Tag Archives: Judgement

They Shall Know

EZEKIEL 28:24 Bible Journaling

And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord. ~ Ezekiel 28:24

A week ago today, a hostile, violent, prejudiced person took the lives of innocent people in a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh on what would have been a celebratory day in the lives of those families. My heart breaks for the victims and for our nation; our children are having to be raised in a society of fear. I hope we’ll all take time to lift those families effected to the Lord today. All of this was a matter heavy on the heart as I continue to struggle to read through the book of Ezekiel. Although Ezekiel was just the messenger boy, his words pierce my soul knowing that America is suffering much of what it is because many believe that God is not in control and that they are. I’m thankful for those of us who know better.

Ezekiel’s words in chapter 28:24 spoke peace to my soul. That’s the advantage of knowing our God is in control! I imagined that thorny crown as the earth beneath our feet, and the day when the crown of Jesus Christ will crush and burn every jagged edge that has pierced His head and hurt His people.  There will come a day when the world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord.

No Pricking Brier

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. ~ John 15:5

Satan loves the deception of holding the titles of God. While Jesus is the true vine, Satan can be no more than a pricking brier to the children of God. There is no life in him, only death. While he can cause us some misery on this ball of dirt, he will not always. His fate has been sealed. It was good reminder to me this morning as I thought of the synagogue victims. God’s chosen people. Those that were killed may, or may not have known Jesus Christ as Lord. I pray they did. But there will come a day when Jesus Christ will be Lord of the lives of Israel. The Christians will have been called home ahead of them, but Satan will be crushed as a dead brier and he will no longer have the power he yields today to incite fear and ridicule God’s people. Glory! That is good news!

No Grieving Thorn

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. ~ Hebrews 6:4-10

When Christ removed that crown of thorns placed on His head and took His rightful place in Heaven, those of us who know Him, know His power. Having been brought out of dead religion I want no part of that grieving thorn again.

The world around me may reject He who bore the thorns and briers today, but not always. As for now, God has not forgotten His children or those of us who labor on in love for the Kingdom.

I have felt like such a failure lately. I’m so grateful to have found that priceless nugget of truth in God’s word today. I pray it encouraged you too!!!

The Deceiver

I cannot count the times I’ve heard people say, “I no longer watch the news.” There are varying reasons, but they all boil down to a lack of trust, myself included. The news industry is more of an entertainment industry; even Fox News, which I trust a smidgen more than others, have a tendency to spin their own opinions at times on things that I don’t agree with. So I choose to wait until someone comments on social media about an event or a person that’s in the news and then I go in search of information believing I’m likely only getting half the story.

But praise God! There is a place where the news is fresh every day and even the Old Testament can read like a newspaper headline. Difference being, the Word of God is pure truth.

Ezekiel 12:22-25

Rejected Vision

22 Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?

Those words sound all too familiar. Even the times that they’re not spoken, I feel that the majority of earth have fallen lacks to the idea that time ends for everyone, and so will the earth.

2 Peter 3:9 says it plainly that The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Yet because of God’s longsuffering and wiliness to allow us to get our hearts right with Him, man has been deceived by Satan into thinking that there will not be a judgment day.

The beautiful faces of the media, who often are snakes in bunny clothing, spew lies as fact and the world buys in.  Ethics are at best situational if there are any ethics at all. It’s considered the norm and acceptable and the next generation will be worse because of it.

And before any Christian cast stones, the church as a whole isn’t much better. If we truly believed God’s word as fact, (and it is) that He can come back before the period is put on this sentence, why then are we not more diligent about soul winning? I don’t have any stones in my pocket. 

Reality Verified

23 Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.

God warned Israel, His very own, that judgement day was on the horizon, and it was. The false prophets and idolaters were condemned and Israel was judged as a harlot for betraying our Lord. (Ezekiel 16:35) Will He do any different for those of us who have been offered grace through the blood of His precious Son? No.

