Gallery

The Big Deal About Lies

It is truly exhausting to exist with others that profess Christ yet participate in things that support this present culture of moral decline.   Are we the ones swimming against the current or are we going with the flow? In this case, I’m addressing the issue and practice of lying.

Lying is often dormant within the seed pride. Lying and telling falsehoods is a serious problem. It should not be taken lightly.  As evil pervades our society, it is evident that lying and creating falsehoods has become to be acceptable behavior and is celebrated. (source: health benefits to lying #foolishness). Heck, everybody does it, so what’s the big deal? The big deal?

..IT’S LYING!!

Perceptions, Objections, and White Privilege

Recently, I witnessed an exchange between my boss and a fellow employee. The employee asked whether or not we (my boss and I) received a request that required some action on our part. It was important because it affected her wages. Additionally, she stated that the request was submitted by her supervisor. She was stressed about it because she’d procrastinated until the eleventh hour to follow up.

Lie #1: She stated that she submitted the request to her manager and he sent it to us.
Lie #2: She stated that the request was sent by email to both of us.

My boss listened to the employee’s dramatic performance detailing why she waited so long to follow up. I was hoping that my boss would exercise some wisdom by asking questions that would help this employee’s situation; and at the same time, direct her on the right right path of truth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she should’ve blasted her on the spot, but communication can be an effective tool to foster integrity.  I viewed it as an opportunity to display God’s grace in Christ, but no dice. The issue was handled quickly and the conference call ended. What followed was a period of uncomfortable silence between my boss and I. We both knew this employee had been lying. After a minute or so, I asked my boss, a Caucasian Sister-in-Christ, how she felt about the fact that this employee was so comfortable about lying. To my surprise, my boss responded with a lie and she acted as if nothing happened.  WHAT?!  I couldn’t believe it! This gave me a moment to pause. I wondered if she was grieved as I was.  In terms of corporate integrity, I wondered if she felt that the matter should be discussed with the employee’s supervisor.  Truthfully speaking, I wondered if the sin of partiality or White privilege would not allow her to see it objectively. As a business professional, I was disturbed,  as her subordinate, I questioned her integrity, then I’m reminded,  “To much is given, much IS required”.

Weight of Responsibility

This incident grieved me a great deal because the employee did not have a sense of consciousness of how her “carefully crafted” falsehoods could’ve resulted in serious consequences; given the right circumstances. It never occurred to her that her lies could’ve caused the loss of a job or an unjustified reprimand. It’s one thing to lie about yourself but it’s another thing when you involve another human being. This is hypocritical of the American culture.

What wounded me most was that my so-called “Sister in Christ” didn’t discern or acknowledge the wrongdoing. She was in a position to lead with integrity but chose to avoid it. Additionally, It was apparent that she didn’t feel empowered to inspire another to change within our immediate subculture. I guess it was too much work.

As Christ followers, we must be vigilant to guard ourselves against lying and being content with the status quo “Bearing false witness against your neighbor” is one of the commandments and it hangs on the law of loving my neighbors as myself.  We also should be willing to address it when it another is harmed by it. The Bible is clear about how to address this issue, even in a secular society.  It is an abomination according to Proverbs 12:22.

Additionally, it is written:

New Testament Christians are exhorted in Ephesians 4:17–32

The New Life

[17] Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. [18] They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. [19] They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. [20] But that is not the way you learned Christ!—[21] assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, [22] to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, [23] and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, [24] and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

[25] Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. [26] Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, [27] and give no opportunity to the devil. [28] Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. [29] Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)

Truth is not an option for the Believer and loving people in the Truth of God’s word will help us navigate this narrow road if we are willing to face those challenges that are hard and unpopular. No servant is greater than his Master. Selah.

