Tag Archives: betrayal

Oh My Stars!

In the book of Amos, the prophet Amos was hanging out with the cowboys of the day, the herdmen of Tekoa, when God began to create the book we know as Amos in his soul. It was a word of judgement again and again for Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah and Israel. God had had enough of their false idols, wicked sacrifices and jaded religion. It was a “come to Jesus” moment for them all and Amos was the bearer of the bad news. I sometimes feel like an Amos. My brokenness for the church leads me into a tirade on more than one occasion with the platform of this blog or the ear of friend who just happened to call on a bad day. I had one such day Saturday.

I want the world to see Jesus. I want them to see the Jesus that I know. He is a righteous judge that looks on the depravity of man with a willingness to love us anyway, forgive us and convict us of the errors of our ways, and then patiently wait while we slowly make our way in His direction. He is rejected over and over and yet at the first turn towards Him, His arms are open wide for us to fall into. Oh my goodness I stand in awe! Or I should say, “Oh my stars, I stand in awe!” Because that’s what Amos said.

Amos had just ran down a list of everyone who had turned their back to God. I had a list like that on Saturday at an event that wasn’t supported by our local churches. I was hurt for those who had set up the event, I was hurt for the little preacher that preached like he was preaching to 1,000, and I was most hurt for God who certainly deserved better. So this blog is for any servant of God who’s ever been let down. Amos went through his list as God instructed, he said… judgment’s coming. But then he turned his eyes to the skies in chapter 5, verse 8:

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:

Amos took his mind off the earth and the issue surrounding himself and turned his thoughts toward the Almighty God. He stood in awe of God! As a herdman he had stood beneath the stars and adored their Creator. Orion is a group of stars that appeared in the winter and is a sign of bad weather. Amos stood amazed at the wondrous works of God through the climate to make the rain come and go and the seasons change and the blessings that came from it all.

One of my favorite songs in my repertoire of music right now is an Elevation Worship song called, “There is a Cloud.” It’s from the book of Kings, chapter 18, verse 44 and speaks of a cloud the size of a man’s hand that turned into a massive rain. Amos had tuned out the of the trouble of the day and was tuned into the Maker of the sea and the controller of the clouds and he knew that if man would just turn to back to God, all the trials that were coming upon God’s people could be turned into a blessing. If only they’d realize and acknowledge Who God was. The Creator of all could take those storms and turn them into an abundant harvest.

How true that is for America? If only the churches of today, who’ve gotten so caught up in the world would fall back in love with God, and stand in awe of His ability, what would He do with us? If our priorities would get back in line, would He pour down the rain upon our churches that would draw a thirsty lost world into the doors of the church? I believe He would! And I’m seeking Him that made those seven stars, Jesus Christ, Lord of all, is His name.

Now… the church needs to show up.

It began and ended in the Garden

chick garden

It was formed at creation; a place of splendor and beauty that we cannot possibly fathom. As beautiful as creation is now it still has thorns, mud and dying foliage, but that was not the case in the first garden. It had not rained so there would not have been mud, only perfect conditions for which to run and frolic in delight in that perfectly wonderful place… until we botched it through sin.  My stomach twists and turns as I think about Satan slithering his way through God’s exquisite creation to make his way to Eve, where his pleas would not fall on deaf ears but rather his wicked seeds of doubt would take root in her soul and forever change the garden.

Genesis 2:8, Genesis 2:9

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Eve traded Paradise for misguided perception.

The scripture says that Jesus and His disciples often resorted to a garden with His disciples. There is no doubt that He knew the garden of Creation and Gathsemane at the time it was created, long before sin had taken its effect on the land and before Satan’s ways had slithered into the heart of every man.

John 18:1-2

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

Another betrayal in the garden. In a place where Jesus had sought to find rest with His friends, and was perhaps a place where He had expounded the truth to His disciples many times, including Judas; it would be that place Judas would seal the deal with the Devil. Another poor choice by the creation that God loved. It was in this garden that Christ cried out to His Father to let the cup pass if there would be any other way, but there was not. The coming days would be filled with betrayal to the extreme when the world would turn their back on Him, He Who created them… loved them… and died for them.