In the days of Ezekiel, judgement was by the law, which I personally wouldn’t have lasted a day under. But by His grace I am saved and protected from the judgement of the earth, but still very much accountable for my actions as a child of God. As well as all other Christians.

Our churches and their leadership are going to stand before God and answer as to why we did not heed His warnings and share the truth outside the walls of the church. Why did we not take a greater stand on matters and rebuke the media rather than accepting it as the norm? And why did we accept the wickedness in and around us as “probably not right,” but  “okay?”

Rebellions Verdict

24 For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel.

25 For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God.

I don’t have a clue when the end of time will come, but I do believe it’s very much in the not too distant future. Every time I see the clouds rolling in the sky, I wonder… is this the day?

Judgement came for Israel and it will come for us as well.

God’s words citing Israel’s vain visions and flattering divinations very much reminded me of the media today. And the world is every bit as gullible to believe in it.

God’s going to speak to His Son one day and say, “Go get Your children.” And I’ll be ready. But how many won’t? It scares me, but does it scare me into doing something about it besides writing these words? Only time will tell.

The great deceiver may be hiding behind an anchor desk, but that’s not his only locale. He’s in every school, business, church and home, wreaking as much havoc as he possibly can. It’s our job to step up and take back the ground he’s conquered.

Pancake Christianty

No automatic alt text available.Pancake Christianity. That was the title that came to my mind this morning as I read Galatians 5. My first thought was… that’s just goofy. My second thought was, “No, that’s just gospel.” Apostle Paul, for whom I read a lot, was speaking to a group of God’s children as to why they weren’t what they should be. Why had their service to the Lord been squelched? And I ask myself that question just about every day. And today I received an answer to one such piece of that puzzle.

Paul mentions three characters who play a role in the dilemma of the church of Galatia. The Judgers, the Judged and the Judge.

The Judgers

In verse 7 Paul asks the question “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” You can almost feel the frustration in Paul’s question. “You were doing great! Exciting church services, praising God, seeing souls saved, who stopped the glory spout!?” That who certainly implies that somebody had stopped the spout where the glory came out. Somebody had squelched the Spirit of God in the lives of the Galatians. But who? Paul made mention of it in the preceding verses when he spoke of the bondage of religion.

Why is it, that religion, is such a harsh word in my mouth? Because in the 21 years of my salvation, it’s what’s made my stomach turn. I came out of religion. The dead works of sitting in a pew and putting in time and calling it faith. When I came out of it, it was because there was a zeal, an excitement in salvation that created an uncomfortable buzz in the air of religion. Religion hates electricity. It would rather sit with the lights out than let someone see emotion and vulnerability to the Spirit of God, and so they judge all who create the buzz. It can be spoken, or unspoken; but when it hits the air of a church, that you have to be concerned about what someone thinks of your reaction to the Holy Spirit, the service is flatter than a pancake.

The Judged

Paul tells the judged that “This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:8-9) To country quote it. “God ain’t in that, and it’s gonna make the whole church sick.” It won’t take long for that feeling of judgment to spread and the Spirit no longer feels welcome to move freely among the people of God, it’s bound up by the law that says all of God’s people must look and act like this. Whatever the “this” is in any particular body of believers that is a matter of human opinion.

The end result for the “judged” is that they no longer feel the freedom to obey the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is what should be leading the church. Paul said in verse 4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Their service would fall flat. You can’t follow the laws of religion and teach the gift of grace.

The Judge

The final authority on this matter is not me, or anyone else in the church. God is the only One that has the right to cast judgement on the matter of the church.

Galatians 5:10

I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

Paul had confidence that the church would take heed to his words, because Paul had come out of religion. He knew every in and out of every word spoken by Jewish leadership. But the Lord had saved Paul, and brought him out of that dead religion and because of that he could preach that salvation was by faith, not of works. And there was but one Judge. And it wasn’t man. The man that stood in judgment of God’s people would bear God’s own judgment one day. But for now, our job as children of God is to obey the Spirit’s leading and beware of the rising of the flesh.

