It’s Grace Not Guilt

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Long Intro.  Skip to paragraph 7 to get to the Blog Title

 

Today I had a great conversation with a brother in the field.  He was on fire about sharing his testimony and about chopping (sorry for the slang) it up about the gospel.  After sharing, he asked a question about “once saved always saved.”  Though we found commonality in thought on the scriptures, we found ourselves on a journey in theology, which lead back to a concluding thought that I want to share with you.Man In Prayer Christian Stock Photo

He said to me, “I work hard to earn salvation!  But no matter how much I do, I still don’t feel I have done enough!  Do you feel the same?”  Of course I answered Yes (And so should all of you).  Here’s a revelation to some, and a reminder to the rest of you!

No matter how “good I am”, I am not “I am!” 

I shared with him!  I know that feeling, and feel is often because of the conviction that sets each time I sin.  I know I am not worthy of the sacrifice Jesus made, nor am I worthy of Him being mindful of me in general.  In His selection process, I am aware that I shouldn’t receive an invitation or be listed as a reserve.  And in this, I am often challenge with that feeling of being unworthy and worse, GUILT!!!!!

Yep, there you have it.  Guilty as charged.  That guilt is often crippling, and leads down an alley of shame, and often back into the very sin that lead to that feeling of guilt.  Guilt can consume, and can keep us from walking in victory.  It makes those free live in bondage and distance ourselves from He who is Holy.

downloadOn the other hand, if you are able to live without breaking the law, this path leads to pride.  In the event that you reach a level of righteousness, one is fooled into believing that they have earned a spot based upon their earthly work, and not the work on the cross.  Just in case you too feel this way, please be informed that you will never be good enough on your own to have your name listed in the “haves!”  You will, in your own efforts, always be the “have nots”.  And one day, you will stand before the King and as a “have nots” you will have knots in your stomach as  you are judged without the covering blood of Jesus which maketh one able to stand before the Lord as righteous.

God is holy!  God is perfection!  We would have to be blameless to stand before His presence according to our own works!  And just so you are aware, you would fail; as would I.  There would be one thought that would catch all of us.  One selfish moment.  One refusal to help.  One denial of forgiveness.  One jealous thought.  One covetous moment.  One embellishment of a story.  People, something would prevent you from getting in!

Ok, now the reason I started this blog (sorry about the long introduction).  

shockedI thought to myself, as he drove off, “It’s Grace not Guilt!”  When Jesus was on the cross, he was dying for the sins of the world.  He allowed Himself to be the perfect sacrifice that paid the uncountable debt of the world.  He did this, not in capitalistic fashion.  His desire was not to make us indebted to Him, but rather to show us the depth of His love for us.  He released us from debt!  He didn’t pay off our debt to another, He paid off a debt owed to Him.  He also paid of the debts that would be created by us, for us.  He didn’t give us a new interest rate, nor did He issue to us new payment options.  He freed us!

He knew as He died that we would never be able to repay Him for the sacrifice He made.  He did not put us on a payment plan, and to send His Pastors and Prophets to collect payments.  His death was done of His own free will, not out of compulsion, but from a cheerful heart.  One that desired to be in relationship with mankind despite Our constant buffoonery.  He could have come to judge us, but He placed down His gavel, and extended an olive branch, choosing to amend His covenant, as opposed to destroying each covenant breaker.

This is what Paul continued to highlight in His presentation of God’s activity in His life and in the life of all those He taught.  Grace is undefinable, in that the type of Grace shown to us by God is undefinable and limitless.  It is by grace that we have been saved, not works, he reminds us.  Knowing that some of us would grow in Christ, defeat and overcome, get closer to the mark, and foolishly believe we are the mark itself.  We are pressing towards the mark, meaning we are moving towards it and facing resistance from the devil, and self sabotage from our weak flesh and wavering minds.  We are towards as to obtain, with the understanding that the mark is unattainable, but worth fighting to get.  We press towards it, knowing that we will near, with the realization that we will never stand on the “X”, we can only stand on the Cross! 

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As the vehicle drove off, I sat and thought about how Christ wants us to live after His sacrifice.

