Archive for December, 2017

TRUTH: How We Treat the Lord with Contempt.

December 30, 2017

In the post, TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt! , I urged us to not treat the Lord with contempt or to live in 3D. That is to demonstrate Disbelief, Disobedience and/or Dishonor. In instances that I have explored in the Word of God, there has been a great cost to those who lived in 3D or treated the Lord with contempt. When God does something in our lives, we should worship Him rather than forget Him.

Perhaps, one of the most poignant examples of living in 3D or How We Treat the Lord with Contempt can be found in Numbers 13-14. If you recall, this is where Moses, on the Lord’s command, sent 12 spies to see the land God promised to give them as an inheritance. Of the 12, only Joshua and Caleb believed that God would do what He said He would do – give them the land. The other 10 did not believe God. As a consequence of their disbelief, the entire camp was dissuaded from believing in the promise God had made to the Israelites via Abram to possess the land God would show him.

Listen to these warnings about the TRUTH: How We Treat the Lord with Contempt.

Exodus 23:21 – Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.

“‘The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.

Numbers 14:11 – The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?

Numbers 14:23 – not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.

Numbers 15:31 – Because they have despised the Lord’s word and broken his commands, they must surely be cut off; their guilt remains on them.’

Numbers 16:30 – But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.”

Deuteronomy 17:12 – Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.
Deuteronomy 31:20 – When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods(crf) and worship (crf)them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant.

1 Samuel 2:17 – This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.

2 Samuel 12:14 –  But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

In Jeremiah 14, we see another cost to the people for treating the Lord with contempt. Even in that instance, God wants the people to humble themselves, ask for forgiveness and seek Him. Listen to what He tells Jeremiah to tell them in verse 21 after all the judgment that He pronounced on them.

For the sake of your name do not despise us;
    do not dishonor your glorious throne.
Remember your covenant with us
    and do not break it.

We need to humble ourselves because we are just like the Israelites and Moses who broke faith with Him by failing to believe in Him, by failing to regard Him as holy. We are a stiff-necked people.(R How We Treat the Lord with Contempt.

Please join me in humbling yourself before the Lord today asking Him to forgive you for living in disbelief, disobedience and dishonoring Him. This is our only hope to escape the cost or consequence for showing contempt to the Lord.

 

TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt!

December 28, 2017

My first object lesson in understanding contempt was in the courtroom.

Dictionary.com defines contempt as willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or orders of a court (contempt of court) or legislative body as it relates to law. In terms of the individual, it is defined as the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn. TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt!

I am not close to being qualified as a lawyer; however, I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of contempt. On the matter, Lawfind presents that contempt of court refers to actions which either defy a court’s authority, cast disrespect on a court, or impede the ability of the court to perform its function. Contempt takes two forms: criminal contempt and civil contempt. Actions that one might normally associate with the phrase “contempt of court,” such as a party causing a serious disruption in the courtroom, yelling at the judge, or refusing to testify before a grand jury, would often constitute criminal contempt of court. Civil contempt of court most often happens when someone fails to adhere to an order from the court, with resulting injury to a private party’s rights. Contempt of court may be “direct” or “indirect.” Direct contempt occurs in the presence of the court – during a court proceeding, for example. Indirect contempt occurs outside the presence of the court. TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt!

Now, I am receiving another lesson about contempt. For the past month and half, God has engaged me about TRUSTing Him. God’s first priority for me is to TRUST Him. Hebrews 11:6 tells us “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God considers doubt, fear, a refusal to believe, the doubting of who He is (His character) or what He has done/can do (His power/might) as a personal affront that He contends with the one who contemns. Failure to have faith is surely sin.