ED

Advertisements
Gallery

Narrow Way Chronicles: Popular, Wide, and Lukewarm Pt. 1

The world as we know it; is gone. The new world order is underway and progressing as expected. America is in a new era; an era that is grandly historic in context of world civilizations and history.  There are noticeable shifts and changes in societal norms, economics, and culture. Moreover, events and occurrences that were once viewed as odd and uncommon are now a normal part of American and Western society. The earth cries out because of the weight of sin.

Judicious Evaluations

This new era is anything short of prodigious.  My grandparents would’ve been astounded and dismayed by some of what we’ve witnessed in this century. Technological advances such as AI technology is moving at such a rapid pace that efforts for global legislation have been expedited.  Along with the technological advances, we also are observing an influx of social reform movements which have outpaced the both the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war  (1948-1975 source).   Adversely, seemingly successful social reforms movements of today have had little to no effect to advance the cause of Christ. Most aid and help initiatives advancing the cause of moral degradation. The era we are in is an era of darkness aided by Satanic forces which is a precursor to the coming of Christ.  Modern Christians will be challenged and tested in ways we don’t want to imagine, yet,  no servant is greater than his master. The reality is that Satan is a real enemy with a fully functioning military. He’s highly intelligent, but sin is stupid. He is the prince of the air., but his under the sovereign power of God Almighty. He’s recruited apostates and many of the elect will be led astray by their efforts. His efforts have created a perversion of all of God’s creation that includes mainstream culture. It has infected art, politics, and religion; and all of these areas of society are filled with darkness and evil. Much of it is chaotic with the intent to steal glory and admiration from its Creator(see Alice Bailey’s 10 point plan for the NWO). Places and segments of society that would once be considered sacred,  are no longer sacred, and pragmatism is the new politics. Confusion and misinformation are easily accepted. People don’t think to pause, research, and give time for careful consideration.

People are indeed….”carried away”.

Manipulation of information and indoctrination continues to be highly effective. The result?  A world of reactionary emotionalism, impetuousness, impatience, and incivility.  Full-grown adults are not thinking critically and lack the ability to communicate effectively. Much of society is significantly dependent on technology tools and media. As the trajectory moves forward, slaves the to the rhythm of culture become tech zombies living in a world of oxymorons: inclusion within the mass of division and tribalism within cosmopolitanism. This way is contrary to what was once known as free and civil society.  Information isn’t organic; neither is the food. Journalism is a rare treat and newspaper companies are now called online content companies (see Chicago Tribune now called Tronic). This is a new day.

The Concern

So what is the concern? The so-called Christian engages in the same fashion as mainstream society.  Social topics invade and pervade daily living; so much so, that wisdom and worship of the Triune God have taken a back seat. Are we bearing fruit and is that fruit remaining? Are we waging war against sin?  Are we in constant fellowship with a local body or are we now living in Laodicea? Are we more concerned about being right or being righteous? A friend made a keen observation, she says “We are overfed and under-nourished”.  I think she’s on to something….

It is written:

I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am right, I have prospered, and I need nothing, NOT REALIZING that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

I took the liberty of emphasizing the words “NOT REALIZING”. If we are not careful, the Pied Piper of Culture play his way in your life and distract us.   To “not realize” is not also realizing pride, arrogance, and evil way.  It is ignoring that we have a propensity to think or behave in nature we inherently love;  hence, we become the opposite of what we think we are. Instead of being hidden in the character and likeness of Christ, we become more like our old nature:  wicked, spiritually blind, and exposed.

Nothing is hidden from the Father of Spirits.

This is the first of a few musings that will focus on the priority of worship;  and if we are committed to God’s plan in Christ to follow the Way in the new age of chaos? New Babylon is here.

Brothers and Sisters, let us check our hearts, and regularly take inventory of what should be chief among our priorities. The heat is slowing increasing and the cares of this world will turn many away.  Will you endure?

Gallery

The BIG DEAL About Voting: Blessed is the Poor

In recent times it seems that the act of voting has risen to a high level of importance for so many. People have become very passionate about it; even to the point of blame-shaming on social media.