Though not equal, I thought of the guilt I have heard expressed from those who have been saved by others.

 

The child who is guilty about life because their mother
died in child birth, choosing to die in birth, rather than
live without bringing forth life.  The case of a child
whose mother died in child birth, choosing to allow
her child to live, instead of choosing her own life.

These situations exist today.  We hear accounts from surviving veterans who witnessed one giving their life to save theirs.  We hear the guilt in their voice, as they continue with life, challenged with being happy, because they can not forget the sacrifice.

This was not God’s plan, nor His intent.  Again, It was Grace, not Guilt!  His love was on display on the cross.  It is this love that should compel us to accept the sacrifice.  It’s His love that should lead to obedience.  It’s His love that should lead to conviction.    This is why our discussion about John 3:16 was so key, and why so many of us rest upon this verse.  It’s not that its our guarantee that we can sin in volume, but its our understanding that He loved us before we followed Him, was patient with us while we accepted Him, and is long suffering with us while we submit to Him.

 

#PastorJDO3

 

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Church..No Hazing Policy

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For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” I Corinthians 12:13

Over two decades ago, I was tormented by the words to a chant. If I close my eyes, I can still hear it…

“I’ve got a feeling, that somebodies trying to sneak in my frat…….”

I cringed each time I heard it, first because it wasn’t true and second because it came from the vocal chords of those who had achieved entry and couldn’t keep the organization on the yard because of foolishness. They got in, and then made it increasingly difficult for others to follow, some of which would have been great lights for the group. Sadly, some took pride in this foolishness and felt making the organization more challenging to enter made it more exclusive and somehow made them look more accomplished.worship-fast

It is interesting that some organizations allow people to rule today and destroy tomorrow. Ok, why this intro? Why this text? include those with this perspective.

As I spend time in the confines of the church walls, there are times when I hear similar chants. They come from the same type of people, and cause the same amount of damage. Practices of “blackballing” and “hazing” from the pulpit and from the pew work against the Gospel Message, often excluding and causing many to drop out of the process leaving with #churchhurt , accepting the head and rejecting the body. This often leads to new movements; feeding sheep directly into the hands of the wolves. It has increased Spiritual Streaming and lead to a Broken Body that’s forced to operate with missing members (gifts, talents, labor, resources).

This is why the intake is so key, and why the process has to be uniform. And from time to time, members must hear the Gospel to be reminded that we are all beneficiaries of the same corporate buyout and experiencing the same painful merger!

Paul, Christian Royalty, states “For we…” Let’s take a second to acknowledge the Paul includes himself in this “we”. Though he was a “Jew” and a “Pharisee” he relabeled himself “slave”, “bond servant”, “chief sinner” and “we” keeping his perspective on who he was, who he is, the purpose of the Gospel and the work of those who follow Christ. Though a focal point of many, Paul chose not to elevate himself, and chose to step down, like Christ from any throne, and dwell among and serve God’s people.

Are you a part of the “we” or do you see it as “I” and “they”?

Most of us are preaching and teaching to the they. This is obvious in some cases because our presentation of the Gospel includes judgement not just love and compassion. The humility Paul had is one we must also carry. Though He has obtained, he was eager to add to the flock daily. And though ministering across the country side, Paul thought of himself as one who was no better than those He was speaking too.  And so must we!

IMG_1065Paul didn’t measure his experience to others. Though he was knocked down, heard God’s voice, blinded, and confirmed by the Apostles, Paul acknowledges that his entrance was the same as others. “We were all baptized by one spirit…”. Regardless of who preached, who taught, and who baptized us, Paul writes, it was “…one spirit…” that was present and received by us all.

Sadly, some have stumbled upon pride, not in themselves, it in their church and even their Pastor.  Though an honor, there is no significance in the one who baptized, rather the significance is in the Spirit that is received.  Paul took the time to squelch foolish arguments, as such, choosing to find common ground in One Lord, One Spirit and One Baptism.

So too should we! Let’s put aside foolish discussions and traps for pride.  Let’s be humble and honest about who we are and what we have been called to do.   Our hope lay in Christ.  Save His sacrifice, we would be uncovered by His blood and exposed as who we truly are, unrighteous.