The Jury

There is no jury when it comes to the Word of God. God’s Word belongs to Him and the Holy Spirit will make known the wisdom of God to anyone who desires it. I had to pray my way through this blog today because it is a matter heavy on my heart; and under those circumstances the flesh can rise in a heartbeat. Paul warned in verse 13 of Galatians 5 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

The feeling of being judged is one of the worst feelings in the world. It makes it very easy to retaliate with your own form of judgement against those for whom you felt judged by and oftentimes that is other fellow servants in Christ. It’s not our job to be the jury of those who judge either. It’s our job to love and serve one another. That’s what the world needs to see. Not more contention and strife in the church. Amen.

3 Reasons You Make me Wonder

I won’t calling it judging, I’d prefer to say that I’m wondering if some of the people I meet are saved who tell me they’re saved. And yes, some of them are even in church! Whoever coined the phrase “Being in a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than being in garage makes you a car” was spot on! I know this from firsthand experience because I was in a church 34 years unsaved. Nobody ever bothered to ask. So I don’t assume just because you’re in church that you’re saved. I don’t assume anything. Salvation is between the person and God, not the person and Shari. However, there are a few things that make me wonder if some people are saved and cause me concern. Perhaps I’m just spiritualizing judging, but I don’t think so.

I’m saved but not in Church

That’s a red flag for me right out of the gate!  Hebrews 10:25 is often quoted with regards to “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves,” and it’s truth! But even if that verse wasn’t mentioned, what about the entire book of Acts and the way the early church acted? Look at the great sacrifices and persecutions that the Disciples of Christ made for the sake of assembling themselves. Why was it so important? Because it was new? No. Because it was necessary. They relied on each other for spiritual, mental and physical sustainment. Nothing has changed in that department. That’s what a church family does.

I’m saved but I’m Nasty

That’s probably the hardest pill for me to swallow. You’re either not saved or you are living the most defeated life in the church. Let me define nasty… Mean spirited, fault finding, bigoted, judgmental, unforgiving church folk. Not necessarily all of those attributes in one but any one of them will cause me to wonder. If you’re not saved… I hate to tell you that there are those kind of people in church. They are rare, but they are there. There are those who are of the opinion that their opinion is second only to God. And for me, the very, very human Shari, I’m hard pressed to believe they’re saved because I see little or no evidence of an attitude of Christ. It’s for certain a learned attitude and doesn’t come immediately upon salvation. But overtime there should be a noticeable change in the attitude of a child of God. When God said “love one another,” He didn’t put any “unless” in the sentence to follow. When God said to take the beam out of your eye before you try to remove the mote (speck) from your brother’s eye (Luke 6:41) He was calling for self-examination. And for the judgmental people I run across, I seldom see any self-examination but rather the judge, jury and execution of the souls they meet that don’t fall under their acceptable Christian characteristics.

I’m saved but I don’t talk about Jesus

I know, now I’m meddling. Because I’ve been told this by many “probably saved” people. They have a plethora of excuses.

  • I’m not a preacher. (When God said go into all the world… He wasn’t just speaking to preachers.)
  • I work for the government (what’s your excuse off the job)
  • I don’t want to sound too churchy (It’s not churchy to talk about Jesus, it’s evangelism and the only way that someone will know their need of salvation, churchy people led me to Christ, I am grateful!!!)
  • I’m afraid of their response. (I’m more afraid of the God’s response to me if that person goes to Hell because I didn’t talk about Jesus)

So am I judging, no, I really don’t know if anyone is saved other than me. I know I’m saved!!! And this is why:

  1. I desire the fellowship of other Christians and to hear the Word of God preached
  2. I genuinely love all people! I do not like nasty folk.
  3. I talk about Jesus. A lot…

Are you saved? I sure hope so, because I love you and I want to spend eternity getting to know you.