We should not that “The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.” It was for sin that God contended with those of old and will reckon with us who commit the sin of doubt, fear and disbelief. God himself is the prosecutor (Isa. 3:13). For the past month, God has shown me an example of His judgment for the believer, the follower of Christ through Moses. In Deuteronomy 32, God shared with me the warning Moses gave the people. Moses said,

 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel,46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

Moses spoke this out of what God had shared with him and what he had violated. Later in the passage, we learn that Moses will only see the Promised Land and not enter it? Why? For the same reason the 10 spies did not, He, despite all God had shown him and did for him, did not believe God. Specifically, we learning in verses 51-52 the reason. God said it was 51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.” TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt!

Breaking faith or failing to believe or TRUST in God is a serious crime in the court of God. It is treating God with contempt. It is denying and defying His authority. It is disrespecting the person of God, His purposes and His promises. It is impeding God’s right to use us to bring glory to Himself as He carries out His will. The occurrence in Deuteronomy 32 is a fulfillment of what God told Moses in Numbers 20:12. “12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”” TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt!

Moses serves as an example for you and for me to know the TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt! The consequences for not TRUSTing God are dire. Moses missed out on entering the Promised Land. He missed out on seeing God at work again in the lives of His people. He missed out on experiencing God and God at work and fulfilling His promises en route to accomplishing His purpose – to glorify Himself. God wants us to experience Him not look for an outcome, but as we have been shown and told that without faith (TRUSTing in God) it is impossible to please Him.

I want to please God. I want to experience God and God at work again in the lives of His people. TRUTH: Stop Treating the LORD with Contempt!

TRUST: What is the Impact II?

December 21, 2017

Listen, I am just sharing what God shared with me. It is only an indictment on me but an encouragement to us all. As I finished my quiet or devotional time this morning, I began summing up what I had read in over a hundred verses. The summation was that TRUSTing in God is the gateway to all of His blessings. God reminded me that as I trust Him that He is my help, and He is my salvation. Hallelujah.

Listen to the glory of God here.

Psalm 3:8
Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah.

Isaiah 45:17
Israel has been saved by the Lord
With an everlasting salvation;
You will not be put to shame or humiliated
To all eternity

God’s message to me is that salvation belongs to Him alone. It is His to give and His to keep. No one can take it way from me not even me. The salvation that God gives has eternal ramifications primarily. While He saves in moments or circumstances in our lives, salvation from God is rooted in eternity. There are times in our lives when we TRUST in Him that the world, even ourselves, will feel like we are fools for doing so; however, God says, “You will not be put to shame or humiliated
To all eternity”

I am so excited about the benefits of knowing God through Jesus my Lord and Savior. Hallelujah.

TRUST – What is the impact?

December 16, 2017

Like many of you, I have circumstances in my life that cause me to run to cross. I either run to the cross, or I will succumb to the arrows of the enemy that drives me to fear. However, as a believer in Christ Jesus who is indwelled by the Holy Spirit, Timothy reminds us “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Being fearful or timid is not the course of action for the follower of Jesus. Undoubtedly, we will face relational, physical, financial, vocational challenges that will drive us to the point of fear. At that point, we have a choice. We will either trust God or not. The decision will determine a great deal. TRUST – What is the impact?

Psalm 115:9-11

9 O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.

This past week, as I will the next, I experienced a myriad of circumstances that drove me to the point of fear. As in all of them, I have a choice – to TRUST God or not. In Ephesians 2:8-10, we see two theorized perspectives presented in those verses. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” In it some theorize that verses thought by many to refer to the whole complex of salvation by grace through faith as a gift of God. Others, however, take “this” as referring specifically to “faith.” Regardless, we know that without faith it is impossible to not only please God but to be saved. The salvation there refers to being free from facing the eternal consequence of rejecting Jesus – i.e. the wrath of GodTRUST – What is the impact?

While that is undoubtedly true, I am just as convinced that through TRUST in God we experience salvation in a more wider application of life from the material and temporal deliverance from danger, suffering, etc. It is TRUSTING God to save, keep safe and sound, or to rescue from danger, harm or destruction. TRUST – What is the impact? When I do TRUST, the feelings of fear, anxiety, worry or dread dissipate like an exhaled breath on a cold winter morning. That is beyond the fact that pleasing God is only through faith not fear. TRUST – What is the impact?