Because of this, churches should have a no hazing policy.  There is no reason, brother should persecute brother and. sister sister.  Our judge is God, and none of us are deserving, God shed His blood foe us all.

#PastotJDO3

Don’t Provoke the Bear!

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He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. Ezekiel 8:3

Don’t poke the bear” a common saying used to warn those being careless, fearless, ignorant or foolish,about the dangers of making a bear angry. While the bear slumbers or is in hibernation or a state of peace and happiness, can project an image that mask reality. Though they might be cute, and seem harmless, even the youngest bear has enough powers to alter ones course of existence.

Time and time again, people took for granted the bears power, even thinking that it could beaten by those of us who were strong or either studied and knowledgable about his habits and behavior that they overlooked two important factors:

  • 1. Not knowing his mind
  • 2. Not understanding the his complete nature.

In this passage we encounter Gods’ prophet hosting the elders in His home. Without a word, God shows Ezekiel the conditions of those in his midst without a confession. He allows Ezekiel in these visions to see through His eyes. He peers down and immediately encounters an idol.

Fake Gods where in the house of God!!!

The idol was in the inner court, where the priest were to reside and offer up sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. They had taken some of the gods from other cultures, and had included them in worship along with the true and living God.

God had a roommate!!!!

After all God had done for Israel and Judah, He was given a roommate, and forced to share a space with one who hadn’t any power, or the capability to love, protect and provide. They worshiped and attributed to these idols things that were given by Him. They sought them for life, protection and provision and in doing so, they provoked the bear!

I wondered to myself, “

How many temples, homes and hearts are God forced to be a roommate in?”

How often do we move God into a living condition, where he is treated like a renter, and given a lease on that which He owns? How often is God asked to entertain new tenants, leasing out space to those who don’t belong?

He shares His temple with paintings and statues, when His temple was designed to paint His image upon the people and to teach them his statutes. Sadly, I believe He sees more of the same today. While our God has upheld His covenant and remained consistent, our behavior all along has caused us to experience earthly judgement and or punishment, which to many was unbearable. Sadly, this did not lead to a correction of their actions and has not lead to the correction of ours either.

They continued down the path, in some cases unaware that the bear had been provoked. They continued in the error of their ways, and the prophets, priest and elders had not corrected it, partly because they were living in error too.

We find out via the visions of God, that the elders who sat in Ezekiel’s home has lives they lived in the dark. They committed atrocities against God in the dark in hopelessness, not believing that correcting the error of their ways would lead to God changing their circumstances.

Each Elder, God revealed to Ezekiel, had their own personal shrine in their room (Yes, the room that God provided.). After service, they went to their rooms and worshipped a god that didn’t provide. Sadly, we do the same. They served in the temple, advised the people and then gave their most intimate self to inanimate object.

Much like then, God watched the sin through eyes of love through shades of jealousy. Though He loved His people, He was and is still jealous of where we place our love and adoration.

So what is your practice?

I imagine that God knows the difficulty many of us face watching second to second updates of those we loved and lost or are envious of living out life with an insufficient replacement. How sad it must be for Him to see us chasing temporary fulfillment, while complete provision is just a prayer away.

What’s in your gateway?

Is there something preventing God from seeing and receiving your sacrifice?

What in your life is provoking Gods wrath?

#PastorJDO3

I Keep My Word!

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And they will know that I am the Lord;
I did not threaten in vain
to bring calamity on them.
Ezekiel 6:10

As of late, we have listened to prognosticators justify their position to remain defiant to the Lord.  Many have, in their own foolishness, rationalized that our God, the creator, who is filled with love, willing to forgive, willing to apply grace, and eager to administer justice1mercy, will not punish those who have not accepted His sacrificial offering.  Before, we listened to those who would argue that there is no God, and while there are still those who ignore the obvious, we are seeing more and more who acknowledge His existence, but are not willing to accept His provision.  We find ourselves reaching out to a spiritual generation, who have found peace with a variety of practices, all of which bare teachings that they omit from study and application.

