What could possibly be strikingly familiar between the visit of the wise men to Jerusalem and Bethlehem 2000 years ago and the visit of Prime Minister Netanyahu to Washington DC last Week?
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Is the Bible is getting old to you? Are you bored with the Bible? If so, the fault is yours, not the Bible’s.
The Bible is alive, fresh every single day, and contemporary wisdom in every circumstance. Your heart is the problem, your heart is that which has gone stagnant. It is time to assess your walk with Jesus; you need to repent before the God of the Bible.
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An impulse is a sudden idea or feeling that is acted upon without any further thought, as the act of the young man in the photo. Impulsive people are rash and hasty…and often remorseful because our volatile impulses usually do not end well. (I am speaking from experience!)
A life governed by impulses and emotions is a wild roller coaster ride with many twists and turns, steep climbs, and plummeting falls. The Word of God tells us that the hasty person is foolish (Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 29:20, Proverbs 21:5, Ecclesiastes 7:9). We are to be governed by the steady and unchanging Word of God (Psalm 119:9, 105). That means we must deny our Self, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24-27).
Denying Self is not very popular these days. Many churches do not preach and teach their congregations to deny Self, fearing they might offend someone, but rather strive to indulge Self with “positive” motivational speeches. Like emotional impulses, it is not going to end well for those who speak such things and those who blindly follow them (Isaiah 56:10-12, Ezekiel 34:1-10, James 3:1, Matthew 15:1-14).
If your church is not preaching and teaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified (2 Corinthians 2:1-5), you need to flee to a Bible-teaching church before the wheels come off.
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Self-help isn’t help. If I need help, why would I ask myself? If I need more than I can do, why would I ask myself for more than I can do? People say (God does not and never did), “God helps those who help themselves.” If I can help myself, why do I need God’s help? Self-help isn’t help, it is a vicious circle and it is a lie.
Help takes two persons, both 1) in agreement that help is needed and 2) willing to humble themselves. One person must humble himself to be willing to be helped and another person must humble himself to be willing to help. The help received is as good as the ability of the giver of help.
In a fast and furious world that quickly overwhelms us who are finite, I am thankful that the Infinite God is willing to humble Himself to help me! Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from where comes my help. My help comes from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”
Everybody needs help. God knows we need help. God wants to help. I know I need help. I have humbled myself to ask for God’s help. Do you know you need help? Will you humble yourself to ask for God’s help? Will you depend on yourself and get what you can do or depend on the Almighty God and get what He can do? He is able and willing to help me, you, and whoever calls upon Him.
The rise of Western Civilization took root during the Renaissance in the 14th – 16th centuries, established its foundation during the Reformation in those same 14th – 16th centuries, and blossomed on the world stage during the Age of Reason in the 16th and 17th centuries. Western Civilization has led the modern world in every aspect of human life – freedom and democracy, capitalism and economic growth, human rights and liberties, scientific and technological innovation and development, etc.
Yet today we are witnessing the unraveling of Western Civilization. The cause is purely spiritual.
The spiritual foundation is cracked. Western Civilization has abandoned the Bible as its moral rudder. The Word of God is openly mocked and despised. The God of the Bible is ignored, neglected, and reviled. That which the Bible calls evil, Western Civilization calls good and celebrates. That which the Bible calls good, Western Civilization calls evil and “intolerant”. Truth is relative. Even within the ranks of Christianity, a denial and dilution of Biblical truth is now the norm. Deception abounds as the God of the Bible is no longer the Authority over Western Civilization and man has assumed the authority. Without a stable moral rudder, Western Civilization is drifting and coming apart at the seams as the attacks against it mount.
Radical Islam is attacking Western Civilization in pursuit of a worldwide caliphate. Political correctness, embraced by multi-culturalists in western democracies to not offend radical Islam, has produced a myopia of reality at the least and a complete blindness to reality at the worst. That reality is the mantra and the well-established history of Islam to infidels (unbelievers in Allah, non-followers of Mohammed): Convert or die by the sword. Muslim extremists carry out this “evangelism” before the eyes of the entire connected world. Muslim moderates decry their extremist brethren, calling for a “revolution” in Islam away from extremism to being “world-friendly.” Yet there cannot be a “revolution” within Islam as long as the Koran is held as truth. The Koran is rife with contradictions and errors, it teaches violence toward any weakness. The revolution Islam needs is the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The god that has replaced the God of the Bible in Western Civilization is money/wealth. (Note: Money = currency = time; wealth = physical assets = power) The “bigger is better” philosophy and the “more, more, more” insatiability of Corporate America has fueled the merger mania that has consolidated so much money/wealth into so few hands. An inherent weakness of “few and big” is systemic collapse if the big corporations/banks fail. Enemies such as China, Russia, Iran, and Islamic terrorists have embarked on financial warfare to destroy the wealth of Western Civilization and secure gains unattainable by the means of conventional warfare.
Given its history of Renaissance, Reformation, and Reason, Western Civilization is ill-equipped to fight these battles upon which its survival depends because such attacks are not rational. The attacks on Western Civilization are ideological; ideology stands apart from reason.