It’s not up for debate

chick debate

I did not watch the Republican debate a few days ago, and I cannot say that I’m sad about it. Republicans praised themselves for a job well done like high school jocks coming off the field after a winning game and the Democrats acted like school children poking fun of the new kid with weird clothes. And that was just the social media posts. The News crews didn’t act any better. Can you tell that I put little stock in American democracy? Will I vote? Of course I will, I’d be crazy not to; but the reality of it is we have a lot of crazy people in society who didn’t vote the last time else we’d not have the demonic forces in the White House that are there now. Hey… this is my blog, if you’re offended… get your own. It’s not my intent to offend, it’s my intent to stir your heart for the cause of Christ, not for the cause of a political party.

Life is not up for Debate

Romans 14:7-8 says “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

Although you may eat well and live well the truth of the matter is you do not control the length of your life. You may shorten it by stupidity, but the how long you live is entirely God’s decision. How you live your life is yours. You are either living it for God, or you are living against Him. There is no in between. Being a democrat is no more wrong than eating pork… unless you are a democrat who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ, or you do not care that your behavior offends Jesus Christ or His people. Being a republican is no more right than not eating pork. Those are earthly titles and works, what are they doing for Christ? And if your goal is to offend the democrat… you’ve not presented Christ in a very good light, because Christ is not in either party, but the agenda of Christ better be in both if Christians are going to stand up for it. You are either 4for Him, or against Him and you are for certain living out one or the other by your decisions.

Judgement is not up for debate

Romans 14:9-10

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Whether or not we agree on candidates we need to understand that Christ died for all, so that living or dead we can have a relationship with Him. Opinions are like hearts, everyone has one; and they beat rapid or slow depending upon what they’re passionate for or about. Every heart of a child of God should be passionate about God’s people who He died for. Whether or not you agree with them, shouldn’t change how you feel about their soul. But that’s not what I see happening. Christian Republicans and Democrats alike are touting that they have only the best in mind for God’s people… and yet the evidence is to the contrary because neither side treats the other as God would intend. Both sides are judging from a human viewpoint… not God’s. And even though I certainly see God greater in one party’s agenda than the other, I don’t see that party coming together in the cohesiveness of Christ who died for all. Rather they have separate agenda’s that God is partially in and they themselves govern the rest of the agenda. Christ died for all (the entire agenda). You either live for Him or not… Not in part, but in whole.

The Final Authority is not up for debate

Romans 14:11

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

God will not be mocked… that’s Bible. And you may not care that you offend me or anyone else. But if you have offended God you’ve got problems. He is the final authority on life. He decides if you live or die, and when (not if) you stand before Him one day there will be no arrogance about you. There will not be a political party in Heaven nor an agenda up for debate; it was settled on the cross. Does yours line up with it?

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Where are the Accusers?

chick rock

“Woman where are those thine accusers?” – John 8:10b

Last night I was the woman standing in the midst… of five little girls. I say little, and yet not so little, they were young teens. Actually I was sitting, playing and teaching guitar. One of the girls had recently attended a revival where I had sung a song I had written called “When Misery Met Mercy,” and she asked me if I’d sing it for them. What an honor! And an opportunity. I began to tell them the story of the woman caught in adultery and they were amazed. They’d not heard that story, nor had they heard that adultery was wrong. I’m shocked at my own naivety sometimes. I grew up with the teaching of bible morals and I just assume that the rest of the world at least knows, even if they choose to ignore it. But the shock in the young girl’s voice was evidence clear in my mind that she really had no idea that adultery was a sin… and for a second I judged…

Not her but the world around her. And then this morning I ponder this thought, and I am convicted of my own rock throwing. It’s so easy to become that religious crowd. An honest to goodness rock throwing Pharisee is what I felt like.

In irony, the night I sang that song at the revival a man preached who was fighting his way back from addiction, which was almost as hard as fighting his way back from the judgement of rock throwing Pharisees. And that night I was angry at the church people who had thought they had the right to sit in the seat of God and tell a man who has fallen, but gotten up, that he has no right to stand for Jesus. Who were they to condemn a man Who God had said “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11b

Who am I?