The question I would propose: Is the act of voting a moral issue or just another social construct for assimilation?

Patriotic vs Obligation

Over the years, I’ve participated in the so-called American Democratic process. Respective to its history in terms of the Black American experience, I still find myself disconnected from its purpose. Factors such as corruption, partiality, elitism are evident because of the intended outcome. The “will of the people” is still limited to a select few…even on local levels. With that said, I can definitively rule out the moral issue.

With respect to establishing a social construct, most American citizens are taught early on that voting is a right, privilege, and a means to “be heard”. What we don’t learn is the whole history and how individual life experiences can have a profound effect on what we value with respect to these ideas. Just ask a Vietnam Veteran.

If one actively researches, most will find that the origins and purpose of the American voting system were used to create a social construct. Today, the spectacle of elections are more useful to distract the masses.

The only thing that is constant is change….selah

Lulling of Ignorance

As  famed fiction writer Vera Nazarian notes:

“It’s a fact—everyone is ignorant in some way or another.
Ignorance is our deepest secret. And it is one of the scariest things out there because those of us who are most ignorant are also the ones who often don’t know it or don’t want to admit it”.

Ignorance; a by-product of pride, continues to blind-side the Believer.

When one resolves to walk in God’s Truth one must submit this simple but profound truth: There is more to the story and we don’t have all the facts. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not sensible.

God’s truth fosters the realization that says: Are you willing to renounce human tradition? This renunciation requires a steadfast faith in the Father through Christ!

Without Christ people don’t have the ability to see Truth, and Believers of Christ should walk in compassion toward them; but for those of us that are in the light and love of God’s truth, we have the benefit of His wisdom that is found for those that fear and obey Him (Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name).

A robust study of the voting system in its totality provides a full viable argument of why voting it is futile, particularly for the poor.  Though the origins of the Voting Right’s Act appeared to have retributive effects, it was never intended to act as a fair and just system for the American election process.  Further study shows that Federal “Executive Orders” and “Acts” are not enforced locally. If there’s no enforcement how can we conclude that the wishes of the EO or Act have been carried out? By local police? …PLEASE!!! If you dedicate the time and research, you quickly conclude that voices or votes of the poor people never really mattered, and most likely, never will. Generally speaking, poor people are invisible and expendable. Conservatives think all poor people are lazy and Democrats think all poor people are helpless. Both sides have an agenda and that agenda is under the grand agenda of the NWO. Bush #2 announced its induction on Sept 11, 1991.

Moreover; based on the purpose and origin of why voting exists, I have a personal conflict knowing that my “vote” is an act of allegiance to an individual that I don’t know. I don’t know how he treats his wife, children, or if he lives life Biblically. With respect to these standards, the vote or voice of the vote is an outward declaration and allegiance to an idea or an individual.

Let’s look at voting in the simplistic terms:

The following source is from the website Online Etymology

vote (n.)

vote (v.): mid-15c., “formal expression of one’s wish or choice with regard to a proposal, candidate, etc.,” from Latin votum “a vow, wish, promise to a god, solemn pledge, dedication,” noun use of neuter of votus, past participle of vovere “to promise, dedicate” (see vow (n.)). Meaning “totality of voters of a certain class or type” is from 1888.vote (v.)

vote (v.)

1550s, “give a vote to;” 1560s, “enact or establish by vote,”; see vote (n.). Earlier it meant “to vow” to do something (mid-15c.). Related: Votedvoting

Biblical Application

My family on the Caucasian side says “consideration should be made with respect to God’s sovereign grace. Therefore, gratitude should be the motive”.  On the other side, I hear:  “Black people died for the right to vote!”, so the conclusion is….. I’m obligated to vote. (as If my vote should be some sort of homage to another human!?) That argument conflicts with my resolve to live in the identity that is in Christ Jesus.

Again…I’m struggling to connect.  So now, voting has become an object of focus and a choice between patriotism or obligation..identifying as an Evangelical or a Negro!?…..why!?