Our Congregations are being Contaminated by Confused Congregants

Worse, these teachings are creeping into the pews, creating those who worship you with a portion of their hearts, making Sunday for many simply idol worship.  As your prophets speak forth truth, the devil works through the congregation, removing that which has not and will not take root, because something has already been planted and is in need of being uprooted.

The Promised Land came with Deed Restrictions

God freed the Israelite; and planted them in a place of wealth.  Broke the walls down via a uniformed shout, and placed into the hands of those who experienced a wealth deed-restrictions-273x300transfer before it was thought to be possible.  God enabled them to own and possess, that which was formerly inhabited by others, and issued a Divine Deed, which came with Divine Deed Restrictions.  Yes, this concept of Deed Restrictions can be traced back to our Lord :).  He allowed each to take residence, and to build and have dominion, but required them to remain pure, and no matter what, to have No other God! Worship no other God!  Don’t take on the practices of those God has placed under your feet!

Despite the Deed Restriction…

And yep, you guessed it; before their bags were good an unpacked, they began to accept and adopt the practices of the former inhabitants, building idols, and placing them in the house of the Lord to be worshiped.  The admired and acted about their cultural practices, merging them with their culture and making them into a defiled nation in the land which God provided for them!  And yep, after many chances to change, God found himself at this point.  Much like He stood before bringing the Flood, and again with Sodom, He watched His creation sin before Him as though He wouldn’t take action.

How many Restricted Deeds have you performed?

confused personAnd for those keeping track, He once again decides to punish the ones He loves.  His punishment would not just keep them from prosperity, but would allow them to suffer physically, mentally and spiritually.  This is important because this age has convinced not just non-believers, but believers that God will withhold punishment just because He loves us!  This is a lie!  Even under the new covenant, the God that never changes stands firmly with the Word He has spoken, and upholds His promise by allowing the children of Israel to reap the fruits of their covenant with false gods!

God’s Word is Sustained by Him

You think I’m playing, God is probably thinking!  He speaks through Ezekiel and says, in addition to my Word not return void, but It’s also not spoken “in vain.”   See, with God, there is no “idle threat”.  God’s Word is life people, thus much like speaking the heavens, the earth, every plant, and life form into existence, God’s covenant is a product of His Word, which means it is alive, and His promise of punishment and calamity are factual not possible or even probably!

We read God’s word as though is has not been through final edits.  The reality is that God’s Word has already been proofed, and its verbalization is publication.  His Word to us seems possible and probably, but its actual.  God’s Word give new meaning to the coined phrase “taking a life of its own.”  Because God can not lie, His Words are life and truth, and can be counted as dependable.  And not just dependable when it benefits your situation, but when it works against your own circumstances.  propheticroar

When you need God, He is there, standing by His Word, honoring His covenant, protecting truth, upholding the standard of righteousness, carrying out justice, while balanced with love, mercy and grace.  It is amazing to me to me that as earthly parents, we chastise and punish our children, and administer judgement with those we are in relationship with, with a measure of mercy and grace, but somehow can not fathom that God can carry out the same.  God is more balanced than we are.  He is truly fair and just, and carries out judgement not as a respecter of persons, but as one who hold the standard across the ages.    Moses looked but didn’t enter, David collected but didn’t build, Saul met the end of a sword, Solomon had the Kingdoms ripped from his hands…..Etc. 

What more do you need to hear?  God honors His Word.  He stands bye His covenant.  He sends Angles and Prophets in addition to providing us His Word to show us how to warn us, and remind us how to honor and live within the covenant with us, and yes, when we fail to live up to His standard, punishment is given to those loves.

throneHe will Keep His Word!  He promised them that calamity is coming.  It is coming to those who refuse to Keep His Word and or accepts His covenant.  The great news is that God gives us a choice.  You can choose Him, or you can reject Him.  It’s your choice.  And though you are not forced to accept Him as Savior and Lord, you can not reject Him as judge!  One day He will divide the sheep from the goats, and He will Keep His Word!

