Living For God

The Lukewarm Church

When we read the word of God; really study it, digging in and searching the Scriptures to discern God’s heart, sometimes we can be surprised what we find.  As we study the Old Testament, written to Israel, we learn much about the expectations, righteousness, holiness, patience, and rightful judgement of the Living God. 

Let’s take a look at Malachi 2.  This final book of the Old Testament, is spoken to a spiritually lukewarm Israel.  The priesthood, was corrupt and the teachers of the Word of God no longer taught truth, only teaching the bits and pieces they liked; unfaithfulness (immorality) in marriage had become commonplace, as had divorce; God’s chosen people were intermarrying with non-believers; and the nation was not obeying God’s call to social justice.  In other words, the nation showed a form of “Godliness” by claiming their Jewish faith, but in the playing out of that faith, they were sadly lacking.  While this little prophetic book is definitely written to the people of Israel, it is highly applicable in the lives of Jesus followers today.  We are also called to be holy, Christ like, pure, and set apart.

God judged Israel for their spiritual sins, and I believe God is judging the church in America because of our spiritual sin. 

Today’s spiritual leaders often preach only to please their audience, and fill the pews, avoiding passages on holiness, purity and righteous living altogether.  This is the same sin of the spiritual leaders which led to unholy, fleshly living in Israel, which caused God’s judgement to fall.  Read the chapter below and tell me this is not so.

And yet in verse 13 we see the people of Israel weeping and desiring God to bless them and restore their relationship with Him.  Yet God will not do it, because He knows they are living in wickedness, harboring sin in their lives. 

I believe the church today is harboring MUCH sin.  As a whole, our pastors do not speak the hard prophetic truth we need to hear.  I am thankful for the few who still do (mine included) but an honest assessment of the state of church leadership in American – and global church for that matter – shows a dismal lack of respect for the Word of God as truth, and a dire lack of preaching accountability to the God we claim to serve.  The collective church names God as Lord, but demonstrates in their lives that they prefer to sit on the throne of their hearts. 

Nowhere is this so boldly evidenced as in recent studies showing that at least half the evangelical men, and a large portion of evangelical women are actively consuming pornography.  This means that the church is helping to finance the immense sex slave industry.  It means that the church is largely living in sexual immorality, in outright defiance to God!  The fact that the Bible clearly says no sexually immoral person will enter Heaven seems to be a fact people either don’t believe, or are so morally numb they have become blind to.

I do not see a single sin that was happening in Malachi’s day that is not rampant in our modern church, which leads me to an important discernment:  If God judged Israel for these sins, He will judge the modern church. Bible Image

Malachi 2 ESV
The Lord Rebukes the Priests
“And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
Judah Profaned the Covenant
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!
And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
The Messenger of the Lord
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

The Bible tells us that God appoints all rulers and authorities. 

President Obama has led our nation away from the Living God, at break-neck speed.  With the stroke of his pen he has mandated much sin.  I think many in the church recognized his presidency as being a judgement from God on our nation. 

But now God is allowing Donald Trump to rear his arrogant, Godless, immoral, self-serving head, perhaps to demonstrate clearly to those who still have discernment in the church that it is not just liberals in our country that are morally sick. Our entire nation, much of the “church” included, is spiritually and morally bankrupt and terminally ill! It is no longer just the liberal minded citizens who God allowed to participate in bringing an unrighteous man to power.  In case there was question about the pure condition of many in the Republican Party, God brought Donald Trump to show the true condition of many conservatives’ hearts. Yes, I know that many Republicans never claimed to be Christians; a measurable percentage of them, however, are self-professing Christians, and an astonishingly large amount of those are to blame for Trump making rapid headway on his way to the presidency. How can any true Christ follower get behind a man who has publicly defended abortion rights, bragged boldly about his sexual immorality, divorced twice, demeaned humans of other nationalities as well as females, mocked the disabled, demonstrated vast arrogance (which remember, comes before a fall), and generally mocked God when he said he has never had a reason to apologize to God. They can’t.  And yet many in our land who say they worship Jesus have.  And it’s all leading up to judgement.  Judgement of the church, first and foremost, judgement on what was once a nation built on Biblical principles, and judgement on a very fallen, rebellious world, which stands in opposition to the One who created them.