Who does not want to have a full-proof method to combat fear along with the impact on one’s heart, mind and body. If you want to escape that deep sense of dread, that haunting feeling over a loathed outcome, TRUST God.

Psalms 115:9-11 speaks to the people of Israel, the priest of Israel and the proselytes of Israel. I am grateful that TRUST in God defeats fear in any circumstance. Furthermore, we are given additional confidence to TRUST in Him – He is our help and our shield. Just think about that – It is Almighty God that will help or aid us as well as Him that shields us from hurt, harm and danger. That is just one impact from trusting God but what a mighty one. Hallelujah. 

 

TRUTH: Who has a Futile Mind, Darkened Understanding and are Excluded from the Life of God?

December 11, 2017

The response on social media is amazing and baffling at times. I can post something on social media about the most arbitrary matter and receive all kinds of likes and responses. When it comes to Christ Jesus, the likes and responses are drastically lower. Now, that does not bother me because I do not post anything to receive likes and responses. I am past that stage in my maturation. I post to share for the benefit of all regardless of what I share. Nevertheless, Christ is the most important part of my life – He is my life, so I share about Him in obedience and hopes to encourage another to know and pursue God through Him. “for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:18  I share so you can know the TRUTH: Who has a Futile Mind, Darkened Understanding and are Excluded from the Life of God?

TRUTH: Who has a Futile Mind, Darkened Understanding and are Excluded from the Life of God? I am sure you would agree that anyone in that position has a tough go of living life now not to mention the afterlife. Let’s let the scriptures answer that question for us. I want to allow God’s Word guide us to the TRUTH.

Ephesians 4:17-23

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

TRUTH: Who has a Futile Mind, Darkened Understanding and are Excluded from the Life of God?

What does Ephesians 4 have to say in response to that question? The futile mind or vanity of mind refers to man’s perverseness or deprivation in his thinking. Understanding refers to a consciousness characterized by a perverted moral impulse. Darkened refers to eyes, mind and understanding deprived of light i.e. God’s way of life or path of life. Excluded/alienated from the life of God refers to being shut out from one’s fellowship and intimacy with God. He/she has no relationship with God. The hardening is synonymous with hardening like a callous. It is metaphorically of dulled spiritual perception.

The person who continually ignores the Word of God and obedience to Him/the Word is he Who has a Futile Mind, Darkened Understanding and are Excluded from the Life of God? We all have to determine where we are in regards to our response to God. For the person Paul is describing here, they have lost so much by rejecting God. Their mind, understanding, hardening of their hearts “have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.” Surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the remedy for this condition. We all know where we stand. Assess and govern yourself accordingly. 

TRUTH: God Gives Grace to the Humble, but Opposes the Proud

December 6, 2017

It has been written that grace and pride are eternal enemies. Pride demands that God bless me in light of my perceived good deeds, whether real or imagined. However, grace is not afforded to us on the basis of anything in us, good or bad, but only on the basis of who God is. TRUTH: God Gives Grace to the Humble, but Opposes the Proud

Proverbs 26:12 say, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. “Pride assumes the position opposed to God. Pride says, “I am”.  In Isaiah 45:5, we know that God has said “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.” Jesus also stated “I AM” connecting His deity with the Fathers. See Jesus’ 7 I AM Statements.  TRUTH: God Gives Grace to the Humble, but Opposes the Proud