 

#PastorJDO3

 

 

“Catfished” Believers

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Has a nation ever changed its gods,
even thought they are not really gods at all?
But my people have exchanged me, their
glorious God, for a god that
cannot help them at all. Jeremiah 2:11

The Prophet Jeremiah has been instructed to address God’s people where they are about the sins they have committed.  God gives him a list of concerns and issues that have emerged while they have been in covenant with God.  Mind you, these issues were not addressed or even prevalent before they entered into covenant.  The people of God accepted the covenant formed by God and held by God, and gently broke His laws, and turned their backs on Him once they encountered new cultures with different gods.worship

Isn’t this 2018?

While reading this, it was as if God was writing to Western Christianity.  Here we are, in relationship with the one true and living God, and we find many blood bought believers compromising their faith, and turning their backs on their God just like our ancestors.  As of late, it seems the body of Christ has again approached the Word of God with a license to edit.  Our forefathers used white out to look over God’s truth, their sons used faulty interpretations, the next generation used a plethora of translations, and today the desire is to edit the Word, at best update it to match American trends and values.   As the country adopts new habits and cultural norms, it desires to model the Bible after its adaptations, as opposed to governing its character and laws by Gods Word.

BookEditingThis mirrors our personal perspective on faith.  Many of us edit God’s Word, and omit God’s truths, justifying our lifestyle and choices by overlooking what He has commanded.  This is harmful and foolish!  The devil has deceived us into becoming out own gods, offering us the same fruit he submitted to Adam, and have bitten once again.

Our faith has become synonymous with the nation in which it exist, confusing followers, and serving as a distraction and detraction to non-believers.  And Jeremiah first, and now I present to you God’s Word!  It must stop!!!!

Lord forbid that our greatest example would come from those who don’t believe, but God instructs us to look to the East and the West to learn a valuable lesson.  He said look at the surrounding nations.  Look at the surrounding faiths.  Look at the neighboring cultures.  Non of them are willing to change their gods.  Non of them are interested in altering their gods word.  Non of them are willing to bow to any other god.  Yet, the people of God find themselves willing to compromise for politicians, power and perverted living.

Why are you willing to compromise?

And how is it that you believe God should change?

What is it you believe about God’s Word?

Is it God breathed?

confused personGod says the dedication of these unbelievers is admirable.  Their loyalty worthy of mention.  Their faithfulness worthy of imitation.  God says to look at them.  They worship statues and animals, pictures and drawing, items and possessions, and they are faithful to these items though they are powerless.  And we; are called by the name of the one true and living God, who has displayed His power, revealed truth, delivered his people, gave them land and riches, defeated false Gods, empowered His prophet to defeat the magicians of Israel and they still abandoned their God.  Sadly, so have we.

He has protected, provided, and proven himself to generation after generation, and we are sadly confused about our covenant relationship.   It seems that the notion or understanding that He is our God has given people the false understanding that we control Him.  For some reason, the understanding that God honors His Word has mislead people into thinking that God is property or a tool by which they can advance themselves on earth.  People have studied God’s Word not to get closer to Him, but to learn how to manipulate Him into doing their bidding. my-jeans-dont-fit

Jeremiah stood flat footed and spoke boldly to the people about how they had “exchanged” God.  It is as though they have returned God like a pair of jeans that didn’t fit.  They took God for granted.  After being delivered and elevated from their position as slaves, they neglected the God that had formed covenant with them and became concerned with the cares of the world.  God was left watching His bride spread her love amidst false God to whom had no love for him.

catfishedHow tough it must be for God to watch us be “catfished” by a statue posing as a God.  God watches us carry on two and 10 years love affairs with a false god, using up our resources and time, humiliating us before the world as we are dragged along by our nostrils.  How painful it must be for God to be so close to His people, only to have them falling in love with images on a screen.  How painful it must be for Him to continue providing and being faithful, while we explore our options and share our most intimate moments and thoughts with someone who can not, see, hear or speak, and for that matter, act!  How frustrating it must be for God to bring us through and have us attribute His handy work to and after marked god.

Lord help us.  We have been fooled again!  Let us return to our God, confessing our sin, and communing again with our God lest we continue in this exile like state.  May God convict our hearts, and may our first love be our remaining true love.

 

#PastorJDO3

Conditions: John 3:16

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For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

God “loved”!  What I love about this passage first is that it reveals the first condition I want to highlight; God’s Heart!  Unlike God, despite what had occurred in His covenant with man, which He honored, He still looked upon His creation and found Himself filled with love.  Man In Prayer Christian Stock PhotoGod endured Adams sin, Grumbling Generations, False Idols, Graven Images, King Worship, Stiff Necked People, Disobedient Prophets, Un-loyal Kings, Ungrateful Dependents and much more.  Despite all this, the condition of God’s heart towards mankind was love.

This, a standard of God!  His character is one of compassion and understanding, all will upholding a standard to His covenant.  God aspired to rebuild and maintain a relationship with His flawed creation, ratifying or amending if you will, the covenant He created with man, that He might have an easier time following His commands and not existing as a law breaker.  God saw the law that He created, and saw how man was relating to Him through it and its interpretation, and had mercy on the people struggling to keep the law and opposed to anger and malice towards those who found themselves breakers of it.  He even had mercy on those who interpreted the law in such a way that it made it more difficult for Kingdom citizens to follow it.  Yet, He still loved a world that chose to side with Flesh over Creator.

divided-we-fallWhy is this important?  It’s important because the condition of His Heart was love, while the condition of the world He loved was evil and dark.  Our condition when God looked upon us, not just before Christ entered the world, but on through Revelations, was one of disobedience.  God knew that sin would continue long after the sacrifice He made on the cross!  God knew not only the actions of man, but also His heart.  He was able to see, unlike us entering covenants, the full outcome and intent of all parties involved, and yet He still chose to enter again into covenant with us!

We were busy feeding our flesh!  Taking all the world had to offer and not sampling, but using a full measure of all offered, often overdosing on portions and then throwing ourselves at the feet of God for forgiveness.  God literally entered the world, and replaced warning labels on our lifestyles, held public workshops and private seminars, and yet we still keep sinning.

And He still chose to enter the world and display His eternal love for us by dying on a cross!  He not only made the provision, but even made the application process and funding process simple and easy.  Though His contribution to pay for our sin was invaluable, He was willing to enter into covenant with us for the price of belief.   God entered into covenant with us, and allowed our word to articulate our heart and thus secure our eternity.  He allowed the words of lawless people (prior covenant breakers) to secure a covenant agreement!

worship-fastThough God allowed us to secure our eternity with Him with very few conditions, and loved the world in the condition it was in, this does not mean that His love was acceptance or His approval to remain in its present condition.  God came specifically because of the condition of our hearts, and through love and personal sacrifice, sought to change the condition of our heart.  His desire was to change our hearts back to Him.  In drawing us to Him, He set an example of what He desired for us to be by modeling while He was on earth.  The roads as His catwalk, He allowed us to get a close up of His perfect design walking in full power.

Has your condition changed?  Upon accepting His provision, we are to acknowledge our present condition and to align it with His vision for our lives.   His vision for us is t be like Him; righteous.  Now eternally, we know that our righteousness will never be enough to earn or deserve eternity, thus the blood provision provides, yet on earth, He gives us His Word and the Holy Spirit in which to live by and through that help us deal with the longings and desires of the flesh.  Our present condition, thus, should not be our future condition!

 

#PastorJDO3

 

Sleight of Hand (Politics in the Pulpit)

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Lately I have been shaking my head!  As of late groups like the Black Hebrew Israelite’s have used the sad truth that some white slave owners attempted to use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to control their slaves.  Now, what type of evil makes one take a Gospel that should be liberating and uses it to control people, I can not define.  How one justified their selfish desires, and through reading a Gospel of peace, found a way to take a verse or two, while omitting entire paragraphs, I will never understand.  How one can read Genesis and see that God created Mankind, and then make those of different skin hues less than or half of a human being is truly far beyond my imagination.   Their major claim to convert African American’s to their faith is that the white man used the faith to manipulate our ancestors, and thus the whole truth is not truth, rather a lie.