Jesus said to the crowd that lingered behind, the ones who hadn’t picked up the stones, they were only spectators, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” And there I was a child of the living God, privileged to walk in the light of life and yet blinded to the world around me. I was a spectator. I didn’t throw the rock, but I sure didn’t feel as if I’d been defending that little girl either. I did not know her world, and yet every day I live in it.

I have no right to judge her world, especially if I’m not willing to go out into it. The religious crowd goes out into the world and drags the sins of the world before the church and says “We are better!” A child of God goes out into the world and says “I am you… the only difference is I’m forgiven.”

And then they share forgiveness.

No rock throwing for me today… just tears of compassion. Please continue to pray for our camp.

Three Reasons I Woke Up Fed Up

CHICK FED

I woke up fed up, but made up my mind not to give up. American politics didn’t change who I am but it did change how I view people. God created me with a heart of compassion, even pre-salvation my tender heart always wanted to right the wrongs of other people. I have no prejudice in me because of the color of a person’s skin, or a lifestyle of sin. Sin is committed by all of us, and it’s not justified by any of us; but forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ upon the acceptance of Him as Savior and the price He alone paid on Calvary. I can’t work for it nor will my compassionate heart gain me any brownie points with God. Compassion is expected.

So why did I wake up fed up this morning?

  1. Because the Lord feeds His people the finest cuts of meat and they spit it out on the ground in exchange for ice cream.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Preachers preach their hearts out expounding the truth in the Word of God, but because it goes against what the “world” deems as acceptable, even the parishioners who are in the house of God on Sunday don’t want to hear it and rally against it as if they have the authority of Almighty God to change what is right and what is wrong. I’m fed up with that non-sense! But I still believe that there’s a few of us left who believe the Bible from cover to cover, who don’t read between the lines or change the lines, we just accept it as truth. And because there are a few of us left I believe God has been merciful to America and would love to show this egotistical lot of Americans who it is that’s in charge and Almighty. But the few of us who are left must be bold.

  1. Because the world views the life of an animal more valuable than the life of a human.

Mark 5:13-15

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

This is slightly out of context of Mark 5, because I don’t know that the pig keepers cared more about their pigs than they did about the crazy man in the cemetery. But I can say flat footed today that the people of America (as a whole) would care more about the pigs than the crazy man. Don’t get me wrong… I love critters, and believe that they should be pampered and loved on. But if it came down to the life of my dog or the life of my child, it’s not up for debate. My child wins, or anybody else’s child in harm’s way. But Americans will scream bloody murder for the rights of a dog that maimed a person but will say nothing when a child is murdered before it’s allowed to be born and it’s body parts sold by Planned Parenthood. How much longer will God be merciful to us who say nothing?

     3. I’m fed up with those who mock Christianity and attempt to belittle the Lord Jesus Christ.

They can’t honestly belittle the Lord. I mean really… the Creator of all the Universe. How can you talk down to He who looks down upon you from on high and could by His breath speak you out of existence? It’s laughable… if it weren’t so doggone scary! Jesus spoke in Matthew 25-40  saying

Matthew 25:37-40

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

God said, “I saw you feed and care for my people.” Even though the world tries  to belittle what Christian’s do and to stop the ministry of feeding hungry souls the Word of God, we just need to continue on, fed up or not. Just keep feeding people the truth, because God sees, and one day those who mock will mock no more.

Love the unlovable. The crazy man at the tomb may have been a politician.

Trend that Twitter

chick crown

I watched the news for a brief moment this morning and then, as is typical with me, grew weary of the pomp and circumstance of their viewpoints and political correctness. My heart breaks for victims of our societal woes and then ten second later you’re drawn into all the hoopla of Hollywood. We’re a messed up nation! The Oscar awards have certainly taken precedence over all media outlets with the award winners using their night of fame to further their cause or agenda. I guess it’s their party, but if it were mine I’d want to tweet something that had the tenacity to last. #OnlyHisAwardsMatter

There’s going to come a day when political correctness and the personal agendas come to a screeching halt. When the arrogance of man stands in humility before an Awesome God.  When those who are wreaking havoc on the world in the name of any other god will come face to face with the One and only God, Creator and Lord, Jesus Christ. Whew! That’ll preach won’t it. Tweet that Twitter!