It is time – past time, in fact – for repentance to begin with the church.  When we individually stand before the throne of God one day, we will not be able to claim ignorance.  While many spiritual leaders are leading the flock of God astray, God still has His faithful who He is calling to be His voice in our world.  And we still own the Bible.  The average American home owns 3.  It is high time we dust it off, devour it, agree with God, and turn from our sins to the One who is willing to forgive. 

Church, the world is waiting for you to lead the way to repentance at the foot of the cross.  Be different.  Be set apart.  And don’t fall for the lies and wiles of the enemy of our souls.

 

Living For God

A Call To Repentance

As I write this Donald Trump is winning many of the Super Tuesday Republican primary delegates.  He’s marching a swath of support right across the Bible belt; Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas.

Wake up true church!  If we were following the Lord and His word as He told us to, our nation would not be in this predicament.  Our church has been silent on sin for too long!  (see previous article on The Importance of Modern Church Discipline)  Has the church embraced sin to such and extent and have we become so lukewarm that we can’t even recognize a self-righteous, Godless, idolatrous man when he yells those facts in our face?  Perhaps you think, “What?  I don’t harbor a lifestyle of sin?!”  Maybe not, but do you stand up boldly for the truth of the Word of God and call people to repentance like God tells you to?  Or do you think, “Well to each his own. I’m sure glad I’m not like that, but it’s OK for him/her to be, after all we all make choices and must live our own lives….”  Are we actually a LIGHT to both show what Christ looks like and to expose sin in the world around us?  Are we SALT preserving the culture God placed us in by preventing it from rotting away?  For every one of us who has failed to be those things, God would call us to repentance!

Church if we do not confess OUR sin and turn from it – and I mean FAST – we and the once great nation we call home is in for God’s judgement.  Do we care enough to do the hard work of personal repentance; turning from sin, and choosing to live a righteous life in Christ Jesus?  We will never be perfect, but we must live God honoring lives.  What are you harboring in the “secret” places of your heart?  Do business with the Living God. He knows anyway.  Confess your sin.  Agree with Him that it’s wrong.  Turn to Him for true healing and choose to follow His will for your life, rather than your own.  Be the person God created you to be.Your Mercy

Perhaps if the church in the United States repents and stops sleep walking, our nation will itself see revival.  At the very least, professing Christians won’t be the ones guilty of voting a strip club owning, lying, immoral, unfaithful, prideful, vindictive, Godless man into the highest office in our land.

And may we stay on our knees pleading with our Creator to transform both us and the world around us which so desperately needs Jesus!

Living For God

The Importance of Modern Church Discipline

righteous

When did the church decide to ignore the portions of Scripture about church discipline? When did we decide we knew better than God about what is healthy and right? What has happened to church leaders who say ENOUGH?

Paul was clear; followers of Jesus were NOT to associate with other followers of Jesus who were sexually immoral, greedy, swindlers, or idolaters.

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ESV (emphasis mine)

 So how did we get from there to more than 50% of our modern Bible believing church attenders abusing pornography? (Pastors included.)  Truly this is just a somewhat measurable yard stick, but my bigger concern is the abuse that is rampant in our churches and left undealt with.  Modern church leadership seems to want the unhealthy, disobedient “Christians” to continue sitting in the pews each week.  I don’t think it usually is for financial gain, and would like to think it is out of the goodness of their hearts that these leaders twist themselves, and their church membership, in knots trying to keep everyone in attendance; but in doing so, they are ignoring clear Biblical teaching.  God instructs us to not do life side by side in the church with those who are living in full out rebellion to His way of life. 

 God wants the church to be a light for Him.  We will never be perfect of course, but to embrace immorality while feigning worship of God is not an option scripturally.  We are called to live God honoring lives.  