But then the final garden in the story.

John 19:40-42

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

As only Christ can do, it would come full circle in the garden! What Satan had intended to steal in the first garden, he was sure he had finally accomplished it in the third. But in the third garden, on the third day Jesus would prove victorious and in a twist of irony He was mistaken as the gardener by the women at the tomb.

John 20:15

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

The original Gardener. He Who had sown every seed in that glorious Garden of Eden, Who was there betrayed, had conquered every sin from the original to the end. Glory Hallelujah! Our Messiah. I’m so grateful for the Master Gardener… were it not for that empty tomb I would not stand redeemed and have peace in my soul that it so needful in this world of woe.

It was nice to find the gardens this morning in His word. I pray you find a little of your own to steal away and spend time with the Savior, be it in the garden, a coffee shop or a front porch swing.

Feeling Hurt or Betrayed… this post is for you!

God's favOne of my greatest defeats in life is the heartache of betrayal by friends and family. It takes me forever and a day to get past what happened and get on with life as God’s design intended and I have a feeling I’m not alone. If a stranger speaks ill of you or does you harm you can shrug that off for you are no better or worse without them in your life. But if someone for whom you have invested love, energy and time betrays you; it’s as if a piece of your very heart has been torn asunder. There is no salve that will heal it, nor bandage that can conceal it. Everybody in your circle knows that you’ve been hurt, which for me is worse than the hurt sometimes. Because then I not only have to deal with the pain inflicted by the person who hurt me, but the shame I feel around those who know that I was betrayed. It’s a double whammy kind of day.

It’s been a little while since I have been in that position, but as I read across 2 Samuel 19 this morning the times that it occurred came flooding back into my mind as if someone had opened a gate.  I can still find myself wallowing in the pain like I’ve stepped in mucky miry clay in my favorite shoes; ruining the shoes and causing me to slip and fall back into that despair I felt when it originally happened. What I fail to understand in times like these is that I’ve not only gotten myself stuck in the mud but those around me are being splattered as well as I stomp and kick my way back to dry ground. Even the unsaved know the scripture about turning the other cheek in Matthew 5:39. They may not be able to quote it but they know it’s supposed to be a Christian characteristic that practically every Christian fails.

In 2 Samuel 19, David has just won the battle, but in the process his son Absalom is killed. He’s been betrayed by friends and family. He’s mourning not only the loss of a child but the agony of his son’s betrayal. Joab, the commander of his army has to have a heart to heart about his role as leader and the effect his mourning is having on his nation. They feel they’ve done something wrong by killing his enemy. David sent the whole nation running into their tents like thieves; as if they’d done wrong for doing right. He does make amends and in the process makes a statement that every child of God should know.

After the battle, Shimei, who had been on the opposing team comes to David in great remorse for his behavior begging forgiveness. Abishai, David’s comrade and nephew (his mom was Zeruiah) tells David to forget Shimei’s apology and put him to death because he had “cursed the Lord’s anointed.” Oh how many times I have all but ask God to kill those who have betrayed me. I didn’t want God to kill’em but if He’d have maimed them I’d have been okay with that. But David answers him in royal style and forgiveness.

2nd Samuel 19:22

And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?

To country quote that for myself … “The battle is over, the damage is done and I’m still God’s favorite.”

That’ll put a shout on you! That’s how you victoriously get past the hurt. Regardless of what someone has done, or what the end result is, they cannot remove you from your station in life that God has given you. If we’re wallowing in pain, we’ve stepped down from our position. That’s an awesome word for someone today… Me for one!

It started with a kiss

kissed hand

Betrayal. A hard pill to swallow, but when its family, Satan seems to find his way into that pool and will splash the water until there’s nothing left. It’s true in family related by blood or family under the blood. Division is his goal and usually begins with a kiss.

II Samuel 15: 5-6

And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Absalom wanted his father’s throne but he knew King David’s followers were loyal and an immediate hostile takeover wouldn’t settle well. So he positioned himself between judgment and the King. The church has allowed much the same to happen; the son of disobedience has positioned himself between judgment and the King, and as churches get more and more liberal, desiring to please men, Satan gathers more into his way of thinking and we now have a breach in loyalty.