“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory”.

Though Paul is referring to deceptive teaching to the Colossae church, this exhortation is applicable in terms of culture; particularly in these last days and I am comforted and confronted by it. 

So……the Narrow way continues

Once again, I am faced with that reality of Christ’s clarion call to enter the narrow way. This time: recognizing that human traditions can conflict with the worship of the One True God; always looking at Christ as the example.

Sufficient is the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, teaching, and guidance in the Word of God! When we view the world’s system through the eyes of God’s love and wisdom, your eyes will conform to that which it watches…and in that view, there is great Freedom!

With careful research, study, and a resolve to walk in love, I was granted the privilege to understand the Amercian voting system in its totality; not for the purpose of throwing stones, but because it provides an evidentiary example of human depravity and the argument that people do not “grow in goodness” with time. Over time society will not move toward a positive change, it will become worse..this includes the elites of the world.  The doctrine of Human Depravity teaches this. Human depravity is real and it pervades every area of human society; domestic and abroad. Having a grasp of solid doctrine is useless if Biblical love is not preeminent. If we love people we must share the truth of God’s word and all its ugliness. Biblical love is compassion and its Truth. Even at the risk of losing everything.

Finally, the question becomes: How can you be so sure that Christ did not participate in the election process?

The scriptures do not say, but we are certain that this type of activity was not chief among priorities, nor was it a priority for the early church. Therefore, I choose to enter the narrow way, no matter the backlash.

 

Gallery

Narrow Way Chronicles: Exclusivity of Inclusion

In a recent tweet I shared:

#Pride, #Presumption, and #Partiality create a culture of self-righteousness and hidden agendas. #churchpolitics”.

I thought it appropriate to elaborate because intent can be misconstrued and I wanted to allow for robust discussion.

Today, the term “inclusivity” does not prompt ideas of church unity. Opponents of the Way continue to do a “bang-up” job in hijacking and perverting the Creator’s intent on certain ideologies that is designed to reflect His glory. The ideology of “Inclusivity” is no different. History teaches that diversity and inclusivity have existed since the beginning of time. The Old and New Testament scriptures clearly show examples of communities that included all races and social-economic backgrounds.  It is only after the coming of the Anointed One, Jesus the Christ, do we see intentionality of this idea of Inclusive Communities. ….so let’s not get it twisted. ;-).

The intention of the tweet; however, was addressing my limited time and experience with the subject with regard to church unity. My sincere hope and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will be active in guiding my hand to write; as well as an active guide to those who are reading these thoughts.

It is written, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Compassion and True Fellowship

The issue: Are our churches TRULY inclusive? With our drive to expose evil, false doctrine and plant churches, have we created a culture of elite communities? Is the mission still about the Gospel or has the mission become about growing a denomination, positioning for political leverage or making your brand known? Do we reflect true Koinonia or is the local church another social construct that is intended have a “positive” effect on the community? If true Koinonia is the intent, what should it look like and how much of our application is modeled biblically?

I have often been engaged in conversations with persons that boastfully share that they are socially connected with”like-minded” Believers. Notice I didn’t say, fellowship; and, that gave me pause to think (Hence the #ChurchPolitics).

What does the idea of being like-minded mean?

Secular society uses this phrase often. Should I assume that this idea takes on a different connotation because I perceive a spin of conservative Christianity or It is safe to assume that being like-minded is a belief or series of beliefs that is shared commonly through a connection of cultural norms to one may be accustomed; and if not accustomed, Idolize?  We’ve seen this in Charismatic circles.

It is elitism; BKA partiality.

If you initiate a Google search the topic, you will find little teaching or exhortation that addresses this, especially in conservative circles. Largely because most of our siblings still have that big plank in their eye.