 I believe God designed the church to be a haven for those who worship Him as Savior.  Our children should not be in harm’s way just so we can continue fellowshiping dangerous individuals. Spouses of dangerous people should not be continually placed in danger all in the name of not rocking the boat. That is not love, it’s enabling sin!  When did we decide tolerating sin was righteous??  Unless abusers demonstrate active repentance and turn from their evil ways, they should be treated as outsiders, and not be associated with, or welcomed at our gatherings.  Regardless of who they are.  God is not a respecter of persons, and He shows favoritism to no one.  If anything, God takes the side of the victim.  He is the defender of the defenseless.

At the very least we are called to address unrepentant sin publicly, if it’s found in our church leaders. (I would argue that the Bible teaches it is not just church leadership that should be publicly dealt with, but at least leaders need to be held to a high standard.)

 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.” 1 Timothy 5:19-21 ESV (emphasis mine)

 I am thankful that I attended a church growing up where I was able to see this played out.  Of course I wish the pastor had not committed adultery, but since he HAD chosen to do so, the church addressed it publicly, from the front of the congregation.  It was hard.  Very hard.  But it was healthy, and it was Biblical.  And every one of us in the church knew not to take living in sin with a grain of salt.     

 What would the church look like today if we addressed sexual immorality issues (pornography…..) publicly, at the very least holding our leaders Biblically accountable?  Would it be hard?  You bet.  But we would produce far better fruit.  And perhaps our leaders would rightly recognize and address immorality in their congregants if they weren’t personally harboring it in their own lives.

 Be the church.  Be set apart for Jesus.

 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:1-2 ESV

 “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-8-19 ESV

 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”  1 Peter 2:9-12 ESV

Living For God

A Biblical Response to Trump

Has this election revealed a gaping hole in the heart of the church?

Many Christians are 100% in support of Donald Trump and his bid for President.  While other believers see him as the antithesis to what God calls us to as Christians.  I am in that camp.  In reflecting on this, and even civilly arguing this issue, I am concerned this has exposed the true condition of many of those who warm the pews of our churches each week.  Have we become so numb to sin that we no longer recognize it? And if so, does that mean we are lukewarm, or does that mean we are not worshipers of Jesus?

A follower of Jesus desires to know Him, and follow His plan rather than their own.  So if you desire to know God and be known by Him, yet you find yourself cheering for Donald Trump, here are several Biblical principles which will hopefully shed further light on what God’s view is of Godless, immoral, prideful, hot tempered, fast to speak, foolish, serving-money-rather-than-God people.

Proverbs 29:20 

“Do you see someone who speaks in haste?
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.”

Those singing Mr. Trumps praises are often proud that he always speaks up when he thinks something is wrong.  Sometimes this is good.  Sometimes this is bad.  It is bad, in Trumps case, because he is acerbic. His fear mongering and vitriolic slurs seems to be drawing supporters, but should this attract us as Christians?

Philippians 4:5-7

“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

No.  We are called to be gentle and are told to not worry about anything!  This does not mean we should not use wisdom and work hard to achieve what we believe to be right, but it does mean that when a politician is playing on our fears day in and day out, that is not a person we should follow, and we certainly should not listen to them for guidance!

 We should be looking for righteous leadership first and foremost!  Look at all the Godly contestants on the Republican ticket: Huckabee, Rubio, Cruz, Carson, Fiorina… and instead we choose to back Trump??  In the US we are blessed to have a say in who we choose to lead us. Are we more concerned about choosing Godly, moral, pure, righteous leadership, or are we pursuing other things before the things of the Lord?

Psalm 1:1-6

“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”

Which raises the question; are we in the church delighting in the law of the Lord (the Bible)?  If more of us are, why don’t we know what God thinks about things of this importance?  Why are we being so easily led astray, if we are obeying the many Biblical commands to study the Scriptures well?