We’ll have our own awards ceremony someday, but I doubt any of us will be touting our own agenda. No, we’ll just be so glad to be on that platform we’ll likely utter nothing more than “Oh God…I’m so glad I made it.” There will be no accolades as to how we made unless it’s made it through the fire.

If we want our award day, here’s what’s available:

THE SOUL-WINNER’S CROWN – Have you led another to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ? If you have, you’ll have the Crown of Rejoicing!  2:19: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?.” I had the privilege of posting a picture of a very well loved retired Pastor in our area on Facebook the other day and immediately people whose lives he had touched began to post and share what his work in the gospel had meant in their lives, That will be a fraction of what he’ll experience when Christ crowns his head with the soul-winners crown! Glory to God, that’s exciting.

THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – Do you look forward to Christ’s return? I know people who dread it. They’re not ready and their families are not ready and they know it. And yet they continue to live their lives as if they’re promised another day, week, year to be prepared.  2 Timothy 4:8 says “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Don’t lose out on this crown, strive to see your friends and family saved so that Jesus’ return will be a Red Letter day on your Calendar.

THE CROWN OF GLORY – Have you been a teacher or preacher of the Word of God? All the investments of time and money into making the gospel come to life and some days feeling as if it was for naught and that you’d like to crown somebody (but not in a good way). Well, your reward will come. Nothing done for Christ returns void and nothing done for Christ will go un-noticed. Your crown is waiting! 1 Peter 5:4: “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN – Have you ran a good race? Life is full of competition where we’ve been beat down and  beat out for that award, job, position in life, etc.; but there is one race that everyone who runs well will receive the prize regardless of position. In this dog eat dog world that makes my heart smile this morning! 1 Corinthians 9:25: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

THE CROWN OF LIFE – People who endure suffering, knowing there is a better life in the world to come. The Oscars, Grammies, Emmys and Tony awards will never make it through the fires of God’s testing. But our temptations and trials will become a trophy of grace through the crown of life  we’ll receive in Glory. James 1:12 says  “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

 It’s a Promise!

Matthew Henry was quoted to say “We only bear the cross for a while, but we shall wear the crown to eternity.”

Tweet that Twitter. #Hashtag that World.

Weary child of God… your crowns await.

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But Now… A Warning: Be kind to the Outcasts

chick outcast

I’ve been somewhat dragging my feet on the “But Now” series, knowing the the next few were still in Isaiah, and likely spoke of judgement; which is good, but with my frame of mind lately leaning more to the depressed state, I just didn’t want to heap any more judgment upon my own mind. The news in the world around us wasn’t helping to put me in a happy place either, every news source had nothing but bad news to report or so it seemed. Friends and family were facing issues and I had just about had as much as I wanted to withstand… God always has way more faith in me for what I can survive than I do. But this morning it was impressed upon my heart to continue on, and so I rallied the team and here we are. Me and the Holy Spirit; actually He was already up, it was me I had to rally.

Isaiah 16:14

But now the Lord hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.

Judgment; I warned you. However, the good news is it’s not us! And God has cut Moab a break if they’d only take heed to get their lives straightened up; God does not desire anyone to perish, nor should we. If you read the beginning of this chapter it’s a good news chapter for the children of God. Although they’re certainly not in a good place, and are concidered the outcasts, God warns the Moabites in verses 4-5

Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.

Judgment day’s a comin’!

Every day I feel more and more like an outcast in this world. It brings to mind a favorite old standard “This World is Not my Home.” From the piddles of sin around us to the worst of it all, ISIS, I’ve just had enough. And then I read a chapter like this and know that God is still in control and He’s still got His eyes on the outcasts. God continues to warn against the day of judgment through men and women of God who will in the face of persecution and indifference tell the world about Jesus. Isaiah was that man in his day. I guess I’m that gal in my day, although I fall far short of Isaiah.