And while there logic is solid, it still does not make complete sense.  The same Bible that evil men thought to use to control people; once read, liberated them.  Those that could read (and by those, I mean a 1 or 2) began to read the Word of God for themselves, and the truth was revealed to them.  They then stood on the Word and were able to obtain God’s will for their life and for those to come.

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We need the same spirit to exist today!  We need to read God’s Word for ourselves.  We are facing the magic of the sleight of hand that prior generations faced.   It’s not that of government printing propaganda, but from pulpits who are attached to political groups.  Our faith interacts like a super pack contributing money to press an agenda, while exchanging votes for favor and prominence.

I watched clips of some of our most famous magicians, I was mesmerized at how they took the items which we had visual contact with, and were able to manipulate them in such a way, that even while paying attention, crowds of 100 were not able to catch the trick.  People watch carefully to catch the trick, but lack the training to have a full understanding of what they are watching.  This is what we face today.  Not enough people are knowledgeable of God’s Word and have a personal relationship with Him to identify when they are being tricked by the sleight of hand.

Much of the sleight of hand is the character or personality with the cards.  The voice and presentation of the magician makes the trick believable, thus making it magic.  People are so trusting of a well tuned vocal chords or a trusting face, that they are easily fooled by that which they know is false.  yoyoThey go home duped, and impressed that someone spent so much time figuring out how to trick them.

Ladies and gentleman, there are magicians among us.   They omit and ignore scriptures, treating God’s word like a yo-yo, walk the dog, making it sleep, and go around the world while we watch in amazement and accept their deception as truth.

This blog is important because the hypocrisy of the people of God is the catalyst for many leaving the faith, or distancing themselves from it and staying away from the house of God.  It is amazing to watch people demand that our current president not be questioned and followed, while they spent the past 8 years challenging authority and encouraging people to rebel.  We can not stand on the scripture only when it benefits our position.  God can not be manipulated.   He knows the heart of us all, and is set against those that do evil.  Being obedient to two scriptures does not make you right with God.  If you break one law, you broke them all and are a law breaker.

It is sad to see people manipulate and massage the scripture to justify their political views and ungodly actions.  It’s sad to see the pursuit of wealth being paralleled with the pursuit of righteousness or a sign that God is pleased with ones actions.   Many people have chosen to do what is expedient as opposed to what it eternal, and this simply is not right.  This, friends, is what led to previous evil and wickedness.  It was further established by a quiet majority who remained silent while the country prospered from trade and goods.  Though not all accepted this truth, someone had to speak up and read for themselves.  Men and women of God who understood truth through God’s Word grew confidence and shared God’s Word and then took action to fight for what was right.

My heart goes out to those sitting in the audience of these magic shows.  I cry for them, as they are caught in a deep fog because they chose not study for themselves.  Much like a bull being led by a nose ring, is one who’s relationship with God and bullringnoseknowledge of God’s will for the world and their life, is found through a person and not by seeking God for oneself.

I had a good laugh today, as so many of my conservative friends struggle to rationalize, how everything was the former president’s fault, and nothing is the current president’s fault.  I laughed to tears as one of my friend called the prior president an embarrassment because he apologized for prior wrongs, and reached across the aisle to live at peace with our neighbors, and then found pride in one who speaks ill of our neighbors and threatens our neighbors.  I crack myself up as evil is now identified as a country arming to defend itself, and as we are led by one who responds to talk-shows and tweets, and we insist that we are the only nation being led by someone responsible enough to manage nuclear power!   I suppose those countries need to get America to Amend its constitution for the right to bare arms?

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Is this the Christian Church?  Or is this the American Church?  Is Christ our head or a president or a pastor?

Why are our pews and seats are empty?  The enemy is no longer identified as the Satan the adversary, but liberals, conservatives or other countries who are not democracies and who do not agree with American values (not christian values).  Our members value free enterprise more than freed souls, and for this, we find ourselves blinded by lights and financial dreams that are painted by 1% who distance themselves from us and with the sleight of hand, created an ever changing road map to join their ranks.  

In our foolishness, we have interpreted Christ as a business man more so than a humanitarian!  This is a sleight of hand!   This is Christianity Today.  We can only pray that with our foolishness, we can say there will be Christianity Tomorrow.
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