Partiality is a sin and it greatly displeases Elohim our God. Because it is hidden, it is easy to deny that we have issues. When we choose to “do life” with people that do not foster sanctification, we stifle growth. Not only of ourselves but others that desire true sanctification.  Jerry Bridges exhorts: “It is not the fact that we are united in common goals or purposes that make(s) us a community. Rather, it is the fact that we share a common life in Christ.

Partiality convinces us that God’s choice isn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty or handsome enough, not quiet enough, or charismatic enough. Partiality says this person is not acceptable to my standards. Partiality shows no grace and therefore, shows no love. This is wickedness.

When we opt in for partiality instead of inclusivity we become complacent in our relationships. We are not intentional with the put offs and put-ons, and we do no “one anothering”.  The result is isolation among the saints. This is a dichotomy of true fellowship. Koinonia and sharing the Gospel is what the Father wants and desires for His children. Lastly, partiality is hidden and presumptuous sins. Partiality is heinous and damaging to the Body of Christ.  In Psalm 19:13 the writer prays:

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 

The church is not as inclusive as we like to think we are. Partiality is a real issue, more than we would like to admit. People choose not to bind themselves to a local body because they do not feel loved or safe.  At any rate, Jesus teaches compassion. Though the Savior operated as a prophet, he was remarkably compassionate to sinners. Do we desire or display that same compassion or do we make assumptions about people based on limited information or gossip? Moreover, what are we willing to risk or sacrifice to engage in true Koinonia? If your local body struggles in this area please check out this teaching by Arturo Azurdia of TCP titled “The Antioch Paradigm”.

 

Gallery

Excellence of God’s People: Doing Our Best

I stumbled upon the below text in my studies. It orginates from a book called  “Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue” and thought..AMEN! See if you agree 😉

“In this spirit (of excellence), therefore, let us pursue excellence. As we have seen, far from being optional, excellence is in fact a divine mandate that applies to every aspect of our lives, for God himself is characterized by excellence. Mediocrity, sloppy workmanship, and a half-hearted effort do not bring glory to God or advance his kingdom”.

Powerful statement!

How many of us wake up with a focus to be excellent for God? The daily grind of employment, home-schooling, ministry commitments, and activities keeps us in a routine of tasks. Do we ever take a moment of pause and ask, “Am I doing my best?” More importantly, “Is my best a reflection of God’s glory here on the earth?” In the midst of the struggle to balance all of our activities, we often become distracted regarding our fellowship with the Spirit of God, especially throughout the day. He is our Beloved One, it is only fitting that He receives worship by way of mindful work in the Spirit of Excellence?

Included in Believer’s love for the Father through Christ our Lord, there should be a desire to do our best for Him; not from a works-based motive, but from a sincere organic closeness to engage with Him as the leader and active participant; and as the writer stated, of every aspect of our lives. If Emmanuel was with you every day, how would you operate? Would mediocrity be your norm?

The focus of Excellence in terms of it’s effect on the Church along with her individual members can be a bit blurry. Societial norms coupled with pride of life has had its effect on our efforts operate in excellence. The result is either an exaltation of excellence or a complete dismissal of the idea of Excellence in the life of the Believer. It can be viewed as legalistic, however, if we look closer to this idea we can soundly argue that excellence does not equate legalism.

For it is written:

Psalm 16:3 – As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.

Proverbs 12:4 – An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

Daniel 6:3 – Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

Secular vs. Sacred

Both secular and sacred(church) culture has provided contributions to the perversion of Excellence. I’m speaking specifically to the perception of our effectiveness in secular society, the tools we may use as expressions of worship, and our ability to execute in Faith.

Traditionally, secular society has tagged persons with exceptional abilities or talents as persons are “gifted”.  The same goes for American church culture. It’s often said that a person is “gifted” in things like accounting, or singing; we’ve even said that preachers are gifted. The perversion also includes exalting spiritual gifts above the Gospel. If we are truthful, God himself has not defined or delegated many of these skills as “gifts”. The result: A culture that exalts or worships exceptional skills, talents and abilities; or, we worship the person(s) with the skill. The perversion of Excellence happens when God the Creator and Soverign Lord is no longer the object of our affections.

On the flip side, you may have a church culture that unconciously surpresses the idea of Excellence, resulting in mediocrity. If Excellence is percieved as legalism the result will be sloppy workmanship and half-hearted efforts which can be as equally sinful. Mediocrity can’t be an option for God’s people….because He is Excellent!

Therefore, service unto the Lord and His people is done with joy and, with excellence. Whether working in secular society or ministry, inside the home or the Arts, the idea of serving the Lord and His people with excellence should be in consideration in all that we do. It’s a part of stewardship and it is worship!

 For it is written:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Lastly, the idea of Excellence in the preaching of God’s word is not left out of this equation. The same issues of idolatry and lukewarmness is evident when Elohim is not the object of worship. Preaching is worship. Excellence in preaching is achived when the Holy Spirit is in charge and there is a resolve to trust God’s Word. Faith in God and full confience in His word (logos) by the Power of the Holy Spirit is the foundation of humility. Preparation is a key component because we know that the those that preach (teach) the Word will be judged with more strictness (James 3:1). I’d like to think that most preachers and teachers of the Word rely on God’s grace, the Word and the Holy Sprit, however, I still have an expectation that ministers of the Word are dilligent to ensure proper preparation that includes sound doctrine.

The Believer’s decision to be Excellent isn’t based on how we do things; but who we do it for.  More importantly, Excellence is a vehicle by which we reflect his glory during our exile here on earth.

Selah

click Propaganda’s Excellent

Gallery

The Freedom to Forgive and the Bridge to Reconciliation: Part 2


Psalm 130:3-4 reminds us:

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark our sins, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

Reconciliation begins when we forgive those that have trespassed against us.

For it is also written:

For if you forgive others (for) their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others (for) their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus acts as the prophet by way of reminder of Psalm 130:3-4. This prescriptive text provides the reader with the proper perspective…Sin, forgiveness, and our limitations as fallible humans. Moreover, we all have sinned against the Holy and gracious God…and everyone is accountable for our actions.

Continuing our conversation on forgiveness and the bridge to reconciliation, we previously discussed struggle to forgive. We sited Joseph’s remarkable response to his brothers after they conspired to fake his death, leaving him in a pit which resulted in him being sold into slavery.

Today, the struggle to forgive is as it always has been; and though some of us have the benefit of Christ as our mediator, we continue to be challenged.  Our ever-present sin nature assures us that it’s better to remain in a place of hurt and self-centeredness; and in that place, we’ve resolved to resent the offender. Especially if the offender is clearly wrong. For many of us, it’s easier to stay there and keep the status quo.

As I walk on the path of the Narrow Way, I’m grateful. This journey of maturity and sanctification continues to provide insight and wisdom that is breaking the fallow ground of my heart. Praise God! On the other hand, these lessons are becoming more difficult. Answered prayers are coming to fruition and I’m coming to fully understand the seriousness, weight, and size of sin.  Unbeknownst to us, much of it is encased in pride. This sin is no different. Choosing not to forgive is a great evil and breaks the heart of the Father, for which I was chastised.  In that chastening, a choice was presented to me.

The Choice: self-centered thoughts versus a more intimate relationship with God and God’s people. I chose the latter.

When resolved to hold on to resentment, it affected my fellowship with the Father and how I connected with Believers. Trust was always an issue.

God is not pleased with this way of thinking.

He has already provided atonement for the sins of mankind so that we may be reconciled to Him; and, in turn, we should extend that same grace to others, especially toward the household of God.

What is the practical application?

For those who are sincerely struggling to be free, please understand without the benefit of God’s wisdom through Christ, you will continue to be tormented because satan has full control over your soul (Eph. 2:3). I beg you to repent of your sin and believe the Gospel. Without God’s Spirit and a regenerated heart, one cannot understand true wisdom from above, which is the only wisdom that is perfect!