The Word is Watered

We want a social gospel. One that looks pretty but is without consequence.

2 Timothy 4:3 [Full Chapter]

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

We long to have our egos stroked and leave church feeling as though we can fight hell with a water gun but we don’t want the power of the gospel turned on us. Absalom looked pretty, he had chariots of horses that ran before him and he would stand in the gates and tell men what they wanted to hear, they would exchange pleasantries and before long business acquaintances became his allies and David’s enemies.

America continues to align itself with the world rather than with the Word. We want judgment for everyone else, but we want to judge ourselves. We don’t want preachers telling us how to raise our children, we’d rather give that power to the DHHR because obviously their way works. We don’t want to hear that we need to be in church when the doors are open because the doors to the world are open wider, and the end result is miserable homes and marriages across the country.

Morality is Marred

We’ve allowed government to skew the Word of God. Adolf Hitler said “What luck for the rulers that men do not think.” We’re allowing government to do our thinking for us. If they say their ideas are best for our country, so it is. And yet we’d never tolerate their ideologies in our home…. Yet. Little by little they’re getting a strong hold into the homes of America and adultery, lying and thievery are not “so bad.” Absalom started out with 50 horsemen and for a little while he ended up with a nation. David regained the throne but he lost a son.

It all started with a kiss.

We need to stop kissing up to the world and start getting our homes back on the right track. Hope to see you in church Sunday morning!

The Worst Lies

Trending on Twitter this morning “#WorstLies.” And many, if not most of the posts were relationship oriented. Relationships are important to us; a loss of trust in someone we love because of betrayal is one of the worst feelings in the world. I’ve been there, on both sides. But probably the worst lie I ever bought into was that true happiness could be found in anything outside of Jesus. Advertisements are full of promises that buying their product will “end your search” for the latest and greatest, and before it arrives in the mail someone else has claimed the right to that proclamation and you’re buying their product too. We are a society of blissful buyers, knowing full well in the back of our minds this won’t complete our lives, yet we constantly looking for things that will enhance our relationships: self-help books, new date night ideas, a nice outfit, vehicles, trips, etc. And there, laying on a shelf, dust covered and neglected is leather bound happiness.

The worst lies:

It’s just another book. Ha! Indeed a lie, and why does Satan use it? Because he knows that when you crack it open and begin to read it you’ll discover it’s not just a book. I vaguely remember a movie when my kids were little titled “Jumanji” where two children find and play a magical board game that transports them into a world of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game. It had nothin’ on the Bible!

Revelation 6:9 says ~ And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

The Bible is still the number one selling book of all times. A book that countless people have died for because it’s more than a book, it’s the indisputable truth for the betrayed, hope for the hurting, guidance for the lost, love stories for the heartsick, adventure for the courageous, tales of treason and victory for every aspect of life! It’s the best weapon against Satan. So of course he lies and tells you that you don’t need to read “that” book. Or he encourages men to water it down and change the meaning of the words until they’re more palatable to man and won’t convict their hearts that they’re living wrong. Get you a good ol’ King James Version Bible and open it anew. What you’ll discover as you read it, is that it’s a living story that speaks to you along the pages.

Another worst lie: There is another way.

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

When Thomas questioned Jesus about the place he was preparing for us to go, he didn’t understand that the Lord spoke not of an earthly location but of eternity. An eternity that we’ll all be in some day, but unfortunately we’ll not all be in Heaven. Thomas was labeled “Doubting Thomas,” because he questioned the Lord’s resurrection, but he did “get it.” Tradition tells us that Thomas may have labored for the Gospel in Parthia (including modern Iraq and Iran), but stronger traditions link him with southern India. Indian Christians from the west coast Kerala area claim they were evangelized by Thomas, who was later speared to death near Madras on the east coast. That doesn’t sound like the death of a doubter. Thomas new what Christ said was true. He is the only way to an eternity in Heaven. The only One worth dying for.

There are countless other #WorstLies. But that’s two of the biggest. Don’t buy into it. Read the book. Learn about the Savior who give you more than you can ever dream possible. #GreatestTruth!