The life-threatening challenges facing Western Civilization are from within and from without. Western Civilization, starting with its leaders, must return to the God of the Bible to survive. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Foundation and the Strength upon which we stand. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Lord of the entire universe. It is high time to humble ourselves before the Living God and to call upon the name of the Lord!
Post-script: Islam will perish (Isaiah 21:16-17; Kedar is the son of Ishmael and the line from whom came Mohammed). Jesus Christ is calling to all Muslims as He is to all in the world, “Come out of her, My people.” (Revelation 18:4). As His witnesses and ambassadors, our role is to love each other (John 13:34-35) and them (Matthew 5:43-38, Matthew 22:36-40), whereby the Father may draw them to the Son (John 6:44). Because Love (1 John 4:7-12) wins!
The worldview presented by psychology teaches that the ultimate goal for mankind is self-realization, which means the fulfillment of one’s potential. If a person is self-realized, they are complete.
The worldview presented by the Bible teaches to the contrary of psychology.
a. Man (male and female per Genesis 1:26-27) is never satisfied (Proverbs 27:20, Ecclesiastes 1:1-15)
b. Only God, the Maker of heaven and earth revealed in the Bible, is complete/perfect (Matthew 5:48, Matthew 19:16-17)
c. Man is made complete when he/she lives life in right relationship with the Creator (Genesis 17:1), he/she loves others as does God (Matthew 5:43-48, 1 John 4:7-12), and he/she gives selflessly to others and follows Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:21)
d. God makes man complete (Luke 6:40, John 17:20-23, Colossians 2:9-15)
Every man has a god he/she worships. The god of psychology is man…a god made in the image of man. The God of the Bible is the Almighty, eternal Creator, in Whose image man is made.
Consider the testimony of the two worldviews (in the Bible consider Psalm 17:15, Psalm 22:26, Proverbs 19:23, Ephesians 2:1-10, Philippians 3:3, Colossians 2:4-8, Ecclesiates 12:13-14, John 8:23-36). Consider the evidence of the two worldviews – your own life and the lives of the adherents of the two contrasting worldviews.
The testimonies and the evidence reveals that man desperately needs a re-orientation: to be God-centered and others-centered instead of self-centered. John 3:1-21.
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Coming to Jesus Christ is not a forced march. Following Jesus is not a forced march. Staying with Jesus is not a forced march.
Man, created in the image of God, is given a free will to choose which way he will go every step of his life. Man must choose to walk by sight or by faith. Man must choose to live after the flesh or to live after the Spirit.
The Word of God reveals to us that the Lord wants a relationship based on trust and selfless love with us. Relationships are voluntary. Every relationship takes two like-minded volunteers. The quality of any relationship is a function of how faithful both volunteers are to their role and responsibility. In a healthy relationship, both volunteers are faithful to their role and responsibility in the relationship. God is faithful…so who “owns” the quality of our relationship with God?! We do!
Which leads me to the most horrifying truth in the Bible: apostasy.
There will be a great falling away from faith in Jesus Christ in the last days of man’s reign on earth (2 Thessalonians 2:3); one must have faith in Jesus Christ to fall away from it. Hebrews 6:1-8 speaks of believers in Jesus Christ falling away (“apostatize”). When a believer turns and denounces that Jesus Christ is Lord, denies Jesus Christ is God, and renounces his/her faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, they are apostate. The Word says it is impossible for apostates to be renewed again unto repentance. Woe!
This is a “hard saying” that will not be understood by the dull (“lazy”) of hearing of the Word of God (Hebrews 5:11-14). Brethren, do not be members of the Church of the Dull of Hearing. Be diligent in you relationship with Jesus Christ and be found a member of the Church at Philadelphia that is of little strength, has kept His Word, and has not denied His name (Revelation 3:7-13).
I pray none of you are surprised by the most horrifying truth in the Bible.
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Can you either quantify or qualify the forgiveness the Lord has given you? How much forgiveness did the Father extend to you when His Son cried “It is finished!” on the Cross?
Are we as forgiving of wrongs done to us as Jesus is of the wrongs we did to Him? No, we are not. Our stinking flesh gets in the way. Therefore the Holy Spirit tells us in Ephesians 4:22-32 to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
If we do not put off the old man and put on the new man we will not be forgiving and become bitter. We will become toxic to the people around us because we will have failed the grace of God and let a root of bitterness spring up to trouble us, and thereby many be defiled. (Hebrews 12:15).
Do yourself a favor: invest in your spiritual health and be forgiving. Always forgive. Does not Jesus always forgive? Does not the love from which forgiveness spring win?
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Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
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Can you imagine yourself in this photo? Most folks would think this is plain crazy and these two are not in their right minds!
Yet most folks live their lives on their terms, never bothering to ask their Creator how He wants them to live their lives. From God’s perspective, that is not being in your right mind. Being in your right mind can be found in only one place: at the feet of Jesus Christ. God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe (trust) in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
The Bible has a graphic example of being in one’s right mind in Mark 5:1-17. ”
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.”
You may not have the issues the man in the tombs did, but run to Jesus nonetheless. Please do not ask Him to leave!