And if we are steeped in the Word of God, then certainly we know what God has to say about purity.  Sexual sin is a cancer eating away at our society, and I fear at the church as well.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”

Ephesians 5:3-10

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”

Galatians 5:16-24

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

So if we are Christians, living sexually pure lives like we are called by our Savior to do, then we should not be drawn to an immoral man as our leader.  Mr. Trump has been divorced multiple times, often bragging about his freedom (to sin) with women. Do not confuse what matters most to God.  Look again at the above passages from Galatians and Ephesians.  The list of the works of the flesh look an awful lot like this man some of us have been fighting to promote.

In all honesty if I were to tackle every Biblical contradiction to nominating Trump, I would be writing a lengthy book, rather than a blog post.  Rather than address these here, let me just make a brief list of other issues to Biblically research on your own.

Caring For the Poor

Marriage

Being Doubleminded

Compassion

Welcoming Foreigners and Sojourners

Abortion

Pride vs. Humility

The Value of Women

Be Slow To Speak

Honoring God

Obeying God

Serving Money Rather Than God

Wisdom

I recommend reading the Bible through.  As soon as possible.  If you don’t know what it says in its entirety, how can you have the mind of God? Thankfully we live in an era that we own our own Bible, and can know what God’s view of life is.  He created us, He is the only God who ever will be and who ever was, and He alone gets to say what right and wrong are.  Listen to Him, and be willing to adjust and repent where necessary.  The health of the church, as well as our nation, depends on it!

 

Proverbs 14:33-34

“Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding…
Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.”

 

 

Living For God

Discern Truth From Error

How do we discern truth from error? By being a regular student of the Bible.

1 Timothy 6:3-4b says, “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing.”

If we don’t want to be led astray by false teachers, we need to read the New Testament to learn well what Jesus taught. The New Testament contains books written about Jesus and His life and ministry on earth. Matthew, Mark, and John are first hand accounts of Jesus by his disciples. They very much confirm each other. Luke, a doctor, wrote what he learned by studying with Jesus’ disciples. Acts tells us how the Holy Spirit came on the church, and how God GREW – in an enormous way – His church; and He continues to do so today! The next books of the Bible are written to individual early churches by the disciples, apostles, and Paul, who Jesus called out of the strictest form of Judaism to take the Biblical gospel to non-Jews. Finally, the book of Revelation tells us about God’s judgement that is to come.

Jesus is the pivotal point of history, and certainly the Bible and the Biblical account of His ministry, death and resurrection, begins in Matthew. Once you master the New Testament (Matthew – Revelation) begin digging in to the Old Testament for Godly teaching, but I encourage you to continue studying the New Testament at the same time, as Everything Changed With Jesus, and because of HIM we are no longer under the law for our salvation!

All books of the Bible are directly inspired by God Himself “God Breathed” and as such, if anything contradicts the gospel it is false. The true gospel, taught in the Bible is that Jesus is more than enough, and paid FULLY for the sins of everyone who would place their faith in His death and resurrection! His work at the Cross is Finished! Jesus Paid It All! If anything contradicts a single word in the inspired Word of God – the Bible – it Can Not Be Truth. God can not lie. He does not shift and change. He calls us to stand on the truth of His Word. Anything that contradicts the Bible is a lie, not truth.

Some people, in an attempt to discredit the Bible, question it’s authenticity. Let me encourage you; there is no more validated book! Study The Truth

The places and people in scripture are historically verifiable and as a matter of fact, many Biblical sites are still known and visited today.  I have been told that traveling to Israel is a powerful way to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible. It makes the Bible come to life when you are surrounded by evidence of the many Biblical accounts.  They really happened.  Archaeologists tell us they did, and historical accounts confirm the Bible.