Andrew Murray said that pride is “the root of every sin and evil.” Pride is indeed the beginning of every sin. Satan was cased out of Heaven because of pride. Throughout the Scriptures you see the prideof:
• Ability (2 Chronicles 26:15-16)
• Position (Matthew 23:6)
• Achievement (Daniel 4:22)
• Wealth (1 Timothy 6:17)
• Possessions (Matthew 6:19)
• Knowledge (Isaiah 47:10)
• Learning (1 Corinthians 8:1)
• Spiritual attainment (Luke 22:24)
• Self-righteousness (Romans 10:3)
• Being esteemed or liked (Galatians 1:10)
C.S. Lewis called pride “the great sin.” All followers of Christ are encouraged to read his chapter by that title in Mere Christianity. In that book, Lewis said, “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind…
… it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.
Another great in the faith, the late John R.W. Stott said, “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”  TRUTH: God Gives Grace to the Humble, but Opposes the Proud
“When we have exalted ourselves in pride, God does not want to punish us and bring us low but rather to forgive and restore us. He says again and again in Scripture, humble yourselves, and I will exalt you. This gives us hope and encouragement. God takes pleasure in our efforts to humble ourselves, and he loves to bless and exalt the humble. For just as pride is the root of all sin, so “humility is the root, mother, nurse, foundation, and bond of all virtue,” John Chrysostom  TRUTH: God Gives Grace to the Humble, but Opposes the Proud
All those men echoed what God has said in His Word. In the book of James, James continued to give us practical ways to combat the sin of pride in everyday life. We see in verse one that pride causes fights and quarrels. We see that prayers go unanswered because they are submitted in pride. Pride causes compromise through desiring to be friends with the world which makes us enemies with God. TRUTH: God Gives Grace to the Humble, but Opposes the Proud

James 4

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

God wants us to be broken over the sin of pride, so we can be one with Him which will lead to Him being gloried in this world through us. We have one application to this text – HUMBLE OURSELVES. No matter how humble we may think we are, there is pride lurking in our hearts and minds – waiting to assume lordship of our thoughts, words and actions. How we respond will determine whether God opposes us or exalts us. James tells us that God will draw near to us when we draw near to Him. Without humility, we will never draw near to God.  The Bible describes humility as meekness, lowliness and absence of self. The Greek word translated “humility” in Colossians 3:12 and elsewhere literally means “lowliness of mind,” so we see that humility is a heart attitude, not merely an outward demeanor. TRUTH: God Gives Grace to the Humble, but Opposes the Proud. 

“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

TRUTH: Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian

December 1, 2017

In the post TRUTH: The Most Important Body System, Christ was discussed as the most important part of the church which is called the Body of Christ. All members of the body have a part to play. All of us are supposed to be growing in the unity of the spirit (v3) and unity of the faith (v13). In order to grow, the Word of God repeatedly tells us how we should walk i.e. live. Our walk is that which is “signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life, whether of the unregenerate or of the believer (Strongs). TRUTH: Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian.

I am dating myself when using the term TRUTH: Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian. Walk Like an Egyptian” is a song made famous by the band The Bangles. The song was released in 1986. I mean no disrespect to anyone who is of Egyptian heritage, but in biblical times, anyone who was not Jewish was called a Gentile. While God’s promise to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 included every people group, those of his immediate lineage were considered God’s chosen people. It is in that light, that I use the phrase TRUTH: Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian. Then and now, God calls for His people to walk or live differently than those who do not follow or serve Him. This is where we pick up Paul addressing the Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:17-19

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

One of the first verses I learned was Romans 12:2. It says, “ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” It undergirds what Paul is telling the Ephesians in verses 17-19. Paul is declaring that since they, the Ephesians who are Gentiles, have become a part of the Body of Christ, a follower of God through Jesus Christ, they are live like it. TRUTH: Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian.

Both Romans and Ephesians call for followers of Jesus to walk or live like Jesus. In Roman’s 12:2, Paul tells us how to do that. In Ephesians 4:17-19, Paul tells us why we should not do that.

  • It is makes their mind or thinking futile
  • It darkens one’s understanding
  • It continues one’s exclusion from God
  • It deepens the hardening of one’s heart
  • It keeps one ignorant of God’s expectations
  • It delivers you over to more perverse desires.

This is why I tell the TRUTH: Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian. All of those outcomes await those who fail to walk like Jesus. Later in Ephesians 5:8, Paul tell us to “walk as children of Light.” In 1 John 1:7, but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

If you want to have fellowship with God, follow the TRUTH: Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian.