teen boys get to ogle teen girls in the shower and the toilet, whenever their lust desires. I do not understand the refusal to see the dangerous consequences of these kinds of rulings. Behind their Rose-Colored Glasses, promoters are blind to the logical end of their foolish policies. They have a very unrealistic view of human nature. Voyeurism is at least an invasion of privacy and at worst the prelude to sexual assault. All an objective observer has to do is watch a “Gay Pride” parade and see their degrading of humanity to know how bankrupt such rulings are.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”   George Santayana

God revealed to the Children of Israel that there was a moral way to live. When they lived accordingly, they prospered. When they violated His moral laws, nations that were more powerful defeated and enslaved them. Christianity, standing on the shoulders of their Jewish forebears in the Roman Empire, was but a minor religion in the polytheistic and immoral culture. The Empire was victorious in all its wars of conquest for hundred’s of years. Christianity began from only a single God/man with 120 faithful followers. They had no other weapons than faith and morality. They took on the Roman Empire.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6).

In less than 300 years, by the 4th Century, Christianity became the faith of the Roman Empire, (which became “The Holy Roman Empire”). In the ensuing decades they reverted to their immoral past and as a result they lost their edge and Rome was sacked.

However, Christian faith and morality transformed the pagan Franks, Goths, Picts and other European pagan tribes.   dove-vector-clipart

Frog in the Kettle

A number of times in the past I have quoted Alexander Pope.

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.”  Alexander Pope

There is a constant struggle against the self when a culture holds the line of morality against immorality. Our soul wants to enjoy vice. We want money without working for it. We want freedom without striving to keep it. We want sex without responsibility.

Therefore, to have a civilization that works over the centuries we have embraced morals that God handed to mankind. They restrict the nature of men and women, but are essential to the formation of the healthy individuals. Faithful monogamy laid the foundation for the reliable structure that forms a child into a healthy, responsible, reliable adult. That stability built character into the “Greatest Generation” that fought and won a two-front war and rebuilt both Europe and Japan after World War II. The stable families and the moral training built strengths into the soldiers that made them strong in the face of the horrors of combat and courageous in the face of degrading imprisonment as POW’s.

The deterioration of both faith in God and the strict morality of their parents became evident in mid 20th Century. Easy divorce promoted the breakdown of marriage (violating the Scriptural stance against divorce). The 60’s introduced a moral devolution, spawning rampant “free love” (violating the Scriptural prohibition against fornication). In 1973, the Supreme Court declared that murder of innocents in the womb to be legal (violating the sixth Commandment). In 2009, the Federal Government declared homosexuals a protected class (violating God’s prohibition of that perversion).

Here we have the warming, and then the heating, of the kettle holding the truths of the God who created us and then gave us a structure to live in a healthy way. We are approaching the point where the water is dangerously hot. We can still turn down the heat, but we must do it soon or we will kill our society.   dove-vector-clipart            

Fool’s Paradise

“If we make these changes, it will make a better, freer world.” Progressives use this logic repeatedly. “Restrictions on people are bad, so remove the restrictions and everyone will be happier.” By the same logic, we should disband the laws against bank robbery. The resultant spreading of the wealth that is stored up in banks would make the beneficiaries of that rescinded law very happy.

Those advocating these changes have an unrealistic view of human nature. They believe that century-old lie, “Down deep there is good in all people. All one has to do is relieve people from all hindrances; that will allow the good to surface.”

In the name of tolerance, the federal government has followed some states to mandate that all bathrooms and shower rooms in schools be freely accessible to all students. They cannot conceive (or do not care) that anyone would use that freedom for evil purposes.

Those currently forcing these changes upon us are living in a world that does not exist. In their world, all Caucasian people are rich racists. They contrast that with the belief that all other races are downtrodden and could not possibly be racist. In their world, all people who have money have stolen it from those who are down trodden. They see America as the greatest force for evil in the world, despite all the benefits America has brought to the rest of the world not only by their dollars generously given, but also by the blood of her sons on the battlefields of the world. Misunderstanding the character of mankind, in their delusion, they believe if the oppressors can be eliminated, love will predominate.

Billy Graham

Self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle. — Billy Graham

The sad truth is that each man woman and child (I know this is a hard and unpopular truth, but it is reality) is self-centered and will do anything he or she can to survive. To himself or herself, anything one can get away with is alright. Why otherwise do people take advantage of a riot about a perceived wrong to break into and loot stores unrelated to the controversy?

On my way to work, I see the vandalism of graffiti along the freeways. Watch a train. It is rare to see a train car that does not have graffiti all over them. Traffic signs are sometimes so covered with spurious paint that drivers cannot read the warnings. These pose a traffic hazard, but obviously the “artists” do not care.

Despite the destruction of property, defacing buildings, and requiring private companies and the government costly and time-consuming repainting and/or replacement, people gush over the “art’ and bewail the painting over. These foolish people have misplaced values. They are living in a fool’s paradise.

Mary Eberstadt

Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt is an American essayist, novelist, and author of several books of non-fiction. Her writing has appeared in magazines including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Review, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and other venues.

In her book, It’s Dangerous To Believe, New York, Harper, 2016, Mary Eberstadt states “Many progressive-minded Americans have absorbed the belief that they are heirs to Voltaire, Clarence Darrow, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and other apostles of secular enlightenment. They should know that a lot of what’s committed against religious believers in progressivism’s name these days shares no such dignified pedigree. It smacks instead of intimidation, condescension and vengeance.” (Introduction, pgs. xxv-xxvi).    dove-vector-clipart

Need More Martyrs

One must understand that believing Christians have strong Biblical warrant to oppose homosexuality and all other perversions of natural heterosexuality. Christian professionals who choose not to contribute to such uniting ceremonies are being faithful to the Lord God. Their faith does not allow them to participate in any way, even to provide cakes or flowers or to take photos.

About six years ago, motivated by the alarming trend to stigmatize believers I began collecting material for What This World Needs Is More Martyrs, a work in progress. I am beginning to think it is too late for such a warning.

The truth is we have Christian martyrs everywhere. We do not hear about them, because most news media choose not to report the great number of incidences.

  • National Review, September 7, 2015 “Always Ready To Give An Answer”, by David FrenchInterVarsity college Christian fellowship is being banished from college campuses across the nation. This began in 2000 with a Tufts University campus fellowship recent decision to deny a lesbian student’s application to lead the group. Not only did the student expressly disagree with InterVarsity’s teachings on marriage, family, and human sexuality, she also specifically stated that she wanted to use her position at the Fellowship to advocate gay rights. InterVarsity faced possible expulsion at dozens of campuses. It was de-recognized at all 23 schools of the California State University system.
  • Julea Ward was told to change her Christian beliefs or leave Eastern Michigan University’s counseling program. At the formal review before a panel comprised of three university professors and one student, Julea was grilled about her Christian beliefs with questions like whether she viewed her form of Christianity as superior and if she believed homosexual behavior is a choice. Julea again clarified her position that she would not be able to affirm a homosexual relationship because it went against her biblical convictions. A few days later, Julea was notified by letter that she had been dismissed from EMU’s graduate program.
  • A Pastor and his wife have been holding a Bible study in their home for five years. On Good Friday, 2009, an employee of San Diego County code enforcement officer came to their home asking questions. Upon learning they say, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord”, the County found they were conducting religious services and issued an order to either obtain an expensive permit or refrain from conducting religious services in their home.

Not all of these attacks ended unhappily. InterVarsity has actually grown because of the persecution. Julea Ward, at last check, supported by the Alliance Defending Freedom is still battling in court. In San Diego, when the code enforcement story became public the outcry it generated forced San Diego to reverse its ruling and permit the Bible study. Nevertheless, these are bellwethers clanging. We must expect that unbelievers will increasingly attack Christians for espousing their faith in public. Currently, Pastors are subject to personal lawsuit if they refuse to officiate at homosexual uniting ceremony, unless their church as a condition of employment forbids such officiating.  dove-vector-clipart

Who’s In Charge, Anyhow?

In my lifetime, I have seen society transform from Christ-centered to essentially Godless. I have seen the Federal government mandate first taking prayer out of schools, and later forbidding students to pray, carry Bible or even wear a cross. I have witnessed the barring of any religious symbols on federal and state property. I have seen a CEO of Foxfire fired because out of Christian principles he supported an initiative declaring the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Christian believers must wake up to the harsh reality of the growing momentum to purge American society of Christian principles and Christianity as a faith.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist; then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist; then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew; then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.   —  Martin Niemöller

However, in Christ there is “Victory in Surrender”. Jesus surrendered to the hate of the religious establishment of His time, who tortured and killed Him. Jesus Christ triumphed over sin and death to pave the way for believers to triumph over their society in any century.

The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.  —  Church Father Tertullian, 2nd-century

Willing sacrifice of Martyrs’ lives lead to the conversion of others. In God’s economy, the voice of the dying martyr speaks in the hearts of people near to the execution and those distant in both time and space.

That means for some of God’s people, it is better to surrender one’s life than to seek to preserve it; better for God’s purpose and better for the individual. God instantly translates him into His blessed eternal life. That seems to the worldly wise as foolishness, because they have invested in this material world. Our material lives, so precious to us, are insignificant to God. What is significant in our lives is our relationship with Jesus the LORD God.

As for man, his days are as grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone;   (Psalm 103:15-16)

Once Jesus establishes a relationship with us as Savior and saved; God, as Father and adopted child, then our eternal destiny is fixed. This life becomes a husk that we can shed anytime it is God’s time. When we hold our lives loosely, we have the greatest freedom. No one can intimidate us. No sacrifice in this life is too great. Loss of job is not a crisis. Loss of income is not a disaster. Ultimately, loss of life can actually be a blessing.

Looking at our lives from God’s perspective, all these setbacks are as small dust in the balance with our eternal security in Christ. He gave us this body to use for time. During time, we are to nurture it and be good stewards of it while we live. Nevertheless, God has given us a disposable model. When his time comes, we will discard both this body and this life, and then enter into an eternal realm of existence. “Oh that will be glory for me!” You see, Our Father God has a celestial body reserved for us. He has a spiritual life awaiting to replace one’s life in this world (the world itself is disposable and will one day be dissolved, leaving only, we suppose) God’s celestial world. It will be wonderful beyond our most exaggerating imaginations. The Bible intimates that believers will be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We envision the Supper as a table groaning with its load of delicacies and the cups of wine overflowing, making our hearts glad, but not intoxicating our brains.

Therefore, although we see evil, hear evil, we speak no evil. We offer God’s grace freely. We do not take umbrage, because God is the one who is in charge. Jesus suffered greatly through the torture of the crucifixion, but…

…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Because Scripture states that the believers’ future will be a time of suffering and pain, we should not be surprised when they turn up the heat in the kettle. It does not catch us unawares.

But ye shall be delivered up even by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” (Luke 21:16-17)

While we wait for “Pie in the sky bye and bye”, believers are not living in a Fool’s Paradise. We are living in a reality that the world cannot perceive. God our Savior promised that we will have a marvelous share in God’s glorious Kingdom.

…so shall we ever be with the Lord.   (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

So, my brothers and sisters, with the world collapsing around us, catch hold of God’s promises and continue to praise and glorify Him! Hallelujah! We are victorious in Christ!   dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: Who is Melchizedek and what does he have to do with Jesus?

ANSWER: He was a Priest of the Most High God who was also the King of Salem. (Genesis 14:18) He was both a king and a priest.

Jesus the Messiah was both a king and a priest. He was a king by descent from the Tribe of Judah. However, since He was not a descendant of the Tribe of Levi, he could not be a priest of the Aaronic line.

The Letter to the Hebrews (7:2) points out that “Melchizedek” means “king of righteousness” and as King of Salem (meaning peace) he is king of peace. He was both a king and a priest.

In Psalm 110, Jehovah is speaking to Adoni. He declared to His Son, …

Thou art a priest for ever, After the order of Melchizedek. (Psalm 110:4)

Therefore, Jesus’ priesthood comes not from Aaron. It precedes the Aaronic priesthood, since He is in the mystical order of Melchizedek.

“without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually.”  (Hebrews 7:3)

So, we have in three places in the Bible reference to Melchizedek. These three appear to converge in pointing to Jesus.

  1. Melchizedek appears and disappears in just three verses of introduction
  2. His lineage is assigned to the Son of God, Messiah
  3. The inspired author of Hebrews devotes a significant portion (ch. 7) to showing that Christ’s priesthood is in the order of Melchizedek’s; that Christ’s priesthood is superior to Aaron’s

Thus, the king of righteousness and peace and the priest of the most high God is spiritually the ancestor of the Messiah. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the Holy Righteous Son of God and the supreme High Priest that offered the perfect sacrifice for our sin. His own blood cleanses from sin, all who appeal to Him.

Now, we may surrender to Jesus on a daily basis, confident that not only does Jesus have the position, but also the authority to cleanse us from unrighteousness and sin. It behooves all believers to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. We are saved to begin the process of opening our lives to the sanctifying process of the Holy Spirit. His job is to convince us of sin, righteousness and of judgment. He shows us we are sinners. He reveals to us the path of righteousness and He makes it clear that all will face the Judgment. It is vital that we secure our lives in Christ, and then seek out and confess all the sins of our lives, daily.

QUESTION: Why did King Herod slaughter babies under two years old?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

 Lord Jesus, Our nation and the world are in an awful mess. We have violated Your word and Your will. We are steeped in idolatry. We are sold under sin. There is nothing redeeming about us. We are lost without You. Save us, Lord Jesus, I pray. We are in desperate need of your redemption.

 Almighty, Lord God, we do not need remediation, we do not need a band aid. We need major heart surgery. Our hearts are sold out to sin. We are deplorable. We are despicable. Come, LORD Jesus and rescue us from evil and degradation. There is no help in us. Our sin disqualifies us from receiving any good thing from You. O, LORD God, have mercy on us and deliver us from the wickedness that makes our feet flee from Your path. Rescue us from our wayward hearts that cling to godlessness, immorality and love of self.

In You alone, we have hope. In Jesus, there is a slight possibility of rescue from the disaster that certainly awaits our world, our nation and me as a sinner.

Lord God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us. You have saved me by Your precious blood that cleanses me from sin. Now my God save our nation and the world. The need is desperate beyond calculation. In You alone is there relief from the suffering under sin, which in truth we do not recognize as such. Take pity on our ignorance and our blindness. Gracious Lord, You have taken the first step in saving each individual billions of times. You out of Love for lovelessness have reached out to us in our lostness. You, out of Your grace, have knelt down in the muck of this world and dirtied Your pure hands by grappling with me, and so many others like me, to draw us into Your perfect heart. You have patiently allowed us to besmirch Your glory by our poor praise. You have endured our slander and defamation of Your Character by claiming to be Yours, but living as if we were not.

Your love is the most magnificent in all the world. Your truth is the most pure in all the universe. Your Majesty is the most superb in all creation. I love You because You first loved me. I worship You because You chose me to be Yours.

 Glory be to God in the highest. All honor, majesty, power, dominion are Yours most Holy and Loving Father, Wonderful Son, Glorious Holy Spirit.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah! I worship You my God! Amen!


, , ,


Deliver Us from our Enemies

1 Aug , 2016  

October 26, 2014

Then the people of Israel began once again to worship other gods, and once again the Lord let their enemies harass them. This time it was by the people of Midian, for seven years. The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelis took to the mountains, living in caves and dens. When they planted their seed, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and other neighboring nations came and destroyed their crops and plundered the countryside as far away as Gaza, leaving nothing to eat and taking away all their sheep, oxen, and donkeys. These enemy hordes arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count and stayed until the land was completely stripped and devastated. So Israel was reduced to abject poverty because of the Midianites. Then at last the people of Israel began to cry out to the Lord for help.   (Judges 6:1-7)

O Lord, deliver me from evil men. Preserve me from the violent, who plot and stir up trouble all day long. Their words sting like poisonous snakes. Keep me out of their power. Preserve me from their violence, for they are plotting against me. These proud men have set a trap to catch me, a noose to yank me up and leave me dangling in the air; they wait in ambush with a net to throw over and hold me helpless in its meshes.

O Jehovah, my Lord and Savior, my God and my shield—hear me as I pray! Don’t let these wicked men succeed; don’t let them prosper and be proud.  (Psalms 140:1-8)

Please Pray with me

O God our Father, our enemies hate us. They have sworn in their wrath to destroy our nation. Their harassing persecution of believers has turned to grotesque murder. Our brothers and sisters now taste the evil that the enemy of our souls vomits out.

We can see what is coming to our nation. You have said in your Word that our compatriots will turn against us. They will deliver us to the slaughterer and think they are serving a god.

While we still live in peace and safety, open our hearts to those who are living in terror from these implacable evildoers. Give us the burden to raise our prayers daily on their behalf. Now, we implore You, Almighty God to spare our brothers and sisters in Syria, in Iraq, in Iran, in Turkey, in Jordan, in Egypt, in Ethiopia in Libya, in Sudan, in Mali, in Tanzania, in Indonesia,

Please Pray for our Brothers and Sisters

Offer your petitions for others and your requests for your family, friends and neighbors

Personal Prayer

In spite of the evil and terror in the World our Savior is triumphant. It sometimes does not seem so. Nevertheless, God is omnipotent and He is in control. Even those tortured and slain for their testimony of faith in Jesus, even they have the Savior that loves them and has them and us in the eternal security of His hands. No one can pluck any of us out of His hands.

Lift up your hearts in giving thanks to our God for His love for all His children

Personal Prayer

Join with me now in offering the prayer that our Lord Jesus taught us, saying

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.