We have ancient Old Testament scrolls as well as New Testament books of the Bible which entirely validate the authenticity both in translation and transcript of the entire Bible. How did the Bible survive for thousands of years without being corupted? Scribes, and later monks would destroy entire copies of the Bible that they were copying for just one letter error, starting over again.  God used this meticulous attention to detail to give us an incredibly accurate text today. Jesus himself validated the Old Testament Scriptures when He frequently quoted directly from Hebrew Scriptures (OT).  He never once questioned if the compiling and keeping of Scripture had been done correctly. God has kept His word intact. It is a beautiful gift He offers us, so that we might know Him, learn to glorify Him more, and be protected from Satan’s lies.

We desperately need to Read The Bible Often, so we do not fall prey to a lie. Study it. Inhale it. Breathe deeply of the hope found in Jesus and Jesus alone, and reject every teaching that does not agree with the sound instruction found in the Bible. Our eternity is staked on it.

Living For God

Choose The Truth of God’s Word

In light of the recent uproar after the removal of the most egregious false teacher at Northwest Nazareen University, I think it important to speak truth from the Word of God. Let me first say that while I wish NNU was direct about their reason for letting Dr. Oord go, most people believe that it is due to many false teachings that he has introduced his students to. He has in fact led the charge to heresy that now pervades our local Christian university’s campus. The school needs to return to believing that the Bible is an absolute authority and not permit its Christian teachers to teach otherwise. This is a hard thing to do for a university that has looked the other way for far too long. How do you rewind the clock and clean house to the point that your staff actually do believe the Word of God is truth, all the time, whether they like what it says or not. Many of these staff members have set themselves as judges of Scripture, rather than allowing the Bible to judge and instruct them.
Many people today want to believe false things. This is true on college campuses, as well as in the pew. But the many Christian universities teaching heresy nationwide are leading the charge away from the Bible. We are witnessing a great falling away in the church, which should not surprise us, as Jesus told us ahead of time this would happen right before His return. (Matthew 24:10-13) Jesus also told us to pray that we would continue in the faith. Part of holding to the faith includes being willing to speak the truth of the Bible, and to point out false teachers and not choose to sit under them, rather than choose to enjoy their warm fuzzy messages which come straight from the pit of hell.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Jesus is to be preeminent in our hearts and that should show in our lives. If our family or friends take preeminence to Jesus and the Truth of His Word, we need to ask ourselves if Jesus indeed is our master.
In case you are tempted to continue to stand by a teacher, whoever that teacher would be, because of your friendship with them, even when they teach heretical teachings, look at what Jesus said in Luke 14:26-35:

26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Salt Without Taste Is Worthless
34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

If you would like to sign a petition in support of the decision to remove Dr. Oord, here is a link where you can do so.
https://www.change.org/p/dr-david-alexander-we-support-your-removal-of-dr-tom-oord?tk=ZpdYdr4J31dVg93iKMXJsM_9R6DHgowqNf6wJmsW3qY&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email

Living For God

Christian Suffering Compared to Eternity

It astonishes me that Paul who had been shipwrecked, beaten numerous times, left for dead, gone without food…. said, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

It would seem that in the surpassingly great revelations he received from the Lord, God gave Paul an immense picture of eternity, allowing him to count this life as inconsequential in comparison with an eternity in glory with Jesus.

Christian, on the days when you face many trials, much pain, and intense earthly suffering, remember that these days are soon over.  Even if we live to be 105, it is barely a blip compared to eternity with our Lord.

Remain faithful.  Stand firm in your faith, and remember that all our faithfulness in suffering in this life will be abundantly rewarded in the next.  Jesus sees.  He knows our pain, and He will make everything right, in His time.

Know that while He can stop the pain at any moment, if He allows it to continue – or even intensify – He has a purpose.  He will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  Remember Joseph and Job.  It may take until Heaven to see God’s purpose, but rest in the fact that He is at work both in our lives, and in His world.  He will be glorified.

Choose to praise Him in the storm, and in so doing you will know a bit of the victory in the pain, as God is greatly glorified when those who worship Him continue to praise and adore Him even in the painful times of life!  These times prove a faithful servant’s legitimacy to all who are watching, even in the spirit world, bringing honor to God who is worthy of all honor and all praise both now and forevermore!