I found solace this morning in God’s warning to Moab, both for them and the children of God. Sinners take heed how you treat the child of God. He not only has His eye on them, His Hand on them and He has a heart for them. He’d love to save the sinner, but if they continue to deny Him, judgment will come and that’s in stone. He warned Moab that within three years they’d be small and feeble. The bullies of the world have been warned that their day is on the horizon, though no man know… God knows.

 

But Now… that’s not My song

Chick knows

Job 35:10-15

But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night; Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.  Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him. But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:

So today is not about me… again. But I thought it was when I lay in bed this morning arguing with God that I was growing weary of this “but now” series. My Attention Deficit Disorder thought there was likely something shinier I needed to be looking at. Ha! God said. My Word always shines!

So last night I’m sitting at home and I get an unusual call from a fella who’s near and dear to me, but the last thing he usually wants to discuss is church; because he knows I’ll be on him like white on rice. But this time he’s on me. Sunday morning, when I was where I was, and he was where he was, he’d seen a video on one of the cable music channels. He had previously heard this song on a local radio station, but this time it had images to go with it and a purpose; and none of it was good. The song is titled “Take me to Church” and can be found on Youtube by clicking the song title. I don’t recommend it if you’re squeamish, but it was needful for he and I to see it, because God had a message for us both.

I quickly skimmed the song facts before returning my friends call to answer as to “what I thought of the song.” The song was successful in that it’s intended design was to slam Christianity. The singer, Andrew Hozier Byrne, was quoted on songfacts.com

Written in the wake of a breakup with his first girlfriend, this is both a love song and a contemplation of sin, drawing influence from the late atheist writer Christopher Hitchens. Hozier described it to The Guardian as, “a bit of a losing your religion.

I found it odd that he was quoting an atheistic view point, but capitalizes the name of God in his article, as if God were someone. Well, He is Someone. But He’s not who they characterize in the video. The song criticizes the oppression of gay people in Russia and is said by Hozier that it’s not “an attack on faith.”

Well, this seriously isn’t an attack on Hozier, because he’s not the one responsible for that song. He was a tool, and mightily used by Satan himself. The friend who called was not affectionate of gay people. As a matter of fact, you would more than likely find him either telling or laughing at a gay joke. He’s a red-blooded American boy brought up in the heart of the country. But this song struck a chord in him. The chord that it was intended to strike; the one that paints the church as a narcissistic governing body of people that preach hate.

So, I had some explaining to do. Because it is unfortunate that we are portrayed that way because of a few (by comparison to the numbers who don’t preach hate).

So back to the “But Now” scripture in Job that I whined to God about. Elihu, the “friend” of Job is he who speaks the words in scripture. He too touts to Job that it is obviously because of his wrong living that he has landed in these dire straights.

Elihu is not singing God’s song.

Neither are the religious that damn the homosexual. Because as it says in John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” And the gay person is no greater a sinner than the drunkard or the glutton, yet they are all sinners and need redemption.

God does hear vanity, and He ain’t happy

Elihu said that surely God will not hear vanity, insinuating that Job was being self-centered because of his suffering. Really, Christian folk do that? Yes! Every time we fail to hear the cry of a hurting soul because of their sin, thinking that they “brought their suffering upon themselves,” it is we who are vain and stand in the place of God, judging.

Judgment will come… on the sinner and the church folk too

As I said before, this isn’t about Hozier. He needs to know that Jesus loves him. But what Satan meant this song to do is convince him that Jesus hates him, and that’s a lie right out of the pits of Hell. Christian’s who preach hatred will have their day before God. I’m not saying they’re lost, because Christian people make bad decisions and God doesn’t throw them out of Heaven for it. But they will stand before an Almighty and Powerful God and answer as to why they drove someone away from Jesus.

But Now… God’s song is “Jesus loves me this I know.”

Click on the song link and give the Devil his due!