Friends, we must be aware of the “little foxes” and resolve to:

  1. Trust Elohim to be the one who will balance the scales of justice, He IS the perfect judge.
  2. Pray daily for a heart to reflect Eph. 4:30-5:2 and die daily,
  3. Starve your flesh and feed your Spirit with the Word of God. Eliminate elements of your life that will not add value to your sanctification, and
  4. Walk in humility.  Don’t think for a moment that we cannot slip and fall into pride and presumption. The struggle is real.

Lastly, the atoning blood of Christ is for all who believe and nothing shall separate us from the love which He so lavishly laid upon us! Therefore, resolve to honor all men. love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King! To forgive today is tomorrow’s reconciliation.

Selah

 

Gallery

The Freedom to Forgive and the Bridge to Reconciliation Pt.1

Forgiveness may be THE most difficult of directives to walk and live out daily for Believers; extremely difficult for secular society. So difficult, that the mere mention to forgive an offense often sparks debate. The foolishness of the world teaches that one should forgive to get “free” from the thoughts, or memories of the wrong committed. But what does the Bible teach?

The first mention of the act or request of pardoning of sins or transgressions is found in the 60th chapter of Genesis starting at the 15th verse. Joseph, while serving as the Pharaoh’s treasurer(steward), reconciles with his brothers.

This example would be the essence and substance of what Elohim will do through the Messiah to come. Additionally, it’s a pattern for future generations of Believers…Forgiveness is indeed divine!

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that true forgiveness is a struggle.  More often than not, we’ll say with our mouths that we’ve forgiven those persons that have hurt or betrayed us but inward, we may find it difficult to release the hard feelings. Our minds will reflect on the offense and our flesh kicks in. Even the notion of pardoning somone’s transgression causes angst and contempt. Soon bitterness takes residency in the heart, and those offenses are harder to let go….but God’s grace is sufficient. He is made strong in our weaknesses.

I stand amazed at Joseph’s reaction to his brothers and the joy of reconciliation that it fosters!

Look to the scriptures, it reads:

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” so they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

What a wonderful example of forgiveness and reconciliation! What would our relationships look like if we chose forgiveness for the purpose of peace and reconciliation?

Selah….to be continued

Gallery

Moving on……Maturity Matters, Pt 1.

Narrow is the way

New City, new marriage, new church family……a year of new beginnings with new lessons

Lesson 1, Real Faith: Faith is not a joke or a passive lesson that ebbs and flows with life’s circumstances. Real and active faith in God through Christ must be the Disciples’ reality. Trusting that our Lord God’s sovereign will is perfect, and that He is the all powerful and wise GOD must be the TRUE CHURCH’S resolve to live the rest of our days on this earth.  Tozer writes: 

“Real faith never disappoints because it is in God, grounded on His character, promises, covenant and oath.” 

Maturing in the Faith; by Faith, the Lord is providing an awesome perspective of walking in true discipleship.  Following  the steps of Christ demands little of ourselves with respect to human capabilities, understandings, and intellectualism. Systematic and Reformed Theology can only take you so far. The Spirit must be the…

View original post 365 more words

Gallery

Reading Refresher: The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges

jb

Too often, we say we are defeated by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated. We are simply disobedient. It might be good if we stop using the terms victory and defeat to describe our progress in holiness. Rather, we should use the terms obedience and disobedience. When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me. We may in fact be defeated, but the reason we are defeated is because we have chosen to disobey.

We need to brace ourselves up and to realize that we are responsible for thoughts, attitudes, and actions. We need to reckon on the fact that we died to sin’s reign, that it no longer has any dominion over us, that God has united us with the risen Christ in all His power and has given us the Holy Spirit to work in us. Only as we accept our responsibility and appropriate God’s provisions will we make any progress in our pursuit of holiness.